Online betting sites have become a highly reliable way for the public to engage in sports wagering. Easy access, plentiful information and uncomplicated payment options have made betting on Major League Baseball and other sports a pain-free experience. There seems to be no end in sight to the popularity when you factor in that it was less than four years ago when the Supreme Court overturned a 1992 law that prevented states from legalizing sports gambling.
Also, online sports betting has risen at unprecedented levels during the coronavirus pandemic. According to Bloomberg, sports gamblers wagered $7 billion in October 2021. For comparison, wagers totaled $310 million just 40 months earlier in June 2018, the month following the Supreme Court verdict. There is no end in sight and MLB will surely see more benefits in the future.
MLB made a small investment in DraftKings in 2013 and two years later, it agreed to an exclusive marketing partnership that helped raise the profile of DraftKings. DraftKings was already making an impact on the fantasy sports market but having a major sports league promoting the product was a win-win times 20. Online betting on MLB games is here to stay and will continue to grow as more states decide to utilize legal sports betting.
Top MLB Betting Sites Online
The list of other good ones include PointsBet, BetRivers, Barstool Sportsbook and William Hill. It is a growing industry so there are others out there — if someone starts an online betting site, bettors will come.
How We Rate MLB Betting Sites
Entities like FanDuel and Draft Kings are at the top of the list when it comes to MLB betting. Their sites are viewed as user-friendly and they provide enticing offers to newcomers as well as regular bettors.
MLB Betting Options and Sign Up Offers
After sign-up and first deposit, FanDuel offers a risk-free first bet and will refund up to $1,000 in site credit within 72 hours. DraftKings gives out a promo code for new customers that is redeemable as a sign-up bonus up to $1,000. Then it adds another $50 in extra gambling funds. BetMGM also issues a code for a risk-free bet for newly signed-up bettors and will refund the amount up to $1,000. PointsBet allows new customers two risk-free bets up to $2,000, Barstool Sportsbook offers a risk-free bet up to $500, BetRivers offers a $250 match on the first bet and William Hill offers a $50 bonus for signing up for a mobile account.
MLB Betting Lines and Odds
During the baseball season, betting websites will offer lines for each game as well as an over/under for runs scored. There will also be other bets such as how many runs will a team win the game by. The odds will be higher for the harder-to-win bets and will be lower for outcomes that are more likely. Where NFL and NBA bets are based at -110 — betting $11 to win $10 — baseball odds are different. A heavy favorite might be listed as -200 on the moneyline with the underdog coming in around +180. Odds will also be listed for prop bets, with individual performance being highly popular among bettors.
MLB Bonuses and Promo Codes
FanDuel isn’t currently offering promo codes as it relies on its risk-free first bet offer. DraftKings excels at seasonal promo offers, typically on a weekly or monthly basis. BetMGM offers promos such as weekly free bets and free in-play wagers. Barstool Sportsbook supplies a promo code that opens a variety of specials, including odds boosts. BetRivers offers contests and promotions during the World Series that are perfect for baseball bettors.
PointsBet offers a rewards program in which it rewards one point per $1 fixed odds wager. William Hill also has a rewards program that begins with one point for every $1 wagered on straight bets. Most sites offer referral bonuses or a prize if you bring a new customer their way. Online betting sites do what they can to make transactions easy for the customer. Fan Duel, DraftKings, PointsBet and Bet MGM all allow deposits via credit cards, ACH transfers or PayPal, as do Barstool Sportsbook, BetRivers and William Hill.
When you prevail on a bet, your winnings will show up nearly instantly in your account. Payouts will take a few days before landing in your personal bank account. If you use reputable accounts, you should be fine. One thing to be wary about is a website — typically not a top-of-the-line service — offering odds vastly different than the BetMGMs and PointsBets of the world. That can be a major red flag and a sign that you should leave the site and visit one of the leading entities.
Legal MLB Betting States
Online sports betting isn’t legal in every state so you need to know what the laws are in your state. For example, you can’t currently legally bet on MLB games online in such states as Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin.
In the case of FanDuel, it is available in 13 states — Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. FanDuel is slated to be available in Louisiana later this year. DraftKings is available in 16 states — the same 14 listed above plus New Hampshire and Wyoming. Australian-based PointsBet is legal in eight states with upcoming launches in three more.
Not all bets are placed legally when it comes to baseball betting or other sports. Illegal sports betting is a huge enterprise. According to a report released in December by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, illegal betting on sports approaches $1.7 trillion annually. In comparison, the report stated that legal wagering is about $40 billion per year.
Baseball has seen gambling scandals in the past, including the Black Sox Scandal in which the Chicago White Sox fixed the 1919 World Series (losing to the Cincinnati Reds) in exchange for money from a gambling syndicate. Also, Pete Rose, the sport’s all-time leader in hits with 4,256, was banned from for life and deemed ineligible for the sport’s Hall of Fame in 1989 after he was found to have placed bets on his own team while serving as manager of the Cincinnati Reds.
