Baseball Betting Guide
Baseball Betting Summer is on its way and betting on baseball action is a daily staple for serious sports bettors. The immense baseball schedule, with each team playing 162 regular season games, rewards handicapping research and provides good value odds on a fairly consistent basis. Unlike the NFL where oddsmakers are usually a step ahead in terms of the league’s power ratings because there is a full week to handicap an upcoming game, pricing up baseball on a daily basis is far more haphazard.
There are two predominant baseball betting markets: the money line wager and the total runs wager. When betting on football or basketball points spread must be covered by the side you bet on but in baseball, the most popular bet is to determine the “straight up” winner of each game.
The baseball money line is obviously determined by the overall strength of the team and home field advantage but the single greatest factor is the matchup of starting pitchers. The New York Yankees will be heavily favored to beat the Toronto Blue Jays more often than not, that is until Roy Halliday takes the mound for the Blue Jays in which case you would probably find that the odds are skewed in favor of Toronto.
You can also bet on the Over/Under or combined run total in a baseball game. Once again starting pitching will alter that number considerably, and a marquee matchup between Pedro Martinez and Chris Carpenter would lower the total for a Mets/Cardinals game by as many as 2 runs.
A less popular baseball betting option, but one that can be extremely profitable to take is the run line bet. This has nothing to do with the total runs scored in a game. Instead, it is an ATS (against the spread) wager where Team A starts the game -1.5 runs and the underdog Team B gets a +1.5 runs boost. The odds are still expressed in the standard money line format. It is a little known fact that 25% of all MLB games are decided by a single run and if your baseball picks come from a sound source you can definitely make money betting underdogs on the run line.
If you have never seen a baseball betting board it can look a little overwhelming and confusing:
CUB C Zambrano 7½u15
MIL B Sheets -150
The player’s names refer to the starting pitchers for the day. The Cubs, who are the road team (always on top) will start Carlos Zambrano against the Brewers and Ben Sheets.
What does it mean when MIL is -150 against the CUB? Money line odds are expressed in their own unique way. If you bet on a favorite the line tells you how much you need to bet in order to win $100. Thus -150 simply means you need to bet $150 to win $100, so in fractional odds, the Brewers (MIL) are actually 2/3 and in decimal odds, they are 1.66 to win.
Above the money line odds, you will see the total runs number (7.5 in this case). You can either bet that the game will produce more runs (Over) or fewer runs (Under). Generally, you get odds of -110 or 9/10 on this wager unless otherwise specified. In this case, you get -115 if you take the Under (u15) so the Under is slightly more favored than the Over for this MLB game.
MLB Baseball Betting Guide
Many professional sports gamblers fatten their bankroll primarily through MLB baseball betting. Their edge comes from the fact there are games on a daily basis so that by handicapping and following not only specific teams but individual starting pitchers they find money line and run total errors by sifting through the sheer volume of odds information that is out there.
On any given day (not just Sunday) during baseball season you can bet on more than a dozen MLB games and if you know your Santanas from your Pavanos and your Jered Weavers from your Jeff Weavers you can end up making a lot of money betting on baseball.
There are many online sportsbooks that offer comprehensive odds for every baseball game on the daily betting board. When it comes to the NFL we always recommend having several accounts and always shopping around for the best spread because that extra 1/2 point often makes all the difference. But that does not hold true for baseball betting as the MLB lines do not vary significantly from one bookmaker to another, nor will different odds mean the difference between winning and losing since you’re dealing with money lines as opposed to ATS lines.
When the time comes to bet on baseball simply make sure that the sportsbook you choose is reputable, well-run, and offers excellent promotions and customer service. We’ve got a comprehensive selection of online books that offer odds on all major US sporting events including MLB baseball, and many of them will still cater happily to US-based clients as well.