Totals, or over/under, betting is not as common in Baseball as it is in Basketball or Football, but it’s very lucrative for punters who know what they’re doing. Learn more about this form of betting in Baseball games, and then try your luck at one of our recommended sportsbooks.
The Basics of Baseball Totals
As with all totals bets, in Baseball you’re predicting whether the combined final total will be above or below an amount set by the sportsbook. You can also put money on whether each side’s score will be over or under a certain amount, in team totals, and the totals of the first 5 innings. First five innings totals are very useful, because you don’t have to consider bullpen strength.
One of the best reasons to bet on Baseball is how much data you can research, to make informed decisions. Based on hundreds of thousands of games, we know that the likeliest totals are 7 and 9. A good rule of thumb is to always wager on odd numbers; even totals are rare in Baseball because games can never tie.
Bookmakers Avoid Pushes
If the total score equals the level that the bookie set, all bets push and are paid back to bettors. This includes the vigorish, meaning that operators don’t make a profit in this case. With this in mind, it stands to reason that sportsbooks want to avoid pushes whenever possible. In the case of Baseball totals, they therefore hardly ever set 7 and 9 since they are the commonest combined scores.
Instead, a book will move the run total up or down and change the payouts accordingly. Essentially, they’ll make the odds on the likelier outcome higher, and the odds on the less likely outcome lower, Action is still encouraged on both sides, as shown in the practical example below.
Imagine that the Toronto Blue Jays are playing against the New York Yankees, and the bookie thinks 7 is the likeliest total. They shade it down to 6 to minimise the chances of a push result, with the under at odds of 1.95 and the over at odds of 1.8.
Just like on other sports events particularly T20 cricket world cup betting, some bettors will opt for the under wager, even though its odds are worse, since so few games end in totals less than 6. On the other hand, other punters will choose the over option because the risk for the same return is less.
The wagers’ aggregate is the same, but the sportsbook’s risk of paying out pushes is lessened. The question now becomes whether you will decide to bet over or under. To make that decision, you’ll need to consider stadium shape, player performance, spirit in the teams, and all the factors you usually take into account when placing Baseball bets.
Shop around for the best totals
Like most wagers, Baseball totals can vary considerably across different sportsbooks. Since they’re not seen as often as totals in other sports, bookies often don’t protect themselves properly when they set them. Look around at various operators and find the most favourable odds and totals – it can certainly pay off!