There are any number of ways to bet on MLB games. Betting the moneyline on the favorite or the underdog is probably the most common way along with betting on the total line for the games. The MLB run line acts like spread with the favorite giving the underdog 1.5 runs. You can usually find a set of team and player props for each MLB game to expand your betting options even further.
One of the more interesting ways to bet on baseball is with the use of a 5-inning betting line. This would basically be the equivalent of betting the first half of a football or basketball game given that full baseball games last nine innings. You can bet the sides and the total for the first five innings of most games.
The biggest advantage for bettors wagering on just the first five innings of a MLB game is with the starting pitching. Most starters will pitch into the fifth inning unless they are getting knocked around pretty bad early in the game. With both starters in play for the majority of this bet, there is more reliability in the handicapping process. Sometimes you never know what you are going to get from any number of MLB starting pitchers from one game to the next, but it can be much easier to predict a possible outcome without adding in each team’s bull pen as a major factor in later innings.
If you are betting a five-inning line of a game that features each team’s ace, then a play on the UNDER line set at any number becomes an attractive play. You know that you are going to get each pitcher’s best stuff before they start to wear down with an elevated pitch count. The same could be said for two pitchers facing one another with an elevated ERA. Betting the OVER in this situation might be the way to go depending on the current hitting form with each opposing team’s starting lineup.
Another advantage of betting on a five-inning moneyline for the side is the possibility of a PUSH coming into play. If the game happens to be tie after the end of the fifth inning, then no money exchanges hands. That is obviously not the case when betting a whole game that will eventually be determined in extra innings.
One other thing to keep in mind with a five-inning bet is the shorter duration of the actual bet. How many times have you lost a moneyline bet on a MLB game because the pitching broke down in the later innings, or even worse in the ninth inning or in extra innings. Win or lose, you know that your bet will decided at the end of the fifth.
If you really like one side over the other, you can always bet the game both ways. You can track your plays to see how many five-inning bets would have been correct for the entire game as well. A five-inning bet can also act as a hedge against the full game bet. If you win the first one, then you are playing with house money for the full game wager in case something does go south over the final four innings of a game.
One betting strategy you can use if you decide to go this route is to split the amount of money you were going to bet on a game in half. Bet one half on the five-inning line and bet the other half on the full-game moneyline. This can be a good way to keep things interesting for the entire game.