Our MLB odds page updates round-the-clock with the latest MLB betting lines and odds changes. Things move very quickly with MLB odds because every team plays nearly every day. Staying on top of MLB lines is more important than any other sport. Our recommended MLB sites are all completely legal and regulated, so you will find the most accurate, up-to-date MLB odds every day.
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How to Read MLB Lines
The MLB run line is how oddsmakers handicap games. In NFL betting, oddsmakers set a point spread like -7 and the odds stay the same at -110. In MLB betting, the run line always stays the same but the odds change. MLB odds always have the same line of -1.5 runs or +1.5 runs. Betting on the favorite means you expect that team to win by two runs or more. Betting on the underdog means you expect them to win outright or lose by no less than one run.
Let’s say the Houston Astros are hosting the Boston Red Sox and the teams are pretty evenly matched. Both teams have their aces on the mound. The Astros would be a slight favorite due to home-field advantage. Here’s how an MLB run line might look for this game.
- Boston Red Sox +1.5 (-170)
- Houston Astros -1.5 (+150)
The number in parenthesis shows the risk/reward of both potential bets. A $100 run line bet on the Houston Astros would win $150 if it hits. But remember, the Astros need to win by two runs. A 6-5 win wouldn’t cut it.
Bettors who take the Boston Red Sox run line need to risk $170 in order to win $100. The risk/reward isn’t as good as moneyline (more on that it in a bit), but a run line bet provides extra cushion. That’s especially true in our scenario. The game figures to be lower-scoring with two aces pitching. So, the bet hits if the Red Sox win outright, but it also hits if the Astros win 3-2. As long as the Red Sox don’t lose by two runs, this MLB bet is a winner.
Bettors should also check out our free odds calculator to convert MLB odds if necessary and make smarter money management decisions.
The MLB moneyline is easier to understand than run line. You’re just picking the winning team. The MLB odds where you find risk/reward will depend on how the two teams stack up. People often choose their moneyline bets based on the starting pitcher. So you’d need to risk a lot for a moneyline bet on a team with its best pitcher facing the opposing team’s fifth starter.
Let’s say the Washington Nationals are hosting the San Diego Padres at Nationals Park. Now let’s say Max Scherzer is pitching for the Nationals and enters with an ERA of 2.81. The Padres could be at the bottom of the rotation with Joey Lucchesi, entering with an ERA of 4.32.
The pitching mismatch makes the Nationals a big favorite, and the moneyline could look something like this.
- San Diego Padres – J. Lucchesi (L) +170
- Washington Nationals – M. Scherzer (R) -190
MLB moneyline betting odds usually include the starting pitcher. The (L) or (R) indicates whether the pitcher is right or left-handed. That’s important. If the Nationals batting lineup includes several right-handed hitters who rake off lefty pitchers, the Nationals have an even bigger advantage.
The number at the end of the betting line shows the risk/reward. Bettors siding with the Washington Nationals need to risk $190 to win $100. But the final score doesn’t matter as long as the Nationals win the game. If Scherzer tosses a complete game shutout and the Nationals win 1-0, that’s still a win for Nationals bettors.
On the other side, a $100 bet on the underdog San Diego Padres would pay $170. MLB underdog moneyline bets are popular because of that value. Even Cy Young winners have bad starts over the course of an MLB season. And the worst team in the MLB still won 47 games in 2019. Savvy moneyline bettors need to look beyond the starters. Bullpens tend to be undervalued in moneyline betting, but relief pitchers are often the ones deciding the game in the late innings.
MLB bettors can also combine several moneyline bets into a parlay. Rather than just bet the Nationals, one could include two more heavy favorites with favorable pitching matchups for a three-team parlay with a much higher payout. You can play around with these MLB odds and all sorts of different scenarios with our free parlay calculator.
MLB total betting works just like totals, or over/unders, in other sports. The number is just smaller than NFL and NBA betting because baseball scoring is lower. Once MLB oddsmakers set a number like 9.5, you can bet on whether the total number of runs scored in the game will be more or less than 9.5 runs.
Here’s how a typical MLB total might look for an interleague game between the New York Yankees and the St. Louis Cardinals.
New York Yankees vs. St. Louis Cardinals.
- Over 9.5 (-110)
- Under 9.5 (-110)
Pretty simple. These MLB odds show that bettors can risk $110 to win $100 on the over or the under. It doesn’t matter which team wins. The New York Yankees could win 6-4 or 9-2. The over still hits in both cases. Same goes for the under – the St. Louis Cardinals could win 8-0 or 5-4. As long as the combined number of runs isn’t 10 or higher, the under is a hitter.
There’s plenty of value to be had in MLB total betting for those who study weather reports, park dimensions, hitting trends and advanced pitching stats. You can also use our MLB free picks to help guide you.