Unlike NFL betting and NBA betting, when you bet on baseball, there is no point spread to worry about – all you have to do is pick the winner of a game. While the option does sometimes exist to “give” a run to juice the odds, the standard for MLB betting odds is the moneyline. A favorite generally will be listed as something like “-130,” meaning you bet $130 to win $100, while an underdog would be “+125,” meaning you bet $100 to win $125. Baseball being a game where even the worst teams win one-third of their games in a season, it is uncommon to see lines in the 200s.
MLB Baseball Odds
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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.
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 tournament.
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 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.