Creating a 1-Run Line

Baseball gamblers that like big favorites typically have two options when it comes to gambling. They can either lay the price and make a bet of the favorite or they can play the run line and lay 1.5 runs for much more appealing odds, but hope that the favorite doesn’t win by exactly one run, or they will lose that wager.


But there is a way gamblers can lower their risk when wagering on a big favorite and not lose when that favorite only wins by a single run. That is creating their own -1 run line and splitting their bet between the moneyline and the run line so that if the favorite will win by one run they push, as opposed to lose their wager.

Yes, you can also do it to take +1 run with the underdog, which will generate a higher return than taking the underdog +1.5 runs.

Creating a 1-run line is not that hard with a few simple calculations.

Making a Favorite -1 Run

When you have a favorite and you want to lower the odds and essentially lay -1 run, you are going to make two separate wager: one is a straight wager on the money line and the second is a traditional wager on the run line where you lay 1.5 runs.

When the oddsmakers create a run line, the obvious  difference is that if the favored team is at home or not. Naturally, the odds drop is much less when the favored team is the visitor since they will still bat in the ninth with a lead, while the home team won’t.

So a typical run line bet will see a drop of roughly 50 cents when the road team is favored and 80 cents if the home team is favored. A -150 road favorite will become -1.5 (Even) and a -200 home favorite will become -1.5 (-120). These are some examples, as the total number of runs expected in the game, the 2 pitchers and the 2 teams play a part in defining the run line odds.)

For ease of explanation, let’s make the home favorite -200 on the money line and -1.5 runs (-120) on the run line. If we bet $200 on the favorite on the money line and win our bet we would have a profit of $100. If we bet the favorite on the run line and won our bet, our profit will be $166.70, but we count on the favorite winning by two runs or more. If the favorite wins by a run we would lose our $200.

So, what we will do is make a money line bet and a run line bet and the key aspect is to make sure your money line bet covers the cost of the run line bet, so that if the favored team wins by exactly one run, your winnings from the money line bet cancel out your run line bet.

The first part of our bet will be a money line bet (-200) of $133.34 to win $66.67, while the second part of our bet is a run line bet of $66.66 to win $55.55, so we will risk $200 total.

Should the favorite lose, we are still down our $200. If the favorite wins by two or more runs, we show a profit of $122.22, as opposed to $100 for a money line bet or $166.70 on the run line. But the difference is that if the favorite wins by one run we break even, unlike winning our money line bet, but losing our run line bet.

What we do is take a -200 favorite and make them a more manageable -164 favorite, adding that they must win by more than one run.

Making the Underdog +1 Run

The same format is used for making the underdog +1 run, but the difference is now, our run line wager has to cover the cost of when we lose money line wager.

Using the prices from above of the favorite being -200 on the money line and -120 on the run line, we can get odds of +170 on the underdog for a money line bet and Even for a run line bet.

If we again risk $200 or potential outcomes would be a profit of $340 for a money line bet and $200 for a run line wager.

By splitting our wager between the money line and the run line, we will make a $100 run line bet at Even money and bet $100 to win $170 on the money line. Now, if the favorite wins by two or more runs, we will lose our $200. If the underdog wins the game outright, our profit is $270 instead of the $340 we would get from a money line bet or $200 from a run line bet. But the difference is if the underdog losses by exactly one run, we break even, as opposed to losing our $200 on a money line bet or winning $200 on a run line bet.

It takes a little bit of practice and a few basic mathematical skills, however, making a one run line is a good way for those to get a little bit of added insurance when placing bets on games with high odds.


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