Betting on MLB games is a great way to keep the bankroll moving in the otherwise quiet summer months. It’s also an excellent opportunity to profit and stay engaged with MLB odds every single day. The 162-game season means endless MLB betting opportunities. And it’s the most stat-driven sport, meaning bettors can usually find an edge if they put in enough time with the MLB lines and sabermetrics to find value.
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MLB betting lines are different than NBA and NFL odds because the sport is drastically different. It’s relatively low scoring and there is no clock, meaning no bet is lost until the final out. It also means MLB betting sites use run lines, moneylines and totals instead of traditional point spreads. These MLB odds are very easy to understand. MLB betting is unique in many ways, which shouldn’t scare bettors off. Just the opposite. A firm grasp of MLB lines gives bettors a big advantage. That’s especially true for in-game betting, with live MLB odds updating every half-inning.
While it can be confusing at first, MLB betting can quickly become your go-to sport for profit. It rewards bettors more than other sports when they put in research and develop a system. Why? Think of it like this. There are 256 NFL games in the regular season. Betting lines are tight as can be. There are 2,430 games per MLB regular season not including the MLB playoffs and World Series. The market can’t possibly be as efficient as NFL betting with 10 times the number of games and smaller handles. That means looser lines and more opportunities to find value.
Does Bookies Provide the Best MLB Odds for Each Game?
Our MLB odds page updates round-the-clock with the latest MLB betting lines and odds changes. Things move very quickly with MLB odds because every team plays nearly every day. Staying on top of MLB lines is more important than any other sport. Our recommended MLB sites are all completely legal and regulated, so you will find the most accurate, up-to-date MLB odds every day.
Illegal offshore sportsbooks can be risky. They might post a betting line that you can’t actually bet right then, or fail to settle disputed results. Withdrawals can be a major hassle, and you have no recourse because they are not regulated in the United States. You won’t have to worry about any of that with our MLB odds page. These are the best MLB lines around, making this your go-to spot for betting all MLB season long.
How to Read MLB Lines
The MLB run line is how oddsmakers handicap games. In NFL betting, oddsmakers set a point spread like -7 and the odds stay the same at -110. In MLB betting, the run line always stays the same but the odds change. MLB odds always have the same line of -1.5 runs or +1.5 runs. Betting on the favorite means you expect that team to win by two runs or more. Betting on the underdog means you expect them to win outright or lose by no less than one run.
Let’s say the Houston Astros are hosting the Boston Red Sox and the teams are pretty evenly matched. Both teams have their aces on the mound. The Astros would be a slight favorite due to home-field advantage. Here’s how an MLB run line might look for this game.
- Boston Red Sox +1.5 (-170)
- Houston Astros -1.5 (+150)
The number in parenthesis shows the risk/reward of both potential bets. A $100 run line bet on the Houston Astros would win $150 if it hits. But remember, the Astros need to win by two runs. A 6-5 win wouldn’t cut it.
Bettors who take the Boston Red Sox run line need to risk $170 in order to win $100. The risk/reward isn’t as good as moneyline (more on that it in a bit), but a run line bet provides extra cushion. That’s especially true in our scenario. The game figures to be lower-scoring with two aces pitching. So, the bet hits if the Red Sox win outright, but it also hits if the Astros win 3-2. As long as the Red Sox don’t lose by two runs, this MLB bet is a winner.
Bettors should also check out our free odds calculator to convert MLB odds if necessary and make smarter money management decisions.
The MLB moneyline is easier to understand than run line. You’re just picking the winning team. The MLB odds where you find risk/reward will depend on how the two teams stack up. People often choose their moneyline bets based on the starting pitcher. So you’d need to risk a lot for a moneyline bet on a team with its best pitcher facing the opposing team’s fifth starter.
Let’s say the Washington Nationals are hosting the San Diego Padres at Nationals Park. Now let’s say Max Scherzer is pitching for the Nationals and enters with an ERA of 2.81. The Padres could be at the bottom of the rotation with Joey Lucchesi, entering with an ERA of 4.32.
The pitching mismatch makes the Nationals a big favorite, and the moneyline could look something like this.
