Learn how to bet on baseball games with our MLB betting guide.
⚾ Major League Baseball Betting
The popularity of baseball in the US makes it a perfect betting option for all sports fans. The new MLB season is about to start, so it is a great time to learn all the tips and tricks.
The upcoming season will follow a balanced schedule, which consists of 162 games. There will be 13 games against the division rivals and 52 games against the division opponents. Also, each team will play 6 games against 6 opponents and 7 games against 4 opponents in the same league. In additional, there will be 46 interleague games.
⚾ How to Read MLB Odds
Before placing any real bets, you need to learn how to be on baseball and win. First, you need to understand the odds that are offered by sportsbooks. Picking the right odds is a crucial step in winning real money.
All of the legal sportsbooks in the US use the American odds format. You will easily spot it since the usual moneyline odds will include + and – in front of the odds. The game’s favorites will be indicated with + (plus sign) and the underdogs will have – (minus sign) in front of their odds.
- The negative number will indicate the favorite of the betting line. It will also show how much you must bet to win $100.
- The positive number will indicate the underdog. It will also show how much you can win if you bet $100.
There are also other odds formats, like decimal and fractional. All of these are usually used by sportsbooks in Europe. If you want to calculate your potential winnings, you can use our odds calculator, which will save you tons of time.
⚾ Major League Baseball Bet Types
Baseball betting is quite straightforward. You’ll get three basic types of bets pre-game: Moneyline bets, run line, and totals (over/under). In addition, you can place futures bets on the World Series, player prop bets, and bet live on any given game. Here are some of the most popular types that are available on MLB betting sites.
The moneyline bet is the easiest to understand. Simply: who is the outright winner of the baseball game? In MLB betting, you’ll always see the starting pitcher mentioned in brackets after each team’s name. If either of the starters fails to make the start, the money line bets are automatically voided on most baseball betting sites, and you’ll get a refund. Starting pitchers carry the most weight in a result of any given baseball game, so, therefore, it’s understandable there’s a refund.
Another word for run line is point spread. For run lines, you’ll typically get +1.5 runs or give up -1.5 runs. To win your bet with +1.5 run spread, your team can lose by a maximum of one run. If they win the game or lose by one run, you win. If they lose by two or more runs, you’ll lose as well.
Totals (Under / Over)
Totals mean over/under betting on the final score. Will there be over or under 8.5 runs scored in the game? With 8 runs or less, the under cashes, with 9 runs or more, the over cashes. In over / under betting, wind plays a part in the equation, so you’ll want to do your homework whether the wind is blowing in or out of the ballpark.
MLB prop bets are popular throughout the baseball season, especially during the MLB playoffs and the World Series. Most player props revolve around player statistics, such as the number of home runs or hits by a specific player, or the number of strikeouts a pitcher might record. A team prop bet is a bet on the performance of the team that doesn’t affect the end result directly. Different MLB betting sites have a huge selection of proposition bets on any given team you can add to your bet slip.
In futures betting you’ll be betting on long-term outcomes, such as the National League and American League Champions, division winners, World Series winner or the Cy Young Award winner. You can also wager your MLB futures bet on team wins over/under, like on the Boston Red Sox or New York Yankees, throughout the season.
Parlays are combinations of two or more bets. When you combine a MLB wager with another wager, you have a parlay. The betting odds for both MLB games are multiplied, so you can win more than you would with two straight bets. However, parlays are harder to hit since you need to have the whole ticket correct. In addition, online sports betting sites reduce the parlay bet odds by up to 30% so you won’t actually win as much as the combined odds would suggest. A single game parlay is a fun alternative where you pick all legs from one game. You can use our parlay calculator to calctulate your potential win.
Live betting is a tremendous way to get some betting action mid-game. You can wager when the game is on, so it doesn’t matter if you miss the first pitch and the lines are already closed. All you have to do is to wait until the current inning ends, and you can place baseball bets again. You should be quick, though, as the lines close when a new inning starts, and the game is on again. Most bet types are available for in-play betting.
⚾ MLB Betting Tips
If you want to make some real money betting on the MLB season, there are some general rules, factors, and MLB betting strategies you should follow. You should of course shop for MLB betting lines to find the best MLB odds and signup bonus. In addition to these general rules, there are several specific online sports betting strategies you can follow.
- Bet Early in the season: MLB regular season is very long. In April the teams are still fresh from spring training and figuring out who’s who, and the oddsmakers experts picks can have significant mistakes, so you are going to find great moneyline picks when betting on baseball. Once the playoffs come around, every team has been thoroughly studied and the baseball odds are no longer in your favor.
