The most common MLB bet has to be the money line. Unlike most sports, there isn’t a point spread involved in handicapping baseball. Let’s say the Orioles are playing the Yankees and the Yankees are -165 on the ML vs the Orioles at +155. When you’re betting on a favorite at -165 (Yankees), you’ll have to risk $165 to win $100. Now, if you wanted to bet the underdog Orioles at +155; You’d risk $100 and turn a profit of $155 with an Orioles win.
You’ll also have the option to choose LISTED pitchers or ACTION for each wager. What does this mean? Listed Pitchers means the scheduled starters must start or the bet will be voided. If you list Action, your bet will be honored no matter who ends up starting.
Example: The Orioles/Alex Cobb are +145 vs the Yankees/Paxton -145 and You bet the Yankees with LISTED PITCHERS. Let’s say Cobb is scratched, the new Orioles pitcher is Mike Wright and the new line is Yankees -350. Your bet is now void.
Now you might say you wish you bet the Yankees -145 at ACTION. However, some books might adjust the line after the new pitcher has been announced. So, your Yankees -145 bet isn’t voided, but the books can/will adjust the price to Yankees -350 on your ticket.
If your wager is dependent on the starting pitchers, then you’ll want to be sure to bet Listed Pitchers. Books also offer First Five money lines. The winner is determined after five innings have been completed. F5 bets are popular when folks don’t want the bullpens getting involved in their wager.
Every game has a RL option available alongside the money line. The favorites are listed at -1.5 and the underdogs at +1.5. If you bet the favorite at -1.5 (usually plus money), they have to win by two runs or more for you to win your wager. When you bet the underdog at +1.5 (juice is usually involved), the team you selected cannot lose by more than one run for you to win your wager.
F5 run lines are available as well. The favorite will be -0.5 runs and the underdog at +0.5 runs for the first five innings. If you bet the F5 underdog at +0.5, the team you bet must be ahead or tied after five innings are completed to win your wager.
I’m sure we’re all familiar with the way totals work in sports and baseball is no different. You’re betting on a game finishing Over or Under the total runs listed. First five inning bets are also available for totals. If you’re handicapping starting pitching and not bullpens, you’ll want to focus on F5 bets.
Another way to bet a total in MLB is with Team Totals. Team totals are prop bets with lower limits than standard MLB bets.
Let’s say the Orioles/Yankees are playing with a total of 11. The Yankees are large favorites and the team totals are listed as:
- Yankees 5.5 runs
- Orioles 4.5 runs
If you bet Over Yankees Team Total, the Yankees need to score 6 runs or more for you to win your bet. You can play a TT if you’re unsure about a one of the starting pitchers but are certain that one will get hit hard. You can find value when hitting these lines early. Books don’t move team totals often; they simply juice the side that has been bet. The juice will increase If/when the NYY side, team total, or total gets bet
These are the most common ways to bet on baseball. If you have any questions or comments, send an email/tweet to [guru email/twitter]
Whether you are walking into a sportsbook or at an online sportsbook looking to place a bet, things may get overwhelming as there are a ton of ways to get your money down on a game. Between betting the money line, the spread, the over/under, or maybe even throwing some money in a parlay, things can get confusing and payouts can be hard to figure out. Remember that the odds you receive on these bets are ultimately whether you should be betting the game or not. Let’s look at some of the different bets you can make while in a sportsbook.
Maybe the most common bet type, the “spread” is the number of points that oddsmakers believe will be the difference in points of a certain game. For example, the Rockets are -7 against the Jazz. Conversely, the Jazz are +7 in that game. If you were to bet on the Rockets, they would need to win by more than 7 points for you to win your bet and if you were to bet on the Jazz, they would need to lose by less than 7 points for you to win your bet. Spread bets tend to have odds around -110/-110, depending on the book, meaning that you need to risk $110 to win $100.
