The Fall Classic only comes around once a year, but you can place your bets on which team you think will win it at virtually anytime. That’s thanks to Major League Baseball World Series futures, an active market that sees plenty of action from both new and experienced bettors.
- Heavy favorites are very common, making the money-line wagers rather risky. You have to risk so much for so little. Run-line wagers can be a better value, as you will bet on a favorite to win by a spread, usually 1 ½ runs, and you risk less than on a money-line. You can also bet underdogs on the run-line. Pittsburgh -1 ½ +170 (Bet $100 to win.
- A betting line is a form of betting whereby the bookmaker handicaps a team/player to effectively make the contest 50/50. This handicap is set by creating a margin (line) between the two teams, in a contest where there are only two outcomes possible. An Example of How Betting Lines Work.
Let's take a look at sample game lines between the Miami Marlins and Chicago Cubs. A typical real money run line looks like this: Miami Marlins +1.5 -165. Chicago Cubs -1.5 +145. Live MLB Baseball Betting Odds & Lines Baseball is still known as ‘America’s Pastime’ though it was eclipsed in popularity by NFL football decades ago. It’s still very popular among fans. Get real-time scores, betting lines, and betting odds for all your favorite sports.
World Series odds are a year-round enterprise. As soon as one World Series is officially in the books, sportsbooks post odds for next season’s winner. You know right away which teams are favored, which squads have a reasonable shot and which are projected to have a long year.
Naturally, the odds to win the World Series change (often significantly) as time moves along. Odds at the beginning of the season can be quite different to the middle or the end of the regular season. So, when’s the best time to bet World Series futures? Is there any insight we can glean from the Vegas odds? Is there big value in betting on who might win the next Fall Classic?
We’ll walk through the answers to those questions right here with our guide to World Series odds.
Best sportsbooks to bet on MLB futures
Current World Series odds
Mlb Betting Lines World Series
Check our feed for real-time World Series odds at legal US online sportsbooks. Use the toggle menus to switch to other legal states or see more MLB futures odds. Click any odds to claim your free bets, register an account and bet MLB futures.
MLB betting apps
You can place your bets on MLB and World Series futures at any time on legal, regulated sportsbooks. Beyond giving you flexibility, mobile sports betting apps offer all of the same features you can find online. It’s like having a sportsbook in your pocket. Here are our recommendations on the top sports betting apps.
1. DraftKings Sportsbook – Up to $50 free bet, up to $1,000 bonusUse DraftKings Sportsbook online in: NJ, CO, PA, WV, IN, IA, TN, NH and IL
DraftKings is much more than just the industry leader in daily fantasy sports. The company has entered sports betting as well and, let’s just say, it’s crushing it. DraftKings’ slick platform and all the MLB markets you can ask for are among the highlights.
Live MLB betting is also a strong play on DraftKings with great options in its Flash Bet software.
2. FanDuel Sportsbook – Up to $1,000 risk-free betUse FanDuel Sportsbook online in: NJ, CO, PA, WV, NV, IL, IA, TN and IN
FanDuel also made its bones in DFS, but the company has branched out and taken the sports betting marketplace by storm. It provides a user-friendly sportsbook and app, with fantastic ongoing promotions and more. World Series odds at FanDuel can be a little looser than they are at DraftKings with major value opportunities up and down the board.
3. BetMGM Sportsbook App – Up to $600 bonusBetMGM Sportsbook is legal in: NJ, CO, IN, TN, NV and WV
The MGM brand is kind of a big deal, and the same holds true for BetMGM Sportsbook. MLB and World Series futures are just a couple of the myriad betting markets you can find. To get started, click on the link below to claim your bonus, create an account and download the sportsbook app for your iPhone or Android phone.
How to read World Series futures odds
Part of the appeal for betting World Series futures is that it’s simple and straightforward. Odds are listed for all teams still alive and you can see you potential payout based on a $100 bet.
World Series odds will be listed in descending order with the favorites up top, the next tier of teams in the middle and the long-shots at the bottom.
For futures betting, the idea is to find the teams you like to win it all at the best possible prices. Some bettors take a long-term view and place bets right after their release in the offseason; others wait until various points in the season and look for value opportunities as the odds change.
