Wager Types At MLB Betting Sites

No matter which Major League Baseball sportsbook you join (and you should join several if you want to shop around for the best terms on any given wager), you will largely come across the same kinds of bets at each. The wager types at MLB betting sites are similar to what you’d expect on the menu for most other team-based sports, but there are some key differences to consider. However, before you start placing your baseball wagers at your betting shop of choice, you must make sure you understand how the American moneyline betting system works.

Understanding The Moneyline

The American system of sports betting uses something called the “moneyline” to express the wager-to-payout ratio of a given bet. Understanding the moneyline is important, as this lets you know what the financial terms of all your Major League Baseball wagers are. In some cases, a bet will be wholly defined by the moneyline (as this is also used to express the odds of a straight bet), but every single wager – no matter its other terms – has a moneyline attached. The moneyline will almost always be in parentheses next to its associated bet.

The moneyline is based on a $100 scale, and it works like this: A positive number often (but not always) indicates an underdog, while a negative number usually indicates a favorite. For most wagers, one team or player (or other outcome) will be favored over the other, and the moneyline will reflect this. For any bet option with a positive moneyline, that is how much you stand to win on a $100 bet. For any bet option with a negative moneyline, that is how much you must wager to win $100. (Note: These aren’t minimum bet amounts, they merely show the ratio of buy-in to payout. Most MLB betting sites will allow you to make individual bets as small as $0.25.) The following bet types all illustrate how the moneyline works.

MLB Straight Up Bets

MLB straight up bets, also called straight moneyline bets, simply ask the bettor to pick a winner. This is probably the most common single bet type available at MLB betting sites, and they look like this:

Here, the Braves are underdogs to the favored Cubs, and a $100 bet on Atlanta to win pays out $155. The Cubs, as the better perceived team, pays out substantially less, requiring bettors to wager $140 for a profit of $100. The bigger the favorite, the smaller the payout, while the bigger the underdog, the larger the payout.

MLB Run Line Bets

MLB run line bets are handicapped by MLB betting sites to give the weaker team an edge on the scoreboard. Since some matchups are easier to predict straight up, sportsbooks use the run line to balance the action on both sides of the bet:

Since the Cardinals are favored in this matchup, the sportsbooks are “taking away” 1.5 runs from their final score and “giving” those runs to the Mets, who are the underdogs. This means that the Cards have to win by 2 or more runs to win the bet, while the Mets can actually lose by a run and still come out on top.

Note that the moneyline for these bets is the same: You have to wager $110 to win $100. Since sportsbooks get roughly equal action on both sides of MLB run line bets, they can post the same moneyline, guaranteeing – in this case – a 9% vigorish (or “house take”) for themselves. Many MLB betting sites will adjust the moneylines on run line bets to further balance the betting trends, but this is not common at Las Vegas sportsbooks. MLB run lines are almost always set at 1.5 runs.

MLB Over/Under Bets

MLB over/under bets, also called totals bets, are not concerned with winners and losers but rather with the combined final score between two teams. For a given matchup, your MLB betting site of choice will provide an over/under line that features a number, usually posted in half-run increments to avoid “pushing” (which causes all associated bets to be refunded). MLB over/under bets look like this:

If the Orioles and Yankees combine to score 10 runs or more, the “over” bet wins, but if they combine to score fewer than 9 runs, the “under” bet wins. Note again that the moneyline (-110) is usually the same for both sides of the wager, but MLB betting sites can alter one or both moneylines to adjust the bet volume accordingly.

MLB 5 Inning Lines

MLB 5 inning lines are akin to football first-half (or halftime) spreads. Here, everything works like the normal wagers above, but the 5 inning run line, 5 inning straight bet, and 5 inning over/under will be adjusted to reflect the shorter length of game-time over which the bet is active.

5 inning run lines will typically be -0.5 and +0.5 for the favorite and underdog, respectively, while the over/under will usually be about half the expected 9-inning O/U. The straight moneyline can also be different, particularly depending on the starting pitching involved. MLB 5 inning lines have the advantage of being able to “push” and annul bets, as baseball games can be (and often are) tied after 5 innings of play.

MLB Prop Bets

MLB prop bets, short for “proposition” bets, are among the most entertaining wager types at MLB betting sites, adding dozens of options to the pre-game boards. Props can be player-based or team-based, and they all address some statistical outcome for the game. MLB player props can include things like a pitcher’s total pitch count, how many hits a player will get, how many runs a player will score, and more. Anything you’re likely to see on a post-game stat line is something you can place prop bets on.

Similarly, team props can focus on how many hits will be surrendered, how many errors will be committed, how many baserunners will get on, and how many runs will be scored during the contest. Baseball prop bet options are extensive, and different MLB betting sites will offer different terms and moneylines for each one.

MLB Futures Bets

MLB futures bets are akin to prop bets, but they are longer-term in scope. Common MLB futures include the upcoming season’s division and Pennant winners, as well as the World Series champion. As the season progresses, other props will be posted, usually concerning MVP, Cy Young, ROY, and Golden Glove front-runners.

MLB Parlays

Parlays are a major wager type at MLB betting sites, as they let sports bettors increase their payout odds by combining multiple different wagers into one big bet. The reward is greater because MLB parlays – like all other parlay bets – must hit on each leg of the wager for the entire thing to be a winner on your ticket.

When assembling MLB parlays at your sportsbook of choice, remember that including an underdog or two will really push your potential winnings up. While wagering strictly for favorites in a parlay pays out better than winning each leg as an individual bet, underdog victories often serve as payout multipliers. The best time to turn in a parlay is when you see a couple of can’t-miss dogs on the board at your favorite Internet betting shop.

MLB Live Betting

MLB live betting is a new and popular phenomenon, and it’s one area where Big League sportsbooks truly shine. With traditional wager types at MLB betting sites, you have to place your bets before the game in question starts. However, with live betting, you can wager on in-game action for the entire duration of the game. You can place bets on every pitch, swing, hit, putout, and more.

Since there are so many defined moments and plays in baseball compared against other sports, MLB live betting adds hundreds of bets to each and every game. Over the course of an entire season, you’ll have access to literally millions of MLB wagers thanks to live betting. Just remember, since MLB live betting odds will only be on the boards for a few seconds before closing, you’ve got to be on the ball if you want to get your bets in.

MLB Mobile Betting

Many Major League Baseball enthusiasts just getting into sports betting are probably looking for legal MLB betting apps for their iPhones and Android phones. However, because of Apple and Google policies, these kinds of apps are not allowed on the App Store or in Google Play. However, MLB mobile betting is still offered by the top sportsbooks themselves, as they’ve designed special web interfaces that are optimized for your mobile browser.

Whether you have a smartphone or a tablet, MLB mobile betting is a fast, efficient way to browse all of your favorite sportsbooks’ wagering options, including their live-updating in-game betting boards. Mobile betting gives you full access to all the wager types at MLB betting sites, with the added benefits of extra convenience and data security inherent in commercial mobile platforms. So whether you’re out in left field, running from base to base, or safe at home, you can enjoy an optimal MLB sports betting experience.

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