What is a Moneyline Bet? Complete Moneyline Betting Guide for Florida

Fact Checked by Shannon Lane

When it comes to sports betting, it doesn't get much more simple than the money line bet. Moneyline bets are a popular inclusion on many bet slips because they're easy for any bettor to understand and can offer generous odds on certain teams. Here's what you should know about the most straightforward betting opportunity at Florida sportsbooks.

What is a Moneyline Bet?

When it comes to learning about how to bet in Florida, a moneyline bet is a bet on which team is going to win the game. There's no amount of points to worry about like with totals bets, and you don't need to worry about whether the Miami Dolphins are going to win the game by enough points to beat their number like with point spread bets. All you have to worry about is whether the team you bet on gets the W at the end of the contest.

How Does Moneyline Work in Sports Betting?

The moneyline is one of the most common bets that sportsbooks offer in part because it is the most simple wager you can place. Unlike spread betting, which can get a little confusing when the bettor tries to figure out how much the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have to beat the Jacksonville Jaguars by for them to win their bet, everyone can understand the concept of who wins and who loses.

One downside is betting the moneyline doesn't always have the greatest payouts. With top-tier teams like the Kansas City Chiefs or the Alabama Crimson Tide, the sportsbooks know that these teams are likely to win most of their games and the public knows that as well. Because of that, the odds on them to win the game don't offer large payouts. Conversely, if you bet on the underdog against one of these favored teams and they win, you can earn a very high payout for yourself because the odds were against you.

Basically, the lower the odds are that the team you wager on will win the contest, the more you'll win if they do end up winning.

Understanding Moneyline Betting

Before you get started with making moneyline bets, you need to know the basics of this wager. Most importantly, you need to know what goes into betting on the favorite and the underdog and when you might want to bet on each. 

The Favorite 

When you see a minus sign next to a team on the moneyline, you're looking at the favorite to win the game. With American odds, the favorite always has a minus by their name because the sportsbook has decided the odds are in that team's favor. That means they aren't going to pay you as much to bet on them to win.

Some bettors shy away from betting on favorites because they don't provide as much potential profit. Most times, these teams are favorites for a reason so betting on them can add small amounts to your bankroll.

The Underdog 

When a team isn't expected to win, the sportsbook will attach a positive number to their odds on the moneyline. Similar to favorites, the larger the number, the higher the discrepancy between the teams. Given that there's a better chance the underdog will lose, the sportsbook has to make a bet on them enticing by offering a higher payout possibility on their victory.

Betting on underdogs isn't something you want to do blindly. But when you find one with a good chance to win, these plays can be a great way to earn large potential payouts.

Even, EV, or Pick ‘Em

Sometimes, sportsbooks will decide that a matchup between two teams looks to be practically even. In this case, they might offer both teams at the same odds, usually -110. This is referred to as a pick 'em, where the sportsbook doesn't see enough of a difference between the teams to make one a favorite over the other. However, it doesn't result in an even-money play for the bettor, because the sportsbook will take its cut by offering slightly less than even money on each team. In rare cases, you might see a promotional offer for even money on the moneyline; this is the best time to take full advantage and make this bet.

How to Read Moneyline Odds

With moneyline wagers, it's crucial to know exactly what you're betting on before you make a play. Point spread bets don't have this problem because the odds on both sides of the point spread are set up to be the same or very close to it. But with the moneyline, the odds on one team against the other can vary wildly depending on what each operator thinks about the matchup. Knowing how to read moneyline odds can give you a lot of important information about the event at hand.

Positive Odds (+)

Positive odds get people excited to bet on the moneyline. When you see a plus number next to a team's name, it means that they're the underdog, and the sportsbook needs to offer a greater possible payout to get customers to take a chance on them.

Taking a team with positive odds can pay off in a big way if you're right, because the sportsbook will pay you more than your original bet was worth. For example, if you take the Central Florida Knights to win over the Kansas State Wildcats at +250, the book would have to pay you 2.5 times your original wager. A $20 bet at +250 would result in winnings of $50, which is certainly enticing.

Negative Odds (-) 

Negative odds mean that you're betting on the favored team in the eyes of the sportsbook. Just like with casino games, the sportsbook isn't going to offer good odds on something that's predicted to happen. For example, if the Florida Gators are hosting the Vanderbilt Commodores, the sportsbook knows as well as you do that the Gators are supposed to win the game. Because of that, they'll offer negative odds to steer people away from betting on Florida to win.

For a highly favored team, you might see odds of -300, -400, or even shorter. A -400 bet means that the sportsbook only pays you 1/4 of your original bet as profit, so taking the Gators at those odds means a $20 bet would net you just $5 back with your original stake. Many people shy away from negative odds for this reason, although some bettors do jump on these lines to make a little bit of money at a time.

