Where were you when the then-Cleveland Indians nearly won the 2016 World Series? The back-and-forth series with the Chicago Cubs was intense right up until the end of the decisive game. It might not have turned out the way fans in Ohio would have wanted, but it was electrifying nonetheless.
With Ohio sports betting now legal, you can bet on the World Series all year, right here at home. Here’s how.
Current odds to win World Series
The feed below contains World Series betting odds from various legal online sportsbooks, with numbers that update as soon as the books change them. If you see odds you like, click on them to go to that sportsbook.
How World Series betting works
When it comes to wagering on the World Series, you have various options to choose from, ranging from player props to single-game wagers to betting on the entire series. Sometimes it takes trying each option a few times to really gauge how well it fits into your strategy.
Ohio online sports betting will use the American odds format. This means favored, or more likely outcomes, will appear as negative numbers, and underdogs or less likely outcomes will have positive odds numbers.
The negative numbers indicate how much you would have to wager to win $100. Of course, you can also wager more or less than that amount, but we’ll use that as our standard example throughout this page. So on a bet with -130 odds, if you wagered $130, your payout on a winning bet slip would be $230. That includes the $130 original stake coming back to you, as well as the $100 profit.
Positive numbers show you how much you stand to win on a wager of $100. If you placed a $100 wager on the Cincinnati Reds at odds of +155, for example, and you won, your payout would come in at $255. Again, you’d get your original bet back, and you would have $155 in winnings.
The moneyline is one of the simplest sports bets you can place. You just have to predict which side will win. Moneyline bets will be available for each World Series game, and for which team you think will win the series as a whole.
For example, if you bet on the Guardians moneyline and they win, then you receive winnings based on how much you bet and the payout odds for your selection, as explained above.
Run lines are baseball’s version of the point spread. The default run line is 1.5, meaning the favorite would need to win by two runs or more for bets on that side to win. Bets on the underdog, on the other hand, would win if that side won by any score or lost by a single run.
In addition, some sportsbooks will offer alternate lines as well as the standard 1.5. Make sure you shop around for the best baseball odds for any wager you want to place.
Totals, aka over/unders, are wagers on the combined overall score of a game. Sportsbooks will set a line before the game (for example, 6.5 if a sportsbook is predicting a fairly low-scoring game) and you can bet whether the two teams will combine for enough runs to be over or under that number.
Have you ever made a bet with your buddy or coworker on something like whether Jose Ramirez will hit a home run in an upcoming game? That is pretty much a prop bet. Essentially props are side wagers you make with a sportsbook. They can revolve around a game, a series, an individual player and more.
Some examples of prop bets you might encounter for the World Series include which player will have the most hits for the series, the total number of home runs in a game or how many strikeouts a starting pitcher will get.
Live betting on the World Series
Live betting is a relatively new addition to online sportsbooks. The idea is pretty simple: Sportsbooks let you bet on a game as it plays out. These bets can be prop-style wagers as well as many of the bets we described above. The live betting odds update to reflect what is happening in the game.
Live betting has flourished due to online sportsbooks. Retail brick-and-mortar sportsbooks just can’t keep up with the constantly shifting odds and allow you to get your bets in as the game is happening in real-time.
World Series winner
If you’re not interested in wagering from game to game, another option is to wager on the overall winner of the World Series. MLB sportsbooks in Ohio will set moneyline odds for each team, and it can be beneficial to look around to see which one has the best odds for any bets you want to place.
World Series total games
Like the totals we discussed above, except this time you’re betting on the total number of games in the World Series. If the sportsbook sets a line at 5.5, you can bet whether the series will conclude in five or fewer games (under) or six or more (over).
Who is favored to win the World Series?
That question really comes down to when you are asking it. If the pennants have been decided and we know which two teams will be facing off in the World Series, then the odds on both of those teams to win will paint a pretty clear picture. At that point, you can just look for the team that has negative odds (such as -210) to find the favorite. A positive number (like +225) indicates the underdog.
Now, if you’re asking that question in the spring, or even immediately following the conclusion of the last World Series, then the answer is definitely harder to nail down. Teams will have odds to win the next World Series pretty much as soon as the previous one is over. At that point, almost all of the odds are long, and if you’re willing to make a wager, you stand a chance (albeit a small one) of making a significant profit on your bet.
