Learn to Bet on MLB Baseball: Expert Tips and Advice
The MLB Season is often described as a marathon and not a sprint. Not only do payers and teams go through the ups and downs of the regular season, but handicappers often face the same fate. Baseball lasts more than seven months and has 4,860 regular-season games to wager on, which means it's vital that you pick the right spots and know how to properly place an MLB wager. There are several betting options available to the MLB, with the most popular one being the moneyline. Totals and run line wagering are also accepted, and we will explain that more further down.
Betting on the MLB Moneyline
As a concept, this is the simplest wager you can make on any game in any sport. The moneyline betting option allows you to place a bet on the team you think is simply going to win the game. Extra innings are included in the outcome of the bet.
Toronto Blue Jays: +220 ML
Cleveland Indians: -250 ML
The moneyline betting odds will help you determine who the favorite is. In this example, the Indians are the favorites, and you must wager $250 dollars to turn a profit of $100. If you are a homer or love betting on the underdog, the Blue Jays will return you $220 for every $100 you wager on them if they pull off the upset.
Betting on the Run Line
The "run line" is baseball's equivalent of the "point spread". It is a bet that combination of the money line and point spread in order to determine a winner. Typically, run lines will be listed as -1.5 for the favorite team, but in some cases could be as high as -2, or -2.5 depending on the matchup.
When looking over run line betting options for the MLB, you will come across lines that look like the following:
Toronto Blue Jays +1.5 (-170)
Cleveland Indians -1.5 (-+130)
Depending on which side you select, your team must cover the "run line" in order for your wager to be graded a winner.
If you choose to take Toronto +1.5, you will be a winner if either one of the following two scenarios play out. The first being Toronto wins the game outright by any score. The second being Toronto loses the game by exactly one run, thus "covering" the +1.5-run line.
If you decided to wager on the Indians as -1.5-run line favorites, they must win by two or more runs for wager to be graded as a winner.
Betting Game Totals
Baseball totals can be a wide range of numbers. In a matchup that features two star pitchers, the total could be as low as 6.5. If a matchup features two guys who notoriously get smacked around, the total could be anywhere from 9.5 to 12.5 (especially at Coors Field in Colorado).
Let's look at an example of a game total:
Toronto Blue Jays/Cleveland Indians - "Over" 9.5 -110, "Under" 9.5 -110
If you are to bet the "over" 8.5, there must be a total of 10 runs or more scored in the game for you to be a winner. If there are nine or fewer runs scored, then those who bet on the "under" will cash their tickets.
If totals are whole numbers such as eight or nine, and the total happens to land exactly on the number, your bet, regardless whether it's an "over" or "under" bet, will be graded as a "push" and your money will be returned to you.
A futures bet is a wager placed in the time leading up to the start of the event on a team or player that you believe is going to win their respective competition. Heading into the 2018 MLB regular season, the futures odds look like this:
2018 World Series Champion: Los Angeles Dodgers +500, New York Yankees +550, Houston +550, Washington +800, Cleveland +850, Chicago +1000, Boston +1200, San Francisco +1800, etc.
In order for you to successfully cash your ticket, you must correctly choose the team that will hoist the World Series trophy at the conclusion of the playoffs.
MLB Betting Strategy
The MLB is a tricky sport to handicap because of the uncertainty of numerous things. Batters can go through cold spells or be red-hot and hit everything in sight. Pitchers could be cruising along and then all of a sudden forget where the strike zone is. And don't even get me started about the bullpens. They are as unpredictable as ever since they come into a ballgame cold (semi-warmed up) and have to face the opponent's best batters. Talk about a tough spot.
There are two key spots that I tend to enjoy betting on that you should to. The first spot is when you fade the public teams when they are the consensus and are laying a ton of juice. Teams like the Yankees (when they are good) are tagged with inflated lines since they are a popular team to wager on amongst the betting public. Fading the public and siding with Las Vegas will prove profitable more often than not and at a very appealing price (+150-+200+). No team has gone 162-0 before, so even the best teams lose around 60 games.
Another spot I look for when betting the MLB is teams who are sending out their fourth or fifth starter (sometimes even someone they just called up or a bullpen member). These are the spots that could be very lucrative in the right situation. If these pitchers were any good, they'd be higher in the rotation and likely would have much better numbers then they probably do. Don't bet against good pitchers but instead bet against bad ones.
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