Behold the Magnificent Wonders of the YRFI/NRFI Bet

min read
Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Bryse Wilson comes on in relief of Dillon Peters during the third inning of a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers, Wednesday, April 27, 2022, in Pittsburgh.
(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
Chase Kiddy @chaseakiddy Mar 20, 2023, 10:45 AM

Spring is that part of the sports calendar where online sports betting starts to get a little dicey. College Football and NFL betting opportunities are still months away. NBA lines are winding down. 

If you’re a tennis betting specialist like me, or a devoted horse track bettor, you definitely have some late spring options. The French Open is around the corner, at least. 

For the rest of the gamblers out there, baseball becomes a crucially important part of the handicapping diet. For casual fans, baseball is often a low background noise that’s always on in the background throughout the spring and summer months. 

Bettors have a much different relationship with baseball. As the sports calendar shifts into its dry season, handicappers who bet online must make the choice between parsing the MLB odds or mostly hanging it up for the summer.

Fortunately, there is more than one way to bet on baseball. It’s not just runlines and totals, with the occasional F5 ticket to isolate for starting pitchers. 

This year, a fresh market has taken the online sports betting community by storm, with seemingly every radio host and Instagram analyst weighing in with opinions.

I am talking, of course, about YRFI bets and NRFI bets.

What Does NRFI Mean in Betting?

NRFI is a popular baseball prop bet that stands for “No Run in the First Inning.” Bettors who take a position in the market are betting that the score will still be 0-0 after both halves of the first inning are played.

Naturally, YRFI (Yes, Run in the First Inning) is the opposite side of the market. YRFI bettors expect a quick start to the offense.

 

MLB Odds: Understanding the YRFI/NRFI Betting Market

If you like MLB odds, this may be a prop market you’ve seen before – just never abbreviated like this or talked about on social media so frequently. The market isn’t new, but the monstrous appetite for such bets is definitely a recent phenomenon. 

YRFI/NRFI bets are attractive for several reasons, some of which are actively gambler-friendly. For one thing, baseball games are long. Some bettors might not want to bet on a 1:05 p.m. baseball game that doesn’t wrap up until dinner time. YRFI bets offer a much faster resolution. (The aforementioned F5 bets are another.)

Maybe you’ll win, and maybe you’ll lose. Either way, you’re probably going to know in about 20 minutes or less. 

YRFI Betting is Inherently More Profitable

Strategically, YRFI/NRFI bets offer a much more interesting conflict. 

Baseball is judged (often fairly) as an overly slow, uneventful sport with minimal offense or excitement. As a result, there is a huge bias in the baseball betting market toward NRFI bets.

This is the reason why NRFI bets are nearly always juiced up to prices like -165, while YRFI sides often provide lucrative return with prices like +140.

While square bettors often rush to purchase NRFI positions when games involve a pitcher they like, it’s the YRFI bettor who is much more likely to make a sustainable, long-term profit.

This is a pretty basic, fundamental rule of gambling. It’s very hard to end up in the black if every bet you make is -150, as many NRFI bets are.

As a result, I target YRFI spots. You might miss half your picks, but you’ll still end up netting a profit. Obviously, that’s better than winning 70% of your picks but still operating at a net loss.

MLB Odds at BetMGM

The BetMGM online sportsbook is your ticket for baseball odds throughout year. Whether you’re looking for college baseball odds, MLB odds, or anything else there are baseball betting opportunities for everyone.

Sign in to your account today — or, if you don’t have an account, sign up today with a sportsbook welcome bonus — to start betting. And don’t forget to check updated sportsbook bonuses and promos each day of the year.

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About the Author

Chase Kiddy

Read More @chaseakiddy

Chase Kiddy is a writer for BetMGM and co-host of The Lion's Edge, an NFL and college football podcast available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and everywhere else. He has also written for a number of print and online outlets, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Washington Post, Daily News-Record, and HERO Sports. His first novel, Cave Paintings, is in development.

Chase Kiddy is a writer for BetMGM and co-host of The Lion's Edge, an NFL and college football podcast available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and everywhere else. He has also written for a number of print and online outlets, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Washington Post, Daily News-Record, and HERO Sports. His first novel, Cave Paintings, is in development.