The unprecedented 2020 MLB season came to an end with the Los Angeles Dodgers hoisting the World Series trophy. The COVID-19 pandemic pushed back the start of the season to July and the league’s 30 teams played an abbreviated 60-game season.
Officials plan on returning to the traditional 162-game schedule for the MLB 2021 season. The season’s opening day commences on April 1.
Legal sportsbooks installed the Dodgers as the favorite to win the 2021 World Series. Other top contenders include the New York Yankees, Atlanta Braves, San Diego Padres, and the Tampa Bay Rays.
The Rays came up short against the Dodgers in the 2020 World Series, as Los Angeles won the best-of-seven series four games to two.
Current World Series Odds
Odds are updated automatically daily.
Odds To Win The World Series – Whose Odds Are Increasing?
Adding multi-time All-Star outfielder Mookie Betts to the roster paid off big for the Dodgers in 2020. With Betts, Cody Bellinger, Corey Seager, and Max Muncy anchoring a strong batting order, Los Angeles won its first World Series title since 1988.
In addition to that strong offensive threat, the Dodgers also bring back three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw, as well as Walker Buehler, to power one of baseball’s best pitching staffs.
Barring unforeseen circumstances, the Dodgers are likely to remain at the top of the list as the sports betting favorite to win the 2021 championship.
San Diego Padres
The Padres produced one of the most surprising seasons of any MLB team in 2020. San Diego finished 2nd in the NL West and clinched a playoff spot for the first time since 2006.
Power-hitting became the trademark of the 2020 San Diego team, with Manny Machado and Fernando Tatis Jr. leading the rise of one of MLB’s most promising young teams. The Padres lost to the Dodgers in the National League Division Series, but legal sportsbooks see San Diego as a top-five MLB team for the 2021 season.
Odds To Win The World Series – Who’s In Trouble?
The controversial Houston Astros franchise produced another deep postseason run in 2020, falling just one game short of advancing to the World Series for the third time in four years. Houston lost to Tampa Bay four games to three in the American League Championship Series.
The Astros finished just 29-31 in the regular season, however, and only made the postseason due to the expanded playoff format that brought in eight teams from each league.
The traditional playoff setup (with five teams each invited from the AL and NL) returns for 2021, and Houston will have to make a better regular-season showing to end up with the franchise’s fifth consecutive playoff appearance.
The Nationals defeated the Astros in the 2019 World Series but fell short of the 2020 playoffs after a last-place campaign in the NL East. The Nationals went 26-34 in the 2020 regular season, tied for last in the division with the New York Mets.
What’s Different In The 2021 MLB Season?
Return To The Traditional Schedule
MLB plans to play a full 162-game schedule for the 2021 regular season. The season begins April 1 and ends on November 3 at the latest.
The normal schedule, in-game rules, and postseason format come back for the 2021 season. The 2020 season restricted teams to playing other geographically close opponents throughout the regular season, and the postseason played out at selected neutral sites.
The 30 MLB teams expect to return to the normal routine for 2021, which includes somewhat frequent cross-country travel and designated home and away teams for playoff series.
Other 2020 rules changes, like the designated hitter applied to National League games, won’t return for 2021.
Where Can I Bet On The World Series Online?
In the US, there are currently 17 states (plus DC) where sports betting is legal in some form. However, of those states, only these ten states explicitly allow legal online sportsbooks:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- Rhode Island
- West Virginia
Washington DC also allows mobile sports betting through the DC lottery, and you can bet in-person at licensed venues.
States with legal in-person betting but not mobile betting include:
- New York
Dozens of other states have considered legislation related to legalizing physical and online sports betting in 2020 alone. Much of this legislative moment came as a result of the overturn of PASPA, the law that prohibited online sports betting.
In fact, around ten states will likely legalize sports betting in some form by the end of 2021, including California, Florida, Georgia, Arizona, and possibly even Texas, which are some of the most populated areas of the country.
Will All Legal US Sportsbooks Take Bets On The World Series?
Yes. While some states bar residents from betting on in-state college games, you can bet on the pros. And because the World Series is one of the biggest sporting events in America, it’s a safe bet that it will be well represented at every legal online sports betting site and app.
It’s also likely that the standard sports betting odds on the World Series will be comparable across the options. That means if you make a straight bet on one of the teams, it doesn’t matter much where you place your bet as long as it’s a legal site.
However, the odds start to get more variable with exotic bets and promotions. This is true with the MLB (and all sports) in general, but it’s in overdrive when it’s the World Series. From unique prop bets to odds boosters to deposit bonuses, each online sportsbook will have something interesting on offer.
How To Place Online World Series Bets
If you’re in a state where online sports betting is legal, placing a bet is relatively simple. Choosing the best bet is where things get a bit more tricky. But analytics aside here’s a step-by-step guide on online World Series betting:
Choose A Sportsbook And Create An Account
You’ll have a set number of options to choose from. States like New Jersey and Nevada have over 20 online sportsbooks while other states have just a few. Here are some factors to consider:
- How good are the promotions?
