Baseball run line betting is a relatively new and an increasingly popular type of baseball bet. A run line is basically a combination of a point spread and a money line. When betting on baseball run lines, you are betting by how many runs will a certain team win or lose in a game. In sports like football or basketball a point spread could be quite large. In baseball there is much less scoring and the run lines are almost always 1.5 and on a rare occasion 2.5. By betting on a 1.5 run line you are betting that your team will win by 2 runs or more, or lose by one run or more.
Let’s use an example of a popular baseball rivalry, Boston Red Sox versus the New York Yankees. On a regular money line the odds might appear as:
- Red Sox (+160)
- Yankees (-140)
As you might remember from our Money Line Baseball Betting Explanation, if you bet $100 on the Red Sox, you’ll win $160; if you bet on the Yankees, you need to bet $100 to win $140.
Baseball run lines will change the money lines to something like:
- Red Sox +1.5 (-120)
- Yankees -1.5 (+110)
If you bet on the Red Sox run line, you are betting that they will win or lose by exactly 1 run. You would then bet $120 to win $100. If you bet on the Yankees, you are betting that they will win by 2 or more runs. You would then bet $100 to win $110. From our Baseball Over/Under Betting explanation you might know that the .5 is used to help eliminate any possibility of a tie and a “push” (where the sportsbook has to return the bets to the bettors).
Sometimes you will notice that the money line odds will not change so much for one of the teams when switching to the run line. This will usually happen to a home team, which will not bat in the bottom of the ninth inning if they are leading by 1 run. On the other hand, the visiting team will continue to bat throughout the ninth inning even if they’re ahead.
Run lines are not always available. If a game is matched very evenly there won’t be any run lines to bet on a sportsbook. When that happens, a bettor can bet on the game via regular money lines.
Baseball Run Line Betting Tips
A bettor who is on a budget and does not want to bet a lot of money on a favorite can bet on baseball run lines. This is because betting on a favorite in regular money lines is more expensive than betting on a favorite via money lines (as can be seen in the above example). So, for example, if you don’t want to spend $300 to bet on the favorite Phillies (-300 line), then you can bet on its money line, which will be far more affordable (like -130). Thus, the 1.5 run line risk might be justified since this favorite is much more likely to win.
Another good baseball run line wagering strategy is to look at the over/under lines (see our baseball over/under betting explanation), which predicts the amount of total runs scored in a game. This way, if a sportsbook predicts that if total runs will be 15, then it is likely that a run line will be higher than 1.5 runs. If a sportsbook predicts that total runs will be 6, then it is likely that a run line will be less than 1.5 runs.
All of the above considered, make sure you do your homework on the particular bet you want to make at our online betting website list, and then you can bet on baseball run lines.