The World Series is a best-of-seven competition that takes place at the end of every Major League Baseball season. It is the high point of the year for MLB fans everywhere, and that has been the case for more than a century. It is also a massively popular competition for betting purposes, and in this guide, you’ll learn how to bet on the World Series even if you’re brand new to betting.
The World Series has its roots in a World’s Championship Series that began in the late 19th century. However, the World Series as we know it was first held in 1903. The competition aimed to put the finest American League team up against the finest National League team and see which one fared best. It was a simple concept but proved massively popular with fans and players alike. This is probably why the World Series is still going as strong as ever well over a century later.
Today’s World Series is a best-of-seven series that takes place at the end of the regular MLB season. It takes place at the ballparks of the National League champions and the American League champions. Because as many as seven games can be played, one team must host four of them. This ‘home-field advantage’ is given to the team which has the best regular-season record of wins and losses. That team hosts the first, second, sixth and seventh games in the series. The other team hosts the third, fourth and fifth games.
Best Sportsbooks for World Series Betting
The World Series is one of the most popular sporting competitions in the country. It is therefore one that all US sportsbooks are keen to cater for. That means you can visit almost any sportsbook operating in the country and find all the World Series betting markets you’ll ever need.
Those of you who are fortunate enough to live or work in a state that has several sportsbooks operating in it can take a look at each one to determine which is the best for you personally. If bonuses are important to you, go with the sportsbook that offers the best bonus. Should in-play betting be more important to you, it makes sense to choose a sportsbook that offers the facility. If in doubt, you can’t go wrong with an established brand such as Bet MGM, DraftKings, and Fan Duel.
The Impact of COVID-19
Due to the impact of Covid-19, the dual-venue tradition had to be abandoned. Instead, a neutral venue was used for all of the 2020 World Series games. That venue was the Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas. Whether the 2021 World Series will take place at a neutral venue or two venues according to tradition is not yet known.
Is Betting on the World Series Legal in the United States?
This depends on the state you want to bet in. Different states have different laws regarding online sports betting. You will therefore need to check to see what the legal position is in your own state. Visit our online sports betting in the USA page for an overview of the situation. Also, take a look at the sports betting page for your particular state to see what the specific options are. Even if online betting is not available, you may be able to bet in person at a local casino or visit a nearby state where betting is legal (distance permitting) to bet there.
World Series Winner Betting
The biggest and most popular betting market requires you to predict which team will win the World Series. Although the World Series itself take place over a little more than a week in October, this is a market that is open for betting all season long. Many MLB fans like to do just that, as it makes the whole baseball season that much more exciting.
The MLB odds quoted for each team in this market will depend on the sportsbook’s assessment of their chances and how they have performed in the season so far. Bet on a team to win the World Series early in the season and if they succeed your bet would pay more than if you waited until the end of the regular season. That’s simply because early in the season you have no idea if they will even be involved in the World Series, let alone win it.
MLB Odds Presentation
When you come to look at a World Series Winner market you will see that odds are presented in a standard moneyline format. That means the odds quoted will represent how much you would win if you bet $100 on the named team and it goes on to win. Consider the following mid-season World Series example:
Moneyline Odds Example
In this scenario, if you bet $100 on Team A and it wins the World Series, you would win $800. If you bet $100 on Team B and it wins, you would win $2,100.
Of course, if you wait until just before the World Series is played, this market would have just two teams to bet on, and the odds would be quite different.
Because the odds available in the early stages of the season can be quite large, it is possible to bet on several teams and make a profit if any one of them goes on to win the World Series in the fall.
World Series Team Betting
As well as being able to bet on the eventual winner of the World Series during the season, you can also bet on how a certain team will perform en route to the competition. These bets can help you to make money even if the team that you bet on doesn’t go on to win the World Series itself.
For example, each division will have a Division Winner market that will allow you to bet on the team you think will win that division. Similarly, League Winner markets enable you to bet on a team to win its league. And there will also be markets available that let you bet on one or more teams to reach the playoffs. These markets won’t be available when the regular season has ended, of course, but if you want to bet whilst the season is in progress they can be well worth looking at.
Individual Game Betting
We have said that the World Series is a best-of-seven affair, and that means you have the chance to land multiple winning bets by betting on each game in turn. From a technical perspective, betting on a World Series game is much the same as betting on a regular-season baseball game, so all of the usual options will be available. The biggest markets for individual game betting are:
The most common type of betting market in baseball is the moneyline, also known simply as the line. It is popular because it is very simple to understand. All it requires you to do is predict which team will win a particular game. This makes it a great market for those who are just learning how to bet on baseball.
Baseball betting lines will show you the two teams involved in the matchup with a different price for each.
The price for the team that the sportsbook expects to win will be negative (-). You would need to bet that price in dollars to make a $100 profit if the bet wins.
The price for the underdog team will be positive (+). You would need to bet $100 in order to win the price in dollars if the bet wins.
Consider the following:
Toronto Blue Jays
In this game, if you believe that the Orioles will win, you would need to bet $190 to achieve a return of $290. That would give you a profit of $100.
