Baseball, ‘America’s pastime’, is perfect for bettors and online bookmakers.
It’s zero surprise then to see Major League Baseball (MLB) at the forefront of the sports betting explosion in the U.S.
Each of the 30 teams in the American League (AL) and National League (NL) plays a total of 162 regular-game games. Do the math – that gives you a total of 2430 games to bet on before we even get to the post-season.
The baseball season lasts around seven months, including the playoffs, which normally take place in October. The World Series (the ‘Fall Classic’), is played in October.
With a crazy number of games to fit in, teams play series of multiple games either at home or on the road during the regular season.
The playoffs start with a single-game Wild Card Round, before the Division Series (best of five games). The American League Championship Series (ALCS), the National League Championship Series (NLCS) and the World Series are all seven-game series.
Is betting on MLB legal?
Yes, it is legal to bet on MLB with sportsbooks, in any state where betting is legal.
Since the 2018 Supreme Court decision to overturn a ban on sports betting in states apart from Nevada, the landscape has changed – and fast.
Many states have already rolled out legislation to make sports betting legal.
Some states allow sportsbooks in land-based casinos only, but some allow online and mobile sports betting.
Check out where it is legal to bet on MLB right now with our state-by-state guides.
MLB lines are the main bets offered on professional baseball games. They tell you who is favored to win, and what the latest MLB odds are.
MLB money line
MLB money lines mean you bet on a team just to win a game.
Example: The Yankees are playing the Red Sox. Yankees are -150, Red Sox are +200
- You bet the Yankees, you can make $100 profit on every $150 you bet
- You bet the Red Sox, you can make $200 profit on every $100 you bet
The Yankees are favorite and have a negative number. The underdog Red Sox have a positive number, so a bigger profit for backers if they win.
MLB run line
The run line in baseball is like the point spread in football. The underdog gets a start, the favorite has a handicap.
Example: The Yankees are playing the Red Sox. Yankees are -1.5, Red Sox are +1.5
- You bet the Yankees, they must win by more than 1.5 runs
- You bet the Red Sox, they can’t lose by more than 1.5 runs
Most sportsbooks set the run line odds at -110. If you bet a team and it covers, you win $100 for every $110 you bet.
MLB run totals
The MLB run total is the same as the over/under in football. How many runs total are scored.
Example: The Yankees are playing the Red Sox and the run total line is 9.5.
- You bet the over, you need 10 or more runs to win
- You bet the under, you need 9 or fewer runs to win
Just like the run line, most sportsbooks set the odds at -110. If your bet covers, you win $100 for every $110 you put down.
MLB prop bets
Baseball with all of its stats, is a perfect fit for proposition (prop) bets..
Props are side bets on just about anything apart from the actual outcome of the game.
Baseball props include how many strikeouts a starting pitcher has or how many home runs a team scores. There are a stack of options.
MLB public betting
MLB public betting tells you what people are betting on. Normally in two ways. Either in percentage terms (eg 57% are betting the Yankees and 43% are betting the Red Sox) or in money terms (a good way to see how sharps and high rollers are betting).
Long-term bets on something that might happen way in the future – hence the term futures bets. You can bet on the World Series winner months out, or the winners of the pennants and division races.
World Series odds for the next season are available as soon as the current one ends.
Parlays are where you put multiple picks into one bet. So you could bet on the results of four games in one parlay.
Because the odds multiply, you can win big. But because all four have to win, it’s much harder to hit paydirt.
Parlays are a really fun bet when there are a number of games going on at the same time.
MLB in-play betting
A growing percentage of bets in the United States are placed ‘in-play’ via online sportsbooks.
This means instead of betting before a game, you bet live on stuff happening literally right now.
You might be able to bet on the result of the next at-bat – pretty much every play offers a potential wager.
Baseball – where a game takes several hours and there are time gaps between pitches and innings – is ideal for multiple in-play markets.
MLB shortened games – betting rules
What happens to your bet if an MLB game is suspended or shortened? It’s complicated.
Different sportsbooks have different rules on what happens when a game does not run its course.
Some bets are voided if a game is shortened, others are voided if it doesn’t pass a certain number of innings.
Always check your sportsbook’s rules.
If you’re betting on baseball, check out expert picks on MLB from trusted sources. They give analysis and insight as well as those all-important picks.
Check out the records of the experts making the picks too. Some show their previous picks and their record for the current season,
Best MLB betting: Which sportsbooks should I bet with?
You can bet on MLB online with all major sportsbooks.
Our guides and reviews for online bookmakers help you decide where to put your money. We’ll tell you which ones are the best betting sites of all.
Online bookmakers carry fantastic sign-up offers for new customers – great bonuses for opening an account, depositing money and starting to bet.
The power is in your hands, use it. Jump on the best offers and always shop around for the best odds.