Understanding How To Bet Baseball

Baseball is America's pastime. We all know the words to the seventh inning stretch. There's nothing quite like a nice summer day at the ballpark with a hotdog and cool drink. The only thing that makes baseball better is dropping a bet on your favorite team. And with sports gambling being legalized in more and more states, more players are having the opportunity to do just that and turn a regular baseball game into an even more exciting and thrilling one - and hopefully come out with a little money at the end!

Today, we're going to take a closer look at betting on baseball, explain some of the more popular bets and offer some helpful tips so that you can get the most out of your next baseball bet. Let's get to it!

Betting On Baseball: The Big Three

Baseball, like the other sports, has three main betting options players can choose from. However, one of them - the run line - is a little different than other sports. Let's take a closer look at all of them…

  • The Run Line

The run line bet is the baseball equivalent of the spread. But where a spread in basketball or football can vary from single digits to double digits, the run line in baseball is always set at 1.5. Why? Because baseball is a much lower scoring game and comes with more variance. Let's take a look at an example.

Team A, the favorite, will be -1.5 runs and Team B, the underdog, will be +1.5 runs. This works the same as a spread, meaning Team A will be laying 1.5 runs and Team B will be getting 1.5 runs. So if you place a bet on Team A at -1.5 runs, they need to win the game by MORE than 2 runs since they are laying 1.5. So if they win the game 4-1, you win! But if they only win the game 2-1 then your bet would lose.

If you bet on Team B at +1.5 then they could lose the game but you could still win your bet. If they lose by the score of 2-1 then you win! That's because you're getting 1.5 runs so the betting score would be 2.5-2 in favor of Team B. But if the lose by MORE than 2 runs you lose. If they win the game outright then you win the bet.

Because baseball is lower scoring and comes with more variance than other sports, betting run lines is tricky. They could easily go up in smoke quickly.

  • Money Line

A money line bet in baseball is the same as other sports. You don't need to worry about your team winning by a certain amount of runs, they just need to win the game outright. The money line odds in baseball are also similar to other sports. For example, the favorites will have odds listed like -150 or -170 while the underdogs will have odds listed like +150 or +170.

That means that if you place a bet on the favorite a -150, you need to risk $150 to win $100. That's because they are seen as the better team and the team more likely to win so the risk is lower.

A bet on the underdog at +150 means a bet of $100 will win you $150. That's because they are seen as the inferior team so if they were to win the payout would be bigger on a lower bet.

  • Over/Under

An over/under bet in baseball is betting on the COMBINED amount of runs scored. The oddsmakers will set the over/under based on the teams playing. If the two teams have good offenses then the over/under will be higher and if the two teams struggle with offense then the over/under will be lower.

So let's say the over/under is set at 7.5. That means if you bet the over you need the COMBINED amount of runs to be at least 8. If you bet the under, you need the COMBINED amount of runs to be 7 or less.

  • 1st 5 Innings

As we all know, there's no halftime in baseball like there is in basketball and football. But that doesn't mean you can't bet on 'half' of a baseball game. You can bet on the run line, money line and over/under for baseball games but ONLY on the first 5 innings. This is especially useful if you think an underdog might get off the a hot start but aren't confident they can hold on for the entire game. Place a 1st 5 inning bet on them and give yourself a better chance.

Game And Player Props

It wouldn't be sports gambling if there weren't any props! And baseball has both game and player props available to bet on…

  • Game Props

Game props are bets that don't have anything to do with the final outcome of the game. These are bets where you're betting on specific events to take place. Game props might be 'Which team will score first', 'will there be extra innings', 'which team will have more total hits'.

  • Player Props

Player props are bets on certain players achieving certain things. Player props could be things like 'Pitcher A throwing at least 7 strike outs', 'Player A having at least 2 hits', 'Player B having 2 or more RBIs'. One of the most popular player props is betting on certain players to hit homeruns. The odds are always nice and if you can get lucky, you're in line for a nice payout.

  • Props Tips

When placing prop bets on baseball make sure you look at the matchups between the pitchers and hitters. Some pitchers are dominant and can shut down good offenses, but other pitchers aren't and are vulnerable to giving up runs. Baseball plays a lot of games and it's a sport of averages so if you take a look at team and player averages, you'll get a good sense at how teams and players will preform.


There we have it! Our look at betting on baseball. As you can see, it's pretty much the same as the other major sports but with slight variations. So the next time you're ready to gamble, pick out a baseball game and try your luck!