The No Run First Inning (NRFI) bet has become one of the most popular bets in baseball. Why sit through an entire game when your bet can get settled in the first inning?
All bettors need is six precious outs to start the game. While an NRFI sounds like a shoo-in, it’s actually not the easiest bet to win.
The Philadelphia Phillies and Pittsburgh Pirates both have losing records when it comes to completing successful NRFIs. This page will take you through everything you need to know about how to bet NRFI markets in Major League Baseball.
Best PA sportsbooks for NRFI betting
Most of the top PA online sportsbooks offer No Run First Inning bets and are easy to find within the apps.
Caesars Sportsbook PA titles the NRFI market differently than most. When clicking into the game, a dropdown appears at the bottom of the popular tab that reads “Any Run In 1st Inning?” While the bet is listed under the popular tab, Caesars does not have a layout where you can bet by inning. That is the only first-inning market that appears to be available.
BetMGM Sportsbook PA has its NRFI bet on the “main” page located in the middle of other markets. It’s labeled “Will there be a run in the 1st inning?” BetMGM doesn’t appear to display the odds as strategically as other PA sportsbooks. The rest of BetMGM’s props are outlined on one page, making it more difficult to read each and every one.
Navigating the NRFI market on BetRivers Sportsbook PA is also rather simple. By clicking into the game, BetRivers has rectangular tabs that dropdown. It has one that specifically reads “Inning 1” under the “Game Props” tab. A dropdown of market ensues and the NRFI market is the second bet available. BetRivers’ odds compare well to FanDuel’s.
FanDuel Sportsbook PA has a tab that says “Innings,” as the NRFI market is the fifth market listed. FanDuel also typically offers the best odds when compared to other PA sportsbooks. It also has quite a few other first-inning markets.
Betway Sportsbook PA is one of the only operators in the state not to offer an NRFI market. Bettors can wager if the total number of runs in the first inning will be odd or even. That is Betway’s only first-inning market.
PA sports betting apps NRFI bet boosts and insurance offerings
BetMGM and Caesars both have dropdown boxes after clicking into the games, with the NRFI market further down the page. BetRivers also has a dropdown feature that’s labeled “Inning 1,” with the NRFI bet listed second.
Caesars offers NRFI odds boost on most days. The operator chooses three games in which all three NRFI bets must be successful to win the bet. It’s essentially a three-leg NRFI parlay. The boost is priced at around +600. Barstool Sportsbook offers a similar boost, too.
BetMGM provides a PA sports betting bonus through NRFI insurance of up to $25 every Friday. If your NRFI bet loses, but only one run is scored in the first inning, you’ll get your $25 back in the form of a bonus bet.
What is an NRFI bet?
First off, NRFI stands for No Run First Inning. The game must be scoreless after the first inning to win an NRFI bet.
What is a YRFI?
A YRFI is the opposite of an NRFI. It stands for Yes Run First Inning. If at least one run crosses the plate in the top or bottom of the first inning, this bet is a winner. The score after the first inning could be 1-0 or 5-4. Either way, the YRFI bet would win.
What does an NRFI/YRFI bet look like on a PA sports betting app?
It’s rare if a Pennsylvania sportsbook refers to the popular bet as an NRFI/YRFI. Sportsbooks have a tab that says “innings” or “1st inning” to be able to bet an NRFI.
Here is how to bet NRFI markets, as most PA online sportsbooks display it on their apps:
Runs – 1st inning:
- Over 0.5 (-120) / Under 0.5 (-110)
No Run First Inning betting odds explained
Odds for a No Run First Inning largely depend on the starting pitchers for the game. With two good starting pitchers facing off, the vig for an NRFI bet favors the sportsbook. In other words, the sportsbook charges you more.
For example, the MLB All-Star Game features the best pitchers in the league. Each manager selects the best All-Star to start the game.
This year, the Yankees’ Gerrit Cole and Diamondbacks’ Zach Gallen started the Midsummer Classic. Most sportsbooks priced the NRFI at -145 because of how good each pitcher is. Most YRFI bets were set at -115.
