Key Numbers in Baseball Totals Betting

Baseball Apr 25, 2022

Most sports bettors know about key numbers in football betting.  Are there also key numbers in Major League Baseball betting?

The answer is yes.

Let's See the Data

The table below shows the most common final combined scores for nearly 32,000 baseball games.  This information can be very useful for those making wagers.  The data allows us to see exactly how often each number hits.

Note the range of numbers in baseball scoring ranges from 1 to 36.

The first column shows the number of runs scored in a game.  Note that 7 is the most common baseball (ending) total.  The “#” (number of games) shows how many times that has been the final score.  Then, “%” (percentage) shows the total percentage of the games that have hit that mark:

Some Takeaways

Daily baseball totals show O/Us most commonly set at 7 or 9.  Now we know why.

Sportsbooks skew the juice one way or the other, which means we often have to pay a premium to capture these key numbers.  For instance, if we like the “over” 7 runs in a game we might have to pay higher juice if the book is also leaning that way.  Higher vig priced at -115 or -120 is every common.

By setting the over/under line on a common score – such as 7 and 9 -- sportsbooks are risking more pushes.  Those aren’t necessarily good for them since they can’t make any money off of the vig.  Some books will take a riskier approach and go with a half point higher or lower with more vig.  Since you can’t have a tie when it’s on a half run this causes more swings in the action.  Provided the book can balance the wagers in accordance with the juice they set on each way.

So, we also see odd numbers are more common in baseball totals – 9, 7, and 5 being the most popular final scores (total runs).

It's also interesting to see very low scoring games (1, 2, and 3 runs scored) becoming very uncommon.  Low scoring baseball games were a common thing in the 1960s and 1970s when pitching dominated.  But not, hitting is the focus.  So, there have been more 16- and 17-run games and 1- and 2-run games.

Note:  The above chart (and all stats) were first posted here at BOYDSBETS.