Even Odds 

Truly even odds are rare with moneyline bets because the sportsbook will usually take its cut of potential winnings rather than pay you the true odds. A game with even odds should have both teams listed at +100, which means you'll get paid even money for your wager. However, you'll never see these odds on both teams without a promotional offer.

Instead, even odds on the moneyline come out to -110 at most sportsbooks. This price allows the sportsbook to take 10 percent of your winnings to ensure it can still make a profit even if it has to pay you. When you see -110 odds, the true suggested probability is that each team has a 50% chance of winning.

Understanding Implied Probability of Moneyline Odds 

Knowing the implied probability of moneyline odds can help you spot when a moneyline wager might be a good play. The best way to calculate that is by using a simple formula for positive odds and one for negative odds.

For negative odds, take that number and add 100 then use that number to divide the odds by. When you have that number, multiply it by 100. For example, at -300 odds, you'd divide 300 by 400 and get 0.75. When multiplying by 100, you get a probability of 75%. 

For positive odds, take 100 and divide that by the odds + 100, then multiply by 100. For +250 odds, you'd divide 100 by 350 and get 0.2857, which becomes a probability of 28.57%. If the probability is significantly off from the chance of your bet winning, it's a good idea to jump on that play.

Potential Outcomes of a Moneyline Bet

When you bet on the moneyline, you have three possible outcomes. These outcomes are all available for bets on the standard moneyline.


A winning bet means that your team wins the game, and you get paid your stake plus whatever profit the odds allotted to you. For standard moneyline plays, overtime games count towards the moneyline. If you back the Orlando Magic over the Miami Heat and the Magic win in overtime, your bet is still a winner.


A loss is the exact opposite: the team you backed lost the game. Again, overtime counts as part of this bet if it's needed. If your team loses the game, you lose your stake.

Push or Draw

Moneyline pushes are rare because most American sports don't allow ties to happen. MLB, the NBA, college football, and college basketball all play until there's a winner and a loser, and the NHL goes to a shootout to find a winner if overtime doesn't do it. The only way you can push on the moneyline is in the NFL, if a game ends in a tie. For this to happen, the game would have to go to overtime and then see either no score or one field goal each in the 10-minute period. About one NFL game a year ends in a moneyline push.

What is a 3-Way Moneyline?

In some sporting events that don't feature a lot of scoring, such as hockey and soccer, the 3-way moneyline becomes a popular play. The 3-way moneyline offers the possibility to bet on a team to win in regulation, or for the game to end in a tie and go to overtime. The name comes from the fact that you can bet on the draw, giving three possible winning bets on the game's outcome.

Uniquely, all soccer moneyline bets are 3-way moneyline plays, with the standard moneyline instead called a draw no bet (DNB) play. If you want to bet on Lionel Messi and Inter Miami to win the Florida Derby against Orlando City on the moneyline, your bet only wins if Inter Miami are ahead at the final whistle. If the Herons are behind, or if the match is a draw, your wager loses. In hockey and other American sports, you'll have the option to decide to bet the standard moneyline or the 3-way moneyline.

Moneyline vs 3-Way Moneyline

The biggest difference between the standard moneyline and the 3-way moneyline is that overtime does not count toward your wager. If you bet on the Tampa Bay Lightning on the 3-way moneyline against the Florida Panthers and the Lightning win in overtime, your bet still loses, even though the Lightning won the game. On the standard moneyline, a wager on the Lightning would be a win.

The other big difference is that with the 3-way moneyline, you can still get a positive number on the team considered the favorite. That's because the 3-way moneyline has eliminated the possibility of an overtime win. You'd lose as normal if the underdog won, but you'd also lose if the game is tied after regulation. Because that makes a successful wager on the favorite less likely to cash, the total payout becomes higher.

How Moneylines Connect to Other Bet Types

Even though money line bets are much more simple than point spread betting, they're both very much connected. When you make a play on the moneyline, you can use the point spread to figure out how good the odds are that you're getting.

Moneyline vs Point Spread 

The point spread is what the sportsbook uses to get equal amounts of money on both sides of the game. Essentially, the sportsbook wants to always make money on the point spread, so it adjusts the point spread based on the relative strength of each team.

At the same time, the moneyline serves as a reflection of the point spread and what kind of gap exists between the two teams. If the point spread isn't very large, the moneyline will be fairly close to even odds to reflect the implied close contest between the teams. On the other hand, if one team is seen as far superior and likely to rout the other, a large point spread will be used, which means incredibly long odds for the underdog and practically no value on the favorite.

Formula to Convert Point Spread to Moneyline 

Experienced bettors can use the point spread and convert it to the moneyline to get an idea of where they should place their bet. For example, in the NFL, where the teams are considered to be roughly of similar strengths, a spread of 6.5 points is quite large and implies a moneyline of around -280. From the probability calculator, that suggests the favorite has a 73.6% chance to win the game. If you don't think the chances are that high, you might want to look the other way.

