MLB Betting Odds
In Arizona, baseball has been a part of life since the late 1800s. It hasn’t always just been spring training and the Diamondbacks. The D-backs first came onto the scene in 1998 and, from that season through the end of 2020, they have picked up 1,788 wins and made six postseason appearances. They won a single league pennant and went on to win the 2001 World Series.
For fans of the Diamondbacks who are looking to expand their horizons, Major League Baseball ranks third in betting popularity in North America. As sports betting continues to expand across the country, including here in Arizona, that trend is likely to continue. With that in mind, let’s cover up-to-date odds and current MLB betting trends.
MLB odds: Runline, moneyline, totals and futures
If you’re looking for the latest in MLB odds, then you’ve come to the right place. The feeds below provide MLB odds directly from top sportsbooks.
How do MLB betting lines work?
Here in the United States, you’re going to find what are known as American odds when you visit a legal online sportsbook. Teams listed with a negative odds number are the favorites, and those with positive numbers are the underdogs, according to the sportsbook.
Let’s say you see a line with +120 odds for the Diamondbacks. They are the underdogs in that case, and a wager of $100 would win $120, if the Diamondbacks end up victorious. So a winning payout would be $220 (the return of your original $100 stake plus $120 in profit).
If Arizona was favored and had a line of -130, then it would take a successful bet of $130 in order to win $100. A win would pay out $230, which is the $130 bet and the $100 profit.
Bets don’t have to be for those specific amounts, of course. If you don’t want to do the math yourself, you can find easy-to-use online betting calculators to tell you what your potential winnings could be given the odds and the amount you want to wager.
The examples below will cover the most common baseball bets you’re likely to see at Arizona sportsbooks:
Run line bets in baseball
The run line is baseball’s version of a point spread bet, which is when you wager on a team to win the game by a certain margin or to avoid losing by more than that margin. It comes down to which team is the favorite and which is the underdog. Let’s use a possible bet on the DraftKings Arizona app on Diamondbacks as an example:
- Arizona Diamondbacks -1.5 (-130)
- Colorado Rockies +1.5 (+120)
The Rockies are the underdogs in the eyes of the oddsmakers. That’s why they have a positive number next to their name. The D-backs are the favorites, with the negative number.
The odds appear in parentheses for each team and are what differentiate a run line bet from a point spread bet. Point spreads, which are used for higher scoring games like basketball and football, will have greater variance in the first number, but the odds on both sides will each be right around -110. Run line bets, meanwhile, because baseball is a lower scoring game, will use a standard line of 1.5, but the odds on each side will vary more.
The +1.5 on the Rockies indicates that they are basically getting 1.5 extra runs for the game. If they win the game outright or they lose by fewer than 1.5 runs, then bets on them would be winners and would pay out. For Arizona, they have to win the game by 1.5 runs or more in order for bets on them to win. The half run is to avoid a score landing exactly on the line, which would result in a push.
Moneyline bets in baseball
For newcomers to the hobby, moneyline betting is often a good way to start. It’s pretty simple, and you don’t have to try to predict scores or do anything other than choose the winning side.
The odds work the same as we outlined above. Negative numbers indicate the favorite in the game, while positive numbers are for the underdog. With a negative number, you have to wager that amount in order to win $100. For a positive number, a wager of $100 would win the amount of the odds listed. We’re going to stick with Arizona as our example team for this bet you might see on the Fanduel app in Arizona:
- Arizona Diamondbacks +170
- Los Angeles Dodgers -190
In this example, the Dodgers are favored, and the Diamondbacks are the underdog. If the Dodgers do indeed win, then a bet of $190 on them would pay out $290 (the initial wager plus $100 in winnings).
If Arizona manages to get the upset victory, then a $100 wager on that side would pay out $270 (the original $100 plus $170 in profit).
Totals betting in baseball
For totals bets, also known as an over/under, the sportsbook is going to list the combined number of runs that it expects from both teams in the game. Let’s say there is a game between Arizona and the San Diego Padres, and the books expect a total of eight runs in the game. The listing would look something like this at Caesars AZ:
- Over 8.5 (-110)
- Under 8.5 (-110)
If you bet on the over, you are wagering that the two teams will combine to score nine runs or more, so a final score of 5-4, for example, would win for you. If you bet on the under, you are wagering on eight total runs or fewer. If the game winds up being 4-1, you win your bet.
If you choose right, your odds will be -110, so a bet of $110 would equal a $100 profit, and the total payout would be $210.
Latest Odds by Sport
Why do MLB betting lines move?
From when the sportsbooks release their lines up to when the game begins, you are potentially going to see the odds change a little. For example, when the line first comes out at BetMGM Arizona, it might be a moneyline that looks like this:
- San Francisco Giants +120
- Arizona Diamondbacks -130
You can see here that the D-backs are favored to win and the Giants are the underdogs. But then, before the game is played, the baseball odds shift:
- San Francisco Giants +110
- Arizona Diamondbacks -110
This can be because of two main reasons: new information or public betting.
Oddsmakers scour for all of the information they can get before they set their lines. But new information, such as injuries, a different pitcher, weather, and so on can have an influence on the potential outcome of a game. In that case, the line is going to move to better reflect what the new information is telling the oddsmakers.
In the case of public betting, sportsbooks will sometimes shift odds in response to one team or another getting a lot of unexpected wagers. So, if for some reason, they see a lot of bets on one outcome or the other, they’ll shift the odds to be a bit more favorable to the other side.
The reason is simple: Sportsbooks are a business, and they are in that business to make money. If too many bets are going on one outcome, and that outcome wins, then the sportsbook loses money. Instead, it tries to entice bettors into wagering on the other outcome by making it more attractive with better odds. That way the wagers are more balanced and the risk of losing money is reduced for the sportsbook.
Sportsbook house rules for MLB
When you first sign up for an account with a sportsbook, you’ll have the opportunity to review and read its terms and conditions. We suggest you take the time to do so. But even if you don’t, you’ll be able to find them on the book’s website and review them at any time.
In those terms and conditions, you’ll find rules regarding every major sport. Those rules help determine what happens in particular situations, like when and why the sportsbook would cancel or refund wagers. Here are some of the more common rules you’ll come across in legal online sportsbooks in Arizona:
- Bets on baseball are determined on the basis of the result at the end of the game, which includes any extra innings and regardless of the number of innings played as long as the game is completed.
- Books will declare bets void and return them on a canceled or postponed game that has not started within 12 hours of the scheduled start time.
- First five bets are referring to the outcomes of the first five innings. All five innings must be completed for bets to stand.
- All bets will be settled based on the official statistics of the governing association, which in this case is the MLB.
- For a moneyline bet to stand, a minimum of five full innings must be played, unless the team batting second is leading after 4.5 innings.