How to Bet on MLB Playoffs

When the seasons change from summer to fall, October baseball gives fans what they’ve been waiting for. Only the best teams in the Bigs make it to the postseason, and they spend the month battling for a chance to call themselves World Series Champions. 

In addition to embracing the intensity of the postseason, the MLB playoffs also mean that fans can earn some money by knowing how to bet on the World Series. Having an inside track on how to bet on the MLB playoffs is easy, as you’ll quickly discover in this guide. We’ll teach you all that’s needed to become an expert in MLB betting at Bodog Sportsbook, covering all of the most popular ways to get in the action, from betting on the moneyline to following second-by-second developments with MLB live betting. In addition, we’ll offer some insight into World Series betting with a handful of MLB betting tips that use 2019 World Series odds. With Bodog Sportsbook, there’s no limit to how you can maximize your MLB playoff experience.

MLB Moneyline

Most people who are just learning how to bet on MLB baseball begin with the moneyline because it’s as simple as choosing which team will win in a postseason game. With moneyline wagers, each team is assigned odds (at Bodog Sportsbook, they’ll always be American odds), and you pick the team that you think will win; if that team wins, you collect a payout based on the MLB odds that were listed at the time of your wager. 

MLB moneyline wagering is a little unique from other major leagues in that it includes the starting pitchers. There are two options when you place a moneyline bet: take a bet that’s contingent on one or both listed pitchers starting (your choice), or go for an “Action” moneyline bet that’s not pitcher dependent. With the former, if a different pitcher starts, your bet is returned as a push. Let’s use an example of MLB moneyline betting based on the 2019 NL Wild Card game:

Milwaukee Brewers +155

with Brandon Woodruff

Washington Nationals —180

with Max Scherzer

Washington has the edge here, so they’re listed as the favourite, as evidenced by the negative odds. When the odds are negative, they show you how much you’d have to wager in order to win $100. In this case, betting $180 on Washington would pay $100 if they won. Since Milwaukee are the underdog, the payouts are bigger; their odds show what you’d win on a $100 bet. In our example, you’d win $155. Keep in mind, these numbers are used for explanatory purposes; you can bet how much you want within the betting limits of the sportsbook. Another point to remember is that moneyline wagers are official after the fifth inning (or after 4.5 innings if the home team is winning).

MLB Runline

The runline is a 1.5-run spread that makes it easier for underdog bets to win, while also making it possible for sportsbooks to offer more enticing payouts for the favourite than what you’d find on the moneyline. That’s because in order for the favoured team to win this bet, they must win the game by at least two runs; if they win by a single run (or lose altogether), the underdog bets pay. Let’s take a look at the same wildcard game to see how the runline works at Bodog:

Milwaukee Brewers +1.5 (—125)

with Brandon Woodruff

Washington Nationals —1.5 (+105)

with Max Scherzer

Just like with the moneyline, a negative runline is used for the favourite, which are the Washington Nationals in this example. They must beat Milwaukee by at least two runs to cover the spread and pay backers. If the projected starting pitchers don’t start, runline bets are deemed “No Action.”

The odds inside the parenthesis beside the runline are used to determine payouts and work the same way as the moneyline odds. A successful $125 bet on Milwaukee would pay $100, while a successful $100 bet on Washington would pay $105. 

MLB Total

The MLB total lets people bet on the number of runs scored in a game by both teams combined, so you can utilize your knowledge of pitcher/batter strength through this wager. Before a game, the oddsmaker will come up with a projected total; bettors then get to choose whether they think the actual result will go Over or Under the total, which is why the MLB total is also known as Over/Under betting. Here’s what the total looks like on the gamelines:

Milwaukee Brewers O 7.5 (—125)

with Brandon Woodruff

Washington Nationals U 7.5 (+105)

with Max Scherzer

The total for the Brewers-Nationals game is 7.5 runs, so if you think that both teams will combine for eight or more runs, you’d take the O. Bettors who think that the game will result in fewer than eight runs being scored will opt to bet on the U. The odds in the parentheses indicate how much your bet will pay should it bear fruit. In order for the bets to go through, the correct pitchers must start the game; otherwise, bets are deemed No Action.

MLB Series Prices

The World Series isn’t won in a single game; it takes multiple series wins to get there. As a result, series bets are one of our more popular options on the MLB Vegas odds. All of the bets discussed up to this point have been for single games, but if you want to play a longer game, you can wager on the winner of a playoff series. Both teams are assigned individual odds based upon their probability of winning the series (NLDS, ALCS, World Series), and those odds determine your payout if you correctly guess the series winner. 

MLB Innings Lines

When a team has an unpredictable bullpen, sticking to just the first five innings for your runline, moneyline and total bets may be your best option. A lot of MLB bettors enjoy betting on the first five innings of a game, which can be done through the First 5 Innings betting option. With this wager, the score at the end of the fifth inning (or halfway through the fourth if the home team is winning) is used to settle bets. 

MLB Live Betting

When you bet live on MLB, you’re betting on events as they happen, which gives you the opportunity to assess how a team is doing and then use that information to bet accordingly. Odds for the runline, moneyline and total are constantly fluctuating in our Live Betting portal, as they react to what’s happening in real time. 

MLB Props

Adding props to your betting portfolio is a fun way to expand beyond the betting basics, like predicting the outcome of a game. Often performance related, these bets are based on something other than the outcome of a game. An example of an MLB prop is will there be a run in the first inning? People can chime in by betting “Yes” or “No,” with each option having its own odds that dictate the payout. 

MLB Futures

Long-term bets on major outcomes, like predicting the winner of each the Divisional, Championship and World Series, make up the futures section of the sportsbook. During the regular season, you can bet on any team to win these titles from a list of all the possible contenders, along with their unique odds, which are based on their probability of winning. As teams fall out of contention, they’re removed from the futures market until the postseason wraps up—at which points, all 30 teams are re-listed with new odds to win the World Series for the following MLB season.