- San Diego Padres – J. Lucchesi (L) +170
- Washington Nationals – M. Scherzer (R) -190
MLB moneyline betting odds usually include the starting pitcher. The (L) or (R) indicates whether the pitcher is right or left-handed. That’s important. If the Nationals batting lineup includes several right-handed hitters who rake off lefty pitchers, the Nationals have an even bigger advantage.
The number at the end of the betting line shows the risk/reward. Bettors siding with the Washington Nationals need to risk $190 to win $100. But the final score doesn’t matter as long as the Nationals win the game. If Scherzer tosses a complete game shutout and the Nationals win 1-0, that’s still a win for Nationals bettors.
On the other side, a $100 bet on the underdog San Diego Padres would pay $170. MLB underdog moneyline bets are popular because of that value. Even Cy Young winners have bad starts over the course of an MLB season. And the worst team in the MLB still won 47 games in 2019. Savvy moneyline bettors need to look beyond the starters. Bullpens tend to be undervalued in moneyline betting, but relief pitchers are often the ones deciding the game in the late innings.
MLB bettors can also combine several moneyline bets into a parlay. Rather than just bet the Nationals, one could include two more heavy favorites with favorable pitching matchups for a three-team parlay with a much higher payout. You can play around with these MLB odds and all sorts of different scenarios with our free parlay calculator.
MLB total betting works just like totals, or over/unders, in other sports. The number is just smaller than NFL and NBA betting because baseball scoring is lower. Once MLB oddsmakers set a number like 9.5, you can bet on whether the total number of runs scored in the game will be more or less than 9.5 runs.
Here’s how a typical MLB total might look for an interleague game between the New York Yankees and the St. Louis Cardinals.
New York Yankees vs. St. Louis Cardinals.
- Over 9.5 (-110)
- Under 9.5 (-110)
Pretty simple. These MLB odds show that bettors can risk $110 to win $100 on the over or the under. It doesn’t matter which team wins. The New York Yankees could win 6-4 or 9-2. The over still hits in both cases. Same goes for the under – the St. Louis Cardinals could win 8-0 or 5-4. As long as the combined number of runs isn’t 10 or higher, the under is a hitter.
There’s plenty of value to be had in MLB total betting for those who study weather reports, park dimensions, hitting trends and advanced pitching stats. You can also use our MLB free picks to help guide you.
How are MLB Odds Generated?
MLB oddsmakers have a unique challenge thanks to pitching matchups. Starting pitching impacts the run line, moneyline and total in a big way. The Cleveland Indians could be a -150 favorite over the Tampa Bay Rays on one day and a +130 underdog the next, all based on who’s taking the bump. These matchups swing the run line odds in equal fashion. They also have to consider lineups that hit righties much better than lefties and vice versa, how the designated hitter impacts interleague games, etc.
The MLB total depends on a ton of different factors. Two strong starting pitchers means the total will probably be lower, while a game with two poor starting pitchers would have a much higher total. It’s very important to know where games are being played and to check the weather report. The total can be as much as five runs higher at Wrigley Field if the wind is blowing out instead of blowing in. The baseball also travels much farther during Colorado Rockies games at Coors Field and Arizona Diamondbacks games at Chase Field due to altitude and climate.
Baseball is an intricate sport, with hundreds if not thousands of stats, data points and trends factoring into an MLB betting line.
How Often Do MLB Odds Change?
MLB odds change every day. There’s a fresh slate every 24 hours and things like pitching schedule changes, injuries, weather and public vs. sharp money can cause serious line movement in a short period of time.
Lines can also shift in a big way once lineups are released a few hours before first pitch. It’s not uncommon for stars to sit out a few games for rest purposes. MLB odds can also move if a starting pitcher is a late scratch, although many oddsmakers designate that both projected starters must pitch – otherwise the bet comes off the board and everyone is reimbursed whatever they wagered.
When are MLB Odds Released?
MLB betting lines usually open late in the evening the previous day or the morning before a game. But it’s easier for oddsmakers to handicap games in advance because projected starting pitchers are available days ahead of time.
You’re usually looking at a betting window of 12-24 hours from the opening line to the start of the game. That’s a lot different than seven-day windows for NFL betting. For that reason, paying attention to the latest lines throughout the day is extremely important in MLB betting. You’ll always find and compare the most up-to-date betting lines and movement throughout the day right here with our recommended MLB betting sites.
