Are you new to sports betting and looking for the best way to put some skin in the game? Are you a bit confused about how to back your favorite team? Don’t worry about it. Most Americans are new to sports betting, as most US states have only started legalizing betting since 2018. So If you’d be asking our team what’s the best place to start your sports betting journey, most of our betting experts would shout out the same answer: Moneyline bets!

Moneyline bets are super popular with new and experienced bettors alike. They are the go-to bet for so many Americans because they are straightforward, fun, and exciting. Even a betting rookie can understand and place moneyline bets in minutes. 

Here’s how it works: Your sportsbook offers odds on favorite and underdog teams (or players, depending on the event). All you need to do is pick out the winner. As betting on the underdog to win entails more risk, the odds will reflect it at a higher payout. 

So, whether you’re a beginner signing up with your first sportsbook, or an experienced bettor determining your betting strategy, read our expert guide to placing moneyline bets to understand what a moneyline is and how they work with all major league sports.

What is a Moneyline Bet?

Moneyline bets could not be any simpler, as you just need to choose the team or player you think will win an event. A favorite will have the odds to win with a minus sign (-) and an underdog with a plus (+). Let’s use an example with odds from PointsBet of an NFL game between the Green Bay Packers and the Carolina Panthers.

Carolina Panthers -150 vs. Green Bay Packers +130

  • The (+) indicates you’re betting on the underdog or the team more likely to lose. The numbers next to the symbol show how much money you would win for every $100 you bet. 
  • The (-) indicates betting on the favorite or the team expected to win. The number next to the (-) symbol shows how much you need to bet to win $100.

If you back the Panthers in the example above, you will need to bet a $150 stake to win $100. However, if you back the Packers with a $100 stake, you will make a $130 profit if the team wins. Note that these odds are only an example, as sportsbook operators constantly change their odds. To find the latest odds for your team, click on any sportsbook link on this page. 

It is very easy to find moneyline bets at legal US sportsbooks. Most betting sites will display odds for moneylines before you even click on a market, next to point spread betting, and over/under wagers. 

Moneyline Examples

While moneyline betting is very simple, it works differently with different sports. You can find moneylines for pretty much any event available on the best US sportsbooks. Check out how moneylines work with major league sports below. 

NBA Moneyline Bets

When betting on the moneyline with NBA teams, you just need to pick the team that wins the game. Most games will have a favorite and an underdog, with the favorite shown by a (-) symbol and the underdog shown by a (+) symbol. It doesn’t matter if a game goes to overtime as long as you pick the team that wins the game by the end. 

MLB Moneyline Bets

With MLB bets on moneylines, it is very similar to betting on the NFL. You just pick a team to win the game, and if you are correct, you will make a profit. It doesn’t matter what the final scoreline is as long as the team you pick is victorious. 

NHL Moneyline Bets

With NHL moneyline betting, you need to pick the team you think will win the game. Unlike other sports like football, there can be no ties in the NHL. Therefore, one of the teams is always guaranteed to win. This makes it easier when betting as you don’t have to worry about the possibility of a draw ruining your bet. 

Legal Betting in the US

It is easier than ever before to place legal moneyline bets in the US. Previously, all bettors had to travel to Nevada to wager on sports. However, the US Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA), allowing states across the US to legalize sports betting. There are dozens of states where you can download a mobile sports betting app and place bets on moneylines for major league sports. Every state has its own regulations, so check out our state-by-state guides before signing up and playing.