Baseball Betting Guide

Baseball gambling provides gamblers with amazing value and a whole range of betting options. Placing the right wager can enhance your baseball viewing experience and help you put some extra cash in your pocket. To ensure you only make the sharpest wagers, we are going to break down how to gamble on baseball.

Moneylines

The most common way to wager on baseball is by making a moneyline wager. This is where you predict the winner of a baseball game, and a sportsbook gives you odds based on how likely your chosen team is to win. Check out a common moneyline example below.

Tampa Bay is playing Baltimore. The sportsbooks think Tampa Bay is likely to emerge as the winner, therefore a -200 favorite, while Baltimore is +230. This means to win $100, you would have to gamble $200 on Tampa Bay. Alternatively, if you invest $100 in Baltimore, you can walk away with $230. Baseball gamblers are more likely to back favorites than underdogs when wagering on the moneyline.

Totals

In baseball, you can also place money on totals or over/unders. In this style of risk-taking, the sportsbook picks a statistic and then predicts what this statistic will be for a particular match. In baseball, this could be the number of runs, hits, strikes, and everything you can imagine. As a gambler, you pick a particular side. For example, the sportsbook may predict the total score will be 9, and you take the under. Your bet pays out if the score is 8 or less. 

Totals can be a fun way to increase the excitement of watching a baseball game. As you are no longer solely focused on the match result but are equally invested in small elements of the game. Make these wagers make sense if you enjoy statistics and like doing a deep dive into a certain aspect of the game.

Run lines

A run line is baseball’s answer to handicap and spread betting. In this form of gambling, the sportsbook places a fictionalized run penalty on the favored team and then offers even money bets. In baseball, the handicap is always set at -1.5 or -2.5 runs. This means the handicapped team has to win by at least 2 or 3 runs.

With run lines, you can receive betting odds when taking a gamble on the predicted winner. For example, say Atlanta is paying -160 on the moneyline, but with a -1.5 handicap, they are paying -120. However, you have to be careful when chasing these better odds as the favorite has to overcome the handicap, which is often difficult to achieve. It makes sense to invest in the run line if you think a team is super hot and is ready to win big.

Futures 

Another classic way to wager on baseball is to make what is known as a futures wager. With a futures bet, you are predicting that a team or player will achieve something over the season. Common wagers include predicting which player is going to win MVP or which team will win the World Series. These gambles take a long time to play out, which turns many risk-takers off. However, they offer some huge odds, especially if you believe in miracles and decide to bet on a no-hoper walking away as the champion. You can find certain teams paying out over 100 to 1 if sportsbooks have no faith in them.

Another cool futures gamble is Season Wins. Sportsbooks will often set an over/underline, and you can take either side of the bet. For example, the line for Detroit might be set at 40, and if you take over, your wager pays out if they manage to win 41 or more games. These types of wagers are great if you are looking for a way to stay engaged with the sport for the whole season and also if you want to chase odds and win some huge money off a small stake.

What Is The Vig?

The vig is the commission a sportsbook earns when it takes bets. A typical commission is anywhere from 3% to 20% for certain bets. These platforms are interesting because they don’t charge fees but make their money on the difference in their lines, and new gamblers may not even realize that they are paying a vig. Let’s look at an example and how to calculate a vig.

Miami (+105) is the slight underdog and is playing Philadelphia (-115). To calculate the vig on this baseball game, your first step is working out the likelihood of each side winning is based on the sportsbooks odds.

Philadelphia:(115/(115 + 100) X 100) = 53.5%

Miami: (100/(105 + 100) X 100) = 48.8%

Based on the above calculations, you can see the sportsbook thinks Philadelphia will win 53.5% of the time and Miami will win 48.8% of the time. However, if you add up these numbers, you will notice that they total 102.3%. To calculate the vig, you take this total probability and deduct 100%. Therefore in the above example, the vig is 2.3%

In a perfect world, the sportsbook takes equal action on both teams and then receives the vig risk-free and does not have to worry about the result of the match. Based on the above example, if gamblers bet $500,000 on Miami and $500,000 on Philadelphia, the sportsbook would book an instant profit of $23,000 just by accepting the action. However, it is often difficult for sportsbooks to receive equal action, which is why they can lose lots of money and have to be careful about the size of action they take, the vig they charge, and their odds. To help entice gamblers to pick a certain side, a sportsbook will constantly shift their odds.

Now you are an expert on all things baseball wagering, it is time to sign up at a sportsbook and place some wagers. Remember to always bet with your head and not your heart!