How Do Moneyline Odds Work?

Betting on the moneyline is one of the most common and popular ways to bet on sports. It’s also the simplest and easiest to understand. In fact, most people have probably already made a moneyline bet even if they haven’t realized it.

On this page, we’ll cover how to bet on the moneyline for the first time, how to read moneyline odds, why moneyline bets are so popular, how they differ across sports and how to avoid common mistakes. We also have current and live moneyline odds you can bet on from Ohio online sportsbooks for the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and more.

Live moneyline odds at Ohio online sportsbooks

Below find current moneyline odds as posted at major Ohio online sportsbooks. Use the drop-down menu to switch between leagues NFL moneyline odds, NBA moneyline odds, MLB moneyline odds etc., or to find point spreads or over/under odds. Click on any odds to go to the sportsbook, create an account and start making bets.

What is a moneyline bet?

When placing a moneyline bet, you are simply picking the team or player you think will win the listed matchup. Sportsbooks base odds on the perceived probability of a side winning its respective matchup. Odds will shift leading up to the contest based on relevant news and how the public bets.

So how do moneyline bets work? When placing a moneyline bet, nothing matters except who wins the game. Margin of victory doesn’t matter and total points scored don’t matter. Whether your team wins 2-1 or 50-0, there’s no difference in payout for a moneyline bet. It’s sports in its purest form; simply root for a winner.

Why bet the moneyline over point spreads, totals and props?

While moneyline betting is popular, there are plenty of other ways people like to bet on sports. Bettors often bet on spreads, totals and props, as well. While there’s certainly value and fun in those types of bets, they don’t compare to the simplicity of a moneyline bet.

First off, other bets often are more volatile and harder to predict. When betting on props, you may not know the team’s game plan and all the players who may feature heavily. For totals, it’s hard to predict the tempo and rhythm of a game. When betting on point spreads, often weird and meaningless plays can impact the final margin of victory.

With a moneyline sports bet, you’re simply betting on a team to win the game. You know that your interests are aligned with the team’s interests. Teams care about winning games. They do not care about how many points they win by. They do not care about scoring over or under a certain number of points, and they don’t care which players help them win or how they do it. Teams play to win games, and when you bet the moneyline, that’s all you need. None of the outside noise matters much.

Why bet the moneyline over futures?

Futures have become a popular betting option across a variety of sports. Futures bets offer the potential to cash in on some high odds and increase your potential payout. While moneyline betting might not offer the same winning potential as futures, there’s certainly value to betting through daily markets.

Things change quickly in sports. Teams make player transactions, players both underperform and over perform, teams fire coaches and players get injured. If you place a bet on the futures market, you can’t adjust to what is happening on a day-to-day basis. Moneyline betting, however, allows you to adjust from day to day. If there’s a big injury or a team is on a winning streak, you can take advantage with your bets, something that you can’t do when betting through the futures market.

In addition, picking a winner of a certain game is often easier than betting on something that will happen months down the line. There’s a reason that futures often offer such lucrative and appealing payouts; it’s not easy to pick a winner.

What do the odds mean in moneyline betting?

To a novice bettor, moneyline odds might be hard to understand at first. There are plus signs and minus signs with seemingly random numbers attached to them. However, once you understand what you’re looking at, it’s relatively simple.

For example, the Cleveland Browns might have the following NFL moneyline odds for a set of five games:

  • +200 against the Kansas City Chiefs.
  • +110 against the Baltimore Ravens.
  • -110 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
  • -130 against the Los Angeles Chargers.
  • -200 against the Cincinnati Bengals.

What do all these numbers mean? Well, in the above examples from the DraftKings Sportsbook app, the Browns are underdogs against the Chiefs, slight underdogs against the Ravens, roughly even with the Steelers, slight favorites against the Chargers and large favorites compared to the Bengals odds.

A negative number generally indicates a team is favored to win the game. This means the oddsmakers are giving that team over a 50% chance of winning. The only exception is when both teams have odds of -110. This means that the oddsmakers view the two teams as even. If a team has a positive number, it’s the underdog to win that specific game. The oddsmakers are telling you they think that team wins this game less than half the time.

