Baseball Betting: How To Bet On MLB Like A Professional Sports Bettor

In today’s lesson, we will be learning how to bet on baseball. At the end of this sports betting lesson, you will be able to answer the following questions.

  • Is it legal to bet on baseball?
  • How do you bet on baseball?
  • Where can you bet on baseball?
  • What are important baseball betting terms?
  • How do you win a baseball bet?

Complete Guide On How To Bet On Baseball

Baseball betting is one of the most popular sports in the online betting industry.

Most sharps enjoy betting on baseball more than any other sports as underdogs in baseball are more likely to win here compared to other sports leagues.

Unlike in other sports where a team plays a certain opponent one day and play a different opponent the next. Baseball is different.

In baseball, they play the same opponent for consecutive days in a row in the same arena. They usually call it a series.

This means an away team usually stays in a city or town for three or four days straight.


The largest and most popular baseball league in the world is the Major League Baseball or more commonly known as the MLB.

MLB runs its regular season games from the middle part of March up until the end of October where a new World Series champion is crowned.

The 30 teams in the MLB compete for 162 games for the regular season. Much like the NBA, the MLB is divided into two conferences – the American League and the National League.

Each winner from each league competes in the World Series for the MLB championship trophy.


Baseball betting is legal as long as sports betting is not illegal in your country or state you’re residing on.

In the United States, some residents are allowed to bet on baseball since their state allows them to bet on sports.

Sports Betting StatusUS States
Allowed Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware, Indiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, West Virginia, Arkansas, New York, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Illinois, Michigan, Iowa, Montana, Washington, Washington D.C., Colorado, North Carolina, Tennessee
On-going process Connecticut, Maine, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Missouri, Kansas, Louisiana, California, Arizona, Virginia, South Dakota, Ohio, Wyoming, Nebraska, Alabama, Vermont, Florida, Georgia
Not Allowed Idaho, Wisconsin, Utah, Wyoming, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Idaho, Hawaii, Alaska, Texas, North Dakota

According to our research, baseball betting is considered legal in the United Kingdom and other countries in Europe and Asia.

For Australian residents, they are only permitted to bet with government authorized gambling companies. However, for convenience and better odds, they may still place bets using an offshore bookmaker since their government is not keen on taking down sports bettors, but illegal gambling websites catering to these people.

The same can be said to those in Canada as they can still bet with offshore bookmakers with no legal consequences as there have been zero cases filed against those who do. And their government does not seem to mind that their citizens are engaged in online sports betting.

Different countries or states have different laws and regulations on sports betting, so it will be great for you as a sports bettor to be familiar with those first to avoid any legal troubles.

How To Bet On Baseball In The US

Baseball is the second most popular sport in the US, next to NFL. Since the biggest baseball league is in the US, it’s no wonder why there are a great number of baseball bettors in the United States.

You can easily bet on baseball by signing up with an online sportsbook. We have identified the two best bookmakers that allow US residents to bet with them.

If you want to save money while betting, we recommend going with 5Dimes since they have the better odds compared to other major US bookmakers.

If you’re looking for several options when it comes to adding funds or withdrawing your winnings, but with a legit and competitive betting platform, we suggest using BetOnline.

Other sports betting sites you might consider are Intertops, BetNow, and MyBookie. All three of them are good and reputable bookmakers, and we’ve been using them for quite some time now.

As we said earlier, those in Canada can bet on baseball using an offshore bookmaker that accepts players from their country.

There are more than a handful of online betting sites you can choose from, but we highly recommend using BetOnline to place your baseball bets.

They’re considered one of the best bookmakers today and have a lot of cash-in and cash-out options so it’ll be easy for you to add funds or withdraw money from your account.

Baseball betting in the UK is legal.

As the UK government is more liberal when it comes to sports betting than the United States.

UK citizens who want to bet on baseball can just go to a casino nearby or open an online betting account with one of these popular sports betting sites.

