Basketball Money Line Betting

Money line betting is the most common type of basketball bet. Money line betting is especially popular in NCAA basketball games. It is considered to be straight betting. In money lines you are simply betting on who will win the match; it is very straightforward, it does not even matter what the score is, what matters is who wins – period. That said, different money lines are applied to reflect the strengths of the teams.

Three Types of Odds

In most of all sports betting, the odds can be presented in three different ways: American Odds, Decimal Odds and Fractional Odds. American Odds are presented in whole numbers format like 100, 200, and so on; these are mostly used in the U.S. and most of Canada, and they are also especially popular when it comes to American football. Decimal odds are presented in a decimal format such as 1.4, 2.1, and onwards; decimal odds are mostly used in Europe and parts of Canada too, and especially popular for soccer betting (commonly known as football betting in EU). Finally, fractional odds are presented by fractions like 1/3, 2/4, 3/2, etc.

*Basketball is very popular in the U.S., with the NBA and NCAAB, hence, we will use American Odds for all of our basketball examples below.

Calculating Basketball Money Lines

* Please see illustration below to help understand money line bets, text explanation follows.

Money Line Basketball

Let us say UCLA is playing Notre Dame at the NCAAB. Notre Dame is the favorite in this case and the UCLA is the underdog (less likely to win according to the experts). The odds are listed as:

  • Notre Dame (-110)
  • UCLA (+110)

If you are betting $110 on Notre Dame and they win, you will get $100 back. If you are betting $100 on UCLA and they win, you will get $110 back. The (-) sign represents a favorite and the fact that you have to bet more on it to win less. The (+) sign represents an underdog and the fact that you have to bet less on it to win more.

Different Money Lines

The reason why there are different money lines for different teams is, basically, to provide an incentive for players to bet on underdogs. Without money lines, most of the players would bet on the favorites since the favorites are more likely to win. If all people bet on the favorites, a sportsbook will not be able to pay off all of the players in case they win. By providing more advantageous underdog money lines like in an above example, online sportsbooks create a market for both underdogs and favorites.

Basketball Money Line Betting Tips and Strategies

You should really go out there and compare money lines across different online basketball betting sites. Researching different basketball sportsbooks is one of the most widely used basketball money line strategies out there. Find the best possible odds for yourself; for example, if you are sure that the Chicago Bulls will beat the LA Lakers in a certain game, then look for the best possible odds for Chicago. If you see that one sportsbook offers +110 and another one offers +105 for Chicago, then go for the former as it will get you $5 more for every $100 bet you make – if your bet wins of course.

Basketball Stars

When it comes to basketball, particularly NBA, research latest news about different teams’ star players. In basketball, star players can score between 20%-40% of the team’s points. They can make or break the team. In fact, many teams’ strategies are simply based on passing the ball to their star players. Such players like Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant (now earning around the likes of $23M, the current highest paid in NBA), Shaquille O’Neal, LeBron James and others have played a vital role in performance of their teams. For example, if you are looking to bet on the Miami Heat, try to look at LeBron’s form in their upcoming game. If he is not playing or is injured, then Miami Heat might really not perform that well.