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How to Wager on Baseball

MLB Betting: How to Wager on Baseball, Part II

By Loot, MLB Handicapper,

In Part I, we discussed some of the more common wagers made when betting Major League Baseball. We discussed straight bets, totals, parlays, and the run lines. Here are some more bets that can enhance your wagering experience.

First 5 Innings: This is a bet where the popularity has increased over the years. Many like the appeal of the “first 5 innings” bet. It allows you to focus your handicapping more on the starting pitchers. For example, if you like a starter and that’s the prime reason why you are making the bet, why not take a bet that is more likely to make that a bigger factor? In a 5-inning bet, you are less likely to have to rely on bullpens--or any of the other late-inning drama that can turn the result of a game on its ears.

It can work any number of ways. The line on the first 5 innings is typically about the same as the regular line for the whole game. When you have a pitcher you really like, but he doesn’t have great stamina, this could be a sound play. In addition, it can be profitable to play underdogs this way. The theory is that it’s easier for the worse team to be up after 5 than to just win the game outright.

First Inning Betting: This is basically a one-inning over-under bet where you try to determine whether a run will be scored by either team in the first inning. The total is always set at .5 runs, meaning the “under” wins if no runs are scored, while any number of runs results in the “over” being the winning bet. In order to hone in on this, you will have to determine the patterns of a team and pitcher. Locking onto a team or pitcher that typically sees a lot of first-inning action can make this a profitable play. Be careful, though, because just as you begin to notice a pattern--it could be due to change.

Alternative Run Lines: In a standard run line wager, the favorite lays 1.5 runs and the underdog gets 1.5 runs, with the money lines changing to represent that. There are a few alternative run line plays. One is to flip the 1.5 run line in opposite directions, meaning the favorite is getting 1.5 runs, with the underdog laying 1.5 for a potential handsome payout.

There is also the 2.5 run line, where the favorite must win by 3 runs, with the underdog able to lose by two runs. As we say, it’s hard enough to just win regular bets on the money line straight-up. Asking a team to win by three runs is in effect asking for too much. Nevertheless, in the case of what appears to be a gross mismatch, you can take a heavily-favored team, lay 2.5, and stand to win a lot more than you wagered. Not all baseball bookies offer alternative runlines. They can however be found at Sportbet. This bookmaker also offers -107 odds on football and basketball games, which will save you big money over the long term.

Overnight Lines: Often times, a line will get bet up or down. The sharps get a hold of it and it can really move. Sometimes, it may behoove you to get an early jump on a bet before the wise guys suck all the value from it. A line is like a stock and just like how stock players sometimes snatch up stocks at the opening price, there might be times where you want to pounce on a line before the public has at it. A few downsides are if the line would have moved in your favor during the day. In addition, betting opening lines might leave you shortchanged with information, in the event that a player is taking a day off or missing that game due to injury. The best place (with the best odds as well) to bet MLB overnight lines is 5Dimes Sportsbook.

Grand Salami: This is a pretty simple wager--an over/under bet. All the games on the schedule are involved and you merely predict if the total number of runs will not meet or exceed the total of runs posted by the bookie. For this bet to count, there can’t be any canceled games.

Series Wagers: Rather than betting on a game, you can bet on who will win a series. These bets take place over a spread of three games, even if the series is a 4-gamer. Like all prop bets, any change in the scheduled starter does not result in the bet being canceled. All series bets are considered “action.”

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