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19.06.2023, 05:06
20.05.2024, 12:18

Demystifying the Money Line: Understanding the Basics of Sports Betting

The Betting Line: Understanding Its Significance

The betting line, or sportsbook line, is a collection of sports, tournaments, and matches on which bets can be placed. It is helpful for players to know how the bookmaker's line is formed to understand when to place bets on a particular event and what factors influence the odds changes.

What is the Line in Sports Betting

The betting line in bookmakers is a collection of events in pre-match and live betting on which players can place their bets. The concept of "Line" often includes odds and is associated with the betting markets. The established expressions imply the notion of the betting markets, such as odds adjustment and correction.

In some bookmakers, the line is a section where customers make predictions for pre-match events.

The betting line is divided into sports, countries, and championships. Bookmakers typically place popular sports disciplines, tournaments, and special offers at the top positions.

Formation of the Betting Line

Usually, most bookmakers collaborate with analytical agencies, purchasing data and using that information to create the betting line. Bookmakers set the odds for the events with equal precision to thousandths.

However, with the industry's advancement, many companies have transitioned to working with their analysts and utilising software to gather match analytics and statistics. Based on the information, bookmaking firms' experts create a list of events and odds.

Adjustment of the Betting Line

From the opening of the betting line until the start of the game, several weeks may pass, during which bookmakers adjust the odds for events based on three factors:

  1. Refinement of event probabilities: It is impossible to accurately assess an event's probability at the moment the line is opened. Bookmakers make adjustments to the odds as they obtain more precise estimations.
  2. Changes within the teams: Significant movements in the odds can occur due to changes within the participating teams. For example, if a key player gets injured during training or in another tournament, the chances of the team's victory can significantly decrease.
  3. Regulation of betting volume: Bookmakers aim to ensure that the total amount of bets corresponds to the probability of the outcome. If users start actively betting on a team's victory, the bookmaker will adjust the odds by reducing the coefficient for the team's win and increasing the odds for the opponent's win. Line adjustments encourage customers to bet less on the favourite and consider betting on the second team's victory.

‘Steam’ Line Movement

"Steam" or "Steam Move" is a term used in sports betting, referring to a situation where a substantial aggregate sum of money is placed on an outcome. Unlike line movements, which are gradual adjustments bookmakers make, steaming often leads to drastic odds changes, sometimes to the point where the underdog is given lower odds than the favourite.

This occurrence is more common in less popular matchups, where small sums can significantly impact the odds. For example, if the total bets placed on a matching amount to 50,000,000 NGN and a few users place bets amounting to 20,000,000 NGN on one outcome, such bets can be considered steam moves.

The causes of steaming can vary:

  • Bookmaker's mistakes;
  • Changes in pre-match analysis;
  • Clients possessing insider information;
  • Deliberate steaming to manipulate the odds.

Professional bettors utilise steam moves to find profitable betting opportunities. If bookmakers err in their analysis, they refund the clients' tickets.

Changes in the pre-match analysis do not offer a mathematical edge. Clients who obtain insider information bet large amounts on a specific outcome. The bookmaker notices an unusual betting volume for the match and drastically lowers the odds. A bettor noticing a sudden change may place a bet following the steam if they consider the terms acceptable.

In the betting lines of companies, one can encounter reverse steam moves, where a group of professional bettors place a considerable sum on an outcome. The movement of odds draws the attention of amateur bettors, who place bets on the observed steam move, increasing the bet volume even further. Ultimately, the professionals bet on the opposite outcome with inflated odds.

Odds/Market Offerings

"Betting Markets" or "Lines" in sports betting terminology refers to the collection of outcomes available for betting on a specific match. A more extensive line offers a higher number of betting options.

Bookmakers adjust the number of available outcomes depending on the type of sport and tournament. For example, an extensive line in football's Champions League might include over 1000 betting options, while there might be more than 500 outcomes for the Finnish championship.

Betting lines are typically divided into three categories:

  1. Primary: These are the most common bets like match outcome (win, lose, or draw), total points/goals, and handicaps.
  2. Additional: These involve more specific scenarios within a game, such as the number of corners in a football match, the number of aces in a tennis game, or player-specific bets like who will score the first goal.
  3. Statistical: These bets are based on the statistical performance of a team or player. They may include bets like the number of saves by a goalkeeper, the number of 3-pointers in a basketball game, or the number of successful tackles by a player.

Note: The above are translations of the terms as per the given text. However, different regions or betting platforms might use different terminology, so it's essential to understand the context in which the terms are being used.

Opening Line and Closing Line

An "Opening Line" refers to the odds and outcomes when a bookmaker accepts bets on a particular game. The timeline for adding a game depends on the tournament's popularity and match.

Major tournaments, for instance, the English Premier League, La Liga, or Nigeria Professional League, are generally added by bookmakers around two weeks before the start. For matches from less popular competitions, the games are usually added 2-3 days before they begin.

Bets for qualifications to tournaments like the European Championship might be accepted 2-3 months in advance. In contrast, for the outcomes of the tournament itself, bets can be taken several years ahead of the opening ceremony.

