Moneyline Bets Guide for 2024

Moneyline bets have been around since sports betting began. They are the easiest and most straightforward wager type on the planet. While this makes moneyline bets ideal for beginners, they are still immensely popular among experienced bettors too.

This guide will explain what moneyline bets are, why they are so popular, and much more including how to read the posted odds. In the end, you will have a full understanding of moneyline betting which will give you the confidence to give it a try if you haven’t already.

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What are Moneyline Bets?

What are Moneyline Bets

In simple terms, a moneyline wager is a bet on which team or player will win a match. If you think that the Toronto Maple Leafs will beat the Detroit Red Wings, then you would place your moneyline bet on the Leafs.

Because every NHL game ends with a team winning in regulation time, overtime, or in a shootout, each game has a winner and loser. There are no ties. So, if the Leafs win, then you win your bet. It doesn’t matter if Toronto blows out the Wings in regulation or if they eke out the win in OT or a shootout.

Moneyline bets are often referred to as 2-way bets. This is appropriate seeing how there are usually only two possible outcomes. We say “usually” because some matches like NFL football games and some soccer matches can end in a draw. You can still place moneyline bets on these events. However, if the game ends in a tie, then the wager is declared a push and the bettor gets their stake amount refunded.

So, you are probably wondering how much money you can make from moneyline bets. This is easy to figure out. The amount you stand to win from any moneyline wager depends on the odds and your wager amount. For example, the moneyline betting odds for an NBA game featuring the Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets are as follows:

  • Boston Celtics 2.00
  • Brooklyn Nets 1.83

Now, let’s assume that we want to wager $100. To calculate how much each wager would pay out, we simply multiply the moneyline odds by the stake amount. If we were to wager the $100 on the Celtics, then the potential payout would be $200. That equals a $100 profit when we remove the $100 stake. If we were to back the Nets on the moneyline, then we’re looking at a payout of $1.83 which leaves us with an $83 gain.

Another example would be a match between the Toronto Raptors and the Philadelphia 76er. The money line betting odds are:

  • Toronto Raptors 3.60
  • Philadelphia 76ers 1.30

Using our simple formula, we can quickly calculate that a winning $100 wager on the Raptors moneyline would earn a return of $360 which means we make a $260 profit. Staking the same amount on the Sixers ML would yield a potential payout of $130 which equates to a $30 gain.

We should let you know that moneyline odds tell not only which side is the favourite, but also how much of a favourite the team is. In our first example, the Celtics were priced at 2.00 while the Nets were hanging 1.83. The lower decimal odds tell us that the Nets are favoured, but not by a lot. In the Raptors versus 76ers scenario, the odds tell us that the 76ers are favoured by a significant margin. We will take a closer look at the odds and the role they play further down in this moneyline bets guide.

Why Punters Should Try Moneyline Bets?

Why Punters Should Try Moneyline Bets

There are plenty of reasons why you should try moneyline bets. To start with, placing a wager on any game makes things a lot more exciting. It’s not just the teams competing that have something at stake. So do you!

For beginners, the main reason for placing moneyline bets is that it is so simple. Unlike wagers such as double chance, each way, and 1X2 bets, moneyline bets are incredibly easy to understand. You only have two outcomes to consider whereas many other wager types can have three or more possible outcomes. This makes it a lot less troublesome to research and zero in on a pick.

Beginners should consider that moneyline bets are ideal for using free bets on as well as meeting the wagering requirements for bonuses. If you claim a no-deposit bonus or a welcome offer, you will most likely be able to use it on moneyline bets. It’s also important to realize that moneyline betting can be quite profitable if you focus on getting the best odds and using features like enhanced odds.

Maximize Your Advantages with Moneyline Bets

The vast majority of experienced sports bettors will tell you that making a profit from betting on sports is extremely challenging. It is in your best interests that you get the best possible odds. To illustrate this concept, we’ll create a scenario in which we want to stake a $100 moneyline wager on the Toronto Blue Jays to beat the Boston Red Sox. We then compare the posted odds at two different Canadian online sportsbooks.

The odds at Bookmaker A are:

  • Toronto Blue Jays 1.91
  • Boston Red Sox 1.91

The first thing you should note is that this particular match appears to be a coin toss. Still, we did our homework and believe that the Jays have the edge. Knowing how to calculate our potential payout, we multiply our numbers to discover a winning $100 moneyline wager on the Jays would net us a profit of $91.

We then head over to Bookmaker B and see that the odds are:

  • Toronto Blue Jays 1.95
  • Boston Red Sox 1.87

As you should have already deduced, these odds make the Jays a slight underdog. This is good news for us as our $100 moneyline wager now stands to generate a profit of $95. That’s $4 more than the $91 we stand to win if we place our wager at Bookmaker A. This 4% difference may not seem like such a huge deal. However, consider how all of those 4% gains can add up over time. They could realistically be the difference between making a profit and losing money over the long haul.

