Many consider Baseball to be an ideal sport to gamble on – there are two key reasons for this. First, there are possibly more statistics and resources available at baseball than for any other sport. Second, the sheer volume of games gives more betting opportunities than any other sport. With 2,430 games taking place in the regular season alone, it’s safe to say that you won’t struggle to find a game to take a financial interest in!
This page gives you a complete guide to baseball sports betting. First of all below the most popular bets and markets are looked at, with alternate bets covered below that. You’ll then find some practical tips for betting MLB with an edge – before I look at the sportsbooks which provide the best service for baseball bettors.
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Betting on Baseball
When betting on individual games, there are three markets that lead the way.
The first of these is the money line, where you’re simply be wagering on which team will win the game. The more favored a team is, the lower the odds you’ll receive – so you might see a market where the favored team are -140 and the underdogs +125, meaning you’ll win $100 with a $140 bet on the favorites and $125 with a $100 bet on the underdogs.
Secondly there is the run line. This is a little like the point spread in football or basketball, although the key difference is the fact that it is always set at 1.5, with the favored team always needing to win by 2 runs or more to pay out. This bet can work well if you think the favorite will win well, or the underdog will win or keep it tight.
Finally there is the totals wager. This is based upon the total runs scored by both teams in the game and you’ll simply predict whether this total will be over or under the sportsbooks stated line. The majority of cases will see this line set midway between two numbers such as 8.5, so you’ll certainly win or lose, although you will find occasions when it’s a whole number, meaning that the bet can be a push, when exactly this number of runs is scored.
You’ll find in all of the above markets that the starting pitcher for each team will be named and if this player should change, the bets will be voided.
Alternate Bets on Baseball
There are a number of alternative wagers to be had on each individual game in Major League Baseball. As examples, you could bet on whether there will be a run in the first inning for either team, which team will score that first run or whether the game will go to extra innings or not. The larger the game, the more alternative markets you’ll find on offer – this being especially the case during the playoffs and the World Series, when the sportsbooks will appear with a large range of prop bets to go alongside the more standard markets.
With so many games taking place on any given day, Parlays are a popular option at baseball, where you’ll pick a number of selections. Each of these selections has to win, but the payouts are much larger.
For a longer term interest you can get involved in the Futures markets, where you can place a bet on the individual pennant races, the eventual winners of the American and National Leagues, as well as the outright winner of the World Series – these bets are available both before and throughout the season.
Betting on Baseball with an Edge
In baseball, you can’t underestimate the importance of the starting pitcher – is there another sport which voids any bets placed if this player changes? This should be your starting point when analyzing a game. A number of baseball bettors will simply look at this player’s ERA to help form an opinion, but you can and should go much deeper than this. How does the pitcher perform at home or on the road? How many days rest has he had? Does he perform better at day or night? Go as far as checking out how he has performed against the top batters from the opposing team. You shouldn’t however place too much emphasis on stats too early in the season, as there may not be enough data to form a significant statistic. Having assessed both pitchers, then go on to look at the rest of the players, focusing on the key batters, the strength of the bullpen and in particular the closers and also take a look at how many errors a team is making. By the time you have finished you’ll have a pretty good feel for the game and be fully armed and ready when you see those odds and lines appear.
With the most popular market being the money line, baseball differs from other sports in that you can lose more bets than you win and yet still come out in profit, this achieved by backing the underdogs. Many swear by systems where you solely back these teams, although backing all of them blindly would lead to long term losses. Using some of the strategy outlined above in picking certain dogs on any given day would certainly give you that much needed edge.
Best Sportsbooks for Baseball
When betting on baseball those small edges are vital so you’ll certainly want to look for sportsbooks that offer reduced juice odds. This is why 5Dimes have to be recommended, as they offer dime lines, meaning you might be able to gain odds of +135 instead of +130 on that underdog. Over the long baseball season this can become a big deal, as you’ll have an extra five bucks in your pocket for every $100 wagered. Place twenty bets and you’ve got effectively got yourself a free bet.
BetOnline are also recommended for their selection of dime lines and their impressive bonus structure. This site offers a lifetime deposit bonus of 25% meaning that every deposit you ever make will gain that added 25% – certainly helpful with the action coming thick and fast throughout the summer.
The final recommendation is Bet 365, which is available to bettors outside of the US. This site offers the widest range of wagering options on any game. You want to bet on the first team to score, the last team to score, winning margins, team with the highest scoring innings, alternate totals, team hits or whether the total will be odd or even – they have got it!
Baseball Sports Betting Guide – Conclusion
If you could choose any sport on the planet to gamble on, Baseball should certainly come top of your list. With so much information out there and so many opportunities, there is no other sport that comes close. No, it’s not easy money and you’ll have to work for it (if it was easy money everyone would be doing it and the sportsbooks would quickly go broke) but the study can go a long way and once you’ve got that all-important edge over the sportsbooks, it can really pay off.