NFL Moneyline Betting

NFL money lines bets have become one of the most attractive markets in all of the online sports betting since the league’s massive rise in popularity. Their origins date back to Las Vegas sportsbooks in the 1970s. Aside from sides and totals, money lines bets are easily the most wagered NFL betting market.

NFL money lines bets are available at every sportsbook that offers NFL betting so there won’t be any need to search for NFL betting sites that provide these markets. We also recommend our most trusted and reputable betting sites to place these highly profitable bets.

Bettors will need to consider a few factors when betting money lines. Some of these factors include knowing what a moneyline is, knowing how to place an NFL moneyline bet, and whether the bet being placed is +EV.

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What Is NFL Moneyline Bet?

NFL moneylines betsNFL money lines is a bet that offers a unique form of wagering that doesn’t take into account a point spread. When wagering on moneylines, bettors are only concerned with who is going to win the game outright It doesn’t matter if the team wins by one point or 20 points. If you take a team on the moneyline, and they win the game – your wager will be graded as a win. If you take a team to win on the money line, and they lose, the bet will be graded as a loss, regardless of the final score.

It’s important to note that moneyline bets include overtime as well. Unlike point spread wagers without a half a point, moneyline bets will almost always have a definitive betting outcome. There is no real threat of a possible push, unless, of course, the game ends in a tie, which is rare in the NFL. Moneylines at US-facing sportsbooks are offered using traditional American odds. Bettors who are familiar with baseball or hockey wagering on moneyline odds regularly, as it’s the primary form of wagering for both these sports when betting on sides.

NFL Moneyline Example

Let’s say the New Orleans Saints are favored over the Carolina Panthers by 7 points. This equates to about a +250 moneyline for the Panthers as the underdog. Since more bets will undoubtedly come in on the favorite and the sportsbook has to charge us vig so they can make a profit, the NFL money line odds for the Saints will be around -280 or higher.

  • New Orleans Saints -280
  • Carolina Panthers +250

Bettors wagering on the Saints would have to risk $280 to win $100. If this bet were graded as a winner, they would receive $380 back, including their $280 original stake and $100 in profit. Those betting on the underdog Panthers would risk $100 to win $250. If they win their bet, the return would be $350, including their $100 original stake and $250 in profits. As with all wagered offered by betting sites, there is vigorish added to each side of the bet. We can calculate the no-vig which we explain more in-depth on our article on implied probability.

Moneyline Betting Profitable – Expected Value

That depends, of course. One of the best resources for everything gambling is The Wizard Of Odds. They have an article on NFL betting markets, and if we scroll down slightly, we can see a chart of NFL point spread winners, which offer us a comparison to moneylines.

It is worth noting that the above chart doesn’t factor in the key numbers of three and seven, but it does help us figure out a fair moneyline and when and where to attack the oddsmakers based on the probability of winning. It’s also important to take the points when on the right sides of the three and seven. For instance, the difference between +3.5 and +2.5 is massive. We would encourage a wager on the former but not on the latter, and the same goes for +7.5 and +6.5. However, when we’re not crossing the 3 or 7 on the right side, moneyline odds become a lot more attractive.

NFL Winning Probability On The Point Spread

Courtesy of the Wizard of Odds

Based on this historical data, it shows us that betting NFL underdogs on the moneyline has some real profit potential, and there are plenty of profitable bets available if we can find the right NFL moneyline odds. The data shows us that that teams that are favored by 15 points are undefeated when it comes to winning on the moneyline or straight up. Moneyline odds here will be enticing here, but historical averages show that none of these teams have sprung the upset in 20 years of data.

We can see a nice stream of blue dots elsewhere on the graph, however. Specifically, in the 12-15 point range, where upsets seem to be more common than most probably think. Overall, though, there’s one common theme, moneyline odds on underdogs can be quite profitable in certain spots.