Baseball may not be that popular in Europe, but for the sake of those who want to bet on baseball in the UK, we highly recommend BetNow. It is one of the better online bookmakers out there today. They have a user-friendly betting platform, several cash-in and cash-out options, helpful customer support, and of course, great promotions new UK customers.

Just like UK citizens, residents of Australia can also bet on baseball fairly easily compared to US citizens.

Even though Australia has stricter gambling laws and regulations imposed than the UK, their government only goes after the enabler, not the gambler. This makes baseball bettingsort oflegal.

Australian residents can participate in the action either by going to a casino that’s allowed by the government to take in sports bets or open an account with an online sports betting site that caters to Australian residents.

For those in Australia, we chose to recommend 5Dimes.

We place some of our sports bet with them, so we know they’re 100% legit, and we haven’t encountered any problems dealing with them.

Baseball Betting FAQs

For sports betting beginners, this section will help you get familiarized with the most used terms in baseball betting to make sure you’ll be ready for the big leagues.

How do you start betting on baseball?

To start placing your baseball wagers, you must find a sportsbook near your place to take in your bets or you can do it in the comforts of your own home through an online sportsbook.

Once you have an active account with a sportsbook, all you have to do now is pick a team and tell them how much you want to bet.

However, baseball betting is not just about picking which team is going to win the game. There’s more to it than just that.

How do odds work in baseball?

Odds are the probability of a certain outcome to happen in an event or game.

This probability is represented by a number that will determine the amount of money you can win if the outcome you bet on happens for the game.

There are three different types of odds used in gambling.

First is the American odds, which have a format of +XYZ or –XYZ.

The positive or plus sign means you’re betting on the underdog of the match, and XYZ or the number after the + sign is the amount you will win if you bet $100.

The negative or minus sign means you’re betting on the favored team, and the number after the negative sign is the amount you have to place to win $100.

This does not mean you’re not allowed to place bets less than $100.

If you’re going to do that, it will still follow the same rule, it will just lessen the amount you’re going to win according to the amount you placed.

Next is the fractional odds. Fractional odds have a format like X/Y or X-Y. The “X “represents the amount of money you can win if you place the amount on “Y”.

The ratio here is simply “profit” / ”wager”. Fractional odds are usually used by bettors in the UK.

Lastly, we’ll define decimal odds. Decimal odds have a format of X.YZ.

X, Y, Z are numbers ranging from 0-9.

Decimal odds represent your overall winnings if you place a wager of $1.

If you place a $1 bet on 2.50 odds, you will get $2.50 back from that bet. When the odds are set at 1.50, you’ll get $1.50 for every $1. This means a profit of 50 cents for each dollar wagered if the bet wins.

What are short odds?

Short odds mean there is a high chance that the favorite will win the game. The amount you can profit from short odds is smaller than your bet amount since bookmakers think this outcome has a good chance of happening.

What are long odds?

Long odds mean the team has a low probability of winning. For this reason, bookmakers pay more to those who gamble on outcomes with long odds.

What does a +200 money line mean in baseball betting?

The +200 odd you see when you wager on baseball is how much you will win if you bet $100. This means you’ll get double the money you wager if you place it on an outcome that has +200 odds since you’ll be winning $200.

What does a 1.5 point spread mean in MLB betting?

A 1.5 point spread can mean two different things in baseball betting. It depends on whether it has a plus sign or a minus sign before the number.

By the way, point spreads are often referred to as run line spreads in baseball.

A -1.5 run line spread means you are betting on the favorite to win the game and they must win by at least 2 runs or more for you to win your bet.

The opposite can be said when it’s a +1.5 run line spread. This means you are betting on the underdog for the game. And they must only lose by a single run or straight up win the game, for your run line spread bet to win.

What pays more money line or run line spread?

Money line betting is picking who will win the game, regardless of the margin of victory or the run difference between the two teams.

The spread, more commonly known as the run line spread in baseball betting, is given to unevenly matched teams. Run line spread is highly dependent on how many runs the winning team wins by.

