What is a Moneyline Bet in Sports Betting


The most common bets in the world of betting are the money line bets. This type of bet got popular because of its simplicity and relatability. The newbie bettors start their career in betting with money line bets, and experienced bettors use it to get income. In this article, we intend to discuss the Moneyline bet, learn its inner workings, and understand how to choose the right event to win.

What is a Moneyline Bet?

Moneyline bet is a betting term that literally consists of two English words: money and line. The term means the simplest event based on one of the parties winning, and it does not have a "draw" outcome available. To wager a Moneyline bet, you should choose a possible winner of the match from two competing players/teams.

The Moneyline bet is the main betting type for matches with no draws or where the draw is unlikely - tennis, boxing, MMA, basketball, volleyball, American football, etc. For other sports, such as football (soccer), the money line betting option is also available, but it is only an additional bet.

When wagering a Moneyline bet, you might get 3 options for the outcome:

  • a won bet when the chosen team/player wins;
  • a lost bet when the other team/player wins;
  • a "draw no bet" result with a return of a wagered stake in case the match ended in a draw.

To calculate the winnings, you are to multiply the wagered stake by the odds of the selected outcome of the "money line" bet.

How Does Moneyline Works?

Moneyline events are processed at the end of the match. This kind of bets means that the difference in the score or the points scored by each party are not important, only the overall result (win or loss) is to be taken into account here.

The bookmaker odds for the moneyline bets correspond to the winning chances for each of the parties, namely, they can be used to determine the favorite of the meeting. Sometimes the bookies put equal odds on opposing sides, but this happens quite rarely.

The Moneyline bets allow the bettor to choose between only two options: the victory of either the first or the second team. If the chosen team/player wins, your bet also wins, and if the other side wins, you lose. However, keep in mind that a Moneyline bet wagered on an obvious favorite will gain a very low odds.

For a better understanding of what does money line mean, let's look at a real-life example. Let's take the 2022 US Open women's final between Iga Świątek and Ons Jabeur. The money line odds said that Świątek's victory was estimated at 1.55-1.6, while Jabeur's success was at 2.4-2.55. Let's choose a bet365 as our BO and bet $100 on the "triumph" of the Polish tennis player at the 1.57 odds.

Moneyline in betting


As a result of the event, the victory with a score of 2:0 (6:2, 7:6) was celebrated by the Polish player Iga Świątek, and, accordingly, by us. Our winnings were ($100 * 1.57) = $157, and our net profit was $57. At the same time, we do not care for the exact score of the winning tennis player or for how many games she "took" – we are only interested in the "total" outcome. If Jabeur had won the match, then we would have been expected to lose the bet.

Moneyline bet

The Difference Between 1X2 and Moneyline

Lots of beginners mistakenly assume that the Moneyline bet is equal or close to the 1X2 bet. There are still differences between the concepts, and they are not as insignificant as it seems at first glance.

The clear distinction between the "money line" and "1X2" bets is the option of betting on a draw. The Moneyline bet has only 2 betting options: the victory of one contesting party or the other. But the 1X2 bet has 3 betting options: one side wins, the other side wins, and a draw.

Many bettors believe that the differences between these types of bets are only in the name. However, the thought disappears as soon as the bettor wagers the bet on the victory of one of the teams and loses due to a draw. With a Moneyline bet, we would get a "draw no bet" repay due to a draw, but in sports with a high probability of a draw, the 1X2 bets are more popular, and there are completely different rules for calculating bets there.

Favorites and Underdogs in Moneyline

The bookies set their odds for the money line in accordance with the chances of the opponents to win. According to the BO's quotes, you will be able to determine the favorite and outsider of the chosen match, as well as be able to find out the probability of their success.

Not every match must have an obvious favorite and an outsider, in some matches, the line has only a slight bias to one of the sides. For example, the case below illustrates a roughly even game with a slight advantage given to one of the parties:

Money line


Very rarely there are situations when both odds in the Moneyline are absolutely equal. In this case, there are no favorites or outsiders in the match.

Draws and 3-way moneylines

A 3-way moneyline bet is a moneyline bet that includes a draw bet. In fact, this bet is literally a 1X2 line, not a moneyline one.

