What Is the Moneyline? How to Place a Moneyline Bet in Ohio

By Adam Warner
Fact Checked by Joss Wood

 Moneyline betting is a staple play for all sports bettors no matter what events you like to wager on. We’re going to go through all you need to know to price and play a moneyline bet on Ohio sportsbooks.

What Is a Moneyline Bet in OH? 

A moneyline bet is a wager on who will win the game. The advantage is it's simple. No worrying about points or “backdoor covers”. Just pick the victor and if they win, you win. 

Further, some sports really only lend themselves to moneylines if you want to bet on a side. Hockey, baseball and soccer would fit that category. Individual sports like tennis, golf and MMA are also well suited for moneyline bets.

How Do Moneyline Bets Work in Ohio?

Moneyline betting works for virtually every sporting event. In an NFL game for example there’s a point spread that’s designed to even up the odds on the game. Bengals -7 over the Pittsburgh Steelers where each side is priced at -110 is an example of that. That means that you would need to risk $110 to win $100 whichever side you bet on.

On moneylines, instead of a point spread you risk different amounts of cash depending on which team you wager on. In this example it might be -190 on the Bengals and +160 on the Steelers. That means you need to risk $190 on the Bengals to win $100 or risk $100 on the Steelers to win $160.

The Favorite

On 2-Way Moneylines, the moneyline favorites odds will always be negative. That means you will always have to risk more money than you stand to win if the favorite prevails. If you see -150 on the Cleveland Guardians for example, that means you need to risk $150 to win $100 if the Guardians win the game. The lower the negative number, the greater the favorite. That means a -250 favorite is more likely to win than a -150 favorite.

The Underdog 

Underdogs usually have positive odds but can occasionally have odds that are less negative than the favorite. For example, if it's a close to even matchup, you might see something like Bengals -115, Browns -105. That just means the Bengals are slight favorites but since the sportsbooks keep “juice”, both sides have negative odds. But outside of that narrow sort of circumstance, you get positive odds on underdogs. Cincinnati Reds +180 vs the Brewers is an example of a positive odds underdog. A $100 bet on the Reds nets you $180 if the Reds win.

How to Bet the Moneyline?

At the top Ohio mobile betting apps you can find moneyline odds right where you find point spreads and totals. Just hit up the game in question and moneyline markets are right there. Just pick a side, make sure you know how much money you are risking, fill out the bet slip and you are set. 

What Is a 2-Way Moneyline?

A 2-Way moneyline is a moneyline where the only two choices are the sides in the game. There’s no tie or overtime bet available. Cleveland Cavaliers -140, Atlanta Hawks +120 is a 2-way moneyline bet, with the Cavs being the moneyline favorites.

What Is a 3-Way Moneyline? 

A 3-Way Moneyline adds an extra option to the bet menu, usually a wager on tie or draw. An NHL moneyline often has a 60-minute option where you can bet on either side or bet on a tie at the end of regulation. Soccer matches always have 3-Way Moneylines and draws are very common. You will even see 3-Way 90-minute moneylines in soccer matches that will go to extra time after 90 minutes.  

Moneyline for Beginners

All bets have risked attached to them. Moneylines are no safer or more dangerous than any other sort of wager. You can always lose your stake in a bet. Beginners should manage their risk by wagering small to start out. And with moneylines in particular, don’t get fooled into overestimating the frequency that favorites win. At -200 for example, the favorite is expected to win ⅔ of the time, That’s a very long way from a sure thing and the losses cost you twice as much as you gain on the wins. 

 

Outcomes of Moneyline Bets in Ohio

There are only 3 possibilities maximum on moneyline bets. It's win, lose or draw. And if it's a Two-Way, there’s no draws. 

Win

Say you bet $100 on the Ohio State Buckeyes to win vs Alabama with the odds at +150. If the Buckeyes win, you collect $150. Alternatively, if you had the Buckeyes at -180 vs Michigan, you would win $100, but you had to risk $180 to do that. 

