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How to Bet on Baseball

Posted by on 4/6/2017 3:38:35 PM
How to Bet on Baseball

How to bet on Baseball

While everyone loves summer, it's the slowest betting time of the calendar year for most Americans. That's because the NBA year has ended and bettors are waiting for the NFL and college football seasons to start in the fall. Sure, there are other options to bet on in the summer, such as soccer, golf, tennis, auto racing, mixed martial arts and more, but the most popular summer bet, in the USA at least, is betting on baseball. Here's a tutorial in betting on the sport as well as some easy to follow baseball betting tips.

The great thing about betting on baseball is that there is often a full schedule most days of the week and almost without fail on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Friday-Sunday (barring rainouts). No other worldwide sport comes close to playing the 162 games as Major League Baseball does in its regular season. Teams only get around 12 days a year off, and the season runs from early April through the World Series, which can finish in early November.

Much like hockey betting, baseball doesn't offer a point spread like you will see in betting on basketball or football. That's because while an NFL or NBA game is very high scoring and the point differential could be anywhere from 1-50, baseball games aren't like that. In the 2016 regular season, the Boston Red Sox led MLB with 878 runs, or 5.42 per game. The Philadelphia Phillies were last at 610 runs, or 3.77 per game. So, the average runs scored in an MLB game is around 8.5 and most games are decided by one run. Thus, a point/run spread wouldn't work.

The main betting on baseball format for picking a winning team in a game is a moneyline, which is based on a $100 wager. The heaviest favorite you might see in a baseball game is around -300, meaning you would have to bet $300 to win $100. The largest underdog could be +275, so a $100 bet is worth $275.

The moneyline in a baseball game is determined mainly on the starting pitchers. The best pitcher in baseball in this era is the Los Angeles Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw. It's only with star quality pitchers like Kershaw where you will see those huge favored moneylines. Often, you won't see moneylines higher than -200 or +200. And most sportsbooks like BetOnline use what is called a dime line. That means the better team will only be favored by a "dime" over the underdog. So, you could see an example such as: New York Yankees (name of pitcher) -156/Boston Red Sox (name of pitcher) +146. So, a bet of $156 returns $100 on New York and a bet of $100 returns $146 on Boston.

There are also total wagers available in betting on baseball. That's simply the number of runs combined the teams score. Keep in mind that does include any extra innings. Baseball totals are usually set between 6-12. Six would be between excellent pitchers. A number of 12 is usually only for teams playing in the thin air of Denver, where the Colorado Rockies call home. The altitude there leads to higher scores. On a total, you simply bet on over or under the given number. Each will be given a moneyline, but the prices won't be vastly different and can be the same. You might see one side priced at -125 and the other at -105.

Finally, there's the runline in betting on baseball. This always is set at 1.5 runs if there is one (not all games have them). So, the favored team would be -1.5 runs with a moneyline price attached and the underdog would be +1.5 runs. There are two popular ways to bet on the runline: if you don't care who wins the game or if you want to double up on your moneyline bet on the winning team. If one great pitcher is facing a terrible one, you can often get better value betting the runline than on the game moneyline.

The simplest baseball betting tip is that if all things look otherwise equal, take the home team. No sport gives the home team a bigger advantage because in baseball the home team bats last and can win the game without the other side getting a chance.

Another tip is to check the weather when betting the total. Early- or late-season cold-weather games generally keep scores down. Wind can be a factor at some stadiums. Another trick is to bet against a team on what is called a "getaway day game." This is a club that is finishing a long road trip and about to return home. You will often find getaway day games on Thursday. A manager often will rest a few starters in these games that have early afternoon starts following a game the night before and with the team traveling out after. It's obviously important for teams to keep their guys fresh when possible in the long grind of the season. These days, almost no player is in there for all 162 games.


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