If you’re interested in betting on baseball, one of the easiest ways to get started is by betting the total on a Major League Baseball game, otherwise known as MLB over under betting. Read on to find out what this entails, and how to boost your chances of winning.

What are MLB over under bets?

When betting baseball totals, you are wagering whether a game’s score will be over or under a predetermined amount of runs. To put it in simple terms, MLB over under bets are wagers made on the combined number of runs scored by both teams during the game, including extra innings.

What do MLB over under bets look like?

Let’s take a look at a hypothetical matchup between the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals. If the total was set at eight, you would bet on whether or not both the Cubs and Cards would score more or fewer than eight runs. So, suppose the final score of the game ended Cubs 7 – Cards 5. A bet on the over would be a successful one. While if you bet the under, you would lose your money. It’s as simple as that.

Why are MLB over under bets so popular?

Over under wagers are one of the most popular forms of MLB betting. The ease of total bets appeals to a lot of gamblers, especially those who are new to sports betting altogether. Over under bets also don’t require choosing a team, so you don’t have to bet or root against your favorite side or player — the only thing you’re interested in is the sum of the teams’ total points. 

Key factors to consider

As simple as totals are to wager on, there’s a lot to consider if you want to make regular and consistent profits. The bookmakers are very good at setting the lines (and odds) for totals, so it’ll rarely be obvious which way you should bet. You’ve got to do your research and try to make genuinely informed judgements. Here are some of the main things to take into consideration:

The wind

One huge factor to consider with MLB over under bets is the wind. The stronger it is blowing, the more likely it is the under will come through, as those once-easy home runs are now deep pop-ups that only make it to the warning track. Heavy winds can even change the trajectory of even a Giancarlo Stanton hit baseball. The tipping point at most parks is the 12-15mph range, so it’s crucial to check the weather forecast before making an over under bet.

Betting against the public

It is well known that recreational bettors gravitate toward overs, as it’s more fun to root for a high-scoring game with plenty of home runs — after all, no one wants to see a pitcher’s duel, except, of course, the “sharps”. As a result, unders have more value than overs, because bookmakers know the everyday Joe will bet on overs regardless.

The umpires

Another variable to consider when betting MLB totals is the umpire, as each one has different tendencies that can impact a game’s outcome. For instance, some umps have very tight strike zones, and since more balls lead to more walks, that means more runs will be scored, resulting in more overs! However, other umps might have looser zones, which run the opposite way, and benefit the under.

The pitching matchups

Analyzing starting pitchers and bullpens can help with your total bets. Some pitchers start the season slow, which might lead to more unders. On the other hand, some bullpens may be exhausted later on in the season, which are also conducive to unders. The sheer amount of data and statistics available can easily be used to your advantage while betting. For instance, you might want to check out a team’s batted ball data, such as their hard, soft, and medium hit rate percentages.

MLB stadium quirks

Every stadium is designed differently, and these small details can make the difference between a deep fly and a home run. For example, the Chicago Cubs’ Wrigley Field is known for the vicious winds blowing in from nearby Lake Michigan. While the retractable roofs at stadiums including the Rogers Centre (Toronto Blue Jays) and Chase Field (Arizona Diamondbacks) can cause balls to pop up more. Some stadiums have shorter right or left fields, or higher walls on one side, all of which can also affect outcomes.

Injuries

It is always crucial to keep an eye on late pitching scratches and player injuries in general. A pitching swap can change the entire outcome of a game, and so can a team missing its star player. While these injuries are usually reflected by the oddsmakers in the total set, any small edge gained or lost is important to look out for before first pitch is thrown.