Most often, such bets are common in football (soccer) due to the abundance of draws. Surely, the bookies offer the draw option in the moneyline bets for other sports as well, but they all apply only to the main part of the match and do not include extra time.

How To Bet The Moneyline

To understand how to bet the moneyline bets, let's take a look on a real-life example. Let's take the NFL 2022 Week 4 matchup between Atlanta Falcons and Cleveland Browns.

Moneyline example


The money line odds for this match indicate that Cleveland is the obvious favorite of the event (the team has a higher probability of winning). If we calculate the amount of possible winnings, then with a $100 bet on the Falcons to win, we might get $200 (a $100 net profit), and the Browns win will get us only $180 (a $80 net profit).

When betting the Moneyline bets, it is important to remember that the victory of the chosen team will bring you success, but any other result will bring loss.

In which Sports use Moneyline Betting?

As we already explained above, the Moneyline bet is mostly used in sports where a draw is an unlikely or impossible outcome. The bookies offer a money line betting option for tennis, table tennis, boxing, baseball, ultimate fighting events (of UFC or Bellator type), American football (nfl), basketball, e-sports (CS, Dota, LOL), and much more.

Despite the abundance of draws in football (soccer), the moneyline option is also available for this sport. This type of bet is not the main one for football matches, and in case of a draw, the bettors will get the "draw no bet" repay.

As for the popularity of Moneyline bets by sports, then the bettors most often use the option in tennis and in professional fighting events.

How do the bookies make money from moneyline betting?

Betting has a "vigorish" term, or a "vig" for short, meaning the BO’s profit. If you look closely at the odds of both money line bets, you'll notice that they don't overlap. It means that some part of the stake goes to the bookies in the form of a vig.

Lots of bettors think that a vig is only to be borne either by winners or by losers, but in reality, the bookies include their fee into every bet. They don't care if you win or lose, it's important that you wager a bet.

It is worth noting that the Moneyline bet has a smaller betting fee, so it is more beneficial for the bettors.

Why Do Moneyline Odds Change?

The odds for the outcomes in the money line betting are constantly updated, up to the closing of the line. Why so? Almost all bookies do not set their own action lines, copying them from the trend-setters of the betting market. The main bookies accept high-limit bets from professional bettors, thus shaping the odds for the events. Of course, the change of odds is also related to the events around the match: injuries, motivation, weather, etc.

The Moneyline odds for every match go through the following life cycle:

  • the main bookies open the market for the match;
  • their competitors copy and set their own action lines, setting fairly modest limits;
  • as the event approaches, more and more information appears, the odds for the outcomes are getting adjusted closer to the "true" ones;
  • the bookies increase the limits as soon as they become confident in the correctness of their quotes;
  • the line gets closed immediately before the start of the game.

Why was my Moneyline Bet cancelled?

Bets on the whole-numbered totals and handicaps are often settled as "draw no bet" repays. A Moneyline bet can also be repaid to the bettor.

A "draw no bet" option is possible in case of a draw, but only in those sports where a draw is unlikely, but exists. For example, an American football match can end in a draw, but this scenario is extremely rare. However, do not forget that in football (soccer), where draws are common, the bookies offer a three-way Moneyline betting option, so a draw will be considered a loss.

Sometimes the Moneyline bet gets delayed or altogether canceled. This can be caused by a long delay in the start of the match or by an early end of the match. In this case, we recommend you to accurately read and understand the rules of your BO regarding the cancellation of bets.

BetBurger is the best surebet service

Lots of bettors are betting the Moneyline bets since this kind of bet is very simple. However, it is simply impossible to earn noticeable amounts and do it consistently by betting the Moneyline bets. If you want to get a guaranteed constant income through betting, then you should take a look at the surebets and value bets. And then the BetBurger service will help you find them.

The BetBurger app is the best scanner to find surebets or value bets. It collects and analyzes the lines of 200+ of the most popular bookies in the world in more than 40 sports. With the help of BetBurger you will be aware of all value bets and surebets at every moment. Our service will help you turn betting into a stable income.

Artur Polianskyi
For today Artur has 12 years of betting experience, and he kindly shares his knowledge with the readers of our blog. In his articles, you will find many useful tips for different strategies and learn more about all types of bets.
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Artur Polianskyi
Dec 07, 2015