Betting MLB Run Lines at Online Sportsbooks

Betting the sport of baseball at online sportsbooks is heavily tied to moneyline odds for favorites and underdogs. The other popular way to bet on MLB games is through the total line tied to the combined final score.

The third way to bet on baseball at online books such as Vice is on the run line. This could be considered a hybrid bet that combines a traditional spread with moneyline odds. Unlike football and basketball’s variable spreads, it is always 1.5 runs for baseball games.

Adding 1.5 runs to the underdog’s final score alters the actual moneyline odds to a very high degree. The following is a direct comparison between the two.

MLB Moneyline Odds:

San Francisco Giants +110

Los Angeles Dodgers -130

To bet the moneyline in this game, you would have to wager $130 to win $100 taking the Dodgers to win straight-up as home favorites. You could also bet $100 on the Giants as road underdogs. If they win the game SU, you would collect $110.

MLB Run Line Odds:

San Francisco Giants (+1.5) -170

Los Angeles Dodgers (-1.5) +145

By taking the Dodgers and giving up the 1.5 runs, your $100 bet can turn into $145 if they win the game by two runs. Taking the Giants plus the 1.5 runs would now cost you $170 to win $100. They need to win SU or lose by one run.

The correlation between the moneyline odds and run line odds can be different depending on the matchup. Division teams tend to play each other tougher. Resent head-to-head results might reveal a number of close games.

MLB Oddsmakers take quite a few things into consideration when it comes to setting the moneyline and the run line for any particular game.

Your job is to find the best value in the numbers when it comes to the daily opportunities to cash a winner on a MLB run line bet. Sometimes it might lean towards the favorite -1.5 runs offering an attractive plus money return. Sometimes it might lean towards the underdog plus the spread even with the added risk.

There is no one particular betting strategy for MLB run lines. The matchup at hand dictates the true value in the odds. Current playing form and recent head-to-head results are two of the most important factors to take into consideration.

Reducing the risk betting the favorite in a lopsided matchup can be a viable run line strategy. For example, the New York Yankees might be heavy -250 SU favorites against Baltimore on the moneyline. You would be able to lower that risk quite a bit at -120 (-1.5) odds on the run line.

There is also a correlation between a game’s total line and its run line odds. A low total such as 6.5 or 7 runs points to a tighter game due to fewer runs scored. This benefits the underdog.

A higher total such as 11 or 12 runs could move the advantage to the favorite scoring far more than the two extra runs it needs to cover the run line spread.

Once again, betting MLB run lines all comes down to the matchup at hand. Hot teams belting in quite a few runs per game during a current winning streak become attractive run line favorites. Underdogs with a solid starter backed by a decent bullpen could increase their value to keep things close win or lose.