Want to bet on a heavy favourite in baseball but you don’t want to lay the big price on the MLB odds?
You have options.
Here are three baseball betting tips for alternative ways to make your baseball picks on the heavy chalk.
1. Bet the runline
The runline in baseball is the equivalent of the point spread in football or basketball and the puck line in hockey.
Basically, if you bet a favourite on the runline, you’re betting that your team will win by two runs or more. Having that extra handicap on your bet often means turning a heavy favourite into a slight underdog, so you’re risking less to win more.
Say, for example, the Phillies with their ace on the mound are a -215 home favourite over the Brewers and their fifth starter. Laying -215 means you have to bet more than twice the amount you’re hoping to win back, something that’s hardly ever a smart baseball betting pick. But if you took the Phillies on the runline (-1.5 runs), you’re likely getting +100 or better on the MLB odds at most sportsbooks. At that line, you’ll double your money or even get a bit more if the Phillies win by two or more.
The downside to taking a favourite on the runline is that a lot of baseball games are decided by one run. If you take the home team on the runline, you’re also getting one less at-bat to work with, since the only way the home team bats in the bottom of the ninth is if they’re tied or trailing. Obviously, your odds of winning by more than one run are a lot lower in that scenario.
If you’re feeling really adventurous, take a team on the alternate runline MLB odds (-2.5 or higher) if you anticipate a huge blowout and want to shoot for the big score. Several sportsbooks offer this option.
2. Bet the over/under
There’s two main reasons to make baseball picks on heavy favourites in baseball: either you think the underdog’s pitcher is going to get lit up, or you think the favourite’s pitcher is going to dominate.
Obviously, if you think both are going to happen, your runline bet looks a little stronger.
But if you feel strongly about the chances of one team’s pitcher throwing a shutout or getting rocked, give the over/under a look.
Generally, over/under bets have MLB odds of around -110, so you’ll be laying a lot less than -200 with the same thought process involved.
3. Bet the team total
Most sportsbooks now offer you the option of making your baseball picks on team totals. This is a lot like over/under, except you’re just betting over or under the total runs that one team scores.
This is another way to take advantage if you have strong feelings about an overmatched pitcher or a powerful ace. Just like standard over/under bets, the MLB odds are typically around -110 for a team total, so you can lay a lot less to back a favourite than taking the moneyline.
The nice thing about making baseball picks on team totals instead of full game over/unders is that if your pitcher dominates or gets rocked, you win.
If you took the under on the full game and both pitchers get knocked around, or if you took the over on the full game and both pitchers put up zeroes, you’d lose.