When to Bet the Run Line vs Moneyline in MLB Baseball

When do I bet the run line? Is the run line ever better than the moneyline? This guide explains when to bet the run line in MLB baseball. Review both MLB bets, then learn why handicappers pick the run line when the numbers and matchup research are favorable.

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  1. Run Line Review
  2. When to Bet the Moneyline
  3. When to Bet the Run Line
  4. Insights & Analysis
  5. Run Line in Action
  6. World Series Beting
  7. ?Live MLB Odds?

The point spread is known as the great equalizer – especially when it comes to making wagers on football and basketball games. Bookmakers set a betting line with the goal of attracting an even amount of two-way action. This ensures a profit though the vigorish (a commission paid when placing a bet) usually in the form of 11/10 odds. Sportsbook business practices during football and basketball are no secret. What about baseball?

While the odds on the diamond are typically in moneyline form, oddsmakers do offer a point spread option called the run line. But it’s not as simple as picking one side over the other.

Run Line Review

The run line almost always comes at a fixed price of -1.5 or +1.5 runs, depending on the team you are backing. The -1.5 favorite must win the contest by at least two runs. The +1.5 underdog must win outright or not lose by more than one run.

The prices vary in a big way on MLB odds boards unlike the typical -110 on football or basketball spreads. For this reason, novice bettors prefer to stick to the moneyline. Yet they don’t realize that profitable winning angles and strategies exist with proper homework and research in their handicapping.

At first glance, a -170 heavy favorite could offer a nice return if you choose to play the moneyline.

Instead of laying -170 to win $100, the run line could offer a bigger return on your investment. It could be something like $130 for every $100 you wager. Remember, the favorite would have to win by 2 runs for your bet to win.

When to Bet the Moneyline

One of the most important betting tips from a moneyline perspective is recognizing the value of starting pitchers. Research key stats, like ERA; home versus away performance; do they tend to go deep into gamers (6+ innings); and do they get a lot of run support. These basics just scratch the surface of information you should have at your disposal before placing bets.

When to Bet the Run Line

Situational betting and finding the perfect spot to make a run line play is also derived off of many stats including home and away run production; day versus night games; and ground ball or fly ball pitchers. These stats matter and could be the difference between winning and losing a wager.

Insights and Analysis

Betting on baseball, like any sport, is about finding value. Turning a heaving favorite into a generous payoff is a sexy proposition. First, one must distinguish if viable ROI exists or if it is fluff. This will put you in the plus column more often than losing.

To reiterate, value is the single most important aspect of winning baseball betting or any other sport.

Going back over a decade, 28% of MLB games have been decided by just one run. That means finding value in the other 72% is where the profit lies. But knowing the proper situation to look for is the key to it all.

Here are few winning strategies that SB3 has identified.

The Run Line in Action (Useful Tips)

Betting a -160 or less home favorite coming off a 4+ run win is a true moneymaker. The strategy derives from a squad winning its last outing in blowout fashion and banking on a repeat victory in the next game.

Number don’t lie. When a team is in this situation, a net profit of 5.0 units has been proven over the last 10 years.

Fading large underdogs of at least +200 is another convincing method that will send you to the winners’ circle. Furthermore, when that underdog is coming off an upset win, a positive return of nearly 6.0 units has been documented on the heavy favorite to beat them in the next game.

Home underdogs coming off a 5+ run loss is another good spot for a run line wager. This is a clear-cut case of value. Bookmakers will tend to price this team too low in the betting market to fool the public. Expect a profitable and winning bet if you can find this situation.


When it comes to betting on sports, there is no magic winning formula. However, proper research, strong analysis and unparalleled dedication to number crunching and finding value is your best chance to turn a profit in the long run. Without it, you are a loser before making your first wager.

“Keep grinding, keep winning” should be the motto if you’re serious about building your bankroll.

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