When you make a moneyline wager, you bet on the outright winner of the event without taking the point spread into consideration. There are still favorites and underdogs, but instead of being handicapped or assisted by head starts, the competitors are given odds to win the game or event.
Moneyline odds are favoured by American bookmakers. There are two possibilities: the figure quote can be either positive or negative.
- If the figure quoted is positive, the odds are quoting how much money will be won on a $100 wager (this is done if the odds are better than even). For example, fractional odds of 4/1 would be quoted as +400.
- If the figure quoted is negative, then the moneyline odds are quoting how much money must be wagered to win $100 (this is done if the odds are worse than even). For example, fractional odds of 1/4 would be quoted as −400.
Moneyline odds are often referred to as American odds. Moneyline refers to odds on the straight-up outcome of a game with no consideration to a point spread. Spread betting is any of various types of wagering on the outcome of an event where the pay-off is based on the accuracy of the wager, rather than a simple "win or lose" outcome, such as fixed-odds (or money-line) betting or parimutuel betting. A spread is a range of outcomes and the bet is whether the outcome will be above or below the spread. Spread betting has been a major growth market in the UK in recent years, with the number of gamblers heading towards one million. Spread betting can carry a high level of risk, with potential losses or gains far in excess of the original money wagered.
The moneyline is used for a number of sports where the point spread becomes irrelevant, such as boxing, tennis, and auto racing, as well as baseball, hockey, and soccer. While there are margins of victory in baseball, hockey, and soccer, they are so small it would be impossible to create a point spread for every game. The difference between money line odds on the favorite and the underdog will normally increase as the likelihood of the favorite winning increases.
Baseball Moneyline Rules: A game must go 5 innings (or 4.5 innings if the home team is winning) for moneyline wagers to have action. Also, you can specify whether both listed pitchers, one listed pitcher, or neither listed pitcher must start the game.
American Football Moneyline Rules: Moneylines are offered only when the point spread is between 3 and 10. If the spread is exactly 3 or 10, moneylines are offered only when the line is standard (-110).
Basketball Moneyline Rules: Moneylines are offered only when the point spread is between 3 and 10. Also, if the spread is exactly 3 or 10, moneylines are offered only when the line is standard (-110).
Soccer Moneyline Rules: Moneyline wagers in soccer have three outcomes: you can pick either of the teams to win, or you can pick a draw; if you don't pick a draw and the game goes to extra time, you lose the wager.
To convert fractional odds to decimal, take the fractional number, convert it to decimal by doing the division, and then add 1. For example, the 4-to-1 fractional odds shown above is the same as 5 in decimal odds, while 1-to-4 would be quoted as 1.25.
The method for converting moneyline to decimal odds depends on whether the moneyline value is positive or negative. If the moneyline is positive, it is divided by 100 and add 1. Thus, +400 moneyline is the same as 5.0 in decimal odds. If the moneyline is negative, 100 is divided by the absolute moneyline amount (the minus signed is removed), and then 1 is added. For example, -400 moneyline is 100/400 + 1, or 1.25, in decimal odds.