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What Is A Moneyline Bet?

Online sports betting has been around for thousands of years – almost as long as sport itself. One of the first type of bets to be introduced was the moneyline bet, and is arguably the most basic of bets available. You are betting on whether certain outcomes would happen or not, like whether Team A or B would win straight-up.

Moneylines are particularly useful for sports where there isn’t a lot of scoring, like baseball, hockey and soccer. Understanding how moneylines work is also essential if you want to figure out point spreads, props and all the other ways you can get your money down at Bovada.

If you’ve ever asked yourself, what is a moneyline bet? Or, how do moneyline bets work? Well, you are in luck. This article explains all you need to know about moneyline betting and it only takes a few minutes to get the basics down.

How Do Moneylines Work?

Moneylines are a form of fixed-odds betting, where the odds you get at the time of your wager are the same odds used to calculate your payout when you win. This is in contrast to pari-mutuel betting (aka “the tote”), which is mainly used these days for horse racing.

Opening moneyline odds are posted for an event before it starts, usually well in advance so that people have time to place their wagers. There numerous factors that can cause the odds to move up or down, such as breaking news or strong action in the betting market. Again, any line moves that happen after you place your bet have no effect on your potential payout.

Once the event in question is about to begin, the moneyline odds are taken off the board, and the betting is closed. Then the event takes place, the results are determined, and the winning bettors receive their payouts from the book.


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What Do Moneylines Look Like?

There are three commonly used ways to express moneyline odds: decimal odds, fractional odds, and American odds. As you might have guessed, American odds are the default method here at Bovada Sportsbook, but you can switch to fractional or decimal and back again anytime you want.

For an example of American odds, here’s Bovada’s moneyline at the close for Super Bowl LVI between the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals:

LA Rams                           –210
Cincinnati Bengals        +175

As is customary in North America, the home team is listed at the bottom (the Bengals being the designated home team in this case, even though the game was played at SoFi Stadium). The numbers to the right of the team names are the moneyline odds, with the Rams listed as the –210 favorites and the Bengals as the +175 underdogs.

In almost every moneyline bet, you’ll see one team with a negative sign next to their odds, and one with a positive sign. The negative sign indicates the favorite; here, the Rams were expected to win, and if they did, they would pay out $100 for every $210 wagered (smaller and larger bets are allowed).

The positive sign indicates the underdog, which is Cincinnati in this case. They would pay out $175 for every $100 wagered with an upset win over Los Angeles – except it was the Rams winning 23-20. The Bengals actually beat the spread as 3.5-point underdogs, but the Rams prevailed on the moneyline.

How Do I Bet The Moneyline?

When you log in to your Bovada Sportsbook account and visit the odds page for your chosen sport, you’ll be presented with a list of events you can bet on. For a sport like football, you’ll be shown each of the three “straight” or “single” bets on the board: Spread, Win, and Total. The Win option is where the moneylines are. For a sport like boxing or MMA, only the Win option is shown; however, you can tap/click through to see the props and any other bets for these events.

All you have to do at this point is tap/click the odds you want (like “–210” for the Rams), then your chosen wager will appear on your Bet Slip. Enter as many picks as you like, submit your Bet Slip, and that’s it – your bets are in. When you make the right picks, your winnings will appear in your Bovada account after your wagers have been processed. Good luck with your picks.


Sign up to Bovada today!

So that you can enjoy placing moneyline bets, alongside spreads, futures, props and more, be sure to sign up to Bovada Sportsbook. Once you have created an account you can enjoy betting on all your favorite sports: football, basketball, baseball and more. A