Major League Baseball Sports Betting Basics & Beyond

Martin Derbyshire Updated on April 23, 2019

The first pitch in the 2019 Major League Baseball season was thrown out March 20. With that, the first full baseball season where anyone inside New Jersey can legally bet on Major League Baseball began.

Each of league’s 30 teams will play 162 games giving you literally thousands of opportunities to bet on baseball this year.

There are three basic baseball bet types available for each game:

  • Moneyline
  • Run line
  • Total

MLB moneylines

Moneyline betting on baseball is quite similar to other sports. NJ sports betting operators will post odds on each team in every game based on the teams’ chances of winning.

You simply pick the team you think will win and lay down a wager. If they manage to get the job done in that game you’ll get paid according to the odds set by the sportsbook where you placed the bet.

For example, on April 15 the New York Mets were at +100 visiting the Philadelphia Phillies at -114 on FanDuel Sportsbook. That means a $100 bet on the Mets would pay $100, plus your bet back if they win. In the meantime, you’d have to bet $114 on the Phillies to win $100 plus your bet back if they win.

MLB run lines

Baseball run lines are much like point spreads in other sports like football. The run line must be factored into a game’s final score when determining a betting winner.

Since the average MLB game is a pretty low scoring affair, run lines are almost always 1.5. Although, as the season rolls on you might find the odd 2.5 run line on games with a heavy favorite.

With a 1.5 run line you either bet that the favorite will win by 2 runs or more, or that the underdog will win outright or lose by only one run.

Betting on run lines effectively alter a game’s moneyline odds.

For example, on that April 15 Mets at Phillies game, PointsBet has the run line set at 1.5. The Phillies -1.5 is at +185 and the Mets +1.5 is at -210. The Phillies are a slight moneyline favorite, but when the run line is factored in the odds on the Mets are set as if they are the favorite.

As you can see, run line betting can be a way for you to get a better price on a moneyline favorite. But remember, the run line must be factored into the final score when determining the betting winner.

In other words, you’ll get a better price on the Phillies to win betting the run line, but they must win the game by two runs or more for your bet to pay off.

MLB totals

Totals bets on baseball games are just like totals in any other sport. You simply bet on whether the final run tally in a game will be over or under a total set by oddsmakers.

The odds on totals vary by game and operator, but you can expect to find anywhere from -105 to -120 on either side at most NJ sportsbooks.

MLB parlays

An MLB parlay is a single bet combining two or more basic MLB bets. Parlays pay better than individual bets, but you need to win every leg of the parlay to get paid anything at all.

Advanced MLB betting options

Most NJ sportsbooks also offer live in-play betting on MLB games. That means basic betting on lines that are adjusted as the action continues.

Most NJ sportsbooks will also offer more advanced betting options on MLB games including:

  • Doubles that combine two basic bets
  • Player props including things like which player will hit a home run or how many strikeouts each starter will throw
  • Inning by inning props and basic lines on the first five innings
  • Game props featuring alternatives to the basic lines and lines including things like which team will have the most hits

MLB futures

NJ sportsbooks also offer moneyline odds on who will win each MLB division, league, and ultimately the World Series.

These odds are adjusted for each team as the season continues. That means that as the season moves forward strong favorites are often established. For the most part, that also means that the price on these favorites is better the earlier in the season it is.

Basic MLB betting tips

The MLB season is a long one. That means anything can and will happen in individual games. However, trends often emerge. Hitters go on hot streaks and pitchers can dominate for long stretches throughout the year.

If you’re going to bet on baseball and want to do more than just throw darts at a board to make picks, it’s your job to identify these trends and take advantage of them.

Here are four basic baseball betting tips that might make that job a little easier:

Starting pitchers impact games

It’s important to be aware of a team’s rotation and who will be the next game’s starter because no one player impacts the game more. It’s so important most NJ sportsbooks will list the starter under the name of each team on the odds board. That’s tantamount to saying you’re betting on the starter as much as you are the team in any given game.

