Home » MLB wagering: Everything to know about betting baseball legally online

MLB wagering: Everything to know about betting baseball legally online

Baseball season is in full swing, so step up to the plate and bet on MLB action. The precipitous rise of online sports betting has led to more fans seeking the best odds, props and sportsbook promos for an epic 162-game campaign.

Many online sportsbook operators offer competitive MLB betting markets. New and existing customers can wager on moneylines, run lines, over-under run totals and numerous player and team props throughout the season. With 2,430 regular-season games on the schedule, MLB bettors have countless opportunities to accumulate wealth.

MLB betting provides an outlet for bettors to wager on upcoming and live baseball games. Players can tackle in-depth futures markets that carry odds on division winners, award recipients and the next World Series champion. Sportsbooks also feature daily promos, like same-game parlays and profit boosts, to maximize your winnings.

Prospective gamblers in approved betting states can “play ball” with the latest and greatest MLB betting promos. Newsweek also lists several bonuses that permit first-time customers to build their bankrolls immediately following registration.

How to Bet on MLB: Popular Bet Types

There are a few MLB betting staples that every future gambler should familiarize themselves with before placing a wager. Learn more about the moneyline, run line, over/under and other great bet types to tackle America’s pastime.

Moneyline

Every baseball game’s betting market features moneyline odds on both teams. The moneyline is a bet type for users to select the winner of any game. Oddsmakers assign minus (-) odds to the favorite and plus (+) odds to the underdog, then settle the bet and issue appropriate payouts once the game ends.

One example of an MLB moneyline bet is Orioles -155 at the Cardinals. A player must wager $155 earn $100 in cash winnings if the Orioles win. Conversely, the underdog Cardinals have +130 moneyline odds. In this case, a $100 wager on St. Louis yields $130 in profit if the Red Birds pull off the upset.

Run Line

Sports like the NBA and NFL have point spreads. However, baseball’s version of a spread is the run line. With this bet type, bettors can wager on either side to “cover” the spread, which loosely means winning or losing by a pre-determined amount of runs.

Standard MLB run lines are set at 1.5. For a game like Tigers-Royals, Detroit’s run line of -1.5 carries +160 odds, meaning the Tigers must win by two-plus runs to turn a $100 wager into a $160 payout. Kansas City’s run line is +1.5 with -192 odds, so a $192 bet yields $100 in winnings if the Royals win the game outright or lose by one run.

More often than not, MLB run line odds favor the underdogs. Therefore, there’s far greater value in a favorite’s plus-money run line than its moneyline, which carries minus odds.

Over-Under Totals

Another fundamental MLB bet type is the over-under run total. Oddsmakers assign a projected total of combined runs for a game before bettors choose the “Over” or “Under.” The “Over” hits when the teams combine to score more runs than the assigned number, while the “Under” cashes when a game produces fewer runs than expected.

Run totals vary based on factors like lineup quality, the pitching matchup, injuries, location and weather conditions. For example, Braves-Cubs has an O/U of 11 runs, which means that sportsbooks expect plenty of offense. However, the White Sox-Blue Jays game only has an O/U of 7 runs.

Sportsbooks will refund your bet after a “push.” A push is the betting term for a tie, which is possible when the total is a round number. If the Braves and Cubs combine for exactly 11 runs, O/U bettors will push and receive their stakes back. To avoid a push, oddsmakers and bettors sometimes set totals at a half number, like 10.5 or 11.5.

Batter Props

The next phase of MLB betting is diving into batter and pitcher props. First, bettors can tackle numerous batter props to predict a hitter’s day at the plate. Sportsbooks offer over-under totals on the number of hits, home runs, RBI, runs scored, total bases, strikeouts, stolen bases and more.

Odds and totals vary depending on the batter. For example, two-time MVP Bryce Harper has better odds to hit a home run (+275) than Bryson Stott (+475). However, the speedy Stott is more likely to steal a base (+350) than the power-hitting Harper (+750). In general, batter props like “Hits” and “Total Bases” are safer than props like “Doubles” and “Home Runs.”

Pitcher Props

Online sportsbooks with comprehensive MLB betting markets offer numerous pitching props. It’s possible to bet on a pitcher’s strikeout total, hits, walks, and outs recorded, as well as earned runs and innings pitched before they take the bump for a scheduled start.