Money line bets are the most straightforward; just pick the winner. If you believe a certain team will win the game and don’t want to worry about covering the spread? This is where you would take the money line. For instance, instead of betting the Rockets -7, you can take the money line odds of -260 (risk $260 to win $100). On the flip side, the Jazz are +230 on the money line (risk $100 to win $230). Picking the winner might be easier than worrying about covering a point spread but if you’re looking to take a favorite, you might have to risk a little bit more money.
Ever see a game with two high powered offenses and you think a ton of points will be scored? You might want to look at betting the total. The total is the number of points that oddsmakers believe will be scored between two teams in a certain game. Simple enough, you can bet the over or the under on total bets. If you think the Rockets and Jazz are going to go over the total of 212.5, go ahead and bet the over, if you think the final score will total up to less than that, then take the under. The odds on total bets are similar to odds on spread bets and will most likely be around -110/-110 depending on the sportsbook.
The spread, money line, and total are the most common bet types but there are a ton more options that are a little more exotic, including teasers, parlays, and more.
Teasers are a type of bet where you take two or more bets and better your odds on the spread or total but to cash the ticket, you must win all your bets within the teaser (if one of your bets pushes, the entire teaser will push). For example, you can take the Rockets -7/over 212.5, you can tease those two bets by 4.5 points and make your bet Rockets -2.5/over 208 at a price of -110. Some books do allow you to tease by different point amount but that will change your odds. Standard basketball teasers are 4.5 points where standard football teasers are 6 points.
The parlay is where you take at least two or more bets and combine them on your ticket. To cash your ticket, however, all the bets on your ticket must win (sometimes a push on a bet can reduce your odds). For example, say you take the Rockets -7 and the over 212.5 both at -110 odds. In a parlay, your odds on the parlay will be +260. If you add more teams to your parlay, obviously the payout odds will get better (each book will price differently) but the increased difficulty of winning these bets most times make them not worth it.
A round robin bet is basically a quicker way to parlay at least three bets with each other. If you make three bets and put them in a round robin, you can make your parlays consist of two bets each for three total parlays or you can make your parlays consist of one three team parlay and three two team parlays. For example, you can round robin the Rockets -7, Rockets over 212.5, and Bucks -14.5. The following chart will show how many bets you can have when choosing for the round robin:
|Parlay1||Rockets -7||Over 212.5|
|Parlay2||Rockets -7||Bucks -14.5|
|Parlay3||Over 212.5||Bucks -14.5|
|Parlay4||Rockets -7||Over 212.5||Bucks -14.5|
Note that Parlay’s 1, 2, and 3 can bet without 4 included. While betting these, the more bets and combinations added will increase the number of parlays which will increase how much money you will be laying in total.
An if bet is when you make multiple bets where the first wager result determines whether the rest of the bets are placed. For example, if you like both the Rockets -7 and the Bucks -14.5, you can put them in an if bet with the Rockets -7 as your first selection. Since the Rockets -7 was selected first, the rest of the bet is entirely dependent on whether the Rockets cover or not. If they do cover, you get the winnings from that wager (in this case let’s assume -110 odds and $110 risk). After the Rockets cover, you win $100 but the $110 you risked is now risked on the Bucks -14.5. If that also cashes, you get $100 from the winnings and your initial $110 back for $200 of profit. However, if the Rockets do cover and the Bucks do not, then you will win $100 on the Rockets and lose the initial risk of $110 on the Bucks. If the Rockets fail to cover, the initial risk of $110 is lost but the rest of the if bet is cancelled.
Reverse bets are essentially a two way if bet where you don’t have a first selection but instead you have multiple if bets that have each individual bet as the first selection. Using the same example from the if bet section above, a reverse bet of the same two bets would make be two separate if bets where one would have the Rockets -7 as your first selection and the other with the Bucks -14.5 as your first selection. The payouts remain the same for if bets that are included in a reverse bet. Please note that the more teams that you include in the reverse bet drastically increases the number of bets that you make as well as the amount of money that you will risk. For example, three selections will net you six if bets, four selections will net you twelve if bets, five selections will net you 20 if bets, and so on.