Baseball Betting 101

 Although baseball betting is not as popular as football and basketball, it does offer some serious value to the serious sports investor. With the proper betting system and bankroll management, you may find that betting on baseball can be a very profitable endeavor.

Money Lines

Money lines are available in almost all sports, but they are the most common method of betting on baseball. For example, if you lay -140, that means that you would have to bet $140 to win $100. Though good teams will generally have lower odds than bad teams, the odds any one team faces varies widely based on the starting pitcher. Given that the rest of the lineup is relatively stable, it is the pitcher that takes the biggest impact on a game. If you only want to pay attention to one thing in your handicapping, focus on comparing the starting pitchers. Because of the importance of pitchers, you have the ability to bet the money line in different ways to protect your investment.

You can bet on listed pitchers, meaning that your bet only has action if both listed pitchers start. Most sports books will allow you to specify only the starting pitcher for one team, so that it doesn't matter who starts for the opponents as long as the listed pitcher starts for your team, or vice versa. Finally, you can choose an action bet, in which case your bet has action regardless of who pitches.

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Totals

Totals work just as they do in other sports. The only major difference is that action depends upon both listing pitchers actually starting the game. If one or both listed starting pitchers miss the start then there is no action on the total and your bet will be returned. Though this can be frustrating at times, a change in pitchers can significantly change the expected number of runs, so the refund is often a welcome result.

Run lines

A run line is the closest thing you can get to a standard point spread in baseball. It is fixed at a standard 1.5 points, so a favorite has to win the game by at least wo runs for the bet to pay off, and the underdog can lose by one and still be a wnning bet. There is a money line attached to the run line as well, but the price wll clearly be more attractive for the favorite than it is for the straight money line. if a favorite was -170, for example, then the run line may be +110 at -1.5. On the other side, the underdog that may have been +150 in the money line could be 130 at +1.5. This can be a reasonable option in cases where you would like a better price on a heavy, high scoring favorite, or if you are willing to trade some potential return on an underdog for more of a cushion.

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Finding value

The single most important thing to be aware of when you are betting on baseball is the amount of risk you are assuming when you make a bet. When you bet on football or basketball you are typically dealing with standard -110 odds, so you have to bet $110 to win $100. That means that you can easily understand the amount of risk and the percentage of bets you must win to make a profit. When you are playing the money line it's not quite that simple. If you were to win 60 percent of your bets while playing the point spread in the NFL then you would make a solid profit. If you were to pick winners at the same rate while laying -150 in MLB then you would go broke. You would have to win at least 60 percent of your bets at -150 just to break even. To make a sound bet on baseball, then, you have to not only consider which team is going to win, but if it is going to win often
enough to be profitable over the long run at the given odds.

Baseball can be more tricky then other sports to predict. There’s more to
calculate and the line movements as well as betting opportunities are different than most sports out there. For this reason, having a profitable baseball system is a must.

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