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Baseball Betting – Beginners Guide

Betting on America’s pastime can be entertaining as you follow a team and every day there are at least a handful of games on. Today, we are essentially going to teach how betting on baseball for dummies to maximize the chances that you will walk away with a profit. There are a bunch of different ways to go as you can bet moneyline, run line, totals, parlays, props, and futures. Let’s figure out which works best for you! 

To get started with betting on baseball, the first thing you are going to want to know is what different types of wagers you can choose between? We are going to explain how to bet on baseball games so you can find what works for you here. Baseball bets explained is another way to view this article to make sure you comprehend what is going on. 

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Where to bet on baseball

How betting on baseball work? 

There are a multitude of ways to bet on baseball. We are going to discuss a bunch of different ways bettors attack the sport of baseball and hopefully we can find which one will work out for you the best so you can make some sweet profits. 


Moneylines are what you would do with your friends growing up, simply deciding which team is going to win the game. It is the most simple wager that a sportsbook will offer as it deciding which team is going to walk away with a victory. 

Team Odds
Boston Red Sox +130
New York Yankees -160

This is going to be how you will see it at a sportsbook listed. If you were to bet that the Boston Red Sox would win and you wagered $100, you would win $130 if that were to come true. If you wagered that same $100 on the New York Yankees, you would win $62.50 due to the Yankees being the favorite (more likely to win) in this game. 

To wrap it up in one sentence: Bet on which team will win the game outright.


Betting on spreads in baseball are called run lines. Typically, a run line will have the team with the better moneyline odds being listed at -1.5 runs. This is trying to even out the chances of an underdog winning the wager as if they were to lose by a single run, the losing team would still be able to cash out as the winner at the sportsbook. 

Team Runline Odds
Boston Red Sox +1.5 (-150) +130
New York Yankees -1.5 (+120) -160

This is how the sportsbooks will present runlines. If you were to bet the Yankees on the runline and the final score was 6-5 Yankees, you would lose the wager due to the Yankees not winning by more than 1.5 runs. However, if you were to wager on the Red Sox using that same 6-5 score, that would cash as the Red Sox are allowed to lose by 1.5 runs throughout the course of the game in order for this bet to cash. 

Bet on if the better team can win by multiple runs or not. 

Over/Under Totals 

Outside of the moneyline, this is one of the simplest wagers that you can make while watching baseball. This wager can happen for each individual inning, the first five innings, or an entire game but they all have the same premise. The number provided is how many runs that these teams will combine to score when adding their two run totals together. 

Team Runline OddsOver/UnderTotal
Boston Red Sox +1.5 (-150) +130Over 7.5(-110)
New York Yankees -1.5 (+120) -160Under 7.5(-110)

This is how the sportsbook would represent the totals for a wager. The total number will change based on the inning of the game, the situation in the game (runners on base and how many outs), and the starting pitchers plus bullpen options available. If the score is 7-0, the under would hit as the teams combined to score seven runs. However, if the score ends up 5-4 then the over would hit as they add up for nine total runs scored. 

Bet on how many runs will be scored.


A parlay is combining your bets and boosting the odds up. The risk is that you need all the wagers to be successful in order to get the cash. If one of the bets on the wager loses, the entire ticket is considered a loser. 

Single-game parlays mean you are betting on two outcomes to happen in the same game (run line and over in the Boston Red Sox vs New York Yankees game). However, this can also be used to cover multiple different games (over in Boston Red Sox vs New York Yankees game and Jose Ramirez over 0.5 hits). The wager does not have to be on the same thing like totals or props as it can be a bit of a mix. 

Bet on multiple wagers to all be successful. 


Futures bets are typically associated with end-of-year statistics and win totals for a team. Instead of wagering on something that will happen instantaneously, you are wagering for something that can happen at the end of the year and lock in whatever odds they are. 

Over 33.5 +100
Under 33.5 -110

This example is Aaron Judge’s home run totals. The number is at 33.5 so if he ends up hitting 34 home runs, then the over will hit and the odds will remain at whatever you bet them at and not fluctuate as the season goes along. However, the risk you play is the injury bug as if the player gets hurt, you are screwed and the ticket will be considered a loss. 

Bet on something that will happen at the end of the season. 