How to Bet on MLB Online
Before you make a bet, do all the legwork and studying you can on the two teams playing. See who the starting pitchers are and research their recent performances. Look for any key injuries or other news that might be relevant. When you are prepared, visit an online sports book that is legal to use in your area. Check that the odds are to your liking, decide how much you want to wager and then you can make your bet. You can choose to wager on the moneyline or with a run spread.
Say you are wagering on the New York Mets to win, you can bet on the moneyline without giving or getting any runs. If you bet the spread you may get some runs (example +1.5) that may help you win the bet but the odds might not be as favorable. The Mets could lose 4-3 but 1 1/2 runs would make you a winner. On the moneyline, there is no adjustment and you would lose the bet.
If you bet the underdog, the odds put you in line to win more money than if you bet on the favorite. There are popular prop bets in baseball betting based on individual performances. You could bet that a player will hit a homer or have three hits or strike out 10 batters. There are futures bets where you can wager on a team to win the World Series well in advance. For example, BetMGM lists the Los Angeles Dodgers as +600 favorites to win the 2022 World Series even though it is more than nine months away.
The Houston Astros are next at +900. Betting on who will be named Most Valuable Player or win the Cy Young Award are popular individual future bets. Another popular bet among many gamblers is the parlay when you bet on multiple teams in one wager. So instead of betting solely on the Mets to win their game, you might decide to make it a three-team parlay and also bet on the Toronto Blue Jays and St. Louis Cardinals to win their games. In this case, you only win your bet if all three teams win.
If two of the teams win and one loses, you receive nothing. Live betting is becoming more popular and allows for wagers during a game. The odds fluctuate depending on how the game is proceeding. Say the San Diego Padres are favorites over the Arizona Diamondbacks but fall behind 5-0 in the third inning. Odds will change and Arizona may become the favorite to win with the Padres becoming underdogs. Another offering might be if the game will go extra innings.
If the game is tied late in the game, the odds will tip toward “yes.” Some people prefer making their wagers prior to the game but others like the excitement of going with the flow during the contest. Regardless, there is no advantage to making a bet three hours before a game during the Internet era. Key players get scratched from games shortly before first pitch and sometimes the starting pitcher has some ailment and can’t pitch.
The best thing to do is wait it out as long as you can due to any information emerging that may affect your bet. Whenever you lose a bet, the sportsbook gets a cut of the cash. This is called the vigorish, better known these days as the “juice.” If you wager $110 on a baseball game and win, you receive $100 in winnings. But if you lose the bet, the sportsbook keeps all $110 with $10 of it representing the juice. That is the sportsbook’s cut for taking the bet.
MLB Championship Betting
The playoffs are an exciting time filled with drama and momentum changes. It is also a time in which you need to keep your emotions in check. If you are a fan of the Houston Astros and they are playing in a clinching game in the American League Championship Series, you need to be extra diligent to make sure you are studying your betting plays from an objective standpoint. When your money is at stake, you don’t want emotions on your sleeve to dent your wallet.
The postseason allows you opportunities to bet on individual games or the entire series. For example, you can bet on the Astros to win the series. You could also bet on Houston to win the series in five games. Or four. Or six. Or seven. Or not at all. When it gets to the World Series, each game arrives with a major build-up and all the media types make each win seem huge and each loss seem devastating.
And if a team takes a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven games, the team trailing see its chances of winning get written off. From a betting standpoint, most of that stuff needs to be ignored. Studying to determine the best betting choice in Game 3 of that series requires a steely focus on the facts and data available. Yes, the emotions matter and the pressure gets ratcheted up, but come first pitch, what happens on the field is all that matters.
One aspect that is becoming tougher in the baseball postseason is evaluating starting pitchers. Where the history of the sport details many epic shutouts or complete-game efforts, the trend nowadays often is to remove the pitcher before he faces the opponent’s batting order a third time. So instead of analyzing your wager on a starting pitcher and say two relievers, the team you are betting on might use an “opener” and pull him after two innings and use eight different pitchers. This is important as it takes just one reliever not on his game to blow up your bet. Baseball plays an All-Star Game in July but that is a hard one to figure. You never know when it will be a pitcher-dominated game or a slugfest.
Benefits of Betting on MLB Online
Once upon a time, sports bettors had to travel to Las Vegas to legally bet at a game at a sportsbook. That might have been manageable if you lived in Southern California or the Phoenix area, but that wasn’t a good option if you lived in Texas or North Carolina. Waging became available in other areas — for example, the Mexico border town of Tijuana, near San Diego, began offering sports wagering a short walk from the border crossing in 1989.
But traveling near or far just to place a bet isn’t necessary these days. Walking to your laptop or picking up the phone will get the job done. That is a major win for convenience and a big reason why online betting has quickly become so popular. It certainly makes live betting a real option as one can just decide in the fourth inning that they want to make another bet or two. The apps of the leading sports betting sites are easy to navigate and you can fine the lines and other betting information.
