In baseball betting, -1.5 represents the run line, one of the most popular bets you can make. The run line is baseball's version of a point spread; however, unlike other sports like football and basketball, this line is always the same, set at a fixed amount of 1.5 runs.
The minus sign (-1.5) indicates the team that is favored to win, while the plus sign (+1.5) indicates who the underdog is.
For the favorite to cover the run line, they must win the game by two or more runs. For the underdog to cover, they either need to win the game outright or lose by just 1 run.
You will also see odds attached to the run line (ex. +120). Unlike traditional point spreads, online sportsbooks generally don't offer equal odds on the favorite/underdog. The odds tend to skew in one direction based on the perceived balance or imbalance between the two teams or the starting pitchers.
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How to Read a Baseball Run Line
Let's say the Los Angeles Dodgers are playing the New York Mets, and you see the following odds on the run line:
- Los Angeles Dodgers -1.5 (+120)
- New York Mets +1.5 (-140)
In this example, the Dodgers are favored to win. Therefore they are -1.5 on the run line. A bet of $100 on Los Angeles (+120) could net you $120 in profits as long as they managed to cover the run line.
Because the books don't see the Dodgers as a massive favorite, the Mets at +1.5 (-140) are perceived as more likely to cover the run line even though the Dodgers are favored to win the game. In this case, the same $100 bet on New York, would return $71.43 in profits.
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