Many handicappers love the excitement and challenge that come with baseball bets. With many different types of baseball bets, bettors have multiple options on how they want to bet the games, and can find strategies and bet types that work best for them. Here’s a look at the most common types of baseball bets.
Money Lines – The most straightforward type of bet, mlb money lines is simply betting on which team will win the game outright. While some evenly-matched games may feature two teams with the same juice at -110 each (bet $110 to win $100), far more often there is a clear favorite and underdog. Popular teams like the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox are sometimes favorites up into the -300 (bet $300 to win $100) range against lowly opponents, who sometimes get into the +250 (bet $100 to win $250) range as big underdogs.
Over/Unders – Bookmakers set a total for every game, and bettors wager on whether the total amount of runs scored between the two teams will go over or under that set total. Games featuring great starting pitchers and bad offenses often have totals as low as 6.5, while games expected to have a lot of offense are set as high as 11. Unlike moneyline bets that are still action in the event that a winner is decided via rainout, all over/under baseball bets must go the full nine innings to count. So even if a bettor has the Over and enough runs have been scored to go over the total, the bet will be graded as no action if it is cut short due to weather.
Run Lines – The most popular alternative to money line betting is wagering on run lines, in which bettors wager on a side with a set point spread of either -1.5 or +1.5. Instead of betting heavy chalk on big favorites on the moneyline, bettors can instead bet them -1.5 (meaning they must win by at least two) for a lot less juice. Bettors can also take on more juice to bet underdogs +1.5, earning them a win whether the underdog wins outright or loses by one run. Like Over/Unders, these wagers are only action if the game goes the full nine innings.
Point Spreads – While -1.5/+1.5 is the standard “runline”, many books offer other point spreads of 2.5 or 3.5 with much more exaggerated odds. Underdog bettors looking for added insurance or favorite bettors that are confident that their side will win comfortably can utilize these larger spreads.
Parlays – A baseball parlay is a bet in which two or more baseball sides are selected, and all must win for the parlay to pay off. The more events that are chosen, the more the parlay pays if it is successful. Popular baseball parlay strategies include moneyline and semi-correlated parlays. Money line parlays that select multiple heavy favorites allow for a bettor payoff than betting each favorite alone would, assuming they all win. Semi-correlated parlays include betting a moneyline and an Over/Under in the same game, such as a side with a great starting pitcher and the Under, assuming the game will be low-scoring with this pitcher on the mound.
Proposition – Also known as “prop” bets, propositions are a wide range of bets on various elements of baseball games including player and team statistics. For example, bettors can often bet an Over/Under on how many hits a batter will have, or strikeouts a pitcher will have. One of the most popular prop bets in baseball betting is the R + H + E wager, where bettors bet an Over/Under on the total amount of runs, hits, and errors in a game.
Grand Salamis – Before the day’s action starts, many books offer a grand salami wager, in which all of the day’s Over/Under totals are added together and bettors can bet on whether the combined runs scored over the entire day will be over or under the posted total.
First Five Innings – A great option for bettors that don’t want to deal with bullpens, this type of wager only factors in the first five innings of a game. Since most starting pitchers tend to go at least five innings per start, the elite ones often have higher juice on these bets.