Free Sports Picks: Home NFL CFB NBA CBB MMA Boxing
LootMeister Baseball Picks
Online SportsbooksBest Sportsbook Bonuses

Baseball Straight Bets

Baseball Betting: Straight Bets

By Loot, MLB Handicapper,

Straight betting is the most common form of wagering in Major League Baseball. It’s the most common form of betting in all sports, where you pick one of two teams playing to win the game. In baseball wagering, unlike basketball and football wagering (the two other heavily bet USA team sports), you just have to pick the winner. In basketball or football, you have to pick who will “cover the spread.” In baseball straight betting, there is no such concern. We just pick the winner and pay or receive odds to do so.

Straight betting is the bread-and-butter of all top sports bettors. In addition, the juice is not as much of an issue as it is when you make more extravagant wagers. Add in the built-in appeal of being able to pick a team to simply win a game and it’s really one of the best routes to take in the world of baseball wagering.

Straight baseball wagering revolves around the money line. Rather than a spread, where a team has to win or not lose by a certain number of points, we are working with odds. The odds are expressed on a money line, using plus and minus signs to show who the favorite or underdog is.

A plus sign (+) always indicates an underdog. A minus sign (-) always indicates a favorite. Next to the plus or minus sign will be a number that expresses the odds. For the neophyte bettor, this might seem confusing. You will rapidly reach the point, however, where you will wonder why you ever thought it was hard.

Examples can help quickly bring things to light, so let’s use one. Let's say the Pittsburgh Pirates are on the road facing the Philadelphia Phillies. Here are the odds:

Pittsburgh Pirates (+140)
Philadelphia Phillies (-160)

The above is what you’re dealing with when making a straight bet--two teams, with each given a set of odds where one is a favorite and one is an underdog. We know now that the (+) is always the underdog, which is the Pirates, meaning the Phillies are the favorite.

Remember this and lock it in: A plus sign (+140) means that’s how much you win if you were to bet (risk) $100. The minus sign (-160) is how much you have to bet in order to win $100. The money line is expressed revolving around a $100 wager--to make it easier to understand. However, you can bet whatever amount you wish.

If you bet $100 on the Pirates and they win, you collect a win of $140, in addition to your receiving your wager (risked amount) back. In other words, if you have a winning $100 wager on the Pirates, you will cash it in for $240, $140 of which is profit.

To make $100 on a favored team, you have to bet the exact amount that is expressed on the money line. The Phillies are -160, meaning you need to wager $160 in order to win $100. A winning $160 wager on the Phillies would mean you collect $260 if they win--$100 of which will be profit.

To figure how much you would need to bet to win a different amount, just reduce it proportionally. If you need to bet $160 on the Phillies to win $100, you would bet $80 to win $50, $40 to win $25, or $20 to win $12.50 or for micro-bettors you'd lay $1.60 for every $1.00 that you're trying to win.

The same applies to betting the underdog, naturally. To win $140, you bet $100. So just break it down. A $50 winning bet would yield $70 in winnings, a $25 winning bet would yield $35, and so on.

A few points about straight baseball wagering. While the overall quality and record of the teams is a major factor, the identity of the starting pitchers plays a really big role in driving the odds. The Pittsburgh-Philly example was one where the favorite was not that big of a favorite. It’s not uncommon to see a team with an ace on the mound in the -300 range, meaning you have to wager $300 for every $100 you hope to win.

Look for good prices. A “dime-line” is most desirable. That’s when the odds are only separated by 10. The Pittsburgh-Philadelphia example (+140 to -160) is a 20-cent line, more standard in baseball betting. Securing dime-line straight baseball wagering would make that line something like Pittsburgh +150/Philadelphia -160. Over time, a dime-line can make a pretty big difference to your bankroll.

A GREAT online sportsbook offering dimelines (up to -191 odds) is 5Dimes. They're a "must have" for those who bet on foots/hoops as well, as they offer -105 odds. (Most bookies force you to pay -110.)

Share this article with friends:

Leave a comment:

Quit wasting your hard earned money! Make the switch from -110 to -105 odds today!
Doc's Sports Major League Baseball Picks

Baseball Betting

  • Bovada Sportsbook - Your credit card WILL work here! Deposit from $100-$500 and get a massive 50% sign-up bonus! A huge wagering menu, fast payouts and top notch customer service is what you'll find at one of the web's biggest baseball bookies!
  • GTBets - Offers a 100% initial signup bonus! Deposit $150 and receive a matching $150 bonus! A great way to pad your bankroll before even placing your 1st bet! Great at getting credit cards to work for deposits!
  • World Series Odds - See which teams the bookies are predicting to win the Fall Classic this year and what odds are being offered for your pick to win it all.


  • How to Calculate ERA - Loot explains what earned run average is and how to compute this often misunderstood statistic.
  • How to Calculate Batting Average - The stat that all hitters are judged by! We break down the division of hits by at bats.
  • What is Baseball WHIP? - The walks plus hits divided by innings pitch stat is a huge variable when handicapping baseball games. But what is a good WHIP? What's a bad WHIP? Loot explains!
  • Infield Fly Rule Explained - Surely one of the most confusing rules in baseball but yet so simple.
  • Baseball Slang - There are TONS of terms, lingo and jargon that you'll hear during a baseball game that would make absolutely no sense unless you grew up with the game or had done your homework. We define them all here!
  • Baseball Acronyms - A MLB box score is absolutely jam-packed with abbreviations. Get educated here as we define them all! We also added in MLB team abbreviations as well.
  • Baseball Questions - The sport has tons of terminology, jargon and statistics which create many questions. We answer them here!
  • MLB Managerial Changes - In today's world, if a Manager doesn't cut it, they get canned quick. Check out the list of this year's new baseball Skippers.


  • Baseball Quotes - Famous sayings from popular MLB players, annnouncers and managers.
  • Greatest Baseball Players of All Time - My picks for the all-time best first basemen, second basemen, shortstops, third basemen, left fielders, center fielders, right fielders, right handed pitchers, left handed pitchers and closers.
  • Famous Baseball Players - There's greats and then there's famous players. The difference is that famous MLB players are names that even non-baseball fans are familiar with; Diamond Kings!
  • Triple Crown Winners - List of players who have led the MLB in batting average, homers and RBI's all in the same season.
Reduced Juice Sports Betting 100% Sportsbook Bonus Best Parlay Odds Online