In Sports Betting, What Does the “Money Line” Mean?

When betting on sports that do not usually offer a point spread, one of the most fundamental and common occurrences is what is known as a money line bet. Boxing is a good example of a sport that does not offer point spread betting. You pick the winner and there is nothing more that you can bet on. Baseball is another sport that uses money line betting, although baseball does also have a point spread betting system. This type of betting is much less stressful and much easier to understand if you are a beginner. So what is the money line and how does it work?

Simply put, a game with a money line bet looks like this:

New York Yankees -150
Boston Red Sox +130

In the above example, the Yankees are the team favored to win the baseball game. The negative sign next to the Yankees is your indication of the favorite. The Red Sox are the underdogs. The plus sign in front of their name tells you so. Since the Yankees are a large favorite to win this game, a sports bettor has to wager $150 to win $100. Similarly, since the Red Sox are such large underdogs, sports books will pay a sports bettor $130 for every $100 wager. If you placed a bet on either team in this instance, you just bet the money line. You are placing a bet to win straight up.

These types of bets are popular because there are no points involved. If your team wins the game, you win the money line bet. It does not get any simpler than that. The larger the favorite, the more cash you will have to risk just to win $100. The bigger the underdog, the more risk you take and the more the sports books will pay you for betting $100. In boxing, it is more realistic to see larger favorites and heavier underdogs. When James (Buster) Douglas knocked out Mike Tyson in 1990, a $1500 money line bet on Douglas would have won you $57,000 (and it did, to one very lucky and very opportunistic bettor).

Money line betting is not the only betting option in sports but it is the easiest for the beginner to understand and the easiest to place. Be careful though, as sports books will charge you heavy juice, or vigorish, for heavy favorites. Public perception is what sets the lines, not the potential outcomes of games. Blindly picking the favorites because they should win will bankrupt you very fast — and the sports books of the world know this all too well. They are masters in exploiting that fact and that is why they remain highly profitable businesses. If you are new to the sports betting world, money line bets are a great place to get started while you learn how other types of wagers work. It requires little knowledge of betting in general and will keep you entertained while you learn the rest of the basics. Having a solid understanding of money lines and how they are calculated will give you an advantage when deciding where your bet should be placed.

Michael publishes articles discussing current trends in sports, as well as how-to guides for both beg

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How To Develop Winning Strategies For Sports Betting

Whether you are betting for fun or you are a professional bettor making a living from sports betting, all of us would like to win all of the time. This is obviously unrealistic but, even if you can win just over 50% of the time, you are going to come out ahead. For instance, if your betting unit is $10 and you win at evens 55% of the time, your return is $100 on your unit bet of $10 which is a great return. However in order to win consistently, you have to develop winning strategies. This is only the fancy way of saying that you have to develop a set of basic rules and follow them with discipline.

Do your homework. It is very important for you to look at all the available facts and statistics and then make an objective and reasoned judgment on what is the best bet to make. There are plenty of sources on the Internet which provide you with a wealth of information and this includes many of the sports books who necessarily have to stay right on top of the latest feedback. When you buy a new car or a home theater system, you are not going to do so without plenty of research on what you are planning to buy and why you should buy a particular model. Why should a sports bet be any different?

Long-term view and discipline. Like any form of speculation such as trading in forex or commodities, sports betting should be handled with discipline. You should never let your heart rule your head and make bets out of sentiment or emotion without ensuring that you are acting sensibly. Over a period of time, develop a system that works and stay with it while tweaking it as appropriate. You should also take a long-term view of your sports betting since trying to get rich overnight or risking everything on one bet is a sure recipe for disaster.

Spread your bets. Paradoxical as it may sound; the first thing that you have to do to win big is to avoid losing big. If you lose big, you would often have an impossible task in making up your losses with your remaining betting capital. And, if you lose really big, you would have nothing left to bet with. So it is prudent to define how much you can afford to lose, called a stop loss in financial trading parlance. Then, make sure that you risk only between 2% and 5% of your capital on each bet. This way, even if you lose a few times in succession, the losses are manageable. In the best stock market trading tradition, it is also prudent to diversify your bets.

Get the best odds. After you have decided your bet, don’t blindly bet on the first sports book that you come across. For instance, in line betting, you may find differences of several points in the lines that different sports books are offering. This is because different sports books are more worried about balancing out their respective bets rather than worry about the overall situation. It is not unusual to find differences of up to three points on basketball. You should remember that in tight games, even one point could be the difference between your winning and losing. The difference is most significant in the daily sporting events.

Timing your bet. Timing the placement of your bet is crucial to getting the best odds. This is of course a matter of judgment and you cannot get it right all the time. However, it is a point to bear in mind. Also track significant news that could change the odds in your favor such as injury to a key player. As a rule of thumb, if you are betting on a favorite, do so early

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