As soon as World Series betting ends each year, it’s already time to wager on baseball once again. MLB futures odds allow bettors to play the long game, picking champions long before they are crowned. It all starts simply enough, as MLB futures betting opens with the following year’s World Series. Lines quickly follow for the pennant winners in the American and National Leagues – the teams that will square off in the World Series – as well as for the winner of each division.
MLB Futures Odds
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MLB Baseball Futures Tips
What’s important with MLB futures betting is to peruse the odds for each level of betting and pick the one that makes the most sense. You may expect to see a team that is +200 in a division race be +400 for the pennant and +800 for the World Series, but it may be something like +200, +500, and +950.
The differences have to do with the perceived level of competition at each stage, as well as how much action is coming in. There may be cases where two teams have different odds within their division, but the same odds for the pennant and World Series. The Yankees and Red Sox are perennial rivals at the top of the American League East, and while one might have an edge in the division race, both tend to be plenty dangerous come playoff time – it may be best to throw some support behind the underdog in the division, for instance.
What Impacts MLB Futures Odds
As the offseason goes on, trades and free-agent signings have an impact on MLB futures odds, but sometimes not as much as you would think. The oddsmakers know which teams are expected to be active in upgrading their rosters before they actually do it, and opening prices often are set accordingly, so that they do not need to be adjusted severely in the event of a big acquisition.
Still, the odds will shift when the hot stove fires up, because bets will come in on teams making active upgrades, so it’s best to be quick on the draw with MLB futures bets when moves are reported. During the season, these bets remain available, again with the odds shifting due to injuries, trades, and teams’ general levels of play. A favorite getting off to a cold start in April may result in the best chance of the season to back that team – if, of course, that team is able to recover and re-establish itself as a frontrunner.
The trade deadline at the end of July is a particularly important time to watch the odds, seeking out potential bargains if championship contenders are waiting until the last minute to make that last big addition for the stretch run.
Throughout the year, there are bargains to be had on MLB futures odds. The trick is in finding them and timing them just right. The other trick is actually getting them just right. Nothing is more frustrating than backing a long shot on the World Series line, seeing them win their division and pennant, then not being able to cash in because they lose in the Fall Classic.
The odds aren’t going to be as enticing on those lesser lines, but they might just be the best way to grab a winner.
Betting Win Totals
Another type of MLB futures odds is an over/under bet on a team’s win total for the season. These bets are open until the season starts, and offer a chance for bettors who might not be so sure about a team finishing in first place, but do see a team capable of outperforming – or underperforming – expectations.