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

Due to the sheer volume of games that take place in the MLB (more than 2,400 in the regular season alone), picking winners each night can be tough. As an alternative to moneyline bets, MLB totals allow punters to bet on the number of runs scored in that game, making the result irrelevant to this market’s purpose.

Throughout this article, we’re going to take the time to look at how MLB totals work. This will include the latest odds, examples of totals bets, how these bets are paid out, and the latest picks for upcoming MLB games.

The Latest MLB Totals Odds

Below you’re going to find a selection of the latest MLB totals odds for future games. We’re going to keep this section up to date with the latest MLB games, so make sure that you bookmark this page to keep checking back.

Toronto Blue Jays v Pittsburgh Pirates

Team BetOnline XBet MyBookie BetUS Bovada Sportsbetting.ag
Toronto O8 -120 -110 -120 -120 -110 -120
Pittsburgh U8 Even -110 Even Even Even Even

Colorado Rockies v Cincinnati Reds

Team BetOnline XBet MyBookie BetUS Bovada Sportsbetting.ag
Colorado O9 -115 -115 -115 -115 -115 -115
Cincinnati U9 -105 -105 -105 -105 -105 -105

Oakland Athletics v Baltimore Orioles

Team BetOnline XBet MyBookie BetUS Bovada Sportsbetting.ag
Oakland O8 -105 -115 -105 -115 -110 -115
Baltimore U8 -115 -115 -120 -120 -105 -105

What is an MLB Totals Bet?

MLB totals are based on the total number of runs scored by both teams for the game. You will see that one team is usually assigned the over and the other under, as per the examples from the live MLB totals odds above, but it is in fact linked to the cumulative number of runs.

As a punter, you need to take the over or the under for the game. You will notice that some games have a whole number for the betting line, and some have a half number. This might be over/under 9 runs, or it could be over/under 8.5 runs.

If the game is a whole number, then any results that have exactly the line will be a push, meaning you get your money back. Lines with half numbers will always be settled one way or another due to games not being able to have half-points scored.

It’s worth noting that there are MLB totals bets that are not related to the cumulative number of runs scored. Other markets include the total number of strikers, RBIs, home runs, and a range of miscellaneous events, such as the total number of games won in a season and the best winning steak.

How do MLB Totals Odds Work?

MLB totals odds are presented in an American format. These odds will show a positive or negative number and this number will reflect the returns for the amount you stake.

Negative numbers highlight how much you need to wager to make a $100 profit and positive numbers show the amount you win based on a $100 bet.

Some sportsbooks will allow you to change how the odds are displayed, with decimal and fractional odds being accessible to most. It’s arguable that the latter is easier to understand, but American odds are likely going to be familiar for most American punters.

MLB Totals Bet Example

To work through an example of how this market works, we’ve taken an upcoming game between Texas Rangers and the Boston Red Sox.

Team Totals Odds
Texas Rangers Over 9 -120
Boston Red Sox Under 9 Even

As you can see, the line set by the sportsbook here is 9. It’s worth noting that different sportsbooks might have different lines for their starting point. Depending on where you think the line is, finding a more suitable line for the totals bet might offer better value.

If you were to bet on the over 9 runs, then you would need 10 or more total runs from the game for the bet to win. If you were to bet on the under 9 runs, then you need 8 or less. For these markets where a whole number is the line, if 9 runs were scored, the market would be a push, and you would get your original stake back.

Team Totals Odds
Seattle Mariners Over 7.5 -105
Cleveland Guardians Under 7.5 Even

We wanted to add in a quick example of a game that has a decimal for the MLB totals line. In this case, the over would pay out on 8 or more and the under would pay on 7 or less. There are no pushes with this totals line as half points cannot be scored in baseball.

How are MLB Totals Bets Paid Out?

Bets are paid out based on the odds that you’ve taken when you place your bet. Regardless of the odds when the game starts or when it turns live once your bet is accepted your odds will not change.

Let’s jump back into the example above for the game between Texas and Boston to see how a $100 bet will work for each result.

  • $100 wagered on Over 9 runs at @ -120 would payout $183.33 total, for a profit of $83.33
  • $100 wagered on Under 9 runs at evens would payout $200 total, for a profit of $100

Remember, if the game lands on exactly 9 runs, the market would be a push and you would get your $100 back.

Frequently Asked Questions about MLB Totals Bets

In this section, we’re going to cover a range of frequently asked questions regarding MLB totals bets.

Why do MLB Totals odds change?

MLB totals odds change based on two key factors. The first is the volume of money wagered on the outcome. The more money wagered, the lower the odds. The second includes any factors that might influence the result. For example, if the star player is injured, the chances of the team winning decrease, which the odds will then reflect.

How does a sportsbook earn money from MLB Totals bets?

They do so by charging juice on the market. The sportsbook will create a market based on the odds and amount of money that is staked, which then will guarantee them a profit. This is known as juice/vig.

How does a sportsbook determine an MLB Totals price?

The initial price for an MLB totals market will be taken from data. This includes a lot of moving parts, such as runs scored in previous games and starting lineups.

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

The price that you take when you place your bet is the price that will be paid out. If odds change after your bet has been placed, this will not be applied to your bet.

Are MLB Totals bets good bets?

Yes, they can be very good bets. It’s all about finding value and if the price ties in to the chance of the total coming in, then you can deem this as value or a good price.

Can you put MLB Totals bets in parlays?

Yes, MLB totals bets can be added to parlays. They are often one of the more popular parlay bets.

