Baseball betting consists primarily of two types of wagers: moneyline bets and run line bets. Although the differences between the two appear to be slight, they’re not. We’re about to tell you all about MLB run line odds.
The more closely you examine them, the more you recognize their complexity. If you ask baseball bettors which they prefer, you'll get a lot of different answers. The key lies in understanding MLB run line odds and how they compare to moneyline odds.
– There is a connection between MLB run line odds and game totals.
– Successful bettors understand the correlation between moneyline and run line odds.
MLB Moneyline Odds
A moneyline wager is the easiest for any bettor even if you’re just learning how to bet on baseball. With a moneyline wager, all you have to do is predict which team will win a game. If you are correct, you win the bet.
The amount that a bettor wins on a moneyline bet is determined by the odds. Moneyline odds are set by oddsmakers at a given sportsbook. MLB bettors have to understand these odds and how they work.
For instance, a game’s favorite will have negative odds. For example, the Reds are favored to beat the Pirates. The Reds’ odds are -135. What this means is that a bettor will win $0.74 for every $1.00 that is wagered. These odds are based on 100, so a bettor that wagers $135 wins $100.
On the other side of the bet, the underdog is usually given positive odds. In our example, let’s say the Pirates were given +115 odds to win. What this means is that a bettor will win $1.15 for every $1.00 wagered. If the bettor lays out $100 and the Pirates win, he will pocket $115.
MLB Run Line Odds
The run line is similar to the moneyline, but there is an exception. When betting on the favorite, the favorite must win by two or more runs. On the other side of the bet, a bettor can win if an underdog loses by one run or wins outright.
The MLB run line is similar to the NHL’s puck line. It’s the equivalent of the point spread in football and basketball. Scoring is not as prolific in baseball and hockey as it is in football and basketball. Therefore, oddsmakers establish a run line in hockey of 1.5.
The favorite is listed at -1.5 with odds associated with the bet. The same is true for the underdog, which is listed at +1.5.
Bettors should note that MLB run line odds may favor the favorite more often. In our Pirates -Reds example, the Reds might be given odds of +105 to cover the run line. Roughly 30 percent of all MLB games end with a scoring margin of one run.
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Moneyline or Run Line?
Deciding which bet to place can be difficult when handicapping baseball. There are some things to consider when making the choice. One of those is the location of the game.
Road teams cover the runline more often than home teams. That is because home teams do not bat in the bottom of the ninth inning if they are ahead. Home teams end up with one fewer at-bat than road teams.
Now, this doesn’t mean that you always bet road favorites on the run line. It also doesn’t mean that you never bet on home favorites to cover. It simply means that bettors should take a long look at MLB run line odds and where a game is being played before making a decision.
Relationship Between MLB Run Line Odds & Moneyline Odds
A given game's runline and moneyline are loosely related, but there are a variety of potential runlines for a given moneyline. It's not like a particular moneyline always has a specific runline associated with it.
The two different lines are set in accordance with a game's specific characteristics. The lines are free to move independently in response to market pressures once they are set.
Contrary to what some may believe, the runline does not always have less value than the moneyline. To determine where the value is, you must compare the two lines and see where they differ.
Due to the many variables, it is very difficult to convert a moneyline to a run line precisely. However, there is a good general rule of thumb to understand how the lines relate.
Handicappers will use the following as a guide. If the home team is favored, adjust the moneyline by 90 cents to get an idea of where the MLB run line odds should be. For example, a -130 moneyline should have a run line of roughly -1.5 (+160).
If the road team is favored, adjust the odds by 55 cents. With the Pirates at +115 in our example, the adjustment would make Pittsburgh a +1.5 underdog at odds of -140. This is just an estimate, but it can help give a bettor an idea of how MLB run line odds compare to moneyline odds.
When you analyze the odds for a given game, you will be able to spot value when your calculations and the real odds are completely out of whack. That’s where you’ll find value.
Wagering on MLB totals and betting the run line are somewhat related. A game's posted total has a significant influence on a run line and must be taken into consideration when making betting decisions. When playing in a game with a total of 11, it is much simpler for a team to win by two runs than when the total is 7.
A team can afford to concede more runs and still win by two when more runs are anticipated in a game. Although the total is taken into account when MLB run line odds are calculated, you still need to take it into account when making betting decisions.
Find the Value
Value is the most crucial component in all sports wagering. MLB run lines are no exception. If you read sports betting discussion boards, you'll see a variety of people making sweeping statements telling you to never bet on the run line.
Those statements are untrue. Long-term winners in betting don't stick to one type of wager blindly. Instead, they identify the advantages and disadvantages of each potential wager and conduct an analysis to determine where the best value is. That’s how you find success in sports betting.