2021 USA Baseball Betting Guide

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Commonly referred to as America's Pastime, the sport of baseball has a long and storied history in this nation, and even throughout the world. But baseball isn’t just popular as a spectator sport – it’s considered to be the “bread and butter” for many veteran sports gamblers, and our USA baseball betting guide shows you how to quit riding the bench and start winning actual cash betting on baseball.

But even outside of baseball fandom and baseball betting, it’s truly amazing how much of an impact this bat-and-ball game has had on American culture. Whether or not you’re a big fan of the sport, odds are that you know all the biggest names: Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio, Lou Gehrig, Nolan Ryan, Randy Johnson, Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds, Derek Jeter. Willie, Mickey, and the Duke. The list goes on. Baseball is true Americana.

Of course, while Major League Baseball (MLB) betting in the USA may be the height of the sport, college baseball is also huge, and the sport is big in Japan, Korea, Latin America, and beyond. Today, it’s truly a global phenomenon, and there’s even talk of reintroducing Olympic baseball now that the USA has some real international competition. And naturally, the best baseball betting sites have all the baseball odds you could hope for. So get in the box and call your shot!

Best Baseball Betting Site
For USA Players

Top Rated USA Site

Launched in 2004, BetOnline is one of the most reputable online baseball sportsbooks for American bettors. The operator brings over 60 years of combined management experience to the plate, and they continue to offer some of the very best baseball bets today. BetOnline has earned a perfect reputation in the industry by being fair with players, paying out every member on time and offering some of the best baseball betting software in the industry.

BetOnline is known for having the fastest and most reliable deposit methods in the industry, especially for USA players. Their credit card processor is second to none, and they support a full lineup of cryptocurrencies that come with enhanced bonuses and no added fees.

Another way BetOnline stands tall on the mound is with their baseball betting bonuses. BetOnline gives all new players a 50% bonus worth up to $1000 on their first deposit, which rockets to a 100% match for crypto deposits. You can also score a 25% bonus for life that boosts your bankroll with every repeat deposit.

And when it comes to their baseball wagering options, you’ll find everything under the sun – or, if you prefer, under the lights! At BetOnline, you’ll get thousands of daily baseball odds, including straight wagers, run lines, totals, parlays, prop bets, futures, and more. For baseball sports betting, BetOnline isn’t just a home run, it’s a grand slam!

Top-Rated USA Online Sportsbooks
For Baseball Betting Lines

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Is Betting On Baseball Legal In The United States?

Legalities

Yes! As long as your bets are placed at a legitimate USA online sportsbook or a state-regulated brick-and-mortar sportsbook, you can legally bet on baseball in the US. The 2018 overturn of PASPA has facilitated a nationwide expansion of state-based sports betting, with more than 30 states now authorizing domestic sportsbooks.

Fortunately for those living in states without legal domestic betting sites (or for those inside such states who want more valuable odds across the board), there are no US federal sports betting laws preventing American baseball fans from betting on their favorite teams through legitimately authorized online sportsbooks operating offshore. All the baseball betting sites you see listed on this page are safe and legal to use.

Note: Washington is the only US state that prohibits all forms of online gambling, including online baseball betting. However, they have yet to enforce these restrictions in any way. Despite this, WA residents must gamble at their own risk should they choose to bet on baseball online.

Walking You Through The Betting Process

While most Americans still believe that sports gambling is expressly illegal in those states where it hasn’t been explicitly legalized, you can see that’s not actually the case. So long as you gamble with a certified international sportsbook that allows you join and bet real money, it's perfectly safe to do so.

That said, betting on baseball is not as simple as finding a legal site with which to wager. If you want to actually win your bets, you need to understand how to navigate the tough, detailed field of Major League Baseball betting. To fully prepare yourself, it’s important to understand the types of betting lines you're going to find at most legal USA sportsbook sites.

How To Bet On Baseball – Types Of Baseball Lines You Will Find

Before you bet on baseball – whether you want to bet on the MLB, NCAA, or various international leagues like the NPB and KBO – you’ll need to know how to bet on baseball and win. Luckily, that’s easy enough, as the concepts are all simple and straightforward.

So before you make your best baseball betting picks, here’s the basic run down. Read these baseball betting rules so you don’t end up in a pickle!

In order to have baseball betting odds explained fully, you have to start with the moneyline bet. The moneyline bet, often called a straight bet, is the easiest wager type to understand. Additionally, it sets the table for all other baseball wagers, as each bet you’ll see – regardless of type – will have attached moneylines.

