BASEBALL BETTING GUIDE
Baseball is the classic sport of summer and typically offers the most games to bet on per season, compared to other sports. More games mean more opportunities to bet, so make sure you know your stuff before putting your hard-earned cash on the line. Here are some key takeaways to make sure you get the most out of your baseball betting:
3 popular markets in baseball:
A bet on which team will win.
A bet on whether the total number of runs will fall over or under a stated number. Also known as ‘Total’ betting.
A bet on whether one team’s score will beat or cover an assigned Point Spread handicap or margin. Baseball’s version of a Point Spread.
- Run Lines are often (but not always) set to 1.5 which avoids ‘Push’—forcing the favourite to have to win by 2 or more runs to ‘beat’ the spread.
- North America’s major pro baseball league has a regular season of about 162 games per team, or over 2,400 games. It’s also the exclusive baseball league for PROLINE+.
Every choice you make when betting on baseball has associated odds that tell you which bet is more likely to win, and what the payout could be if it does.
Above is a quick example of decimal odds, the default odds on PROLINE+. A decimal figure like 1.58 or 2.50 on a betting line means you’re dealing with decimal odds. The amount in the decimal figure tells you your potential payout, and whether you’re betting on the favourite or the underdog:
- Potential payouts are calculated by multiplying your wager amount with the decimal odds. E.g., A winning $10 bet with odds of 2.5 pays $25 (including the original bet).
- The higher number is the underdog, or the less likely outcome. A riskier bet with a higher potential reward.
- The lower number is the favourite, or more likely outcome. A safer bet with a lower potential reward.
Moneyline markets in baseball are simply about picking which team will win the game between an underdog and a favourite.
In this example, the odds tell us that Toronto is the underdog and Atlanta is the favourite. Making your Moneyline bet is as simple as selecting whichever team you think will win the game, outright. No need to worry about spreads or totals.
Bets on the favourite payout less if they win since that is the expected outcome. Bets on the underdog payout much more if they win since that outcome is less likely.
A Run Line is baseball’s version of a Point Spread market. It’s all about guessing whether one of the teams will score over or within an assigned handicap, usually of 1.5 (AKA the ‘spread’). Favourites are assigned a negative (-) Run Line, meaning they must win by at least the spread amount to win the Run Line bet. Underdogs are assigned a positive (+) Point Spread meaning they must win the game or lose by that amount or less to win the Run Line bet.
|RUN LINE (MATCH)|
Above is an example of a Run Line market. The run line (1.5) is the number beside each team’s name:
- Toronto is +1.5—if they lose by less than 1.5 points (or win the game), they win the run line bet
- Atlanta is -1.5—if they win by more than 1.5 points, they win the run line bet
From a betting perspective, the Run Line keeps a game competitive and interesting: an underdog team can lose the game but still win the spread. A favoured team must do more than just win and score beyond the spread. Ending the spread in 0.5 helps avoid a ‘Push’, since there are no half-runs in baseball.
An Over/Under bet is a prediction on whether the total number of runs scored in a game will go over or under a set total—which is why you’ll sometimes see them called ‘Total’ bets.
In the example above, you’re betting on whether the combined total score of both teams would add up to over or under 10.5. In this example, the odds are even, meaning each outcome is as likely as the other.
OTHER COMMON MARKETS & BET TYPES
Inning bets are simply choosing whether you think something will happen, or whether a score will be over or under a certain amount by, or within a certain inning. For example, you might bet on whether Cincinnati will score a run in the third inning. Or whether at least two runs will be scored in the 8th inning. Or who will win the inning. Inning bets are essentially a range of Prop Bets and Over/Under bets that revolve around different periods of play in the game.
A Parlay is a combination of selections on one bet slip. Each selection must win for the overall Parlay to win. The more selections you have in one Parlay, the less likely it is to win, so the bigger the payoff if it does. You can combine different markets (e.g., Moneylines, Run Lines, and Over/Under) from different games into the same Parlay Bet.
Combiboost: PROLINE+ offers a bonus multiplier when you add 4 or more eligible selections to any Parlay. If you win, the Combiboost will enhance your payout rate. Learn more about Combiboost.
Prop Bets or ‘props’ are a type of market for specific outcomes in a game (‘game props’) or outcomes related to a player’s performance (‘player props’). Prop bets are sometimes made as ‘yes/no’ or ‘either/or’ decisions, and in baseball can often intersect with other betting factors like point totals. Will one of the teams score a home run? Which player will score the first run of the game? Both are examples of Prop Bets.
PROLINE+ gives you the ability to bet on games as they’re happening, with dynamic odds that constantly update in response to what happens in the game. If [TEAM A] moves up 3 runs over [TEAM B] late in the game, the odds may shift to favour [TEAM A], giving you the chance to bet on a scenario you know is likely, but with a lower payoff if it wins.
KNOW THE SCHEDULES
Scheduling over a thousand games in a season isn’t easy. Sometimes leagues have to reschedule games or periods of play to make up for some that were cancelled or postponed. This might mean the teams involved have travelled long hours and gotten less rest. If you can reasonably assume a team may not be able to perform at 100 percent due to their schedule and travel distance, it’s possible that their opponent could have an edge.
KNOW THE TEAMS
Past performance is not a guarantee of how a team will do in the future, but there are some potentially reliable statistics that can inform who you think will win or lose. If one team has a consistently better performance in key areas like strikeouts, RBIs, or homeruns, then they might outperform in their next matchup. Of course, there’s always the chance of an underdog pulling off an upset, so use team stats with caution.
THINK ABOUT LOCATION
Home team advantage might sound like pure superstition, but serious research backs it up. For players, it can engender a positive mindset and improve focus on the game. Give consideration to the location of the game, but don’t bank on it as a guaranteed win.
SET A PERSONAL WIN LIMIT
It’s no fun to be up and then lose it all. Counter it by deciding on a win limit—the point at which you plan to walk away, even if you’re up. Some players set this at double their bankroll.
COMMON BASEBALL BETTING MISTAKES
NOT KNOWING THE LINEUPS
Imagine this: a team is on a winning streak, but tonight their star pitcher is out, so they’re more likely to underperform. If that happens, a Moneyline bet against them would have been a good bet. Knowing the lineups leading into a game can help you make an informed bet.
You can’t know for sure how players and teams will perform, but you can factor historical stats and game developments into your decision-making. That said, knowledge can only go so far—it’s not as powerful (or as fun) as the random chance of the game.
MISMANAGING YOUR BANKROLL
Not establishing a bankroll or planning how much you’re going to spend could result in betting more than you’d intended, which might take the fun out of things for you.
BETTING ONLY ON FAVOURITES
Baseball season features a ton of games, and it’s hard for even the best teams to maintain wins throughout the season. Keep that in mind if you’re planning on betting on the favoured team to win, especially if you’re used to betting on your personal favourite team.
TRACKING WINS AND FORGETTING LOSSES
People have a funny habit of remembering the good and forgetting the bad. Sometimes this carries through to their betting. Keep an accurate tally of how much you’ve won and lost for a truer sense of what you’re spending over time.