Dec 16, 4:56 AM ET
Betting on moneylines is one of the most common ways to wager on sports like baseball and hockey. Oddsmakers determine which team is more likely to win the game and set a price according to that win probability.
The larger the advantage one side has over the other, the larger to moneyline odds will be which forces sports bettors to pay a premium for wagering on the best teams or players.
For example, Team A is estimated to have a 60 percent chance of beating Team B and therefor has a moneyline set at -150. A negative moneyline means that for every $1.50 wagered, a winning bet will return $1.00. If Team B is set with a moneyline of +130 – a positive moneyline – that means for every $1.00 wagered, a winning bet will return $1.30. However, Team B has a lower probability to win the game.
Bettors can either wager on the moneyline favorite (-150) or the moneyline underdog (+130) to win the game outright.
Betting on totals – also known as the Over/Under – is one of the most common ways to wager on baseball. Oddsmakers determine the total amount of runs scored by both teams and set that number as the betting total.
For example, Team A and Team B are estimated to combine for a total of 8 runs in their baseball game.
Bettors can either wager that the final combined score with be Over 8 runs or that it will be Under 8 runs. Should the final score combined for exactly 8 runs, the game is graded a push and all bets are returned.
Runline betting in baseball is similar to betting against the pointspread in sports like football or basketball. The favorite on the runline will most often be -1.5, meaning it must win by more than 1.5 runs, and the underdog is usually +1.5, meaning it must lose by no more than 1.5 runs.
The vig/juice on the runline favorite (-1.5 runs) is always plus-money because the odds of that team winning by two or more runs are slimmer, while the runline underdog (+1.5) is always minus-money because the odds of them losing by less than two is greater.
For example, Team A is -1.5 on the runline with vig/juice of +140, against Team B at +1.5 on the runline with vig/juice of -160. That means for every dollar wagered on Team A -1.5 (+140), you can win $1.40. A runline wager on Team B +1.5 (-160) would require a bet of $1.60 for every dollar you want to win.
Futures betting involves making a wager on a long-term outcome, rather than a single game, most often a team or player’s odds to win their respective championship. Sportsbooks will post futures odds on various markets and constantly adjust these odds throughout the course of a season, reacting to betting handle liability, game results, and player injuries.
For example, before the football season begins Team A is a +200 odds-on-favorite to win the championship while Team B is priced at +450 to win, Team C is priced at +600, and Team D is priced at +1,000.
Futures markets include championship, league and division titles, season win/point totals, and individual player awards.
Tips and Tools
Baseball is one of the longest-running sports seasons, with action on the board from spring to fall. Here are some tips and tactics to help you cash in on the diamond:
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Diving deep into that statistical jungle can be a bit overwhelming to the casual baseball fan, so here are some high-level MLB stats that hold a lot of value when it comes to wagering on baseball moneylines and totals.
One of the best kept secrets among sharp baseball bettors is using MLB home plate umpire stats when researching their daily wagers. And Covers is one of the few outlets to find these certain stats – especially as they pertain to the MLB betting odds.
Weather can have a big impact on your baseball bets. From rain, wind, cold and heat, here's how to handicap Mother Nature when it comes to the major leagues.
Curious how much your bet stands to win? Utilize our odds convertor and payout calculator, which can help you calculate your potential winnings.
Tying multiple games together on the baseball board? Use our parlay calculator to figure out how much your parlay could payout.
Our handicapping experts have the very best analysis and advice to help you win your MLB bets.
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