When football is away, baseball bettors like to come out and play. Baseball is the longest running season among the four major North American sports and during the summer months, it takes center stage by itself. That’s why it’s the most popular sport to bet on in your sportsbook. It’s America’s pastime and if you have never bet on baseball, then here’s a rundown so that you can acclimatize yourself with the sport.
Wagering on the moneyline is what fuels MLB betting and it is pretty simple to understand. Let’s say that the betting odds show Oakland favored at -180 to beat Texas, who would come in at +160 to win the game. The minus sign denotes the favorite and the plus sign denotes the underdog. It would take $180 to win $100 on Oakland as the favored team while Texas would require a $100 bet to win $160. Only the outcome of the game is the only thing that matters when it comes to moneyline betting, so it will never get too complicated.
The runline has grown in popularity in recent years and it could be considered baseball’s version of spread betting. Let’s look at the Atlanta Braves and New York Mets, for example. You could see Atlanta -1.5, which means they are favored by 1.5 runs. There’s also a moneyline attached to that, so you could see -1.5 +120 to make that bet. On the other hand, New York would be a 1.5-run underdog (+1.5) and you would get -140 to lay that wager. If Atlanta wins by two, you would get $120 on that $100 bet. On the other hand, New York would require a $140 bet to win $100, but they would have to lose by less than two runs or win the game outright.
Totals are when you are betting on a game to go over or under a set total. What you’re looking at is the combined score of the two teams, so when you add up the final score, it will be over or under the total that’s set by the oddsmakers. For example, the Detroit Tigers and Kansas City Royals could have a total of 6.5 runs set for the game. Let’s say it’s a pitcher’s duel and the final score is 4-1. That means the game went under the number. Or if it’s a slugfest and the Royals outlast the Tigers 14-13, then that’s clearly an over. When betting the total, you have to evaluate whether you think it will be a high-scoring affair or a more conservative matchup. That’ll guide you where to go with the total.
Futures are bets that are places on events in the future: you are betting on something that you expect to happen in a longer term time period than just nightly betting. For example, you are betting on who you think will win the World Series or who you think will win a division. The World Series lines could be up shortly after a season ends and you can continue to bet on those lines throughout the season. Each team in Major League Baseball will be priced accordingly using the moneyline system, so if the Toronto Blue Jays are set at +1500 to win the World Series, you would win $1500 on a $100 bet. This is where paying attention in the offseason comes in handy. The bets are locked in for a long period of time but offer solid payouts.