When is a Baseball Game Considered Official for Sports Betting Purposes?
Baseball games do not have to be played to completion for wagers to have action. There are 162 regular season games in Major League Baseball with a large majority of games played outdoors. The regular season runs from April up until September and there are occurrences when Mother Nature will force games to be postponed. With that sports bettors must be aware of the betting terms and conditions posted by online and Las Vegas sportsbooks in regards to settling bets when games are halted and rescheduled for play at a later date. Sports bets have action only if the Major League Baseball game is played on the date and at the location scheduled. If a game does not start and is postponed the single bet will have no action and the sports bettor will be given a full refund by the Las Vegas or online sportsbook.
Wagers will be settled according to the following:
Money line wagers are official after 5 innings of play (4.5 innings if the home team is winning). Money line wagers are picking either the favorite or underdog to win the game. Sports bettors will see at the sportsbook a team lined with either a “– “or a “+” on the betting board. The “–“ signifies the betting favorite and it means the bettor will have to bet the set amount in the “-“ column to win a $100. The “+” signifies the underdog in the betting and the bettor who bets a $100 on the game will be returned the amount in the “+” column.
Total and Run line wagers are official after 9 innings of play (8.5 innings if the home team is winning). Total wagering is picking over or under the sportsbooks posted total number of runs scored by both teams. A run line wager is betting on a team with either a 1 ½ run head start or deficit. The team receiving or giving the 1 ½ runs is determined by the sportsbook and money line odds are attached to the wager. If a game is called before 9 innings have been played total and run line wagers are settled as no action. If a game goes 9 or more innings and is not completed (e.g., suspended, rain, darkness), wagers on the run line and total still have action and will be settled according to Las Vegas and online sportsbooks terms and conditions.
If a baseball game goes 9 or more innings and is not completed (e.g., suspended, rain, darkness), wagers on the runline and total still have action. A money line wager on the game will be considered as no action.
In the case of a suspended game, the score from the last completed inning will be used to settle all wagers, unless the outcome is affected by the home team during their half of the inning. In that case the score at the time of suspension will be used to settle all wagers.
Wagers on suspended games do not carry over to a later date.
Many bettors who bet on Major League Baseball games at Las Vegas or online sportsbooks will make parlay bets. Parlays are making two or more bets on one bet. This means that all of the bets must win and the sports bettor will receive higher odds in return. If a game is declared as no action due to postponement or suspension the sportsbook player may still be in action with the remainder of the bets on their parlay. Some Las Vegas and online sportsbooks will subtract the game with no action and pay out a winning parlay with the payback odds calculated with the games in action. For example lets say a sports bettor has a 4 team parlay in Major League Baseball and three games win and 1 game is postponed due to rain prior to the game being official or going 5 innings. The sportsbook may payout the rest of the ticket awarding the sports bettor odds for a 3 team parlay.
Each Las Vegas and online sportsbook rules may vary. The best practice followed by professional gamblers is to read the terms and conditions posted by every Las Vegas and online sportsbook for clarity on these issues.