Baseball has forever been known as America’s national pastime, and gambling on the sport is a popular hobby for many across the country. No matter if you’re a baseball gambling veteran or a complete newcomer, this guide will have something for you.
When it comes to gambling, profit is the name of the game, and that is just as true when it comes to betting on baseball. To profit most, you need to be educated on all the bets and options that are available to you.
Live betting is becoming a popular way to get in on the action, and this guide will cover everything there is to know about it. We’ll cover how to bet on games live along with the best practices for live betting below.
As sports gambling continues to become more widespread and normalized, oddsmakers continue to add new options. This guide will go through all of them. It will also go through New York’s local teams, as well as some general tips that you can apply to your baseball betting approach.
The first thing to understand before gambling on Major League Baseball is how the lines and odds operate and work. MLB betting lines for each game are typically released the night before a game, or possibly in the morning if the game is at night. This is because the oddsmakers want to know key information such as which players will be playing before they release the odds.
Oddsmakers are always making sure that no single outcome will pose too much of a liability to their business, and thus they always want to encourage equal gambling on each side. That means the odds can shift as gamblers make their selections on both sides. If the majority of gamblers place their bets on one side, the odds for that selection will worsen. This is why teams with large fanbases can often have suboptimal odds.
Sportsbooks in the US will use the American odds format. Let’s say that the New York Yankees are facing off against the New York Mets, and the oddsmaker thinks that the Yankees have a better chance of winning. The Yankees will then have their odds displayed with a minus sign in front of them. This number represents how much you need to wager for a chance to win $100. For this example, if the Yankees have odds of -150, then you would need to bet $150 on them to potentially win $100, returning $250 in total.
On the other hand, the Mets will have their odds displayed with a plus sign in front of them. This represents how much money a bet of $100 could win. For this example, if the Mets had odds of +130, your $100 bet, if correct, would win $130 for a total of $230 returned.
Here are the common betting terms and jargon that are important to know for baseball betting:
The run line is a popular bet type that is offered for every game, no matter who is playing. It can be a popular choice when the matchup is a more lopsided one. The favorite gets a run line of -1.5, meaning that team must win by two or more. The underdog’s run line will be +1.5, and that team needs to come within at least one for that bet to cash.
For example, if the Yankees are large favorites over the Mets, many gamblers may opt for the run line instead of the moneyline because of the better odds.
The moneyline may be the simplest bet to understand. It’s a wager on a team to win the game, and nothing else matters. At the end of the game, bets on whichever team has earned the win will cash. Moneyline bets can see more lopsided odds if the matchup isn’t particularly close.
Inning lines compress the wager into just one inning and allow gamblers to bet on which team they think will win that individual inning. Inning lines are especially popular with live betting because of the ability to get a feel for the flow of the game.
While the stock run line is -1.5, alternate run lines of other numbers in increments of 0.5 are usually available. For example, if you want to get a higher potential return and think that the game could be a blowout, you could choose the run line. In the example above, if you thought the Yankees were going to blow out the Mets, you might bet the alternate run line of -2.5 to get some better odds.
Totals work much the same way in baseball as they do in other sports, using an over/under system. The oddsmakers will release a line that represents the potential combined score of the two teams. You can then bet on whether the actual total score of the game will be over or under that line.
Some teams have strong starting pitchers but lack a bullpen to back them up. For this reason, gamblers may want to place a first five bet on that team, which means that the bets end after five innings. The first five bets can be moneyline, run line or total bets.
While rules may vary slightly from sportsbook to sportsbook, some general guidelines usually accompany gambling on baseball.
Usually, the first five bets need the first five innings to be completed for the bet to be considered legitimate. This same rule applies to full game bets which need the game to be completed for them not to be labeled void.
For player bets, players must take at least one at-bat for the bet to be valid, and if they miss the game due to injury, the sportsbook should void the bet.
These can be slightly different if your oddsmaker has listed specific changes. Be sure to read up on the rules at your sportsbook before gambling.
Prop bets are another type of bet that has become increasingly popular. These involve gambling on the smaller events within the game and can offer some large potential returns. Prop bets can also be placed in quick succession, allowing you to get plenty of exciting action in a short period.
Prop bets on individual players are popular, including player vs. player props. These types of bets match players, and you wager on who will have the most hits, home runs, total bases, etc. For pitchers, there are a variety of prop bets as well, including over/under strikeouts and the matchup-style bets mentioned for batters.
You can also place prop bets at the team level, such as on individual scores (the first team to three or five is very popular), or gambling on which team will hit more home runs in that game.
