The run line is the number you’ll see when there are more than two teams on the sportsbook’s board. You can also think of it as the projected winning score if there was an actual game going on. It’s generally pretty easy to understand: the team on top at the beginning of the game is going to win, and the one on the bottom is going to lose. But sometimes, things aren’t so easy. Take a look at these five examples of run lines that didn’t quite work out as expected.
The 2010 NFL Draft
This year’s NFL draft was one of the most unpredictable yet. If you had placed any bets on the draft before the eighth round, you would’ve made a fortune. Eighteen of the twenty-two first-round picks ended up being top-five selections, while the other four went in the tenth round or later. In the end, twenty-two of the teams made it to the playoffs, which was twice the number of teams that would’ve made it if each round were followed by a selection. The final score was 219-216 in favor of the under. The run line for the 2010 NFL draft was 5.5 points.
The 2014 MLB Season
While the 2013 MLB season was pretty good as usual, the 2014 season was a bit of a surprise. Despite the fact that there were fewer than 600 games, the season was one of the most exciting in years. Everyone on social media was talking about the great battles between the reigning World Series Champion Chicago Cubs and their fierce rivals, the Cleveland Indians. The run line for the season went 11.5 points in favor of the under. You would’ve made a fortune if you’d placed bets on the season before it began. The last game of the season was so exciting that it was voted Major League Baseball’s top game of the year. The final score was 0-0 after nine innings of play, with the winning run coming in on a game-ending double play. The run line for the season was +11.5 points.
The 2015 NBA Playoffs
The 2015 NBA Playoffs were another great example of why it’s a bad idea to chase trends. Teams that were under.500 the year before made a surprisingly quick ascent up the standings. The under went 8-2 in the first round of the playoffs and 11-5 in the second round, with the over / under win total reaching 19.5 prior to the Western Conference Finals. The final score was 16-14 in favor of the over. The run line for the playoffs was -19.5 points.
The 2016 MLB Season
The 2016 MLB season was another great one, as the over / under win total reached a record 265 games. There were a record-breaking 22 undefeated teams at the end of the season, which meant there were 22 winners. The Chicago Cubs, Philadelphia Phillies, and Houston Astros are the current champs, having won their respective divisions. Of course, we can’t discuss the MLB playoffs and World Series without mentioning the Cleveland Indians, who were looking for their fourth title in a row. The Indians, however, were not able to pull it off at the end, with the Cubs winning their third consecutive title. But it was still another great season, and it’s tough to pick a winner going into the last few games. As we mentioned above, only 22 teams went undefeated at the end of the season. The run line for the season was +275 games. The over / under win total for the World Series was 7.5 points.
The 2007-2010 FIFA World Cups
If you were an avid soccer fan during the 2007-2010 FIFA World Cups, then you’ll remember the shocking results. Germany won the right to host the 2014 World Cup, much to the delight of their fans. Prior to the tournament, bets on Germany to win were at minus-350 or better, which means you would’ve made a fortune if they’d won. But during the tournament, things didn’t work out as expected. Germany was upset by the host country, Brazil, in the final. It was an incredible shock and a great upset to see Germany lose in such a one-sided match. Still, Germany fans will remember the excitement of that 2014 World Cup victory, and they’ll be cheering for their team in the upcoming tournament.
As we mentioned above, Germany was the most popular choice to win the 2014 World Cup prior to the tournament. But after they were upset by Brazil, their odds of winning the next tournament started to drop dramatically. The run line for the following two World Cups was Brazil at +2.5. You would’ve made a fortune if you’d placed a bet on Germany to win the next two World Cups.
The 2002 FIFA World Cup
Bets on England to win the 2002 FIFA World Cup skyrocketed after their golden generation led the way to an unlikely win over France in the final. Before the tournament, England was a -300 favorite, which makes their unlikely victory that much more surprising. It was their first World Cup victory, and it sparked a golden era for English football. Since then, they’ve won the thing five times, including the most recent tournament in 2018. Prior to England’s victory, the run line for the next FIFA World Cup was France.
The 2000 Summer Olympics
The 2000 Summer Olympics were one of the greatest ever. Brazil won the tournament for the second time after they previously hosted the event in 1956. They’re arguably the greatest ever in terms of overall performance, with 28 gold medals and 37 total medals. The only other country that came close was China, with 27 gold medals and 37 total medals. The odds of Brazil winning the event were 1200-1, which means you would’ve made a fortune if you’d placed a bet on them. They went on to win the next three gold medals as well, which is an incredible feat. The run line for the summer games was Brazil (hosts) at +1200.
The 2000 Summer Olympics were one of the most exciting tournaments in history, with many incredible surprises. The United States made it to the gold medal match for the first time ever, only to lose to eventual champions Brazil. The Americans had come from behind to beat Germany, Mexico, and Canada, and then they faced off against Brazil in the final. The match was tied at 1-1 after normal overtime, with Brazil eventually winning in an incredible upset. This was followed by more upsets as Hungary defeated Spain, Canada defeated France, and Russia defeated Germany in the bronze medal game. The run line for the summer games was Brazil (hosts) at +1200.
Other Interesting Trends
Some trends are more interesting than others. The most popular choice to win the 2018 World Cup was either Argentina or Brazil, with Argentina taking the early lead. But it was Russia that ended up proving to be the best team of the tournament, beating Germany in the finals. France also went undefeated in their group stage, but they had one of the weakest tournaments in recent history, losing in the quarterfinals to eventual champion Germany. It was a competitive tournament overall, with twenty-two undefeated teams. The overall average score was 4.55 points per game, with a goal difference of +2.41, both record highs. This meant that 3.64 goals were scored per game, also a new record.
Accurate Predictor Of Winners?
With all of the information presented above, is there any way to accurately predict the winners of the various sporting events? Of course, it’s not possible for everyone to have access to all the information presented above. And even if you did, it would be very difficult to account for every single factor that might affect the outcome. But it’s important to keep in mind that the numbers don’t lie: over time, they tend to predict the outcome of games with a high degree of accuracy. This makes them a useful tool for handicappers who are looking to place winning bets.
There are many different types of betting products available, from straight-up bets to parlays and teasers. These are simply umbrella terms that reference the manner in which the product is offered, with the gambler generally having the option of placing either one- or two-team parlays, with the latter being more common. With teasers, you are generally forced to choose either the winner or the score of the game, while in the case of a parlay, you get to choose any number of teams you want to bet on and are given the option of winning or losing on each team’s part. The only difference is in the odds, with parlays generally having the least favorable odds of any of the betting products, with the possible exception of props, which have recently become so popular that they are almost impossible to find. But regardless of which type you choose, you are most likely to win if you bet on the favorites.