The Major League Baseball regular season is 162 games long and spans from the beginning of April until the end of September. With so many games being played each day, there are always some chances to make some money by betting on Major League Baseball. To do that, however, you will need to have a closer look at the available MLB odds.
Understanding MLB odds is the first step to winning money by betting on baseball, but there are some other things to consider as well. We have tried to break down some of the most common MLB odds in the hope of helping you be more successful with your betting.
We have also included some in-depth tips for betting on baseball, using the new information that you now have about MLB odds.
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How to Read MLB Odds
There are a number of different types of bets that are available on Major League Baseball games, and the odds are a bit different for each of them. Before taking a look at each individual betting type, we must first explain how to read odds and lines in general.
This information is pretty similar to betting on other sports as well, but it is very important information to know and understand.
When you look at a game, you will notice that each team, or each bet, is given some sort of number behind it. Those are the lines that you will be betting on, and it reflects the amount of money that you can win.
For example, if it says Team A -110, that means that you would have to wager $110 to win $100 with a successful bet. Team B might be listed at +120, which means that a $100 wager would win you $120 if you are successful.
Each type of bet will have different odds associated with it, and some betting types offer much larger payouts than others. Let’s take a look at some of the most common betting types surrounding Major League Baseball, and look at how some of the odds might differ.
A moneyline bet is one of the easiest types of bets to understand, and this type of bet is offered across a wide variety of sports. MLB moneyline odds are set for both teams in a particular game, and Vegas decides which team is both the “favorite” and “underdog” for each matchup.
With a moneyline bet, you are simply making a betting pick on which team will win each game, and there is nothing else involved. Let’s look at an example of this type of bet, using one of the best rivalries in baseball.
- Boston Red Sox -165
- New York Yankees +145
The Red Sox are the betting favorites in this game, and the odds show that. A $165 bet would be needed to win $100. Meanwhile, a $100 bet on the underdog Yankees would yield a win of $145.
Run Line Odds
MLB run line odds are set for each game on the Major League Baseball schedule as well, and this type of bet is very similar to point spread betting in other sports. Most of the time, MLB run line odds are set at +/- 1.5 runs, and the odds are usually the same for both teams.
There are some cases where the run line could be adjusted by sportsbooks, but it’s very common to see it set at 1.5 runs. Below is an example of what this type of bet might look like.
- Chicago Cubs -1.5 -105
- St. Louis Cardinals +1.5 -105
Both teams have odds listed at -105, which takes away the chance to win more money by choosing a side.
The Cubs would need to win this particular game by at least two runs to make this a successful wager, while the Cardinals would either need to lose by one run or win the game. MLB run line betting is not extremely popular, but it could be a way to make some money.
Over/Under or “Total Odds
MLB over/under odds are also set for each game, and this type of bet is sometimes referred to as total betting. This type of betting does not involve the winner or loser of each game, but rather focuses on the total number of runs scored in the game.
Vegas will set the odds for each side of this type of bet, and usually, the payout is the same for each of them. Here is an example:
New York Mets vs. Atlanta Braves
- Over 8.5 -110
- Over 8.5 -110
Simply choosing on the total number of runs takes away the need to pick a winner for each game, but it doesn’t mean it is an easier bet to win.
A future bet is usually placed on a result that will happen at the end of the MLB regular season, or on a playoff result. Future odds are constantly changing, and Vegas will usually adjust these multiple times in one week.
This type of bet is available on all of the major sports in the United States and can be a great way to win some money if you are great at predicting the future. Odds are set for each team in a particular list, and betting on an underdog is a risk that could give you a big reward. Here is an example of what this could look like using the National League West Division:
Odds to Win National League West Division:
- Arizona Diamondbacks +140
- Colorado Rockies +190
- Los Angeles Dodgers +240
- San Diego Padres -110
- San Francisco Giants +410
MLB future odds are usually set well before the regular season begins and will change throughout the season as teams start to move up and down in the standings. Usually, the earlier you make a future bet, the better your chances are of winning some big money.
These odds are also usually given for the winner of each individual award in both the American and National League.
Prop Betting Odds
MLB prop betting odds aren’t always provided by every sportsbook, but they can be a fun thing to get involved with if you can find them. Prop betting odds are very similar to future odds, and they work much the same way.