Breaking Even In NFL Money Lines Bets

The reason to target money line underdogs instead of favorites boils down to breakeven percentage. The talent gap in the NFL is a narrow one. Sure, the best team is considerably better than the worst team, but this isn’t college football where powerhouse teams have no chance of losing to smaller schools. The playing field is a lot more even. For the most part, it’s much better to take the favorite on the point spread rather than the moneyline due to the risk of losing when you are laying a substantial amount to win a much smaller amount.

This isn’t just a general rule when it comes to betting NFL moneylines, but for all large favorites, in all markets. We’re not saying to not wager on favorites if you’re getting a price that beats the market or if you feel your odds of winning beat the breakeven percentage, but these scenarios just aren’t generally as plentiful compared to underdog money lines.

NFL Moneylines vs. NFL Point Spreads

For example, a -200 favorite has a break-even percentage of 66.67%. This is usually the money line odds for a favorite of 5-6 points. To break even on -200 bet, we need to win our wager about two-thirds of the time. If we flip these odds to +200, our breakeven percentage goes to just 33.33%. This means we only need to in wager one out of every three times to break even.

NFL Underdog Betting

Clearly, it’s betting on underdogs wager that offers the best long-term profit potential. One area where underdog wagering can be especially profitable is when the point spread falls under 3 points. 1-2 points decide only 7 percent of games. Taking the moneyline instead of a +2 line will rarely come back bite bettors and is a long-term profitable wagering subset, provided they grab money line odds at market value or better.

Best NFL Moneyline Betting Sites

Bettors will find much more variation in NFL money line bets compared to sides and totals – making them an excellent target for spotting inefficiencies. It’s important not to look at wagering on moneylines at larger betting sites with sharper NFL moneyline odds (in almost all cases). If you’re an American, that means avoiding a site like Bookmaker.eu and for international players, Pinnacle Sports.

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NFL Money line Betting – Final Thoughts

Betting NFL underdog moneylines is something that every bettor should have in their repertoire. Taking the points is fine as well, but if the opportunity is there, and bettors think an upset may be coming – they are fools not to take advantage. One strategy is to sports gamblers to split their bet between the point spread and the money line as a way to hedge in case a side covers but doesn’t win. Bettors can also be a little more aggressive and put two units on the moneyline and one on the point spread or be a bit more conservative and do the opposite. It all depends on what the market is giving you when it comes to efficiency. If you spot a soft money line or one that plainly doesn’t match your projection regarding win percentage, fire away.

NFL Money Lines Bets Frequently Asked Questions

What is the bookie’s edge on NFL moneylines?

NFL money lines are not a particularly high vigorish bet, however. It is likely close to the -110 or standard fee that betting sites charge for standard straight wagers on sides and totals. To simplify it, don’t worry about the bookie’s edge, but look if you can find a price that beats your numbers or the numbers of betting sites.

Why do NFL money line odds change?

They are typically tied to the point spread, but on some occasions, they won’t move in unison with point spread moves. The odds change on moneylines just like they would with any other bet – people bet enough money to move the line or the information changes for the oddsmakers and they need to make an adjustment.

How does NFL moneyline work?

NFL moneyline market is the sportsbook’s probability that a team will win the game, outright. It moves in correlation with the point spread in most cases, but that is not always true. If you’re betting a moneyline – you’re simply betting on which team will win the game. It doesn’t matter how much the team wins by or what the point spread was. To learn more about pro football betting read our NFL Betting Guide.

Should you bet an NFL underdog of +2.5 or lower or bet the moneyline?

This is probably the most common question that bettors ask when considering if they should bet the money line or point spread on a game. We went over above how important above the three and seven are when it comes to point spread betting. If possible, it’s always important to line shop to be sure you can’t find a reasonably priced +3 when +2.5 is available at many books. The same goes for +6.5 and +7.

If we look at the point spread at +2.5, that’s about +125 on the NFL moneyline. At +3, it’s around +140. If you can beat or match these moneyline prices, then you can bet them on the moneyline, but for the most part, you want to be looking to bet these on the point spread. However, when the underdog price goes to +2 or lower, then we need to move to the money line. Your profitability at +2 or lower is going to be much better wagering on the underdog moneyline rather than the point spread.