If you’re here, you’re curious about MLB betting odds, and you want to know exactly to make money off MLB betting. You will need to first understand how the odds work, and you can do a few simple calculations before placing a bet to determine your probability of winning, as well as your estimated winnings. Many beginners don’t do these extra steps, yet it can prove to be helpful in the long run.
30 teams. 162 games. 1 champion.
— MLB (@MLB) March 31, 2021
The odds to win the MLB World Series are now available. The odds to win the World Series are likely to adjust and as they do we'll be sure to update this page. The odds were last updated on April 14, 2021:
|Los Angeles Dodgers||+465||+450||+450|
|New York Yankees||+550||+550||+550|
|San Diego Padres||+900||+900||+900|
|Chicago White Sox||+1100||+1100||+1200|
The 2020 season has finally begun after a delayed start to the season to the COVID-19 pandemic, and all eyes are on the MLB odds board. MLB odds are typically presented in the American odds format in North America, which is different from the decimal or fractional odds you may see on some European sportsbooks.
American odds are usually presented in a positive or negative three to four (sometimes more) digit number like -250 or +6600, with the negative meaning that the team is highly likely to win, and the positive meaning that the team is more unlikely to win. The higher the number on each side the more or less likely the team is to win.
During the regular season, you can find plenty of MLB odds on any given game, and there are over 2,000 in a regular-season - so you can imagine the magnitude of betting options available in a season. There are also plenty more betting options on the Postseason and the World Series as well.
How to Read MLB Odds
As we mentioned above, American odds are the format of choice in the United States, so we will focus on that specific odds format for the sake of explaining how odds work. When looking at the positive number, a good trick is that it represents how much you would win on a $100 wager. Conversely, the negative number is how much you would need to wager to win $100. This is just an easy way to look at American MLB odds, and to quickly calculate your winnings - you can bet any denomination.
If you have the Detroit Tigers at +300 and the Minnesota Twins at -120, that means the Twins are favored to win that game, and the Tigers are the underdog. A bet on the Twins wouldn’t pay out quite as much as the Tigers because the sportsbook oddsmakers are already predicting that they will likely win the game, but a bet on the Tigers would provide much more value if they did pull off an upset and beat the Twin.
In this case, a $100 bet on the Tigers would pay out $300, and a $120 bet on the Twins would pay out $100. Of course, your initial stake is returned to you as well, so you’d come out with $400 and $220 respectively.
MLB Betting Odds: Calculating the Probability of Winning
When it comes to calculating the probability of an MLB team to win a game - there isn’t a rule yet for American odds because it is one of the newer odds formats, so to calculate your probability of winning your MLB bet, you will need to convert your odds to decimal.
For positive odds (underdog MLB odds) let’s say +300:
- 1 + (odds / 100) = 1+(300/100) = 4.0
For negative odds (favored MLB team’s odds) -300:
- 1 - (100 / 300) = 0.6
Once you figure out your decimal odds, we will go through and calculate the implied probability of that bet being a winner.
Decimal MLB Betting Odds
Decimal MLB odds have always been much more prevalent in Europe, and really - everywhere until American odds were introduced. There have been no advancements for probability calculations, so we need to convert American odds to decimal.
To calculate your potential winnings when using decimal odds, you take your decimal MLB odds, multiply them by your stake, and then subtract the stake.
- 8.0 odds would be calculated as (8.0 * $10) - $10 = $80 in winnings 1.4 would be (1.4 * $10) - $10 = $4
To calculate your implied probability of winning, you will need to divide one by your decimal odds which is 1/ 8.0. This gives an implied probability of 12.5%. Implied probability is an important part of your MLB betting strategy and can help you determine whether your bets are worthwhile in the long run.
Fractional MLB Betting Odds
Remember your grade school math class and learning fractions? Well, hopefully, you paid attention because you’ll need them for betting on fractional MLB odds!
