MLB is one of the more popular sports for Americans to bet on, as it is part of the ‘major four’ US sports. What makes betting on baseball even more popular is that for much of the mid-season, baseball doesn’t have to compete with other popular US sports.
Baseball is the only league running for much of the late summer and early fall, making it a popular choice for sports bettors. Major League Baseball typically begins in late March and runs all the way through October, which includes the playoffs.
This page explains how baseball betting works, and how to read MLB betting lines and odds. It also provides bettors with the best MLB odds, tips and latest news so that you can make the best MLB bets possible!
Yes. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a bill in late December of 2019 for Michigan to have legal sports betting, which includes MLB.
DraftKings Sportsbook, BetRivers and FanDuel Sportsbook are among the best MLB betting sites in Michigan. These operators will typically provide a daily odds boost for customers to take advantage of, such as slashing a team’s odds to win from -150 to +125. Other daily odds boosts include types of small parlays, such as the Phillies winning and Bryce Harper to hit a home run at +1100.
These sites have great options for MLB bettors to select from, whether it be live betting or futures betting. Futures bets are available for both teams and players, which include World Series winner, MVP winners, team win totals, and much more.
These sportsbooks also offer promotions, such as paying bettors a certain amount of money for every time the team they bet on scores a run—regardless if they win or lose. It’s important to consider all these sites when betting on MLB in order to find promotions and get the best value for your bet.
MLB betting odds typically see three popular types: moneyline, run line and run total. These three MLB betting odds are the most common for bettors to pick. Odds are set in accordance to what sportsbooks think will garner the most balanced betting. Sportsbooks want the public to bet on both teams evenly in order to profit.
If an oddsmaker sets Christian Yelich’s Home Run Derby betting odds at +400, then his implied odds give him a 20% chance to cover for the sportsbooks. However, the real odds of Yelich winning the event are only 12.5% since there are eight total competitors in the field (1/8 = 0.125). These are how MLB betting odds are set—not based on what can actually happen, but rather the balance of wagers.
Moneylines are the most popular type of wagers most sports bettors make. The moneyline is the implied probability of an oddsmakers’ belief for a team to win a game. For American odds, positive numbers imply the underdog, while negative numbers imply the favorite. The further away a number is from 100, the more likely a favorite/underdog that team is.
If the Atlanta Braves have a moneyline of -200, it would cost bettors $200 to win $100. If a bettor thinks the Miami Marlins at +250 will win instead, it would cost $100 to win $250. Moneyline bets are popular because they do not require the winning team to score a certain amount of runs, only to win the game.
Run lines are the number of runs an oddsmaker thinks a team will win by, along with the implied odds of said team covering those runs. If the Braves have a runline of -3.5 at -110, then oddsmakers are giving the Braves a 52.4% chance to win the game by four or more runs. Bettors would have to spend $110 and see the Braves win by four or more runs to win $100.
On the contrary, the Marlins might have a runline of +3.5 at -110. This means the Marlins would either have to lose by three runs or fewer, or win the game, for runline Marlins’ bettors to win.
You might notice it’s more expensive for bettors to wager on the Marlins’ runline than the Marlins’ moneyline. This is because it is more likely for the Marlins to lose by three runs or fewer than it is for them to win the game outright. Run lines typically have the same betting odds, regardless of which team you select.
Totals are the combined number of runs scored by both teams in a game. Bettors can select whether a total will go over or under what the sportsbooks set. If the Braves vs. Marlins game sees a run total of 7.5, then bettors can decide to wager on eight or more runs, or seven runs or fewer. Much like run lines, totals usually see similar betting odds.
If a bettor takes under 7.5 at -110, then a bettor will need to stake $110 and see seven or fewer runs to win $100. If the Braves win 8-4, then the under bettor will lose. If the Marlins win 5-1, then the under bettor will win.
Some bettors might shorten the game, in which case inning bets is the way to go. An inning bet can work a few different ways; the most common is betting on a team to win a single inning.
A bettor can select the Braves to win the first inning at -105 as opposed to winning the game. This strategy, although more difficult to hit, provides better value. A bettor may also elect to wager on run totals per inning.
