MLB Baseball Betting

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The MLB season drags on for six months with lots of games on an almost daily basis. It can be overwhelming for a novice sports gambler to gaze up at the massive sports book board and see all the MLB lines for a given day. Furthermore, because MLB games don't use the same familiar points spread we find in the NFL, NBA, and College football and basketball most punters don't really know how baseball bets are structured.

MLB Baseball Betting

This explains the paradox as to why MLB betting is the most profitable sport for professional wiseguy sports bettors but also the least bet on North American sport. But there shouldn't be any fear or confusion in placing an MLB bet. The odds are formatted differently but basically you're still betting on sides and/or totals, and MLB odds even have a handicap system similar to the points spread, only they call it the run line.

MLB Odds and Money Lines

To understand MLB betting you need to make sense of the money line. This is a straight up bet that predicts the winner of the game. Favorites are typically in the range of -120 to -160. That is the amount you need to bet to win $100 profit. So a team that is -160 would actually be 100/160 or close to a 0.6 to 1 favorite. If a team on the money line is trading at anything bigger than -160 they're not a great bet by themselves.

The other team in the money line with the +100 to +200 number is the underdog. If there is a positive sign that is now the amount you will win if you stake $100. So a team that is trading at +150 is really 1.5 to 1 as you will net 150 bucks for every 100 wagered. Simple stuff.

You can also bet on the total runs scored in a game, and that's your vanilla Over/Under wager. This number is determined by the starting pitchers involved in the game as well as the ballpark, is it hitter friendly or a graveyard for power? A low total would be 7 runs while games in Colorado often have a total of 12 or 13 runs set by the lines makers.

MLB Run Lines

Finally one can bet on the run line, which is a handicap bet where one team starts +1.5 runs while the opponents are -1.5 runs. If you want to bet on the Yankees and hope not to go bankrupt you'll need to lay -1.5 runs most of the time. The issue is that all those single run Yankees wins are losses on the run line. If you like an underdog play taking them +1.5 runs can be a very smart move as those narrow heartbreaking losses now become winning bets.

To be successful at MLB betting you need to know good pitching from bad. Follow specific starters, be aware of bullpen strengths and weaknesses, and resist the urge to take parlays bigger than 3 teams in any one day. Practice good money management of your bankroll because there are thousands of games to bet on and you need to pick and choose selectively to show a good profit.

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