Take a Swing at Betting on Baseball
MLB’s 2023 action is finally underway this week, so here’s a quick guide on how to bet on baseball.
With Opening Day on Thursday, there has never been a better time to learn the dynamics of betting baseball. You can put that knowledge to use for a long and successful 2023 season.
Hopefully, you’ll get more of a grasp on the different ways to bet baseball heading into what should be a very exciting MLB season. There are always plenty of options to take advantage of during long baseball games and a long season, so the opportunities to unlock big winnings are never-ending.
Here are some of the most popular ways to bet the sport so you can apply them to your own wagers this year.
Start with Traditional Bets
The most standard way to bet not just baseball, but mostly every sport, is the moneyline. With this bet you are keeping it nice and simple and just choosing which team you like to win the game. Each team in each game will have unique odds assigned to their respective moneylines according to how likely the oddsmakers deem them to win that day. The more likely the team is to win, the lower your payout will be and underdogs will pay out more.
The run line is the baseball equivalent of a spread. The difference, however, is that run lines are set at 1.5. The favorite will always be 1.5-run favorites. The odds for both teams will be adjusted similarly to the moneyline to suit that line. This means the favorite would have to win the game by over 1.5 runs to cover the run line and the underdog would have to win outright or lose by less than 1.5 runs to cover theirs. There are also alternate run lines available, so you can move a team to 2.5 or 3.5 run favorites or underdogs with the appropriate change in odds.
The Over/Under is another bet type that is pretty standard to all sports. This bet is accounting for all runs scored in a game. If a game’s Over/Under is 10.5, for example, a 6-5 final score would total 11 runs and be just high enough to hit the Over. A 4-3 result (7) would be a winner for Under bets. This bet, like the run line, can also be adjusted to alternate lines with alternate odds attached.
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Popular Alternative Bet Types
There are some bets in baseball that have become very popular in recent years and are more unique to the sport. One major example is betting the first inning. Baseball bettors have grown to love the “NRFI” aka no runs first inning bet. This is the option for Under 0.5 runs in the first inning and you are essentially just hoping the game gets off to a slow start. If you can get through that first inning scoreless, you’ve got a quick and easy winner to start the evening.
The equivalent to a halftime bet for baseball is a 5-inning bet. You can bet moneyline, run line or Over/Under for solely the action within the first five innings of the game. This is a popular one because this is usually the time starting pitchers will still be in the game. The outcome will be a little more predictable than when relievers enter.
Player props are universal to other sports. They are fun because instead of betting on what two entire rosters are going to do that given day, you can focus in on one particular player’s daily stats. These props can range from an Over/Under on player hits, home runs, strikeouts, walks and more. If you feel confident about a player in a positive or negative way, this is the bet for you.
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Straight Bets vs. Parlays
Straight bets are single-leg wagers that will only depend on the outcome of one thing and have fixed odds attached. These bets will typically pay out a little less than double your wager amount, but can always swing in either direction again depending on the odds attached to your selection. ‘Straight’ or ‘single’ bets are going to be your best chance to lock in a winner. You are only relying on that one outcome to go your way. This is the safest way to bet.
Parlays are a combination of multiple selections into one betslip. You will need all outcomes to go your way in order to cash your ticket. There is much more risk involved with each additional leg added to your parlay. As you are add more outcomes that can go either way and affect the result of your wager. That being said, the attraction of a parlay is that with each added leg your payout will increase exponentially. If you can manage to build a long parlay slip with all winners, you can earn a very nice payday.
Wagers for baseball games don’t stop after the first pitch is thrown. You can continue to place wagers on any given MLB game until the outcome is essentially decided. The results of an ongoing game will affect the odds and lines attached to each team. That will in turn affect what you’re going to want to consider at different points in games. If a team is losing 5-3 in the sixth inning but you think they’ll make a comeback, you can take advantage of some very favorable odds for that team to win and if they do, your payout will reward you for the risk run.
There are also inning bets just like the aforementioned first inning options. These lines will always update based on what’s going on in the game. For example, if the bases are loaded one inning the over/under line will immediately shift either in number or in the odds attached to it. Odds will always reflect the likelihood of outcomes in the game in real time.
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