MLB Spread Odds Explained – Guide How to Win Baseball Spread Bets

Over a third of all bets placed on the MLB are spread bets. They are an extremely popular bet type and, in this article, we’re going to look at everything you need to know about MLB spreads.

To do this we’ve covered a range of topics that include examples of spread bets, how they are paid out, how to place them, MLB spreads picks, and the best sportsbook to use with this market. By doing so we’re proving the most in-depth content on MLB spreads to aid you to win more from this bet type.

The Latest MLB Spread Odds

The tables below include several upcoming MLB games and the odds of the spread for each of them. We’re going to go into more detail about how this market works later, but for now, we will keep this up to date with the latest MLB spreads for each game week.

One thing that we want you to note from this section is how the odds differ from book to book. It’s imperative that you shop around for the best odds as this can create easy additional income from your MLB bets.

Seattle Mariners v Detroit Tigers

Team BetOnline XBet MyBookie BetUS Bovada Sportsbetting.ag
Mariners -1.5 +115 +110 +112 +110 +115 +116
Tigers +1.5 -140 -135 -130 -130 -137 -133

Kansas City Royals v Chicago White Sox

Team BetOnline XBet MyBookie BetUS Bovada Sportsbetting.ag
White Sox -1.5 +105 +105 -102 +105 -105 +104
Royals +1.5 -125 -125 -118 -125 -115 -124

Oakland Athletics v Washington Nationals

Team BetOnline XBet MyBookie BetUS Bovada Sportsbetting.ag
Athletics -1.5 +155 +165 +170 +175 +162 +155
Nationals +1.5 -190 -195 -210 -210 -190 -190

LA Dodgers v New York Mets

Team BetOnline XBet MyBookie BetUS Bovada Sportsbetting.ag
Dodgers -1.5 +125 +120 +122 +122 +120 +120
Mets +1.5 -156 -140 -146 -145 -145 -143

What is an MLB Spread Bet?

An MLB spread bet is essentially a handicap bet. This is where the bookmaker adds or subtracts runs from the final score to create a more even field for both teams.

The concept is to get the odds as close to each other as they can by handicapping runs. The favorites, based on the moneyline, have runs removed and the underdogs have runs added.

The number of runs will depend on the game, but the majority of what is regarded as a “standard” MLB spread is 1.5 runs either way. Some sportsbooks allow you to alter the spread by adding or subtracting runs, which in turn affects the odds accordingly.

Please note that an MLB spread can also be referred to as the “runline”, but they are the same market.

How do MLB Spread Odds Work?

Both teams will be assigned moneyline prices. These are straight-up odds based on the likelihood of that team winning. The spread then takes this into account and will add or remove runs from the score to create a theoretical score at the end of the game.

Odds are set in American style with most US sportsbooks. With this, you get two numbers, one of which is positive and the other negative. The positive is the amount of money won from a $100 bet and the negative is the amount you need to wager to make a $100 profit.

The spread is created by the handicapping team. A “true spread” is where the price for both teams is the same. This will be around even money or -110. It’s rare to find this and if you look at the examples from the live odds above, you will see that the spread is very rarely perfect.

MLB Spread Bet Example

The table below shows the MLB spread for a game between the Texas Rangers and the Boston Red Sox. We’ve included the moneyline odds for this bet to see how the MLB spread changes the odds for this.

Team Spread Odds Moneyline Odds
Texas Rangers +1.5 @ -130 +145
Boston Red Sox -1.5 @ +110 -175

As you can see, Boston are strong favorites to win the game outright priced at -175 on the moneyline market. However, when the spread has been applied, Texas are favorites with 1.5 runs added to their score priced at -130. This means that +1.5 runs will be added to their final score for the purpose of this betting market.

How are MLB Spread Bets Paid Out?

MLB spread bets are relatively easy to work out for the most part if you use whole numbers. It becomes a little trickier when you include obscure amounts that include pennies or cents.

We’re going to use the example above with the game between the Rangers and Red Sox to see how a typical payout would work. For this, we will use a bet of $100 on both teams for the MLB spread market.

  • $100 @ -130 for the +1.5 on Texas would see a return of $176.92, leaving a profit of $76.92
  • $100 @ +110 for the -1.5 on Boston would see a return of $210, leaving a profit of $110

Given the odds on offer for this MLB spread, this is one of the closer matchups that you will see from this market. The spread isn’t perfect as the odds aren’t the same for each team, but it’s very rare to find this in baseball.

Frequently Asked Questions about MLB Spread Bets

Below we’ve included a series of frequently asked questions about MLB spread bets.

Why do MLB Spread odds change?

How does a sportsbook earn money from MLB Spread bets?

How does a sportsbook determine an MLB Spread price?

What if the price changes after placing an MLB Spread bet?

Are MLB Spread bets good bets?

Can you put MLB Spread bets in parlays?

What is the spread in MLB?

What does a +1.5 spread mean in baseball?

What does +3 spread mean in baseball?

What does a negative spread mean in baseball?

How do you play point spread in baseball?

What is the run spread in baseball?

How to Place an MLB Spread Bet

BetOnline is widely regarded as the best sportsbook for MLB spread betting. We’ve used them to show you how to place a spread bet on the MLB in our example outlined below.

With BetOnline, you’re going to be able to grab a welcome bonus worth up to $1,000. This bonus is a 50% match of your initial deposit, and you can use the BetOnline promo code “INSIDERS” to claim this offer.

1)   Open an Account with BetOnline

BetOnline Registration Form

To kick things off you first need to open an account with BetOnline. The process will take just a couple of minutes and you need to include personal and account information to complete this. Take the time to make sure all your details are correct as you will need to verify this at a later date.

