Major League Baseball is excellent for online sports bettors in that there are so many games. Every day, there are a lot of options. That means more chances to make a profit, but you should also put the work in and learn the craft so you can maximize your value. Here are four ways to go into the world of baseball betting:
When it comes to moneylines, all you are doing is betting on who will win or lose the game. In baseball, the biggest factor for the odds is the starting pitcher, so do your research and dig deep into how that person is pitching. The favorite for the matchup is always going to have a negative sign in front of the odds, so the Toronto Blue Jays could be favored over the New York Yankees at home. Toronto might come in at -155, and what this means is that you would win $100 by betting $155 on the Blue Jays. On the other hand, the underdog will have a positive sign in front of the odds, so the Yankees might be rated at +145. This means you would bet $100 to win $145.
Run lines are the baseball betting version of spread betting, which is hugely popular with the NFL and NBA. Stay with the teams used above, and an example of run-line betting would look something like this: Toronto -1.5 +130, New York +1.5, -170. This means that New York is favored by -170 to lose by less than a run, so if they were to pull that off, you win $100 off a bet of $170. Toronto is an underdog to win by more than a run, so if they did that, you would win $130 off a bet of $100.
Although run lines are a far less popular choice of betting compared to moneylines, it is useful in certain situations. For example, let’s say one of the better teams in the league is at home with their ace on the mound, hosting a weak team. You might have to lay around -300 on the moneyline. That’s an expensive price but if you want to buy at a lower line, you can lay the -1.5. They are expected to dominate anyways, so winning by an extra run could work out. And remember that if they lose, you’re going to lose far less than you would have if you bet the moneyline.
Over Under betting is when you bet on how many runs will be scored in a game. Specifically, if the actual total will come in over or under the set total. Toronto and New York might have a total set for themselves at 7.5, so you would be betting on whether the total falls over or under that number. This is why you'll also hear it called the over/under bet. You have to look into whether the teams are playing in a dome or outside, and it doesn't hurt to check on the wind; that could kill those long fly balls to centerfield, or carry them to a home run.
Most totals in baseball range from about 7-11 runs. A seven-run total suggest that it will be a low-scoring pitcher’s duel where as a total of 11 or 12 would suggest a slugfest.
One key factor to baseball betting is the starting pitcher of each team. They’re very valuable and the betting odds are set based on who is taking the mound. To protect yourself in case of a pitching change, you can list pitchers, which means that you are only betting on a specific team if that pitcher takes the mound. If they for whatever reason don’t pitch that game – either a late scratch, injury, etc. – then you’re bet becomes void and you get your stake back. If you don’t care about listing the pitcher, then you bet the game ‘action’, which means you’re bet is active no matter who ends up taking the mound.
Finally, you have the futures bets where you are betting on things that will happen later in the season. For example, you can bet on who you think will win the World Series, along with the American League and National League pennants and the divisions as well. You can also bet on player props like the Cy Young award for each league, as well as the Most Valuable Player.
The key here is that it’s a risky proposition as a lot can happen over this period of time – a trade, an injury, a coaching change. But you are locking your money in early for a long period of time, so you’ll get a bigger payout.