- How fair are the bonus terms & conditions?
- Do they offer the best odds?
- Can you play via mobile?
Once you’ve selected an online sportsbook, you’ll create an account. Follow the steps that include providing your personal information, and you’ll need to allow the sportsbook to know your location. For all states, you need to be physically located in the state to bet.
You may find a signup or registration bonus that gives you free money without the need to deposit. You may also take advantage of a deposit bonus where the casino matches your deposit by a certain percentage.
Just be sure to read all bonus terms and conditions before you opt-in. You can always opt-out of the bonus offers and simply deposit.
Deposit And Cashout
Common deposit methods include credit and debit cards as well as e-wallets like PayPal. You can likely cash out using PayPal, direct deposit, or in-person at a partnering casino cage.
Where Can I Bet On The World Series In Vegas?
Las Vegas is such a sports betting hub that its sportsbooks play a massive role in setting the odds for all others to follow.
You can bet on the World Series in Vegas at every one of the sportsbooks on the Strip. Westgate, Caesars, Wynn, Mirage, Venetian, you name it, they’ll take a wide variety of bets on the World Series.
You also don’t need to be a Nevada resident to play online in the state. You just need to be physically located within state lines. So you could stay in a Vegas hotel and bet on the World Series without ever leaving your room.
How World Series Bettings Odds Are Calculated
When you bet on the World Series in the US, you’ll likely be dealing with American Odds, also known as fractional odds.
Simple Overview Of American Odds
Basically, the plus (+) number is how much you’ll win if you bet $100. The minus (-) number is how much you need to bet to win $100.
The more likely the bet is to be successful, the higher the minus number (and the lower the payout). The more unlikely a bet, the larger the plus number (and the higher the payout).
For example, let’s say the Yankees play the Dodgers in the 2021 World Series. For game one, the straight bet moneyline might be:
New York Yankees +150
Los Angeles Dodgers -125
If you bet $100 on the Yankees and they win the game, you’d win $150 and receive $250 ($100 of your wager plus the winnings).
If you bet $100 on the Los Angeles Dodgers, you’d win $80 and receive $180 (your wager plus winnings). But if you were to bet $125 on the Dodgers and they won, you’d win $125 and receive $225.
To manually calculate win potential for minus odds, you divide 100 by the number, then multiply the decimal by your bet. For the Dodgers line above, that would be 100/125 = 0.80, then 0.80 x $100 = $80.
For the plus odds, you’d divide the odds by 100. In the Yankees example, that would be 150/100 = 1.50, then 1.50 x $100 = $150.
You could also just use an online calculator. And most online sportsbooks will let you click the bet and type in any amount to see what the payout would be.
See our comprehensive guide to Sports Betting Odds for more information.
Off-Season Betting Odds For The World Series Breakdown
Oddsmakers across virtually every legal sportsbook have the Los Angeles Dodgers in place as the favorite to win the 2021 World Series.
The Dodgers expect to return a core of All-Stars including former MVP Mookie Betts, Cody Bellinger, Max Muncy, and Corey Seager on offense. Pitching greats like Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler are also on a roster that produced a league-best 43-17 regular-season record in 2020.
New York Yankees
The Yankees made their MLB-record 56th postseason appearance in 2020, going 33-27 and finishing 2nd in the AL East. New York advanced to the American League Division Series but lost to the Tampa Bay Rays in five games.
The Yankees pitching staff, anchored by All-Star Gerrit Cole, should return as an improved unit for 2021, as the Yankees often spend whatever money is necessary to bolster the roster in the offseason. New York’s powerful batting lineup, projected to bring back Aaron Judge, Luke Voit, and DJ LeMahieu, stands as one of MLB’s most intimidating offensive forces.
The Braves held a three-games-to-one lead on the Dodgers in the 2020 National League Championship Series. The team saw its chances at a World Series appearance thwarted, however, as Los Angeles came back for three consecutive wins to clinch an improbable comeback.
Atlanta returns to the 2021 season as a strong contender for a championship in the eyes of legal sportsbooks. Pitching ace Max Fried comes back as the centerpiece of the Braves’ starting rotation.
Atlanta’s batting order includes offensive powerhouses like Freddie Freeman, Marcell Ozuna, and Adam Duvall. After finishing first in the NL East in 2020, the Braves look poised for a return to the postseason in 2021.
San Diego Padres
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the 2020 season, the San Diego Padres produced the second-best record in the National League. San Diego’s 37-23 regular-season finish trailed only the Dodgers for the best record in the NL.
The Padres made it to the playoffs for the first time since 2006, but a three-game sweep at the hands of the Dodgers ended the Padres season in the National League Division series.
The team returns the core of its power-hitting lineup for 2021, including Fernando Tatis Jr., Manny Machado, and Wil Myers.
Tampa Bay Rays
The Tampa Rays came up short of a World Series title, losing four games to two against the Dodgers in the final playoff battle of 2020. The roster in place could make the Rays a title contender for years to come, however.