While the minus and plus signs differentiate who is the favorite and who is the underdog, the numbers behind those signs are important, as well. The larger the number, the bigger the underdog or favorite. In the above example, Cleveland is +200 against the Chiefs and +110 against the Ravens. Oddsmakers are telling you they think the Browns have a much lower chance of beating the Chiefs than they do the Ravens.

How much does a moneyline bet pay out?

Payouts on moneyline bets depend on what the betting odds were at the time you placed your bet. The easiest way to understand payouts on moneyline bets is to think in terms of $100 while also remembering that the plus sign denotes an underdog (less likely to win, higher payout) and the minus sign denotes a favorite (more likely to win, lower payout).

If the Browns are -130 against the Chargers, this means they are slight favorites to win the game. You would need to risk $130 in order to win back a profit of $100. If the Browns are -200 favorites against the Bengals, this means they’re substantial favorites to win. Therefore, you’d need to risk $200 to win back a profit of $100.

On the flip side, if the Browns are +110 against the Ravens, this means they are slight underdogs. A bet of $100 would win a profit of $110 if correct. If the Browns are +200 against the Chiefs, then they’re substantial underdogs. If you placed a $100 bet on the Browns, your potential profit would be $200.

How much should you wager on a moneyline bet?

Knowing how much to bet on a game is an important skill in being a successful sports bettor. However, the answer isn’t a specific number. Some bettors bet thousands of dollars per game, while other bettors are more comfortable betting five or 10 bucks.

However, each bettor should have an established bankroll. This bankroll should be a separate fund dedicated specifically to sports betting, and it should be a dollar amount that you would feel comfortable losing completely if things hit a wall. Don’t bet with rent money or on credit.

Many would recommend betting no more than 5% of your bankroll on a single game, with most recommending 1% to 2%. Therefore, if you set aside a bankroll of $500 for sports betting, you should be betting $5 to $10 a game, and no more than $25. Think of 1% of your bankroll as one “unit,” and never bet more than five units on a specific game. Poor bankroll management is the quickest way to lose your money quickly and risk getting into bad financial habits.

In game moneylines

Live betting has become a main part of the sports betting industry. In the past, you needed to place your bet before a game started, and if you missed the start of the game, you were out of luck. That has changed as most sportsbooks now make micro betting an integral part of their offerings.

In game moneyline bets work exactly the same as pregame moneyline bets. You simply need to pick a winner without being concerned about things such as margin of victory or total points. The main difference is that the moneyline odds will shift depending on what has already happened in the game at the time of your bet.

The easiest way to live bet is through an app. Most of the top sportsbooks in Ohio have a dedicated app that you can download, meaning you can bet from most anywhere. Check out our recommended sports betting apps for top books such as BetMGM Sportbook and FanDuel Sportsbook in Ohio.

Biggest moneyline betting mistakes

While moneyline betting seems simple and straightforward, there still are some common mistakes that sports bettors make.

To start with, be cautious about laying too much juice with a heavy favorite. While it may seem obvious that a team will win a certain game, the odds account for the fact that the team is likely to win. If you bet on a team as a -290 favorite, one must realize that in order to be a profitable bettor laying that much juice, you have to win three of every four bets. If you lose one bet at those odds, you’d need to win three straight bets just to eke out a small profit.

Moneyline parlays are another mistake for sports bettors. Parlays offer inflated payouts that may seem appealing. However, picking one winner is hard enough. In a parlay, you need to pick multiple winners, and every single one must be correct. If you place a five-team parlay, and four of your teams win with just one team losing, your parlay loses. However, if you placed all five of those bets separately, you likely would have made a solid profit.

OH problem gambling resources

Play Responsibly Initiative by Ohio Lottery Commission: An inclusive platform offering access to problem gambling treatment options, key facts, and early detection resources. The initiative also features the Ohio Voluntary Exclusion Program, allowing self-exclusion from gambling establishments for predetermined periods. Online registration for this program is presently operational.

Problem Gambling Network of Ohio: Working in tandem with the National Council on Problem Gambling, this nonprofit is instrumental in promoting responsible gambling and providing necessary treatment services. Moreover, it arranges webinars and professional development programs for those engaged in problem gambling treatment services.