The oddsmakers set the run line spread before the game. And the one with a negative point spread is considered the favorite.

For 1.5 spread, the favored team should win by at least 2 runs for your bet to win.

Since the favored team is given a – 1.5 run advantage, the underdog will have a +1.5 run line spread.

The underdog team can only lose the game by a single run or straight up win the game. If either of those scenarios happens, you win your bet.

Now to answer the question “what pays more: money line or run line spread bets”, we’ll have to go with run line spreads.

The only situation when the money line pays more than the run line spread is when you place a bet on the underdog.

Do extra innings count in baseball betting?

Ties do not often happen in baseball unlike in soccer betting, so the extra innings are often considered when your bookmaker is grading your wager.

The only scenario that extra innings are not counted in baseball betting is when it is clearly stated before you place your bet. More specifically, if you placed a bet where there are three scenarios, Team A to win, Team B to win, or the game ends in a tie or a draw.

Is online betting safe?

Online betting is 100% safe as long as you’re using a reputable online betting website.

If you need help selecting a trustworthy bookmaker to place your baseball bets with, here are our recommendations:

  • 5Dimes (Our top choice and first-ever bookmaker with the best odds)
  • BetOnline (Fast payouts, lots of cash-in options, and competitive betting platform)
  • BetNow (Has the most user-friendly betting platform we’ve used so far)
  • Intertops (Online betting pioneer and has a solid reputation)
  • MyBookie (Up and coming bookmaker)

We use these bookmakers to place our bets on baseball and other sports we bet on, and we had a good overall experience using their betting platform and their cash-in and cash-out options.

Be wary of betting sites that don’t pay out their customers.

A simple Google search of “<bookmaker> review” or “does <bookmaker> payout?” can tell you if you’re dealing with a safe betting site or a bad one.

If I win my MLB bet, how do I get paid?

Receiving your winnings in baseball betting is pretty straight forward. You just have to put a request on your bookmaker’s website to cash out your money.

As long as you meet your bookmaker’s requirements like their minimum withdrawal amount, you can withdraw the money in your account at any time.

The payout method may vary depending on where you are located, the cash-in method you used, and the available withdrawal options with your bookmaker.

Baseball Bets

If you’re still not familiar with some of the terms you’re seeing on some online baseball betting sites, this section should help you out.

MLB Money Line Bets

The most common bet placed in any sports is picking the winner of a game or match. This type of bet is called a money line bet.

For example, there is an MLB regular season matchup between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox.

The Yankees are at home and are favored to win the game at -200 odds. The Red Sox are away underdogs for the game at +150.

If you are going to place a bet on the Yankees to win, you can win $50 for every $100 wagered.

For the Red Sox odds, you can win $150 if you place a $100 bet and the Red Sox pulls an upset win.

This is how money line bet works on baseball.

MLB Run Line Spread Bets

Another type of bet you can make betting on baseball is betting on run line spread.

Run line spreads are the number of points a team must win or lose for bookmakers to grade your bet either a win or a loss.

For run line spreads, the typical line is in this format + X or – X.

The positive or plus sign means you’re betting on the underdog team. The X represents the number of runs the underdog team can lose by.

For a bet of + 1.5 on the run line to win, the underdog must win the game straight up or lose by only one run at the end of the game.

The negative or minus sign represents a bet on the favorite. The number after that is the number of runs the favorite must win the game by for your wager to be graded a win.

If the oddsmakers set the run spread line at – 2, the team must win the game by at least 3 runs. When the margin of victory at the end of the game is only two runs, the bet is graded as a push.

If the favorite wins by only a single run, your bet loses.

Betting On MLB Game Total Bets

Game total bets just like money line bets are easy to understand.

There is a total set by oddsmakers for each MLB game and you can place a bet on whether the total runs of both teams will exceed that total or not.

For example, there is a game between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Atlanta Braves. The game total set for the game is at 8.5.

If the total runs in the game hit 9 or more, then the over bet wins. If the total runs are 8 or less, then the under bet wins.