The closer the calendar gets to the World Series — spring training, then the regular season, then the postseason — the more narrow the field becomes. As more information becomes available, the oddsmakers can create an accurate prediction. Odds are going to shift due to that information becoming available, which is why you should try to lock in your bet as soon as you can after doing your research and handicapping potential outcomes.
Sportsbook rules for betting on the World Series
Betting on a sport involves a variety of rules governing instances that could impact the final settlement of wagers at the sportsbook. When you sign up for a sportsbook, you’ll need to accept the terms and conditions to create an account. Most of us just click without actually reading, but this is where you’ll find the key rules for wagering on various sports.
You can still go back and read those rules whenever you wish, however. Almost every sportsbook has a dedicated page to the rules or at least a refresher on those terms and conditions. Here are some potential examples of rules for betting on the World Series:
- Futures bets will remain active until the sportsbook can grade what you are betting on. Once a team is officially eliminated, wagers on that club become losses. Winning bets on the correct team will pay out when the World Series concludes.
- In the event of a cancellation of an entire season, or the World Series itself, sportsbooks will void and refund futures bets.
- For individual games, bets are live once the first pitch is thrown and will settle at completion. Bets on weather-delayed games will remain active if the contest is expected to be completed. Sportsbooks will void bets on postponed or canceled games.
- The settlement of all wagers is based on official MLB data and statistics.
While those are the most common examples, they are far from the complete rundown. You should take the time to review those rules before you place any World Series bets because it’s better to at least be familiar with what could potentially happen rather than being caught off guard.
Does Vegas have better MLB World Series odds than Ohio?
Before the US Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, Nevada, and Las Vegas in particular, was pretty much the only place to legally bet on sports in the US.
Because of Vegas’ longtime prominence in the sports betting world, the odds that come out of sportsbooks there tend to be the first that people reference when making comparisons. The sudden growth of sports betting across North America is causing that to shift, however.
Now, reputable sportsbooks like DraftKings, BetMGM, FanDuel Ohio and others will offer World Series odds in legal sports betting states that are comparable to what you would find in Vegas. Make sure to take the time to shop around for the best lines before you start making World Series wagers. The best part? You don’t even have to fly out to the desert to place your bets.
Biggest World Series betting wins and losses
Most of the time when your sports bet wins or loses, the only reason anyone would ever know about it is if you decided to tell them. But if you make a large enough bet, or win enough money, people are going to take note, and you could become famous overnight.
That’s what happened in the following examples of a big win and a big loss among World Series bets. Our first example is actually a fellow who managed to stay anonymous.
It was 2011 and the Texas Rangers and their faithful fans were all but certain that they had the World Series locked up in Game 6. With just one strike remaining before they ousted the St. Louis Cardinals, celebrations were set to kick off or already underway. The Cardinals had other ideas, however, and came back to win Game 6 in extra innings before winning Game 7 to take home the title.
One bettor had placed two bets at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas — one at $250 for the St. Louis Cardinals to win the National League pennant, and another $250 wager for the Cards to win the World Series. After the shocking ending silenced the cheers in Texas, the bettor made a profit of $374,500 thanks to a payout of $375K on the two bets that totaled $500.
But not everyone can be a winner. Just ask Jim McIngvale, known as “Mattress Mack.” The Houston-based mattress salesman wagered over $13 million, according to CBS Sports, on the Houston Astros to win the 2019 World Series.
They did not, losing in seven games to the Washington Nationals.
According to McIngvale, he would have won around $25 million if the Astros had indeed taken that final game and the World Series title.
Notable World Series moments for Ohio
It’s been decades since an Ohio team brought home a World Series title, with the last coming in 1990 when the Cincinnati Reds swept the Oakland Athletics.
However, it was much more recent that an Ohio team nearly won the title. In 2016, the then-Cleveland Indians notched 94 regular-season wins and went on to defeat the Boston Red Sox and the Toronto Blue Jays in the playoffs to win the American League pennant.
The Indians, who hadn’t been to the World Series since 1997 and hadn’t won a title since 1948, faced off against the Chicago Cubs. The series went all seven games and ended with the Cubs overcoming more than a century of near misses and bad luck to win the World Series for the first time since 1908.
While Indians fans were saddened by the fact that they didn’t win the championship, it was hard to hate on the Cubs for too long. After all, it’s not every day a team can overcome the Curse of the Billy Goat.
Ohio has had a few World Series champions through the decades. The Indians won titles in 1920 and 1948, and the Reds took home the trophy in 1919, 1940, 1975, 1976 and 1990.