If a bettor believes both team’s pitchers will give up runs, but unsure who will win, he or she may elect to take the run total for a specific inning. A bettor can take over 1.5 total runs for the third inning, in which case the bettor would only need two or more total runs, regardless of which team scores them.
Inning bets shorten the game for bettors and provide great value for favorites, but are more difficult to win based on the limited amount of time.
If single inning bets are too short-lived for bettors, perhaps the ‘first five innings’ bet is more appealing to some. Again, there’s more value here for bettors leaning away from picking a favorite outright.
If there is little conviction in the Braves’ bullpen, a bettor who knows this may elect to take Atlanta in five innings instead of winning the game. With the amount of inconsistent pitching from Major League Baseball teams’ bullpens, five inning bets are becoming more common as bullpens are becoming less trustworthy.
This bet is similar to soccer’s DNB (Draw No Bet) in which a bettor wagers on a certain team to win, but if they tie then the bettor gets his money back. If two teams are tied after the fifth inning has been played, a bettor will push and get his money back.
This is a common betting technique for those who believe the underdog will keep the game close, but not win. A fifth inning bet provides a safety net for bettors who are convinced of an underdog possibly winning, but afraid to take them outright.
Many bettors elect to buy up or down for an alternate run line. If the Braves’ runline of -3.5 at -110 seems to be too much for a bettor, he may decide to take an alternate runline for a more expensive price (-1.5 at -175). Bettors may also feel that the Braves’ -3.5 runline is too low, and elect to take a higher runline at a cheaper price (-5.5 at +120).
Atlanta winning by two or more runs is more likely than winning by six or more, which is why the betting odds change.
A short form of futures betting, series betting is a common strategy for MLB bettors. In baseball, it’s typical that the better team doesn’t always win, which is why the sport is usually played in a three-game series.
It’s also unlikely a team wins all their games in one series. Predicting which games a team will win within a series can be difficult, which is why some Major League Baseball bettors lean towards the series bet.
If a bettor is sold that the Braves will beat the Marlins, but unsure which games they will win, then a bettor might elect to take the Braves winning the series instead. As long as Atlanta wins two of the three games it plays against Miami, then a bettor will win—regardless which two games the Braves win.
If the Braves are -110 to win the series as opposed to -195 to win a single game, then a bettor may lean towards the Braves winning any two of the three games for a better price. It would only cost the bettor $110 to win back $100 rather than paying $195 to win back $100.
Futures betting is a great way to invest in a long-term bet at great value. Betting odds for a futures bet can change over time, so it might be wise for a Major League Baseball bettor to place their futures bet earlier rather than later.
If a bettor likes the Yankees to win the World Series before the season starts, he might elect to take them for odds at +700. If two months go by and the Yankees are in first place, their futures odds to win the World Series may drop to +250. Timing is everything with futures bets.
There are five common MLB futures bets:
Props are typical in sports betting and quite popular with fantasy sports players. Props are bets that can be made around the game, such as which players will hit a home run or the number of strikeouts a pitcher will record.
If a bettor is uncertain who will win between the Braves and Marlins but sees Ronald Acuna has career success off the starting Miami pitcher, then a bettor might elect to take Acuna to hit a Home Run at a much better value than Atlanta winning the game.
If Justin Verlander is facing a team struggling to hit the ball, a bettor might take Verlander going over the strikeout total as opposed to an expensive Houston Astros’ line. These proposition bets usually provide better value to wager on, opposed to picking a team to win.
Experienced sports bettors typically live bet, or bet on a game while in-play. This is a form of betting in which wagers are placed while odds are shifting as the game is being played. Live betting is tricky, as odds change with every pitch in an at-bat.
If the Marlins are down two runs in the eighth inning with odds to win at +200, a live bettor might wait to see how the eighth inning progresses. If Miami suddenly has two base runners on and no outs, their odds might fall to +110. A live bettor will recognize this and, if confident in Miami, elect to place a live bet on the Marlins to win.
This strategy works both ways. The same bettor might see the Braves’ odds drop from -200 to -115 and decide to bet on Atlanta working out of the inning for a cheaper price. Odds shift on every pitch based on the count, so live bettors must act quickly and impulsively.
The Major League Baseball season is broken into three parts: pre-season (spring training), regular season, and playoffs. Each of these seasons present betting opportunities, but each is different in approaching it.
