What is a Money Line or Straight Up Wager?
A Money Line or straight up wager is a bet on the outright winner of the game or event, without any point spread odds. A Money Line better doesn’t have to worry about a team winning or losing by a certain number of points.
Oddsmakers still determine a favorite and an underdog by the overall strength of the competitor, but the odds given are based on the amount of money that needs to be put up in order to place the bet.
The bettor will receive odds that resemble these:
The (-) symbolizes which team is the favorite and the (+) indicates which team is the underdog. So in the above example, the Colts are the favorite and the Bears are the underdog. All the bettor is wagering on is who he or she thinks will win the game.
If one were to bet on the Colts, he or she would have to risk $140 to win $100 (or $105 to win $75; $70 to win $50, etc). If one were to bet on the Bears, he or she would only have to risk $83.33 to win $100 (or $62.50 to win $75; $41.67 to win $50, etc).
So while the Colts are the favorite to win the game, one would have to risk more money if they wanted to bet on them.