Seeing how critical it is to get the best odds, you should be able to clearly see how something like an enhanced odds offer could be so useful. Let’s go back to our Blue Jays versus Red Sox match in which we want to wager on the Toronto moneyline.

What if, instead of the odds being 1.95 at Bookmaker B, you could take advantage of enhanced odds to boost them to, say, 2.05? Well, that means you now stand to haul in a potential profit of $105? Now we’re talking about a $14 difference between the payouts at Bookmaker A and Bookmaker B. That’s a pretty significant difference.

Successful Canadian sports betting buffs take advantage of any edge they can find. This is crucial in light of the perpetual advantage that the bookie has over the bettor. Be it a free bet, enhanced odds, or anything else like risk-free wagers and bonus cash, it will give you a better chance of earning more money on your winning moneyline bets.

We implore those who wager at Canadian online sportsbooks to do their homework. You can select your moneyline bets by tossing a coin or reading tea leaves, but it’s much better to study the matchups you want to wager on. This gives you much better insight into what to expect which allows you to place informed wagers. Keep abreast of injuries, trends, current streaks, and other things like head-to-head history and recent player performance. The more you know…

Moneyline Bet Examples

Moneyline Bet Examples

Before we go any further, you should know that moneyline bets don’t only apply to the final result. You can place pre-match moneyline bets on halves, quarters, and periods too. For instance, you could wager on the Toronto Blue Jays’ 5-inning moneyline or you could bet on the Calgary Flames to win the first period of their game. You can place a moneyline bet on the Winnipeg Blue Bombers to win the first half or the Los Angeles Lakers to win the second half of their game.

Of course, you can also stake in-play moneyline bets while a game is in progress. Live betting has exploded in popularity over the past few years. All of the best Canadian online sportsbooks offer in-play betting and it can be used to your advantage. For starters, you can watch a match and get a good sense of what’s going on in relation to game flow, player performance, and team cohesiveness. Even the weather can have a huge impact on things. If you see an edge, you can jump on it. Live betting also presents bettors with a lot of hedging opportunities if their pre-match wagers aren’t looking so strong.

We’ll look back on Super Bowl 51 for this example. Our apologies to Falcons fans for having to be reminded of this debacle. Let’s say that we wanted to place a $100 moneyline bet on the Atlanta Falcons to beat the New England Patriots. We checked the odds at Bookmaker A and they were:

  • New England Patriots 1.70
  • Atlanta Falcons 2.45

After doing a quick and easy calculation, we know that a winning bet on the Falcons would net us a profit of $145.

We then take a look at Bookmaker B and see the following moneyline betting odds:

  • New England Patriots 1.65
  • Atlanta Falcons 2.50

odds give us a potential profitThe odds give us a potential profit of $150. Being astute bettors who appreciate the importance of getting better value, we stake our $100 moneyline bet on the Falcons at Bookmaker B.

Well, our wager looked pretty strong going into half-time with the Falcons up by a score of 21-3. It got even better when Atlanta punched in another TD to extend the lead to 28-3 in the third quarter. We weren’t concerned when the Pats answered with an unconverted touchdown score of their own. Not even the field goal that made it 28-12 fazed us. However, that James White TD score to bring the Pats within 8 points sure woke us up.

To keep things simple, we won’t get too deep into using the cash out option. Nevertheless, this is perhaps a prime example of when to use it. It is also a good time to touch on hedging. With the score being 28-20 with about 5 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, we would have been able to get plus money on the Patriots’ live moneyline. At that point, a $100 live moneyline wager on the Pats would have put us in a position to make money no matter who won.

Instead, we decided to ride it out to the bitter end. And bitter it was. Another James White touchdown capped by a two-point conversion tied it up and we went into overtime. Again, the tie at the end of regulation does not produce a push on our moneyline bet. The fate of our wager wasn’t decided until a straight-up winner was declared.

Sadly, for Falcons fans and backers, that pesky James White stuck the dagger into our hearts with his two-yard plunge into the end zone. Game over! Our Falcons moneyline bets went up in flames.

Pros and Cons of Moneyline Bets

  • Easiest Bet Type to Understand
  • You Can Place Moneyline Bets on Full-Time, Quarters, Halves, Periods, or In-Game
  • Every Canadian Online Bookmaker Offers Moneyline Bets
  • Lower Odds than 1X2 Bets
  • Some Bookmakers Do Not Offer 2-Way Moneyline Bets on Certain Sports



We mentioned earlier that the odds for moneyline bets reveal which team is favoured, how much they are favoured, and the amount of money a winning bet would pay out. Moneyline odds tell us something else too.

They let us know what the odds margin is. For those unfamiliar with odds margins, they are simply a commission that online bookmakers charge for taking your moneyline bets. That’s how sportsbooks make their money.

