Betting on major league baseball is booming. In 2016 it was estimated that the US $55n billion was bet worldwide on Major League Baseball, and that figure is growing, although not all these bets were placed through legal markets. With such a demand, there are no shortage of experts and pundits providing advice on which team, players or even score on which to bet. However, for the uninitiated, how do you make sense of it all, and judge where to invest your hard-earned dollars?
The key concept behind betting on baseball is that, like ice hockey and soccer, it is principally a money line sport. When you bet a money line, you are usually wagering on one team or other to win outright. Odds will attach to both teams in a baseball game, with one usually the favorite by form, home-field advantage, head-to-head records, the strength of their roster or the
The main reason that baseball favors money line betting is that the scores in games tend to be low, with the result normally being determined by a handful of runs or fewer.This is different, for example, from football or basketball where the points system is much higher, and therefore, there are options for punters to bet on the spread between the scores of both the teams. With low scoring sports, the spread is much narrower.
One of the features of moneyline betting is that it favors the underdog. Betting on a money line favorite will always pay less if you are successful than if you go for the outsider. And backing favorites can be a risky strategy anyway. Even the best teams regularly lose 40% of their regular season games, so if you are just going to back the shortest priced team every time, you could find yourself seriously out of pocket come the end of the season.
One option that MLB offers is total betting which allows you to play a wager on the total number of runs that both teams in a game will score. Bookmakers will establish a betting line which will set a market for the total number of runs. The sports better than is wagering that the number of runs is under or over that number.
There is also the MLB run line which is a 1.5 spread attached to a game, BetFirm free mlb picks against the spread, a form of betting unique to the sport, where you can place a wager on the favored team to win by two, runs or more, or for the underdog to either lose by a single run or to win the game. With run line betting, a team listed as an underdog on the money line will see their odds get stronger on the run line, and could even become run line favorites.
Betting on the MLB is not confined to the playing season. There is healthy Futures betting market where bookmakers will set odds on who will win the World Series next year, and who will have a strong playoff run. These odds are adjusted constantly as the relative strength of team changes -who gets traded, who do they pick-up in the draft, who is injured etc. For those prepared to take a chance on a relative longshot, they can get good odds on them doing well in 2018.
However, before you bet on any sport, it is best remembering that you rarely see a poor oddsmaker. While betting can be fun, bookies will almost certainly know more than you when they set a price on a score or a result. You can beat them two, or even three times out of ten, but they are likely to end up with more of your dollars then you get from them.