You may not have ever heard of the term “Money Line”, but you definitely know what it means. The money line is a wager on which team/player will win an event. You can bet on the ML in every single sport.
I’m sure you’ve placed a money line bet before with your friends. Have you ever bet on your favorite baseball or hockey team to win a game? If so, then you’ve made a money line bet without even knowing it.
Let’s take a look at an example of a money line bet in MLB.
· Money Line Example: Toronto Blue Jays (-130) vs. New York Yankees (+110)
As you can see, a money line bet is simple to understand. You just need to learn how to read the odds. When the team has negative odds, it means you have to risk that much to win $100.
For example, the Blue Jays are -130, which means you’d need to bet $130 to win $100. You can simply divide or multiply to figure out how much you need to bet to win a certain amount.
When the odds are positive, it means you win that much for every $100 wagered. So, in our example, the NYY are +110, which means you’d win $110 for every $100 you wagered on them.
In most cases, there will be one team with positive odds and one team with negative odds. When the game is expected to be close, both teams may have negative odds, such as -110/-110.
The team with negative odds is the favorite, while the team with positive odds is the underdog. If both teams have negative odds, the team with the higher odds would be the favorite.
Let’s take a look at an example from the NHL tonight.
The Sabres tonight are -115 favorites against the Maple Leafs (-105). Both teams have negative odds, but since Buffalo’s odds are higher, they’re considered the favorite in the match-up, but just slightly.
When shouldn’t you bet on the money line in MLB and NHL?
There’s no set odds when you shouldn’t bet on the money line. However, if the favorite is priced at -200 or higher in MLB or NHL, your best bet is to bet on the run line or puck line, which is similar to a point spread.
For example, the Los Angeles Kings are -270 money line favorites tonight against the Canucks. Risking $270 to win $100 is a lot risk with a limited return. Alternatively, you could bet on the Kings puck line.
The Kings puck line (-1.5 Goal spread) is priced at +115, meaning you’d win $115 for every $100 bet. The only difference is that the Kings will need to win the hockey game by 2 goals to win the puck line bet.
The money line bet is available for all sports, but isn’t as popular of a bet for some. For example, in the NFL, the most common bet is point spread, but money lines are still common, especially when betting an underdog.