2)   Make a Deposit to Claim the Welcome Bonus

BetOnline Bitcoin Deposit

Head to the cashier to make your first deposit. Use the BetOnline promo code “INSIDERS” to get a welcome bonus worth up to $1,000. You can claim this offer with any of the payment methods that are available to you within the cashier.

3)   Head to the MLB Betting Section

mlb spread betting

Once your account is set up and you are logged in, you need to head to the sportsbook and use the nav bar down the left to find Baseball. Under this section, you will find an option for MLB and click on this.

4)   Place Your Bet

MLB spread betting betonline

The games that you can bet on will open and you can see that there are three columns that include Run Line, Moneyline, and Total. For this, you need to use the “Run Line” section which is just another term that is used for spreading betting.

Here you will see the spread for each result, which will be +/- 1.5 runs for most games. You then see the odds under each spread which is another positive or negative number. Click on the odds to add your pick to your bet slip, choose your stake and then click on the “Place Bet” button at the bottom of the screen.

5)   Track MLB Spread Bets

Once the bet has been placed you can track it in your “My Bets” section found within the bet slip. This will show any bets that are live/open and any bets that have been settled.

Advantages of MLB Spread Bets

MLB spread bets can be very profitable. In this section, we’ve included several advantages of why you might choose spread betting over other alternatives.

  • Value added to short favorites – Most people avoid short favorites because they offer little value unless you are betting large stakes. By adding a spread to these games, it means that you’re able to bet on the favorite while still getting some value from the price as they land on a negative spread.
  • Adds a cushion for tight games – In tight games, having a team that covers the spread for runs added will add a little bit of cushion if you feel the game is too tight to call. This is often the case in games where in-form teams are traveling to weaker teams, but home advantage levels the playing field somewhat.
  • Ability to choose the spread – Most sportsbooks will run with the standard MLB spread of +/-1.5 runs. However, some allow choosing larger spreads which means that you can get even better odds. There is more risk with these bets but using them with very short favorites can often yield positive results.
  • Increase the interest in the game – The spread means that, even though a team might be losing the game, they could still be ahead when the spread is applied. If you’re betting on moneyline your bet might be dead, but the spread makes it a lot more interesting in most cases, especially when you take the positive number as you only need a few runs to win, rather than a team winning the game outright.

Our Top Tips on How to Win an MLB Spread Bet

One of the goals of this article on MLB spread bets is to teach you how to win more money betting on this market. In this section, we’ve added some tips on how to do this and what to look out for to create value.

1. Target Home Field Advantage

Most teams will have a much better record playing at home than on the road. This is something that is noted by the sportsbooks when they set their lines. Target home teams that offer better than even money on positive spreads as even though they may be underdogs, it’s less common for them to be blown out than if they were playing in the reverse fixture.

2. Check the Numbers

With the spread, it’s not always a case of just seeing which teams are in form. You need to look at the manner of the results. For example, a team might have lost their last 5 games, but in each game, it was by 2 points or less. The moneyline bet makes no sense, but there is a good chance that the spread bet in each of those games offered good value and in hindsight, would have bagged a win.

By looking at score lines instead of the results for face value you can start to work out if the spread offers value or not. You can flip this for dominant teams as well, for example, if they’ve been winning by 2+ runs for most of their wins, taking them on the -1.5 spread is likely going to provide some value.

3. Note Starting Lineups

If key players are missing, this will have an impact on the manner of the result. For example, if Aaron Judge is missing for the New York Yankees, then they are going to be hindered in the number of runs scored. They may still win games, but the margin of victory might be much tighter. Taking the opposition on a positive spread would be a decent play in this example.

4. Create the Most Likely Scoreline

One of the strongest approaches you can have with spread betting is creating your own plausible scoreline for the game. Try and consider past games and past meetings between the two teams to work out what could be possible in the upcoming game. Once you’ve got your score, you can then apply this to the spread to see if offers value.

5. Take Advantage of Additional Spreads

Most sportsbooks will only offer a spread of +/- 1.5 runs, but there are plenty that will include 0.5, 2.5, 3.5, and higher spreads. If you use the tip above on creating a plausible score for the game, then you can start to target other spreads.

For example, if you score a game at 7-3, then a spread of 2.5 or even 3.5 is going to offer much higher odds than 1.5 and thus, create more value for your pick.

The Sports Daily MLB Spread Picks

The process of picking spread bets is not too dissimilar to other MLB betting markets, but there are a couple of areas that we look for when making your picks.

We’re looking at discrepancies in sportsbooks odds, first and foremost. Can we find any value from the moneyline market, and then can we increase this by looking at the spread?

Once we’ve done this, we then work out what a plausible spread line would be for that game. We work as part of a team for this to try and flatten any bias that might be within the ranks, which happens with all sports bets.

Finally, we check to see if the spread that we’ve picked and the odds on offer from the sportsbook line up. If they offer value, we recommend them to our readers. If not, we move on.

The best thing about the MLB is the sheer volume of games. There are over 2,400 regular season games alone, which means that we never have to put picks out for the sake of it as there is always going to be one coming along very soon.

How do MLB Spread Bets Work with Live Betting?

MLB spread bets are one of the few that don’t work all that well with live betting. In fact, a lot of sportsbooks don’t turn this market live at all, so it can be hard to find.

However, those that do will allow you to jump on the spreads as the game pans out. This might be for a range of markets, which include total home runs, RBIs, strikeouts, etc.

The Best Sportsbooks for MLB Spread Odds

The list below includes the best baseball betting sites. We’ve ranked them from one through to ten, but to be honest, they are all excellent at providing a wide range of MLB spread bets.

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