In essence, the moneyline is a bet’s “price tag.” That is, it shows how much you stand to win on any given wager, using $100 as its basis. (This is not a betting minimum, as the top USA sports betting sites accept wagers of $0.50 to $1.00.)

Favorites will always have a negative moneyline, which shows how much you must risk to win $100. Underdogs, meanwhile, will always have a positive moneyline, which shows how much you stand to win on a $100 bet. Again, all bets have associated moneylines. 

But straight moneyline bets are also their own class of wager. With this kind of bet, all you have to do is pick the winner – straight up – and you’ll be paid out according to the moneyline when you win.

Obviously, moneylines are the best kind of wager when you intend to bet on an underdog. Favored teams have much smaller payouts, for obvious reasons: They’re expected to win.

Here’s an example of how the baseball moneyline looks:

  • New York Yankees -195 at Toronto Blue Jays +240

Let’s say the Yankees are the number-one team in the league, while the Blue Jays are the last-place team. The Yanks have dominated them all season, and nothing is likely to change for their next game. Here, taking New York is a safe bet, but it pays out less. Per the above moneyline, you’ll have to risk $195 to win $100.

So while you may be more likely to win, you're going to have to take a much bigger risk to get a meaningful reward. The Blue Jays, as underdogs, pay out much better. In this example, a $100 bet pays out $240 in winnings!

And honestly, with baseball gambling, taking the dog is often a savvy move. In the MLB, there are 162 games in a season, so you're going to run across a ton of upsets and instances where a team like the Blue Jays win “when they’re not supposed to.” Knowing how to spot potential upsets can be very lucrative.

In baseball, what you probably recognize as the “point spread” is called the run line. Like the straight bet, the run line in baseball tells you which team is the favorite to win and which is the underdog.

However, run line bets serve two purposes: One, they make the favorite a more compelling wager with better payouts, and two, they keep the sportsbook operator from taking any liability. Baseball run line spread bets are designed to get equal action on both sides of the bet so the sportsbook doesn't lose any money regardless of which side wins.

Here’s an example of a baseball run line:

  • New York Yankees +1.5 (-110) at Boston Red Sox -1.5 (-110)

Note that both bets payout the same: You must risk $110 to win $100. The book keeps the difference as a house take or vigorish (aka “the vig” or “the juice”). In the example above, the Red Sox are favored by one and a half runs, as the team with the negative run line is always the favorite.

If you pick the Red Sox to win, this runline means they have to win the game by two or more runs. Let’s say they beat the Yankees by a final score of 6-4. That “beats the spread” and you win your bet.  

If Boston only wins 6-5, however, the Yankees have “covered the spread” and you lose. That’s because – as underdogs – the Yankees are given a 1.5-run “head start.” This means they can lose by up to a run and Yankees bettors still win the wager.

Baseball runline bets are almost always going to be set at 1.5 runs. Sportsbooks use the half-run increment to guarantee that the final score can’t result in the exact number of the spread itself. If the spread were two runs and the Yanks won 6-4, that would result in a “push,” and all bets would be refunded.

Over/under lines in baseball – aka baseball “totals” bets – are all about the final score, but they're a little trickier to predict since baseball is usually a much lower-scoring game than football or basketball. For instance, you may see every single game of the day end up with a score like 2-1, 2-0, 1-0, and other similar totals.

But occasionally, some pitcher will give up seven runs in the top of the first, and games can be lopsided with 12-2 or 15-6 final tallies. You never really know.

Baseball O/U bets look like this:

  • Atlanta Braves at St. Louis Cardinals – O/U 6.5 (-110)

Here, you’re betting on whether the final score of the game will have more than six combined runs (“over”) or fewer than six combined runs (“under”). You simply make your pick based on which end of that final projection you think will be more likely.

With this sort of bet, you really need to dig your heels in and look up some vital information, which we’ll help you with below in our exclusive baseball betting primer.

Baseball prop bets – or proposition bets – are a wide category of wagers that have to do with individual or team-based performances within a given game. Typically, each game at a legitimate online sportsbook gives USA bettors three general options for the prop betting category:  

  • Baseball Player Props – Odds on what specific individual players will do during a given game. These include how many hits someone will get, how many strikeouts a pitcher will throw, whether or not the cleanup man will hit a home run, and so on.
  • Baseball Team Props – Odds on what entire teams will do during a given game. These include how many total hits a team gets, how many errors a defense commits, whether or not a club will turn a double play, and more.
  • Baseball Game Props – Odds on other game-related action as a whole. These include things like how long a game will last, whether or not there will be a rain delay, whether or not the game will go extra innings, etc.

