The Moneyline and NFL Sports Betting

Here’s How the Moneyline Works in Sports Betting

Although the point spread tends to be favored by sports handicappers when it comes to NFL betting, there are sites that will offer both point spread and moneyline wagers. With the moneyline, you wager on one of two teams and whichever team wins outright is the one that pays off.

Basics of the Moneyline

With a moneyline, teams are listed differently than they would be when the point spread is used. Many who are new to sports betting are confused by the moneyline and sometimes even intimidated. But once you understand the basics, you’ll be able to utilize it to your advantage.

A NFL moneyline, which always lists the visiting team first, looks like this.

Dallas Cowboys         -200

San Francisco 49ers +150

With the moneyline, the team that is listed in the negative is the favorite and the one listed in the positive is the underdog.

Sports Betting and Moneyline Wagering

In the example above, betting on the moneyline works this way. To win $100 on the Cowboys, you’ll have to wager $200. That’s because Dallas, at -200, is heavily favored. If you put $100 on the 49ers and they win, your payoff will be $150.

Wager on Dallas and if they win, you’ll get your $200 back plus $100 for a total of $300. Bet on San Francisco and if they win, you’ll get your original wager of $100 plus $150 back for a total of $250.

The Sports Betting Vig

Is there vig, a commission for the bookmaker, with the moneyline? There is but it’s harder to see with this type of bet. A bookmaker gets their commission by charging more than they should on the favorite club and paying back less than they should on the underdog. In essence, they are overcharging the sports bettor on one end and underpaying him on the other.

Moneyline Advantages

The moneyline allows you to wager on teams outright, and that means it doesn’t matter at all by how much your team wins, as long as they win you get paid. Of course, you have to risk more to win less when you bet on the favorite, but you risk little when betting on an upset. And there are seasons where there are plenty of upsets in the NFL.

In sports betting, the moneyline is best to wager on when the point spread seems too close to call or when you believe an upset is in the making. Be sure to shop around for the best moneyline as they will vary to a degree from sportsbook to sportsbook.