What to Look for When Selecting an MLB Betting Site
Every online sportsbook is different, so there's a ton to consider when picking the best baseball betting sites. Various online sports betting sites have different MLB odds, different types of bets available, different bonuses and even different rules. Most offer a free bet or risk-free bets to start. It’s easy to find the right online betting site when you know what you’re looking for. Some sites post player props earlier in the day than others. Some have different tendencies for run line pricing or must-start rules for pitchers. Once you have a feel for the types of wagers you’ll be making to start, it’s easy to shop around different betting sites. Be sure to read all the reviews to find the best betting site for you personally.
Types of Baseball Bets Allowed in IL
There are countless ways to bet on a single baseball game. You’ve got moneyline, run line, total, first five-inning moneyline, team totals, hitter and pitcher props, in-game betting and countless other options. This is great for sports bettors, and access to those different wagers varies depending on the baseball site. That’s why it’s important to find the right online sportsbooks, so you can take full advantage of all your plays while betting on baseball in Illinois.
MLB Betting Lines and Odds
Even though you should shop around for the best MLB betting site for you, it takes a lot of time and effort to compare odds for every game and find the best value. That’s why we’ll show you the best baseball betting sites like DraftKings IL and FanDuel IL, so you can get the most value for your plays.
For example, let’s say the Chicago Cubs are playing the Milwaukee Brewers at Wrigley Field. The Cubs could be a -110 favorite at one sportsbook. That simply means you would have to risk $110 to win $100 on the Cubs moneyline. Another sportsbook could have the Cubs as a -118 favorite. That $8 difference might not seem like a lot on a $100 bet, but new baseball bettors must understand how important those line differences are over the course of a 162-game season. That’s why it’s beneficial to open accounts at several sports betting sites, to get the best odds value on every game.
MLB Bonuses and Rewards
The great thing about legal sports betting is that consumers now have plenty of regulated baseball betting options in Illinois. This only benefits the bettor. Even the best baseball betting sites compete for new customers every day, primarily by offering first-time deposit bonuses and rewards.
The types of bonuses vary, but every legal online sportsbook in Illinois that we recommend will offer some type of incentive such as Unibet IL and PointsBet IL. They could use a matched deposit, essentially doubling your account from the start. Many offer a free bet or risk-free bets up to a certain amount, meaning you’ll keep all the profits if you win the bet and don’t lose anything if the bet doesn’t hit.
This is all very valuable for baseball betting at any point in the year, and users should shop around and take advantage of the different types of bonuses offered at recommended MLB betting sites.
Look and feel might seem like a minor issue, but it can be really important. Major League Baseball bettors will obviously want a site they can easily navigate on mobile or desktop, but there are other factors one might not consider until after they sign up and start betting.
Live betting is huge in baseball and all sports right now. Some sportsbooks like William Hill Illinois have their in-game wagering tabs featured right at the top for easy one-click in-play betting. Some in-play platforms might not be as accessible or user-friendly as others. Again, it’s always best to look around and see which online sportsbooks interface works the best for you personally.
Deposits and Withdrawal
As more legal sportsbooks have opened in Illinois and elsewhere, it has become easier to make deposits and withdrawals through various methods. Many now accept standard debit/credit cards like Visa, along with online methods like PayPal, the Play+ card and e-wallets like Skrill.
Most baseball betting sites should also accept bank and wire transfers, though it might take a little longer than the other methods. We’ve already considered the ease of deposit/withdrawal when ranking the top online MLB betting sites, so consult our list and check around at a few online sportsbooks to find the deposit method that works best for you.
One of the best things about legal MLB betting sites including BetRivers Illinois is the customer support available for sports bettors. That’s the benefit of having a regulated industry compared to illegal offshore MLB betting sites, which often leave customers with no resources to dispute a wager or settle a claim, or even withdraw their winnings.
Live customer support via email, phone or chat is a huge security blanket and something we consider when ranking the top online sportsbooks for baseball betting.
MLB Betting Apps
Every legal online sportsbook like BetMGM Illinois will have some type of mobile betting app. This is how most bettors will place baseball wagers, so we study the MLB betting app interface to ensure a smooth experience. This is very important for live betting and last-minute wagers before first pitch. When time is of the essence, you want to be able to place your baseball bets quickly and easily. We’ve already gone through all of the legal Illinois MLB betting apps and tested the interface to provide the best experience.
Is Betting on MLB Games Legal in Illinois?
Betting on Major League Baseball games is completely legal in the state of Illinois, with no restrictions. You can bet on all 30 MLB teams, including the Cubs and White Sox. The U.S. Supreme Court’s 2018 decision to strike down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act gave individual states the power to legalize and regulate sports betting, which Illinois did in 2019. The state also approved online gambling, which means more revenue for Illinois and a far superior experience for bettors.