How do I bet on MLB win totals?

Win totals are taken from the number of wins that the team has in a season. Given the vast number of games that they play, this can range quite dramatically. Most of the major sportsbooks will allow you to bet on this market.

How do MLB totals work?

MLB totals are the total number of runs scored from both teams combined. The sportsbook will set a line for these and then you just need to choose the over or under.

When should you bet on MLB win totals?

You can bet on the MLB win totals whenever you like. However, the best time to do this is at the start of the season as this is when you’re going to get the best odds.

What is implied team totals in the MLB?

Implied team totals are the number of runs that you expect each team to score. This is a number that the sportsbook works out and then creates a market from this.

How to Place an MLB Totals Bet

We’re going to use our top-rated sportsbook, BetOnline, to walk you through an example of how to place MLB totals bet. You can apply this to all sportsbooks, however, the process may vary as a result.

1)   Open an Account with BetOnline

betonline open account

Creating an account with BetOnline will take just a couple of minutes. You’re going to be asked for personal information, such as name, address, and phone number, and then you’ll need to add in account information, such as a username and a password.

2)   Claim the Welcome Bonus and Make a Deposit

betonline cashier

You’re going to be eligible to claim the BetOnline welcome bonus when your account is set up. You can use this with MLB totals bets. All you need to do is make a deposit and use the promo code “INSIDERS”.

3)   Use Nav Bar to Open MLB section

mlb totals betonline

Once you’ve made a deposit, use the nav bar down the left to find baseball and select MLB. You’re going to be able to see the “Totals” markets as some of the main bets.

4)   Place Your Bets

mlb totals bet slip

You can now place your bet and to do this, all you need to do is select the bet you want to place by clicking on the odds and it will then load up your bet slip with the selection. Jump into the bet slip and then choose your stake before clicking on the “Place Bet” button at the bottom.

Advantages of MLB Totals Bets

MLB totals are some of the most popular bet types in baseball. In this section, we’re going to run through a few advantages as to why people love to bet on this market.

  • Always in the game – If you back the “over” then there is always a chance that you’re bet can win until right at the very end of the game. Most lines will be around the 7/8 mark, which means that even in the bottom of the 9th a bases-loaded walk off homerun is likely going to get you over the line.
  • Don’t need to pick a winner – The result of the game is irrelevant with totals bets and all you need for this is runs. In games that are too close to call, MLB totals mean that you don’t need to pick a winner and just concentrate on the runs scored.
  • Great for beginners – If you’re new to baseball betting, totals is a great option. You don’t need to study form as such and can go much more of the data than having to know too much about the teams or how they might perform.
  • Easy to find value – These bets are generally easier than most to find value in. Lines can be tight from the sportsbook which means that they can be quite a lot of discrepancy, creating value.
  • Great for parlay bets – Given that most odds will be around the even money mark, they are ideal for creating parlays. In fact, given the vast range of games that take place each week in the MLB, totals are the most popular bet type for parlay betting.

Our Top Tips for How to Win an MLB Totals Bet

We want to help you create value from your MLB totals bets so we’ve included a range of strategies that you can apply to aid you in this.

1. Take on the “Over” Bet if Using Parlays

If you’re betting on totals markets within a parlay, it’s best to use the over market. The reason is that the overs are never lost until the game is finished. With under betting, you can quickly lose that bet in a high-scoring game, and then the whole parlay is lost.

2. Use the Data

There is so much data on the MLB that you simply must apply this to your bets. Check to see the past form of both teams and then also the head to heads to find trends.

3. Compare Your Prices

You need to compare the prices and the lines that you get with MLB totals bets. They will range massively from one sportsbook to another, so take the time to shop around. Don’t be afraid of taking a slightly smaller price for a better line as this can often yield much better value than a lower line.

4. Check the Officials

The umpires play a huge role in how a baseball game might play out. Some home plate umpires will benefit pitchers and others will benefit hitters. Try and work out which the umpire will favor and tie this into your research.

5. Create Your Own Market

One of the best things you can do is create your own hypothetical market. Before looking to see the odds for each game, research that game and then create your own price. Then, compare what you think the odds should be to what the sportsbook is offering.

The Sports Daily MLB Totals Picks

The Sports Daily creates picks for MLB games daily. It’s one of the most popular parts of our site and the main reason for that is the success that the team has. Not only are our picks some of the best in the business, but they are also free.

When we look at MLB totals, we use several parts of the strategy listed above. The most important is that of the “Create Your Own Market” section where each tipster will do this for each game that day.

It’s then a case of looking to see who is leaning one way or the other. The line needs to offer value and if multiple members of our team all lean in the same direction, then that bet gets uploaded as a pick.

How do MLB Totals Bets Work with Live Betting?

MLB totals for live betting is an exciting market. The line is constantly changing, and the best sportsbooks will offer a line throughout the game as runs are scored or innings without runs are marked off. Below we’ve listed a few points to show this works.

  • Betting lines are published prior to the start of the game. These are generally the best time to get in, but obviously, they aren’t live yet.
  • As the game starts the line will fluctuate. Factors such as runs scored and innings that have been completed will play a big role in this.
  • Totals markets will often get suspended more than most, especially if runners are on base and there is a chance that the line can be settled. E.G., 2 runners on base, total runs are 5 and the line is at 6. This can be frustrating.
  • Most live betting markets for MLB totals will run until the completion of the 8th innings and then usually will be suspended throughout the 9th. This isn’t set in stone, with tight, low-scoring games running until the bottom of the 9th.

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