There are several different ways to bet on baseball games.
Many longtime sports bettors will say that baseball is the easiest of the major sports in which to show a profit, yet it’s one of the least wagered on sports around.
The most common assumption on why sports gamblers don’t wager on baseball is that they don’t know how. There is no point spread and the odds used for baseball wagering look foreign to them. But it’s actually quite easy.
Moneyline betting is the most common baseball betting type. The moneyline wager is simply a bet on the game based on a given price rather than a pointspread. To win the wager the team you bet on just has to win the game without any predetermined point value. These are also known as Straight bets.
The first thing prospective baseball bettors need to do is understand how the money line works.
Smart bettors and professional gamblers will seldom give odds greater than -140 when betting on baseball and always look for a reason to bet the underdog.
Moneyline wagers can be made in one of two ways. There are Action wagers and Listed Pitcher wagers. For an action moneyline bet, the bet stands regardless of the starting pitcher. For a listed pitcher bet, if a starting pitcher is changed the bet is called off and deemed “no action”. Action wagers are usually the default.
As a general rule, strikeout pitchers typically perform better in night games and may be solid under plays, while off-speed pitchers who don’t register too many strikeouts are usually betforward good over plays when they are pitching in the daytime.
Another common baseball bet is a Total wager, or Over/Under wager. These are bets on the combined total runs by both teams, extra innings included.
Baseball totals are just like the totals for any other sport, in that you’re betting the total number of points (runs in this case) is either over or under the bookmaker’s predicted total.
The one difference is that in many cases you will have to risk more than the standard -110 used in football and basketball totals when you place a baseball totals bet. On the positive side, there will be cases where you receive favorable odds, such as +120 when you place a toals bet in baseball. For wagering purposes what happens in extra innings counts, both for totals and run line bets.
A Run Line bet is a wager based on a combination of a pointspread and moneyline. To win the run line bet the team must beat the point spread. All run line bets are listed bets and deemed “no action” if there is a pitching change. Don’t worry, once you see it in action, it’s not nearly as confusing as it first sounds.
The run line uses a constant spread of 1.5 runs, although on very rare occasions you may see it jump to 2.5 runs. The team that is favored on the money line will also be the favored team on the run line.