There is nothing more frustrating than picking the winning side of a game only to lose the bet because of the point spread. Every gambler has felt the pain of losing money on what should have been a winning pick. “If only were it not for the point spread” is a common refrain uttered daily at sportsbooks. Fortunately, there is an alternative. The money line is the perfect tool to completely avoid having to deal with the point spread. Instead of sweating out or trying to assess the value of a point spread and the frustration that comes with it, the moneyline offers the simplicity of simply picking the winner straight up.
What is the Moneyline and How Does it Work?
The moneyline is a wager based entirely on price odds. It is the most common way to bet on baseball, hockey, boxing, mixed martial arts, etc. But it is also used as an alternative on sports that normally come with point spreads such as football and basketball.
For example, let’s say the Kansas City Chiefs are a 9.5-point favorite with the point spread against the Houston Texans. You want to take the Chiefs because you think they are going to win. But at the same time you don’t want to sweat out the 9.5-point spread. In this case the moneyline would be the viable alternative.
Kansas City would be in the range of a -425 favorite on the moneyline. This means that you would bet $425 to win $100 on the Chiefs to simply win the game by any margin.
The moneyline also works both ways with sweet payouts for the underdogs. For gamblers that have a hunch that the Texans can beat the Chiefs they would get Houston at +350. This means that everyone backing the Texans would bet $100 to win $350. Now of course it must be remembered that since the point spread is not relevant with the money line bet, Houston would have to win the game straight up or the moneyline bet loses.
Point Spread vs. Moneyline Conversion
One handy rule of thumb when considering the money line is how it would relate to the point spread. Many gamblers will tolerate a certain level of point spread lay but will use the money line as an alternative when they are not comfortable with the point spread line.
For example, a point spread lay of a three-point favorite usually means a moneyline price on that favorite of -155. To some players a field goal is a small enough lay to make. But if the point spread line is 3.5-points that extra half of a point may drive that same gambler to the moneyline where the price would be in the range of -175 to win $100. And if that gambler picks the winning team that kicks a tie breaking field goal at the gun, he is thrilled with his decision to take the money line.
Normally every half point will increase the moneyline price from anywhere between 20 and 30 cents. The higher the spread the greater rate of increase in moneyline prices. A seven point spread converts to -330 on the money line with a 10-point spread converting to -450.
One of the moneyline options that is rapidly increasing in popularity is the money line parlay. These parlays work in a similar way to point spread parlays with the exception being that all of the bets are based on the moneyline instead of the point spread. Again, the beauty of it is that gamblers simply have to pick the straight up winners without the point spread being a factor, thus the increased demand. Keep in mind that the moneyline parlays will not pay as high as a point spread parlays. That is because point spread parlays are more difficult to win. But moneyline parlays still pay well for the winning tickets.
How to Make Your Moneyline Bets
Making a moneyline bet is as easy as betting the point spread. Just click on the money line option and carefully verify your wager before it is submitted. Make sure that the moneyline price you originally selected is the same as your confirmed wager. The moneyline column is easy to find and in the same area as the point spread and over under wagers.