If you believe that the Blue Jays will win, you would need to bet $100 to achieve a return of $222. That would give you a profit of $122.
MLB Run Line
In the MLB Run Line market, the sportsbook will give the favorite team a -1.5 run deficit and the underdog a +1.5 run advantage. Your task is to bet on a team that you think will win, either despite the deficit or with the help of the advantage. If you bet the favorite, they will need to win by at least 2 runs for your bet to win. If you bet the underdog, they will either need to win or lose by no more than 1 run for your bet to win.
Baseball fans who want to bet on a game but can't or don't want to predict which team will win can consider MLB totals betting instead. This is where you bet on the total number of runs that will be scored by both teams combined, and not having to take sides makes it a great market for neutral spectators. An example market might look something like this:
MLB Totals Betting Market
Rather than having to predict exactly how many runs will be scored in the game, all you have to do is say whether the total number of runs will be over or under the number quoted by the sportsbook. In the example above, the sportsbook has predicted 11 runs, the odds are at -103 and 115 respectively.
This means that you need to bet $103/115 to make a profit of $100 if the bet succeeds. Bet Under and there would need to be 11 runs or less scored in total. Bet Over and there would need to be 12 runs or more for your bet to win. As always, if your bet wins you would also get your stake back, giving you a total return of $203/215.
World Series MVP
Every year, one player is selected to receive the World Series Most Valuable Player Award. This is often referred to as the MVP Award. The recipient of this award is selected by a committee of MLB officials and journalists. Voting takes place during the final game of the series. The World Series MVP betting market allows you to bet on which player will receive the award.
Odds will be given in moneyline format for all of the potential winners. All you have to do is bet on the one who you think has the best chance. If that player is officially announced as the World Series Most Valuable Player your bet will win. The announcement is usually made at the end of the game.
The committee is looking for the one who has made the biggest contribution to the success of their team. However, opinions can be highly subjective. For that reason, this isn’t a betting market to invest in heavily.
World Series Prop Bets
Prop bets are side-bets that aren’t dependent on the outcome of the game itself. The World Series presents numerous opportunities to make them. You can bet on how the game will stand after the first three innings, whether or not a certain player will make a home run, whether or not a particular player will reach first base or better, and so on.
These prop bets can be very useful in making the World Series game even more exciting than it already is. And these markets can also be very profitable. Particularly if you’re a keen baseball fan with a better than average insight into the game,
The Win-Loss Record
One of the most commonly used stats that bettors use to make selections for the World Series is the regular-season win-loss record of each team. It usually makes sense to side with the team that has a better win-loss record than its opponents. Of course, the fact that both teams in the World Series are the best of their leagues makes this stat less useful than in the regular season, but it is still worth bearing in mind.
Online sportsbooks hire experts in both form study and probability theory to analyze the chances of any given outcome occurring in an event. It therefore makes sense to at least pay attention to the odds that they set. If you check five different sportsbooks and they all make Team A the clear favorites to win a game or the World Series overall, you should probably be cautious about betting on their opponents, Team B.
Of course, all of that’s assuming that you are an unbiased bettor. If you are a fan of Team B then you probably won’t want to bet on Team A no matter what their chances. In that case, you could place a modest bet on Team B despite the sportsbook expectations. You can then focus most of your serious betting on markets that don’t require you to pick the winner. For example, the Totals market or one or two of the Prop Bets markets.
Many sports channels and magazines will run polls to see how various experts view things. Those experts could include sporting commentators, current and previous players, coaches, managers, and so on. While you probably shouldn’t give such polls too much weight, they can be worth considering. Especially if the majority of experts are in agreement about a particular outcome. For example, if 70% of experts polled say that they expect Team A to win, you should probably think twice before investing heavily in Team B.
Where Can I Safely and Legally Bet on the World Series?
It is safe to bet on the World Series with any sportsbook that operates legally in your state. All sportsbooks in the US are strictly regulated to ensure that they operate in a fair and transparent way. If you want to know more about a particular operator before signing up for an account, take a look at the reviews written by our team of independent journalists. Visit our online sportsbooks page for all the information you need to proceed with confidence.
How to Bet on the World Series FAQ
Who won the World Series in 2020?
The 2020 World Series was won by the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers beat the Tampa Bay Rays by 4 games to 2.
When is the 2021 World Series?
The 2021 World Series is expected to begin on 26 October.
Which team has the most World Series wins?
The New York Yankees have enjoyed the most success in the World Series, with 27 wins from 40 appearances. Their most recent win was in 2009.
What are the betting odds on the World Series?
The betting odds on the World Series are constantly fluctuating to reflect the latest form, results, and market activity. You can view the latest odds by visiting any of the online sportsbooks operating in your state.
What is the betting line in the World Series?
The World Series betting line gives you odds for each of the two teams. You will find moneyline markets available for each game in the series and the series as a whole.
How do the betting odds work for the World Series?
Betting odds work in the same way for the World Series as for other sports. You strike a bet at the stated odds, and those odds will determine how much you receive back from the sportsbook if your bet wins. For an introduction to betting odds in baseball, take a look at our page on baseball betting.