Unlike batter props, pitching props are limited to two players, the starting pitchers. Starters are the only players guaranteed to see action on the mound. So, before the Mariners face the Yankees, oddsmakers will release props for each team’s probable starters and no one else.

Game Props

There are numerous bet types for a nine-inning MLB game. Some standard game props for MLB bettors include team run totals, margin of victory and “First Team to Score.” Two props that have recently surged in popularity are YRFI and NRFI. Bettors can select “Yes – Run First Inning” or “No – Run First Inning” and sweat out the results in the game’s opening frame.

Parlays & Same-Game Parlays (SGP)

It’s common to have nights with 15 MLB games on the schedule. During these action-packed evenings, bettors can combine props from various matchups into a single parlay. The risk is higher with parlays since every leg must hit in order for the bet to cash. However, the increased odds lead to massive payouts, even if the initial wager is a few bucks.

SGPs are another common feature that many online sportsbooks offer. Users craft a parlay with props from a single game to form a high-risk, high-reward SGP. You must still win every leg of an SGP, but players might feel more confident researching props from one game instead of several.

It’s critical for bettors to manage their bankrolls when dealing with parlays and SGP. You should place less cash on a +4000, eight-leg parlay than you’d invest on a standard run total bet with -110 odds. Longer-odds bets return more cash winnings, but they also involve elevated risk.

Live Betting

Mobile sportsbooks offer live MLB markets once games are in progress. Scour the in-game odds and capitalize on momentum-shifting outs, hits and runs in real-time. Live bettors can wager on the results of the next at-bat or a particular pitch to maximize the MLB betting experience.

Futures

While most MLB betting centers around daily matchups, online sportsbooks offer extensive futures markets for long-term plays. Even when the postseason is months away, bettors can throw cash on teams to win the division, league and World Series. Available MLB futures also include playoff odds, stat leaders and award recipients.

Depending on the market, the payoff from a futures bet could take weeks or months. But the allure stems from taking advantage of odds at peak value that won’t be available later. For instance, +850 odds on the Phillies winning the World Series could move to +200 if Philadelphia clinches the NL East and home-field advantage. If you put $100 on the Phils today instead of waiting until October, a winning ticket pays $850 instead of $200.

Like any bet type, a futures bet requires foresight and a bit of luck. You shouldn’t build a bankroll squarely off futures bets, but players should check the odds often to strike at the optimal moment.

Tips for MLB Betting Success

MLB betting has more day-to-day variance than any other sport. In addition, the daily grind can deter new bettors before they find their groove. Fortunately, there are a few helpful strategies that prospective players should utilize throughout the MLB season.

Here are a few easy suggestions to maximize your cash winnings for betting on MLB:

1. Don’t Ignore Plus-Money Underdogs

At first, it might seem counter-productive to bet on teams that oddsmakers expect to lose. But in the long run, taking underdogs with plus-money odds could lead to more cash than settling for easy favorites.

Should you hammer every bad team playing a World Series contender? No, but remember that a 100-loss team still wins nearly 40% of the time in a 162-game season. Even if you win less than half of your plus-money underdog bets, the payouts from successful +140, +160 and +200 moneylines could make up the difference and lead to overall profit.

2. Check Batter vs. Pitcher Splits

One easy step bettors can take before placing a batter or pitcher prop is to check their stats versus an upcoming opponent. “Batter vs. Pitcher” splits offer historical insight into how a batter or pitcher has fared in their head-to-head meetings.

Splits are often meaningless if the sample size is a game or two. However, if a hitter is 1-for-20 with 12 strikeouts against a pitcher, players should be wary of betting on a successful day at the dish. Another way to utilize BvP splits is taking the “Over” if both pitchers have suspect numbers against multiple hitters in that day’s lineup.

3. Monitor Lineup Announcements

Typically, MLB teams release their starting lineups a few hours before the first pitch. It’s wise for bettors to wait until these lineups are out before placing any MLB wager. There’s nothing worse than betting on a team to win before learning that four of their top hitters are sitting due to injury or rest.

