What is the Moneyline in sports betting?

What is the money line

If you are new to betting then you may wonder what the money line is and how it works. There’s also different options for different sports as well as a handicap money line. Well, here at betting apps we’ve got you covered with our handy guide to money line betting odds, covering all sports and options. You’ll be an expert on the subject time no time at all!

How the Moneyline works in sports betting

Moneylines are normally displayed using the American odds system (as are most markets) – by displaying either a positive or a negative number next to a specific outcome. These numbers reflect how much return to expect if you were to bet on that outcome.

  • Positive number – This indicates an outsider and shown as positive as you will receive more money back than your initial stake (plus your stake back). Any positive number will show you how much money you will win back from a $100 stake.
  • Negative number – This indicates a favourite and is negative as you will receive less winnings than your stake (plus your stake back). Any negative number will show you how much you will need to stake in order to return winnings of $100.

The standard Moneyline bet is the win-lose for a match that contains two teams, we’ll come to more options further down the page. The odds are weighted for who the bookmaker thinks are the favorite in the match. This is easier to show in an example –

Moneyline bet example in BaseBall betting from sports interaction

*Example is taken from the Sports Interaction app.

This is the MBL and Chicago at Minnesota. The Moneyline is the middle section, the outer sections are the run line and over/under. The Moneyline reads as follows

Chicago +145 – The means Chicago are not the favorite in this match according to the bookmakers. This example is using American odds and shows that if you put $100 on Chicago to win you will win $145 (plus your $100 stake back) as shown below

Bet slip showing the example return on a money line bet for a + bet at +145 in the MLB

Minnesota -170 – This means Minnesota are the favorites as they are on the minus side of the line. A $100 dollar bet on Minnesota to win only returns $58.82 profit plus your $100 stake back as shown in this example.

A Bet on the minus moneyline side means a bet on the favorite

The amount the line varies depends on how strong the favorite is. In baseball betting in the MLB, it’s rare to see a line over +200 with the most regular odds we see between the +100 and +180. This does vary depending on the sport. You may see much higher odds in sports like soccer where they have larger differences in the quality of the teams.

Hopefully, that has given you a basic guide to what a moneyline bet is, read on for more examples in other sports and more markets that offer the line.

3 way Moneyline bets

In some instances, there will be 3 options rather than two as shown above. All soccer games will have a 3 way – Home win, Draw, Away win and other sports and alternative markets will do too.

3-way example – We are going to use soccer for this example as it’s the easiest one to look at. In Soccer the moneyline is sometimes known as the outright market. Here’s an example below from West Ham United v Manchester United, Manchester United are the favorites for this game with the draw the second most likely outcome and West Ham winning the least unlikely.

Money line betting example in soccer

West ham wins +323 – For this your $100 would return $323 plus your $100 stake back if West Ham won the match.

Draw +270 – If the game ends as a tie you’d get $270 back plus your $100 stake.

Manchester United -129 – As this is slightly on the minus side you’d get $77 winnings back, plus your $100 stake if United won the match.

As some of you may have noticed above you could put $100 on West Ham and $100 on the draw and get a profit if either result lands at the full time. This is known as either dutching or double chance.

The money line in Baseball Betting

If you are, like us, a Baseball fan and want to bet on more markets then there are more available to you. To find these on any betting apps you will need to go to the game you want to bet on and click into that game to see all the markets (See our guide to betting apps in the USA here). In Baseball you can even bet live whilst watching the game on some of these markets – even if you’re at the ballpark.

This example is from the NY Yankees at The Red Sox from the Sugar House app.

4 way parlay money line alternative bet

This is a market they offer on all MLB games and includes the standard line bet added into the Over/ Under market set at 9.5 runs. The amount of runs, 9.5, is set based on how many runs the bookmakers would expect in this match. It does not vary by much game to game but the range is usually 7.5-11.5. To win this bet you need to get both outcomes right.


The Yankees win 4-1 – This would mean the away team and under would win

The Yankees win 6-4 – This would mean away team and over would win (10 runs in total)

Some bookmakers also offer a 5 innings money line bet – This is the same as the full match bet its just settles at the result at the end of the 5th innings.

Moneyline in Basketball Betting

This works in a very similar way to baseball betting with just two outcomes available in the main market for each match. There are also alternative markets in NBA betting as we’ll cover below. The line is again set by the bookmaker to make one of the teams the favorites and this is usually in a similar range to the baseball odds. As you may have noticed if you backed both results you’d end up losing money.