How to Bet on MLB Baseball
Learning how to bet on baseball is not as complicated as you might think. This guide will have you prepared and ready to hit the ground running. Once you have baseball odds explained, see the various types of bets, and get started on an overall baseball betting strategy, you are ready to go. Betting on baseball is easy once you have the know-how, so let us guide you to the MLB best bets.
Well, that is ideal. You do not need to know all that in order to know how to bet on baseball. You can take a more lighthearted approach as well. Being prepared is always a good idea, but so is relaxing and just diving in, with caution. Either way, we wanted to provide you with all the resources, including baseball betting tips, you need to bet on baseball whenever you feel ready to do so.
Types of MLB Bets
These are the most common MLB betting types:
The Importance of Pitchers in MLB Baseball Betting
In fact, starting pitching is such a big part of handicapping baseball that sportsbooks offer a betting option called “listed pitcher.” Selecting a listed pitcher bet means that, if one of the projected starters for that day doesn’t throw the first pitch of the ballgame, then the bet is deemed no action and the wager is returned in full. They also have “one pitcher” options, where bettors select just one pitcher that has to start to have action.
It’s a useful protection to have; betting the Dodgers at -220 with Kershaw on the mound is often a sound decision, despite the short odds. Betting the Dodgers at -220 with a reliever making a spot start is tantamount to a charity donation.
In this age of instant information, “listed pitcher” is only protection against sickness or a freak accident in warmups. This is because if there are any injury concerns around a pitcher, you’d hear about it long before. However, if you love the Dodgers to win, and you don’t care if Kershaw is throwing, you can select “action” on a moneyline bet, and no matter who steps to the mound to start the game, your wager will count.
MLB Series Betting
As you likely know, the baseball schedule is broken up into series, which see the same teams play each other for two, three, or four straight days. The vast majority of series are three-game sets, and many sportsbooks will post lines for those series, as a whole, allowing you to wager on which team will win (at least) two of the three games. Think of it as a moneyline bet for a weekend. Just bet on a team, and if they take at least two of three games in a series, you’ll win. However, series bets come with a few stipulations. For example, games can be ruled no action if a game is postponed or suspended. You also can’t bet two-game series.
Baseball Betting Strategies
If you want to be successful in the long-term then you to implement a defined strategy and stick with it. It takes discipline to stick with a strategy when you are having a bad run, but just remember there is a reason you developed this strategy in the first place. Long-term success is always the goal with any betting strategy.
Here are three points that you should consider adding as part of your MLB betting strategy.
1. Betting on Underdogs
Betting on underdogs in MLB obviously means a potentially greater payout, but with improved odds comes greater risk of losing each bet. When is a good time to take advantage and why is betting the underdog so appealing?
- Why? You can win less often yet still profit more. If, on average, your underdog line was +130, which isn’t a big underdog, you would have to only win 44% of your bets to be profitable. Betting at standard -110 odds (like most NFL point spreads) requires a 52.5% win rate to stay in the black.
- Early-Season Games – At the beginning of each season, a lot of experts will have predictions on how the year will play out and sportsbooks listen to the ones they respect while setting odds. If you can find a couple of supposedly weak teams playing well early on, you can take advantage of them before the markets adjust. Since early lines are based on preseason predictions, those teams will remain underdogs despite playing quality baseball as the public continues to bet the presumed favorites.
2. Betting With or Against The Public
“Betting with the public” means taking the favorite. Whereas going “against the public”, means taking the underdog. Betting with the public will have less of a return on investment so you’ll need to get more of those correct to be successful long-term.
Additionally, depending which side you are betting will determine how soon (or how late) you should place your bet. Remember, public teams (like the Yankees and Dodgers) tend to become bigger favorites and while many small-market teams and/or weak team (we won’t name names) tend to become bigger underdogs. That being the case, betting early when you’re wagering on the favorite and delaying when you’re betting on the underdog is great bankroll management.
Every dollar saved or earned goes a long way towards maintaining your survival.
3. MLB Reverse Line Movement
Have you ever monitored a line and seen a favorite go from -200 to -230 then down to -160? The usual cause for this not uncommon occurrence is that the public backs the favorite early one, but then a “sharp” bettor (one who bets for a living) places a large bet on the underdog. Sportsbooks then respond by making the favorite more appealing to the public to attract bets on that side.
Sportsbooks are hoping this will balance out the money on each side. This should be alarming to you as a bettor and make you question what the “sharps” know. Betting against the sharps in this scenario consistently is not a good strategy. Sharps do this for a living and are successful; going against them a lot could send you out of the game.
4. Influences on MLB Betting
Baseball has a wide range of influences on each and every game. Knowing what they are and how to take advantage of them are key. Let’s have a look at some of the key factors that can be used as part of your betting strategy.
MLB Live Betting
MLB live betting is a truly great combination. Baseball is a particularly great sport for live betting due to its pace. You can really see the odds change with every pitch, swing, and run. There are plenty of breaks for the odds to update, where you have some time to consider placing a wager given the new reality.
Betting live is a great way to place bets on MLB tonight. You can sign up, right in the moment and get started in some exciting action. In fact, live betting is one of the biggest baseball betting trends.
There are several great in-game baseball wagering options. Each with its own slightly different baseball betting system. Here are the big ones
- The first team to a certain number of runs
- The outcome of the next at-bat
- Strikeouts in next half inning
- Total hits
- Moneyline, or the final outcome of the game
Focus on a couple of MLB Bets
Betting live on the MLB is a great way to make some extra bucks and get even more excitement out of your entertainment budget. Because there are so many options, and your time is limited, I would recommend implementing time-saving strategies. This will help you make the best decisions in the heat of the moment.
A big one is to just focus on one or two potential bets. For example, keeping an eye on one team’s bullpen is much more feasible than keeping an eye on both teams’ bullpens, where the runners are, which batters are up, and how the fielders are performing.
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Betting on MLB Baseball Games FAQ
Everything you need to know to choose the best MLB betting site and to make good MLB bets
Bovada has a lot of odds, but if you are looking for the best MLB odds, you might want to check BetOnline’s MLB betting options. All big American sportsbooks offer a wide variety of baseball betting online.
You can make MLB Futures bets throughout the year. On a game day, you can make pre-game bets or try your hand at live-betting. Alternatively, track MLB betting trends and see where the value is.
The best MLB bets today will always be the ones that are the most fun for you, and that fit into your baseball betting strategy.
MLB betting offers a huge variety of bets. These include propositions, lines, totals, and spreads.
This will vary depending on your online sportsbook, but many have markets on baseball from Thailand, South Korea, and elsewhere.
Yes, it is. While laws vary by state, you can almost definitely use online sportsbooks available in the US. In some rare cases, you may have to use a local sportsbook.
The biggest tip is always to have fun! If this means playing it safe, go for it. If this means rooting for the underdog, that’s fine too. Enjoy yourself!