To explain this, let’s pretend you and a friend are going to wager $10 on a coin toss which is a 50/50 proposition. You both put up your $10 and then flip the coin. The winner walks away with the $20 pot. If you conducted this wager through a bookie, then you’re probably not going to get even money. Instead, the odds would look something like:

  • Heads  1.91
  • Tails    1.91

So, even though it’s still theoretically a 50/50 proposition, the winner would end up taking in a total of $19.10 for a $9.10 total profit. The remaining $0.90 goes into the bookie’s coffers. That’s just the way it goes. While saving the math for another day, we can tell you that the odds margin or bookie’s commission for this wager is 4.71%. That’s pretty good. However, some bookie’s charge a lot more than others. Instead of the moneyline odds being 1.91 for each side of the coin toss, imagine the odds are:

  • Heads  1.87
  • Tails    1.87

Now we are dealing with a 6.95% odds margin. A higher commission equates to shorter odds and, in turn, lowers your potential profits. The point of these examples is to reinforce the importance of getting the best possible odds so that you can squeeze the most out of your winning moneyline bets.

Moneyline Betting Offers and Promotions

Canadian online sportsbook offers can greatly improve a sports bettor’s chances of being profitable. Never forget that making money is the name of the game. Here are a few examples of common bookmaker bonuses and promotions that can help you achieve long-term success.

  • Bonus Cash: You can claim tons of bonus cash at Canadian online sports betting sites. Some sites will give you a few dollars worth of no-deposit bonus cash that you can use to wager on moneyline bets. The nice thing about no-deposit bonuses is that you can win real money without needing to risk any of your own. You can also get hefty chunks of bonus betting cash by claiming welcome bonuses and reload offers. These extra dollars are perfect for trying out moneyline bets.
  • Free Bets: Free bets are easy to come by. Canadians can claim no-deposit free bets, welcome bonus free bets, and reload bonus free bets. Many top online bookmakers run regular free bet promotions and even more free bets are available to bettors who participate in VIP and Loyalty programs. It’s not hard to see how free moneyline bets can boost your bankroll.
  • Risk-Free Bets: What if we were to tell you that you can get your stake refunded if you lose your moneyline bet? Well, this is possible if you claim a risk-free bet bonus. Imagine! If you win your risk-free bet, then you simply take profits as you normally would. If you lose your bet, then you don’t really lose anything because the bookie will return your stake. It’s the next best thing to being able to tell the bookie to suck a lemon when you lose.
  • Enhanced Odds: Many of the best Canadian sports betting sites offer enhanced odds. Some of them run ongoing enhanced odds promotions while others make boosted odds a regular feature. Enhanced odds ensure that you get great value and then some when you place moneyline bets.
  • Profit Boosts: Do you like the thrill of betting parlays? The cumulative odds are usually a lot longer than they are with most single bets, but that means much bigger payouts. With profit boosts, those huge parlay payouts get even bigger.
  • Cashback: While a lot of sites that have cashback offer it through their VIP programs, you can also take advantage of it via regular promotions. Each time you place moneyline bets, you can earn cashback. Even if the amount you stand to gain is minimal, it’s better than earning nothing and it all adds to your bottom line.

Alternatives to Moneyline Bets

One of the main attractions of moneyline bets is the simplicity. You only have to consider two possible outcomes. It’s also a cinch to figure out how much you stand to win or lose. However, moneyline bets aren’t the only 2-way bets.

  • Totals: Like moneyline bets, totals wagers can sometimes result in a push. However, you only need to consider one of two outcomes. Will the total go over or under? Like moneyline bets, totals can apply to full-time results, quarters, halves, or periods. They can also apply to player props.
  • 1X2 Bets: 1X2 bets are essentially moneyline bets, but they give you the option of betting on a tie. Even though you must think about three possible outcomes, the extra outcome makes the odds for each side a little better. 1X2 are typically graded after regulation time and do not carry over into extra time.

Responsible Gambling

Gambling is a lot like anything else fun in life in that too much of it isn’t a good thing. Most people have at least heard of a punter who got far too carried away with their sports betting. This doesn’t only negatively affect the punter, but it can also have a significant impact on family and friends.

The best Canadian online bookmakers provide customers with a wide range of responsible gambling tools ranging from self-assessment tests and self-imposed limits to short time-outs and self-exclusion periods. We suggest you make use of these resources to ensure your moneyline betting stays safe and under control.

FAQ: Moneyline Bets

How do I place a moneyline bet?

Simply click or tap on the moneyline selection you want to make to add it to your betslip. You can then enter the stake amount and submit the wager.

Is it possible to parlay moneyline bets?

Yes. All you need to do is keep adding selections to your bet ticket. Once you have the desired picks on the betslip, you just enter the wager amount and submit the bet.

Can I cash out moneyline bets?

Assuming your bookmaker offers cash out and the game you wagered on is eligible, then you can cash out moneyline bets before the game ends.

Can I use my mobile device to place moneyline bets?

Absolutely! You can either download and install the bookmaker’s app, or place your moneyline bets using your mobile browser.

Should I expect to win all of my moneyline bets?

If you expect to win all of your bets, then you need a refresher course on the fundamentals of gambling. You definitely won’t win all of your moneyline bets even if you only wager on overwhelming favourites.