Sports betting didn’t exactly pop up overnight, but it has spread like wildfire in the last couple of years. Much of that has to do with the fact that it is becoming legal in new states all the time, giving players access they once did not have.
Maybe you have seen all the commercials for sports betting and want to see what it’s all about. But where do you start? Well, having the NFL money line explained is the best place because you can learn about the most straightforward bet type that there is.
Read on to find out more about the money line bet in the NFL, why NFL money line betting is so popular, and everything that you could hope to know about this bet type.
By the end of this piece, you will know the answer to the question, “what is the money line in NFL betting?”
And here are some other NFL betting guides for you to follow.
What is the Money Line in NFL Betting?
When you start out in sports betting, the key is to keep it simple. When placing a wager, the simplest thing that you can think about is who will win and who will lose. That is the money line, and it is the place where amateurs should begin if they hope to learn more about betting in general.
The money line is simple: you are betting on which team you think is going to win the game. A money line bet in the NFL takes all of the complications out of the equation. You don’t even have to know who will win by how much, simply which team will have the higher score at the end of the game.
The money line will have a favorite and an underdog in each instance. The more likely the sportsbook feels the chances are of the favorite winning, the higher their odds number will be. The higher the number, the lower the payout (but more on that later).
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NFL Money Line Explained
As simple as the money line is, there is more to the story than meets the eye. Having the NFL money line explained in detail is crucial so that you have a much clearer picture of what to look for before placing your first bet.
Let’s use the following example: the Buffalo Bills will face the New England Patriots. In this game, the Bills are the favorites to win, coming in at -175 odds. The Patriots, meanwhile, are +125 odds to win the game outright. But what does all of this mean?
When you ask, “what is the money line in NFL betting?” you first need to understand the concept and the odds. In the example above, the minus symbol indicates that the Bills are favored by the sportsbook to win the game outright. The plus symbol indicates that the Patriots are not expected to win.
That’s the simplest explanation of what is happening here. You would then choose which team you think will win outright. Now let’s look at the odds. The -175 odds mean that the Bills are considered more than likely to win by the sportsbooks.
Having said that, a bet of $100 on the Bills would net a $75 win back, totaling $175 in all. When you are just beginning, knowing the odds can allow you to get a better idea of the value involved. There is a long-term strategy involved that will be covered below that make it all clear.
Benefits of NFL Money Line Betting
Why do people bother with NFL money line betting? There are a few key reasons that can make it a worthwhile bet type. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of this bet type and why it may make sense, especially when starting out.
For beginners, the simplicity of the money line is what makes it so appealing. There are any number of bets to be made involving things like the point total, the spread, player props, parlays and teasers, futures, and more. It is enough to make your head spin.
The simplicity of the bet keeps things straightforward for the player. The question simply becomes “who is going to win?” That can be difficult enough to figure out without overcomplicating things and adding more diverse bet types to the mix.
Another major benefit is that it can provide a winner more regularly. The goal is to produce long-term winnings while sports betting. With the simplicity of the money line bet, it allows players to keep a simple strategy and give themselves better overall odds of producing a winner.
Finally, betting on the money line can be a great use of bonus offers. Many sportsbooks will give players bonus bets for meeting certain criteria. Using those bonus bets on the money line can be a simple, somewhat risk-free way to get the most value out of those bonus bets.
NFL Money Line Betting Strategy
With the NFL money line explained, you may be thinking to yourself, “how hard can this really be?” To put it in perspective, even the best handicappers in the world generally only hit at somewhere around a 60% success rate.
The reason they are even that successful is because they have a strategy going into each week. No bets are made on a whim (or at least very few) and everything is thought out before action is put into place. Prat of that success has to do with the aspects listed below.
Research and Analysis
We all have a friend who claims to just “have a feeling” about which team will win. And while instinct does matter, it is just a fraction of producing a winner. Many of the best handicappers in the world put in extensive research and analysis.
Knowing how a team matches up with another gives you the leg up. Maybe New England is riding a five-game win-streak but has lost their last four trips to Denver. Things like that can provide an edge and give you insight, especially for the tighter matchups.
Whether you are betting to win or for simple enjoyment, your bankroll is critical. The better you do at managing it, the longer you last in the sports betting world. Knowing how to approach each bet with your bankroll in mind is crucial.
There are different pieces of advice out there as far as managing your bankroll. The key is to pick a small percentage of your bankroll to invest in each game. If you have $50 in your account, betting a few bucks per game is more ideal than betting $25, for example. The goal is to stretch your bankroll as far as you can, and larger bets are the recipe for crashing and burning.
