What is A Moneyline Bet & How Does it Work?

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on moneyline betting, where we provide you with valuable insights and strategies to help you maximize your winnings.

In this article, we will delve deep into the world of moneyline betting, explaining the term, sharing expert tips, and exploring various scenarios to enhance your understanding of this popular betting option.

Understanding the Moneyline

The moneyline is a straightforward and widely used betting format that focuses on predicting the outcome of a specific event or game. Unlike other forms of betting that involve point spreads or handicaps, moneyline betting is purely concerned with picking the winning side. This simplicity makes moneyline betting a popular choice for Canadian bettors.

How Does Moneyline Betting Work?

In moneyline betting, each team or participant is assigned a specific value, represented by either a positive or negative number. These numbers indicate the odds associated with each selection.

Let’s explore the two scenarios:

Positive Moneyline

When a team or participant is assigned a positive moneyline, it indicates that they are considered the underdog in the matchup. The positive value signifies the potential profit you can make by betting $100 on that selection. Let’s take an example with a positive moneyline of +250.

Suppose we have an NHL game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Maple Leafs, being the underdog in this matchup, are assigned a positive moneyline of +250. If you decide to bet $100 on the Maple Leafs and they win the game, you would earn a profit of $250. So, your total payout would be $350, consisting of your initial $100 stake and the $250 profit.

Negative Moneyline

Conversely, a negative moneyline is assigned to the favorite in a particular matchup. This negative value represents the amount you would need to wager in order to win $100. Let’s use an example with a negative moneyline of -200.

Continuing with our NHL scenario, let’s consider a game between the Montreal Canadiens and the Ottawa Senators. The Canadiens, being the favorite, are assigned a negative moneyline of -200.

If you want to bet on the Canadiens to win, you would need to wager $200 in order to win $100. If the Canadiens emerge victorious, you would receive your initial $200 stake back, along with an additional $100 in profit, resulting in a total payout of $300.

Evaluating Moneyline Odds

Understanding how to evaluate moneyline odds is crucial to making informed betting decisions. By assessing the implied probabilities associated with the odds, you can identify favorable opportunities and make bets that offer value.

Let’s break it down:

Calculating Implied Probability

To calculate the implied probability of a moneyline bet, you can use the following formulas:

  1. Positive Moneyline: Implied Probability = 100 / (Moneyline + 100)
  2. Negative Moneyline: Implied Probability = Absolute Value of Moneyline / (Absolute Value of Moneyline + 100)
    By converting the odds into probabilities, you can determine the likelihood of an outcome according to the sportsbook’s assessment.

Identifying Value Bets

Value bets are opportunities where the implied probability of an outcome is lower than your own calculated probability. By identifying value bets, you can maximize your long-term profitability.

Look for instances where the sportsbook’s assessment differs from your own analysis, and if you believe your calculated probability is higher, consider placing a bet.

Strategies for Moneyline Betting

To excel in moneyline betting, it’s important to employ effective strategies that give you an edge. Here are a few approaches that can help improve your chances of winning:

  • Research and Analysis – Thorough research and analysis are the foundation of successful moneyline betting. Stay up-to-date with team news, player performances, injury reports, and other factors that can influence the outcome of a game. Utilize reputable sports websites, statistics, and expert opinions to make informed predictions.
  • Bankroll Management – Managing your bankroll is crucial to long-term success in any form of betting. Set a budget for your betting activities and allocate a specific portion of it to moneyline bets. Avoid chasing losses and bet responsibly to ensure that you can sustain your betting endeavors over an extended period.
  • Line Shopping – Line shopping refers to comparing odds and prices across multiple betting sites to find the best possible value. Different sportsbooks may offer slightly different odds, so taking the time to compare and find the most favorable odds can significantly impact your potential winnings. Sign up with multiple reputable sportsbooks and take advantage of any discrepancies in the moneyline odds.
  • Home Field Advantage – In many sports, the home team tends to have an advantage due to familiarity with the venue, support from the crowd, and reduced travel fatigue. When evaluating moneyline bets, consider the impact of home field advantage and assess whether it provides an edge for the team playing on their home turf.
  • Analyzing Head-to-Head Matchups – Examining the historical performance of teams or participants in head-to-head matchups can provide valuable insights. Look for patterns, trends, and previous outcomes that may give you an indication of how the current matchup could unfold. Consider factors such as playing styles, key player matchups, and recent form when assessing the potential outcome.

Common Moneyline Betting Scenarios

To enhance your understanding of moneyline betting, let’s explore a few common scenarios and discuss potential strategies:

Heavy Favorite vs. Underdog

In matchups where there is a heavy favorite and a clear underdog, the moneyline odds may be skewed. If you believe the favorite is likely to win, but the odds offer little value, you can consider alternative betting options such as prop bets or parlays to increase potential payouts.

Conversely, if you identify a live underdog with favorable odds, placing a moneyline bet on the underdog could yield substantial returns if they pull off an upset.

Close Matchup

When two evenly matched teams face off, the moneyline odds may be relatively close. In these scenarios, it’s essential to conduct thorough research and analysis to identify any potential advantages or disadvantages for either team.

Consider factors such as recent form, injuries, team dynamics, and head-to-head records to make an informed decision. It may also be worth exploring alternative betting options like point spreads or over/under bets to find more favorable odds.

Moneyline Parlays

A moneyline parlay involves combining multiple moneyline bets into a single wager, offering higher potential payouts. This strategy is suitable for confident bettors who believe in the likelihood of multiple outcomes.

However, keep in mind that parlay bets are riskier, as all selections must win for the bet to be successful. Use caution when employing this strategy and ensure each selection has been thoroughly researched.


Moneyline betting is a popular and straightforward form of wagering that allows you to predict the outcome of a specific event or game.
By understanding the moneyline format, evaluating odds, and employing effective strategies, you can maximize your chances of success.

Remember to conduct thorough research, manage your bankroll wisely, and take advantage of line shopping to find the best possible value.