line betting

What is money line betting?

In Europe, money line betting is betting on the winner of the event. There is no handicap, if you bet on the money line you bet on the winner of the event. So, if we bet on the money line market on team 1 and that team wins the match, our bet is a winner, regardless of whether it was a close match or if it was a walkover for that team. Logically, the team with the lowest money line odds is the favourite and the team with the highest odds is the underdog. When placing a bet, the simplest thing to do is to bet on the winner of the match. Just select the winning option and enter the amount you are betting. This is often referred to as the money line, a market that is also referred to as the winner of the match, 1X2 or 12 when there is no chance of a draw. But the money line goes further, especially when we work with American odds.

Money line with American odds

Betting Glossary

By now you will know that in Spain -and in most of Europe- decimal odds are used (for example, 1.80€) but in the United States American odds are used. It is a totally different system to the decimal or even the fractional system in the UK, where we have a positive or negative number that says how much we will win by betting 100 units or how much we have to bet to win those 100 units. And that’s the money line in American odds: how much to bet to make a profit.


In a Nadal-Djokovic match, we have Rafa Nadal at odds +80 and Novak Djokovic at -110. This means that by betting 100 units on Nadal we will get a profit of 80, which would be a decimal odds of 1.80. On the other hand, if we want to win 100 units on Bautista we will have to bet 110 units, a odds of 1.91 in the decimal system.

If you want to translate the American money line into a decimal odds, the operation depends on whether the odds are positive or negative. If it is positive, divide by 100 and add one, if it is negative divide the odds by 100 and add 1.

  • Nadal +80 = 80/100 + 1 = 0.8 + 1 = 1.80
  • Djokovic -110 = 100/110 + 1 = 0,91 +1 = 1,91

When we add a third element to the money line with American odds, such as the X, we can find that the bet is cancelled if there is a draw or that two or even three results appear with the positive odds depending on the favouritism or equality of the event. Let’s look at two examples.

Example Money line 1

Money line

Eibar – Barcelona match: We have a clear favourite (Barça) with a negative odds that if we translate it to the decimal system gives us a quite low odds. To win 100 units you have to bet 208. On the other hand, the 1 and the X have high odds, hence such a high positive American odds.

  • Eibar +475 [475/100 +1 = 4.75 +1 = 5.75].
  • Tie +350 [350/100 + 1 = 3,50 + 1= 4,50].
  • Barça -208 [100/208 + 1 = 0.48 + 1 = 1.48].

Example Money line 2

Granada – Osasuna match: A match that is a priori evenly matched, where the bookmakers do not see a clear candidate for victory. In this case, the three money line options have the American odds in positive. If we pass them to decimal odds, it is above par.

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