Understanding Line Movement
We talked about the odds for a particular game, but what many people don’t realize is that those odds are not set in stone. They are set the day after the last game ends and can shift – many times, in some instances – throughout the course of the week.
The lines shift for a few reasons. Perhaps a key player is hurt. Maybe weather conditions are less than ideal. Whatever the case may be, keeping an eye on the movement of a line can present potential value opportunities.
Betting NFL Money Line Favorites vs Underdogs
While betting on the heavy favorite might sound like a simple idea, that winds up being a losing play over the long term. Betting on heavy favorites, you would need to hit at a much higher clip in order to produce winnings at the end of the season.
By carefully betting on high-value underdogs, a win produces far bigger earnings. So, you may hit at a far lower rate, but the winnings will put you ahead of the game at the end of the season. Don’t worry about your record at the end of the year. Worry about whether you made or lost money.
Common Mistakes to Avoid in NFL Money Line Betting
Despite the straightforward aspects of the money line, there are common mistakes that people make. These can wind up being costly in different ways but are important to pay attention to in order to put yourself in the best situation to win.
The first mistake that people make is simply betting on the heavy favorites. It is understandable why bettors do that, however. After all, the favorite with the heaviest odds seems like a “shoe in,” but remember that anything can happen. Even the best teams can lose on any given day.
While a loss on one day can be bad, that’s not the actual point. The reason to not take heavy favorites regularly is because it isn’t worth the investment. Players would need to hit at a much higher rate to win over the long-term versus winning fewer bets with long odds.
Another common mistake that bettors make is not shopping around for different odds. Sportsbooks may have very similar odds, but a little difference here and there can make a major difference over the long run. Shopping for odds gives you a chance to find the best value for your money.
Finally, there is overreacting to recent trends. Bettors want to ride the trends but there is often more at play. The rule of thumb is to sell on good news and buy on bad news when making your picks. Find video betting picks from our talents here.
Best Sportsbooks for NFL Money Line Betting
Caesars is one of the most well-known names in the sports betting space. Originally based out of Vegas with a brick-and-mortar casino, Caesars has expanded into the online sportsbook space and done so with great success.
Caesars has some of the most competitive odds around, particularly on the NFL. Betting with Caesars is a safe, fun experience that will have you coming back again and again. Not to mention the quality of the promotional offers, delivering value to new players regularly.
FanDuel began in the daily fantasy sports realm but has since made the seamless transition into the world of sports betting. As legislation passes in each state making online sports betting legal, FanDuel continues to expand its operations to accommodate that new need.
Just like its efforts in the DFS realm, FanDuel delivers in the sportsbook world. Its interface is one of the smoothest around, the betting markets are wide and easily accessible, and its promotions are generally some of the best in the sportsbook world.
Like FanDuel, DraftKings initially began as one of the leaders in the daily fantasy sports realm. In the years that followed, they have transitioned into the sportsbook world and become one of the premier names ever since.
DraftKings is similar to FanDuel in many ways and has been since their days competing in the DFS realm. DraftKings has one of the best mobile apps in the business thanks to a modern, smooth interface, competitive odds, a great selection of sporting events, and top-tier promotions happening all the time.
NFL Money Line Betting FAQs
Does money line include overtime in the NFL?
Though most games do not go to overtime, the money line bet does include the extra session as well. The goal is to simply choose who will win. How or when that happens is ultimately not important.
What happens if you bet the money line and it’s a tie in the NFL?
Despite there not being many instances of overtime each year, it does happen. And in recent years, there has been at least one tie per year. Betting the money line and the game ending in a tie result in a push, meaning the player receives their bet back from the result.
What is the difference between spread and money line in NFL betting?
The money line is simply choosing a winner. Betting the spread means not only choosing the winner, but also requiring them to win by a certain amount. If the Buffalo Bills are -7 favorites, they would need to win by at least 8 to cover the spread.
How is the NFL money line payout calculated?
The number that you see (Bills money line -200) can help you figure out how much you would win before even betting. That number is how much you would need to bet to get $100 back. So, if you bet $100 on the Bills money line, you would get $50 back (plus the $100 wager for a total winnings of $150).
Though there are no certainties in the world of sports betting, having NFL money line betting explained can make things a bit easier. For novices especially, keeping things simple is the best way to get started and to give yourself a better chance at winning money.
Besides, after having the NFL money line explained, you can start to focus on the other bet types. Before long, you will be more than familiar with the point totals, the spread, player props, parlays, and all the different ways that you can potentially win on a football game.
If you are a fan of the Patriots you can check how to bet legally in Massachusetts here.