Ultimate MLB betting guide. Learn how to bet on MLB baseball with moneylines, totals, run lines and parlays. You’ll also learn about first 5 inning bets and Grand Salamis. MLB run line betting is like hockey puck line betting. Always compare moneylines between sportsbooks. You want to find the best value. Review current odds to win the World Series below.
- Current Matchup Odds
- Easy Bets
- Exotic Bets
- World Series & League Futures
- ☞Live MLB Odds☜
How MLB Betting Works
This MLB betting tutorial has two sections. The first has the most common MLB baseball bets: moneyline, total and run line. Also, Dime lines are defined and discussed. The second explains exotic bets. These are much riskier, particularly the Grand Salami. They’re not ideal for making long-term profits. Attempt these bets when you have extra bankroll or are very confident of an outcome. Most serious baseball bettors stick to moneylines and totals.
Easy MLB Bets
1. MLB Moneyline Betting
Bet on the outright winner.
A positive number indicates the underdog. A negative number indicates the favorite. Two -110 numbers indicate no specific favorite. This is a PK or pick’em bet.
Each moneyline includes the sportbook’s juice. The juice is the sportsbook’s fee for taking a bet.
A -200 true odds favorite plus juice may cost -210. Favorite bettors must risk more than true odds.
A +300 true odds underdog minus juice might pay +290. That means underdog bettors are rewarded with smaller payouts compared to true odds.
Negative numbers indicate how much you risk to win $100.
Positive numbers indicate how much you win for risking $100.
Most sportsbooks display baseball moneylines by default on the MLB odds page.
MLB Moneyline Example
Philadelphia Phillies -190
Miami Marlins +180
- The Philadelphia Phillies are the favorite. The Miami Marlins are the underdog.
- Philadelphia bettors risk $190 to win $100. Miami bettors win $180 for risking $100.
2. What are MLB Dime Lines?
A Dime Line is a quantity of juice a sportsbook charges. A dime equals 10 cents. Dime lines have 10 cents difference between the amount you bet on the favorite and the amount you win on the underdog.
A 20 cent line means there is 20 cents difference between the favorite’s line and underdog’s line.
Calculating the value of the line is easy. Remove + and – signs from each number. Subtract the underdog value from the favorite. The difference is the line amount.
MLB Dime Line Example
New York Yankees -170
Kansas City Royals +160
- The New York Yankees are the -170 favorite. The Kansas City Royals are the +160 underdog.
- 170-160 = 10. This matchup has a dime line.
MLB 20 cent Line Example
Atlanta Braves -220
Milwaukee Brewers +200
- The Atlanta Braves are the -220 favorite. The Milwaukee Brewers are the +200 underdog.
- 220-200 = 20. This matchup has a 20 Cent line.
Taking a Dime Line means you’re betting at half the juice. The house edge between 2 closely matched teams is just over 2%. That’s much lower than a 20 or 30 cent line. Always look for dime lines when shopping MLB baseball odds. Don’t pay the sportsbook more vigorish than you have to!
3. MLB Total Betting
Sportsbooks estimate a point total combining each team’s projected final scores. Players bet whether the result will be over or under this number.
MLB totals can be found below or between moneylines for each side. MLB totals will most likely be between 6-11. Sportsbooks provide the total’s juice to the right of the line. One side of the bet may have different juice than the other.
MLB betting odds will abbreviate over as “o” and under as “u”. The more expensive side will be provided. For example, 7½o-118 means anyone betting over 7.5 runs will lay $118 to win $100. -102 is the under juice. Under bettors would lay $102 to win $100.
Assume -110 when no number is given. That means the juice for both the over and under will be -110. Bettors taking either side lay $110 to win $100.
MLB Total Example
Houston Astros 8½ o-117
- The total line is 8½. The over has -117 juice. -103 is the corresponding under value.
- Over bettors believe the run total will be greater than 8.5. They lay $117 to win $100.
- Under bettors believe the run total will be less than 8.5. They lay $103 to win $100.
Result: Final total is 9. This number is greater than 8½. All over bettors win.
Note: No tie bets are possible with a ½ point spread. The final result will either be over or under the sportsbook’s line.
Ties occur when the sportsbook’s line equals the final run total. This happens with whole number lines like 8, 9 or 10. Sportsbooks refund all tie bets.
Watch our total betting video and review our over-under tutorial. The reference section explains how to calculate the opposite side of the line when sportsbooks charge more than -110 juice for one side.
4. MLB Run Line Betting
Bet is made on the expected score difference similar to a spread. Most MLB run lines are 1½. Some sportsbooks offer run lines of 2½ – 3½.
Taking the Favorite
A 1½ line rounds up to 2. Favorites must win by 2 or more runs.