That is not always the case, however. In a game earlier in the season between the Giants and Reds, the pitching matchup was as follows:
- Giants: Anthony DeScalfani
- Reds: Luke Weaver
DeScalfani has an ERA of 4.44 in 17 starts. Weaver has an ERA of 7.00 through 15 starts. With two pitchers having rough years, FanDuel Sportsbook priced the NRFI at +120, while the YRFI was -135.
Another good example of a lopsided NRFI bet is often seen at a Colorado Rockies home game. Because of the thin air at Coors Field, the game total for Rockies home games are set at 12 runs or even higher. Therefore, the likelihood of NRFI is lower than the average game. In a starting pitching matchup between Rockies’ Austin Gomber (6.19 ERA in 19 starts) and the Astros’ Brandon Bielak (3.79 ERA in 10 starts), NRFI odds are as follows:
- Over 0.5 runs 1st inning: -190
- Under 0.5 runs 1st inning: +145
That’s one of the more uneven prices you’ll ever see for an NRFI.
Why has the NRFI bet become so popular?
The NRFI market has become a popular MLB betting option today because of the quick-hitting results. With baseball occupying the sports calendar during the slow summer months, sitting through a nine-inning game isn’t the easiest of tasks.
Because the bet is settled in the first inning, bettors are getting results usually within 20 minutes, especially with MLB enforcing the new pitch clock.
Philadelphia Phillies and Pittsburgh Pirates’ records against NRFI betting
The Phillies and Pirates are simply not good NRFI teams to bet on based on the NRFI stats. Through the All-Star break, the Phillies are 48-54 and the Pirates are 51-51. That is a 45% and 50% win rate, respectively.
It’s incredibly interesting to see that the Phillies have a poor NRFI record after seeing how often their starting pitchers throw shut-down opening frames. Here are records of Phillies starting pitchers throwing a scoreless first inning:
- Aaron Nola: 14-7
- Zack Wheeler: 16-4
- Ranger Suarez: 10-4
- Tijuan Walker: 14-6
- Christopher Sanchez: 7-1
- Matt Strahm: 6-3
- Bailey Falter: 3-4
Here are some of the Pirates top pitchers’ records:
- Mitch Keller: 13-8
- Johan Oviedo: 12-9
- Rich Hill: 16-5
While Phillies pitchers may throw shut-down first innings, their bats often ruin the NRFI. It certainly doesn’t help that Kyle Schwarber is second in the league in leadoff home runs with six. The Phillies feature Schwarber, Trea Turner, Nick Castellanos and Bryce Harper in their top four on most nights, which makes it tough on the opposing pitcher.
The Pirates have better NRFI stats than the Phillies, but average allowing 0.76 runs in the first inning, which is a league-worst. At the same time, they average scoring just 0.41 runs in the first inning, which is the fifth-lowest rate in the league. It makes sense why Pirates betting for this market provides results in the middle of the pack for NRFI win percentage (tied for 13th).
Pros and cons of betting NRFI on PA online sportsbooks
Just like any other market, NRFI betting has its pros and cons:
- You know your result in approximately 20 minutes, often less
- You don’t have to sit through the entire game before your bet can settle
- Handicapping first innings isn’t too difficult
- NRFI bets don’t hit as much as you think
- The NRFI record in 2023 is well below .500
- Odds aren’t always favorable, especially with two top pitchers facing each other
Other first inning markets
There are other variations of first-inning bets you can make wagers on using PA sportsbooks. Some offer a three-way first-inning result market. For instance, Phillies betting against the Padres would look like this:
- Padres: +250
- Phillies: +250
- Tie: +105
You could bet a tie, and if the score is 0-0 after the first inning, you’d win the bet. However, this is not technically an NRFI bet. The score could be tied at 2-2 and you’d still win this specific bet.
Other first-inning markets sportsbooks offer include:
- Over/Under runs for one team
- Hits allowed
- Pitches thrown
- Home runs
NRFI betting and responsible gambling
Since an NRFI bet settles so quickly, it’s important for bettors to remain responsible. While games start at all different times throughout the country, it’s easy to place several NRFI bets throughout any given day. Losing an NRFI should not result in placing several more to recoup the loss.
All PA sportsbooks have responsible gambling tools in place to help protect bettors. Some of them include:
- Deposit limits
- Spending limits
- Cool-off periods
It is important not to chase losing bets. We recommend making use of these tools to help keep your sports betting responsibe.