Reading the Money Line for NFL Betting

Even if you aren’t as excited about the start of the new NFL season as anyone from across the pond, you will probably have noticed that the big kick off in American Football is back. That’s because bookmakers have been throwing around promotional odds and trying to pull in interest for the betting markets such as the Super Bowl LII winner and the divisional and conference winners.

More often than not you will just see the regular market fractional or decimal odds on the match outright from an NFL game. For example, going into the opening game of the new season on Friday, September 8th, between the reigning Super Bowl Champions the New England Patriots and the Kansas City Chiefs, the home side are 1/4 to win, with the Chiefs around a 4/1 price to pull off a win.

But if you have ever stumbled across a money line and thought what the heck is this all about, just in case you find yourself at a sportsbook in Las Vegas or something, it is interesting to get an understanding of an American Money Line on a game. Even if you haven’t been looking for it, you may well have seen an example of this online, because at bookmakers like Ladbrokes you can switch to an American Money Line view instead of your regular decimal or fractional.

The Money Line Example

The Patriots are -450 to win their opener against the Chiefs who are +350 on the money line to win. So what does that actually mean from a betting perspective? What are these plus and minus signs about?

Well, it’s not really complicated, it just takes a bit of adjustment. In the case of the plus sign, in this case, the Chiefs at +350, it means that for every £100 that you stake, you would win £350 back. So you are looking at about the equivalent of a 7/2 price in fractional odds.

For a minus sign on an American Money Line, you need to switch things around. So the Patriots at -450 means that you would have to bet £450 to win back £100. That obviously makes them favourites to win the game, roughly to the equivalent of a 2/9 odds-on favourite in fractional odds.

If you had placed a £100 stake on the Patriots at -450 then you would return around £22 in profit if they were to win. To have won £100 profit, you would have to have staked the full £450. If you had placed a £100 stake on the Chiefs at +350 then you would be making it rain with £350 profit off the underdogs if they took the win.

So remember:

-xxx means that you will win xxx for every £100 stakes

+xxx means that you will need to stake that number in order to win £100