Why You Should Bet the Moneyline on Basketball Games?

The odds makers’ bread and butter is the point spread, but there’s another side to sports betting that many bettors tend to forget about. The moneyline or straight bet is still a very popular option that many professional bettors choose to use in their daily strategy.

Moneylines are used to bet games in sports like baseball, football and hockey. However, these bets are often overlooked on the hardwood but should not be. If you like betting underdogs, moneylines make more sense than point spreads on basketball games more times than not.

How Does Moneyline Work?

To better understand the moneyline, let’s take a look at how it works and why you should consider betting it over the point spread.

For starters, when betting the moneyline, you are betting on who will win the game outright. The odds are based on the amount of risk versus reward for each type of bettor.

It is one of the simplest types of bets in sports betting. The bettor is simply picking the team they believe will win the game outright, without having to cover any type of point spread or other handicaps that a sportsbook, say, an online sports betting singapore site might assign.

Let’s take a look at how this works using an example from NBA basketball.

  • Team A -185
  • Team B +165

For Team A, you will need to risk $185 in order to win $100. On the other side of the bet, Team B’s payout is at +$165. If you risked $100 on this moneyline wager, and they won the game outright (without covering any point spread), then your total profit would be $265.

“Finding the value in betting moneylines is all about looking at how often a team wins games versus their expected total number of wins based on their current odds,” says Mr. Ong of WS88, an online sports betting singapore-based site.

The sportsbook will always try to achieve an equal amount of risk versus reward when setting the odds for each team.

For example, if it’s December and the Detroit Pistons are playing the Toronto Raptors, then you can expect that the sportsbook will assign Team A’s odds to be something around -185.

Why? Let’s assume these two teams are fairly evenly matched, and therefore, Team A should win about 58% of their games this month.

The sportsbook would want to make the payout level for Team B (+165), in this case, around 35%. If the sportsbook has done their job correctly, after they have gone through all of their calculations, including juice or vigorish, they’ll come up with a win rate for each team close to the expected win value.

Why It’s a Good Alternative to Point Spreads?

Mr. Ong also added that point spreads are nice, but there is a certain element of risk that comes with betting them. If you’re the type of gambler that only likes to bet on games where they think there’s less than a 10% chance their team will lose, then you probably won’t like moneylines very much.

The point spread and moneyline work hand in hand. You might be better at choosing your point spread winners, but you could excel at knowing which teams to wager on with the moneyline. The key is to find games that meet both criteria.

For many sports bettors, the moneyline is becoming more popular than betting against the spread (also known as playing the puck line). This is because moneyline odds offer a better payout than betting the puck line, and they still avoid the risk involved with laying points.

The value that comes along with betting moneylines can’t be ignored. Just take a look at how much you could win on each type of team:

  • Team A -185 ($100 to $185)
  • Team B +165 ($100 to $265)

The key with betting moneylines is not only finding the right bet but also getting the best payout possible.

What are the Advantages of Moneylines?

People often wonder why they should bet the moneyline on basketball games when it seems like the odds are always better with the spread. The answer is that there are many benefits to betting straight up instead of against the spread.

High Probability of Winning

First of all, you will never lose your bet if one team wins by 13 points (or whatever number of points the favourite is) or if one team wins by double digits. You will always win your moneyline bet, even if the underdog pulls off the upset.

It’s a Big Market

There are many more moneyline markets available in basketball than just who is going to win the game straight up. For example, if you wanted to bet on whether or not a team will cover the 2-point spread, you can do so with a moneyline bet instead of having to risk your original bet by placing another one.

Easy Prediction

Lastly, not only are there more betting options when betting the moneyline in basketball, but it’s also easier to predict the outcomes of the games.

For example, let’s say that a certain team is -8 and another team is +8. If you knew that the first team was extremely good and their opponent was very bad, you would be able to predict that they would win by double digits (or beat their spread) with a moneyline bet instead of a bet on the spread.


It is important to keep all of this in mind when betting on basketball games because moneylines can be just as rewarding as betting the spread and often more so. They might not be as sophisticated as wagering on a favourite, but they can pay off big if you do your homework and understand why certain lines are set the way they are.