How to Bet on Baseball Games

Three Methods:Betting and the LawPlacing a Moneyline BetBetting a Runline

Many professional bettors consider wagering on baseball to be the most elite of sports betting. Baseball is not a very popular bet because of the unfamiliarity of it compared to other sports such as basketball and football. In baseball wagering, runlines and moneylines compose the two most common wagers.

Method 1
Betting and the Law

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    Establish a relationship with a bookmaker. While you can only legally place bets with a bookmaker in a handful of U.S. states. Bookmakers can still be found throughout the U.S. and operate regularly. You can find a bookmaker through a trusted source, a fellow sports gambler, or through a recommendation. You’re advised to take caution if you approach a bookmaker through the black market.
    • You will be responsible to follow through with any bets you’ve made.
    • If you can’t afford the cash for the bet, don’t place the bet. You don’t want to risk having a bookmaker and their associates upset with you.
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    Travel to a legal state. There are several locations throughout the U.S. where you can place legal bets. The following states are legal to bet on baseball: Nevada, Oregon, Delaware, and Montana. There are also several Native American casinos that allow legal wagers on sports.
    • Research the Native American casino because they might not have a bookmaker for baseball.
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    Understand the law. The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act confines legal sports betting to Nevada, Oregon, Delaware, and Montana.[1] Several states have attempted to repeal the act for tax benefits of regulated gambling. If you don’t live in one of the confined states as decreed by the act, you are illegally gambling.
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    Go online to gamble. Online gambling is regulated from state to state. Some states have banned online gambling, but they actively go after the bookmakers and not the players. No one has been charged with a criminal act for placing a bet on the internet.[2] If you use a site located offshore that is licensed in a jurisdiction that allows for legal online gambling, you will not be breaking any laws as these sites are not subject to US law. The current laws only make it illegal to own or operate a bookmaking site within the US borders.[3] Seek out one of the following sites:
    • Bovada Sportsbook. Limited to NY, MD, NJ, NV, and MD.
    • BetOnline Sportsbook, which is open to all states.
    • Sportsbetting.Ag

Method 2
Placing a Moneyline Bet

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    Choose to moneyline. The simplest bet for the beginning gambler or amateur to baseball is a moneyline wager. People choose moneyline betting because it caters more to baseball scoring than other forms of betting. You can choose between the favored team or the underdog and place an appropriate bet. The underdog team is made cheaper to wager on.
    • Moneyline betting typically is wagered in $100 dollar increments. To win this amount you will usually need to wager a higher number.
    • Be sure you can afford a moneyline bet before getting involved.
    • Moneyline is the most popular form of gambling for baseball.
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    Understand the moneyline terminology. Moneyline has a numerical technique that differs from basketball or football, where a team is favored by points. Favored teams are valued with a negative value and the underdog team is placed with a positive value. To profit from the the value of -130, you need to wager $130 to win $100. To profit off the underdog with a value of +165, you have to bet $100 to receive $165.
    • Think of 100 in between the two values, like +165 +100 -185.[4]
    • You’re meant to risk more for the favored team.
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    Place a wager. Take a look at the odds board and see which team is favored and which team is the underdog. Use this information alongside your prior knowledge of the players and performance history. If you are a Cubs fan, and they are projected as the underdog, decide if you want to bet against your home team.
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    Understand the odds. Bookmakers include the starting pitcher in their published lines. The starting pitcher has the most single handed effect on the game in terms of wagering. It helps if you watch the game religiously before beginning to place bets, unless you have the means to gamble loosely.

Method 3
Betting a Runline

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    Choose to runline. Runline gambling is a combination of moneyline and a point spread system. This type of betting is only recommended for the most serious baseball aficionados. Runline requires a prior knowledge of stats, trends, and pitching performances. Runline brings a familiar element to sports bettors who favor wagering on football and basketball based off adding or losing points. Points translate into runs for baseball.[5]
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    Understand runline terminology. The key to understanding runline is to understand baseball’s scoring technique. A run is a point awarded when a player successfully makes it around the bases before three outs. The favored team is presented as a negative, like -1.5, and the underdog is attached to a positive value, +1.5.
    • With a 1.5 odds, the favored team needs to win with 2 runs or more, and the underdog team must lose by one run or win the game.[6]
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    Place a runline bet. Some bookmakers won’t have runline bets as an option since it isn’t as popular in baseball. You can always ask your bookmaker if it’s possible to place a runline. Look at the odds and compare them to your preferences.
    • For example: A bet on Cincinnati would require that the favored team, Cincinnati, to win the game by two runs to cover the spread and pay out the bettor. If the final score was Cincinnati 4 Chicago 2, $55 laid on the Reds would pay out $50 for a grand total of $105 at the window.
    • In contrast, if the final score was Cincinnati 3 Chicago 2, the Chicago runline bet would pay out as Chicago was given -1.5 runs. If the runline final score is Cincinnati 3 Chicago 3.5. In that situation, $50 laid on the Chicago would result in $110 at the window - $50 bet plus the $60 runline.


  • A wise baseball wagerer will spend copious amounts of time studying the statistics of the game.
  • The field of play and weather forecast are exceptionally important.


  • Gambling can be addictive, and the results of gambling addiction can be just as bad as many substance abuses. If you are gambling more than you can afford to lose, you need to seek help.

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Categories: Fans of Baseball