MLB Playoffs Betting Guide
The MLB playoffs are the most exciting time of the season and the culmination of a 162-game regular season that lasts from April until September and our MLB Playoffs Betting Guide helps bettors along the way.
While there are many betting options for baseball throughout the entire season there are more betting options when the playoffs are happening and this is especially the case for the World Series.
How the MLB Playoffs Work
The MLB playoffs consist of 10 teams with the winners of each of the divisions (American League East, West, Central National League East, West, and Central) and two wild card teams.
The wild card teams are the two teams from the American League and National League that have the best records, but do not win their divisions.
There is one game between the wild card teams with the winner advancing. Then, the Division Series’ happens in a five-game series with the winners advancing to the Championship Series.
That series is a best of seven games series where the winners advance to the World Series where there is another seven-game series between the winner of the National League Pennant and American League Pennant where the winner is the World Series champion.
Betting on the MLB Playoffs
For the playoffs, there are the typical bets that you can make during the season, but there are also many more proposition bets, called prop bets, as well as futures bets.
MLB Playoffs Moneyline Betting
The moneyline and the totals bets are the most popular bets to be made during the season and in the playoffs.
MLB betting uses the moneyline, as there is no spread in that sport. The moneyline is picking one team to win, but rather than a spread showing the favorite and underdog the moneyline shows that with inflated odds, where you bet more to win less on the favorite and bet less to win more on the underdog.
Here is an example of a MLB moneyline bet.
L.A. Dodgers -170 vs. Chicago Cubs +150
In this example, the Dodgers are the favorite denoted by the – in front of the number and the Cubs are the underdog with the + in front of the number.
Using $100 as the easiest way to show the payout you would have to bet $170 to win $100 betting on the Dodgers and bet $100 to win $150 betting on the Cubs.
MLB Playoffs Totals Betting
The totals bet is easy to understand, as the sportsbook will set a total for a game in the number of runs scored by both teams and you simply bet over or under that number.
For example, in the Dodgers vs. Cubs game the total is 9.5 runs. If the final score is Dodgers 6 Cubs 5 that is 11 runs, so the over bet would be the winning one and the under bet is the losing one.
If there is a .5 after the number there is no way for a tie. If there is not a .5 and let’s say the total is 9 and the number of runs scored is 9 the bet is a push and you will get your original stake back.
MLB Playoffs Run Line Betting
There is also the run line, which is a kind of handicap bet.
In the run line the favorite in the game will be giving 1.5 runs while the underdog will be getting 1.5 runs with new odds in moneyline form. A run line example using the game above would look like this:
L.A. Dodgers -1.5 +120 vs. Cubs +1.5 -140.
You see the Cubs are now the favorite and the Dodgers are the underdog. If you bet on the Cubs they have to win or lose by two runs or less to win the bet and if you bet on the Dodgers they have to win by at least two runs to win the bet.
MLB Playoffs Parlay Betting
A parlay bet is several bets in one in that you can bet on multiple games in one bet.
You can bet the moneyline and the totals in a parlay bet and the more games you bet in the parlay the higher the payout will be. However, the more games you bet in a parlay the harder it is to win and every game and you have to make the right pick in every game in the parlay for the overall bet to be a winning one.
MLB Playoffs Futures Betting
A futures bet is betting on a future outcome and they are available for the regular season and the playoffs.
Some examples of a futures bet are which team will win the World Series, which team will win the National League East, and which player will win the MVP or Cy Young award?
You can make a futures’ bet before the season and during it as well. The odds will change during the season depending on how the team or player is doing.
For example, if you pick the Cubs to win the World Series and they get off to a horrible start their odds will change.
The odds you receive at the time of making a futures bet are the ones you are locked in on no matter how much they change during the season.
MLB Playoffs Prop Betting
A prop bet has nothing to do with the overall outcome of the game and they are available in the regular season for games, but many more are available in the playoffs.
A few examples of a prop bet are will player A hit a HR in the game? Will the starting pitcher last over/under five innings? Which team will score the first run in the game? Will there be a double play in the game?
Some prop bets will have even odds while others will have inflated odds.