Pre-season baseball is tricky, mainly because the games don’t count. Many teams will use pre-season as a way to experiment with their roster and lineup. Top players don’t play every game and the ones they do play in, they usually leave early.
Be cautious betting on MLB pre-season games, as the regular season is much more appealing. This is mainly because teams are putting their best effort on the field each time, which makes predicting the game easier for bettors.
With the season lasting so long, bettors are able to use a larger sample size for the direction certain teams and players are heading. The All-Star Break usually presents a great chance for Major League Baseball bettors to cash in too. There is great value in the Home Run Derby, as the All-Star game is usually good for live betting the run total.
The MLB playoffs usually comes down to pitching matchups, as series betting also becomes a popular wager. Series betting provides good value for favorites to win, which also allows for the favored team to drop a game without penalizing the bettor.
Series betting also permits a bettor to potentially hedge a game. If a bettor takes the Dodgers to win a series but they’re on the verge of elimination at home, then the bettor can hedge their series bet by wagering the road underdog to win the game. If the road underdog wins then the bettor will cover his series bet. If the Dodgers win the game, then the series bet is still alive.
There isn’t much of a difference when betting the World Series and a regular season game. Live betting is the same, despite each pitch feeling much more important than a regular season game.
Pitching matchups are the best way to start looking at a World Series game to bet on. The better pitcher wins most baseball games, so it’s a good starting point. Series betting is another great way to start betting the World Series. Beginning with a series bet allows you to possibly hedge moving forward.
There is great value in some World Series prop bets, typically the MVP market. Selecting which player will win the World Series MVP is difficult, but every player provides great value to at least throw a few bucks at. This also provides an opportunity to hedge a bet if it looks as though your MVP pick won’t pan out.
When betting the World Series, the best strategy is to find value in series betting or props. From there, you should bet accordingly. If your bets look good as the World Series progresses, then you can ride it out. If your bets look bad as the World Series progresses, then you can look for other bets to potentially hedge.
Nationally televised games are on ESPN channels and the MLB Network. Detroit Tigers local games are found on FOX Sports Detroit.
Simplify each game. The season is long and there are a lot of games to make and lose money on. Focusing on one game at time will also help you to make help make better wagering decision when choosing your MLB betting picks. While parlays are not encouraged, if you do decide to place a parlay bet remember to keep these type of bets small (two or three teams at most). Also, have fun. You won’t win every game, and so don’t let any loss or win impact your motives moving forward.
A trend can be many things, but it is mainly used to determine how a certain result might play out. If the Braves have won eight of their last nine road games, then the trend favors Atlanta on the road. If Bryce Harper has seen an extra-base hit in five of his last six games played at night, then his trend favors a productive bat during primetime games. Trends are helpful, but also tricky. If the Braves have won eight of nine road games, the MLB betting trends may also suggest Atlanta is due to lose. Being able to understand and translate trends with betting odds is important for sports bettors.
Underdogs win any given game in any sport. This can be especially true for baseball, however, in which over 100 games are played in a season. It’s rare a team will win each game in a series, so it’s likely an underdog will win at least one out of a few games against a favorite.
The better pitcher usually wins for his team, but not always. As with any sport, favorites can win or lose any game. In baseball, underdogs have a better chance to win because of the amount of games played against a team. More times than not, though, the better pitcher starting that game should win.
Sportsbooks such as DraftKings and FanDuel provide mobile apps for bettors to wager on MLB games. Mobile apps are great to bet on for many reasons, most notably not having to wait in line. In-person sportsbooks require bettors to place bets at a desk, whereas mobile betting permits bettors to place bets instantly. This allows for easier live betting, in which odds change every 60 seconds or less. Mobile betting also provides odds, stats and play-by-play coverage in one location. The most important benefit for mobile betting is that you can instantly receive your winnings, regardless of where you are within the state lines. You don’t need to be in a casino or wait in line to collect winnings, as they are immediately deposited into your account.
+1.5 is simply the runline. If a team has +1.5 in front of their name, that means sportsbooks expect them to cover a 1.5 run spread. In layman’s terms, this means that the team given +1.5 can either win or lose by one run in order for the bettor to cover.