Almost all baseball props are presented in the over/under or yes/no format (which works identically to the former). Each has its associated moneyline on both sides (although some props have only one side), and you’ll usually find 100+ props for each game at any reputable sports gambling website.

Additionally, most sites also now feature custom prop builder tools that allow you to make unique bets all your own, giving you tens of thousands of gambling permutations per matchup.

Futures bets are a lot like baseball props, but they vest over the long run. Basically, with baseball futures, you’re wagering on what will happen for a given team or player over the course of an entire season.

Additionally, while most baseball betting is broken down on a game-by-game basis, futures are up all season long. In fact, many kinds of futures odds are up during the whole of the offseason and preseason, too.

The most popular baseball futures bets are those that allow you to wager on league champions. If you’re betting on the Majors, for example, the biggest futures bets are those for the eventual World Series winner. You can also gamble on how well you think a given team will do in their division and whether or not you think they’ll win the National League or American League championship.

In NCAA baseball, you can bet on winners of conference titles and the College World Series. For Japanese baseball and Korean baseball, the most popular futures are which teams will win the Japan Series and Korean Series, respectively.

You can also bet futures on things like league MVPs, Silver Sluggers, Gold Gloves, Rookies of the Year, and other individual accolades, as well as which players will make their respective all-star games and more. Each legitimate online sportsbook will have different futures on their boards, of course, so it’s important that you shop lines between multiple providers to find the best deals.

It’s also important to get your wagers in as early as possible. Baseball futures odds are up year-round, and savvy bettors know that the sooner they place their wagers, the better the payouts will be.

For example, if you pick the Dodgers to win the next World Series, you’ll see lines of +600, +800, or even +1000 or more before the season starts. However, once the season gets underway and the team establishes itself as a real contender late in the campaign, those odds will narrow considerably, possibly to +300 or less.

Live betting has lately become one of the most sought-after ways to wager on baseball. Traditionally, sports bets would have to be placed before a given game gets underway, and all your risk would be locked in.

While this is still the most popular way to gamble on baseball, live odds allow bettors to make in-game adjustments. Just as a team might be forced to go to the bullpen early, live betting lets you change your approach as the action unfolds.

Example: Let's say you took the Atlanta Braves over the Cincinnati Reds, with the Braves favored by 1.5 runs (Braves -1.5). However, midway through the 5th inning, you see that the score is Reds 5, Braves 1. You’re now over 90% likely to lose your initial bet. With traditional betting, you might scowl a bit and change the channel, as the game is no longer all that interesting.

But with live odds, there's a way to leverage here and even to come out ahead on your bets! With the live betting options at the sites we recommend, you can effectively switch your bet to the Reds at whatever the current live lines reflect. This will pay out less, as the Reds are now heavily favored, but you can possibly earn an even break, and you can always bet even more if you feel like you can win it all back.

Similarly, if the Braves are way up on the Reds at the midway point, you can double down on the new, updated live lines and win even more on top of your first wager. Live betting allows you to recover all kinds of bad pregame bets regardless of why those bets turn bad. From a lopsided first inning to a pitcher injury a beaned batter, things that used to change the fundamental outlay of a given contest no longer impact your bottom line in such a negative, unexpected way.

Live baseball bets are fantastic ways to leverage and to win more money, especially if you're a serious baseball fan and know all about pitchers, hitters, individual stats, etc.

Mobile Baseball Betting

These days, baseball bettors are no longer tethered to their home computers, clicking refresh after every pitch to get updated odds in real-time. Instead, with US mobile sports betting at the best online baseball betting sites, you can wager from anywhere in the USA that you’ve got an Internet connection.

There’s no geofencing like you’d find at state-based books, either: You can bet on the go from any state, and you can use any modern smartphone or tablet device.

The sites listed here don’t use downloadable baseball betting apps from the App Store or Google Play store, however. Instead, all you need is an up-to-date web browser, and you can access the full betting menu – including live bets – right from the palm of your hand.

It doesn’t matter which make, model, or size of device you have. From the smallest iPhones and Androids to the biggest iPads and other slates, you’ll get the full slate of baseball odds any time, any place.

Best of all, there’s nothing to download or update. These sites use responsive design technology and web app delivery to ensure that when it’s game time, you can step up to the plate whenever – and however – you want.

