Betting on MLB is a grind and you need to be dedicated to following a strategy that includes bankroll management and getting the best possible lines on the games you want to bet. Most baseball bettors don’t even think about the juice (vig) that they pay when betting with bookmakers, but it’s extremely important to understand the juice structure at your bookie. You’ll find that sportsbooks charge various amounts of vig ranging from $.05 lines to $.20 lines and in some cases even higher.
What is the Vig that Sportsbooks Charge?
• Boston Red Sox -110 vs. Tampa Bay Rays -110
Sportsbooks always charge a commission or vig on every bet they post odds for. The goal of the sportsbook is to end up with even action on both sides of every wager so that they make a guaranteed profit of the vig they charge. In the above example we have a moneyline bet with a bookie that charges $.20 juice.
To win $100 on either team in the example above you need to wager $110. Betting into lines that are juice this highly in MLB is a recipe for disaster and it won’t be long before you’re bankroll is depleted. Many standard sportsbooks offer $.20 lines and you should avoid these bookmakers because there is no way to beat them unless you’re extremely lucky.
What is an MLB Dime Line?
• Boston Red Sox -105 vs. Tampa Bay Rays -105
A dime line is a term you’ll hear a lot when people are talking about betting on baseball. There are quite a few bookmakers that now offer dime lines on MLB, which simply means they only charge 10% vig on every $1 wagered. In our example above you can bet $105 on either team to win $100 profit, which is a savings of $5 compared to our 1st example. Saving $5 on every $100 (5%) you bet is absolutely massive and any baseball handicapper betting into higher juiced lines than a dime line are losing lots of money.
What is an MLB Nickel Line?
• Boston Red Sox -103 vs. Tampa Bay Rays -102
Nickel lines aren’t that popular yet because the bookmakers don’t make that much money. Most bookies don’t have nickel lines, but the biggest MLB sportsbooks now offer nickel lines to customers. With nickel lines the sportsbook only charges 5% juice on MLB moneyline bets and in some cases baseball totals are only juiced 5%. If you’re currently betting the standard $.20 line you can save a lot in juice alone by switching to a reduced juice MLB sportsbook that offers nickel lines.
How Much Will I Save in Juice By Switching Sportsbooks?
If you need some help we’re going to illustrate how much you can save by switching to a reduced juiced sportsbook. Let’s say that you were to bet on 1000 games during an MLB season, which isn’t that many when you consider how many games each team plays during the regular season alone (162).
• If we bet $110 to win $100 on 1000 MLB games we’d have to risk $110,000 total with the potential to win $100,000 profit if every bet were to win.
• If we bet $105 to win $100 on 1000 different games we’d have to risk $105,000 to win $100,000. Even by moving from $.20 lines to $.10 lines you can save $5000 before you even know a single result.
• If we bet $103 to win $100 on a 1000 games we’d risk $103,000 to win $100,000, which is another savings of $2K just by betting with an MLB sportsbook that offers nickel betting lines.
Betting with a reduced juice sportsbook isn’t going to help you pick winners, but by betting with dime line or nickel line bookies you’ll be able to decrease the percentage of bets you need to win to be profitable. When you take advantage of sign-up bonuses and other promotions you can almost completely nullify the juice that you need to pay the sportsbook. Bookies prey on bettors that are uneducated, but by simply choosing a bookmaker with better lines you can instantly become a better bettor.