If you know anything about sports betting, then you know that nothing comes for free. When you make a bet with a sports book, they are going to take a percentage somewhere in the process to ensure a profit. In most sports, figuring out the vig is relatively easy. Bettors must bet $110 for every $100 they want to win in most cases, and can be higher or lower of course depending on what you’re looking to bet.
Things are somewhat different in baseball, though, with the vig being applied differently for moneyline bets, run line bets, and even the totals. The vig is much more fluid depending upon the game and the action in that game.
The Vig in Moneyline Betting
When you bet moneylines, you will notice that there is a gap between the favorite side of the line and the underdog side of the line. For instance, the dog will sit at +140, while the favorite will cost -150 for those who want to make a bet. This is where the book takes its cut, but it’s not the same across the board.
Some books will offer reduced lines for those players wanting to lay moneyline bets. You should also realize that with bigger favorites, you will pay a larger vig to make the bet. For a favorite that sits at -350, you may only be able to get +320 on the underdog.
If you are going to be profitable betting baseball moneylines, then you need to remember these things about the vig:
>> Big favorites are taxed heavily
>> Sports books offer reduced lines, especially if you are willing to lay the bet overnight
>> The vig forces players to carry a higher winning percentage to bring about positive expected value
The Vig in Total Betting
With totals, you might expect the vig to work like a standard football or basketball bet. There are two sides, so they should both sit at -110 at a normal book, right? This would be nice, but it’s just not the case.
Because totals typically sit anywhere from the 7 run to 10 run range, there is just not enough room for books to be moving numbers around. Instead of shifting the lines, they use the vig to influence bets on one side or another. This means that you can prepare to lay -125 or -130 in some instances if you want to go with the betting public on a popular total. The nice flip side of this is that there are often +105 totals available to those who will go against the grain.
The Vig in Run Line Betting
When trying to figure out the vig with run lines, you might get a little bit confused. Run lines will always sit at -1.5/+1.5, so the book uses the vig in the same way it would with moneylines. A team favored to win a game easily would feature a -1.5 run line with a vig in the -150 range in all likelihood.
This provides a bit more value for those who want to bet favorites. For cases when the run line is thought to be an even bet, the vig will generally sit at -110/-110 like a standard sports bet.