Let’s take a closer look at how the market works by examining what the odds for a handful of favorites looked like at DraftKings Sportsbook:
- Los Angeles Dodgers +375
- New York Yankees +400
- Houston Astros +650
Let’s say that you like the Yankees to take it down when all is said and done. You’re happy with the price of +375, so you decide to place a $100 wager and hold the ticket to see how it plays out.
At the end of the season, it turns out your hunch was correct as the Yankees go on to win the World Series. Here’s the return you would be looking at:
- Winning $100 bet at odds of +375 returns a total of $475.
With odds for mid-tier and underdog teams priced at well over +1000 or more, the futures market can be quite lucrative if all goes well. It’s important to remember that bets won’t be settled until the World Series is completed.
Naturally, teams who are eliminated from contention along the way translate into losing bets. Bets would also be off in the event of an unforeseen circumstance, such as the Fall Classic being cancelled.
2021 World Series favorites
We still have a ways to go until the next World Series, but the futures market is setting up some clear favorites. Here’s what the top of the World Series odds board looked like before the season began:
Los Angeles Dodgers
The LA Dodgers have made it to the postseason for seven consecutive seasons, but the club hasn’t been able to snap a World Series drought that stretches back to 1988. Los Angeles is loaded once again on offense and on the mound, so they are rightfully among the favorites in the futures market.
New York Yankees
The NY Yankees haven’t closed out the season with a World Series win since 2009, which is an eternity for a franchise with a staggering 27 titles under its belt. After falling in the American League Championship Series a season ago, the club looks poised to take another crack at the ring in 2020.
The 2017 World Series winners and runners-up in 2019, the Houston Astros are expected to make another run at greatness this season. A sign-stealing scandal stole plenty of headlines in the offseason, so we’ll see if that further motivates Houston to silence the critics and add additional hardware to the collection.
AL pennant contenders
Alongside World Series futures you can also bet on each individual league’s race. The run for the AL pennant in 2020 is shaping up to be pretty competitive, but there are a couple of clear favorites in the futures market. Here’s a look at the three squads who currently sit atop the futures market.
New York Yankees
New York has represented the American League in the World Series a whopping 40 times. Said another way, the team is a frequent flier in the ALCS, and it wouldn’t be stunning if they made another appearance this time around. The futures market concurs and pegs the Yankees as the current favorites.
Off-the-field controversy aside, there’s no denying the talent and depth that the Astros bring to the table. The offense can pound opponents into submission, while the pitching staff can spell lights out for lesser foes. Houston remains one of the teams to beat in the AL this season.
For new blood on the hunt for the AL pennant, look no further than the MN Twins. Currently, the third choice in the futures market, Minnesota was swept by the Yankees in the AL Division Series last season. Powerful bats and an underrated staff give the Twins more than a puncher’s chance of tasting glory.
NL pennant contenders
Over in the NL, the defending champion Washington Nationals will have something to say about how things will shake out, but so too will a team who’s the current overwhelming favorite. Here’s a look at the three top choices on the futures odds board.
Las Vegas Baseball Odds
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers have been in contention for several seasons; however, the club has been a bit snakebitten in the postseason. Los Angeles has made it to the playoffs every season since 2013, but they haven’t been able to get over the hump to advance to the World Series. Perhaps it’ll be a different story this time around.
The Atlanta Braves have won the NL East for two straight seasons and have their sights set on making it three in a row. In 2018, the club was bounced by the Dodgers in the NLDS in four games. Then followed that up by losing to the St. Louis Cardinals in that round in five games. Atlanta is another squad looking to continue its ascent.
While the Nationals were clearly a playoff team in 2019, they still went on a bit of a Cinderella run to win the World Series. After surviving the wild-card round and a five-game set in the NLDS, the club swept the Cardinals in the NLCS before taking down the Astros in seven games to win the Fall Classic.
World Series Longshots
It’s pretty easy to make a case for the teams atop the World Series futures market being the ones to win it all. However, doing a little digging can reveal some intriguing choices a little further down the list. While you can make nice returns betting on favorites that go on to win the World Series, there’s even more treasure to be found if you can lock in on a sleeper candidate with a realistic shot to make it happen.
When scanning the board for opportunities, you’ll naturally want to consider every team’s strengths and weaknesses. Some squads are clearly in a rebuilding phase, which you can dismiss, but the tier above them is where you might find some gold.
For another clue, it can help to look at teams in this category who came close to making some noise a season ago. Teams in this group may have just missed out on the postseason the previous year or had an unceremonious exit from the postseason.
