Why it’s Difficult to Bet on Baseball
The one drawback to betting on baseball is the game is so unpredictable compared to sports like basketball and football. In baseball, any team can, and often does, beat any other team on any given day. Over the course of a season, the best teams come out ahead. But you can never be so sure which team will win one individual game, or even a short series of games.
That makes it tough to bet on the World Series of Baseball, which represents a small sample-size. The best team doesn’t always win. Sometimes the ball bounces a funny way, helping an inferior team win the series. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t bet on the Fall Classic. Of course you should bet, because it makes the games even more entertaining.
What are the different types of bets?
Moneyline: With this form of betting, you’re simply wagering on one team to win the game outright. There aren’t standard point spreads in baseball like in basketball or football. So, the most common way to bet is the moneyline. Unless the oddsmakers handicap the matchup evenly, you won’t get even-money odds. The favorite always has a – symbol next to the line and the underdog has a + symbol.
MLB Run Lines: These are similar to football point spreads except the odds aren’t usually the same. MLB run lines take the moneyline and then incorporate a pseudo-spread. So, lets say the moneyline is -120 on the Chicago Cubs to win (favorite) and +140 on the St. Louis Cardinals to win (underdog), the run line might be Chicago -1.5 and St. Louis +1.5. For you to win this bet, you either need to Cubs to win by at least two runs or the Cardinals to lose by less than two, depending on which side you bet. But the moneyline for Chicago would switch to around +120 and the line on the Cardinals would shift to about -110.
Futures: Before the season, during the season, or prior to the start of the World Series, you can place a futures bet on which team you think will win the World Series. The best time to make this wager is before the season begins because that is when you’ll find the best odds. Since all 30 teams have a chance to win the series before the year, you’ll find great odds on the teams that are projected to contend.
With a futures bet, the team you wager on must win the World Series or you lose the bet. Here is an example for favorites to win the World Series are as follows (preseason):
|Team||Odds to Win Series||$100 Bet Pays
|Boston Red Sox||6-1||$600
|Los Angeles Dodgers||7-1||$700
|New York Yankees||7-1||$700
Over/Unders: If you don’t want to just bet on one team, you can bet on the total runs scored in the game. This is called the over/under. If you think the teams will combine to score more runs than the listed run line, you will bet the over. If not, you’ll go with the under.
There are other types of wagers you can make on the World Series such as predicting how many games it will take a certain team to win the series.