With Spring finally upon us, baseball betting season is about to begin. What’s considered to be the most profitable sport for keen bettors, baseball is popular in more than just America. Countries in South America and East Asia also have their own leagues, teams, famous players, and large betting markets. Aside from its worldwide coverage, baseball betting is loved because it’s one of the more beatable wagers.
However, you won’t immediately start raking in the winnings overnight. The most popular league in the US – Major League Baseball – is a long and drawn out season with 2,430 games played in a season. While this may mean that you have ample betting opportunities and time to study what’s going on, it also means you’ll have to keep up-to-date with the latest developments. To become successful at baseball betting, you have to keep analysing what’s going on.
In our guide to baseball betting, we’ll be taking a brief look at how the game works, some popular bets to make, and helpful baseball betting tips to help you refine your online betting baseball strategies.
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This is just a basic breakdown of how baseball works. There are two teams of nine players each. They either play offence – this team bats – or defense – they play the field.
It’s about the offensive batter hitting the ball the defensive pitcher throws. If the batter is successful at hitting the ball, he runs around the bases with the goal of making it to home base. It’s the goal of the defensive team to prevent the batter from making it around all the bases. They can do this in two ways:
- The pitcher strikes out the batter: if a batter misses the ball three times he’s out. This is when the team’s switch sides with the defense taking the bat.
- The defense can catch the ball after the batter hits it: they can also try to tag the player before he reaches a base.
An inning is when each team has had the chance at batting and fielding. There are nine innings to a game but they can also go for extra innings in the event of a tie.
Let’s take a look at some of the more popular bets in baseball betting. Take note that baseball lines tend to focus on money line bets.
Money Line Bets
Baseball is known as a money line sport where it’s about picking who wins the game. This is the most basic baseball bet out there but it’s sounds easier than you think. Since most baseball teams aren’t evenly matched, these bets hardly pay off at even odds while these odds are decided by the match-up.
Sportsbooks will write up the baseball lines for money line baseball betting like this:
|Texas Rangers +210 Pitcher: Tony Barnette|
|Chicago Cubs -170 Pitcher: Dario Alvarez|
The oddsmaker’s favorite team to win will have the minus sign next to it before the odds. While the underdog is the one with the plus sign. In this example the Chicago Cubs are the favorites and you’ll have to bet $170 to win $100. In the case of the under dogs – the Texas Rangers – you’ll win $210 if you bet $100.
Remember, the odds are dependent on the starting pitcher of the game in money line baseball betting. If the pitcher changes before the game starts, so will the odds.
This bet is on predicting what the final sum total of point scored in that baseball game will be. You can compare it to an over/under bet in other sports like football.
Baseball sportsbooks will publish a totals bet like this:
|Texas Rangers +210 Pitcher: Tony Barnette|
|Chicago Cubs -170 Pitcher: Dario Alvarez|
The over/under for a baseball game is places after the @ symbol. In this example, the total score you’re betting will be over or under is 8.
Look at the offensive strength of both teams and compare it to the over/under to look for profitable betting situations.
This bet is about predicting any possible events. In baseball betting, the most common futures bet is on who will win the World Series championship. Futures are taken months in advance of the actual season. However, the odds may be long, the payout is huge.
You’ll find futures bets listed at your favorite sports betting site like this:
|Cleveland Indians +800|
The number after the team’s name is the amount you’ll win if you bet $100 on the Indians winning the event bet on.
However, be aware that with this bet type, your money is tied up in one bet for the whole season. also, the odds of winning a futures bet are very very low.
In baseball betting, a parlay bet is betting on the outcome of multiple games, usually between two and 12. The trick with this bet type is that you have to win every bet in that bet for it to be a successful parlay. Make one mistake and you lose the whole parlay. However, in the situation of a push, the leg no longer counts.
You don’t only have to bet on who will win the game. Parlay bets can also be placed on totals, or can be combined to form a money line bet and totals bet on the one game or another game.
Parlaying bets means that you’ll win a much larger payout than placing multiple single bets.
Check out the MLB betting guide:
Commonly known as prop bets, you’re betting on whether a specific event will happen. The most popular prop bet in baseball betting is on who will win the division. They are listed like the futures bets.
Another prop bet you might find is how many wins a specific team will have in the season. For instance, the Texas Rangers might have an over/under of 88.5 games. A bet over will win if they have 89 wins. While an under bet will win if they win 88 games or less.
Check out our other sports betting guides:
Considered as one of the most profitable sports to bet on in America, baseball betting does require some dedication and skill. That’s why we’ve asked our baseball experts at BestUSSportsBetting.com for their best baseball betting tips.
- Avoid Big Favorites
Oddsmakers know that recreational bettors love the favorites and will capitalize on popular perception and shade their lines according to it. Teams like the Yankees, Cubs, and Red Sox among others will be overpriced.
- Take Advantage of Plus-Money Underdogs
To make money betting on baseball, you can get away with a below 50%-win rate if you avoid the big favorites and always make plus-money bets on the underdogs. Most noteworthy is that even if the underdogs lose, you only lose what you risked. But, when they win, you get more money than you put in.
- Bet Against the Public
Those who are recreational bettors tend to bet with their gut and heart, picking their home team or favorite popular franchise. Also, they tend to bet on who won the last game. By going against the grain, you’ll be able to capitalize on bias and the artificially inflated numbers set by sportsbooks. Furthermore, always place yourself on the side of the house – it always wins.
- Follow Reverse Line Movement
Another addition to your baseball betting strategies should be the reverse line movement or RLM. Basically, it’s when the betting line moves in the opposite direction of the betting percentage. For instance, the Sox open -150 against the Rangers (who are at +130). The Sox are getting 75% of money line bets. But then you see them fall from-150 to -135 while the Rangers move to +115 from +130. Why did the betting site drop the line to give Sox bettors a better number? That’s because sharp action came in on the Rangers. Even though they have 25% of the bets, the line moved in their favour.
- Focus on Divisional Dogs
Because teams in the division play against each other 19 times per year, it levels the playing field which benefits the underdog. Dogs in divisional games have produced more units than those outside. They seem to perform even better when they’re road teams (public bias leans towards home teams).
- Know the Weather
Factor in the weather, especially the wind. Here, seems to increase units when it’s blowing at 5 MPH or more.
Mother Nature can turn home runs into warning track outs when the wind blows in, helping the dogs. While, the wind can change fly balls into homers when it blows out, benefiting overs.
- Also, Know the Umpires
Knowing who the umpire is can help you exploit tendencies. Some cave under pressure and are easily influenced by the crowd. Meanwhile, other umpires love getting hate and benefitting the road team. An umpire’s tendencies can also influence the number of walks, runs, and strikeouts.
- Shop for the Best Baseball Line and Use Reduced Juice Sportsbooks
The biggest mistake you as a bettor could make is to rely solely on one sportsbook. Our experts recommend having accounts with multiple betting sites which will give you more options when it comes to picking the best betting lines.
- Embrace Volume Betting
Remaining disciplined and restricting your plays to the most valuable games of the day is a good strategy. But you’ll be happy to know that baseball is one of the few sports where volume betting equals more money in the bank. Put more bets in throughout the season and you’ll see increased profits.
- Manage Your Bankroll & Avoid Parlays and Teasers
The only way that you can become a successful bettor is if you know how to manage your finances. You shouldn’t be spending more than 5% of your bankroll on a single bet. Learning how to manage your money well is the key to long-term success.
Also, avoid playing parlay bets and teasers. Sportsbooks make most of their money off these types of bets. It’s hard enough getting one bet right, let alone 10.