MLB Betting: Betting Big Favoritess On The Run Line

The majority of baseball bets are placed on the moneyline or betting on the total score. However, there are certain situations when bettors should take advantage of the run line. Many casual bettors don’t even understand how the run line works. It is similar to the point spread in football or basketball in that a point spread is established at -1.5 or +1.5 in order to create a more even betting matchup. The favorite will be listed at -1.5 runs while the underdog will be listed at +1.5 runs. Here is a look at whether you should bet on big baseball favorites on the run line.

The Numbers

The numbers indicate that it has been more profitable to bet the large favorites on the run line than on the money line over the years. The heavily bet favorites between -200 to -225 have delivered at about a +2.3% return on investments over the past decade. Meanwhile, betting on favorites at -225 to -250 on the run line has produced a +3.7% return on investment. These numbers indicate that you want to find the sweet spot when it come to betting favorites on the run line. You could still profit from run line bets that don’t fall in to this category. However, the numbers indicate that you can really thrive betting money line favorites between -200 and -250 on the run line.

The Strategy

The basic strategy of this approach to betting on the run lines is about willing to give up an extra run in exchange for a better potential payout. For example, if the Chicago Cubs are listed as -250 favorites to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates at home. Now, if the Cubs are listed at -250 then there is a good chance they will win outright. There is also a good chance they will win the game by two runs or more. In this situation, the Cubs could be listed at -225 on the money line and then -1.5 (+120) on the run line. If you feel like they are just as likely to win by two runs as by one run then it obviously makes sense to bet them on the run line since you will risk less money on the bet while also increasing the amount of money you can potentially win on the wager. Picking the Cubs to win on the money line would require risking $225 just to win $100. At the same time, taking the Cubs on the run line would require risking $100 to win $120. In this example, you are risking $125 less on the run line to potentially win $20 more than you would on the money line bet in exchange for one extra run in a game that you think will be fairly lopsided result anyways.


Based on the overall numbers it’s clear that you can improve your bottom line by considering the run line wagers more often. The majority of casual bettors don’t use the run lines. In fact, they might not even know what it is. While some people just feel more comfortable betting on the money line the fact the numbers show you can improve your profit margin betting on the run line should influence you to change your approach. The sharp handicappers tend to bet big favorites on the run line instead of the money line. The numbers indicate you can definitely benefit from following their lead and doing the same.

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