Baseball – Baseball

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Betting on baseball is different from football and basketball because a pointspread is not used. Normally, ‘money lines' are used, and that is where confusion can arise. The odds — or money lines — primarily are based on starting pitchers because they are considered the most decisive factor in each game's outcome. Here is how baseball games typically are listed on a betting board.

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Game #901 Houston Astros S. Reynolds 8

Game #902 Los Angeles Dodgers K. Brown -150

Unless otherwise noted, teams listed second always are home. Kevin Brown is the scheduled starting pitcher for Los Angeles, and Shane Reynolds is expected to start for the Astros.

The figure to the right of Shane Reynolds' name is the total. Bettors can wager on whether the teams' combined runs will exceed (in this example) eight. Traditionally, bettors are required only to lay ‘even money' (lay $1.10 to win $1.00) to bet a total. Occasionally, however, betting a total will require laying more ‘juice.'

The figure to the right of Kevin Brown's name is the money line. A negative figure indicates favorite status. In this example, Brown is a $1.50 favorite. That means winning bets on Los Angeles would pay $1.00 for every $1.50 wagered.

Conversely, winning bets on the Astros would pay $1.40 for every $1.00 wagered.

Another example of how the money line could appear is shown below.

Game #901 Houston Astros S. Reynolds +140

Game #902 Los Angeles Dodgers K. Brown -150

It is important to remember that negative numbers signify the favorite. Positive numbers represent underdog status.

Game numbers should be used to identify teams. When ticket writers hear, “I want to the Dodgers for $150,” they likely will ask for a game number in lieu of a team name. The proper way to call out that bet is, “Number 902 for 150 dollars.”

The DBS schedule establishes bet numbers for every sporting event, and is available in every Las Vegas sports book. Sports books often compete for business by offering 15-cent, 10-cent or even 5-cent lines. The difference in these lines is seen in the ‘comeback.' Our example incorporates a 10-cent line. If a sports book were to use a 20-cent line, the ‘comeback' in our example would be only $1.30. Obviously, it is in the players' best interest to find a book that offers ‘nickel lines.'

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