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Understanding MLB Run Lines

Understanding MLB Run LinesUnderstanding MLB run lines is easy. Don’t complicate it.

Key Points

– Understanding MLB run lines is the first step in successfully betting them. 

– There are a number of run line betting strategies that work.

Betting MLB Run Lines

Because of the limited scoring in baseball, bettors most often bet on MLB moneylines. Betting the baseball point spread is still possible.

In baseball, the point spread is known as the run line, which is similar to the NHL’s puck line. Oddsmakers set the run line at 1.5 most often with accompanying odds. 

Before making MLB wagers in this category, it helps to have a solid understanding of MLB run lines.

Are you a bookmaker that doesn’t offer MLB run lines or alternate lines? Bookies thrive with the right PPH service.



Run Line Example

To help develop an understanding of MLB run lines, it is best to look at an example from Below, we have the Tigers and Royals.

        Detroit        +120    +1.5 (-170)

        Kansas City    -130    -1.5 (+150)

As you can see, the Tigers are the underdog and the Royals are the favorite.

Now, if you like KC to win by at least two runs, you could get a higher payout at +150 odds.

A $100 bet pays out $150 instead of wagering $130 to win $100 on the moneyline. Another quick thought. Betting lines are different, depending on the sportsbook you’re using. It pays to use multiple sportsbooks to compare betting lines.

To win on Detroit, the Tigers must either lose by one run or win the game outright. It is rare, but there are times when a run line is adjusted to 0.5 or 2.5.


MLB Run Lines - Strategy

In developing a run line betting strategy, it helps to know this. Right around 30 percent of all MLB games end up being one-run games. Depending upon how in tune you are with MLB, you might think that is surprisingly high or low.

Regardless of what you think, it’s an important stat because it makes picking MLB teams to cover that much harder. Because you know the best baseball sportsbooks know this … and more. The more you know the better.

One simple run line strategy is to avoid laying the 1.5 on a home favorite. Remember, in a nine-inning game with the home team in the lead by one after the top half of the ninth, the home team does not bat in the bottom of the inning. 

Another run line strategy involves games in which the moneyline heavily favors one team over the other. Take the following as an example.

        Colorado    +240    +1.5 (+130)

        LA Dodgers    -280    -1.5 (-150)

The Dodgers are a big favorite over Colorado. Instead of wagering $280 to win $100, take the better price on the big favorite and wager $150 to win $100. 

The same holds true on the other end too. Maybe you like the pitching matchup and are confident that Colorado can keep it close. You don’t like the moneyline bet, but you’ll take the plus-money payout on a one-run loss. 

It’s possible to find value on MLB run line bets. Be smart and win!

Do you want to keep becoming a smarter bettor? Our last article will teach you about NCAAB betting odds and lines.

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