MLB World Series Odds
The goal for each MLB team, of course, is to win the World Series, a best-of-seven contest that is the culmination of a month-long set of playoffs in October.
MLB futures odds to win the World Series are posted at the conclusion of the previous season’s World Series, and fluctuate throughout the year. The closer you get to the World Series, the shorter the World Series lines will get for the top contenders, as competitors for the crown are winnowed away and more money comes in on bets for the teams with a chance to win it. It makes sense that if you wait to bet on a World Series winner right before the World Series, the odds would not be as good as if you got in on odds to win the World Series before the playoffs started.
During the World Series, there is game-by-game betting, of course, but also the opportunity to make several prop bets, including who will be named MVP of the championship series, who will hit the most home runs during the best-of-seven affair, and who will have the most strikeouts as a pitcher. It doesn’t tend to get as exotic as Super Bowl betting, but weekend lines often have a chance to be paired up with football action.
MLB Playoff Odds
If you’re not feeling a World Series team, there are MLB playoff odds that provide a chance to cash in simply if a team does – or doesn’t – make it to the postseason.
Ten teams out of 30 make the MLB playoffs each year: the winners of the American League East, American League Central, American League West, National League East, National League Central, and National League West, plus the two teams in each league with the best records among the non-division winners.
There are MLB odds to make the playoffs, team-by-team, as well as odds on each of the six division races. Once the playoffs begin, there are odds available on the winner-take-all wild-card game, the result of the best-of-five division series, and the best-of-seven championship series of each league, leading up to the World Series.
MLB MVP Odds
It’s challenging enough to figure out who will win any single MLB game or the World Series, but something else entirely to determine who will be named most valuable player. In fact, MLB has two MVPs – one for the American League, one for the National League – and MLB MVP odds are available on both those awards. Typically, superstars who change teams in the offseason will have artificially short odds because if they can come through with a big season and carry their new club to the playoffs, it will be easy to make an MVP case for them.
Over the course of the MLB regular season, the MVP odds in MLB will shift for injuries, players’ performances, and also team performances. Because the MVP is determined by votes from two writers in each league city, and some writers emphasize a player’s connection to his team’s fortunes, a player having a great season for a contender has a better shot at the award than a player having a great season for an also-ran.
MLB MVP odds can get very short toward the end of the year if there is a consensus choice forming to win the award. Maybe it’s easy money, but maybe it’s an easy way to get burned.
Types of Sports Bets Made From MLB Lines
MLB Run Lines
MLB run lines will always be -1.5 runs for the favorite and +1.5 runs for the underdog. Pricing varies, but you can always bet that a team will win by two runs or that a team will lose by no more than one run. It’s the same concept as an NHL puck line and can add a lot of excitement in the late innings. A solo home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to cut a deficit from 5-3 to 5-4 doesn’t change the outcome of the game, but it can flip the outcome of the run line.
MLB moneylines change drastically based on the matchup. If the St Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers are dead even, you could see moneylines of Dodgers -110 and Cardinals -110. If the Dodgers have a huge pitching advantage, they could be a -210 favorite with St Louis +180 on the moneyline. It’s all about weighing risk-reward. MLB moneyline bettors should be comfortable risking more if they’re sure a team can’t lose. But they should also look for value on underdogs – the MLB-worst Detroit Tigers were a +435 underdog in a 2019 game against the Houston Astros and created huge payouts with a 2-1 upset win.
MLB totals, or over/unders, are popular wagers that can swing in a hurry. No total bet is safe until the very end. Teams down to their final out can still rip off two or three-run rallies to swing totals bets. Paying attention to hitter-friendly parks, weather, trends and especially bullpens can do very well betting MLB totals.
How the Latest MLB Odds Can Impact Your Betting Decision
Staying on top of MLB betting odds every day is absolutely essential for long-term profits. A team’s overall strength changes daily based on pitching matchups and lineup decisions. It isn’t enough to know who’s playing third base or what their OPS+ is. Consistently making a profit on MLB betting is all about applying that knowledge in order to find value. To do that, you need to know the latest MLB odds and watch how they move throughout the day.
Bookies.com makes that easy for bettors with our MLB odds page. You’ll always find the best odds here. Combine that with our – also known as MLB consensus page, odds calculator and tips and MLB free picks, and you have all the tools to start making smarter betting decisions.