Baseball Odds 101

Baseball odds may not be the most popular form of sports odds but they are very enjoyable for those who bet them.

The attraction of the baseball betting lines is that a gambler can have daily action from April through October and be able to develop a rhythm that can often lead to big profits right through the baseball playoffs.

Baseball odds are based primarily on the money line. Instead of laying points such as in football and basketball, gamblers will either lay baseball odds on the favorite or take baseball odds on the dog. For example, let's say that you see baseball betting lines that read “Baltimore Orioles +130, Detroit Tigers -150.” For gamblers that want to take Baltimore, they would bet $100 to win $130 or proportionate amounts, such as $10 to win $13 in baseball betting lines.

For gamblers that wanted Detroit, they would lay out $150 to win $100, or again, proportionate amounts in baseball odds. Now you may notice that twenty-cent spread/difference in the prices between Baltimore and Detroit. That is the sportsbook 'vig/juice' spread for booking the bet. Since there is no pointspread in this situation, the house cannot charge the standard ten-percent 'vig' with baseball odds. This example of baseball odds that we have is known as a “twenty-cent line” since there is a twenty-cent differential between Baltimore at +$130 and Detroit at -$150. In general, the baseball betting lines can range from nickel lines on close games to up to sixty-cents, or even higher, for mismatches.

The closest thing in baseball odds to a pointspread is the run line, in which gamblers can lay 1.5-runs with the chalk or take 1.5-runs with the dog. The appeal of the run lines is that for heavy favorites, a gambler can get a price break in baseball odds in what he has to lay. On that previous example you would actually get plus money if you took Detroit -1.5 in baseball odds.  You might lay -1.5 runs and get +140.  If you took the +1.5 runs on Baltimore you might lay -160 in baseball odds. These are still money line wagers but you are laying 1.5 or receiving 1.5 runs in baseball odds.