Some bookmakers may set the game total to a whole number like 7, 8, or any other whole digit number.

If both team’s total score adds up to the exact number that was set as a game total, your bet will be refunded as this will be graded as a push by your bookmaker.

Live Betting in Baseball

Live betting or in-game wagering in baseball is made possible by the emergence of online sports betting sites.

There was a time when bets can only be placed before the game starts. Today it’s different. If you have an account with an online sportsbook, you can easily place bets while the game is being played.

This platform is great for gamblers who want to participate in the action during the game itself, not before it. Or those who want to see the teams play first and then place a bet based on their early game performance.

Live betting is fairly new to sports betting, but there are already experienced sports bettors who prefer placing their bets during the game than before it.

For baseball live bettors, they can bet on the same bets available before the game like money line bets, run line spreads, and game total bets.

The only noticeable difference is the odds are constantly changing as the game progresses.

Besides the usual money line and spread bets, there is another type of bet you can place when you’re live betting an MLB game. And that is the prop bet.

Prop Bets in MLB

Proposition bets, or more commonly called prop bets, are bets that don’t depend on the final outcome of the game unlike money line bets or run line spread bets.

Prop bets are wagers on the MLB that answer the question.

What will happen during the game?

Can a team score in the first inning? Will there be any score on the first inning?

Who will score first for the game? Who will hit the first home run? How many strikeouts can the starting pitcher pitch for the game?

Those are just some examples of prop bets in the MLB, you’ll see or encounter more of those once you start MLB betting.

Future Bets in MLB

Future bets are made weeks or months in advance before the wager can be graded.

This type of bet predicts the outcome for a certain league season. Some of the most popular future bets in the MLB are:

  • The World Series winner for the season
  • Who will be the top seed for each league?
  • The World Series matchup
  • Who will win their divisions?
  • The teams to qualify for the wild card spots
  • Season MVP winners
  • Over or under on team regular season wins

During the previous MLB season, no one expected the eventual champions, the Washington Nationals, to win the World Series.

They were underdogs during the 2019 World Series, and their chances of being World Series champions were more far-fetched during the regular season.

In May of that year, the odds for the Nationals to win it all were set at +2100.

That means if you bet $100 during that time, you can win $2,100 when they win the World Series.

That’s a very good investment after five months of waiting for the outcome to be decided, don’t you think?

How do you win your MLB bet?

Placing bets on MLB is easy with the rise of online sports betting sites, but winning those bets is a whole different thing.

Winning your MLB bets will test how good you are as a sports bettor.

So how do you win most of your MLB bets?

Best MLB Betting Tips and Strategies

We’ve compiled some of the best betting tips and strategies you can make use of to win money betting on baseball games.

Divison Games and Big Market Teams

You might get curious as to why the over is too high for some big-name matchups.

The reason for that is fairly simple, these teams can hit the ball, and they can hit it more often than other teams.

First, let’s identify the most popular baseball teams in MLB. This ranking is based on who has the largest TV market size.

  • New York Yankees
  • New York Mets
  • Los Angeles Dodgers
  • Los Angeles Angels
  • Boston Red Sox
  • Chicago Cubs
  • Chicago White Sox
  • Philadelphia Phillies

Now, let’s take a look at how these teams perform against the over and under for each of their games against their division rivals.

MLB Over/Under Record – Division Games (2019)

TeamOverUnderPushOver %
NY Mets4126961.20%
NY Yankees4033354.80%
LA Dodgers3834452.80%
San Diego3834452.80%
LA Angels3836251.30%
Kansas City3836251.30%
SF Giants3736350.70%
Chi Sox3535550.00%
St. Louis3536549.30%
Tampa Bay3536549.30%
Chi Cubs3439346.60%

As you can see, except for a couple of teams in Chicago, most of these teams can hit the ball well and go the over for most of their games against their division rivals.

The data also shows that the NL West and AL East have some very good hitting teams.

