Baseball, the corner stone of American culture, is one of the most popular sports in the US. Despite being so popular, it is one of the least bet on amongst the top rated sports. The main reason more people don’t bet on baseball is that it uses different information, and they don’t know how to. Once you learn the basics, any fan will be able to place a few bets with the same confidence they watch their favorite pitcher strike an opponent out.
There are three basic baseball betting lines, the Moneyline, Runline, and Totals; all of which are dependant on key players, like the Pitchers. However, there are other types of bets that can be used like Parlays, Pro bets, and Futures.
The moneyline is the most basic bet anyone can place, on any kind of sport. In order to make this wager, all you need to know or predict is which team will win the game. This is where you would bet on which team will outright win the game, regardless of total score or runs made.
- Baltimore Orioles -125
- Atlanta Braves +124
The Orioles are favored to win, with -125 odds. This means that for every $125 wagered, you could win $100. On the other hand, the Braves are the underdogs, with +124 odds. For every $100 wagered, you could win $124. This would all depend on the handicapping factors that help you predict which team has the best odds of winning.
In baseball, the way to win a game, team’s have to score home runs. This is where the Runline comes into play. It is very similar to the Point Spread found betting on other sports. It gives each game a set number of runs, where the Favorite has to win by more runs than posted in order for the bet to payout. While the Underdog would have to accomplish one of two factors in order for the bet to payout: 1) Outright win the game, or 2) Lose the game by fewer runs than posted by the sportsbook.
- Pittsburgh Pirates -11/2 -105
- Philadelphia Phillies +11/2 -115
A half point (1/2) doesn’t mean there are half runs, but rather must be factored up to the closest whole point. In this case, it would be factored up to 2 runs, and would be included in the bet. When the runline is a whole number, it is excluded. For example, a runline of 2 would mean the team would have to win by 3 or more points, while a 11/2 runline would mean they have to win by 2 or more points.
If a bet is placed on the Pirates, they have to beat the Phillies by 2 or more runs to win the bet. However, if a bet is placed on the Phillies, then they would have to accomplish one of the two factors we explained above in order to win the wager.
The totals is the easiest wager to understand. It a bet on how many total points, or runs, will be made during the entire game. The sportsbook will post a number, and it is up to you to decide whether or not the total points scored will be above or below that mark.
- Tampa Bay Rays VS New York Yankees: 81/2
You can use basic handicapping information to predict how many points will get scored by each team, and compare that against the posted number. This will help you decide which bet to place, and if everything goes right, you will win the bet.
The most important player on the field is the pitcher, as they are usually the player that determines most of the outcomes. This is why it is important for any fan to know that most bets revolve around how good the pitcher is. In the case of the moneyline wager, it is based on how good the pitchers are for each team. So, when handicapping, always remember to factor in everything you can about the pitchers. There are four factors to take into consideration when placing a bet that depend on the pitchers:
- Listed Pitcher: a bet is made on a game stating the listed pitchers, where both of the starting pitchers must start or the bet has no action and the money is refunded.
- Specify Team Pitcher: a bet made on one team’s specific stated pitcher. As long as that pitcher starts for the team you wagered on, the bet has action; regardless of which pitchers starts for the other team.
- Team Action: this is a regular bet, where the wager has action regardless of the pitchers playing. The odds, however, will change depending on the listed pitchers.
- Team Action Against Listed Pitcher: a bet made on one team, where their starting pitcher does not matter. The wager will have action as long as the opposing team’s listed pitcher starts the game.
Some other popular baseball bets include:
- Parlays – when you place a bet on several baseball games. Each team has to win in order for the parlay to payout, even if you have 4 out 5 wins, you still lose. This is why parlays have such great odds, as the risk is high.
- Prop Bets – these are side bets. This encompasses every other bet you can place, ranging from which player will get a home run to how many bases will get stolen during an inning.
- Futures – placing a bet on future events, like which team will ultimately win the AL or NL Championship, and eventually the World Series.
- Season Wins – a bet on how many wins during the season a team will achieve.
Hopefully this will give you the basics on how to bet on baseball, and introduce you to a big world of possibilities; especially for those fans that already know the game inside and out.