If you want to capitalize on pre-lineup value, you still have options. Research how managers build lineups against right-handed pitchers versus lefties to predict which platoon players might start. Another trick is to see if a team is on a “getaway day,” its last game of a series before leaving town. Managers often choose the getaway day to rest key starters, especially if they have already won the first two games of that series.

4. Assess the Forecast & Stadium

Baseball season features plenty of warm, sunny days. But there are still many instances where teams take the field under cold or hot temperatures, significant wind gusts or light to moderate rain. Check the forecast for the first pitch and the later innings to gauge how the weather might impact the score.

In addition, bettors should always factor ballparks into their calculations. Each MLB stadium has geographic qualities and unique dimensions that aid hitters or pitchers. For example, the Colorado Rockies’ Coors Field and the Cincinnati Reds’ Great American Ball Park are two of the most hitter-friendly parks. Conversely, the San Diego Padres’ Petco Park and the San Francisco Giants’ Oracle Park strongly favor pitchers.

5. Fade the Public

A simple suggestion for MLB bettors is to go against the public. More often than not, the majority of users bet the opposite of the sharps, big-time bettors who frequently spot value and generate massive success from sports gambling. Following the “handle” — the percentage of money placed on a particular bet type — is far more beneficial than tailing the side with more wagers.

Another reason to go against the consensus is that most bettors don’t spend enough time researching to make an informed bet. Many users side with favorites, home teams and famous players, even when the lesser-known underdog is the more effective play. Embrace baseball’s unpredictable nature and accept that the unlikely outcome will materialize more often than your fellow bettors realize.

Best MLB Betting Promos

The rapid growth of online sports betting has led to gambling operators competing for the same customers. The simplest way to entice eligible bettors is through limited-time welcome offers.

Newsweek compiled a list of the best MLB betting promos from the industry’s top online sportsbook operators. Claim guaranteed bonuses, bet insurance and deposit matches to enjoy endless amounts of MLB betting in the months ahead.

DraftKings Sportsbook MLB Promo: Get $1.5K No-Sweat Bet

First, DraftKings Sportsbook offers a “Bet $5, Get $150” promo to new customers in eligible states. Following a brief registration process, place $5 on any MLB betting market, like the moneyline, run line or over-under total. Within moments, DraftKings will issue a $150 payout in bonus bets, win or lose. The bonus arrives as six (6) $25 stakes that expire seven days after receipt.

ESPN BET MLB Promo Code NEWSWEEK: Claim $1K Bet Reset & 200% Deposit Match

This two-pronged offer from ESPN BET is available through the code NEWSWEEK. Apply our code, then bet up to $1,000 on any MLB game. The “First Bet Reset” will cover a losing wager with five (5) 20% bonus bets. ESPN BET also has a 200% deposit match. Players who deposit at least $250 and meet the site’s 30-day playthrough requirements earn up to $500 in Cashback.

Fanatics Sportsbook MLB Promo: Bet & Get $1K Bonus Match

The “10x$100” Fanatics Sportsbook offer continues our favorite MLB betting promos. Place up to $100 on a qualifying wager (min. $5 and -200 odds or longer), and Fanatics will match it with a bonus bet. Fanatics matches your first eligible wager for 10 straight days, so a daily $100 bet results in $1,000 in matching bonus bets, regardless of wins and losses.

BetMGM MLB Bonus Code NEWSWEEK1500: Grab $1.5K First Bet Offer

BetMGM entices prospective players with a $1,500 First Bet Offer. Enter the code NEWSWEEK1500 during registration, then place up to $1,500 on any eligible MLB betting market. BetMGM will refund a losing stake with five (5) 20% bonus bets, giving you multiple chances to replenish your bankroll. Like DraftKings, BetMGM cancels the offer and awards a standard cash payout after a win.

Bet365 MLB Promo Code NEWSXLM: Select $150 Bonus or $1K Safety Net

Bet365 has one promo code but two possible MLB betting promos for new customers. Use the code NEWSXLM and opt into Option A: the “Bet $5, Get $150” offer, which issues a $150 bonus after any $5 bet, win or lose. Option B is the First Bet Safety Bet, which covers a losing stake of up to $1,000 with a complete bonus bet refund.

