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You can make money betting on baseball if you follow a few guidelines, rules, and manage your bankroll. Betting on baseball is very much the same as betting on hockey and boxing. The common thread between these various sports is that the casinos set a “Moneyline” as opposed to the pointspread or “Line” which is commonly used when handicapping football and basketball.

Wagering on baseball and hockey is very different from football and basketball since not enough points are scored in these sports to make the point spread wager practicable. In baseball, the starting pitchers are so extremely important in foretelling the outcome of a game that baseball odds are posted with the starting pitchers specified. In cases when either starting pitcher is unlike the one specified on the casino board, the wager is cancelled and the wager is returned to the gambler.

Since betting baseball is made according to a moneyline, to bet on the favorite you will have to lay odds. This means that you will have to bet more than you hope to win, and if you bet on the underdog (dog) you will win more than you bet. The Casinos might list the board games this way:

Teams/Starting Pitchers Moneyline Over/Under O/U Moneyline Game Time
Atlanta (Maddux) -1.70 10.5o -1.50 9:00pm EST
Arizona (Johnson) +1.50 +1.30

Favorites will always be represented with a minus sign “-“ in front of a value, and underdogs, if they are represented, will always be represented by a plus sign “+” in front of a value.

You will notice that there is a $0.20 difference in the moneyline between the favorite Atlanta Braves and the dog Arizona Diamondbacks. This is how the casinos make money from sides, the winning and losing side, as opposed to the pointspread where the vigorish is made only from the winners. Casinos compete with each other for a gambler’s action by offering $0.15, $0.10 and even $0.05 lines. It is wise for the player to shop around for the best lines. Furthermore, you also have listed the over/under and the time that the game is being played.

In order to attempt and keep potential profit percentages the same for the house, the comeback on underdogs eventually will be more than a dime (a difference of 10). Different houses will adjust this comeback at different prices based on the favorite, but it will generally move to 15 cents at some point after a favorite moves past –1.50 (if the house moves to a 15 cent line at this point, the underdog bettors would then have a +1.35 price). The houses will move the line based on different levels, and a smart player will look for the best price.

Baseball totals are very straightforward; the number will be listed as 10u. This means that the total number of runs scored by both teams will be under 10 and will be followed by a moneyline. Total lines will often appear with either an over or under indication. If there is no indication of an over/under then that is considered a “flat” and the moneyline becomes –1.10.

The game must go nine innings, or 8 ½ if the home team is leading after that point. Games called before this point receive no action and the at-risk money is returned to the players.

There is also a “run line” which a player determines by how many runs a team must score to win. A 20-cent line is usually attached to this action. The same rules apply totals and run lines; the game must not be called early, and the listed pitchers must start.

An example of this line would be:
Teams Run Lines Moneyline
Atlanta Braves +1 ½ -1.40
Arizona Diamondbacks -1 ½ +1.20

When betting moneylines, like betting on football and basketball a percentage of games must be won to determine a profit. Regarding football and basketball you must win over 52.3% to show a profit. When betting using a moneyline when betting on a team in which the moneyline is –1.60 you must win over 61.7% of the time. However, on the other side of the coin when betting on a team in which the moneyline is +1.60 you must only win over 38.5% of the time to show a profit.

WHEN BETTING ON BASEBALL, TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION:

Have you checked out the new ballparks? Some of the stats that players used to get might not happen in a new arena. Some of the newer parks have certain features like the older parks that were around before the ‘cookie cutter’ ones were built. Therefore some of the players’ stats might not be useful in determining their actual performance. Another factor to consider when analyzing team performance is how well the team has done when playing on grass as oppose to artificial grass. Know your ballparks; know if the team is playing in an open-air arena or a dome.

What is the weather like? Some of the various web sites used for analyzing baseball also include links to weather sites. Certainly, rain, cold, and wind will be a factor in determining the performance of the players .

Currently, it is very popular to look at the stats regarding the plate umpire. Stats for the umpires are broken down to strike percentages, home team strikes and runs, how many innings the games are played, and the amount of games the umpire has appeared.

Some of the most important information that a player has at their disposal is: pitching ERA’s; and how the teams have done versus right handed and left handed pitchers; how the pitchers have faired in their last three to four appearances against a particular team. Not to mention that all of this information is available for free on the internet, all you have to do is a little research.

Look for the team that is on a winning streak. Baseball is a game of streaks, and it is incumbent on the gambler to capitalize on those streaks. Some players capitalize on the streaks by increasing their wagers after each win. Some players characterize a streak as three or more wins. Finally when the team loses the player will have built a nice bankroll. Other players will continue to play a particular team from the first win while under the assumption that they might benefit from capitalizing at the beginning of a winning streak for a particular team. However, sometimes when coming close to the end of a winning streak the player may be wagering on a heavy favorite.

When betting on Major League baseball the player should not play a favorite with a line of –1.70 or more. Also, never lay odds of –1.50 or more on a road team, it does not matter who is pitching, remember, with odds like that the player would have to win more than 60% of his placed bets just to break even. I suggest that the underdog be played when the odds are +1.50 when the team has a chance of winning. When the odds are +1.50 or more, all that is needed to break even is 40% of the wagers or less to make a profit. Knowledge of these profit percentages is essential to anyone who intends to make a profit when wagering on sports.

For the sports handicapper the internet has turned out to be a sword and a shield. All of the information that a person needs to make an educated decision as to where they should wager on baseball is on the internet, and the information is free. Also on the internet there are those handicappers who claim to be professional and will sell you their picks at a small fortune. Currently there is a site that is very helpful in determining which teams to wager on, because they are wrong a majority of the time, don’t get caught up in the so-called “Lock Lines” and “900 numbers”. This handicapping service charges a small fortune for their picks and they are wrong, so be careful. If a player chooses to use a service it should be one that provides very in-depth comprehensive analysis of the various games so that the player makes the informed decision.