What is A Moneyline or Straight Up Bet?
A Moneyline bet is a wager on which player or team will win the game outright without having to consider any point spread odds. The easiest way to think of straight up bets is that they are odds on who will win the game. A Moneyline bettor doesn’t have to think of who wins by how many goals or points; all that matters is who emerges victorious at the end of the sporting event.
If you pick a team to win a game and that team emerges victorious, then you win the bet, irrespective of the scoring or winning margin. However, if that team loses, then you lose the bet.
Understanding and Wagering on Moneyline Bets
Usually, the money line is comprised of two different odds—one for the favorite (denoted by a negative sign in front of the line) and one for the underdog (denoted by a positive sign in front of the line), as is exemplified below:
Dallas Cowboys -150
Washington Redskins +170
In the example above, Dallas is the favorite (as is highlighted by the negative sign) while Washington is the underdog. The -150 odds simply mean that you have to bet $150 on Dallas win $100 (for a total payout of $250 if the Cowboys win the game). Conversely, the +170 odds mean that you will win $170 for every $100 dollar wagered on Washington (for a total payout of $270).
Notably, you can also divide the odds to find out how much you can bet to win as low as $1. Using our example above, the odds means that you have to bet $1.50 on Dallas to win $1, and cash out $1.7 for every $1 you bet on Washington.
Evidently, Moneyline bets are very profitable when you bet on the right underdog to win the game straight up. Remember, however, that you must first find an underdog that is likely to win, as a losing underdog leads to a lost bet.
As a final note, hockey and baseball are the two team sports that use Money lines as the primary betting option. This is because hockey and baseball results tend to be low-scoring, with the teams involved often totaling single digit goals and runs, respectively, meaning point spreads don’t apply that much. The concept, though, remains the same, so all you need is to figure out the right pick to get paid.