MLB Totals Bets

Totals bets, along with straight bets and run lines, make up the “Big Three” of Major League Baseball sports betting options. However, instead of concerning who wins or loses a given game, MLB totals bets – also called over/under bets – ask the bettor to make a wager on the number of combined runs scored between both teams in that game.

When you visit MLB betting sites, you’ll usually see totals on the front page of their baseball betting boards. For any particular matchup, the sportsbook will present an over/under line, which is a number, usually in a half-run format (which prevents the bet from “pushing” and triggering a refund on all associated action). For example, an MLB totals bet will often look like some variation of the following:

In the above example, your MLB betting site has determined that an over/under of 11.5 runs will generate the most wagers on both sides of the bet. If you place an “over” bet on this line, you are risking your money that the Giants and Rockies will combine to score 12 or more runs. If you pick the “under” side, you are putting your cash on an outcome that adds up to 11 or fewer runs between the two clubs.

As you can see, MLB totals bets usually peg the moneyline at -110 for both teams. Thus, the payout is $100 for a $110 wager, regardless of which specific outcome you choose. That extra $10 goes to your sportsbook as the house take (a.k.a. “vigorish” or “juice”), which works out to be about 9%. However, MLB betting sites will often change the moneyline for individual teams to promote more or less action on either side of the bet.

When To Make MLB Totals Bets

There is no good or bad time to place an over/under bet on a Major League game. The only real rule for when to make MLB totals bets rests with where exactly the sportsbook has pegged their threshold. If two aces are going at it and all the MLB betting sites have inexplicably offered a high over/under, it makes sense to jump in and take the “under.” Similarly, if two average starters are playing against stacked lineups and the over/under is oddly small, take the “over.”

Usually, MLB totals bets are an ancillary or extra bet, meaning that most baseball bettors aren’t limiting their gambling strictly to O/Us. Picking your spots is important as ever, but MLB totals are commonly considered a “safer” bet type than most other options. Just make sure you know who’s on the mound, who’s at the plate, and what the teams’ recent records and scores are, and you should be under the radar and over the moon!

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