Hitters are streaky and it’s contagious

Look for teams that are on the verge of an offensive explosion. Pay attention to hitting statistics and identify the teams that are almost unstoppable at certain points in the season. Find two facing off against each other in games where they’re deep into the pitching rotation and hammer the over.

Watch the weather

You’re going to want to know when there’s a rain delay, but watching the weather can offer more than that. Balls fly out of the park on hot days but too much humidity can also make the difference between a fly ball out and a home run. A strong wind can have a major impact on home run totals as well. Look for ball parks that have a reputation for hosting high scoring games and bet on big run totals when the weather cooperates and low run totals when it does not.

Properly manage your baseball betting bankroll

The MLB regular season will run all the way to Sept. 29, so there’ no sense in blowing your entire bankroll on an early season sure thing. Especially since there’s really no such thing. Take your time and properly manage your betting bankroll throughout the season. That way you’ll still have something to bet when postseason baseball begins Oct. 1. Game 1 of the 2019 World Series is set for Oct. 22 and if the series goes seven games, Game 7 will be played on Oct. 30. It would be sure a shame to run out of cash before you get the chance to bet on that.

Where to bet on MLB games in NJ

Currently, there are 13 NJ gambling websites that offer sports betting where you can bet on MLB action:

Online SportsbookSports Betting Partner(s)Land-Based PartnerLaunch DateiOS?Android?
DraftKings SportsbookSBTechResorts ACAug. 6YesYes
BetStars NJNAResorts ACSept. 13YesYes
FanDuel SportsbookBetfair/IGTMeadowlandsSept. 1YesYes
William Hill NJNAMonmouth/Ocean ResortSept. 1YesYes
PointsBetNAMeadowlandsDec. 11YesYes
Caesars SportsbookScientific GamesCaesars ACSept. 6YesYes
SugarHouse SportsbookKambiMonmouth ParkAug. 23YesYes
888 SportKambiCaesarsSept. 10YesYes
Golden Nugget SportsbookSBTechGolden Nugget ACFeb. 19YesYes
playMGMGVCBorgata ACAug. 22YesYes
Hard Rock OnlineGiGHard Rock ACJan. 30YesYes
Resorts Online SportsbookSBTechResorts ACJan. 31YesYes
BetAmerica SportsbookSBTechGolden Nugget ACFeb. 2YesYes
bet365NAHard Rock ACUnknownLikelyLikely
Borgata SportsGVCBorgata ACMay 14, 2019YesYes
Ocean ResortWilliam HillOcean Resort CasinoUnknownLikely Likely
Bally'sScientific GamesBally's UnknownLikelyLikely
Harrah'sScientific GamesHarrah'sUnknownLikelyLikely
UnibetKambiHard Rock ACUnknownLikelyLikely
TheScoreBet.WorksMonmouth2019PlannedPlanned
CG TechnologyStadium TechnologyMeadowlands2019ProbablyProbably

There are also 10 open land-based sportsbooks in the state taking bets on MLB games:

Casino/RacetrackSports Betting PartnerLaunch DateSportsbook Name
Monmouth ParkWilliam HillJune 14Monmouth Park Sports Book By William Hill
Borgata SportsbookIGTJune 14Borgata Race & Sports Bar
Ocean Resort SportsbookWilliam HillJune 28William Hill Sportsbook @ Ocean Resort
MeadowlandsBetfair/FanDuelJuly 14FanDuel Sportsbook
Harrah's SportsbookScientific GamesAug. 1Harrah's Sports Book
Bally's SportsbookScientific GamesJuly 30Wild Wild West Sports Book
Golden Nugget SportsbookSBTechAug. 15The Sportsbook
Resorts SportsbookSBTech; DraftKings/KambiAug. 15DraftKings Sportsbook at Resorts
TropicanaWilliam HillOct. 25William Hill Sports Book at Tropicana Atlantic City
Hard Rock ACGiGJan. 30Hard Rock Sportsbook
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