Loss

A loss is incurred of course when your side doesn’t hit. If the Buckeyes fall to Alabama as above, you would lose $100. And if Michigan prevailed, your wager of $180 on the favored Buckeyes is gone. 

Draw 

A draw is known as a “push” in the sports betting world. It usually pops up in point spread and total bets but it can still happen on a moneyline wager if it's a two-way moneyline and the game ends in a tie. Say you bet on a Two-Way moneyline on a Columbus Crew game and they tie.  If that’s the case, the bet cancels and you get your stake back.

Calculating Payouts on Moneyline Odds

You can calculate the implied odds of a moneyline bet at your online sportsbook with an easy formula, whether its positive or negative odds.

Positive Odds

Positive odds means you win more than you risk. For example, if the Browns are +150 vs. the Green Bay Packers, a $100 stake would win $150, netting $250 total if the Browns win. To calculate the implied odds, use the following formula:

  • 100/(100 + Positive Odds)

So in the above example, the implied odds on the Browns are 100/(100+150) or 40%. If you believe the Browns have a greater than 40% chance to win, it's a good wager to place.

Negative Odds

Negative odds are of course the opposite, you must risk more than you stand to win.. Say above the Packers are priced at -175, meaning a $100 stake would win $57.14, netting $157.14 if the Packers win. The implied odds are calculated as follows.

  • Negative Odds/(Neg. Odds - 100)

The implied odds on the Chiefs are thus -170/(-170 - 100) or 62.9%. To wager with positive expected value  on the Chiefs, you would need them to have a greater than 62.9% chance to win.

Even Odds

Even odds are as they sound. Bet $100 and you win $100. It's expressed as +100 on American style betting lines. To bet on an even odds moneyline, you should believe there's a greater than 50% chance for your team to win.

What Sports Can You Bet the Moneyline?

Point spreads are king in NFL, college football and college basketball, but don’t really have much play in low scoring  and most individual sports. All have moneyline odds though. 

  • Football Moneylines

    Spreads may be more popular for some, but you can always find NFL moneyline bets. You will find the lines at the same place on legal sportsbooks that you find the point spreads. And you can easily convert NFL point spreads to their implied probabilities for moneylines on one of the many free online sports betting calculators. Same as in college football, you just pick the team to win.

  • Basketball Moneylines

    NBA bettors tend to favor the point spread bet as well. But say the Cleveland Cavaliers are heavy favorites and you think they will win the game, but not cover a big spread. The moneyline odds are perfect for you.

  • Baseball Moneylines

    Moneyline wagers are the most popular bets in MLB. They are usually contingent on the starting pitchers, and will be void if there’s a pitching change before the game starts. For example, you may see Cleveland Guardians -140, Chicago White Sox +120, Shane Bieber vs. Lucas Giolito. If you bet the Guardians at -140 but either pitcher doesn’t start, the bet cancels. The 5-inning baseball moneyline bet is also popular. These may still be contingent on the starting pitchers and may also offer Three-Way moneyline where you can wager on a tie after 5 innings.

  • Hockey Moneylines

    As in baseball moneylines, NHL Moneylines get most of the action. There are both Two-Way Moneylines and Three-Way moneylines that let you wager on a tie in regulation. Columbus Blue Jackets -175 vs Chicago Black Hawks +145 is a typical Two Way line. In a Three-Way Moneyline it might be Blue Jackets +100, Blackhawks +200, Tie in Regulation +340. 

  • Soccer Moneylines

    MLS is similar to NHL, except the Three-Way moneylines are the most popular plays as there is no overtime until the playoffs and games can end in draws. For example, you may see something like Columbus Crew +140, LA Galaxy +195, Draw +240. The Crew are favored here but every bet has “plus” money. 

Moneyline Betting in Ohio FAQs

Contributors

Adam Warner is the author of "Options Volatility Trading: Strategies for Profiting from Market Swings" former financial writer for Schaeffers Research, and freelance writer for Minyanville.com and StreetInsight.com. Previously Adam was a Market Maker on the American Stock Exchange and a graduate of Johns Hopkins University.

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