Major League Baseball Betting

mlb logoMajor League Baseball – or the MLB – is the highest level of professional baseball in the world. The best players from the NCAA and international leagues in Asia and Latin America all eventually make their way to The Show, and that’s where most baseball bettors hang their batting helmets.

That said, there are a few peculiarities about the MLB that you should familiarize yourself with before betting, and we outline those below. To learn more about wagering on the Majors specifically, our online MLB betting guide has more.

NCAA College Baseball Betting

College BaseballIf you’re a serious baseball bettor, you probably spend some time looking for Minor League Baseball betting lines. However, most reputable sportsbooks don’t feature these, and the MLB itself – while embracing sports betting – has asked domestic books not to include Minor League odds or preseason MLB odds. Offshore sportsbooks are similarly disinterested in Minor League and preseason fare.

These are largely developmental institutions, and there’s a fear with these that players who aren’t destined for the Bigs will compromise the game by participating in match fixing and similar shady business.

However, you will find plenty of NCAA baseball betting lines, particularly towards the end of the season when the College Baseball World Series (CWS) starts coming into focus. College baseball betting generally features the bigger matchups comprised of the most well-performing teams in their respective Power Five conferences (ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC).

Of course, with 299 different D1 college baseball teams, you won’t get odds for every single game, especially when lesser-known schools are playing. Still, for avid bettors, NCAA baseball betting can offer a lot of fun and a tremendous amount of insight when the best college players get to the next level.

NPB Japanese Baseball Betting

NPB logoJapanese baseball – officially called Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) is the second highest level of pro baseball in the world, and the seasons are more or less on par with the MLB. However, there are only 12 teams in the NPB, so there’s considerably less baseball betting any given day of the Japanese baseball season.

Still, with each team playing between 130 and 140 regular season games, bettors have plenty of lines to choose from, and Japanese baseball betting has become more and more popular with gamblers and fans alike.

Japanese baseball is very different structurally from the MLB, and successful gamblers should take some time to understand the nuances of the game. One of the biggest differences between Japanese baseball and the MLB is that NPB games can end in ties whereas Major League games cannot. This alone opens the door to a host of new betting options, and there are many other differences to consider.

Overall, Japanese baseball emphasizes “small ball” while the Majors is all about strikeouts and home runs. And as with the MLB, betting really picks up during the final season push towards the NPB playoffs and Japan Series championship.

KBO Korean Baseball Betting

KBO logoThe Korean Baseball Organization – aka the KBO League – is the third highest level of pro baseball and is increasing in popularity among Western fans and bettors due to its embrace of small ball. The KBO is a lot like Japanese baseball structurally, with 11 teams competing across 144 games each year.

The league’s postseason is about three weeks long, though the playoffs themselves are very short in terms of games played, which is a major difference from all other baseball playoffs. At the end of the playoffs, the KBO Korean Series determines league champion, and Korean Series betting is featured prominently at all the best sportsbooks online.

One of the biggest draws of the KBO – outside of its reliance on situational hitting and lack of emphasis on home runs – is the game’s overall “personality.” Bat flips, for example, are an art unto themselves in Korean baseball, and fans are starting to take notice.

In many ways, the KBO – as well as the NPB – are more like the MLB of the 1970s and 1980s, and the league is comfortable with its “throwback” status. All the best baseball betting sportsbooks offer KBO lines throughout the year, and the league is a phenomenon that’s not to be missed.

Baseball Betting Strategy – A Primer For Your Initial Foray Into Baseball Betting

Now that you have the gist of baseball betting under your belt, we’re going to give you a rundown of some baseball betting tips you can implement when placing your wagers. These are beginner-friendly baseball betting strategies, as you don't need to worry about any of the more advanced stuff right out of the gate.

At USA Sportsbook Sites, our guides are designed specifically for newcomers to the betting scene. If you need more advanced methods to hone your craft, our network of betting sites will point you in the right direction. However, for this guide, we're starting with the basic principles of betting.

Always Start With The Right Location

No matter how well-versed you are with the MLB, your bet is only going to be as good as the site where you place it. For instance, if you're betting with a low-grade site, there's a risk you won't be paid or might have to wait an unrealistic amount of time for your payouts to clear. There's also a risk that you're going to run into unfair territory with betting lines that just change on a whim.

So don't risk it. Always make sure you're gambling only with the best possible betting sites. To that end, we’re here to guide you in the direction of high-quality, reputable, and trusted US sportsbooks where you can legally and safely place your baseball bets in total confidence.

