Moneylines and spreads seem so simple to most but are often confused by many. It is important to understand the difference between these when investing. Moneylines are the same for all sports but the spreads are much different. When investing it is important to know exactly what your trading, how much you have to put on it and how much you will get in return if it wins. Again this will vary in the different sports and with the different favorites and/or underdogs. I will breakdown moneylines and spreads in this blog in hopes that when you get done reading it you will have a better understanding of them and how they apply in the different sports.
Moneylines are the same in every sport but there is a vast difference between favorites and underdogs. A favorite is the team expected to win, which in most sports are identified by the spread (-3 or -5 like in basketball or football) and the moneyline, which can be as low as -105 or as high as -180. So what does this mean? It means for every 100 you want to win you have to lay $180 or $105 to get $100 in return. You get your $180 back plus $100 if you win. When using a favorite you always have to lay more to win less in return because by Vegas eyes the team your playing should to win. Favorites should look like this: Team A -180 (Money put out is $180 win/lose you need $180 to win $100, if you win you get $280 total, your initial $180 for the trade plus $100 you would win in the investment). If you are using an underdog it would be the opposite you would invest $100 and get in return whatever Team B was plus. Team B will always be +less than Team A is – which is how Vegas makes its money on the vig/juice. If team A was -180 as above, team B would be +160 or lower depending on the book. So an underdog would look like this: Team B +160 (Money put out is $100 win/lose you only need $100 and you win $160, if you win you get $260 total, your initial $100 for the trade plus $160 you would win in the investment). Favorites and underdogs numbers will be different in most cases but its important to know that with a favorite you will be investing more money to win less and with an underdog you will be investing less money to win more. Understanding the difference between favorites and underdogs will help you know how to play moneylines in every sport as they are the same with the only difference being, favorite is – money and the underdog + money.
Spreads are different in every sport. The spread is similar in football and basketball as well as baseball and hockey are like each other. The spread is the line in a game. For example in football or basketball the spread will always be +/- a certain number in which the favorite to win the game will be -points and the underdog will be +points. Since we have learned what the moneyline is, which ever team is favored and – a certain number they will also be favored by so many points. The higher the moneyline, the more points a team will be favored by. When betting the spread a team has to win by more than the spread for you to win. For example if New England was -3 over Denver and you played New England, to win your bet New England has to win by 4 or more. The wager would look like this: New England -3 $110/100 which means you have to lay $110 to win $100 so if New England wins by 4 or more you would get your $110 back plus $100 which would total $210. Note that whatever you have to lay that is extra then what you win is the juice/vig which is how the house makes money no matter who wins. In this case its $10 since we are laying $110 to win $100. Now if New England wins by 3, this is what you call a push or tie. If this happens whether you have Denver +3 or New England -3 you would push and get your money back that you put up which was $110. You wouldn’t win anything but you wouldn’t lose anything either. In basketball the spreads are the exact same as football except since its basketball the points will be higher. In baseball and hockey when they talk about the spread it is always a +/- 1.5 which means if you take the favorite they have to win by more than 1 and if you take the underdog they can’t lose by more than 1, they either have to win or lose by only 1 to win that wager. Spreads in hockey and baseball are sucker plays as in these sports games tend to end with someone winning by only 1 since these two sports are much lower scoring than football and basketball. Spreads will always be the +/- number, when trying to place a wager remember if you play the spread the team you wager on must win by more than the spread or you will lose. And of course if you have the underdog they can’t lose by more than the spread or you lose.
Spreads and money lines are much different but they always relate to each other when you wager on a game. Whatever team is favored lets say -150 on the moneyline will be favored by -2, -3 points for the game. So if your not sure if the team is going to cover the points and you think they are going to win, play the moneyline. But keep in mind it gets expensive if your always betting favorites on the moneyline because depending on how big the favorite is you can lose 1 and win 2 and still lose money. I hope this gave you a better understanding between wagering on the moneyline and the spread and how it differs in each sport. If you still don’t have a clear picture or understand the difference between the two shoot us an email with your questions and we are glad to help. I don’t care who you get advice or tips from always understand it or ask for an explanation from them before you put your hard earned money on an investment expecting a return. It is very easy to make a mistake in this industry so make sure to get all the information needed to invest!