When betting the money line in either baseball or hockey, you’re putting dough on a team to win regardless of the point spread. A money line in hockey would look like this: Columbus Blue Jackets +280, Detroit Red Wings -360.
In the Blue Jacket – Red Wings contest, if you put $360 down on Detroit, you can win $100. However, if you put $100 on Columbus and they win, you get your $100 plus $280. Remember, there is no point spread involved in this type of bet.
Why is the money line set up this way? When playing the money line, the team that is the underdog pays more for less of a wager. While it costs a lot more money to bet on the favored team, if they win you take in very little money. Also, if they lose, you’re out a greater amount of cash than if you’d bet on the team that was not favored.
This type of bet is based on the fact that more people will place their money on the club that is expected to lose because it’s cheaper and the payoff is much higher. Less money will be put on the better team but more will be risked per bet and the payoff will be substantially less. Either way, the bookmakers are covered. If the favorite loses, the sports books make their commission; if the favorite wins, the book makers break even.
Chances are the Jackets will lose, and the casino will keep that money and pay out a small amount to those who took the favored team. If the underdog wins, although the payout is high, the casino has taken in a substantial amount of money on the favorite and they actually make money.