With the 2023 Major League Baseball season right around the corner, there will be plenty of fans looking to get in on the sports betting action. There are plenty of different ways to bet on baseball. We took the time to break down the different types of wagers in order to help get you ready. Here is a look at some of the most popular ways to bet on baseball.
The simplest and most popular way to bet on baseball is to simply choose a winner on the moneyline. For example, if the New York Yankees were playing the Boston Red Sox, a line would be set for both teams depending on a range of factors including pitching, hitting, home field advantage and the number of money that has already been wagered on both sides.
In this example, let’s pretend the Yankees are the home team and favorite at -150 odds on the moneyline. Meanwhile the Red Sox are the underdog at +140. If you wanted to bet New York on the moneyline, you would have to risk $140 to win $100. Or $280 to win $200 and so on. If you wanted to bet Boston, you would only have to risk $100 to win $140. Or you could bet $200 to win $280 and so on.
The 5-inning lines only they use the score of the game after five innings. That's used to determine the outcome of the wager because this is kind of like a half-game line.
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For example, if the Yankees and Red Sox were playing then a 5-inning wager would simply require picking one or the other to win after five innings. The score after five innings represents the final score for that wager. Therefore, if Boston led 3-2 after five innings, anybody that took them on a 5-inning moneyline would win. The 5-inning wager puts more importance on the starting pitcher matchup. A lot of times, bettors get burned by bullpens. In the 5-inning line, the starting pitchers factor more heavily that bet.
The second most popular baseball bet is the total, which is also known as the over/under wager. When betting baseball totals, you are betting on the combined final score. You're wagering whether or not the total score of the game will be above or below the line set by the sportsbooks. If the Yankees and Red Sox were playing, the totals might be set at Yankees/Red Sox Over-9.5 (-110). On the other side, it might look like Under 9.5 (-110).
Therefore, anybody that wants to bet on the totals will have to decide whether or not they think the final score will be more or less than nine combined runs with 10 or more scoring for the Over and nine or fewer scoring for the Under. The juice for the totals is often set at -110. The sportsbooks will move the juice up or down depending on the wagers they take or which result they think is more likely.
The run lines are a lot like the spreads you see when betting on the NFL and NBA. In essence, the run line is an alternative to the money line in which you can bet a team to win by more than one run or less by less than two runs. If we were to use the example listed above, we could make the Yankees -1.5 run (+200) on the run line. On the other side, the Red Sox +1.5 (-220).
Under these circumstances, New York would become the underdog rather than the favorite since they would have to win the game by at least two runs in order to cover the run line. Boston would only have to lose by one run or less to cover at +1.5, so the price to bet them on the run line would be a lot different than if you were betting on them to win the game straight up.
Future & Season Win Totals
The majority of best sportsbooks offer the season win totals for every single team in baseball based on their projections for next season. For example, say the Kansas City Royals win total is set at 87. Therefore, if you think they will win more than 87 games, you bet the over. If you think they will win less than 87 games, you can bet on the under.
There are also futures odds posted for division winners and World Series winners if you would like to bet on a team you are confident in to do some serious damage this season. In the past, all future and season win total bets had to be in before Opening Day. Nowadays, the best betting sites will adjust the lines regularly and re-hang them. That way, you can keep betting them throughout the season.