MLB Baseball Futures
Futures betting markets seem to keep expanding each year. MLB baseball probably gets the least action when compared to NFL and NBA futures betting, but is still hugely popular. In this article, we will go over the top future betting options for baseball and include some futures betting strategy for Major League Baseball.
We will touch on the most popular baseball futures bet, winning the World Series, discuss baseball future odds and other key things you should consider when placing profitable MLB futures bets.
Best MLB Betting Sites 2018
MLB Futures Bets – Variations
The most common future wager in MLB markets is odds to win the World Series. Betting on the American and National League Pennants aren’t far behind. Many other sportsbooks these days now offer odds on each division as well. As with all futures, the odds will change throughout the season, and in many cases daily. Many sportsbooks will pull their futures markets when the games start for the day or when key news breaks.
The odds on futures, at least at most US-facing sportsbooks will always be given in American odds, otherwise known as moneyline odds. Futures are outright wagers, meaning there is no point spread to deal with, and your selection must win the event outright.
Bankroll Considerations In MLB Future Bets
Before we dive into the strategy aspect, it’s worth considering if futures are betting as a sports bettor. Many players are new to sports betting and trying to build a bankroll. For that reason, tying money in futures may not be the way to go.
Consider that if you bet on a future at the start or before the baseball season, late March or early April, that this money will most likely be tied up until the end of October. If you’re planning on betting on baseball throughout the season, (we’re assuming that’s the case) it may be better to hold onto the money as a part of your bankroll instead of putting it into futures. That money is worth a lot when you can wager it daily, particularly at the beginning of your sports betting career. Consider before betting futures if you’re comfortable tying up your bankroll several months or more.
Of course, since MLB futures are available until the end of the season and once again in the playoffs, there are periods where you may only have to wait a month or two, or a few weeks for the bet to settle. These allow players to get their money back quicker if they find some wagers they like compared tying their money up for months.
MLB Baseball Futures – Understanding Pricing
One of the biggest problems with futures is that are juiced too heavily by sportsbooks. This is especially true for smaller sportsbooks and those with lower ratings. Their futures are often the worst markets they have available.
The reason for this is that futures are still a market that is mostly geared towards recreational bettors. For instance, many sportsbooks, even larger ones, won’t accept more than $500 on a futures wager. This changes a bit when you bet online at an international bookmaker. Their limits are typically larger on futures.
The good news here is that this can be avoided by understanding implied probability. It’s a fair bit work to take the vigorish out of futures markets, but the math is still pretty simple.
Baseball Line Shopping
The builds off the weak pricing. Line shopping is paramount when betting futures. Particularly in MLB, where there is more diffieration between future markets than say NFL futures. The odds from sportsbook to sportsbook can vary quite a bit.
Shopping odds here is critical. If you can find a price you like at several different sportsbooks, then it’s actually pretty easy to get a thousand dollars or more on a futures bet. It’s extremely tough to circumvent betting limits with futures (not possible at any shop we can think of), so this may be your only option if you can’t find a sportsbook that takes higher limits.
Take Advantage Of Baseball’s Randomness
It’s worth keeping in mind that futures are often heavily weighted on public opinion or the media’s perception of a team, compared to hard analysis of their roster. Of course, the oddsmakers aren’t valuing the public’s opinion that heavily, but it’s accounted for much more in futures than other markets.
In most cases, sportsbooks will receive heavily action on favorites, compared to underdogs when it comes to futures. Recreational gamblers bet considerably more favorites than underdogs, so this makes a lot of sense.
Underdogs – Baseball Futures Pricing
Prices on underdogs in futures markets are usually going to be better than favorites in general because of this factor. This offers value to sharp bettors in baseball more than any other sport, due to the game’s randomness.
There is a lot of short-term luck in baseball. In the MLB, more than any other sport, teams come out of nowhere in the postseason to win the World Series. The variance factor increases heavily in the postseason, where instead of playing 162 games to decide divisional winners, which teams move on comes down to a much, much smaller sample size.
There is one-game Wild Card playoff, a five-game Divisional Series, and both the Championship Series and World Series are both seven games. There is a ton of luck involved in just one game, clearly, but as far as five and seven games go, the variance factor is extremely high.
Luck In Baseball And MLB Futures Odds
While this team may be better than that team on paper, a lot of the baseball playoffs come down to which teams are hitting and pitching the best, come October. Baseball is rarely dominated by dynasties these days, at least, when it comes to championships.
Teams consistently make the playoffs but due to high variance involved. The “best” teams, when it comes to regular season record, more often than not isn’t the team winning the World Series. One of the best stories in recent years regarding baseball futures is the St. Louis man that bet the Cardinals at 999/1 to win the World Series. At the time, the Cardinals were five games back of the final Wild Card spot with 15 games left to play.
The unidentified fan put down $250 on the Cardinals at 500/1, another $250 on them winning the whole thing at 999/1. The Cardinals ended up doing both, netted the man $125,000 for his first bet and around $250,000 for his second wager, for a cool $375,000 payday.