by Predictem.com Staff
Betting NFL moneylines is an alternative to doing so using a point spread. The "moneyline" elimiates the spread and turns it into a bet that uses odds. This means that all you have to do is win or lose the game by one point as the spread has been eliminated.
There are of course good times and bad times to apply this type of wagering to an NFL game. While it may look easy to take a game with a team favored by -7, get rid of the spread, lay -330 to win $100 in a bet that "can't lose," these games can and do lose and you will be smarting after a -3.3 unit hit. This essentially means that you now have to win 3.3 games in a row just to break even!
On the flip side, short underdogs (underdogs of 2.5 points or less) are GREAT bets to consider for a moneyline play. Not only do you not lay vig on a moneyline underdog, you get paid more than you bet which means you can hit less than 50% of these bets and still turn a profit, which is the ideal situation for any sharp sports bettor.
In case your confused, we'll post an example of a moneyline play below:
Minnesota Vikings +250
Indianapolis Colts -330
If you take Minnesota, you are basically saying that they don't need the point spread to win this game and have your bet cash. Since your not taking the spread and your bet is against the odds, the bookie is willing to give you +250 which is a huge return on your risked amount. In case you don't know how to read sports odds, +250 is the same thing as saying "risking $100 to profit $250." You of course get your risked $100 back as well.
If you take the Colts in the above listed matchup, your laying -330 which is a steep price, however you now don't have to worry about the spread. All you need to do is win by one point. In case you don't know how to read sports betting odds, anytime a line has a (-) in front of it, that denotes the favorite and the number following the "-" is the amount you'll have to lay to win $100. In this case, you'd have to RISK $330 to win $100. You can of course bet in small amounts such as $33 to win $10 as well. What it's saying is that for every 3.30 you risk, their willing to give you a $1 profit should the bet win.
For all you finance majors out there who are satisfied with putting your money in a CD or money market account at 5% over the course of a year, don't get all too excited when you see a solid wagering opportunity that can pay 5-25% in one day by playing a moneyline. These are not "surebets." In fact, when it comes to sports gambling, NOTHING is a sure thing. We've seen enormous favorites lose straight up and bad. All sports betting should be done in moderation.
For more information relative to betting in moderation and what your true bet amounts should be, check out this great article on Money Management in Sports Betting.
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