The Rays 40-20 regular-season record stood as the top mark in the American League. Offensive stars Brandon Loew and Randy Arozarena return to anchor the Rays lineup, with Arozarena coming off a record-setting 2020 postseason.
Starting pitchers Blake Snell and Tyler Glasnow form the core of a starting rotation that should make the Rays strong contenders to return to the postseason in 2021.
MLB World Series Odds and Betting
Because baseball is such a popular sport in the US and worldwide, most MLB games have a good number of choices for betting. But the World Series brings the largest number of options, more than any other time of year.
MLB Moneyline Bets
The moneyline bet is also called a straight bet, and it’s the simplest bet you can make. Before the game begins, you bet on which team will win, and the number of runs doesn’t matter.
Run Line (Points Spread) Bets
In a run line, the number of runs does matter. You can either pick the underdog to win by any amount or lose within a specified number of runs, or you pick the favorite to win by a specified number of runs.
Rather than bet the moneyline on a single game, you can bet it on the series. This is a particularly hot bet when it’s the playoffs, and the World Series is the most popular Series Bet at the sportsbook.
MLB Totals (Over/Under Bets)
Rather than betting on a team or player, you can simply bet on the total number of runs scored by both teams combined. The sportsbook will set an amount, and you can bet that it will be over or under the bookmaker’s guess.
MLB Parlay Betting
A parlay is where you make multiple bets and receive a payout only if all bets are correct. Bettors choose to parlay to increase the overall win potential.
What Is An MLB Futures Bet?
An MLB futures bet is placing a wager on a future event. Most commonly, this is who will win the NL and AL pennants as well as the World Series.
A futures bet can only be placed in advance. The more teams that are eliminated, the fewer the potential winners, and the fewer futures bets the sportsbook will take.
Bettors who have a good feeling about a specific team to win it all are best suited to place their futures bet early. If the leadup to the playoffs has that team doing better and better, the odds will shift in the team’s favor, and the potential payout diminishes. The opposite is true for an early favorite. And therein lies the strategy for futures betting.
What Is A World Series Prop Bet?
A prop bet is a wager on an in-game outcome or a futures bet on a specific player.
For the World Series, this will include things like Over/Under bets on the first five innings, who will get a hit, and so on. Prop bets can vary dramatically between betting sites.
The Game 2 bet set +425 odds on Tampa Bay’s Snell recording four or more strikeouts and the Dodgers’ Seager hitting a home run. The parlay paid off in Game 2, prompting the writer to make the same bet again for Snell’s next start in Game 6.
Snell struck out nine in Game 6, but Seager didn’t hit a home run.
MLB Prop Bets
MLB games in general will usually feature prop bets. You can bet on whether a batter will get a certain number of hits, a pitcher’s strikeouts, and who will hit a home run.
You can also place player prop bets on a future outcome. Examples include the Cy Young winner and Rookie of the Year.
At the end of the day, prop betting is only limited by what the sportsbook is willing to take bets on. You can also request that a sportsbook will create a line for you if you want to place on an unlisted prop bet.
Betting Odds For The World Series FAQ
Yes, depending on where you’re located. Sports betting is legal in about two dozen states, although at different levels of acceptance. States like Colorado, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania are some of the easiest states to bet on the World Series. Michigan is in the process of launching online sports betting. A handful of states, including New York permit in-person sports betting at retail sportsbooks.
21. In most states, you need to be at least 21 years old to bet on the World Series. This applies to online and physical sportsbooks.
The only exception is Rhode Island, where the gambling age is 18 and up. However, the sportsbooks themselves will likely only accept bettors 21 and up.
In most states, you can play Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) if you’re 18 and up. All major DFS sites will have World Series events where you can win real money.
If you’re in a state where online sports betting is legal, you should have a few high-quality options for placing bets. The sites and apps with the best odds, promotions, and customer service include:
The list goes on. The great thing about betting at a legal site is that you know you’re joining a legitimate sportsbook that will pay out promptly and feature fair terms and conditions. The same can’t be said for illegal sites.
Yes, if you bet at a legitimate and trusted online sportsbook site or app. However, if you live outside of a state where online sports betting is legal, placing a bet online can be unsafe.
Offshore sites that accept all US players no matter what state are breaking the law and people who bet at them technically are as well. While you likely won’t be prosecuted for placing a bet, you have no recourse if the site refuses to pay or hits you with unfair terms and conditions.
Yes. At legal online sportsbooks in the US, in-game betting (also known as live betting) is legal. That means you can place bets after the game begins, and place bets over the course of the game.
If you’re not able to bet at an online sportsbook, you’ll have to visit the physical sportsbook to place in-game bets. Otherwise, your only option is placing pre-game bets.
Los Angeles Dodgers. At most sportsbooks, the Dodgers are the frontrunner to win the World Series.
However, the New York Yankees, San Diego Padres, Atlanta Braves, and Tampa Bay Rays all stand as strong contenders according to the offseason futures odds on the 2021 World Series.
Yes. The 2021 World Series will start on October 26. It will take place after a 162-game regular season and a return to the traditional 10-team playoff format.