Caesars Sportsbook MLB Promo Code NEWSWK1000: Score $1K Bet on Caesars

New MLB bettors can get a $1,000 first bet on Caesars with our code NEWSWK1000. Set up an account before risking up to a grand on any MLB bet. A losing moneyline, run total or strikeout prop returns a one-time bonus bet worth the original stake. Players have 14 days after receipt to place their bonus bet on another MLB game to restock their cash balance.

FanDuel Sportsbook MLB Promo: Bet $5, Win $150 Bonus

Finally, FanDuel Sportsbook gives players 40-to-1 odds on their first MLB bet. The “Bet $5, Get $200” offer requires a $5 bet on any upcoming game. If the stake settles as a win, FanDuel will pay $200 in bonus bets and additional cash profit, regardless of the original odds. Ohio and Massachusetts bettors receive $300 in bonus bets after a win.

Where Can You Bet on MLB?

State Online Sports Betting? Retail Sports Betting?
Alabama ❌ No ❌ No
Alaska ❌ No ❌ No
Arizona ✅ Yes ✅ Yes
Arkansas ✅ Yes ✅ Yes
California ❌ No ❌ No
Colorado ✅ Yes ✅ Yes
Connecticut ✅ Yes ✅ Yes
Delaware ✅ Yes ✅ Yes
Florida ✅ Yes ✅ Yes
Georgia ❌ No ❌ No
Hawaii ❌ No ❌ No
Idaho ❌ No ❌ No
Illinois ✅ Yes ✅ Yes
Indiana ✅ Yes ✅ Yes
Iowa ✅ Yes ✅ Yes
Kansas ✅ Yes ✅ Yes
Kentucky ✅ Yes ✅ Yes
Louisiana ✅ Yes ✅ Yes
Maine ✅ Yes ✅ Yes
Maryland ✅ Yes ✅ Yes
Massachusetts ✅ Yes ✅ Yes
Michigan ✅ Yes ✅ Yes
Minnesota ❌ No ❌ No
Mississippi ✅ Yes (Limited) ✅ Yes
Missouri ❌ No ❌ No
Montana ✅ Yes (Limited) ✅ Yes
Nebraska ❌ No ✅ Yes
Nevada ✅ Yes (In-Person Registration) ✅ Yes
New Hampshire ✅ Yes ✅ Yes
New Jersey ✅ Yes ✅ Yes
New Mexico ❌ No ✅ Yes
New York ✅ Yes ✅ Yes
North Carolina ✅ Yes ✅ Yes
North Dakota ❌ No ✅ Yes
Ohio ✅ Yes ✅ Yes
Oklahoma ❌ No ❌ No
Oregon ✅ Yes ✅ Yes
Pennsylvania ✅ Yes ✅ Yes
Rhode Island ✅ Yes ✅ Yes
South Carolina ❌ No ❌ No
South Dakota ❌ No ✅ Yes
Tennessee ✅ Yes ❌ No
Texas ❌ No ❌ No
Utah ❌ No ❌ No
Vermont ✅ Yes ❌ No
Virginia ✅ Yes ✅ Yes
Washington ❌ No ✅ Yes
West Virginia ✅ Yes ✅ Yes
Wisconsin ❌ No ✅ Yes
Wyoming ✅ Yes ✅ Yes

It’s been six years and counting since the United States Supreme Court lifted the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA), the federal ban on sports betting. This ruling paved the way for states to enact their own sports betting legislation and legalization procedures. So far, 38 states have introduced or maintained legal sports betting in some capacity. However, we’re still far from placing an MLB bet in all 50 states.

Many states allow online sports betting, including AZ, CO, CT, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, MD, MA, MI, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OR, PA, TN, VA, VT, WV and WY. These 24 states have agreements with one or several of our featured sportsbooks, making them the most accessible places to bet on MLB games. North Carolina is the latest state to allow mobile sports betting after it went live on March 11, 2024.

Thirty-two states technically allow online gambling, though places like Mississippi and Montana require mobile bettors to be within one of the state’s approved casinos or betting facilities. Las Vegas is the capital of the gambling industry, but Nevada state law requires in-person registration at brick-and-mortar sportsbooks and casinos before permitting online wagers.