You can also use the calculators to jump on a moneyline play that's more generous than it should be. Although a line of -280 is implied, you might find one book has the game at -260. That can add extra value and make your bet more profitable for your tastes.

Moneyline Parlay Odds Explained

A moneyline parlay bet can be a great way to take multiple games where you're expected to win and turn them into positive odds for you. When you make a moneyline parlay play, you're taking two or more games and combining them into a single bet. To win a parlay bet, every team you include in your wager must win their game. If any of them lose, even if all of your other bets win, your entire bet loses.

That's why parlays come with higher odds: the more events you include in one bet, the higher the probability that something will go wrong. Upsets happen regularly, and you don't want to get too crazy and include too many moneyline wagers in one parlay play. Even if the odds get tempting, it's best to limit yourself to two or three wagers.

Moneyline vs Over Unders

The total doesn't have as strong a link toward the moneyline, but there are still things you can get from the total to lead you toward the right moneyline play. For this to work, you need to look at the relative strengths of each team. If a team puts up a lot of points and yards to win, they'll have high totals in place when they're favored. If a team is defense-heavy, like the 2002 Tampa Bay Buccaneers were, they'll have lower totals in play when they're expected to do well. Knowing the teams and how they relate to the totals can be an important part of your strategy.

Tips for New Moneyline Bettors

If you're just getting started with betting the moneyline, you don't want to get too aggressive too quickly. It's important to get to know what goes into a good moneyline bet so you can make a smart wager on the game.

Understand Home-Field Advantage 

The phrase "home-court hero" exists in college basketball for a reason. In many sports, home field and home court make a big difference in which team is likely to win the game. Teams get more comfortable playing in a building they know well, and having the fans on their side can make it easier for them to hear their signals and build momentum. In hockey, home ice can make a very big difference because the home team gets to see the other team's players before they decide their own lineup.

Most sportsbooks price in home-field advantage by making the home team more of a favorite or less of an underdog. In some cases, you might find a better team with odds close to even money because they're playing on the road and the opponent represents a tough matchup in their facility.

Consider the Spread & Total 

Knowing the spread and how it compares to the moneyline can help you decide how the sportsbooks really feel about the game. If the odds on the moneyline don't match up with the spread in one direction, that can be a tell that the sportsbook really thinks the game will go that way and is hoping the odds difference will be subtle enough that most bettors miss it.

You'll also need to check the totals to see if they fit with the moneyline. For example, you won't see Florida State football with its high-powered offense and a low total if the Seminoles are expected to win easily. You also won't see high totals involving the Seminole college basketball squad with them favored, as Leonard Hamilton's team is known to favor defense to win.

Shop Around 

Line shopping is an important part of getting the best possible odds for your wagers. Different sportsbooks across Florida won't necessarily offer the same odds on the same game. For example, you might find the Miami Dolphins favored to beat the New England Patriots at -130 at FanDuel Florida and at -140 at DraftKings Florida. If you bet $20 on the Dolphins to win, you'd receive $15.38 for a Miami win at FanDuel and $14.29 at DraftKings. Over time, those small victories can really add up. If you take odds that are just -10 worse on 15 successful bets, you've essentially lost out on one full payout.

Unfortunately for Florida bettors, this likely won't be possible for the foreseeable future due to the gaming compact between the state and the Seminole Tribe. This grants the tribe exclusive gaming rights, which means the Seminole-owned Hard Rock Bet Florida app is currently the only available sportsbook. While its possible expansion happens down the road, its Hard Rock or bust for now.

Take Advantage of Sportsbook Promotions 

Sportsbook promotions can be a great way to maximize your total payout. When big games and big events roll around, sportsbooks love to offer generous promotions to entice customers to bet. For example, DraftKings has been known to grade any Thursday night NFL wager as a win if your team leads by seven points at any point in the contest. In higher scoring sports like football, the chance for both teams to lead by seven points at some point in the game is fairly reasonable, making this a promotion worth trying out.

Get Started Betting the Moneyline in Florida

Betting on the moneyline is an important part of a sound betting strategy. You won't always get a high payout from moneyline bets, but that's okay because some games call for a simple, straightforward bet that doesn't require you to mess with a complicated points spread or an over/under play.

Like with other forms of betting, smart moneyline bets require you to pay attention to the strength of the teams and understand where the odds should be for the matchup in question. It's very easy to get tempted by high payouts from betting on the underdog or from wild moneyline parlays, but the best moneyline bets involve situations where you know something the average fan doesn't. When you do your research and pick your spots carefully, moneyline betting can be an excellent way to build your bankroll.

Moneyline Betting in Florida FAQs


Dan Angell has followed college basketball since childhood, having grown up in the heart of ACC country. He loves finding the angles on every game he watches and believes there's always beauty to be found in every contest, even when that means playing the under.

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