Runline betting is an important concept to master if you are planning on betting on baseball, which you might want to be planning to do, because baseball is one of the best games to bet on. Baseball runline betting, in fact, is one of the most profitable bet types of all when used wisely.
Whenever you see baseball bets offered, you will see two main types of bets. The first is the moneyline, which looks something like this:
Los Angeles Dodgers +140
Philadelphia Phillies -130
Moneyline betting is rather simple, you just pick your winner, either the favorite or the underdog, and then you evaluate your “return on investment” in the sense that when you bet the dog, you bet $100 to win $140, and when you bet the favorite, you bet $130 to win $100.
Runline betting is the second option, a bit more complicated but also quite simple once you try it a few times–and extremely profitable for those baseball bettors who know how to work it.
Runline Betting Important Numbers: 1.5 and 2.5
Many baseball games are decided by either one or two runs. Runline bets are based upon that truth.
Basically what happens then, in any particular game, is that the “run line” is set at either 1.5 runs or 2.5 runs, depending on how heavily favored the favorite is to win. Usually, the run line is at 1.5 runs, unless you have one team that is favored to crush another team by many runs.
This 1.5 or 2.5 run line operates much like the point spread in football: you can bet on the underdog and, if the run line is at 1.5, you still win if the dog loses by only one run. You are either getting points or giving points, but in this case, because it’s baseball, points are called runs.
Runline Betting Requires a Second Calculation
Whenever you are considering a runline bet, you have to think beyond the point spread because there is a second factor that comes into play. Let’s take a look at a runline bet in action, because sometimes it’s easier to understand when you see an example:
Los Angeles Dodgers +1.5 +110
Philadelphia Phillies -1.5 -105
So you see then that not only are the Phillies favored to win the game, but they are favored to win the game by more than one run. This means that the Phillies are a very heavy favorite.
If, in the above example, you bet the Dodgers, you are betting that the Dodgers will lose by no more than one run, i.e. you are “getting points,” and your payout, if the Dodgers do lose by no more than one run, would be +110.
There are two calculations being made by the bookmaker when a runline betting line is offered: firstly, what team is favored is the first calculation, and secondly, how likely the favored team is to win by more than one run, i.e. cover the runline.
The bookmaker is never looking at those two factors in isolation, but always in tandem.
Whenever you are betting the runline, you must exercise the same sort of dual thinking. Pick the winning team, but then also calculate how likely your pick is to win by more than one run.
This may seem troublesome and complex when you’re first starting out, but if you can master this concept, you can reap profits. Betting the runline on a favorite when that favorite has its best pitcher on the mound is one of the most treasured wagers in all of sports betting.