While sports such as football and basketball draw most of their betting action on the pointspreads set for the games, other sports such as baseball, hockey and soccer generate betting action with moneyline odds. With a moneyline, there is more financial risk betting on the favorite and more reward for betting on the underdog. When it comes to moneylines for hockey and soccer there is the added twist of being able to bet on a tie or draw in regulation time.
A typical two-way NHL moneyline posted at an online sportsbook might look as follows:
New York Rangers +130
Philadelphia Flyers -145
In this example, New York is a road underdog since it is listed on top and there is a plus sign in front of its 130 odds. Philadelphia would be the favorite at home listed on the bottom of the board with a minus sign attached to its 145 odds. A winning $100 bet on the Rangers would pay $130 and a losing bet would cost $100. Betting $100 on the Flyers as favorites would pay $100 if they win, but it would cost $145 if they lose.
The added twist of betting on a tie in regulation in a NHL game would involve the use of a three-way line. A moneyline including the option to bet on a tie for this same game might read as follows:
New York Rangers +210
Philadelphia Flyers +110
In this scenario, you can now get positive action on the favorite at +110 betting odds, but if the game does end in a tie you would lose that bet. Betting on a tie in regulation offers the best value at a $290 return on a $100 bet. Betting on ties can be a high-valued option between two closely matched teams that do have a history playing each other tight. Most likely it would involve a division matchup given the fact that both teams would be very familiar with one another. Ties in regulation are a big part of NHL games with almost a quarter of the total games played ending this way.
When it comes to soccer matches, the three-way line works the same way. The big difference between a typical hockey game and a regular soccer matchup that is not part of a knockout round is that hockey will play an overtime period or resort to a shootout to determine an actual winner, while draws (or ties) in soccer matches happen all the time.
The fact that a soccer match can end in a draw adds even more value to three-way lines. If you are betting on a two-way line (either on the favorite or the underdog) and that match does end in a draw there is ‘no action’ on that bet. Two-way lines would be the best way to go when you feel strongly about one team winning outright. If you anticipate a very tight match between two teams, then the added value in the moneyline for a draw could be the way to go.
Whether you are betting on hockey or soccer, one of the best strategies is to study the difference between two-way and three-way lines for all the games or matches across a number of different online sportsbooks. You will find that the actual betting moneylines can vary quite a bit from one online betting outlet to the next depending on the particular matchup on the board. The extra time that you spend studying the betting odds will be well worth the effort as you become more and more proficient at spotting the best value in the numbers.