Moneyline Odds Explained

The use of odds in gambling enables betting on events. These betting sites use Moneyline Odds. New Customer Offers, 18+, T&C’s Apply to each of the offers below, click “Bet Now” for more information.

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Moneyline Odds Explained

American Odds

One of the most common ways to see popular U.S. sports betting odds expressed is as ‘Moneyline’ odds. In contrast to the approach of decimal and fractional odds, this system references the odds to a fixed reference of $100. This creates a framework that means you may see the moneyline odds for an event shown as a positive or negative value, which in a team sport like hockey, baseball or football gives a very clear indication of the sportsbooks evaluation of the favourite and the underdog in a specific match.

Digging in a little further, positive moneyline odds indicate how much a $100 stake will return if the wager is successful. Negative moneyline odds indicate the size of stake required to return $100 if the wager is successful. Clearly an example would help make this a little clearer, so here we go:

Let’s say Team A are to play Team B in a baseball match. Team A are favourites to win and a sportsbook offers moneyline odds of -170 for them to win. Team B, the underdogs, attract moneyline odds of +140 to win. It may seem counterintuitive that the favourites have negative odds and the underdogs positive odds, but this is how the system works and we can understand the risks and rewards now.

  • The odds for Team A indicate that a $170 stake would return $100 profit if Team A won, i.e. 0.59 (100 ÷ 170) times the stake.
  • The odds for Team B indicate that a $100 stake would return a profit of $140, i.e. 1.4 (140 ÷ 100) times the stake.

As you should hopefully have grasped by now, you’re not obliged to bet $100 on a positive moneyline bet, or the sum to win $100 on the negative moneyline bet – they can also be expressed as a multiplier of any wager the sportsbook will accept!

The above example also leads the way into how you can convert moneyline odds to fractional or decimal odds if you prefer to assess the value of offered bets in that way.

With negative moneyline odds divide 100 by the odds given. Round that to two decimal places and add 1 to get the decimal odds. Alternatively express the result of the division (rounded to two decimal places) as the smallest fraction possible and you have the fractional odds. Using the example above:

  • Moneyline odds of -170 translate to decimal odds of 1.59 (1 + (100 ÷ 170)) and fractional odds of 59/100 (the smallest fraction to express 0.59)

With positive moneyline odds divide the odds given by 100. Round that to two decimal places and add 1 for the decimal odds. For the fractional result, express the result of the division (rounded to two decimal places) as the smallest fraction possible. Applying this to Team B’s odds above:

  • Moneyline odds of +140 translate to decimal odds of 2.40 (1 + (140 ÷ 100)) and fractional odds of 7/5 (the smallest fraction to express 1.40)