Money line betting can be the most exciting way to bet on football. Unlike point spread betting, in which the point difference determines the bet’s outcome, money line betting is concerned only with the winner or loser of a football team. As a result of this, different sides in a money line bet have different payouts. These offer great opportunities for bettors who want to bet on a sure-thing favorite and feel assured of winning or those willing to take a major risk by betting a heavy underdog. Savvy gambler with a great feel for college or pro football can predict an upset and see their bet pay out in huge factors. There is no dominant strategy in money line betting. A gambler doesn’t need to choose a permanent side of the fence, but is typically better off by mixing between the safe and risky bets.

The Basics of Money Line Betting

Money line betting tends to be more foreign, and thus intimidating, to new bettors. Learning the vernacular of money lines can make can quickly ease the process and open up a whole new side to betting on football online. A typical money line will look something like the following.

Green Bay -$145
Pittsburgh +$125

In the above line, Green Bay is the favorite while Pittsburgh is the underdog. The money line is always written in terms of $100, though bettors can put nearly any amount of money down using the same odds. In the above example, someone choosing the safer bet in Green Bay (-$145) would need to put down $145 to win $100. Taking Pittsburgh (+$125), the riskier proposition, will pay $125 for a bet of only $100. Of course, the bettor could also put down $10 to win $12.50 or $1,000 to win $1,250 depending on his level of confidence. The greater the disparity between two teams, the larger the money lines will be.

Playing it Safe

The safer the bet in football money lines, the less a bettor stands to win. Because of this, many will tend to write off taking heavy favorites as they don’t see it as worth their while to take a small winning. This is a foolish way to look at things, as playing it safe can be a highly effective strategy when used correctly. Finding a game you have a high degree of certainty in is often worth putting the money down; even if the game only pays out 20% of the money risked, it is still frequently the smart money. These bets can often be used to supplement other betting in the same week, helping to ensure the bettor of some payout. Look for teams that perform consistently and don’t rely too heavily on one player or side of the ball. Teams with strong overall rosters tend to be safer bets, as the failure of the offense or injury to a key player won’t quickly put an inferior team ahead.

Taking the Risk

Betting a heavy underdog is not always the fool’s bet. Calculated and considered, taking a risky bet can often be a well worth it. While NFL games tend not to get too high, 50 to one (+5,000) odds or higher aren’t uncommon at the college level. The NFL has much greater parity in talent and is naturally prone to upsets. However, small college programs facing strong universities face difficult odds to overcome. Every so often, David is able to trump Goliath and bettors who had been willing to risk their money leave with heavy pocketbooks. The key can be to find an underdog in transition that may have a few unknowns entering the lineup. Other times, teams will enter the season overrated and prone to an upset, the way Appalachian State famously brought down Michigan in the season opener. Blindly taking an underdog is hardly better than throwing your money away, but choosing the right time and team can limit risk and maximize reward in money line betting.

Money Line Betting

Knowing how to properly bet the money line can be highly lucrative for gamblers. offers money line odds for both the pro and college game, as well as suggested picks each week. Strategy is crucial, and has a number of resources for your money line betting. Spreading out one’s bets over well picked sleepers and favorites is a good strategy as one gets a feel for money lines, and once you get the hang of money line betting, which is quite simple really, then you can move on to harder bets, but way, way more lucrative when you get them right, the most popular of these more lucrative betting types is parlays.