Prop Bets 

Prop betting is one of the more simplistic ways to bet as maybe you do not feel comfortable in the team as a whole but believe that you have found a matchup that you can exploit. This makes it simpler to attack and focus on how an individual player will play in a game compared to the entire team on a single day. 

Over 0.5 -110
Under 0.5 +104

Let’s say you are looking at the Miami Marlins prop bets for their upcoming game and want to take a snab at Jazz Chisholm Jr’s hit total. This wager shows that it is more likely that he will end up with a hit in the game. Most player props for hits will be at 0.5 but this can also be used

for pitchers as well. This typically will be seen on starting pitcher’s strikeout totals for the game but can be used for anything from balls thrown or innings pitched as well. 

Bet on a single-game event to happen for a single player to happen. 

Tips for getting started with baseball betting

Build-up for the list below. Feel free to include more tips. 

Tip 1: Be smart with your bankroll. This is one of the most critical things for betting. Your bankroll is going to have 100 units depending on the amount you have $100 bankroll would mean $1 per unit but $50 in your bankroll would be 50 cents per unit. Make sure to bet a low amount of units due to variance in betting and the vig. 

Tip 2: Study the pitching matchups: Some pitchers dominate against certain hitters or simply pitch well against a specific team or in a specific stadium. Make sure to keep an eye out on those as it really helps with your wagering for that day’s game. 

Tip 3: Follow the weather. Most stadiums do not have roofs so the elements are going to play a major factor, including wind speed and direction. That is going to change the outcome of the game as runs will differentiate with winds blowing in or out and pitchers will throw better with winds blowing the ball towards home plate as fly balls will not carry as well. Follow up with the weather report to make sure you understand what is happening. 

Avoid these beginner mistakes 

Build-up for the list below. Feel free to include more mistakes. 

Mistake 1: One mistake new bettors make is improper bankroll management. It is easy to believe a huge lead in the ninth inning will cash you out a few extra dollars, but that is going to make you lose money. Baseball is the only sport without a clock so teams can come back from any size deficit. 

Mistake 2: Betting your favorite team to win every time. There are some incredible teams in the majors like the Los Angeles Dodgers and the New York Yankees. However, betting them blindly in a single-game wager seems to be a mistake as pitching matchups and lineup constructions could play a major factor into things. 

Mistake 3: Trying to get too cute. You see a prop bet you like and think you found a hack and begin betting on a bunch of prop bets. Or simply, you see a prop bet for Joey Gallo to record 0.5 hits in the game and he is not in the lineup and you believe you can make money off it. If Gallo does not appear in the game, that bet is voided out and you receive whatever you wagered on it.

Is there any differentiation between betting on MLB & College Baseball?

The short answer is yes simply due to the nature of how their schedules work. Collegiate baseball typically is a weekend series during the season while MLB is every day for six months. That means collegiate baseball allows teams to rest their bullpen throughout the week and line up their pitching rotations exactly how they want to while you cannot do that in MLB during the season. 


Is betting on baseball legal in the US? 

According to the American Gambling Association, you can legally place a sports wager in 30 of the 50 states in the United States of America. Make sure to do your own research into if the state you are located in has legalized sports betting so you can get into the game and begin wagering on some good baseball matchups. 

Is betting on baseball profitable? 

This is a difficult question to answer because of the fact that you can do everything correctly in your process of selecting a specific bet and lose as well as just randomly choose a wager and have it cash. However, there are processes and techniques that give you the best chance of making sure you do wager too much in a single bet to make you lose your bankroll and continuously make money in the process. 

What is handicap betting on baseball? 

Typically, this verbiage is not used in betting baseball but the closest thing would be to bet on the spreads (also known as run lines). We touched upon that previously in this article so I will avoid discussing that here as well and instead guide you to the “Spreads” section of this article for more information. 

How to stop betting on baseball? 

People can have a hard time struggling with a gambling addiction as they view it as a way to get rich quick and quickly see the money drain out of their account. There are a few ways to stop betting on baseball. One way is to simply block the web browser on your computer to keep you from accessing it. Another way to do this is to contact the sportsbook support and ask them to close your account permanently, thus not allowing you to make a wager anymore. 

Which baseball betting site is the best? 

This completely depends on what you are looking for in your wagers. Different websites have different factors including additional bonuses, referral codes, quick deposits and withdrawal methods, use of cryptocurrency, and customer support to list a few things. Make sure to look at a few different sportsbooks before determining which one would be the best for yourself to use.