MLB betting is like any other – a fair assessment of all the available data in a manner that allows you to expect the unlikely while building your bets around the solid facts. Having a passion for the game yourself would definitely help you build a good knowledge about the base. And passion comes in many ways. You could be playing the video game franchise, which comes with detailed statistics about individual players or you can be collecting collectible player cards.
From following every match on TV to attending events in person, there is little to stop a true fan from getting all their MLB action pumping through their veins in the form of adrenaline. MLB betting is all about channelling your love for the game and making sure you have your goals set clearly.
Are you betting to add excitement to the already exciting game or do you want to turn a profit, knowing the outcome ahead of the bookies and fellow players? Ultimately, it all depends on you. We are here to guide you to the most solid options when it comes to the activity itself!
Start with the betting agencies, which we will refer to bookmakers or even bookies colloquially. It is the agencies that afford you the opportunity to have some solid wagers placed. You need to be looking for several essential things when selecting a bookmaker:
- Their credibility and track record so far
- The variety of markets and betting odds
We cover both topics in separate sections of our complete guide on MLB betting. But beyond the purely technical side, you will do well to cover several bases yourselves, to borrow the term from baseball itself. Keep yourself apprised of the latest developments in the game. This means following teams from the standpoint of a bettor, and this is an important differentiation to make.
It’s great to be a fan! The passion and drive for the game will definitely be the spurs that move you forward. Now, you ought to ask yourself, though, if you are being objective. MLB betting isn’t tantamount to wagering on the same team you favor the most. Indeed, the most difficult bit is to bet against them, but once you reach the point where you can tell the winners without a smidgeon of bias, you will be well onto your way of becoming a professional.
Understanding MLB Odds and Lines is admittedly straight and simple. If you have been sticking with our guides before, you will know that most betting odds are expressed as American, decimal or fractional odds. This being a predominantly American affair, the most likely format you will experience is American, albeit it’s really common for bookies to allow you to adjust your own odds as you see fit. So ultimately, you get to pick the format.
MLB, though, has its own specific crop of odds and lines that need to be explained. While they will overlap with the types of wagers you can do, we still hold that they deserve to be a separate section for the sake of the reader’s comfort. With this in mind, we will look through the following categories:
- MLB moneyline
- MLB run lines
- MLB totals (over/under)
Moneyline odds are common for a number of sports, including baseball, hockey. Baseball also tends to be a moneyline sport, which means that bettors are wagering their money on the winners and not on particular conditions within the game, as is the case with spreads betting.
The favorite is indicated with (-) whereas the favorite is a positive value. Reading the odds is also simple. -265 means that you need to stake $265 to win $100 for CLE. Conversely, if you stake $100 on LAA with odds 235, you stand to win $235. Plain as rain.
MLB Run Lines
Even though Baseball is a moneyline game, spread betting is also possible here. The bet is either +1.5 or -1.5 where a negative value (-) indicates the favorite. Basically, we are betting on the favorite to win the game by two runs or more. Conversely, if you stake money on the underdog, you expect them to either win or lose by a single run.
The odds are read in much the same way as we did with moneyline betting.
The totals are a metric that is used to indicate how many runs both teams will manage to score together. You are basically betting a certain number will be met. The value is 9.5 although it can fluctuate down or up a notch, depending on the current season.
The rest is as you know it. You wager $100 on the underdog to win the higher odds, or you sacrifice more than $100 to get $100 back on the favorite. The choice is entirely yours.
The types of wagers will of course be quite different. They will not hover around the odds. Bookies like to post multiple scenarios where the gamer, meaning you, has to pick the most likely scenario. When you are in the dead of the season, the most likely wager you will be able to place is the Future. Let’s explain this briefly, as the name is already a bit too revealing.
A future bet is the type of wager you make on the possible outcome of a match which will take place after a few weeks or months, but it’s mostly used to try and call the outcome of the whole league or tournament, who will make it to the playoffs, and so forth. The important thing here is to stake on a rather more important match or event as such.
Looking at the screenshot, we can differentiate between Lines, Props, and Futures. If you remember from our previous section, Lines are simply betting that indicate who the winner is.
The Prop bets is truly where the action is all kicking. Looking at the available bets here you will quickly realize that there are no two alike. Not only that, but all the proposed bets are quite different in their nature. You will be allowed to pick from Top 1st Run or Team Hits or Team Totals. Most Hits is another available option for the taking.
Props is also one of the best developed markets out there. It allows betting agencies to post as many different bets as they can come up with, which makes the MLB betting experience quite diverse.
For the sake of being thorough, we ought to mention the In-Play market. In-Play stands for Live Betting. Now, In-Play is just as developed. The only difference between the types of wagers we have already mentioned and Live Betting is that you have less time to decide. Your bets can be recalled, if the bookmaker allows it and you will have to tinker with the bets more often rather than have them run their course.
While the entertainment value of this market to be undisputed we still recommend that you steer clear from it unless you are prepared to back your game with deft reflexes matching those of a pitcher and a knowledge of the game that rivals that of a professional analyst.
And now we have come to the Rubicon of all gamers! How to pick a reliable bookie. It’s a question that will continue to trouble gamers and reviewing services such as ourselves continuously. We bet on reputation, though. Our expertise in running different and detailed reports have helped us build a solid base of professionals who manage to analyze bookies quite well.
So, what we do is to research the betting agency carefully, approaching it from all possible angles we can think of. In the course of our research, we also come up with additional points that we may need to cover. One particular aspect of the research is to determine whether a bookmaker has done something in the past to merit a penalty or a fine.
These are immediate red flags for us, and you will see that we cover them in our reviews. One of the most reliable ways to pick your bookie is to entrust a reviewing service, such as ours. However, do not think about leaving everything to a single operator, when you will be much better off comparing multiple sites and their findings.
Of course, a balanced overview is somewhat difficult to come upon, but we are proud of successfully deriving a point of view that is found in fact. Through trial and effort, we manage to cover many of the important aspects that determine whether a bookie is worth your time, and ours for that matter. What we look for in an operator is as follows:
- Reputation – including reports of past misdemeanors
- License – what gambling authority is backing the bookmaker
- Markets – the availability of different odds, markets, and competitivity of said odds
Besides looking at the handy table we have prepared for your later perusal, you may equally just head your own research by covering the same points we do in our review. For the most part, you will need to read through a bookmaker’s website, but you may also need to reach out to customer support, and additionally scour the public domain for extra bits of information.
It all boils down to balance. With the big names, you can surely entrust an accredited reviewing service to guide you through. When the operators are rather new, your MLB betting will be better off if you researched a bit on your own.
Following MLB is a bit of a challenge. One of the best ways to make sure a simple oddschecker is never too far away is to make sure that your bookie is mobile compatible. This will allow you to follow all matches you have wagers on. In addition, you will be able to scout out new possible bets and stay constantly up to date with the latest developing in the league and markets you are interested in.
Having learned all about the odds and lines and how to pick your MLB betting bookies, you are well-prepped to get your gaming underway. We recommend that you stick to moneyline bets if this is your first brush with the sport. As you develop your expertise, though, you may experiment with all additional types of wagers out there. Our service will be here to supplement your knowledge with extra tips and insights!