Over/Under Record for NL West and AL East – Division Games

NL WestOver UnderPush
SF Giants37363
LA Dodgers38344
San Diego38344
AL EastOver UnderPush
Tampa Bay35365
NY Yankees40333

The former having 5 out of 5 teams hitting the over more than the under for games played in their division, and the latter having 4 out of 5 teams, thanks to Tampa Bay Rays, hit more overs than under when playing games against their division rivals.

In conclusion, you might consider placing an over bet whenever there’s a game between division rivals, especially if one of the teams is considered a big market team.

Shop for the best odds

The easiest way to make money in sports betting is to know how you can save money at the same time.

By shopping for the best odds for each game you bet on, you’ll be able to save money while placing bets.

Some sportsbooks may see a baseball game differently from others that is why they have better odds compared to another sportsbook who is also offering bets on the same event.

The small difference between odds from sportsbook A and sportsbook B may not be much today, but if you’re going to take baseball betting seriously, it can add up in the long run.

The only way you can shop for the best odds is to open more than one account.

Pros of Signing Up With Multiple Bookmakers

Experienced sports bettors recommend having at least 3 to 5 accounts with multiple bookmakers to maximize your earning potential.

Ignore the Consensus Picks

As stated during the first part of this guide, sharps love to bet on baseball.

Underdogs in MLB are very competitive compared to other US sports like the NBA or the NFL. And sharps love to value bets these so-called underdogs.

MLB Win/Loss Record As Underdog 2019

TeamWinLossWin. %Run Line +/-
Tampa Bay222151.20%1.3
St. Louis373650.70%1.2
SF Giants557044.00%0.7
NY Yankees142041.20%2.1
NY Mets253641.00%0.9
Chi Sox467039.70%0.3
San Diego355638.50%0.5
LA Angels315735.20%0
Chi Cubs152834.90%0.6
Kansas City458933.60%0.3
LA Dodgers3633.30%1.1

As you can see in the data above, teams that have poor records can still keep the game close. Only two teams have negative (-) run line spreads and most middle teams do well as underdogs.

Betting Tip

Small-market teams in baseball are often ignored by media outlets as the public only loves to hear about the big-name teams like the Yankees, Dodgers, and Red Sox.

This attracts attention from casual bettors, especially if big market teams are playing in a nationally televised game against middle or bottom-dwelling teams.

People don’t realize that these underdogs have more value in sports betting than the favorites. You can win less than 50% of your bets and still make a profit.

However, betting on favorites requires a bettor to win more than 53% of their bets just to break even.

Betting Against The Public: How To Win Fading the Public

Betting against the public is easy to do, just know who the public money is on, and bet the other way like a sharp.

Check the Injury Report

It is important for you as a baseball bettor to pay attention to the injury report for each game you’re placing a bet on.

Some teams do scratch their supposed starting pitchers at the last minute and this could affect your cards if you don’t pay attention especially if you bet “listed pitchers” only.

Listed pitcher bet means that if one of the starting pitchers does not start the game, your bet gets voided, even if you’re still confident with the replacement pitcher.

The only way your bet continues is if you place an action bet which means it does not matter who starts the game.

Action bet is graded for who wins the game regardless of who starts.

Another benefit of checking the injury report regularly is you may know how long a player is out and when he is returning.

If a starting pitcher is just returning from an injury and is starting the game, our advice is to bet against that pitcher’s team for that game.

Let’s say Chris Sale is returning from an elbow inflammation injury and has been sidelined for months now.

The Boston Red Sox decides to start him against the Houston Astros. You should consider placing a bet on the Houston Astros to win this matchup.

How To Bet On Baseball – Final Thoughts

MLB is one of the most interesting sports to keep track of with 2,400+ games to bet on each season.

It’s also the only sports in the US that most sports enthusiasts can agree on that has parity. This makes each season compelling to fans all over the world as no team is a sure bet to win the World Series.

For those who wants to consistently win betting in the MLB, make sure that you find value on each matchup. If you can’t see one, it’s all right to not place a bet as there are hundreds of other games you can bet on in the MLB.

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