Baseball fans from a few of the 18 non-legal states might be in luck. Minnesota and Missouri are two states with sports betting legislation currently on the table. Texas’ House of Representatives passed a sports wagering bill in 2023 that the Senate will review in 2025. However, states like Alabama and Georgia have tried and failed to pass sports betting bills in recent months.

MLB Betting FAQ

Is it legal to bet on MLB?

Yes, betting on MLB and other sports is legal following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to lift the federal ban in 2018. However, you must be in a state that allows sports betting and place all bets through a licensed sportsbook operator.

How can I bet on MLB?

Eligible customers must register a sportsbook account with a licensed operator. After verifying your personal information and enabling geolocation services, you can bet on pre-live and in-game MLB props like moneylines, over-unders and strikeout totals.

Do I qualify for MLB betting promos?

Every state and sportsbook requires customers to be of legal betting age and physically present in an approved location. Players who meet both requirements can use Newsweek’s promo codes to activate the latest MLB betting promos and bonuses.

What do I need for registration?

Online sportsbook registration requires a bettor’s full legal name, residential address, phone number, email address, date of birth and Social Security Number. Bettors must also enable geolocation services and deposit cash through a secure payment method, like online banking or a credit card.

What is the best sportsbook to bet on MLB?

Every sportsbook has pros and cons, so it’s impossible to choose one over the rest. DraftKings, ESPN BET, Fanatics, BetMGM, bet365, Caesars and FanDuel are our favorite places to bet on MLB due to their welcome offers, competitive odds, in-app promotions and customer service.

Can I register for multiple sportsbooks?

Yes, bettors can register for as many sportsbooks as are available in their state. Successful gamblers use multiple books to shop for the best odds on any game and to capitalize on exclusive promotions, including profit boosts and “bet & get” bonuses.

What are the best MLB bets?

Popular MLB bets include moneylines, run lines and over/under run totals. From there, bettors can quickly shift to player props and team futures.

Newsweek may earn an affiliate commission if you sign up through the links in this article. See the sportsbook operator’s terms and conditions for important details. Sports betting operators have no influence over newsroom coverage.

Fanatics Terms & Conditions: Must be 21+. GAMBLING PROBLEM? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (AZ, CO, IL, KY, MD, OH, PA, TN, VA, VT, WV); (888) 789-7777 or ccpg.org (CT); 1-800-BETS-OFF (IA); (800) 327-5050 or gamblinghelpline.org (MA), mdgamblinghelp.org (MD), 1800gambler.net (WV).

Bet365 Terms & Conditions: New Customers only. Bet $5 and get $150 in Bonus Bets. Sign up, deposit (minimum $10) to your account and place a qualifying bet of $5 to get $150 in Bonus Bets once your bet is settled with bet365. Bonus Bets winnings are added to Bonus Bets balance. Bonus Bet wager excluded from returns. T&Cs, time limits & exclusions apply. The bonus code NEWSXLM can be used during registration, but does not change the offer amount in any way.

Caesars Terms & Conditions: Must be 21 or older and physically present in AZ, CO, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, ME, MD, MA, MI, NJ, NY, NC, OH, PA, TN, VA, WV, or WY. New users only. Must register using eligible promo code. First bet after registration must qualify. Max. Bonus Bet: $1,000. Bonus Bet expires 14 days after receipt. Void where prohibited. See Caesars.com/promos for full terms. Know When To Stop Before You Start®. Gambling Problem? CO, IL, KY, MD, MI, NJ, OH, TN, VA, WV, WY, KS (Affiliated with Kansas Crossing Casino), LA (Licensed through Horseshoe Bossier City and Harrah’s New Orleans), ME (Licensed through the Mi’kmaq Nation, Penobscot Nation, and Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians, federally recognized tribes located in the State of Maine), NC (Licensed through Tribal Casino Gaming Enterprise), PA (Affiliated with Harrah’s Philadelphia): If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) or MD: visit mdgamblinghelp.org or WV: visit 1800gambler.net; AZ: Call 1-800-NEXT-STEP; IN: Call 1-800-9-WITH-IT; IA: Call 1-800-BETSOFF. ©2024, Caesars Entertainment Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER.