Baseball is one of America’s oldest pastimes, and betting on Major League Baseball is an enterprise filled with subtle nuance, diverse elements and advanced statistical reasoning. There’s nothing quite like the crack of a wooden bat on a hot summer’s day, and the same holds true for making the right call on sharp MLB bets on the best MLB odds.
Founded in 1903, MLB has 30 teams split evenly across the American League and National League. Each team plays 162 games during the regular season before the AL and NL playoffs begin to determine which team from each league will be headed to the World Series. The World Series is a seven-game series played between the two pennant winners to determine the world champion.
The best safe and legal MLB betting sites like Unibet NJ include feature-rich markets which allow bettors to consider the diverse elements of each MLB game. Knowing how to bet on MLB games, how to look for the best MLB betting lines and where to find the best MLB betting sites is important to your online MLB betting experience.
Knowing how to bet on MLB games comes down to understanding run lines, moneylines and the over-under runs number set by the bookmaker.
Instead of the point spread as used in other sports, MLB betting uses the run line, which is essentially the same thing. The run line is a form of handicap betting—with a 1.5 line the usual offering from MLB betting sites—that lets you back the favorite to win by two runs or more or place a bet on the underdog losing by one run or winning the game outright.
When looking at a run line, the team with the minus symbol (-) is the favorite and the team with the plus symbol (+) is the underdog. An example:
Dodgers -1.5 | Phillies +1.5
The moneyline on MLB games is similar to other sports. It features two numbers that determine winnings for bets placed on either team to win outright. The favorite is noted by the negative number and is the dollar amount one bets in order to win $100. The underdog is noted by the positive number and is the dollar amount one wins on a $100 bet.
Dodgers -250 | Phillies +125
To win $100 on the Dodgers, a bettor must place a $200 stake on them to win the game outright. For bets on the Phillies, a $100 bet returns $125 if the underdog pulls the upset.
The over/under runs is a bet placed on the total number of runs scored by both teams. An over/under runs bet doesn’t have anything to do with who wins the game. It only has to do with whether the combined score is over or under the over/under runs number set by the bookmaker.
Dodgers vs. Phillies | O/U 7.5
A 7.5 over/under runs pays out for the over if the two teams score over 7.5 runs (example: Dodgers 7, Phillies 5). It pays out for the under if the teams score less than that (example: Dodgers 3, Phillies 1).
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The best online MLB sportsbooks offer a wide variety of MLB betting lines and markets. Moreover, because there are so many games during the long MLB season, there are also many chances to earn profits. Of course, there are also other specialized MLB betting markets to consider for your MLB betting portfolio including futures and prop bets.
Popular MLB futures bets include picking the eventual World Series winner, the AL and NL champions and the divisional titles. Player achievements, such as the MVPs and Cy Young winners from both the AL and NL, are also hot bets, as well as whether any player will pitch a perfect game during the entire season.
Baseball attracts people naturally interested in statistics and bettors have used these new paradigms to cash in with forward-thinking MLB betting strategies. It’s important to read up on all the different ways statisticians view the game of baseball in order to bolster the more traditional methods of sizing up teams which usually are based around the types of players they have, how the manager makes important decisions and how all of it works together to produce a winning product.
When forming a quality MLB betting strategy, it’s important to steer away from name bias and focus instead on statistical quantifications of performance. While box scores give a select amount of information to consider, the world of advanced statistics in baseball, which includes things like WAR, K/9, HR/9 and RSA, can help elevate a novice bettor to the major leagues of the betting world.
Baseball is a game of streaks and slumps. One month, a team will be hitting its stride and blasting through the competition. The next month, nothing seems to go right for them. It’s the same with individual players, too, so it’s important to pay close attention to how teams and players are doing with an eye toward looking for streaks and slumps.
Situational factors are perhaps greatest exemplified in the sport of baseball. Whether its the condition of the field, specific player matchups or just the amplified pressure of playing in a rivalry game, baseball is a team sport that often comes down to individual matchups between a pitcher and batter. These are the key situations that determine outcomes and there are many factors to consider and review.
The are many choices to make when coming up with your own MLB best bets. While single-game betting and World Series futures are tremendously popular bets, there are enough best MLB bets to choose from that anyone wanting to carve out their personal betting niche can find a place.
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A successful handicapper with more than a decade in the sports and gambling industry, Adam enjoys writing about (and playing) poker.