When looking at fractional MLB betting odds, if you’re looking at a fractionated number, like 10/1 on the MLB odds board, this means the team has a ten to one chance of winning the game. This way, you can also calculate their probability of winning - from the fractional MLB odds.
The formula looks like this: B/(A+B) = %
For example, if the MLB betting odds are set for a game and the team has 8/1 odds to win, there is an 11% chance they will win the game.
- 1/(8+1) = .11 (11%)
Or, if a team has 1/4 odds to win the match, that can be calculated like so - 4/(4+1) = 0.80 (80%) This team is favored and with an 80% chance of winning - we like those odds.
So, how much will you win on fractional MLB odds? All you need to do is look at the fraction: for every value on the right side of the fraction you wager, you will win the left.
So 7/1 odds - for each $1 wagered, you will win $7.
- 1/6 odds - for each $6 wagered you win $1.
Top MLB Betting Options
Finally, we can get into all the nitty-gritty - all of the top MLB betting options that are available on your online or retail sportsbook. These are the most popular betting options, so don’t think that these are the only ones available.
MLB Moneyline Odds
The MLB moneyline bet is the easiest betting type to understand, and many beginners rely on this type when starting out. All you have to do is pick which team will win the game. That’s all you have to do.
If the Seattle Mariners and Los Angeles Angels are playing and their odds look like this:
- Los Angeles Angels -200
- Seattle Mariners +175
If you plan to bet on the Mariners, you can calculate their probability like so:
- 1 + (odds / 100) = 1+(175/100) = 2.75
Now that you have your decimal odds, you will calculate your implied probability by dividing 1 /2.75 = 0.36 (3.6%)
That’s a pretty low chance of winning, but let’s calculate the winnings on a $50 wager. (2.75* $50) - $10 = $87.50 in winnings.
MLB Point Spread Odds
While called point spreads in pretty much every other sport, the point spread in Major League Baseball is actually called a ‘runline’. There is no real difference, it’s just that the MLB has runs versus points on the scoreboard so they took the opportunity to make it their own. The NHL has a similar issue - theirs is called a puck line.
MLB runline bets give the underdog an imaginary lead before the game even starts. This will level the playing field a bit and give the underdog an opportunity to cover the spread.
The runline is essentially how many runs a team must win or lose by, depending on which side you’re betting on. If you choose the favorite, their spread will be a negative number, and they must win the game by that amount. If you chose the underdog, they must lose by less than that number or win the game.
The MLB runline odds can be calculated like any other wager, most times the odds will be relatively low, as you took some of the risks out by choosing the point spread.
MLB Totals Odds
If the game is getting closer and you aren’t necessarily leaning toward either team, you can always bet on the MLB totals. Betting the over/under on an MLB game is easy, and another very popular option. You never want to bet on a team just for the hell of it, so you can always bet on the totals when you aren’t sure which team to choose.
When betting on MLB totals, the oddsmaker will set the line, and your job is to try to predict the total number of goals scored collectively by both teams. The lines can be any number but are usually in the 7-12 range - however many runs the oddsmakers believe will be run in the game.
Top Online Sportsbooks for MLB Betting Odds
Now for the fun part - we can start hunting for the perfect online sportsbook for you to place your wager at. We offer a great selection of thoroughly researched online sportsbook reviews for your review before you sign up at a betting site. Sportsbooks are all very different and some offer better MLB betting odds and bonuses than others.
Offshore sportsbooks shouldn’t be intimidating, there are many betting sites with superior softwares and interfaces compared to local retail sportsbooks in your state (if sports betting is even legalized yet) and the convenience of betting from your smartphone or laptop can be a huge selling feature.
Make sure you only sign up at an online sportsbook that has the best MLB odds, has your preferred deposit option and even minimum and maximum deposit limits - sometimes you can overlook these things and wind up at a sportsbook that doesn’t have a single feature you want to use!
Have fun betting on the 2021 MLB season, and make sure you’re betting responsibly.