Do you want your MLB bets to hit more like a big-league slugger’s grand slam than a swing and a miss? If so, then it’s critical to know how to read and stake on MLB odds.
Major League Baseball (MLB) remains a popular sports league featuring “America’s pastime.” If you’re a new baseball bettor, then reading MLB betting lines can seem as tough as hitting a fastball pitch. Learning the basics can help you make better bets and boost your chances of achieving success.
If you’re seeking a safe and reliable online sportsbook like MaximBet.com, we can help you make better baseball bets. Keep reading to learn how to interpret MLB odds, the types of MLB betting lines, Vegas vs. sportsbook odds, and World Series odds.
MLB Odds: How Do They Appear?
The betting lines for MLB baseball games are usually different from basketball or football.
For example, NBA and NFL bets often include point spreads that have a favorite and underdog. The favorite must “cover the spread” for a stake on them to win.
Similarly, baseball has a runline. However, the moneyline bet is the most popular type. The moneyline wagering option is a straight-up (SU) bet, so you just have to pick the winner. Better teams have higher odds since they’re more likely to win.
How to Read MLB Betting Lines
When reading MLB lines, here are the teams that you can bet on:
- Arizona Diamondbacks
- Atlanta Braves
- Baltimore Orioles
- Boston Red Sox
- Chicago White Sox
- Chicago Cubs
- Cincinnati Reds
- Cleveland Indians
- Colorado Rockies
- Detroit Tigers
- Houston Astros
- Kansas City Royals
- Los Angeles Angels
- Los Angeles Dodgers
- Miami Marlins
- Milwaukee Brewers
- Minnesota Twins
- New York Yankees
- New York Mets
- Oakland Athletics
- Philadelphia Phillies
- Pittsburgh Pirates
- San Diego Padres
- San Francisco Giants
- Seattle Mariners
- St. Louis Cardinals
- Tampa Bay Rays
- Texas Rangers
- Toronto Blue Jays
- Washington Nationals
It’s also helpful to know the abbreviations of some popular MLB teams since they might appear that way in betting lines. For example:
- Atlanta (ATL)
- Boston (BOS)
- Cincinnati (CIN)
- Cleveland (CLE)
- St. Louis (STL)
- New York Mets (NYM)
- Philadelphia (PHI)
- Arizona (ARI)
- Colorado (COL)
The favorite is always indicated by a minus sign (-), while the underdog is listed using a plus sign (+).
A point spread bet is betting on the “runline.” If you make a spread wager on the ballgame’s favorite, then the team must win by at least 0.5 runs over the number of points the team is favored by. Otherwise, the bet is ruled as a tie or “push.”
Meanwhile, if you bet on the underdog, then the team can’t lose by the number of points the opponent is favored by.
Here’s an example of a possible matchup:
Miami Marlins -1.5 vs. Pittsburgh Pirates
The Marlins must win by at least 2 points for your bet to win. A spread bet is more balanced than a moneyline bet which simply requires you to bet on the winner.
If you encounter MLB lines that don’t include a half-point spread (for example, -2), then the bet is a “push” if the favorite wins by exactly 2 runs.
MLB Game Odds: The Most Common Types
Here are some of the main types of MLB lines:
These odds are like betting on the point spread in other sports. They are also similar to the puckline in hockey betting.
The point spread tends to be 1.5 runs in baseball, although the odds might change.
Here’s an example of an MLB betting line:
Padres -1.5 -130
Dodgers +1.5 +110
In this scenario, the Padres must win by two or more points to cover the spread. Meanwhile, a Dodgers pick wins if Los Angeles loses by just one point or wins outright.
In the example mentioned above, the minus sign (-) indicates that the Padres are the favorites, and the plus sign (+) indicates that the Dodgers are the underdogs.
This bet is on a game’s win or loss outcome. Let’s say in the above example, you pick the Padres to win outright. You must bet $130 to win $100.
If the Padres win, then your total payout is $230. That includes the $130 profit and your original $100 bet.
Meanwhile, if you place a $100 bet on the Dodgers, you can get a $110 profit if Los Angeles wins. The total payout is $220, which includes the $110 profit and $100 original bet.
This type entails betting on whether the total runs in a baseball game will be over or under an oddsmaker’s projected point total.
This is a common type of bet also found in other pro leagues like the NFL, NBA, and NHL. When making baseball bets, you can bet on “over” or “under” the total runs set for the betting lines.
