How to Profit From MLB Baseball Run Line Betting

At Sports Insights, our sports betting systems typically focus on the MLB money line, but customers often ask us about whether they can make money with baseball run line betting. For those who are unfamiliar, the “run line” is similar to the spread in sports like football or basketball. Instead of betting that a team will win the game straight up (money line betting), you instead bet with a run line of 1.5. A favorite would be listed at -1.5, meaning that they would need to win by at least two runs to cover the spread. On the flip side, an underdog would be listed at +1.5 and would need to either win straight up or lose by one run for a bettor to cash in.

Many bettors like this strategy because it allows them to get plus money on the favored team. For example the Tampa Bay Rays are -145 favorites tonight against the Boston Red Sox; however, a bettor could get a Tampa Bay run line at -1.5 (+150) at a number of books. That means if the Rays won by at least two runs, somebody with a $100 bet on the Tampa Bay Run Line would win $150. On the contrary, that same $100 bet on the Rays moneyline would have earned just $68.97.

Knowing that you can always find plus money on baseball Run Line favorites, we were curious as to whether we could find a profitable MLB Run Line system using our BetLabs software. Our goal was to use the following historically profitable MLB betting trends to create a winning system:

  1. Betting Against the Public.
  2. High totals (over/under) increase the unpredictability of the game, which tends to benefit the underdog.
  3. Buy on bad news, sell on good. Specifically, we’ve observed that teams in the midst of a losing streak tend to be undervalued.

The first thing we did was launch our BetLabs software and select two basic factors to look at: home teams and underdogs. (To clarify, a moneyline favorite will typically be a baseball Run Line favorite as well — even if they are receiving plus money on the vig.) When we noticed that all home dogs had produced a record of 2,871-2,340 with just -5.54 units, we were fairly confident that layering a few more simple filters could result in significant profits.

Our next logical step was to focus solely on games where the underdog was in a range of -105 through +220. Adding this simple factor trimmed down the number of results significantly and produced a record of 379-511 with +41.4 units won and a 4.7% return on investment (ROI). Although this alone would be a profitable system, we wanted to fully utilize the wide array of filters that are available within Bet Labs.

By focusing solely on games with a total of at least 7, we saw our units won increase to +55.24 while the ROI jumped to 6.3%.

MLB Baseball Run Line Results

Since betting against the public has been the cornerstone of our success, the next logical filter to add involved the spread betting percentage. When we examined teams fitting this criteria that were also receiving less than 40% of spread bets, our units won leaped to +51.25 while our ROI increased to 9.4%.

But why stop here? We know that the public tends to overvalue teams in the middle of winning streaks while undervaluing teams in the midst of a losing streak, which fits perfectly into our “buy low, sell high” philosophy. Simply focusing on teams in the midst of a 1, 2 or 3 game losing streak slightly cut down on our units won, however it caused our return on investment to soar up to 19.3%.

Final Baseball Run Line System

Full MLB Baseball Runline System

As you can see, this system has produced consistent gains from year to year although this season the system is just 2-3 with a loss of 0.5 units. BetLabs customers have access to all of this information, and can now have all of their current game matches forwarded to either their cell phone or e-mail.

Would you like to add any filters to this system? Do you think you can build a more profitable MLB Baseball Run Line system? Sign up for a free one-on-one BetLabs demo to see what this powerful software can do.

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9 comments on “How to Profit From MLB Baseball Run Line Betting
  1. This was a little confusing, their saying to go with the -1.5 or the +1.5? I dont believe in giving 2 runs in a baseball game, but i do believe in taking 2 runs.

    • There have been moneyline favorites greater than -400. While it doesn’t happen often, underdogs in these games can still have +200 odds on the +1.5 runlines.

      • There was a 4 game series in the summer of 2010, Orioles at Rangers. Rangers began as heavy favorites and became heavier and heavier favorites as they lost and lost and lost and after the 3rd game, Cliff Lee was traded to the Rangers and flew in from Seattle to start the 4th game, steepest line I’ve seen in 5 years, steeper than -400. And the Orioles swept.

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