How to bet on MLB Online
Betting on baseball in Illinois is easier than ever. Online sports betting has seen exponential growth over the past three years, and the state of Illinois has already generated more than $250 million in revenue since it was legalized.
The bulk of that revenue comes from online betting, as is the case in Illinois. States that require players to bet at physical sportsbooks don’t generate nearly as much revenue and offer fewer options for players. That’s especially true for players who don’t live near a physical sportsbook or aren’t physically able to make the trip. Betting online is simply way more convenient for players and provides more revenue for the state.
Legal online MLB betting in Illinois means players can compare lines across various sportsbooks and baseball betting sites, while also taking advantage of multiple sign-up bonuses.
Getting started is easy. You can register with the MLB baseball betting sites by providing standard personal information like name, email, home address, etc. Some might require a Social Security number, but these are all heavily-vetted betting sites and perfectly safe.
Once you’re registered, you can make your first deposit with a credit/debit card, PayPal, Play+ card, bank transfer or other options. You should always be able to find at least one easy deposit method on a good MLB betting site.
Then you’re free to cash in on that first-time bonus or free bet and begin placing wagers. The entire process is very simple and shouldn’t take more than 10-15 minutes at most. Be sure to claim your welcome bonus when signing up!
Most Popular MLB Bets
While there are many types of bets that can be made on the MLB, here are some of the most popular, fun and profitable.
A moneyline bet just means picking the team that will win a given MLB game. There’s no point spread involved. If the Chicago White Sox are a -130 favorite over the Cleveland Indians, that means a player risks $130 to win $100. Now let’s say the White Sox are a +150 underdog against the Boston Red Sox. That means a bettor risks $100 and would win $150 if the White Sox win the game.
MLB Live Betting
Live betting is quickly becoming the most popular way to wager, and baseball is the perfect live-betting sport. MLB betting sites will offer new odds for the game after each half-inning, so you can bet at any point in the game. For example, the Chicago Cubs could be losing 3-1 to the St. Louis Cardinals after five innings. The live Cubs moneyline could be around +280. That might be a perfect time to bet on the Cubs if you know the Cardinals have a bad bullpen and tend to struggle in the late innings. A $100 live wager would return a $280 profit if the Cubs rally for the win.
A parlay is a series of multiple bets combined into one. They have lucrative payouts that increase with each added leg of the parlay. A standard three-game parlay could be something like Chicago Cubs moneyline -110 over the Cincinnati Reds, Cubs-Reds Over 8.5 runs -110 and Chicago White Sox moneyline +120 over the New York Yankees. That parlay would pay out approximately $700 on a $100 wager if all three parlay legs are successful. If you made individual $100 wagers on all three games, the total winnings would only be $320.
The MLB run line is baseball’s version of the point spread. It’s almost always -1.5 runs for the favorite and +1.5 runs for the underdog. Let’s say the Cubs are a -210 favorite over the Braves and you’re very confident they’ll win, but don’t want to risk the -210 odds. You could instead take Cubs -1.5 on the run line with odds around +105. That means the Cubs now have to win by two runs or more, as opposed to a moneyline bet. You’d lose the bet if the Cubs win 4-3 or if Atlanta wins outright, but you’d only lose $100 instead of $210 had you taken the moneyline.
Baseball totals work just like the over/under in any other sport. The total could be 9.5 runs -110 for a Cubs-White Sox interleague game at Wrigley Field. If the Cubs win 6-5, the over wins because 11 runs went over 9.5. If the Cubs win 6-2, the under would win because the total score is eight. Many factors go into totals for MLB betting, including ballpark, starting pitchers, bullpens, weather, current form, etc.
Futures bets can be placed at various MLB baseball betting sites in Illinois throughout the regular season. You can also make bets on a team’s odds to win the World Series, win the pennant, win their division or make the playoffs. You can also place a futures bet on individual awards like Kris Bryant for National League MVP, Tim Anderson for American League MVP, Carlos Rodon for AL Cy Young, etc.
Almost every Illinois gambling site offers a variety of game, pitcher and hitter props. Common prop bets include things like the first team to score, total runs odd or even, hitters over/under 0.5 RBI, players to hit a home run and pitchers over/under strikeout totals. There are also combined props with juicy payouts, such as Anthony Rizzo to hit a home run and the Cubs to win with odds around maybe +500.
MLB Playoffs and World Series
The MLB playoffs start in October and end with the World Series. It’s the most exciting time to get action with MLB betting sites as you’re left with the cream of the crop, ace pitchers and fewer factors to consider than most regular-season games. We will break down the postseason trends and best bets with expert picks every day.
Baseball Betting Strategy and Tips
Newcomers to baseball betting don’t have to learn everything overnight. Much of the knowledge will be acquired over time, as you learn from both the wins and losses. But even if you've never bet on baseball before, you should have at least some knowledge of various strategies that can be helpful in baseball betting. That includes finding the right sportsbook, studying updated lines throughout the day and researching games each morning. But there are tons of other strategies to consider that can be very helpful for rookie MLB bettors.
