With 30 teams competing and a total of 162 games every season, there's a lot to consider in the MLB. Having a bet is one way to make games even more exciting - and there's no shortage of opportunities.
Whether your MLB betting budget is large or small, there are plenty of ways to have a punt. Here's a look at how to bet on MLB games and the different options available.
If you’re just learning how to bet on MLB games, a moneyline bet is one of the easiest ways to get started. It’s as simple as picking a team that you think will win, paying your stake and waiting for the outcome.
If your team wins, you get a payout - if they lose, you lose too.
The amount you win in return for your bet depends on the likelihood of your chosen team winning. The more likely they are to win, the lower your winnings will be. It is possible to get a good return from a moneyline bet, but the skill lies in finding a team that isn't expected to win but is capable of delivering an upset. This is where you'll get the biggest payouts, but it's much harder to get right than it sounds!
This is one of the most popular MLB best bets. Just like a moneyline bet you'll need to pick a team to win; unlike money line bets, you're not guaranteed a payout even if your chosen team wins. This is because they need to win by a certain number of runs for the victory to count.
If you've ever dabbled in spread betting, you'll be familiar with the concept of run line bets, as they're essentially the same thing. With a money line bet, there is a "spread" of 1.5 runs. This means that the team who is the favourite must win by two runs or more to get a victory - and ensure you get a payout. On the flip side, the underdog team must lose by fewer than two runs to "win".
It's slightly different from spread betting as different odds are offered on each side, whereas spread betting is even throughout. However, a run line bet allows capitalising on good MLB knowledge and placing bets based on fine margins of performance, rather than a straight win or lose result.
MLB public betting doesn't stop during the season; there's also a healthy postseason which is where you can bet on a series. Each of the teams will have a "series" of matches, and you'll be betting on the total outcome rather than just a single match.
It's also possible to place a similar type of bet for the playoffs and the World Series.
MLB betting isn't just about wins or losses; there's a whole host of other types of bets which are known as proposition bets - or prop bets. These are wide and varied and allow you to place a bet depending on whether you think something will or won't happen.
Examples of prop bets could include:
Some prop bets are skilled, and some are unskilled. Skilled prop bets require a deeper degree of knowledge about MLB to be able to judge whether an outcome is likely. For example, you might need to know about a player's run of form and their performance against the pitcher on the other team. You might also need to know if a player "comes out hot" or tends to improve as the game goes on.
In contrast, an unskilled prop bet is about pure speculation and luck. For example, the number of runs being odd or even - no amount of MLB know-how would allow you to calculate the answer. Unskilled prop bets are risky, but they can be fun! They’re a good inclusion in an overall betting strategy but don’t make them your main play.
As the name suggests, a futures bet is about something that may or may not happen in the future. MLB world series betting where you can predict which team/s will make the World Series would be an excellent example of a futures bet.
Some sportbooks only accept futures bet up to a particular time and close them as the season starts. This is because once games start to take place, it becomes easier to guess the correct outcome more accurately.
Also known as totals bets, over-under bets are about whether the total number of runs scored in a particular game will be above or below a specified threshold. Sportsbooks set the threshold before the match will be set depending on the predicted score. The amount paid on both sides of the bet will be identical.