Futures bets offer gamblers a chance to predict events farther down the road, such as at the end of the season. This can have advantages as well as disadvantages. Some of the advantages are the fact that the odds are usually good due to the high difficulty and it can make for a long period of entertainment. For the disadvantages, the fact that it’s over such a long period can work against you. For example, imagine if you bet on the New York Yankees to win the World Series at the start of the year, and then halfway through the season two of their best players are lost to injury. You will be stuck with the bet and the same MLB odds, even if the team’s chances are now lower.
Besides the World Series champion, other popular futures bets include the winners of all the major awards, the winner of each division, whether teams will make the playoffs and betting on win totals.
Before every season, oddsmakers release their lines for each team’s win total for the upcoming season. These win totals are a very popular betting option. For example, the Yankees might have their total for the upcoming season set at 95.5 wins, and you can then bet on if their actual win total ends up being over or under that number.
As the season progresses, you can follow along to see which teams are over-performing their projected win totals and which are underperforming.
The offseason can play a huge role in these win totals as teams that are actively acquiring big-name free agents will likely have higher expectations heading into the season. Also, teams with young players that are expected to have breakout seasons will have higher totals.
Live betting is a relatively new way to wager on sports, and it works just as the name suggests. It involves wagering on events as they occur in real time. This helps gamblers take advantage of the fact that they can watch the game and get an idea of the flow before making their bet.
Using a mobile device or a desktop computer to live bet is always recommended due to the speed at which you can place wagers. During in play betting, speed can be crucial to get the odds you want before they change.
Some pros to live betting include the fact that you get to watch the games. Another positive is that oddsmakers don’t have the same time to prepare the lines, which can lead to slight advantages at times.
Some cons to live betting are that you’re forced to make quick decisions as the lines are moving rapidly, as well as the fact that oftentimes the lines can have more vigorish because they are weaker.
The MLB season is split into three distinct parts: spring training, the regular season and the playoffs. All three of these sections have quirks that are important to know.
Spring training could have the hardest games to bet on due to general uncertainty around the teams and the fact that winning is usually not the main goal for most teams. The players are shaking off the rust and getting ready for games that count.
The regular season offers some more familiarity, and it can be easier to spot trends and depend upon teams to perform. If a team gets going on a hot streak, you can try to identify the trend and place a bet.
The playoffs are another animal, and you can depend that each team will not be falling to “schedule losses” or other unfortunate events. You don’t need to worry as much about weak relievers entering the game or players missing time due to small injuries.
There are two New York-based teams, the Yankees in the American League and the Mets in the National League. The Yankees are one of the most storied franchises in all of sports as they have won 40 AL pennants and 27 World Series, the last one coming in 2009. The Mets have enjoyed success on a much smaller level, with five NL pennants and two World Series wins, the last one in 1986.
The Yankees play at Yankee Stadium:
The Mets play at Citi Field:
There have been plenty of great baseball players from the state of New York. Here are five of the best:
There are a few tips for betting on MLB games that every gambler should know. Many people learn these tips and MLB betting strategies through experience, but we’ll save you the time and list them here:
Umpires play a larger factor than many realize, and they each have their distinct style that can lead to a certain type of game. For example, if an umpire is known for a large strike zone then you might anticipate a low-scoring game if that umpire is working behind home plate. Other umpires are known to have higher scoring games.
Parlays and teasers are bets that combine multiple selections into one. The advantage of doing this is the fact that the returns are combined and thus very high. The downside is that if even just one selection loses, the entire bet loses. Because of the difficulty, you may want to consider wagering on something else, especially if you’re just starting out.
Ever heard of the saying “the house always wins”? Every so often, there will be a bet with a majority of the public betting on one side or the other, and those can be good times to consider betting on the other side. By taking a contrarian approach, you can also usually get some really good odds for your selection.
Yes, betting on Major League Baseball is legal in New York. In fact, all major professional sports are legal to bet on in New York.
Yes, you should consider home-field advantage if you are going to place a bet. Home-field advantage can take many forms, everything from the players getting the chance to sleep at home to knowing the quirks of the field to having the fans cheering for them.
Generally it isn’t a good idea to pay for picks. The world of handicapping is filled with scammers, and often they have just as good a chance as you at predicting the score correctly. That being said, if you find a handicapper with a long and proven record of success, then it could be worth it.
In baseball, a first-half bet covers the first five innings. This means that for any bets you see that are designated as first half, they will end after the first five innings. This can be useful when a team has a shaky bullpen that you do not trust.
Thanks to live betting, you can place bets throughout the game. Live betting will usually offer all the same bets that you can get before the game. The odds will move fast, so make sure to get in when you find odds you like before they change.