A team that ticks off the boxes heading into the 2020 season is the Milwaukee Brewers. They were a wild-card team a season ago but had the misfortune of running into a Nationals team who had a date with destiny.
It was a heartbreaking loss as the team held a 3-1 lead heading into the bottom of the eighth inning. Then the Washington bats came alive. The Nationals put up three runs in the frame and held on for a 4-3 victory.
A close loss in the postseason can be a setback, but it can also serve as inspiration for clubs heading into the next campaign. For a Milwaukee team, led by Christian Yelich, the 2018 NL MVP and runner-up in 2019, the future could be quite bright.
World Series betting trends
For all types of sports betting, looking to the past can sometimes reveal clues about what’s to come. As an example, let’s take a look at two key metrics from the last 10 editions of the World Series:
- National League (NL), six wins; American League (AL), four wins
- Team with a home-field advantage: 6-4
It’s a slight edge to the NL and the side with the home-field advantage over that span. If we look at the previous 10 years, it’s a similar story:
- AL, six wins; NL, four wins
- Team with home-field advantage: 7-3
The leagues flip-flopped in the previous decade, but the home advantage became more of a factor overall. For the 10 years prior, the trends were even stronger:
- AL, six wins; NL, three wins
- The team with home-field advantage: 9-1
If we add up the results for the last 30 years of the Fall Classic, here’s what we come up with:
- AL, 17 wins; NL, 13 wins
- Team with home-field advantage: 22-8
Overall, the AL has the advantage over that span, but the biggest standout comes via the home-field advantage. Naturally, we won’t know which side will have the home field for the next World Series until we see how the season plays out. However, we can still dive in with some bets at any time via the futures market.
In the preseason and the beginning of the season, you may have some favorites or sleepers. By the time we hit the middle of the year and the stretch run, it may be a different story as new squads emerge.
By the end of the season and heading into the playoffs, the field of contenders has been trimmed dramatically. Your initial bets may still be alive, and that presents you with the opportunity to double down if you feel that’s the best course of action.
If your perspective has changed, you still have time to get bets in on your new favorites and sleepers. World Series futures betting opens the door to plenty of opportunities throughout the year.
More MLB futures odds
While betting on the World Series is a big highlight, there’s a lot more to the MLB futures market. Here are some of the other bets you’ll be able to place in advance of the season and while it plays out in real-time:
- AL and NL pennant winners
- Division champions
- Wild-card teams
- To make the playoffs
- Team regular-season win totals
- AL and NL MVP Award winners
- AL and NL Rookie of the Year
- AL and NL Manager of the Year
- Regular-season leaders for multiple statistical categories: home runs, strikeouts, etc.
As with the World Series futures market, you can place your bets on these opportunities in advance of the season, and keep a watchful eye on the odds to win as the season plays out.
NL vs. AL World Series wins
Since the turn of the century, the American League and National League are knotted up at 10 wins in the World Series apiece. However, it’s a different story on an all-time basis as the AL holds a 66-49 advantage.
As we scroll through the World Series annals, we find that only eight franchises have made it to the Fall Classic for 10 or more times. Six clubs have just a single appearance, one has never made it that far, while the rest of the 30 MLB teams are in the middle.
Here’s a complete look at the World Series history for each team in the league:
|Team||League||Appearance||Wins||Last Appearance||Last Win|
|New York Yankees||AL||40||27||2009||2009|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||NL||20||6||2018||1988|
|San Francisco Giants||NL||20||8||2014||2014|
|St. Louis Cardinals||NL||19||11||2013||2011|
|Boston Red Sox||AL||13||9||2018||2018|
|Chicago White Sox||AL||5||3||2005||2005|
|New York Mets||NL||5||2||2015||1986|
|Kansas City Royals||AL||4||2||2015||2015|
|San Diego Padres||NL||2||0||1998||NA|
|Toronto Blue Jays||AL||2||2||1993||1993|
|Los Angeles Angels||AL||1||1||2002||2002|
|Tampa Bay Rays||AL||1||0||2008||NA|
For most frequent World Series matchups, the Yankees lead the way there, including the top four entries on the list. At the top is the Yankees versus Dodgers with 11 all-time meetings in the Fall Classic. New York holds an 8-3 all-time advantage. The last meeting of the two teams in the World Series came in 1981, which was won by Los Angeles in six games.