Betting MLB Totals – Over/Under

Betting MLB totals can net a great profit.

Key Points

  • Becoming successful at betting MLB totals takes an understanding of factors that affect scoring.
  • One of the first steps in betting MLB totals is knowing key numbers in baseball.

Betting MLB Totals

Most betting on MLB games is in the form of moneyline bets, however, there is still value to be found in betting MLB totals. 

Every MLB game will offer a moneyline bet, a run line bet, and a totals bet. You place a wager on whether or not the final combined score will go Over or Under the set total. It’s a fairly simple bet and the odds on the wager are typically -110, but they can vary sometimes.

How can you excel at betting MLB totals? Here’s how to get started.

Win More Bets > Tips for Handicapping Baseball

How MLB Totals Are Set

There are a number of factors that affect MLB totals. One of the key factors in setting totals and determining a play on a total is the starting pitching matchup. Imagine two Cy Young caliber pitchers in a matchup. A game like that usually has a lower total all other things being equal.

In looking at pitching, it’s also worth a look at the bullpens. Looking at bullpens is probably the most overlooked factor in handicapping MLB games.

Weather is another factor, particularly wind. Wind will affect how balls fly in and out of an outdoor ballpark. Humidity is another weather-related factor that affects the flight of baseballs.

The umpires assigned to a game can play a role as well. Some home plate umpires have tighter strike zones than others. Finally, injuries are a big factor too. If a star player is out of the lineup, that is going to play a part in how many runs are scored in a game.

Maybe all this is a bit too much, and is going over your head? Start from the basics. Check out a past article titled MLB betting explained. It talks about different types of baseball bets.

Understanding Key Numbers

The most important numbers in MLB totals betting are 7, 9, and 11. Here’s why. About 30 percent of all MLB games in a given season end with a final score that totals 7, 9, or 11. Knowing these key numbers can help in placing totals bets.

If you like a particular game and like the Over and the posted total is 7.5, 9.5, or 11.5 you should avoid it. Remember, more games than not end in 7, 9, or 11 runs. 

The same logic can be applied to the Under. If a set total is 6.5, 8.5, or 10.5 and you like the Under, forget it unless you have a very good reason. 

Keep in mind the best baseball sportsbooks typically set totals with half-points. You are more likely to see 6.5 or 7.5 instead of 7 to avoid a Push. 

Other Betting MLB Totals Tips

There are some other tips to keep in mind when wagering on MLB totals. Take Sunday games as an example. MLB managers like to give veterans a day off sometimes and typically that day is a Sunday. As a result, Sunday’s tend to be lower-scoring than other days of the week.

More home runs are hit in stadiums like Coors Field in Colorado, the Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, and Yankee Stadium. Balls tend to travel farther at altitude in Colorado. Coors Field is 5,280 feet above sea level and despite having large dimensions – 415 feet to straight away center field – a lot of home runs are hit there.