Online Baseball Betting Guide
Introduction to Baseball Betting - Baseball is widely known as America’s Pastime, and most people associate the sport with the United States. The game is incredibly popular in America, and annual attendances have been as high as nearly 80 million in recent years, generating in excess of $6 billion in revenue. It is an enormous part of American life for many residents of the country, and baseball betting sites are extremely popular.
The popularity of baseball in the States has never quite been replicated across the world, although there are other regions where it is has fanatical support. In both Cuba and Japan, for example, baseball is also considered the national sport, and in Canada the game has a large following. Some European countries have professional leagues, which attract a fair amount of interest.
Despite the incredible love for the game in the United States, and other parts of the world, betting on baseball is much less common than on some other sports. This is somewhat strange as many seasoned sports bettors believe baseball is one of the easiest sports to turn a profit on. There is also a phenomenal amount of games played each year, providing many betting opportunities at baseball betting sites.
Where To Bet On Baseball Online
It is therefore assumed that many people are put off betting on baseball simply because they don’t know how to. It is, however, relatively simple, and online baseball betting doesn’t take long to learn.
Betting On Major Events And Baseball Leagues
Far and away the most famous baseball competition is the American World Series. The World Series is the culmination of a baseball season that is contested by all the Major League Baseball (MLB) teams. These teams are divided into the American League and the National League, and each league is formed by three divisions (East, West and Central). The six divisional champions all progress to the playoffs, along with two wild card teams.
Most of the baseball leagues around the world follow a similar format of being split into two top leagues. Japan, for example has the Central League and Pacific League, while Cuba has the West League and East League. For more info on betting on professional baseball, check out our MLB (Major League Baseball) betting guide for a complete breakdown of all types of bets that can be made specifically on Major League Baseball games.
Types of Baseball Bets and Wagers
Betting on baseball is a lot simpler than many think. The most common bets are the moneyline bet and the run line bet, and most major online bookmakers will provide markets for these bets. We’ve explained these types of bets and a couple of others below.
- Moneyline Bet - This is an incredibly straightforward bet and probably the easiest way to bet on baseball. For a moneyline bet, an online bookmaker will have set a moneyline and you place your bet according to who you think will win a match. For example, Team A might be set at -200 and Team B at +180. If you place a $100.00 bet on Team A to win and your wager wins, then your winnings will be $50.00 and your original stake is of course returned. A winning bet of the same amount on Team B would return a total of $280.00, with $180 in winnings.
- Run Line Bet - The run line bet is a combination of a point spread bet and a moneyline bet. However, in baseball, the spread is nearly always 1.5. The favorite team will be -1.5 and the underdog will be +1.5. The bookmaker will then set a moneyline based on this handicap. If you bet on the favorite with a run line bet, then you need your selection to win by 2 runs or more for your bet to be successful. If you are betting on the underdog, then a win for the underdog or a loss by just one run will be enough for you to win your wager.
- Futures/Outright Bet - A futures bet, also known as an outright bet, in baseball will usually involve selecting who will win a particular division, or even the World Series. You basically choose which team you will think will win and place your wager accordingly.
- Totals or Over/Under Bet - This is another simple bet that is popular among baseball bettors. This type of bet is a wager based on the total runs scored in a game. The online bookmaker will predict an estimated total of runs for the game, and you just bet on whether you think the actual runs scored will be higher or lower than the prediction.
- Proposition Bets – Wagers on individual player performances, includes strikes outs for pitchers, total hits and/or runs batted in for hitters, and will often pit players from different teams against each other. Other props include who may score first, short term totals wagers, and many more options.
Betting Baseball At Online Sportsbooks
Baseball betting is available at nearly every sportsbook online, but just choosing the first online bookie with baseball lines isn’t a wise choice for bettors. There are a number of things to look for when it comes to betting baseball online. We’ll go over what to look for in an online baseball sportsbook in our sections below.
Watch Overnight Lines
Overnight baseball lines are not common practice at most online sportsbooks, because bettors can really put a hurting on books if they bet before a market correction the next day. Even online bookmakers who do offer overnight lines will normally have night limits in effect, which restrict the amount a bettor can place the night before the games of the next day.
Why are overnight lines relevant? It allows bettors to get a jump on the next’s day action before the lineups are released, or capitalize on an early injury report before others. Bettors who desire overnight lines should be sure to check that the book they desire offers them before depositing. Also, the night limits offered could be substantially lower than the regular max bet, so being aware of the exact amount may be important – especially if you are a larger bettor.
Dime Lines Offer Value
While overnight lines may be important, they are nothing compared to dimes lines. Dime lines will save bettors a staggering amount of money in the long run.
Dime lines are easily explained as when the difference between the underdog and the favorite is 10 points in the line. Also, called 10 cent lines, betting at a baseball at book that offers these lines is crucial. They will save bettors money – no matter which side they wager on. Let’s look at an example.
- Tean A -130
- Team B -140
This is an example of a baseball matchup with dime lines; the total difference between the underdog and the favorite is just a 10 point difference in the line.
- Team C -210
- Team D +185
This is not a dime line. The odds differential between the favorite and the underdog is a whopping 25 points.
It’s easy to see how this can add up over a long season. If you are daily baseball bettor – dime lines are an absolute must. You’ll easy save yourself thousands in betting fees over the course of a season.
