Major League Baseball (MLB) is another US dominated league where Canada has plenty of interest. The Toronto Blue Jays are the flag flyers from north of the border but whether Canadians choose to get behind them or not, this is a fascinating sport with global appeal.
That interest extends to the betting markets too but what do we need to look for when taking a punt on the MLB or on any baseball match from around the world?
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MLB Betting Tips
The best MLB betting tip we can give you is to do it yourself. That doesn’t mean we’re going to leave you stranded with no help but we do suggest that you are the one responsible for picking out winners. To do that, you simply need to apply lots of research when betting on any MLB line for any match across the season.
The two main factors to look for here are form and head to head results between the two sides taking part in the game. Immediate form is easy to check out and we recommend going back over five to six games in order to give an indicator as to what may happen in the upcoming match. As for head to heads, these could also go back to five of six games between the same set of opponents.
There are lots of baseball sites with relevant stats in this respect including the main MLB website. Simply check them out, note down those results and while previous outcomes are not a guarantee of future performances, they should give you a very good indicator moving forward.
For more advanced tips, we suggest looking at the issues that home advantage plays in MLB matches. Like many sports, there is a tendency for teams to perform better when they are on the home field and while the bookmakers will usually recognise this when setting their odds, this is a factor that can lead to regular betting profits.
Home advantage won’t work for all teams but once again, there is so much information out there that the research into this factor is really quite easy. Playing away can also take its toll if a team is spending time travelling huge distances across North America.
Look at the performances turned in by a team who has spent days on the road. Irrespective of whether they are at home or away, the long distances involved can result in a fatigue factor that impacts on their displays moving forward. All the information is out there and it’s your job to harness those stats with a view to making a profit.
As an alternative, or as a back up to intensive research, punters can always look to sign up with the tipsters and cappers. People who offer tips and advice, usually for a monetary charge. By all means take a trial but we wouldn’t necessarily advise spending any money when you can carry out the research for yourself.
MLB Betting Odds
Odds are just an essential part of betting so why are we giving them a separate section? We know that odds are used to calculate potential profits on any bet but we need to be aware of two important factors which we’ll now explain:
Firstly, odds are listed in three different ways around the world. As a generalisation, most bettors in the UK like to play with fractional odds while in Europe, the preference is for the decimal version. As for Canada, the majority of punters will set the American version as their preferred odds.
This general summary won’t apply to every bettor but the point is that you should be allowed to switch between those options depending on your own personal preference.
Odds are also important because we want them to be competitive: Why play with a sportsbook who gives you poor value for money each time – it just doesn’t make sense. No single bookmaker will give you the best odds for every MLB outcome all the time but there is an easy way to make sure that they are competitive.
Simply check four or five prices from the money line result betting on any MLB schedule. Then look up one of the main odds comparison sites and compare those prices. If your bookie is above or in line with the longest prices, then they are giving you top value and you should stick with them.
MLB Betting Lines
The use of the term ‘lines’ simply applies to a bet on any possible outcome of an MLB game that the sportsbooks are quoting odds for. The most obvious of these is on the match result itself and this is often referred to as the money line bet. Baseball is simple in the sense that there is no draw to confuse the thought process: All we are looking for with the money line bet is a straight choice of a win for either side.
Betting on the result is a good place to start and many punters stick with it but there are additional options. These are largely referred to as prop bets in Canada and side markets in other parts of the world and they relate to a bet on any outcome that doesn’t necessarily affect the overall match result.
For example, we might want to place a bet on whether a game goes into overtime. That is actually a little more obscure and not all sportsbooks will publish a line for that possibility but it is there and can be useful in a game where the teams look closely matched.
A more common prop bet involves betting on points totals: These can take two forms with one line being offered as a combined bet for the two teams involved in the match. A sportsbook will set a number of point / run lines and we’ll use 10.5 for this example. If you think that there will be eleven or more points in the game then you back Over the 10.5 goal line or if you predict that there will be ten or less then you simply click on Under and add that to your betslip.
The alternative is to back the Overs and Unders for each individual team. Most of the big MLB sportsbooks will provide a choice of both of the two teams involved in the game and you can back one or both if you so wish.
Along with betting lines for each game, the best MLB sportsbooks will also have options for season-long bets. The most popular of these is the bet on who wins the World Series but you can also find lines for the winner of the American League and the National League.
There’s a wide choice when it comes to betting on the MLB but the next question is, which sportsbooks should we be using?
MLB Betting Sites
We mentioned earlier that we want our MLB sportsbooks to give us competitive odds but that’s just one criteria to look out for when choosing a betting site. Value is important but we need to match that aspect with choice and flexibility.
Choice should come with a big range of MLB markets if possible while flexibility comes with the ability to set your own odds, play in $CAD and have as many funding options as you need. Based on those factors, here are our top recommendations.