Betting against the spread or ATS for short is the most popular way to bet on MLB games and is also very simple to understand. Betting against the spread for baseball is commonly referred to as betting against the Run Line (RL). In other popular sports the run line is called the spread but since baseball scoring is a bit different the rules and names are different as well. The team that is favored to win will be listed with a negative number (ie. -1.5) and that is the number they need to win the game by. MLB run lines are always listed as -1.5 for the favorite and +1.5 for the underdogs. This means that the favorite must win the game by 2 runs and the underdog can lose the game by a run or win the game outright for you to win a run line bet. Since MLB games cannot end in a tie, there is no situation where an MLB run line bet can “push”. If you need a refresher on how MLB lines work make sure you head over to that page where we have more in depth explanations
MLB Run Line Examples:
For example we will look at two different situations:
Example 1: The Red Sox are +105 vs. the Yankees who are -125 on the money line, their odds against the run line would be Boston +1.5 at -180 odds while the Yankees are -1.5 at +150 odds. The large difference in the run line odds are due to how close of a game this is projected to be via the money line odds.
Example 2: The Orioles are +220 vs. the Rays who are -270 on the line, their odds against the run line would be Baltimore +1.5 at +105 odds while Tampa Bay is -1.5 at -125 odds. The run line does not adjust to a higher number (ie: +/- 2.5), but instead will adjust the odds on the +/- 1.5 runs.
Betting against the spread for baseball can be tricky and you must find value in your MLB spreads in order to remain profitable over the long term. To do this, BetQL has created value models to help you find which games will provide the most profit no matter the bet type.