What is an NRFI Bet?

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NRFI stands for No Runs First Inning. It's a type of bet placed on whether or not a run will score in the first inning of a baseball game.

If you bet “Yes” on an NRFI bet and there is not a run scored in the first inning, you win. If there is a run scored in the first inning, you lose your bet.

The opposing bet is called a YRFI, or Yes Runs First Inning, where you're betting on a run being scored in the initial inning.

NRFI bets have been gaining popularity among baseball bettors due to their fast-paced nature as they settle quickly, offering immediate gratification for bettors without having to watch a whole game.

Strategies for Betting NRFI

When considering an NRFI bet, there are some crucial elements to keep in mind that can significantly affect the potential outcome. Here are a few pointers to guide you through the decision-making process on whether to bet “Yes” or “No” on an NRFI market:

Understand the Dynamics

First, it's important to understand that NRFI bets require 6 outs at the start of the game with no runs. This might lead you to think that the ideal scenario is to have two great starting pitchers and two poor lineups, but that's not necessarily the case.

Strong pitchers often result in unfavorable NRFI odds, as do poor lineups. Betting on NRFIs in such situations may not yield a profit. 

For example, if star pitchers like Shane McClanahan of the Rays and Luis Castillo of the Mariners are facing off, the odds for “Yes” on the NRFI bet may be so short (low) that you would have to wager a lot more than you would win if it does hit.

While you may hit most of NRFI bets with great pitchers and poor lineups, just losing 1 out of 5 or so could mean you end up losing money over those 5 bets.

Look for Underrated Pitchers & Slumping Lineups

The most profitable NRFI bets often come from finding mispriced lines based on historical performance that doesn't match up with the true situation heading into the game.

For example, you can look for a just-decent pitcher that has performed excellently lately that tends not to give up a run in the first inning against a lineup of great hitters that are in a slump.

In this case, you may find mispriced odds that result in a lot of value compared to the true odds of a NRFI happening.

Evaluate the Starting Pitchers

When evaluating the starting pitchers, you should look for the following to find a good NRFI opportunity:

  • Avoiding Baserunners: Look for pitchers with low a Walks and Hits per Inning Pitched (WHIP) stat, as they are good at not allowing baserunners.
  • High Strikeout Rate: Pitchers with high strikeout rates are beneficial for NRFI bets. They don't allow much contact, reducing the chance of baserunners that could eventually score a run. Plus, if the pitcher allows baserunners, striking players out is a great way to prevent runs on sacrifice flys.
  • Low Home Run Rate: The last thing you should consider when evaluating NRFI pitchers is home run rate. To find good NRFI bets, you should look for both pitchers to have low home run rates. The quickest way to score a run in the first inning is to hit a home run, so finding pitchers that don't often allow this is key to winning NRFI bets.

Remember, smart betting involves analyzing the game and its participants, not just following the crowd. Taking the time to understand the dynamics of the teams and pitchers can give you an edge and make your NRFI betting experience both enjoyable and profitable.

Note that most major sportsbooks offer NRFI bets now. You can see our picks for the best MLB betting sites here.

Some of our favorite sportsbooks for placing NRFI bets include:

If you don't understand how the odds on NRFI bets work, check out our guide to reading betting odds.

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Dave Rathmanner

Dave Rathmanner is the Founder & CEO of Odds Assist. After struggling to find helpful sports betting resources and honest reviews when he first started betting, he decided to create the site he always wished he had. Dave has been betting on sports since NJ legalized it in 2018 and regularly analyzes sportsbooks to find the best options for bettors. Aside from creating new content for OA readers, Dave is also passionate about researching betting markets, creating models, and developing profitable betting strategies.