Baseball is one of the most popular sports to bet on in the casino and with 162 games for each team during the season, there is no shortage of action. It is different than football betting, however, so you need to be aware of the nature of the wagering. Since baseball runs only count as one point, scores are much closer than in football. Because of this, bettors typically place money line wagers, which entail picking one team “straight up” and don’t take into account the margin of victory.
To explain, say you bet on the New York Yankees (-140) against the Detroit Tigers (+120). A minus number next to the team’s name means that they are the favorite, while a plus indicates the underdog. Instead of a point spread bet that always pays out the same, these plus and minus numbers determine the odds of the money line wager and the amount that you will be paid out.
In our example, if you bet on the Yankees, -140 odds mean that you have to bet $14 dollars in order to win $10 (a total return of $24). For the underdog Tigers with +120 odds, a wager of $10 wins $12 (total return of $22. The Yankees’ return is larger in our example because we risked $14 instead of $10.)
Usually you will also encounter baseball bets that combine money line and point spread betting. But since point differentials are very small in baseball, these bets involve a “run line” that is always 1.5, while the payout odds change depending on the teams involved. Say you saw the following line:
Minnesota Twins +1.5 -140
Boston Red Sox -1.5 +120
Even though these are the same payouts as in the previous example, this bet is much different. Here, the Twins are actually the underdog and the Red Sox are the favorite. The plus and minus signs on the 1.5 point spread are what determine this. If you bet the Twins, they can either win the game outright or lose by one run for your bet to be a winner. If you pick the Red Sox, they need to win by two or more runs; a one run victory results in a losing bet. The payouts work exactly the same as the money line wagers.
With money line betting, the lines given are always carefully chosen and adjusted so that the casino enjoys an edge on the game as a whole. The winning percentage you must achieve to win in the long term changes based on the odds that you take.
There is also usually an option to bet the over/under on total runs. This bet is usually paid off at 10 to 11 just like a standard point spread bet.
Bankroll Suggestions for Baseball
Baseball betting offers a lot of bang for your buck as games typically last three hours or more. A recreational bettor can get a lot of enjoyment out of a very small bankroll in comparison to other bets in the casino. To become a serious sports bettor trying to maximize your potential profit, however, you need to exercise very careful bankroll management.
A smart baseball bettor that wins in the long run never risks more than 2% of his total bankroll in one game. Over the course of an entire season, there will be large fluctuations. If you happen to bet on more favorites, you need to be able to keep up a high winning percentage to show a profit, because your payouts will be less than the amount you have to risk. Betting more underdogs will require a lower winning percentage because the risk is little but the payouts can be quite large. If you bet on favorites at -130, for example, you need to win 56.5% of your bets. On the other hand, wagering on underdogs at +130 would only require a winning percentage of 43.5%.
However, you should never choose your bets based solely on whether or not you want to bet underdogs or favorites. The only factor that will allow you to beat baseball betting in the long run is a deep knowledge of the teams and players that gives you an advantage over both the casino and the rest of the betting public.
Baseball Betting Tips to Grow Your Bankroll
Although there isn’t a point spread, the casino still adjusts the odds of the money line bets as the game approaches in order to even out the betting. If you know more than the general betting public, you will be able to find lines that have been altered by previous people’s action and give you an advantage.
If you want to become a successful baseball bettor, you need to learn a huge amount about the game by studying the latest news, player and team rumors, injuries, and game conditions. In baseball, the starting pitcher is so crucial to the outcome that you will often see the starting pitchers’ names included in the lines. Taking the time to do extra research on pitchers is a great way to help increase your edge.
It also can pay to specialize in a particular MLB division. If you know more about the AL Central than 99% of the general betting public, you will be able to identify lines where you will experience an advantage.
Also, refrain from picking your own favorite teams, as any loyalty will affect your judgment and hurt you in the long run. Be sure to find a casino that offers VIP programs and signup bonuses, as these factors can help you show a bigger profit for your baseball betting.
You can sign up at Bodog Sports and lay baseball wagers from the comfort of your own home.