How to Bet on Baseball Games

A lot of bettors seem to get lazy in during the long summer. Baseball may be the only game in town for bettors most nights, but that shouldn’t generate laziness. Baseball betting offers a great opportunity to pad your bankroll on the moneyline, the runline, totals, or through futures. If you don’t know your runline from your moneyline we’ll give you the rundown.


Almost all baseball bettor likely start with the moneyline. Betting the moneyline is pretty simple since all you’re doing is picking who’s going to win the game. That’s it. Just win the game straight-up. No spread, just pick the winner. Here’s what a baseball moneyline will look like at most online sportsbooks.

Boston Red Sox +155
New York Yankees -165

In this example the Yankees are the favorite at -165, while the Red Sox are the underdog at +155. Whenever you see a team with minus odds they are the favorite, while a team with plus odds is the underdog.

Now that you know who’s the favorite and who’s the underdog what do the numbers mean. The +155 next to the Red Sox means that you on a $100 wager you can win $155 profit. Since the Red Sox are the underdog and expected to lose you are rewarded with increased potential profit because you are taking on an increased rick by betting on them.

The -165 next to the Yankees means you must wager $165 to win $100 profit. The Yankees are expected to win the game so you need to risk more money for less profit to balance things out for the sportsbook.


The runline flips the moneyline on it’s head by adding a 1.5-run spread to the equation. The 1.5-run spread is applied to the moneyline favorite and it has a tremendous effect on the odds and the payouts. To show what we mean here is the runline odds for the game from the moneyline odds above.

Boston Red Sox +1.5 (-155)
New York Yankees -1.5 (+135)

By adding a 1.5-run spread to the Yankees they have now become the underdog on the runline. A winning $100 bet on the Yankees on the runline would pay $135. To win this bet though the Yankees must win by at least two runs to cover the 1.5-run spread. So, if New York was to win the game 5-3 then anyone who bet them on the runline would get paid. However, is New York won 5-4 a bet on the runline would be a loser.

With this same 5-4 result a runline bet on the Red Sox would be a winner. On the runline the Red Sox are a 1.5-run underdog so they do not have to win the game for a bettor to win their bet. For the Red Sox to won on the runline they simply have to lose by fewer than 2 runs to cover the 1.5-run spread.


Betting totals differs from moneyline and runline betting in that the winner of the game has no bearing on the wager. All that matters when you’re betting totals is how many runs are scored in the game.

For each game the sportsbook will post a number known as the total. The bettor must decide whether the combined number of runs scored by both sides in the game will go Over or Under the posted total.

For example say the Red Sox are playing the Yankees and the posted total by the sportsbooks is 7.5. The final score of the game is 5-3. With this result anyone who bet the Over would get paid since 5+3=8 and 8 is Over 7.5. If the final score was 5-2 anyone who bet the Under would win their bet because 5+2=7 and 7 is Under 7.5.


A future bet is a wager usually placed well in advance of an event, such as a World Series future or betting on who will win the AL or NL MVP. When it comes to baseball there are tons of futures available in the preseason from League and division titles to the Cy Young, the Rookie of the Year and even things like Major League home run leader.

Obviously the most popular baseball future is betting on who will win the World Series. It can also be a very lucrative bet when an unexpected team climbs to the top of the pile. Just look at last season for an example of a well paying World Series future. Anyone who be on the St. Louis Cardinals when they were left for dead in August could have made a ton of cash when they shocked the baseball world in October.