Betting on the run line in MLB is a form of spread betting for lower-scoring sports, and it is a 1.5 spread between the favorite and the underdog. Spring training gives way to the regular season come April, and your friends here at MyTopSportsbooks, want to get you ready with all the information you need to bet on your favorite team with a semblance of a betting strategy that will yield payouts on your betting slips. For a sports bettor to win a run line bet, the favorite must win by more than two runs. For the underdog to win the bet, they must lose the game by less than two runs.

Moneyline, MLB Run Line

Run line betting is similar to Moneyline betting; you pick a team to win. The run line in MLB betting is identical to point spread bets in the NFL, and point spread bets on NFL games are the most popular form of football bets. The run line is 1.5 in sports betting, and you see a plus sign in front of it for underdogs and a minus sign for favorites. The run line is generally set at 1.5, and there is no deviation. But, like everything, there is an exception. Alternate lines set at 2.5 or 3.5 can see wagers with the odds set accordingly.

Baseball Run Line Example

New York Yankees, -1.5, -120 @ Toronto Blue Jays, +1.5, +150

As you can see, the NYY are the favorites here, and if you bet on the NYY, they must beat the Blue Jays by two or more runs. The underdog Blue Jays can lose the game by a run, and the sports bettor can cash a winning betting slip if he bets on the Blue Jays because the spread would be a half run in the Blue Jays’ favour.

Baseball Run Line Betting Strategy

Baseball Run Line Betting Strategy

Run-line betting on MLB games isn’t as easy as it looks. Many sports bettors often default to betting on the favorite because they think they know that the favorite will win by two or more runs. Not to mention, there is a more significant payout based on higher odds of the favorite winning by more than two runs.

Approximately 40 percent of all MLB games end up one-run affairs, a number much higher than you would expect. The high frequency of one-run games makes it difficult to determine which team will cover on the run line and which team won’t cover.

What the squares – casual bettors – don’t account for is the disadvantage a home-team favorite faces. The home team favorite must win by two runs, which isn’t an automatic result just because they are the favorite. In baseball, if the home team is ahead in the bottom of the ninth inning, they don’t take their last at-bat, as the game is won based on the completion of the number of innings played. This leads to many one-run victories, and the favorites often lose because of the quirk in the rules. The home team gets one less at-bat to build a winning score that is a single run when all is said and done.

To avoid unnecessary losses, a sports bettor is wise to stay away from the home team favorite and laying 1.5 runs. For a long-term strategy to provide consistent profits, bet like the sharps and take the underdog and the +1.5 on the run line. Sometimes you can get even money on the run line to place a value bet that turns into profit.

Moneyline vs the Run Line

In short, the run line is a baseball’s version of point spread betting where one team gets 1.5 runs while the other team spots the underdog 1.5 runs. The other common MLB bet is on the Moneyline for baseball games; let’s look at the differences between the two bets for baseball. The NHL has a version of the run line, and it is called the puck line and works the same way run line odds do. You can get promos from online sportsbooks like BetMGM, and Draftkings for a matchup on MLB or NBA games.

What is a Moneyline Bet on Baseball?

What is a Moneyline Bet on Baseball?

A Moneyline bet on MLB games is the easiest bet you can make. The hard part is picking a winner, and you have a 50-50 chance of doing so. On the Moneyline odds, at betting sites or apps, runs don’t matter; what does is the final score after nine innings or 8.5 innings if the home team is leading.

The MLB odds are indicated by plus or minus signs, plus signs for underdogs and minus signs for the favored team. To give you a glimpse of next season’s NLCS, the Los Angeles Dodgers are +275 and +290. In another example for the Moneyline, the Toronto Blue Jays are +120, and the New York Yankees are -160. To win $100 betting on the Yankees, you must wager $160. If you win, you get your original bet of $160 plus the $100 for a total of $260. If you lose, you are out the initial bet of $140. If you take the underdog Blue Jays at +120 and win, you receive $120 plus the $100, and you’re up $220. The underdog bet is a risk, no doubt about it, but under the right circumstances, value can be evident.

What are Alternate Run Lines?

If you don’t like what the run line is serving up and you want better odds, most sportsbooks have alternate lines for sports bettors who want more say in the betting odds, and the odds will shift accordingly. It works a little like a teaser bet; you tease the run line up as high as you feel comfortable.

With a higher risk – giving up more runs – come higher rewards in the form of bigger payouts on wins. Oddsmakers will price your risk according to what the margin of victory will be based on handicapping alternative run lines.  If you choose to take Colorado Rockies over the Washington Nationals at -3.5, that sports bet is yours to make.