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Moneyline vs Spread Betting

When bettors are choosing their wagers, it boils down to moneyline vs spread betting. Certain punters are not clear on which of the two bets can give them the best possible payout or the lowest possible risk.

This article will take a close look at both moneyline and spread betting to help you determine which has the best value.

Money Line Sports Betting Basics

Moneyline is a straightforward online sports wager because you are predicting the winner of a game. Most beginners tend to make moneyline bets since they easily understand the concept of this wager.

Reading a moneyline bet usually involves finding the teams with negative or positive odds. Teams or players that have a negative score (-650) are considered the favorites while those with a positive score (+400) are the underdogs. Being the favorites, you need to pay $650 because of their odds of -650 to win $100. On the other hand, the underdogs only need a stake of $100 for you to win $400.  

Spread Sports Betting Basics

Point spreads are wagers for the difference between the score of each team or player at the end of a game. Spread sports betting odds usually look like -4.5/+4.5. Reading the plus and minus in betting comes down to knowing which is the favored team/player and which is the underdog.

To help you read point spread sports wagers, let us provide an example with Phoenix Suns having the -4.5 score and Milwaukee Bucks the +4.5 according to the NBA Playoffs 2022 data.  If you are backing the Suns, they need to win with more than 5 points. Winnings your bets on the Bucks require them to lose and have a score that is 5 points less than the Suns’ total points.

Sportsbook operators such as Bet365 or BetMGM set the score each team needs to reach or lose as well as the odds for the spread wagers of specific games. Betting odds for spread wagers work the same way as the money line. Going back to the point spread examples, both of these scores will have odds attached to them such as -150 for -4.5 and -165 for +4.5. Since these are negative odds, you need to stake $150 for the -4.5 bet and $165 for the +4.5 to win $100 for either wager.

Can You Bet The Spread and Moneyline?

Remember that moneyline is to bet on which team will win while the spread is on the score gap of both teams at the end of the game. With that in mind, can you bet the spread and moneyline in the same game or with different matches? It is possible to include these wagers to your sportsbook bet slip regardless if they are in the same or different match.

What you cannot do is add both moneyline and spread in the same game as legs to your parlay wager. You can only do this if the UK or US sports betting site has a “same game parlay” feature.

Moneyline vs Points Spread

To know which of the wagers offer the best value to a bettor, we cover specific aspects of the sportsbook that are important to you.

spread betting vs moneyline comparison
Comparison of spread betting vs moneyline.

Payout

Bettors want to win more than $100 during an NHL or MLB Playoff match. This mindset makes the underdog moneyline wagers appealing to both new and seasoned punters. Your stake will always be $100 when betting on the non-favored team or player to win the match while your payout will be much higher.

In terms of payouts, the moneyline easily wins this category. Point spread sportsbook odds are usually close to -100/+100. Profits from a spread bet are usually around $10 to $90. Even if the match is between the best and worst-performing basketball, baseball, hockey, or football team, the odds rarely reach +300.

Risks

When you have a ranking team go up against a low ranking one, the moneyline bets usually involve a low-risk and high-stake favorite as well as a high-risk and high-payout underdog. Your chances of winning the favored bet are higher since you are backing the team that is likely to reach the finals. However, you are still staking so much money for your bet to win and there is always a chance the low-ranking team can win this game.

Point spreads are usually the better option over the moneyline bet for this type of game due to their low-risk factor. You can win this bet if the score gap between the favored and underdog teams reaches past a specific point. This is why a majority of spreads across various sports games have their odds close to 100 since there is a higher chance of winning them.

Parlay Wagers

For bettors considering which legs to add for their parlay sports bet, moneyline bets are the riskiest ones to add. If a single leg of your parlay wager loses, the whole bet loses regardless of how many legs have yet to be resolved. Because of the tremendous risk, a moneyline parlay bet represents, the payout is multiplied by the number of legs within it.

Point spread parlays have a lower risk than moneyline bets, but these have a fixed sports betting payout for a specific number of legs. Various parlay sportsbook sites may have the following payout:

# of Point Spread Parlays Payout
2-Team Leg 3 to 1
3-Team Leg 6.5 to 1
4-Team Leg 11 to 1
5-Team Leg 20 to 1
6-Team Leg 45 to 1
7-Team Leg 70 to 1
8-Team Leg 110 to 1
Point Spread Parlay Payouts

As indicated by the payout rates, point spreads offer better value than moneyline when it comes to parlay wagers. Point spreads have better risk-vs-rewards when you include more than 4 legs in your accumulator bet slip. However, be wary of the risk of having numerous legs in your parlay since it only takes one losing spread to lose your entire bet.

When it comes to payouts among moneyline vs point spreads, the former is the best choice because of the high-risk underdog odds. However, spread sportsbook bets are the easiest ones to win and are a highly valued parlay wager bet because of the simple score gap requirement.

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