Not all sports easily lend themselves to a spread. Hockey is one such example. Many hockey games end up at scores such as 1-0, 2-1, and 3-1. There is not a very easy way to place a spread on a hockey game. It can be done—and it is done, at times—but the vast majority of bets related to hockey are about who is going to win the game. In this instance, a bettor is going to place a moneyline bet.
A moneyline bet is where a bettor disregards the spread and the point totals and they only pick who is going to win. This assumes that there is no betting score, as with a straight bet on the spread. The real matchup score is going to be the score you use.
For a moneyline bet, bettors need to consider the vig (or the odds) set by the sportsbook.
If oddsmakers always offered a -110 vig for matchups, they would lose money over time because bettors would keep picking the more favorable team or opponent. Thus, oddsmakers put a fee or penalty on the bet in order to even the scale. Oddsmakers even the betting scales by setting odds.
If the odds are set at -300, we would read that bet as “in order to win $100, you have to bet $300.”
The more a team favored a team is, the more money a bettor will have to risk to bet on that team.
This is how oddsmakers allows bettors to place bets on the favorite in a sporting event. They apply a steeper vig. If the favorite ever does lose, the bettor is going to pay a heavy fee or penalty.
Baseball and tennis bets are also more likely to be a moneyline bet than a straight bet. Spreads are not typically offered in these sports. Instead, it’s a question of who is going to win the match-up?