Taking the Underdog
A 1½ line rounds down to 1. Underdogs must not lose by more than 1 or win outright.
Each side has moneyline odds.
The most likely line will be negative. The least likely line will be positive.
Positive numbers indicate how much you win for risking $100. Negative numbers indicate how much you risk to win $100.
Interpreting 1½ Run Line Odds
- Determine the favorite and underdog. The favorite’s 1½ spread will be negative. The underdog’s 1½ spread will be positive.
- Moneylines indicate the likelihood each team will cover the spread.
- The underdog will have a negative moneyline because it is more likely this team will win or only lose by 1. You’ll win less than you risk.
- The favorite will have a positive moneyline because it is less likely this team will win by 2 or more runs. You’ll win more than you risk.
MLB Run Line Example
Los Angeles Dodgers -1½ +180
New York Mets +1½ -210
- Los Angeles Dodgers are the favorite. They must win by 2 or more runs.
- New York Mets are the underdog. They must not lose by more than 1 or can win outright.
- The Dodgers are less likely to win by 2. Their moneyline is positive. A $100 bet wins $180.
- The Mets are more likely to lose by 1 or win outright. They moneyline is negative. A $210 bet wins $100.
Tip: Run lines can offer higher expected value than a moneyline.
Compare the above example to a fictional -200 moneyline for favorite Los Angeles. You would lay $200 to win $100.
If you think Los Angeles will win handily by 2, you could take the run line instead. You would lay $100 to win $180. You risk less money for a much higher payout.
Our Spread Betting video explains how spreads work. Make sure you understand how bets on each team win or lose. Consider reviewing our moneyline betting video. You’ll learn how moneyline odds indicate which line is more or less likely.
Exotic MLB Bets
1. MLB F5 or First 5 Innings Bet
This bet is similar to first half betting in football or basketball.
Moneyline F5 bets are on which team will be leading after 5 innings.
F5 total bets are on the combined number of runs each team has scored after 5 innings.
MLB 5 Inning Betting Directions
- Review the latest MLB 5 inning odds. Make sure to click “5 innings” at your sportsbook.
- Pick either the favorite or underdog to lead after 5 innings.
- Decide whether the run total will be over or under the sportsbook’s estimate after 5 innings.
Note: F5 bets generally pay less than full game bets. There’s less risk involved.
These bets are ideal for teams that take early leads, usually the result of a strong starting pitcher. First 5 innings bets are also preferable when a team has weak relief and closing pitchers.
You won’t have to worry about seeing a winning full-game bet lose when the tides turn after the 7th inning stretch!
2. MLB Grand Salami Bet
The Grand Salami bet is on the combined run total from all games on a given day. Decide whether the total will be over or under the sportsbook’s line.
The Grand Salami is a daily MLB prop bet. It’s available at advanced sportsbooks that service a large crowd of regular sports bettors. Recreational books are less likely to offer this bet.
MLB Grand Salami Example
All MLB Games Today:
Over/Under 125½ -110
- The Grand Salami line is 125½. The over and under each have -110 juice.
- Over bettors believe the day’s run total will be greater than 125.5. They lay $110 to win $100.
- Under bettors believe the day’s run total will be less than 125.5. They lay $110 to win $100.
Result: Runs scored in today’s games total 122. This number is less than 125½. All under bettors win.
MLB Grand Salami Directions
- Visit sportsbook’s MLB odds page.
- Select MLB “Props”, “Specials” or “Grand Salami”.
- Decide whether final total of all runs scored in today’s games will be over or under the sportsbook’s line
Note: The line usually includes a ½ run to prevent tie bets. See total betting above for further explanation.
3. MLB Parlay Betting
Combine 2 or more moneyline, run line or total selections. Parlay wins if all selections win. Parlay loses if any selection loses.
Each tie reduces the total number of selections by one. A 3 leg parlay with 1 tie becomes a 2 leg parlay. A 6 selection parlay with 2 ties becomes a 4 selection parlay. Your final payout will correspond to the updated parlay size.
MLB Parlay Directions
- Select 2-15 money lines, run lines, totals or combinations of all three.
- Include matchups from other sports like football, basketball or hockey.
- All selections must be correct to win.
- Each tie reduces parlay payout by 1 selection. Review your sportsbook’s parlay rules carefully.
Sportsbetting3.com created a parlay betting infographic here. This guide graphically illustrates how to place a parlay bet.
The text parlay tutorial provides detailed examples and bets. It includes a comprehensive discussion about how tie selections affect parlay payouts. Also, you’ll discover the difference between standard and true odds.
Novice Handicappers: See why parlays benefit the winning bettor more than separate straight bets. Hint: A winning 2 team parlay pays more than 2 separate winning straight bets!
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