A lot of veteran sports bettors may say that baseball is the most simple type of the major sports in which to show a profit, yet it is one of the least bet on sports around.
In the book called “Sports Betting: A Winner’s Handbook” Jerry Patterson said, “More big scores have been made betting on baseball than any other propositions.”
The most common reason for why sports bettors do not bet on baseball is that they do not know how to. There is no point spread and the odds for baseball betting look foreign to them. But it is actually simple.
The first thing prospective baseball gamblers need to do is learn how the money line operates.
Smart gamblers and professional bettors will rarely give odds larger than -140 when gambling on baseball and always find out a reason to make a bet on the underdog. If you bet nothing but underdogs you can win less than half of your wagers and still come out ahead in the long term.
The Run Line is essentially a combination of the point spread and the money line into one.
Do not worry, when you see it in action, it is not nearly as confusing as it first seems.
The run line uses a constant spread of 1.5 runs, even though on very rare occasions you might see it jump to 2.5 runs. The team which is favored on the money line is the favored team on the run line as well.
Let’s take an example of the Royals playing at the Red Sox. On the regular money line we might see odds as:
Kansas City Royals +165
Boston Red Sox -180
As you can recall from your reading on the money line, what this means is that Red Sox gamblers are asked to risk $180 to gain $100, whereas Royals bettors will risk $100 to get $165.
But when betting with the run line, we expect to see the similar game looking closer to:
Kansas City Royals +1.5 -125
Boston Red Sox -1.5 +105
Now, those people betting on the Royals risk more money than they win, in this case $125 to gain $100, but they receive 1.5 runs. Even if the Royals lose by one run, those who et Kansas City on the run line win their wager due to the 1.5 runs.
Looking at another game, at this time, the road team is favored, we will select the Padres at the Giants. For our aims, let’s say the odds on the game as follows:
San Diego Padres -115
San Francisco Giants +105
On the money line, Padres gamblers will risk $115 to get $100, whereas Giants gamblers will risk $100 to gain $105. Using the run line, nevertheless, we could see odds as follows:
San Diego Padres -1.5 +135
San Francisco Giants +1.5 -155
The reason why the odds did not change as much for the Padres (-115 to +135) as they did for the Red Sox (-180 to +105) is that the Red Sox are the home team and won’t bat in the bottom of the ninth inning if they lead by one run or they will stop batting in the ninth inning if they go ahead by a run, even the bases are loaded and there are no outs, if they do not score by home run.
The Padres, as the road team, continues to bat all the way through the ninth inning even if they are already ahead, or if the Padres takes a one run lead in the top of the ninth, they will continue to swing away and try to add to their lead.
Betting the run like if you like a big favorite and can get them at reduced odds by giving the 1.5 runs.
It is also advisable to consider the predicted amount of runs scored in a game when looking at the run line. Apparently, 1.5 runs is more meaningful in a contest where the oddsmaker predicts a total of 7 runs to be gained than it is in a game where the estimated total is 14 runs.
How is the predicted number of runs estimated? Just by looking at the over/under number of the oddsmaker on the game. If you do not know anything about over/unders, you are in luck, as that is our next topic.
Baseball Overs & Unders
Baseball totals are just like the totals for any other sport, in that you are 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 some cases you need to risk more than the standard -110 used in football and basketball totals when you make a baseball totals bet. On the positive side, there will be some cases where you get favorable odds, like +120 when you make totals bet in baseball.
Using our earlier game between the Padres and the Giants for total purposes, it is quite possible we could see a totals proposition of:
San Diego Padres OV 8.5 -130
San Francisco Giants UN 8.5 +110[
What this means is that gamblers wishing to bet more than 8.5 runs are scored need to risk $130 to get $100, while those betting on the under risk $100 to get $110.
As a basic rule, strikeout pitchers perform better in night game and might be solid under plays, whereas off-speed pitchers who don’t register too many strikeouts are often good over plays when they pitch in the daytime.
There you have the basics to wagering on the National Pastime. Bet smartly and keep in mind that it is a long season and you may be the next bettor sing the praises of baseball betting.