The 2021 MLB players are underway, and many people are looking at ways to make money during the stretch. There are games virtually every day, and with high stakes attached to them, there figures to be some pretty great action overall.
One way to get in on the action is to bet on the number of runs total in a game. This requires a little bit more strategy than what is normally used when making picks, but a lot of people believe that it is a better way to play and it’s not necessarily about choosing sides.
What Does a Run Total Line Look Like?
As the name suggests, run total lines are based on the number of runs that the two teams will score. This means that any combination can end up working out for a winning bet. Think it will be a pitcher’s duel? Instead of attempting to pick the winner, bet the under. Will it be a slugfest? Betting over the run total line is the way to go.
Another name for this option is totals bet. Make sure to double-check before placing a bet to ensure that it’s the run total line, not the run line.
What is the Difference Between Run Total Lines, and Run Lines?
A run total line in baseball is going to count what both teams can put up on the scoreboard. The run line is more like spread betting in other sports. Since baseball doesn’t have a spread bet, there is a run line instead that acts similarly.
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Scores are so low in baseball that it is very hard to have traditional lines like other major American sports. That’s why run line bets can be enticing. It gives individuals a chance to bet on the team if they feel like they are going to win by more than one run. Run lines don’t have even odds, so pay attention to the different payouts.
How Do Sportsbooks Set the Run Total Lines?
Every game, and every sportsbook for that matter, can have different run total lines. The most common options are between 6 1/2 and 7 1/2. Generally speaking, that’s the average number of runs in a MLB game, so it makes a lot of sense. Instead of moving the run total lines too much, they will give one or the other better odds depending on the matchup.
Regular Season vs. Postseason Baseball
Fans of Major League Baseball understand that games are usually a little bit lower scoring in the postseason. Not only are these the best teams, but they don’t run the risk of leaving a pitcher out there for too long if they are getting hit around. Teams have very deep bullpens days, and it’s not a problem at all for them to throw six or seven pitchers in a single game. This works against hitters, as they are always facing someone new.
There’s a time and place for this type of betting, just like any other option out there. The return of investment is roughly the same as betting in other matters when looking at it statistically.
What Happens When The Total Matches the Line?
When there is a push at a sportsbook, everyone gets their money back. It’s something the sportsbook usually don’t like to do, which is why a run total line will be 6.5 or 7.5 instead of 7.
Do Extra Innings Count in Run Total Lines?
Yes, any runs scored in extra innings count toward the run total line. This has swayed bets over the years quite a bit, as anything can happen in extra innings. Most of the time, the winning team scores one extra run. However, there can end up being pretty big leads in extra innings if teams score a lot in their half of the inning. Even a walk-off home run can add three or four runs to the total.
Is Betting Run Total Lines a Smart Investment?
Like any type of bet, it all depends on the type of research a person put into the process. Some people love the idea of not having to actually pick a winner to win the bet. All it takes is for one team to score a lot of runs, and the chances of going over the run total line is pretty high.
Why Run Total Lines Can Make for Excitement in the MLB Playoffs
Some people like to put money on their favorite team, or at least the one they feel is going to win it all. Others just like the excitement of MLB playoffs, and that’s where run total lines can come into play. Give a wager like this a try during the postseason, keeping in mind that pitching usually dominates more than hitting. Sportsbooks have adjusted to that, so the odds of getting a no-brainer option are slim.