Opening lines have an advantage as the bookmaker still needs to adjust the odds. Experienced players often find mathematical errors where the probability of an event occurring is inaccurately assessed, providing "value" bets.

The drawbacks of the opening line include:

  1. The form of teams and players could significantly change by the start of the match.
  2. It might have a partial list of markets as some are added later.
  3. Adjustments that are not in favour of the player could be made.

The "Closing Line" represents the odds and outcomes the bookmakers offer at the start of a game. By the time the line closes, the experts have most accurately assessed the probability of an event happening, making it almost impossible to place a mathematically good bet.

We recommend betting only with trusted and legal bookmakers, and we've compiled a selection of the best bookmaker bonuses for you, so you can start playing and winning!

Examples of Bookmaker Lines in Various Sports

In "Bet9ja", the "Sports" section hosts various sporting disciplines for which the bookmaker accepts bets. Next to each type of sport, the total number of matches is indicated.

When you navigate to a specific sports discipline, a list of countries where competitions for that sport are held becomes available. Countries with famous tournaments are listed at the top, while others follow in alphabetical order.

For each country, tournaments related to the specific sport are displayed. The sportsbook places popular competitions at the top.

Upon entering an individual championship, the user is presented with a list of matches. The games are sorted by start time.

Bookmakers with a Wide Range of Betting Markets

Most bookmakers offer similar events for famous championships. However, differences can be found if customers are interested in less popular tournaments. Bookmakers may provide broader betting options and coverage for niche sports or lower-tier competitions.

Additionally, certain bookmakers may specialise in specific sports or regions, offering a more comprehensive selection of events in those areas. It's always a good idea for customers to explore multiple bookmakers to find the best coverage for their interests and preferences.


It is true that "Bet9ja" offers a wide range of betting options compared to other legal bookmakers. Customers can bet over 30 sports disciplines and even wager on exotic sports rarely available with other bookmakers, such as alpine skiing, ski jumping, Gaelic football, and water polo.

"Bet9ja" provides many events for less popular championships and tournaments. For example, users can find match-ups from the Tanzania Premier Football League.

For major tournaments, the bookmaker offers a careful selection of betting markets. For instance, users can access over 1500 betting options for English Premier League matches.


Melbet.ng is a popular online bookmaker in Nigeria, offering a broad spectrum of betting markets, including the Money Line bet, one of the fundamental types of wagers in sports betting.

In Melbet.ng, to place a money line bet, you must navigate to the sport and game where you wish to place your bet. Once you've found the game, you should see the money line odds listed. Click on the odds for the team you want to bet on, and this choice will be added to your betting slip. Then, enter the amount you wish to wager, confirm the bet, and your money line bet will be placed.


Parimatch.ng is another well-known online bookmaker operating in Nigeria. Like Melbet, it offers many betting markets, including the popular Money Line bet.

A Money Line bet, as mentioned earlier, is simply a wager on which team or individual will win a sporting event, with no regard to the point spread. This type of bet is often the most accessible and straightforward for new bettors to understand.

When it comes to Parimatch.ng, the process of placing a Money Line bet is quite similar to other bookmakers. First, you must navigate to the sport you're interested in and select the game or event where you wish to place your bet.

On the betting page for that game or event, you should see the Money Line odds listed for each team or participant. These odds represent the payout for a successful bet on each team and are based on each team's perceived probability of winning.


The line refers to the matches or events on which players can place bets in a bookmaker company. The odds offered by the bookmaker depend on the current form of the participants and the overall volume of bets.

The more events the bookmaker provides, the more opportunities users have to make profitable bets. A wide range of options allows users to choose from various betting markets and find favourable odds that align with their strategies and predictions.


What is the Money Line in sports betting?

The Money Line is a type of sports betting where you wager on the outright winner of a game or event. It disregards point spreads or handicaps and focuses solely on the final result.

How does the Money Line work?

When betting on the Money Line, each team or participant is assigned odds representing their winning likelihood. The favourite is denoted with a negative (-) sign, while the underdog has a positive (+) sign. You bet on the team or participant you believe will win the game.

How are Money Line odds displayed?

Money Line odds are displayed using positive and negative numbers. Unfavourable odds represent the amount you need to bet to win $100, while favourable odds indicate the potential winnings on a $100 bet. For example, -150 means you need to bet $150 to win $100, while +200 means you can win $200 with a $100 bet.

Can the Money Line be used in various sports?

Yes, the Money Line can be used in a wide range of sports, including but not limited to basketball, football, soccer, baseball, hockey, and tennis. It is a standard betting option across different sports.

Is the Money Line affected by point spreads or handicaps?

No, the Money Line is not influenced by point spreads or handicaps. It focuses solely on which team or participant wins the game outright, regardless of the margin of victory.

How can you calculate potential winnings on a Money Line bet?

To calculate potential winnings on a Money Line bet, divide the odds by 100 and multiply the result by your stake. Add your initial stake to the calculated winnings to determine the total potential payout.

Can the Money Line offer value in underdog betting?

The Money Line can provide value when betting on underdogs. Since the odds are typically higher for underdogs, a successful bet on an underdog can yield a higher payout than betting on the favourite.


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