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Baseball Gambling 101

Baseball betting rules are pretty standard for both Las Vegas and offshore sportsbooks. While there are many exotic rules, including prop bets, we are just going to stick to the fundamentals of baseball gambling in this article.

When gambling on a baseball game, you need to specify if you are doing so using the specific pitchers listed to start the game or NOT. Keep in mind that if you bet on a game and don't specify listed pitchers and there's a pitching change, your stuck with the replacement which often times isn't a good thing. You will also be subject to the odds changing as well.

Listed Pitchers: Both pitchers have to start the game and throw at least one pitch. If one or both pitchers don't throw a pitch, your money is refunded and your bet will be considered "no action."

Action: If you select "action" on a game your basically betting on the team stating you don't care who pitches and your game is going to be a bet regardless of a pitching change. You will however be subject to the new odds if a pitching change should come about.

Official Game: A baseball (side) bet becomes official for betting purposes after 5 innings of play or 4.5 innings if the home team has the lead. Should a game be suspended, the winning side is determined by the score after the last full inning unless the home team scores to tie or take the lead in the bottom half of the inning, in which case the winner is determined by the score at the time the game is called. Bets get refunded if the hometeam ties the game and then it goes into suspension. Suspended games become no action if they have to stop and start up the next day.

Totals (Over/Under Bets): In baseball gambling, totals must go the whole way to be considered action. The only exception is if a game goes 8.5 innings because the home team is leading after the top of the ninth inning. All "totals" use listed pitchers. A change in starting pitchers by one or both teams would be considered no action on a total. It's rare, but does happen. If a game doesn't go the full game it is refunded and dubbed no action.

Runlines and Prop Bets: These are dealt with the same way totals are. They have to finish and there can't be any pitching changes otherwise their deemed no action. Note: It is not statistially recommended to wager on prop bets.

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Baseball Gambling on the Money Line - Think of the money line in terms of how many pennies you would have to bet to win $1. If the money line were 150, you'd need to bet $1.50 on the favorite to win $1. If you bet on the favorite and won, you would receive $2.50 (your bet of $1.50 plus your winnings of $1.00). To bet on the underdog, you would need to bet only $1 to win but would only receive $2.40 because the house takes its commission from the winners of underdog bets. Generally the commission is around $.10 for money line bets. Because oddsmakers update the money line, the opening and current money lines are shown, with the opening money line listed first. In the following example, Los Angeles is favored. The opening money line was 150, and the current money line is 149.

Baseball Gambling On the Over/Under - The over/under number is used as in other sports. However, sometimes the over or under side of a bet is favored and in these cases there is a money line associated with the over/under bet. In the following example, the over/under number is 8.5, and an over bet is favored, indicated by the letter "o" following the over/under number. If the under bet were favored, there would be a letter "u" and if neither side is favored, "o/u" appears. If you bet over, you are risking $1.30 for a $2.30 payout ($1 plus your bet of $1.30) and you win if the combined scores of both teams total 9 or more. If you bet under, you are risking $1 to win $1.10 ($1.30 minus the house commission of $ .20) and you win if the combined scores of both teams total 8 or less. If neither over nor under was favored, you would risk $1.20 to win an additional $1 on either side of the bet.

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