Moneyline Bet: What it is and How it Works

One of the things that makes sportsbook betting so exciting is its endless variety. Not only can you bet on hundreds of teams and thousands of players across dozens of sports, but you can also choose from many different types of bets. No day ever has to be the same in the world of sports betting if you choose different options, and you have a wide range of opportunities to win.

Among the most popular betting options–and one of the most straight-forward–is the moneyline bet. Knowing this and your other betting options is important to your success with sportsbook betting.

What Is a Moneyline Bet?

A moneyline bet is a wager on the outright winner of a game or event, without any point spread. In essence, when you place a moneyline bet, you’re betting on who will win the contest outright. It doesn’t matter by how much they win. If the team or individual you bet on wins, so do you. This simplicity makes moneyline betting a favorite among both novice and experienced bettors. There are no complicated point spreads and other factors to consider, making it much easier to understand and the potential wins easier to calculate.

Moneyline Bets vs. Point Spread Bets

Point spread bets are another popular betting type in sportsbook betting. While moneyline bets focus solely on the winner of the contest, point spread bets introduce a handicap that the favored team must overcome. For example, in a point spread bet, the favored team might have a -7.5 spread, meaning that they need to win by more than 7.5 points for bets on them to pay out. The bigger the point spread, the lower the odds of winning this kind of bet. Being successful with point spread bets requires you to really know the team or player you are betting on and to be able to accurately surpass any handicap that has been assigned to them. It is more complicated and requires more expertise than a moneyline bet.

Moneyline Components

Though moneyline bets are simple, they do have a few components that bettors will need to understand so that they can make informed choices. Moneyline odds are presented in terms of who is favored to win and by how much. Here are some components you will need to know:

The Favorite

The favorite is a term that is used for the team or individual that is expected to win. Betting for the favorite is usually represented with a minus (-) sign followed by a number, indicating how much you need to bet to win $100. For example, if the favorite has odds of -150, you would need to bet $150 to win $100.

The Underdogs

The underdogs are the teams or individuals that are not expected to win in a moneyline bet. Underdog odds are represented with a plus (+) sign, showing how much you would win if you bet $100. For example, if the underdog’s odds are +200, a $100 bet would net you $200 if they win.

The Even or Pick’em

Sometimes, games are so evenly matched that bookmakers cannot determine a clear favorite or underdog. These bets are often listed as “EVEN” or “PICK’EM,” meaning that the odds are the same on both sides. Betting on these games is essentially a 50/50 wager, disregarding any fees or commissions charged by the bookmaker.

How to Make a Moneyline Bet

Making a moneyline bet is a straightforward process, but it requires understanding the odds and how they translate into potential payouts. Whether you’re at a sportsbook, using an online betting platform, or placing a bet through a mobile app, the first step to placing a moneyline bet is selecting the game or event you’re interested in. Once you’ve found it, you’ll see the moneyline odds next to the names of the competitors or teams. Then you make your choices and decide how much you want to bet. Then complete the steps to confirm.

Calculating Moneyline Odds

Moneyline odds can appear intimidating at first with their seemingly counterintuitive symbols, but they’re quite simple once you get the hang of reading them. These odds tell you how much you stand to win based on your wager. There are two main components to these calculations: calculating the payout for the favorite and calculating the payout for the underdogs.

Calculating the Favorite

The favorite in a moneyline bet is indicated by a minus (-) sign followed by a number. As previously stated, this number shows how much money you need to bet to win $100. For instance, if the favorite’s odds are -75, you need to bet $75 to win $100 in profit. You will also get back your original bet, so even if your initial wager is higher than $100, you’ll still net a profit.

To calculate the payout for a favorite, use the following formula:

Payout = (100 / Odds) × Bet Amount + Bet Amount

For a favorite with odds of -150 and a bet of $150, the formula would look like this:

Payout = (100 / 150) × 150 + 150 = $100 + $150 = $250

It’s a simple formula that you can always use if you can’t quickly scan the odds and figure out the winnings.

Calculating the Underdogs

Underdog odds are represented with a plus (+) sign, indicating how much you would win on a $100 bet. For example, if the underdog’s odds are +200, you win $200 if you bet $100. You would also get back your original bet.

The formula for calculating the payout for an underdog is similar to that used for the favorite:

Payout = (Odds / 100) × Bet Amount + Bet Amount

For an underdog with odds of +200 and a bet of $100:

Payout = (200 / 100) × 100 + 100 = $200 + $100 = $300

Understanding these calculations allows bettors to assess the risk versus reward for both favorites and underdogs, making more informed decisions when placing moneyline bets.

Moneyline Outcomes

When you place a moneyline bet, there are three primary outcomes: win, loss, or draw. Understanding these outcomes is crucial for every bettor, as they directly impact the return on your wager. You need to be prepared for every outcome when you place a bet. You need to begin with a clear budget, and you need to know how you will proceed based on the outcome of your bet.


If the team or individual you bet on wins the game or event, your moneyline bet is a win. The amount you earn is calculated based on the odds at the time of your bet. Winning bets on favorites yield lower returns than winning bets on underdogs, reflecting the risk involved. If they’re a favorite, it’s because everyone knows they’re likely to win.


A loss occurs if the team or individual you bet on does not win the event. In this case, you forfeit the amount wagered. Underdogs are not automatic losses, but the odds are against them. If you win those moneyline bets, you can expect to win more. But understanding the risks and researching before placing your bets can help minimize losses.


In some sports, a draw, or a tie, is a possible outcome. Depending on the sportsbook’s rules, a draw may result in a push, where your original bet is refunded. However, not all sportsbooks treat draws the same way, so it’s important to know the policy before you bet.

Why Should You Bet a Moneyline?

Betting the moneyline is appealing for several reasons. It’s straightforward and easy to understand, making it accessible to beginners. However, it also offers depth and nuance for seasoned bettors through strategic selection of underdogs and favorites after careful research and long-term observation.

Moneyline bets also provide a clear and direct interest in the outcome of a game, enhancing the viewing experience. You don’t have to scatter your focus cheering for different players or different outcomes throughout the game. You can just sit back and watch the game, cheering for your favorite team or player and knowing that you have some money waiting for you when they bring home the victory.

Every player is different and will find unique ways to bet and enjoy the games. However, moneyline bets have universal appeal for both new and experienced players and sports fans of all types.

Bet at the DraftKings Sportsbook at Boot Hill Casino

Are you ready to try your hand at moneyline betting? The DraftKings Sportsbook at Boot Hill Casino offers a premier betting experience in Dodge City, KS. DraftKings Sportsbook provides a wide range of betting options with competitive odds on a user-friendly platform. The Sportsbook is found inside a comfortable lounge area with numerous high-definition screens to watch a range of sports matches at any given time. You can order drinks and food while you relax in comfort and watch your favorites. Visit Boot Hill Casino to enjoy a dynamic betting environment, where you can apply your understanding of moneyline bets and perhaps celebrate a win. Remember, responsible betting is crucial, so set limits while you enjoy the experience.