MLB Baseball Betting Guide
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Major League Baseball (MLB) is America’s sport and has been popular for a very long time. While MLB is immensely popular in the United States and in various countries abroad, the sport doesn’t have the same ratings as the NFL. Less people also wager on MLB due to several different reasons. In this beginner’s MLB betting guide we’re going to show you how to read odds and the types of bets you can place on baseball games at major online sportsbooks. In the future we’ll add tips and strategy for experienced bettors.
Understanding MLB Odds
When betting on the NBA or NFL you need to worry about dealing with point spreads, but in the MLB there are no point spreads unless you bet on the MLB runline bet, which we’ll explain below. Everyone knows you can bet on what team you think is going to win a baseball game, but there are tons of other MLB bets that you can wager on as well. We’re going to show you the types of MLB bets you can bet on below as well as how to understand American betting odds.
• Moneyline Betting – Toronto Blue Jays +125 vs. Boston Red Sox -130
Moneyline bets are where you bet on what team you think is going to win the baseball game. To understand MLB odds you need to know a bit of math. In a MLB moneyline bet the underdog team will have positive odds and the favourite will have negative odds.
In our example above the Red Sox are favourites at -130 odds and the Blue Jays are underdogs at +125. MLB odds are based on a $100 bet and positive odds reflect how much you can win on a $100 bet while negative odds reflect how much you need to bet to win $100. As you can see above you can win $125 on a $100 bet on the Blue Jays or you can bet $130 to win $100 on the Red Sox.
• Runline Betting – Toronto Blue Jays +1.5 -145 vs. Boston Red Sox -1.5 +140
In baseball the moneyline odds can become big when betting on favourites. It isn’t rare to see favourites in the -200 to -300 odds range in MLB and betting on favourites this big on the moneyline is a losing proposition over the long run. When you bet on the runline in MLB you need to bet on a team to win by a certain amount of runs or not lose by a certain amount of runs.
In our bet example above the Red Sox need to win by -1.5 runs while the Blue Jays can lose by +1.5 runs. Most online sportsbooks will allow you to bet on the -1.5/+1.5 runline, but some sportsbooks will allow you to change the runline. You can bet on either team to win by -.5, -1, -1.5, -2, -2.5, -3 and even higher adjusted runlines. The higher the spread is the better the payout odds.
• Run Total Betting – Toronto Blue Jays vs. Boston Red Sox – Over 8.5 -105 / Under 8.5 -105
Bettors commonly wager on the over/under of a baseball game. If you bet our example above you need to pick whether the Jays and Sox game will score over or under 8.5 runs throughout the entire game. What most bettors don’t know is that they can bet on team run totals and 5 inning run totals. Team run totals are where you bet on the over/under on one team’s run total only rather than the combined run total of both teams in the baseball game.
• 5 Innings Betting – Toronto Blue Jays +175 vs. Boston Red Sox -180
One unique wager in MLB is the 5 inning bet. You can bet on what team you think will be winning after 5 innings and this is a good bet to make when you can’t trust a team’s bullpen. If you bet on MLB I’m sure you can’t count how many times you’ve been burned in the last couple innings of a game due to a bullpen blowing a lead. To take the bullpen out of the equation players will be able to bet on what team they think will have the lead after 5 innings of the game rather than the full 9 innings.
• Parlay Betting – Blue Jays +125 / Yankees -150 / Mariners +115
A parlay or accumulator depending upon where you live is a wager with multiple outcomes. In MLB you can bet on any of the bets listed above in a parlay together to increase the payout odds. Parlays only win when every outcome on the parlay is a winner and obviously winning a parlay becomes difficult when you add a lot of games. Try not to bet more than 2-3 teams on MLB parlays and you should find that you’re able to turn a profit if your picks are half decent, but once you add more games you’re simply gambling.
• Prop Betting – Will Felix Hernandez Strikeout Over/Under 8.5 batters
Sportsbooks offer prop bets on every baseball game. You can wager on all sorts of MLB prop bets such as whether or not a pitcher will strikeout a certain number of batters or whether a batter will hit a homerun in a given game. Props bets are gambles, but if you do your research you can find +EV prop bets on a daily basis. Being a profitable MLB prop better takes a lot of time to handicap and analyze lines on a daily basis and isn’t for everyone.
• Futures Betting – Will the New York Yankees Win the World Series – Yes +140 / No -145
MLB futures bets are fun if you have the money to tie up for months at a time. Betting on the team you think will win the World Series or pennant offers huge payout odds in most cases early on in the season and start to become less valuable as the season progresses. Make sure you bet on futures bet at the start of the season or shortly after it begins to get the most value.
Best MLB Betting Sites
The best MLB Sportsbooks are the sportsbooks that market in the United States. Even if you live in the UK or Europe you’ll find that the US sportsbooks have the best MLB betting selection and odds. UK sportsbook don’t spend much time focusing on MLB because it’s a small market across the pond, so in order to find the best MLB betting sites you need to look at the sportsbooks that accept US bettors and market heavily in the United States.
1. BetIslands Sportsbook
Finding a legitimate low juice MLB sportsbook today is becoming harder and harder. BetIslands offers reduced on MLB bets, as they have -107 lines available compared to the industry average -110. You may think this amount is insignificant, but that’s not the case when you’re betting volume like you do in MLB. You still get a 1st deposit free play bonus from BetIslands on top of the low juice. BetIslands has a wide selection of MLB bets ranging from moneyline bets to single game prop bets.
2. BetOnline Sportsbook
BetOnline Sportsbook has been in the industry for a long time now although they’ve gone through a name change before. In the past BetOnline offered reduced juice lines, but now BetOnline offers the standard -110 lines on MLB. The reason BetOnline is still a top MLB sportsbook is because they accept US bettors, often have the best lines and offer a lifetime bonus. Bettors will be able to earn a bonus of 15%-25% on every deposit into their account.