MLB betting is incredibly thrilling and rewarding. That’s what the enthusiasts know. But what about those who have supported their favorite team and followed the sport religiously without ever betting on a single match?
In this article, we’re going to equip you with all that you need to know to stop missing opportunities and start making some side income with your passion and knowledge of the teams and players.
Everyone from seasoned bettors to newcomers look to do sports wagering for a reason. Understanding the ins and outs of MLB teams and players or staying on top of news and performance stats can easily help anyone to make it big with the right bets.
Let’s start with an understanding of the odds and betting lines.
Understanding MLB Odds & Betting Lines
First of all, we need to make sure that you understand what the numbers that you see on online sportsbooks mean.
Odds are the probability of a specific outcome. In the American odds system, the favorites (the team that the oddsmaker thinks is more likely to win) are assigned a minus sign like -270, and the underdogs (more likely to lose) have a plus sign like +270.
- Favorites (minus sign): You will need to wager this much ($270) to win $100 off this bet, given the team wins.
- Underdogs (plus sign): You will win this much ($270) if you wager $100 and the team wins.
For example, the MLB lines for the World Series put the Atlanta Braves at +310. This means that if you wager $100 and the team wins, you make $310. The risk and the potential profit are both high when betting on the underdogs.
Now, of course, you’re not limited to $100 bets—It’s just used to standardize betting. As you go higher or lower, the amount to wager or the amount of winning also goes up or down, respectively.
Also, keep in mind that the odds aren’t universal. Different sportsbooks might show different odds. However, the majority of the dependable sportsbook will display odds in the same ballpark.
There are three types of bets we want you to know about:
- The most popular type of bet is the money line bet. It’s a simple bet for predicting which team will win a given match. It’s called picking an outright winner.
- Now, like how you have point spreads in other sports, there are also run lines for MLB. It introduces a handicap for the favorite and underdog to level the playing field.
- Another kind of bet is the bet for over/under or “total.” This type is about predicting whether the total combined runs scored by both teams will be over or under the oddsmaker’s set limit.
Factors Affecting Game Outcomes
Lines can easily shift in response to injuries, weather, home/away advantage, availability/unavailable of key players, and even betting action or demand for a particular team. Incidentally, it’s important to stay attentive to line movement.
Some teams only have key players, whereas others hardly have any star performers but still manage to take home the win more often than not. All of this depends on both—The individual performance of players and how much synergy and coordination the team has.
For example, we recently saw that the Yankees are depending too much on Aaron Judge. That’s no way to play the game, and information like this can help you uncover insights that are otherwise hidden.
If the Yankees improve their stature and cultivate a formidable team, their chances will improve. If not, then their chances stay low. The impact of such a thing cannot be found in reading tables and the head-to-head performance of the Yankees vs. another team, for example.
Don’t just rely on news that reaches you. Actively seek out stats yourself! Though many online platforms serve MLB stats (like batting stats or season leaders), including Yahoo Sports and CBS—We highly recommend starting with ESPN’s tables.
Here are some extra tips:
- Stay updated on the stats for average, on-base percentage, and fielding percentage
- Playing at home provides teams with a distinct advantage.
- Starting pitchers play a critical role in determining game outcomes.
- Wind direction and speed can affect the trajectory of fly balls.
- Teams on winning streaks may carry their form into future games. Conversely, teams in a slump might face challenges on the field.
With MLB even growing out of North America to countries like Korea, the sport is bound to become very competitive very quickly. The more the competition, the higher your chances of placing successful bets.
MLB betting is not a game of chance. It’s a science that’s fueled by knowledge, research, and of course, strategic thinking. All of these factors can tip the odds in your favor, and it’s not very difficult to succeed in placing the right bets once you have the experience.