Baseball is America’s pastime. Betting on baseball is the oldest type of sports betting in the United States, and the sport has been intertwined with gambling since the beginning. If you scan the annals of baseball history, you will find numerous references to baseball betting, and there are more opportunities to bet on baseball than with any other sport. Since each team plays 162 games, there is constant action during the season, giving smart bettors the chance to significantly increase their bankrolls.
Types of Baseball Betting
The most common way to bet on baseball is through moneyline betting. When you bet on a baseball moneyline, you are betting on a specific team to win the game. It doesn’t matter if they win the game by one run or 10 runs, a win is a win. The game can be decided in extra innings, but it’s important to note that some online sportsbooks don’t pay out wagers in the event the game lasts less than 8.5 innings. While MLB states that games are official after five innings, that’s not the case with sportsbooks, so a game called off by weather in the seventh inning could lead to a push.
Even the worst teams in baseball win at least 40 games, so you don’t see absurd moneylines. The biggest moneyline favorite each year is usually around -400 per the MLB betting odds, but upsets happen often in baseball, so there won’t be an enormous favorite.
Runlines are similar to pucklines in hockey. A runline is always set at 1.5 runs with one team being -1.5 and the other team being +1.5 by this measure. With runline betting, you don’t need a team to win the game to win your wager. If you think a heavy underdog will keep the game close, you can bet that team +1.5 runs, and a 4-3 loss would be a winning bet for you. Conversely, if you wanted to better the odds by betting on a favorite, you could lay 1.5 runs and hope they win by at least two runs. However, a loss or a one-run victory would make this bet a losing wager.
Extra innings count in runline betting, and there are occasionally bad beats where a walk-off home run leads to a runline bet losing. That can be especially tilting if the decisive home run came deep into extra innings, so be ready for that to happen at least once if you get into betting on baseball runlines.
Most sports have over/under betting or total betting of some sort, and that is the case with baseball. With total betting, you are betting on the number of runs scored in a game. The over/unders for baseball games generally range anywhere between 7 and 11, but there are instances where you will see numbers on both sides of the spectrum. The most famous examples are on the upper end. When the wind is blowing out in Wrigley Field, it’s hard to keep the baseball in the park, and there have been totals as high as 16 for some Cubs games.
Betting on baseball futures is very popular among fans, as you could potentially hit a huge payout. Everyone likes to bet on their favorite teams to win it all, so betting on the World Series winner is the most popular wager of the bunch. There is always a chance that you could hit it big with a 500-1 longshot that had everything come together at just the right time.
In addition to World Series betting, there is also betting on pennant winners, division winners, and season win totals available at online sportsbooks.
There are multiple types of baseball prop betting available too. You can bet on game specific props like the over/under through five innings, the number of runs a team will score, and the total number of combined hits, runs, and errors in a game. Also, there are player props available, so you can bet on certain players to get a hit or a home run, and you can wager on the number of strikeouts a pitcher will have in an outing.