The only real difference is that this type of betting usually deals with an individual player and their performance in a particular statistical category. Let’s take a look at an example:
Mike Trout HR Total:
- Over 34.5 -110
- Under 34.5 +140
These odds can also change as the season goes along, and you can find these odds for individual games at times. The odds will give you the amount of money you will win with each pick.
“Grand Salami Odds”
One betting type that is unique to Major League Baseball is what is called a Grand Salami bet. Not all sportsbooks will offer this type of bet or have any odds listed, but it can be a fun betting option if you can find it.
A Grand Salami bet is very similar to a prop bet, but it focuses on the events of baseball games rather than just one particular player or statistical category.
Grand Salami odds work much like the over/under or total odds, but you will be looking at all of the games on the Major League Baseball schedule for a particular date.
The odds might look something like this:
- Over 135.5 -110
- Under 135.5 -110
You will simply decide whether or not the total amount of runs scored across Major League Baseball will be over or under the 135.5 total, and then make your pick, with both odds being equal.
Tips for Betting on MLB Odds
Knowing how to read MLB odds is extremely important when betting on baseball, but there are other things to keep in mind as well. There are a variety of factors that can affect MLB odds, and they can also affect the outcome of a particular game.
Below is a list of some of the things to consider when looking at MLB odds and betting on Major League Baseball games.
Know the Pitching Matchup: Starting pitching is not nearly as important as it used to be in Major League Baseball, but it is still the first thing to look at when betting on an MLB game. The starting pitching matchup determines how a Major League Baseball game plays out, especially if one team has its ace on the mound.
The pitching matchup can also change the way you look at over/under or total odds, as a dominant starting pitcher can limit the number of runs that an opponent scores. There are more things to consider before placing a bet, but be sure to check the projected starting pitching matchup.
Check the Injury List: Injuries play a huge role in all sports, but because the Major League Baseball season is so long, they tend to affect a team more drastically than in other sports. Major League Baseball has what is called an injured list, and teams can place players on there for either 10 or 60 days.
It is important to check the injury list for each team before placing any bets on a Major League Baseball team. Players can also be dealing with minor injuries that could keep them out of the lineup as well, but that information should be available to you, and easy to find.
Vegas odds for Major League Baseball will usually reflect these injuries, but you also need to know who is in and who is out before making any bets.
Look at Daily Lineup: Since the Major League Baseball season is so long, teams routinely give their regular starters some days off throughout the season. Most Major League Baseball teams usually post their lineup around three hours before the first pitch, and you really should wait for them to be posted before making any bets.
Vegas will keep an eye on this information as well, and the MLB odds will likely change as it gets closer to game time. There could be an advantage to placing a bet before Vegas has a chance to readjust the odds, but you can also be taking a huge risk that won’t pay off.
Know the Ballpark: Major League Baseball is not like other sports where the dimensions of the field never change. Each Major League ballpark is built a little bit differently, and the stadium usually has an impact on the outcome.
Teams are constantly building new parks, and they are always trying to structure their stadium to fit the makeup of their current or future roster. MLB over/under odds can be greatly affected by the stadium that the game is played in, and it is important that you know this information as well.
The ballpark doesn’t have the biggest impact on a game, but you should definitely think about the location of a game before making a pick.
Look at Weather Prediction: Most Major League Baseball games are played outdoors in the elements, and the weather can sometimes play a huge role in the outcome of a game. With so much technology and weather reports available nowadays, it’s important to look at the weather before making any picks.
Vegas will definitely factor in the weather when setting MLB odds, and it should affect the way you look at each game. Weather can always change but having a feel for the potential weather and conditions can help you become more successful when betting on baseball.
Look at Current Trends: MLB odds can sometimes seem a bit off when you first look at them, but that is because Vegas factors in current trends when setting the odds. Looking at current trends is an important step for you as well, and it can play a huge role in determining what team to pick in a given matchup.
Trends are constantly changing, but recent history can affect MLB odds, especially since it is such a long season. Vegas uses a variety of recent trends when setting MLB odds and betting lines, and you need to try to arm yourself with as much information as possible before making any picks.
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