# How a Moneyline Works in Sports Betting

For beginning sports gamblers, moneylines (sometimes called money lines or American odds) can be confusing. Unlike point spreads, which are concerned with who wins and by how much, a moneyline is solely dependent upon who wins. Moneylines are used most commonly in low-scoring games like baseball or hockey, but they may also be used in boxing and other sports.

## How to Read a Moneyline

Simply put, a moneyline tells you how much you have to wager in order to make a profit of \$100. Consider a hypothetical baseball game between the Chicago Cubs and the Los Angeles Dodgers. When looking at the moneyline for the game, a bettor will see something like this:

Chicago Cubs +120
Los Angeles Dodgers -130

In this instance, the Dodgers are the favored team, as signified by the negative numeral. It would cost you \$130 in order to collect a \$100 payout on a Dodgers victory (plus the original wager of \$130). But if you bet \$100 on the Cubs, you'd collect \$120 if they win (plus the original wager). In other words, you'll have to wager more money on Los Angeles than you would Chicago in order collect \$100 on a bet.

It's important to remember that even though moneylines are expressed in units of \$100, you do not have to bet that much money. The moneyline will work just as easily with a \$5 or \$10 wager as it does with \$100.

## Moneyline Uses

Besides baseball and hockey, moneylines are used for betting on other sports where a point spread becomes irrelevant, such as auto racing, boxing, soccer, and tennis. While there are margins of victory in some of these, they are so small that it would be impossible to create a point spread for every game.

The difference between moneyline odds increases as the likelihood of the favorite winning increases. For example, in a boxing match, it would not be unusual to see odds such as these:

Joe Louis -700
Ray Leonard +550

In this instance, those betting on Joe Louis are being asked to risk \$700 to win \$100, while Ray Leonard backers are risking \$100 to win \$550.