For some reason many newbie bettors find runline betting overly complicated. It’s really not though. If you understand spread betting and know how to work moneyline betting than you’ve already got the knowledge for runline betting.
For the true layman, runline betting is another way to bet on baseball. The only difference between runline betting and regular moneyline betting is the addition of a 1.5-run spread to the moneyline favorite. By adding this 1.5-run spread the odds change dramatically. Let’s take a look at an example that shows the moneyline and runline for a game.
First the moneyline:
Cleveland Indians +155
Detroit Tiger -165
And now with the addition of a 1.5-run spread to Detroit, the runline for the same game:
Cleveland Indians +1.5 (-155)
Detroit Tigers -1.5 (+135)
Now that the Tigers must cover a 1.5-point spread their odds have changed from -165 on the moneyline to +135 on the runline. Just in case you don’t know what those numbers mean we’ll explain. A 1.5-point spread means the Tigers basically start the game trailing Cleveland by 1.5 runs. So, to cover the spread the Tigers must beat the Indians by more than 1.5 runs. What about the +135? This means that on a $100 wager you would win $135 profit. By comparison on the moneyline of -165 you would have to wager $165 to win $100 profit. This is how the addition of the spread changes the odds.
So, let’s say the Tigers defeated the Indians by a score or 6-4. If you bet on Detroit on the runline you would win your bet because they covered the 1.5-run spread. However, if the final score was say, Detroit 6, Cleveland 5 you would lose a runline bet on Detroit because they did not cover the spread. On this same 6-5 score a bet on Cleveland would be a winner. For a wager on Cleveland to win the Indians don’t have to win the game, they simply have to lose by fewer than 1.5 runs to cover the 1.5-run spread.
Runline betting can be a way to increase your profits instead of settling for the moneyline when you expect the moneyline favorite to win by a wide margin.