The sheer number of games during the MLB season means the Vegas Odds are popular with bettors, as there are constant opportunities to find value and use your knowledge to make money.
Find the latest MLB Vegas Odds as they are released and updated here:
MLB Vegas Odds
MLB Betting Odds, Explained
If you dig deep enough you’ll find options that will confuse experienced bettors, but MLB Vegas Odds tends to offer markets/lines on three things: Moneyline, Spread, and Over/Under. As you can see in the odds list above, these are presented using the American Odds format.
How Do American Odds Work?
With the American odds system, you’ll see a number displayed with either a + or – symbol in front of it.
‘Minus’ Symbol (Favorites)
If you see a – listed before the odds (e.g -150) then Vegas has determined that the outcome is more than likely to happen, otherwise known as a favorite.
The number listed is the $ amount you are required to wager to receive a $100 profit if your selection is successful.
- If you wager $150 on a -150 favorite you will receive $250 in return. $150 is your stake returned, and the remaining $100 is your winnings.
- If you wager $100 on a -150 favorite then you will receive $166.67 in return. $100 is your stake returned, and the remaining $66.67 is your winnings.
‘Plus’ Symbol (Underdogs)
If you see a + symbol listed before the odds (e.g +150) then Vegas has determined that the outcome is less than likely to happen. This is also called an underdog or outsider bet.
Betting on underdogs works in a different way.
The number listed (e.g +150) is the amount you will receive if you wager $100 on the market and the selection is successful.
- If you wager $100 on a +150 outsider then you will receive $250 in return. $100 is your stake returned, and the remaining $150 is your winnings.
MLB Moneyline Betting With Vegas Odds
Moneyline betting in the MLB is the easiest market to understand. You place a wager on a team to win, and if they win the game then your stake and winnings are returned to you, if you lose then you lose your stake.
How does MLB Moneyline work?
Almost every game will see a favorite and an underdog selection. For this reason, money line betting is not always popular in games that are expected to be one-sided, as the return on your stake for backing a heavy favorite is small.
As an example, from Game Six of the 2021 World Series. The Atlanta Braves were +115 underdogs on the moneyline. If you had placed $100 on the Braves to win the game, your return including stake would’ve been $215.
Does Moneyline Include Extra Innings in MLB?
Yes, it does. If your selection wins the game via extra innings then your wager still stands and will be paid out as a winner.
MLB Spread Betting
The MLB now includes gambling terminology in their programming and commentary, so you will hear people talking about the spread and covering the spread.
What Does the Spread Mean in MLB Betting?
The spread is designed to offer a runs handicap in a game for the favorite, this then results in the betting odds being almost identical for both teams.
You will see the spread listed as a number, usually, with a decimal point (e.g 1.5) This is the number of runs that the favorite will need to win by to cover the spread, while the underdog needs to either win the game or lose by less than the spread number to cover.
Example scenario from 2021 World Series Game 6:
The spread for the game was set at 1.5 runs. The Braves won the game 7-0 and therefore were the winning selection in the spread market.
Can the Spread Total Change?
Yes, the spread line can and will change in the build-up to a game, however, you will receive the spread total at the time of your wager.
The total can change for a number of reasons. If an increased number of bettors pick the same selection then Vegas will move the line to encourage wagers on the opposite selection. It’s also possible that key players could be injured or other factors can result in the spread total moving.
MLB Over/Under Betting
Betting on the over/under total means the outcome of the game is irrelevant, you are simply placing a wager on how many runs will be scored in a game.
How Does Over/Under Work in MLB Betting?
Similarly to the spread, a total will be set by the sportsbook before the game (e.g 8.5 runs). If you place a wager on the ‘over’ market and 9 runs or more are scored, then your selection is successful.
If you place a wager on the ‘under’ market and 8 runs or less are scored then your selection is successful.
Can the Over/Under Total Change in MLB Betting?
Similar to the spread example, the over/under line can and will change in the build-up to a game. Again this could be the result of the majority of bettors making the same selection, or it could also be the result of injury news or other factors.
Does the Over/Under in MLB Betting Include Extra Innings?
Usually yes. There are examples of sportsbooks explicitly stating that all bets include extra innings unless otherwise stated, so you will usually find that overtime is included in the run total for under/over wagers.
As this results in more game time to score runs, a game going to OT does offer an advantage to wagers on the ‘over’ market.
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