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Money Line: The sports betting term "Money line" explained

 At the Online Gambling Paper we always stride in helping bettors by explaining the basic sports betting terminology in the simplest way possible. Here we will look at the term "money line", its variations, mistaken meanings and more. As usual examples will be provided to help you better understand what money line means in sports betting. So let's begin without wasting any more time.

The term "money line" will be seen in sports betting mostly in the United States and it's often referred to as "American odds" (although this is a mistake, read last paragraph). It usually takes the form of a plus "+" or minus "-" sign, followed by a three digit number, for example, -110. The simplest explanation of the money line term in sports betting is - the odds on an outright (or straight-up) outcome of a game or other sporting event. This makes money line the best bet for beginners, since you simply bet on who will win the game, period. Here is an example, at the online sportsbook Bookmaker, the money line on the NFL game Broncos @ Patriots is as follows: Denver +145, New England -165. This means that the money line odds on Denver to win the game, without any other conditions, such as point spread, straight-up are +145 and the money line on the Patriots to win the game is -165. Here would be a great time to explain what these numbers (or "lines") mean:

 Calculating the American odds, or money line odds, is very simple, although to a foreign or a beginner bettor it would be a complete gibberish. This is how you calculate the money line - if there is a plus sign "+" in front of the number, the number shows how much money you will win for every $100 you wager, if your bet is a winner. For example, if the Denver Broncos win the game, you will win $145 for every $100 wagered, i.e. if you bet $200 you will win $290. And if the sign if front of the money line odds is minus "-", the number shows how much you have to bet in order to win $100. Looking at the above example, if the Patriots win the game you will have to bet $165 to win $100, i.e. if you bet $165 on the Pats to win the game and they do, your money will go from $165 to $265 (the $165 you initially wagered + the $100 won). By looking at the money line odds you can easily spot the favorite and the underdog - the favorite team holds money line odds beginning with minus and the underdog holds odds beginning with plus. There is one other form the money line odds can take, that being "EVEN", often posted by the sportsbooks as "EV". This simply means that you will get paid even money on your bet. For example, if the money line odds on the Broncos were listed as "EVEN" you will get $100 for every $100 bet, or $150 for every $150, etc.

 Now that you know how the money line works in sports betting, here would be the perfect place to clear a confusion often ran into by people new to betting or to the American system of betting odds. It's very important to make a clear distinction between "money line" and just "line". As we already explained, "money line" is a form of bet, relating to the straight-up outcome of the game. In this aspect, money line is similar to "point spread" or "total". On the other side, "line" is the payout on the bet, i.e. how much you will win if your bet is a winner. In this regard, "line" is similar to "odds", the form for calculating payout in the U.K. (fractional) or "coefficient", the form for calculating payouts in Europe, also called "decimal". I know it got overly complicated all of a sudden so let's look at an example once again. The image below has been taken from the online sportsbook BodogLife and shows part of their NFL betting sheet. To show you the difference between "money line" the bet and "line" the form of calculating the payout, we have circled "money line" with red and some of the "lines" with blue:

 As you can see, the Titans line on the point spread is -115 or how much you will win if the team covers the spread, while the money line on the Titians is -400 or how much you will win if the Titans win the game.

Related Articles and Explanations:

 How sports betting and the betting odds work?
 What is point spread, how point spread works, what ATS means




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