- Don’t bet on the big favorites: Baseball is a funny sport, because betting on the favorite is rarely worth it. Teams that have a -150 or more in the moneyline bets are just not worth it. Although they are likely to win, you won’t make a big profit on a win, and like all MLB bettors know, there’s too much variance.
- Search for the underdogs: Baseball bettors might be hesitant to bet on the underdog team, but in baseball it is often worth it. There’s a lot of variety within the season, and although underdogs statistically win less than half of the games, the return on investment makes up for that. Remember that even the worst teams usually win 60+ games per 162 game season.
- Bet totals instead of winners: Nowadays, there are hundreds of wagering options for a sport bettor in single MLB game, so why bet on the winner? Predicting the winner of a baseball match is notoriously difficult. That’s why totals are much more reliable in baseball than in other sports. If you have enough background information on the weather and the pitchers, wagering on the total number of runs will be much safer in the long run.
- Follow the Weather: No major sporting events are as prone to weather effects that baseball. Win direction and temperature both play a crucial role in the total number of runs, and whether players hit a home run. Sports bettors can use this information to make educated choices when they place prop bets and bet on MLB games.
- Study the Stadium: As with the weather, knowing the stadium can confer some serious advantages. Some stadiums are more pitcher friendly while some favor left handed hitters over right handed ones. A park with special features usually benefit the home teams. Knowledge on stadiums is a thing that can really make a difference.
⚾ Major League Baseball Teams
MLB consists of 30 total teams, divided equally between the National League (NL) and the American League (AL), with 29 in the United States and 1 in Canada. Each team plays 162 games per season, and six teams in each league advance to a four-round postseason tournament that ends up in the World Series.
|American League Central
||Chicago White Sox
Kansas City Royals
|American League East
Boston Red Sox
New York Yankees
Tampa Bay Rays
Toronto Blue Jays
|American League West
Los Angeles Angels
|National League Central
St. Louis Cardinals
|National League East
New York Mets
|National League West
Los Angeles Dodgers
San Diego Padres
San Francisco Giants
⚾ Legal Baseball Betting States
The gambling laws in the United States now permit real money wagering on baseball in 20 different states across America. In some states there are only a few online sportsbooks, but in other states like NJ, you can find more than 20 online sports betting sites where you can bet on MLB games. Therefore you can compare odds and wager types between sport betting operators.
1️⃣ Are MLB betting sites legit?
Yes, BonusFinder US recommends only legal sports betting sites and apps. These are the things we take into account when deciding on whether to list a gambling site on BonusFinder.com:
- Responsible Gambling & Licensing: The online sportsbook needs to have a license from the state they offer their games in, like the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.
- Bonuses: They’ll need to offer valuable sign up bonuses for new customers.
- Mobile gambling: It’s essential that you can place wagers with baseball betting apps on your phone.
- Fair and responsible: If you want to quit but don’t think you have the will power to do it, you can easily self exclude through the sites customer service. Gamble responsibly.
- Payment Methods: The gambling sites must offer easy and secure deposits and withdrawals with methods like credit cards or PayPal.
- Fast Payouts: You need to be able to withdraw your money quickly if you want to.
2️⃣ Do online MLB sportsbooks really pay out winnings?
Yes, they do. As long as MLB betting sites are legal, you have nothing to worry about when you place bets. They always pay and in a timely fashion. However, if you’ve taken bonus money, you’ll need to meet the wagering requirements.
3️⃣ How do you bet on the World Series?
There are few wagering options for World Series betting. First, you need to ensure you are in a legal state like Pennsylvania. Then you need to choose a legal sportsbook like BetMGM, register an account and make a deposit. Finally, you need to choose which kind of bet type and wager interests you.
Before the season starts and during the regular season and playoffs, you can make futures bets on the eventual winner of the season. When the two finalists are known, you can start to make other bets as well.
4️⃣ Where can I bet on baseball online?
You can bet on all the US sportsbooks operating in legal states (AZ, CO, CT, IL, IN, IA, LA, MI, NJ, PA, TN, VA, WV). The best betting sites are available in multiple states, but some states also have local operators available. MLB betting odds and sports betting lines are similar on all sportsbooks, so you can try different sites before settling on one.
5️⃣ What is the best baseball betting site?
For us, it's PointsBet is the absolute best betting site for MLB picks. Compared to other sportsbooks, their fair odds, live betting opportunities and customer service stand out. However, it's their PointsBetting that sets them apart. In PointsBetting, the odds increase the closer you are to your mark. Betting on baseball is a numbers game, so PointsBetting can really affect the bottom line.