How to bet on soccer using the moneyline

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How to bet on soccer using the moneyline

How to use the moneyline to bet on soccer and identify the relative strength of the different teams when playing home or away.



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Updated on 15 November 2018
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This post will walk you through the basics of how to bet on soccer using the moneyline and understand the positive and the negative values within the moneyline odds.


We’ll quickly look at American sports betting and then we’ll look at soccer betting, so you can better understand how the moneyline affects wagers.

Why is it important to understand moneyline?


Everyone needs to start from somewhere and sometimes even the most advanced traders will need a refresher course or a quick reminder to make sure they fully understand their craft.


That’s why I’ve put together this post, as there are several different areas of soccer betting that are sometimes taken for granted but can be very easily misunderstood if you’re not constantly engaged with the different types of bets and wagers.

What is the moneyline?


In American sports betting this bet classification is popular within the NFL and refers to an approach to represent the odds of an outcome.


The moneyline is only focussed on the result (excluding handicaps) and includes all additional time within a match, such as extra-time, overtime, etc.

Therefore, a moneyline bet on a traditional football match would consist of 90 minutes of Home Team vs Away Team and would also include the time added on by the referee before the final whistle.

How do you recognise moneyline odds?

What does the + and - mean in sports betting?

This is pretty simple; the moneyline is always displayed as a value, which represents the amount the bettor must risk to win $100 (-/negative) or the amount the bettor stands to win on a wager of $100 (+/positive).


Winning moneyline wagers are straightforward; the team simply must win the match and the winnings are returned to the bettor. What’s easier than that?


Well…As you can probably guess, things can get more complicated, so we’ll walk you through the different moneyline options with respect to football/soccer, which should provide a good grounding for you to understand how your risk and ultimately your money is affected by taking moneyline odds.

Moneyline popularity within American sports


The major popularity of moneyline bets within some American sports helps newbie punters who want to place a bet on the Super Bowl or other major sports event.


NFL can be challenging to predict for the uneducated bettor due to the wild changes in play. The number of points quickly accumulate throughout the game and the team leading can quickly become overturned by the opposition through a few good plays.


That is the true nature of NFL and the reason why the game is loved by a large number of people and gaining popularity around the world.


Unfortunately, this unpredictability does not help punters wanting to place bets, so this is where moneyline provides a simple betting option:


Do you bet above or below the moneyline?


Above or below the line bets allows each of us to estimate where we believe the winning team will end the match. Even, if we’re not 100% sure how the teams compare. The moneyline helps to provide a measure for punters to place their bets.


In a two-horse race, or an event with only two outcomes, such as a win or loss result. This is where the moneyline is fantastically easy to understand. The bettor is presented with two options; how much that must be risked to win $100 or how much a $100 wager would return.


Let’s look at a quick example, using NFL and we’ll switch back to soccer, so you can compare the differences. This comparison should make it easier for you to understand how the US style moneyline betting odds work and how you can switch between the American style odds and what it really means when you’re presented with moneyline by online bookmakers.

If we consider, Green Bay Packers vs Seattle Seahawks:

Green Bay Packers: +135

Seattle Seahawks: -160


The moneyline key principles:

•    The positive symbol represents the favourite

•    The positive number represents how much you would win with a $100 wager

•    The negative symbol represents the underdog

•    The negative number represents how much you need to wager to win $100


Using the moneyline principles, we can see that Green Bay Packers are the favourite and a punter must risk $135 to win $100. Whereas, the Seattle Seahawks are the underdog and a punter will return $160 with a $100 bet.

Simplicity of the moneyline


The moneyline is a simple wagering approach and provides you with a benchmark based on a $100 wager.

Obviously, you do not need to bet that much on a single selection, but using a benchmark is quick and easy way for some bettors to understand the relative risk associated with each of their bets.

How does the moneyline work with soccer?


If we’re dealing with the classic 1x2 betting market, we must deal with the three-horse race and therefore, this will change the nature of the moneyline.


The moneyline bets will retain the same elements presented above and include a third outcome to account for the draw (or tie) between the two teams.


Let’s start with England vs USA; it seems like the right thing to do as we’re talking about American style odds when soccer was invented by England!


Anyway, if we look at example odds for the home win, draw and away win, we may see the following moneyline options from our bookmaker:

England Home Win: -275

Draw: +350

USA Away Win: +850


Therefore, a punter should understand:

•    England is the favourite

•    USA is the underdog

•    The Draw (tie) is also the underdog!

•    $275 must be wagered to return $100 when betting on an England Home Win

•    A bet on a Draw requires a wager of $100 to return $350

•    A bet on a USA Away Win requires a wager of $100 to win $850

Turning a Draw No Bet into a moneyline bet


Removing the Draw option from soccer betting moves the moneyline odds closer to the American NFL betting. This means that bookmakers can provide a simple ‘line’ view of the betting odds and further help punters to make easier decisions.


How would the England vs USA football betting example change, if we used 2-way moneyline odds?

England Home Win: -900

USA Away Win: +500


Therefore, a punter should understand:

•    England is the favourite

•    USA is the underdog

•    $900 must be wagered to return $100 when betting on an England Win

•    A bet on a USA Away Win requires a wager of $100 to win $500

•    A Draw results in a push and the stake will be returned


The money offers a by far and away easier to understand relative risk, which provides punters with a simple way to view the Draw No Bet options.


However, due to the removal of the Draw option within Draw No Bet options, this means that the bookmaker is likely to include more profit within the selection.


This may mean that odds on the event are manipulated and more than likely provide reduced odds on the unfavoured Away Win.

This odds reduction is not specific to moneyline, but refers to all betting options where there is a distinct difference between the bookmaker odds between the teams and the real life outcomes are reduced for betting purposes.

Moneyline displays relative risk and reward


When you get your head around the positive and negative numbers, the moneyline is a fantastically simple approach to understand the relative differences between the favourites and the underdogs.


The relative risk is indicated by relating the risk directly to the money required to win a certain amount rather than what a return would be based on the same wager.


This is a fundamental difference between Decimal odds and American odds, but one that will be much easier for you to understand, so you don't need to keep searching for what does the + and - mean in sports betting?


Whatever your preferred method to display odds, always remember that betting is an uncertain activity and you must use whatever tools you have at your disposal to choose the best and most thoroughly researched selections, which will provide you with the most attractive value.

Good luck!



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