How To Bet on Baseball

Baseball_betting guide

It’s hard to imagine a game more steeped in nostalgia than baseball, a sport that’s been played since the early 19th century and has been called “America’s pastime.” It’s not only Americans who love baseball, however. Canada has it’s own team, the Toronto Blue Jays, who’ve taken their fans on a pretty wild roller coaster ride since 1977.

In this guide, we’re going to take a look at the most commonly made baseball bets. We’ll break down how the different wagers work and give you plenty of examples to look at, leaving you with all the information you’ll need to make your first baseball bet.

Moneyline Betting on Baseball

Moneyline bets are the easiest kinds of wagers to make. All you have to do is bet on which team you think will win the game. Let’s take a closer look at an example:

LA Dodgers vs. Colorado

Runline Moneyline Over / Under
LA Dodgers -1.5 -130 -210 o +11.5 -112
Colorado +1.5 +108 +175 u +11.5 -108

The column in the middle shows the money line odds that have been set by the oddsmakers. As you can see, the Dodgers have been priced at -210 and the Rockies are priced as the +175 underdogs. Favorites are always indicated by the minus sign (-) and underdogs with the plus sign (+).

So, what this means is that a bet on the favored Dodgers would cost you $210 to win $100. A Rockies underdog win would give you $175 on a $100 bet.

First Five Innings Odds

A popular alternative for baseball bettors is the First Five Innings bet, which only takes into consideration the first five innings. Starting pitchers always hope to last at least five innings before turning the game over to the relief staff, so this type of wager and the odds you’ll see here are heavily focused on the starters.

Winning Margin Odds

One of the many bet variations available is the Winning Margin bet, where you wager on how much you predict either team will win by. In the above example, the Detroit Tigers are priced at +550 to win by one or two runs and the Chicago White Sox have the longest odds of winning the game by six runs (+2000).

Total Runs by Inning

There are so many aspects of baseball that you can bet on in one game, including betting on how many runs will occur in the first inning. In our example, the shortest odds for total runs in the first inning of the game is priced at -118 for no score in the opening frame of this game. If you thought there would be at least two runs on the board after the first inning, you could make that bet at +180.

Run Line Betting on Baseball

A run line bet is one that is specific to baseball, but in many way it’s the same idea as the point spread. The difference is that with baseball, the run line is always a 1.5 run spread.

Kansas City vs. Toronto

Runline Moneyline Over / Under
Kansas City +1.5 -180 +105 o +10 -103
Toronto -1.5 +150 -125 u +10 -117

Here, we see that the Blue Jays are a 1.5-run favorite, and the Royals are priced as the 1.5-run underdog. That number tells a Blue Jays wager here would mean that Toronto would have to win the game by at least two runs for you to cash your bet. Royals bettors would win if Kansas City wins the game or loses by one run.

What’s an Alternate Run line?

Now that you understand what the run line bet is all about, we can look at something many sportsbook offer bettors to up the risk and the payout. In a standard run line bet, the favorite has to win by two or more runs for you to win your bet. An alternative run line lengthens that to 2.5 runs with a bigger return on your winning wager.

Over/Under and Totals Betting

A bet on the total is a wager on how many runs will be scored in the game by both teams combined. Oddsmakers then set the Over/Under for the game, and you bet whether there will be more or fewer runs than the Total that was set.

Kansas City vs. Toronto

Runline Moneyline Over / Under
Kansas City +1.5 -173 +105 o +10 -104
Toronto -1.5 +144 -125 u +10 -116

As you can see in our example, the total for the Toronto vs. Kansas City game is set at 10 runs. The over bet would win and pay out at odds of -104 if 11 or more runs are scored in game, while the under bet would win and pay out at odds of -116 if 9 or fewer runs were scored. If there were exactly 10 runs scored the bet is called a push and you would get your bet amount back.

What’s an Alternate Over/Under Bet?

Much like the alternate run line bet, the alternate Over/Under bet allows you to take a bigger risk for a bigger payout. When the total goes down, the odds on the over decrease and the odds on the under increase and vice versa.  These alternate odds work in the same way as standard odds, the difference being that they’re not 50/50 propositions like standard odds.

Baseball Futures Betting

One of the most fun types of bet to make on baseball is a futures bet. These are often made before or early on in a season or before playoffs. You are betting on a team’s likelihood to win their Division or the World Series, for example. These are the kind of bets that pay off big if you bet on a long shot to go all the way and they do. Let’s take a look at an example.

Here you can see that the Dodgers are the favorites to win the World Series. They are priced at +325, meaning you’d need to bet $325 to win $100.

Baseball Betting Tips and Strategies

All of our bet guides say the same thing when it comes to a good betting strategy. Do your research. Chances are you already know plenty about your favorite team, but be sure to take a close look at the team they’ll be playing. Who are the starting pitchers? The starting pitcher is so relevant to baseball game odds, that sportsbooks often include the name of the pitcher alongside the odds, so bettors can make a more informed wager. Getting into the deep statistics can help you make the smart bets.

Study the team schedules. This kind of research can show you where different teams might struggle after long road trips for example. Keep an eye on injury reports and watch out for players who are playing through an injury.

As always, we highly recommend that you monitor your betting bankroll. Betting on sports is meant to be a fun pastime, and not become a source of money stress. Please read our guide to Responsible Gaming for more on this.

How To Bet on Baseball in Canada

Now that you know the basics of baseball betting, your next step is to place your first bet! We’ve made that very easy for new bettors, and our sign-up process is streamlined and user-friendly. Simply click here to register for your account, and within minutes you’ll be ready to play ball!