Baseball betting is a completely different animal than football, basketball or any other sports. There are 162 games in the regular season and it’s quite the grind.
One of the major keys to baseball betting is evaluating the starting pitchers each day and that’s one variable that significantly affects a team’s chances of winning. But before you get into the nitty-gritty, we’ve got a rundown of the basics. If you haven’t had much baseball action before and aren't too familiar with the lines, check out our rundown below. You’ll be an expert in no time.
Money lines are the most common way to bet baseball games. In simple terms, when you bet a team on the moneyline, you are predicting that they will win the game. So let’s say the New York Yankees are playing the Boston Red Sox. If you add Boston on the moneyline to your MLB picks, you are betting they’ll win. If you bet on New York, you’re betting that they’ll win. Simple as that.
Beyond that, you’ll see a number associated with each team on the moneyline because one is the favorite and one is the underdog. So let’s say the Yankees are at home and have their best pitcher on the mound, they might be a -150 favorite over Boston. When there’s a minus sign in front of the number, that means you have to bet that amount to win $100. So if you bet New York on the moneyline at -150, you have to bet $150 to win $100.
Now on the flipside, the Red Sox might be +130. The plus sign denotes the underdog and is the amount of money you’d win if you bet $100. So if you bet $100 on Boston, you’d win $130.
Of course, you don’t have to bet in multiples of $100; you can bet whatever amount you want. The ratios just change accordingly.
The Run Line
The run line is baseball’s version of the point spread. On the moneyline, you can just bet a team to win outright. However, the run line brings a 1.5-point spread into the equation. From our previous example, the Yankees could be -1.5 +180 on the runline. What that means is that they would have to win by at least two runs for you to win the bet. However, notice how the odds associated with the runline (+180) have changed too. Before, it was -150 when they only had to win by one but now that they need to win by two, your payout could potentially increase.
As for the Red Sox, in this case they might be +1.5 -160. Their odds have changed too because before, if they lost, you lost. Now they can lost by one run and you still win the bet. +1.5 means that if they lose by exactly one run or win the game, then you win your bet.
The run line is simply a different type of bet that’s offered on the menu.
Baseball Totals (Over/Under)
Totals are another popular bet when it comes to baseball and this is one that’s very similar to other sports. As it is in almost any game, the over/under is projected combined score between the teams.
Let’s see the Yankees and Red Sox total sits at 8.5. That means that you can bet over, which means that the combined score of the two teams will be nine runs or more, or you can bet under, which means that the combined score will be eight runs or less.
If you’re not sure who will win the game and can’t pick a bet on the side, the over/under gives you another option to work with.
Be sure to check out our 2014 MLB Futures Odds.