When it comes to betting on MLB, the moneyline is what appeals most to people. For the NHL, there seems to be a good mix between the moneyline and the puck line. However, for the NBA and NFL, people primarily bet on games using the point spread. Since there are benefits to both the point spread and moneyline, let’s take a look at some strategies of betting on the point spread vs. betting on the moneyline.
The cost of placing a bet on the point spread is relatively constant. For most sportsbooks, each point spread bet will cost you -110 and for sportsbooks offering better prices, the point spread will cost you between -105 and -108. However, for a more popular side on the point spread, it might cost you anywhere from -115 to -120 and for a less popular side, you might be able to receive anywhere from -105 to an even payout. As a result, this makes tracking profits and losses easier.
Since the payouts for point spreads are within a small range, there is less of an opportunity to make bad bets. The most juice you’ll have to pay for point spreads will likely be -125. However, when taking a massive favourite on the moneyline, you might be required to pay a lot more juice, typically -250 to -300. If the massive favourite ends up losing on the moneyline, this could significantly impact your bankroll.
Additionally, point spreads present a unique opportunity to bet on both teams if the point spreads vary at different sportsbooks or move in your favour. For example, if two different sportsbooks are offering a point spread for the Warriors vs. Lakers game, with one sportsbook having the spread at -13.5 and another sportsbook having the spread at -14.5, you’re able to bet on the Warriors -13.5 with one sportsbook and the Lakers +14.5 with the other sportsbook. If the Warriors end up winning the game by 14 points, you’ll be able to cover both sides, resulting in a huge profit. However, if the outcome of the game is anything other than the aforementioned outcome, you’ll lose a bit of money.
When it comes to betting on the moneyline, the bettor only cares about who will win the game. A win can be pretty or ugly but at the end of the day, a win is a win. Compared to point spreads, moneyline betting is a lot simpler – all that must be considered is which team will be more likely to win the game. On the other hand, when it comes to point spreads, a lot more factors must be considered. When betting on a favourite on the moneyline, it’s a lot easier of a pick than betting on a favourite on the point spread since the favourite cannot simply win the game but must also win by at least a certain number of points. When betting on an underdog on the moneyline, the underdog must pull out a win whereas when betting on an underdog on the point spread, the underdog can still lose the game but cover the spread.
Furthermore, when betting on the moneyline, you can often find some value in betting on underdogs. Heavy underdogs may net you two to four times your original bet amount and as a result, you don’t even need to win more than 50% of your games when solely betting on underdogs. The moneyline option also makes parlay betting a lot easier since the bettor will be able to place multiple favourites on the parlay card, with the favourites only having to win rather than being required to not only win but also win by at least a certain number of points on the point spread.