Typically, you will also see what the customer page and deposits/withdrawals pages look like as well. The setup makes betting from a restaurant or a ballgame an easy reality. Especially if you want to place a live bet in the fourth inning at Coors Field in Denver or the bottom of the eighth at Comerica Park in Detroit.
MLB Betting Tips
When betting on baseball, there are some things that could influence your bet. If you suspect the game will be a pitcher’s duel — say Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer are the starting pitchers — you may want to take the under. Runs will often be hard to come by when two ace pitchers match up. If the game is at Wrigley Field in Chicago and you hear the wind is blowing out, there could be a lot of homers.
You may want to take the over and also study the prop bets — perhaps the Cincinnati Reds are the opponent and Joey Votto is on a homer binge. If a team is having major problems on the road — the Arizona Diamondbacks and Baltimore Orioles are prime examples from the 2021 season — you can feel good about the home team winning but the odds may not make it worth the investment.
If the Boston Red Sox are scoring runs in bunches — say 40 runs over the past four games — and are playing a team with a poor pitching staff, you may want to take the over and you may want to check the odds on how many runs they’ll score. You could pick 7.5 or more or a higher number if you feel comfortable. If a team had an extra-inning game or has a heavily taxed bullpen, that also is a good time to consider betting the over.
If that same team traveled to another city and is facing a team with a fresh pitching staff, that rates as an opportunity to bet against the team. Some bettors weigh their selections based on the umpires. A wide strike zone would help the pitchers and a tight strike zone will help hitters.
MLB Betting Frequently Asked Questions
It should take about 10 minutes to sign up for an account for a sportsbook. You will be required to provide name, address, date of birth, email address and telephone number. Then you will pick a username and password and will soon be in position to bet.
You want to find a user-friendly sportsbook that appeals to you. Also of importance is one that lists the lines of the games with odds and performance-related bets in a swift manner. Daily action in baseball makes that imperative. One that features in-game betting also is highly useful.
FanDuel and DraftKings are considered top sites for baseball wagering. Lines are listed fast and plenty of prop bets are available. BetMGM is an established site that’s easy to navigate.
You should be just fine per safety if you stick with known brands. You don’t want to take a chance on the sites you know nothing about. There are plenty of reviews on betting sites to help. Something else to know is that the big-name betting entities do their best to treat customers well.
Bonuses attract new bettors and all the major sites offer them. There will be stipulations for each as otherwise the betting sites would just be handing out free money without any guarantee someone would place a bet. A match bonus of 25 percent up to $500 would mean a better must deposit $2,000 to receive the $500 bonus. Free play bonuses are popular as the amount you bet doesn’t come out of your normal account but any winnings do go in.
The goal of a sportsbook is to have the same amount of wagers on both sides of all bets. When achieved, the sportsbook receives its 10 percent of juice and isn’t at risk to losing large of sums of cash. So if a lot more people are betting on the Philadelphia Phillies to beat the Miami Marlins, then the line will be adjusted in hopes of attracting more people to bet on Miami. So each sportsbook acts independently and will adjust the line as needed to encourage some bettors and discourage others from placing a bet.
The top sportsbooks offer live betting for every game throughout the regular season and the playoffs. You can find the page online or on the site’s mobile app. Each time a player steps up to the plate, bettors are wagering on whether the player will get a hit or get out, or whether the next pitch will be a ball or a strike and other things. In live betting, a bettor must think quick as there may be only a few seconds of a window to place a bet.
State laws cite a minimum age of 18 or 21 to legally bet so betting sites request information to prove a bettor is of age. Some sites will ask for the final four digits of your social security number in order for you to create an account. To withdraw winnings, you’ll have to supply a W-9 form. So if you want to bet legally, you will need to create an account.
You can make a bet on which team will win the World Series. The lines may fluctuate in the offseason due to free agency and trades and will stabilize close to the start of the regular season. If you think the Atlanta Braves will repeat as World Series champs, you can bet on them. Or if you want to bet on the Braves to win the National League pennant, you can do that. Same goes per the American League if you think the Chicago White Sox are the likely AL pennant winner. You can also bet on who will win prestigious individual awards like MVP or Cy Young.
One of the biggest considerations are the starting pitchers. Many a game — and bet — has been lost by a poor pitching effort. Know the health of the pitchers in the contest. Weather conditions are to be considered, especially early in the season when temperatures might be in the 30s or 40s. Wind is another factor. A lot of bettors like to pinpoint the Sunday night baseball game on ESPN. Because it is the lone game going on and there is a lot of action on the game, pregame hype will point toward the favorite. So since even bad teams win roughly 40 percent of the time, you might find value on the underdog. That team is going to want to put up a good showing on the national stage.
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