What Does Money Line Mean In Betting?

money line concept illustrationDepending on the sports you bet on, how you bet and what kind of articles you read, to understand terms and phrases, you will either be very familiar with the term money line or not at all. The phrase is an American gambling term to describe the most commonly used betting line in America and one that is used by many around the world, even if they call it something different.

The money line is the basic win line, a two-way betting market, with no draw involved, based on who will win the game. If you are betting on a cup game and using the ‘to win the cup’ market, rather than the regular time market, where a draw could happen, then you are using the money line.

If you are looking for the simplest form of gambling, the easiest to begin with, and a line that offers you only two options, so essentially a 50% chance of winning, this is the line for you.

What Sports are Popular for Money Line Betting?

american football gameAs this is a phrase from America, the most popular sports for money line betting are those which are based in the US. Leagues such as the NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB all have strong money line options for players, and these are used more often than lines such as the regular timeline.

For example, in the NBA, there is the chance that a game will go to overtime if the scores are level. With the money line, overtime is included in the bet, whereas with the regulation line, there is an option to bet on the draw, so overtime is not included. In the NBA, the money line is far more popular thanks to its complete coverage, people just want to bet on a team to win, regardless of how they do it.

This isn’t to say that other sports do not have money line betting. Cricket is a good money line sport, and if you are using outright to win the trophy or to qualify markets in football, then you are using the money line to place these.

Understanding the Money Line

money line market shown in series of nfl fictures

The key to the money line is that there are two outcomes which you can choose from, and when you do, you are betting on a team to win by any means, even if that includes extra time and even penalties if those are needed.

So, if you are betting on a game of football with the draw included in it, then you are not using the money line here because the market is a three-way market with three game outcomes. If you are betting on ice hockey and using a line that includes the draw, again, you are not betting on the money line here because if your team wins on penalties, you will not be paid out, whereas, on the money line, you would.

When to Use the Money Line for Your Bets

wooden blocks with question marks on

The reason many people use the money line is because of its simplicity and the full coverage it offers. You don’t have to be a betting expert to use the money line, and for this reason, many people choose the line to be the first betting market they go with as a new gambler.

There is nothing to complicate things here, nothing around the winning margin for handicaps, or when the team wins for the regulation line, or anything else you can think of which makes the bet a little more complicated. This is simple betting, choosing teams to win and knowing that if they win, regardless of how they do it, you will collect from your bookmaker.

Although many new players use the money line, it isn’t the only time to use it. Another great option is for when you have a team that you think can win but may need to go all the way to do so. For example, a team that you like, but aren’t confident enough to bet on the regulation line, instead, you cover more options by betting on them to win on the money line, so you know you are still in with a chance if the game goes the distance.

The money line is also a good place to go when you are putting together an accumulator on a number of different selections. By placing this kind of bet and adding in multiple selections, you are already involving risk with your bet because you need them all to win for your bet to be a winner, the more selections, the higher the risk.

This an easier market to win on, compared to others that need a regulation win or those with handicaps that need a win by a specific margin, so you are adding no risk to the bet by using the money line.

If you are looking to place accas, you are already taking a risk with your bet type, so the money line is an excellent option for your betting market.

Example of a Money Line Betting Market

To end with, as some people won’t have actually seen a money line market before, here are some examples from the NBA you are likely to see the money line betting option available on a regular basis.

TeamsMoney Line
New York Knicks6/4
Los Angeles Lakers1/2
Toronto Raptors10/11
Miami Heat10/11
Golden State Warriors4/6
Denver Nuggets5/4