One thing most new bettors fail to understand – you need to have a plan on how much you’re willing to wager and what you can afford to lose. Once you’ve done that and made a deposit, the next step is figuring out an appropriate unit amount, meaning your standard bet amount. This could be anywhere from $10 to $1,000, depending on what you’re willing to lose. Bankroll management means sticking with that unit size on most if not all of your plays, which helps avoid irrational decisions based on your heart rather than your head. Betting too much on one or two baseball games can tank the bankroll in a hurry, so it’s much better to stick with a consistent unit amount throughout the season.
Volume betting simply means making more wagers to increase your bankroll. The idea is that if you’re consistently winning your bets at a rate of 52.4% or higher, the profits will obviously increase with the more wagers you make. It’s always advisable to scale back if you’re on a cold streak, but volume betting in the good times is a great way to increase total profit.
Shop The Lines
We’ve already discussed the importance of comparing lines at different sportsbooks. Shopping the lines just means taking the best line available for your plays. If the White Sox are a -120 favorite over the Yankees at one MLB betting site and -115 at another, you always take the -115 as those odds differences add up in a big way over time. When you bet on baseball, understanding the value in the number is critical.
Know The Weather
Weather is very important in MLB wagering, especially when it comes to the total. It should be the first thing you check each morning when studying games – if there’s a 90% chance of rain on the south side, you don’t want to waste too much time studying the White Sox game as there’s a good chance it will be postponed. Wrigley Field is the best example of weather impact on betting – the total will usually be around three runs higher when the wind is blowing out instead of blowing in because the wind tunnels make a huge difference at Wrigley Field with its minimalist layout in the bleachers. Most modern stadiums are built to prevent a big impact from the wind, but it can still make a difference based on the day and location.
Study The Stadiums
Different stadiums and ballparks are very important in baseball betting. Unlike other sports, the playing dimensions are unique for every team and can have a big impact on MLB betting. Oakland’s massive foul ball territory creates more outs and helps pitchers, and certain ballparks can favor right or left-handed hitters based on the dimensions. Check the lineups and stadium dimensions to see if you can take advantage of things like a lefty-heavy lineup playing at a favorable park.
Avoid The Favorites
The fact that bettors must win 52.4% of their bets to turn a profit only applies when the odds are -110. Betting baseball favorites all the time means a lot of -130, -150, or even -280 moneylines. Obviously, the favorites will look good on paper, but the bankroll can dwindle in a hurry with just a few losses on those odds and you’ll need to win a much larger percentage to stay profitable.
Conversely, underdogs tend to carry strong value in MLB betting. This isn’t the NFL where teams can go winless for an entire year. Over the course of a 162-game season, even the worst team in baseball will usually win about 30% of their games. It’s all about finding a bad team on the right day. Maybe they’re facing a bad starting pitcher, or the opposing team has been in a slump or nursing a few injuries. And you don’t even need to hit at a 50% clip to turn a profit if you’re taking +150 and +180 underdogs when the time is right.
Pay Attention To Umpires
MLB umpires are not robots. They all have different strike zones, which can be studied if you put enough time in. This has a big impact not only on totals but on player props as well. A prop like Carlos Rodon over 6.5 strikeouts -110 is a perfect example. If you know the home plate umpire tends to squeeze pitchers with a small strike zone, that would be a great time to jump on under 6.5 Ks.
When Does The MLB Season Start and End?
The Major League Baseball season begins when pitchers and catchers report to spring training in late February. The teams then play exhibition games throughout March before the 162-game regular-season schedule begins in early April and concludes with the World Series in late October or early November.
Illinois MLB Betting Sites FAQ
Yes, MLB betting is legal in Illinois since the state decided to legalize sports gambling in 2019.
MLB betting in Illinois is available at several different online baseball betting sites and sportsbooks. Simply find a few you like, register with the site and make your initial deposit to start getting action.
We’ve compiled our list of the best MLB betting sites in Illinois based on various factors, including baseball betting lines, the number of props available, variety of bets, ease-of-use, customer service, deposit options, where you can unlock free bets and much more. These are all legal, recommended sites. The best baseball betting site for MLB bettors is all about their own personal preferences.
Yes, you can bet on the All-Star game. The best MLB betting sites in Illinois will offer all types of bets, including moneyline, total, run line and a very large number of player props and exotic bets for the midsummer classic. You can also bet on games in spring training, the regular season and the World Series.
Dan writes about college football and other sports after spending three years covering Tiger Woods’ comeback and the PGA Tour for Golfweek in Orlando. He filled several roles in his prior work as sports producer for the Lansing State Journal, where he hosted the Spartan Speak podcast, managed social media accounts, reported on stories and oversaw nightly production on print deadline. Dan also covered college football, basketball and recruiting as the Michigan State beat writer for 247Sports.