The over/under in MLB tends to range from 6 to 12 runs. It will be lower if both teams are starting ace pitchers, for example.
Meanwhile, the total will be higher if the starting pitchers are weak or the teams have high-scoring offenses.
MLB Betting: Other Odds Offered
A parlay bet includes multiple parts known as “legs.” These bets are also known as accumulators.
When you place parlay bets, you only win the bet if you win each selection. If you lose one part, then you lose the parlay.
Parlays allow bettors to place bets on multiple odds, providing the opportunity to win bigger payouts. What’s the catch? These bets are riskier to place since you have to win each leg in a 7-leg parlay, for example.
These “proposition bets'' are side bets. They’re not directly related to the game’s outcome, unlike runlines and totals, for instance. Some examples include picking the over or under for total hits, runs batted in (RBI), and strikeouts.
MLB Futures: Playoffs, World Series, and Awards Odds
Postseason and MLB Championship
The MLB postseason is a good time during the baseball season to make bets. In fact, the MLB futures market gets more betting action as the pro baseball league’s season moves towards the divisional pennants and the World Series.
Futures bets are based on future events, including sporting games, series updates, and awards.
Futures bets focus on the biggest events and achievements Major League Baseball has to offer. Some sportsbooks’ futures odds include whether a team will:
- Make the playoffs
- Win the division title
- Win the American League Championship Series (ALCS) or National League Championship Series (NLCS)
- Win the World Series
Meanwhile, player futures bets require bettors to project the winner of different awards, including:
- MLB MVP
- AL/NL Rookie of the Year
- Cy Young Award (pitchers)
- Golden Glove (defense)
- Silver Slugger (offense)
Here are some players you can consider when placing MLB futures bets for players awards:
- Nathan Eovaldi
- Christopher Bassitt
- Alek Manoah
- Cal Quantrill
- Jonathan Brubaker
It can be very challenging to win futures bets. One way to boost your payouts is to get betting action as early as possible, such as during the baseball offseason.
Suppose you make futures bets like the AL/NL Championship or World Series. You’ll have more information throughout the regular season to make more informed decisions. Various factors that affect the futures odds include:
If you decide to place your futures bet during the MLB season, make sure to track MLB playoff odds. You can look for “value bets” throughout the MLB season to get more chances for bigger payouts.
Where to Bet on Major League Baseball
Opening accounts at legal betting sites like MaximBet.com lets you easily place bets after you’ve found the best MLB odds.
After signing up, it’s essential to look at information and baseball odds to help you make better bets. It’s also important to bet responsibly and get help if you have a gambling problem.
MLB Vegas Odds vs. Online Sportsbook Odds
Before a landmark Supreme Court decision paved the way for legal sports betting, staking on this sport was only legal at Las Vegas casinos. The court ruling made sports betting legal throughout the United States.
Today some baseball bettors will search for Vegas odds when staking on MLB betting lines.
Online sports betting is becoming increasingly available in the U.S. and elsewhere. It’s thus essential to know whether the MLB betting odds are different at online sportsbooks and Vegas casinos.
In some cases, the baseball odds found at online sportsbooks are similar to those found at Las Vegas casinos.
Today, people often use “MLB Vegas odds” to refer to baseball odds offered by top sportsbooks, including online sportsbooks.
1. How can I win a baseball bet?
Research to find an MLB line that you’re interested in. Consider factors such as head-to-head records, home-field advantage, and injury reports. Your bet options include runline, over/under parlay and prop bets (side bets), and the Home Run Derby winner. If your pick is correct, your betting account will be credited.
2. How can I bet on a +200 moneyline?
This baseball line bet is on the underdog since it shows a plus sign (+). If you bet $100 and your selection is correct, then you win $200. Your total payout would be $300, including the profit ($200) and original bet ($100).
3. Where can I bet legally on MLB games?
Sports betting is legal in many states while pending legislation exists in other states for in-person or online betting. Some of the possible options besides MLB betting include staking on the:
Whether you can bet legally on MLB games depends on your current home state. If online sports betting is allowed in your state, then betting at legal betting sites like MaximBet.com is a practical option.
4. Does it matter if games are decided by over one run?
It’s crucial to split losses into two groups: either the team loses by exactly one run or it loses by more than one run. Suppose the runline is 1.5. You win a bet on the favorite if the team wins by two or more points.
When betting on MLB odds, make sure to do your research, don’t bet emotionally, and enjoy yourself. Sign up today at MaximBet.com for more information on the MLB and betting lines.