Runlines betting on the MLB is a relatively popular type of betting among sports bettors. It is not as popular as moneyline betting or totals though, but people do tend to make runline bets fairly frequently. Here we will try to explain what is runlines betting and will help you to gain understanding how it works. It’s nothing complicated. You just have to choose a side like you do with other bets and it is very similar to spread betting in NFL.
How Betting on Runlines Works
As mentioned above, if you have ever placed an NFL spread bet, you will immediately understand runlines betting. In spread betting you bet by what difference a team will win. It’s the same with runlines. You just have to bet if an MLB team will win or lose by a certain number of runs and that’s it.
Naturally, the line for the favorites is always a negative number, which means that the favorite has to win by a bigger number of runs than the underdog. For example, if the favorite is set at -1.5, it means that he needs to win by 2 or more runs. In such a case the underdog would be set at +1.5, so when you bet on the underdog you can either bet to win the game outright or lose the game by 1 run or less.
A common MLB runline is always set at 1.5. Some sportsbooks set it even at 2.5 or 3.5. Here is a runline example:
Philadelphia Phillies +1.5 (-150)
New York Mets -1.5 (+120)
By seeing the runlines and the odds you can see that the Mets are the favorites. The negative number (-1.5) means that in order for your bet on the Mets to be successful, they need to cover the 1.5 runs and win by 2 more. The Phillies on the other hand are the underdogs. If you bet on them in this hypothetical game, you can either bet for them to win the game outright or lose by one run. It can’t get any clearer than this.
Things to Consider about MLB Betting Runlines
It can be very difficult to predict if a favorite will cover the 1.5 run spread. This is because the statistics show that about 30% of MLB games end up with only one run difference. This means that one favorite runline bet is lost in every 3 games.
There is one thing that casual MLB bettors don’t take into consideration, and that is the disadvantage that home teams have in MLB games. When a home team is winning the bottom of the ninth inning is not played out. Instead, the game finishes in the middle of the ninth inning, which is bad if you need the home team to score one additional run in order for your bet to win. This is why experienced MLB bettors advise to stay away from betting on the favored team. You can make more profit on the long term if you take the 1.5 runs on the underdog. It is all about finding the best value when betting on sports.