Many online bookies offer dime lines to bettors, but be sure to read the fine print or check the odds when a book advertises that they provide dime lines. They may only provide them up to a certain odds threshold, such as -200 or below. Above that they may offer 20 cent lines or in some cases even larger differences between favorites and underdogs. When bettors bet with dime lines, they simply save money on every bet placed.
Look For Variety
Many bettors just like to bet sides and totals, but as online gambling expands, sports betting sites continue to add more options for bettors. Many online books have a vast selection of wagers available for baseball and have lists of props for each and every game. 5 inning lines, futures, and other exotics are all options for bettors. Research your prospective sportsbook before depositing, and weigh their baseball betting market offerings, bonuses, customer service and payout record.
Online Baseball Betting Tips and Strategy
Baseball betting has its ins and outs, just like any other sport. Baseball bettors can be selective with their plays because there is nearly an unlimited supply of games to bet on – every team has a 162 game schedule, and the betting ticket is a dozen or more games most nights. Here, are some tips to get you started betting America’s pastime.
Consider The Weather
Weather is a factor to consider when betting baseball. The wind at a ballpark the most decisive factor, as a strong wind can really have an effect on how far the ball will travel. A warning track fly ball can easily turn into a deep home run if the wind is blowing out into the outfield. Of course, the opposite is true as well, wind blowing in can seem to make the balls die in the outfield and help the pitchers’ causes.
Temperature is also important. Teams seem to start off slow in April a lot of times because of the cold weather – not only do baseball players not like playing in the cold, the ball does not travel as far in cold weather. Warm air is thinner than cold air, and when the dog days of summer hit, the baseballs will truly began flying off the bats better than they have all year.
There is no excuse for not checking the weather report of a game before betting, these reports are available at dozens of sites, and will provide real-time updates and predictions for the day’s games.
Be Careful With Large Favorites
Favorites in baseball can quite pricey, especially if a talented team’s ace is on the mound, and they are facing a weak offense. The odds for these teams can easily be -200 or higher. Though, it looks like a “lock” on paper – that likely isn’t the case for the price a bettor must pay to wager on these mega favorites.
Baseball more than any other game is full of short term luck – that’s why they each team plays 162 games a year. The best pitcher in baseball, with a formidable offense backing him may face the one of the worst pitchers on the worst teams, and guess what? The ace is still only about 70% favorite to win the game, and those are only when the conditions are near perfect.
A -200 bet has a breakeven percentage of about 68%, so bettors will need to win their bet nearly 70% of the time to even breakeven – we’re not even talking about showing a profit. Favorites at prices even higher than -200 will be even tougher to profit from betting from.
How do you profit with these large favorites? You simply don’t bet them. Short term variance is just too critical of a factor to make large favorites profitable. There is a lot more value from going after + odds underdogs or moderately priced favorites.
Pitching Knowledge Is An Advantage
MLB betting is centered around pitching lines, and an extensive knowledge of pitchers is crucial for any baseball bettor. Not just know the pitchers themselves, but how certain teams fare against each type of mound opponent. Strikeout pitchers, power pitchers, fly ball and ground ball pitchers, etc. Certain players and teams may uncommonly struggle against left handers – so lefty starter s may be worth an extra look against certain teams.
Knowledge of basic minor league pitching may also help – especially late into the season. Many clubs will bring up touted pitching prospects, and knowledge of the minor league system can help you decide whether to gamble on these guys.
Pitchers who consistently pound the strike zone may be worth more than those are flashy or seeking strikeouts.
Since it is only a one game, a pitcher who has a more consistent track record might be better to bet on than one who is hit or miss. The reliable starter might not get a dazzling start, but he will usually keep bettors in the ball game.
With that said, bettors still need to go beyond the starting pitcher. The bullpen, umpire charts, and team defense should all be factor bettors consider when making a bet.
Ballpark Knowledge Helps
Baseball is unique from other sports because a team can virtually do whatever they want when they build their home park. In most other sports, the differences will be small, maybe a dome stadium or a different type of turf – in Baseball the difference can be gigantic.
Petco Park the home park of the San Diego Padres is notoriously known as an ultra pitcher’s park. The balls die in the outfield, and it is a truly a pitcher’s dream, but at the same time is a hitter’s nightmare. The reverse is true for Yankee Stadium or Fenway Park, which are complete bandboxes. The balls seem to fly off the bat, and runs are aplenty.
If you’re a big fan of baseball, you have likely heard of Sabermetrics. These are stat algorithms that go beyond the basic numbers of the game, and can judge teams and players based on a number of categories. Advanced pitching and hitting metrics will help players to find hidden value in the lines. These stat programs are the future of baseball – whether the old time purists like it or not. Understanding them will help bettors to understand teams and players better, and will help them be more efficient in spotting value in the lines.
Bet Every Day
Hold up – we’re not advocating betting more games just for the sake of action, betting over your bankroll or betting more than you can afford. We’re simply saying that betting every day keeps you in the swing of things, and improves your knowledge of how the oddsmakers’ pricing.
Even if, you don’t bet every day, make it a point to watch some baseball or at least read the summaries and box scores from each game. Staying in the loop with the happenings of the league will help you not to miss an obvious edge and will improve your knowledge of the game and players.