The sites we recommend are the best in the business, and we’re confident that any one you choose will be the right site for you. That way, all you have to worry about is making a solid bet.

Always Be A Student Of The Game

Did you know that right-handers in short-porch right-field stadiums hit exponentially more home runs off of left-handed pitchers? Did you know that most right-handed power hitters crank the ball between first and second base when they hit a grounder? You see, these are just a few of the things to consider when looking to bet on a baseball game online.

Let's say that the Boston Red Sox are playing the Chicago White Sox in Boston, and Chicago's Left-handed ace is starting. You look at the O/U and it's 4.5 for the game, which means you only need a score of 3-2 or 4-1 – with either team winning – to cash out by taking the over.

The odds are great that Boston's powerful right-handed hitters are going to crank a few home runs out over that short porch in right field (aka the “Green Monster”).

Beyond that, of course, you’ll also want to consider other sorts of matchup stats. When you're researching a game, see how well a given slugger does against the opposing team’s starter, and research established baseball stats of how well a team does when playing another team in terms of run production and other metrics.

Remember, there are multiple baseball bets you can make. You don't have to bet on a flat winner, either – You can always wager on a team to cover, or you can bet on both teams to go over or under a baseline score. There are individual and team props to consider, too. Your options are varied here, and you’ll win much more often when you study the game and tendencies of specific players and teams.

Simply Start Playing The Best Odds On Straight Wagers

According to the research of famous sportswriter Sean Murphy, gamblers who strictly place straight bets on teams favored to win manage to win over 60% of the time. Now, imagine that you were winning $50 per bet, and that you placed 10 wagers per week. In total, you're betting over $500, as most straight bet favorites require you to bet more to win more.

With this strategy, you’re not going to see great amount of money immediately. But imagine expanding this approach and betting on 100 games a week at $20 a pop. You're winning 10 more games than you're losing, so that's $200 in profit every week by simply following the straight bet favorites system.

Because you will occasionally have a bad week and end up under 50% instead of over 60%, you can mitigate that by limiting your wagers to small amounts. For all gamblers, we recommend that you start small and slowly build your stack. As you begin to profit, bet with those profits so that you're only risking “house money.” As you begin to win more and more, you’ll have more capital which you can risk.

Eventually, you can start winning serious money here. The trick, of course, is to find favorable moneylines that still pay well for picking a favored team. That is, you should bet favorites at -150 instead of -300 whenever you can, and quantity is the name of the game.

Leverage Your Underdogs

This is a tip we're combining with Number 3 above. Let's say you're doing the favorites betting method as demonstrated, but you see some very enticing moneylines. Perhaps you come across a line of +300 on a team that's going against a last-minute pitching change or a rival club that just put their DH on the disabled list.  

If you catch the line before it changes to reflect these new developments, you can leverage out by placing $20 down on that payday. That bet – if it hits – will pay you $60 if you win, but it only costs you $20 if you lose. Of course, you can only find these lines if you closely monitor the boards at your favorite betting sites, which we always recommend.

Ultimately, along with betting the favorites, leveraging on a few underdogs with lucrative moneylines is a crucial part of building up a hefty stack. Don't forget to combine tip Number Two here as well, as an intimate understanding of the game will help you pick out those contests where the underdog might just pull it out.

Remember, pro baseball teams play 140-162 games each year depending on the league in question, and most teams hover around .500 for the year. That is, all teams lose, and they lose a lot. If you can catch a strong team in the middle of a losing streak while leveraging against your favorites, you can end up having a very, very good time at your sportsbook.

Don’t Bet Right Away

Baseball seasons usually start in April, but you should resist the urge to wager in earnest until May has rolled around. The reason why is simple: You want to build some data sets which you can reference. In other words, you want to see which teams are doing the best, which hitters are hitting well, which pitchers are dominant, and so on. Each season is different, and you can only glean so much useful information from the previous campaign.

Additionally, when it comes to MLB betting, Spring Training isn't anything like the NFL preseason. The players featured are largely playing for roster spots, and the regular starters don’t participate much. This means you're really learning nothing until the final rosters play about 15 regular season games. Let the data compile for you for around a month, and then start implementing the above tips to win big.

We hope this baseball betting guide can get you off on the right cleat. We’ve covered the legality of baseball betting in the US, the types of sports wagers you can make, and have given you some basic tips to help you get started. All we can do now is wish you the best of luck and hope that you win big!

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