2021 World Series Odds & Betting

World Series betting is a busy time for sportsbooks, and bettors in Virginia can take part in it for the first time in 2021. With multiple online sportsbooks in play, there are several ways to bet on the World Series before and during each game.

You can even get your money down on the World Series winner well in advance of the season itself, long before the matchup is even announced. That’s thanks to the World Series futures market, an active part of the betting landscape.

In this guide to MLB World Series betting, we’ll walk through everything you need to know and touch on the history of one of the best betting events of the year. We also point you to the top online sportsbooks to make your World Series bets in Virginia.

Best World Series Betting Odds

See below for current World Series futures odds for every MLB team at VA online sportsbooks. Check back when the Series is set to see game and series lines. Use the drop-down menu to see other futures boards including AL/NL winners and division winners. Click on any odds to claim your bonus and get your World Series futures bet down right now!

Top World Series betting apps in Virginia

As the legal and regulated sports betting industry grows and evolves, so does the number of sportsbook choices at your disposal. Here are our top three picks for VA sportsbook apps to use for World Series betting.

Downloading a mobile sports betting app1. DraftKings Sportsbook

DraftKings has done daily fantasy sports right for years, and it’s now doing the same with online sports betting. Folks in Virginia will find lots to love. Given its slick app and live FlashBet feature, DK is a go-to app for betting on all sports, including MLB. Expect:

  • Moneylines, run lines and totals for each World Series game
  • World Series futures markets
  • Exclusive promos and odds boosts for World Series teams, games and players

2. FanDuel Sportsbook

FanDuel was another driving force behind the explosive growth of DFS, and the company is now doing the same with sports betting. As a market leader in most sports betting markets entered to date, FanDuel is clearly doing something right. Virginia bettors have plenty to look forward to, including:

  • All of the standard bet types for the World Series.
  • World Series live betting.
  • User-friendly interface and World Series promotions.

3. BetMGM Sportsbook

This is the sports betting arm for the iconic MGM Resorts, a huge brand for casinos in the US and beyond. BetMGM is aiming to be one of the top destinations for sports bettors across the nation. We fully expect it to become a top option here in Virginia.

  • Bet on the World Series with a trusted brand name.
  • World Series prop betting.
  • Competitive odds and all of the markets you need.

You can get up and running with each of these apps quickly. Use any link on this page to claim the exclusive bonus offers. Enter your info at the sportsbook landing page and then download the app from the main website.

How World Series betting works

When it comes to betting on the World Series, there are a number of ways to go. We’ll start with the three main bet types for each of the individual games.

World Series moneyline

This is a popular bet type for MLB. You simply pick the winner of the game. The favorite in the game has negative odds; the underdog is positive. A close range of odds indicates a tight game while a wide span points to a clear-cut favorite. Here is a sample WS moneyline:

  • Houston Astros +120
  • Washington Nationals -130

World Series run line

The run line works similar to the point spread in other sports. The line is generally set at 1.5 runs, but there are alternative run lines to be found. To cover, the favorite has to win the game by more than the margin, while the underdog can cover by keeping it closer than that or by winning outright. For example:

  • Houston Astros +1.5 runs (-110)
  • Washington Nationals -1.5 (-110)

World Series totals

A totals bet allows you to focus on the score of the game without worrying about winners and losers. Sportsbooks set an estimated total, and bettors pick if they think the total combined runs will be over or under that amount. MLB totals start at 6.0 on the low end and can go to 10+ runs for potential slugfests. For example:

  • Over 8.5 (-110)
  • Under 8.5 (-110)

Those three bet types will attract plenty of action for the World Series, but there’s much more to see as you poke around the baseball betting menu at online sportsbooks and betting apps.

World Series outright winner

You can also bet on the outright winner of the Series itself. At most books, there will also be options for picking the team to win in a designated number of games, such as Astros in four or Nationals in seven. For example:

  • Astros to win World Series +110
  • Nationals to win World Series -120

World Series prop betting

You’ll have a wide range of prop opportunities to consider for each of the individual games. If you click through the game listings, you’ll see all of the bets available for the game at hand. For example:

  • How many strikeouts for Max Scherzer — over/under 7.5
  • Total hits plus walks for Jose Altuve — over/under 2.5

World Series live betting

Live betting affords you the chance to wager in real time as the game plays out. The market moves fast, and offerings will vary based on what’s going on. You’ll also be able to bet on the outcome with new odds that reflect the current situation.

That leaves you with plenty of ways to bet as the World Series plays out, but you also don’t have to wait to get in on it.

Baseball futures odds

Futures are wagers that you can place on an outcome that won’t be known until a later date. For MLB, there are a number of bets to consider, including:

  • Division and league winners.
  • Team regular-season win totals.
  • Individual award winners — MVP, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year, etc.

The biggest futures market for MLB, naturally, revolves around the winner of the World Series. The market stays pretty active all year with the biggest spikes coming when odds are initially released and right before the season gets underway.

