Betting on the World Series

The World Series is just around the corner, and teams from both the National and American League are fighting to earn their place in the series and a chance to win the Commissioner’s Trophy.

The playoffs usually begin in October and there are plenty of betting options available leading up to the World Series. Sportsbooks offer a variety of great live betting options, props and more.

We’ve narrowed down the best books for World Series betting:

Best World Series Betting Sites

  1. Bovada

    When it comes to sportsbooks geared to American bettors, Bovada offers everything you need to bet on the NFL, NBA, MLB and college sports. There’s also lines on hockey, UFC, e-sports and politics. From live betting to exclusive bonuses on certain deposit options, Bovada is the ultimate sports betting site for those looking for quick withdrawals, special promotions and different language options (English and Spanish).

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  2. BetOnline

    Known for their killer Welcome Bonus and refer-a-friend program, is focused on the bettor. Choose from player props to $125 worth of risk-free bets when you use this sportsbook for your wagering needs. They also boast early lines and quick payouts, making them one of the most respected in the industry.

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World Series History

The first official World Series was contested in 1903 between the Boston Americans (now the Boston Red Sox) and the Pittsburgh Pirates (now the Pittsburgh Pirates). Boston upset Pittsburgh five games to three. Yes, you read that right, it was an eight-game series.

The American League has won 65 of the 114 World Series championships. The Yankees lead the charge with 27 titles in only 40 appearances – something Yankees fans won’t let you forget … EVER.

The next-best showing from the American League is the Oakland Athletics, who have won nine of their 14 appearances. Some of those appearances came when they were the Philadelphia Athletics and none came when the team was based in Kansas City. The Red Sox have won eight of their 12 appearances and like the Yankees, their fans won’t let you forget it.

In the National League, St. Louis is in the lead with 11 wins in its 19 appearances, followed by the San Francisco Giants – previously the New York Giants of the “Shot heard ’round the world!” fame – winning eight of their 20 appearances. The LA Dodgers have won six of their 18 appearances with some of those wins occurring when the team was based in Brooklyn.

There are still two teams that have yet to play in a World Series – the Seattle Mariners and the Washington Nationals. Some of us are OK with that since the Montreal Expos never made it to the World Series and now it’s DC’s turn to suffer.

A team hasn’t won consecutive World Series since the Yankees took the championship in 1998, 1999 and 2000. Remember the core four? Only one of them was listed in the Mitchell Report. Can you guess which one? Here’s a hint: It’s not Mariano Rivera because he was too busy being a good person.

Betting on the World Series

When it comes to betting, the World Series is another ball game – bad pun alert! Sportsbooks around the globe get into the action by offering a heap – or pitcher’s mound – of betting options. Knowing the rules of baseball and some basic team and player stats can help you make educated MLB postseason wagers. You can find everything you need on our MLB pages. We have odds, trends, free picks, betting news, stats, scores and more.

When it comes to making a World Series bet, we recommend the following:


The most common wagering option for World Series betting is a moneyline bet. This bet requires you to pick an outright winner of the matchup.

If the Brooklyn Dodgers (+105) are playing the Kansas City Athletics (-120), the Athletics are the matchup favorite with the Dodgers being the underdog. After you get out of your time machine, you would decide which team will win the matchup. If you select the underdog, you would need to bet $100 to win $105. If you select the favorite, you’d need to bet $120 to win $100.


Betting on totals in the World Series is similar to betting the totals in any other sports. The only significant difference is that baseball scores are much lower than most other sports. MLB totals can range from 6.0 to 10.0, but that can change depending on the strength or weakness of the pitching staff.

These numbers can be even lower in the World Series because the two top pitching staffs in Major League Baseball are playing against each other. The oddsmaker selects one of these numbers and you, as a bettor, must choose whether you think the total combined score of both teams will be OVER or UNDER that number.

For instance, the Montreal Expos are playing the Seattle Pilots – could’ve happened in 1969! – and the total is set at 8.0. If you think the total runs scored is going to be more than eight because you think Bobby Wine is going to hit like crazy, you would bet the OVER. If you think the total runs scored is going to be less than eight because Jim Bouton is in top form, then you would bet the UNDER.


Runlines are very similar to a point spread in football or basketball. The oddsmaker will adjust the line so the underdog gets an advantage in the matchup. In World Series games, the underdog will receive +1.5 runs and the favorite receives -1.5 runs. In this case, if the underdog loses, they mustn’t lose by more than one run, and if the favorite wins, they will need to win by at least two runs.

You can learn more about MLB runlines here.


This type of bet involves wagering on possible player outcomes rather than the outcome of the game. For example, you could bet on the number of runs or hits produced by a player, or the number of strikes a pitcher might throw.

Live Betting

In-play betting allows you to bet on every outcome, at-bat or inning. Live betting on MLB games involves the ability to bet moneylines, runlines and totals as the game is going on.


Basic Strategies and Tips
  • Use one of the secure sportsbooks we recommend above.
  • Starting pitchers are viewed as the most important position to handicap in all of sports. Make sure to do your homework.
  • Remember that the World Series is a best-of-seven series and you may need to pay closer attention to your bankroll to make sure you have enough in the tank – like a pitcher who needs to go more than four innings.