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Helping you Profit from Sports Investing

Sports Betting Blog

Sports Investor Central's Ultimate Guide to Baseball Betting

Posted by petemac.sic on February 18, 2015 at 1:05 PM

For the majority of you living in cold climates you typically welcome MLB spring training as it is the gateway to spring.  Once pitchers and catchers report you know that spring is around the corner and that means MLB betting will be heating up.  MLB is not as heavily bet as football or basketball and this is due in part to the length in games, the decline in American interest and simply because most novice bettors lack the general understanding of how to bet baseball.  Keep reading for some general tips to help you reach your goals this MLB season.

Types of wagers you can place on MLB games


The majority of bets placed on MLB is on the moneyline.  The moneyline bet is not like spread betting in the basketball or football.  An example of a moneyline bet is taking the New York Yankees +120 to beat the Red Sox.  This means that you are taking the Yankees straight up to beat the Red Sox and a $100 wager would net you $120 if the Yankees win.  

It really doesn't get much simpler in sports betting than MLB moneyline bets.  The key with moneyline bets is that you don't get sucked into playing favorites.  The allure of a hot team can be very intriguing and tough for most squares to fathom that the Dodgers would lose to the Padres, for example.  If you get stuck playing favorites you will soon realize that even if you are winning the juice is sucking away your profits.  In fact, you could actually have a wining season betting favorites but lose money and you can actually have a losing season betting underdogs and win money.  It may not make sense now but when you are laying -140, -150 odds at a continuous clip than you are slowly depleting your bankroll.  

  • Key Point in Moneyline Betting: 52.4% Break Even Doesn't Apply to MLB

Most bettors are aware that in order to break even in football and basketball point spread betting, you need to win 52.4% of your games (assuming -110 odds).  This isn't the case in MLB moneyline betting.  You can be profitable at the end of the season with lower winning percentages.  This will always give you reason to take a hard look before betting heavy favorites in MLB moneyline bets.

Run Line

A run line bet is where you can bet on the favorite to win by  a certain amount of runs, 1.5 runs (-1.5) or on the underdog to not lose by more than 1.5 runs (+1.5), for example.  So if you placed a run line wager on the New York Yankees (-1.5) than you would need the Yankees to beat the Red Sox by more than -1.5 runs.  A score of 4-2 in favor of the Yankess would be a winner but a score of 3-2 in favor of the Yankees would be a loss. On the flip side of the wager if you bet the Red Sox +1.5 run line than even if they lost the game 3-2, you would still win your bet.  

Most run line wagers will have the underdogs listed at (-) minus odds, for example Boston Red Sox +1.5 (-150).  Sportsbooks know that they need to up the juice when they are spotting you runs.  Somewhere around 30% of all MLB games are decided by 1 run which can make betting the underdog in the run line a profitable venture if you play your cards right.  MLB bettors will need to find value in run lines but our advice if you are a beginner is to stay away from betting the run line.  There is nothing like a closer giving up a late run in the bottom of the 9th to spoil your bet.  

Total Line

Betting the total line in MLB can be a fun venture if you're on the right side.  When you bet the total you are betting on a combined number of runs scored.  For example, if the total was at O/U 9 runs in the Yankees vs Red Sox game than you would either bet that the combined score of the two teams will go Over 9 runs or Under 9 runs.  On average, the odds will -110 for either side.  

It's remarkable how often trends hold up throughout the year regarding the total.  Often times you will see games played during the summer months when the weather is hot and the ball jumps off the bat in certain parts of the country.  Historically, ball parks such as Coors Field in Denver, Yankee Stadium and Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, have given way to high run totals.  The Phillies actually moved their fence back 5 feet two years after opening their new ball park in 2006.  

On the end of the spectrum you have parks such as AT&T in San Francisco and Nationals Park in DC and Petco Park in San Diego that tend to favor the pitchers.  Bigger ball parks will keep scores low and home runs that may go out in Coors Field may get held up at the warning track in San Diego.  Playing at night in San Diego can be damaging to a power hitters ego.  Generally the cold, heavy air moves in off the bay at night which can make it a pitchers dream and betting the under a smart strategy.  You can always check the odds to weigh your decision before game time.

With betting the total line in MLB you shouldn't only look at the ball park but also look at recent trends and history with the starting pitchers.  There are certain pitchers that just dominate certain opposing teams.  You could have left handed starter pitch well against certain line ups that may be left handed dominate, for instance.  Take a look at the who picture before placing your total wager.  

This is a good starting point for new MLB bettors and for those of you that needed a refresher coming off your spread betting frenzy with football and basketball.  Learning how to bet baseball is simple and there are numerous baseball betting systems that have proven to be successful. One of the issues with most MLB bettors is that they don’t want to do the research it takes to find types of bets that offer value.  MLB is a long season so pick and choose your bets and don't be afraid by the volume of games.  Betting MLB can be a profitable venture if you have the right advice and it can be a great way to pad your bankroll heading into the fall football season.  

Article written by: Ethan Alexander of Sports Investor Central

Categories: MLB Blog

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