How to read World Series futures odds

Oddsmakers set the World Series futures market for all of the league’s teams. The initial release happens soon after the current World Series is in the books. At most sportsbooks, the futures odds will be listed in descending order. That means favorites will be up top, longshots will be at the bottom and everyone else will be in the middle.

For the top five favorites to win the whole thing, you might see odds that look something like this.

  • New York Yankees +450
  • Los Angeles Dodgers +550
  • Minnesota Twins +1100
  • Atlanta Braves +1200
  • Houston Astros +1300

Each of the 30 MLB teams are listed and the odds rise based on the team’s perceived chances, as long as they are not eliminated from postseason contention. There will be some movement in the market based on market action and what’s going on. We’ll explain why that happens in a bit.

A World Series futures bet can be pretty lucrative if you make the right choice. As an example, if you place a $100 bet on the Twins to win the World Series at odds of +1100 and they pull it off, you’d be in line for a $1,200 payout — the initial stake of your bet plus a profit of $1,100.

There are many bettors who remain engaged with the futures market all year round as they hunt for appealing prices, while others may take a long-term view and just hold their initial tickets.

In the unlikely event that an entire MLB season is canceled, futures bets would likely be considered void and refunded. You can consult with the sportsbooks you play on for exact terms and conditions on how extreme events are handled.

World Series line movements explained

After World Series betting odds are released, they don’t stay still. Why is that? The betting action that comes in. Once odds are released, the public gets to have its say. At times, one outcome will attract much more of the action than another.

When it does, sportsbooks respond. They tweak the World Series betting lines to try to even out the wagering action. They make the side that’s getting the majority of action less appealing and make the other side more attractive.

For example, for a game in which the New York Yankees are decent-sized -130 favorites over the +110 Los Angeles Dodgers, with the bulk of the betting volume going toward the latter, the book might shift the odds to something like this.

  • Los Angeles Dodgers +100
  • New York Yankees -120

A winning bet on the Yankees at these odds would offer a better payout than the original odds, so that may have the desired effect. If it doesn’t — or if bettors keep piling in on the Dodgers — there could be some additional tweaks in advance of game time.

Getting the action split right down the middle is challenging, but sportsbooks often prefer that scenario. It limits liability on their end, and they already have some profit built in via the vig charged for facilitating bets.

There’s also movement in the World Series odds based on betting action, so keep that in mind. Those who look like favorites in advance of the year may suddenly become less appealing when they hit a rough patch, and dark horses that catch fire can suddenly become popular, for example.

MLB playoff format

In years past, there were 10 MLB teams invited to the postseason dance — three division winners and two wild cards from each of the two leagues. The 2020 campaign has been different in a number of ways, and that will extend into the playoffs.

There will be 16 teams in the postseason this time around — eight each from the AL and NL. The overall format has also been adjusted to accommodate the influx of teams.

  • Wild Card: Best-of-three
  • Divisional Series: Best-of-five
  • League Championship Series: Best-of-seven
  • World Series: Best-of-seven

The ultimate winner of the World Series will have won 13 postseason games. It’s a big adjustment from the norm for MLB, but it’s certainly a welcome development for World Series bettors due to the additional number of games.

NL vs. AL World Series betting trends

At the end of the MLB season, the pennant winners from the AL and NL square off to decide the World Series. On an all-time basis, the AL is on top by a margin of 66-49. While that makes it sound like the AL is the superior overall league, recent history says otherwise.

  • The NL leads 6-4 for the last 10 World Series.
  • Since 2000, it’s knotted up at 10-10.
  • The Series has gone the distance in seven of the last 20.
  • Four of the last six have gone the distance.
  • Just four of the last 20 contests have been sweeps.
  • There hasn’t been a repeat winner since the 1998-2000 Yankees.

If we were to drill down to just the last five years, the AL holds a 3-2 advantage while three of the five Series have gone seven games. Over the last three seasons, it’s a 2-1 margin for the AL with two of the three going the distance.

Which team has the most World Series wins?

There is one team at the top of the charts in World Series wins, and no one else is close. Here’s a look at the franchise records in the World Series, listed in order by total number of appearances.

TeamSeries RecordLast AppearanceLast Win
New York Yankees27-1320092009
Los Angeles Dodgers8-1220181988
San Francisco Giants6-1420142014
St. Louis Cardinals11-820132011
Oakland Athletics9-519901989
Boston Red Sox9-420182018
Chicago Cubs3-820162016
Detroit Tigers4-720121984
Atlanta Braves3-619991995
Cincinnati Reds5-419901990
Baltimore Orioles3-419831983
Philadelphia Phillies2-520092008
Pittsburgh Pirates5-219791979
Cleveland Indians2-420161948
Minnesota Twins3-319911991
Chicago White Sox3-220052005
New York Mets2-320151986
Kansas City Royals2-220152015
Houston Astros1-220192017
Miami Marlins2-020032003
San Diego Padres0-21998NA
Texas Rangers0-22011NA
Toronto Blue Jays2-019931993
Arizona Diamondbacks1-020012001
Colorado Rockies0-12007NA
Los Angeles Angels1-020022002
Milwaukee Brewers0-11982NA
Tampa Bay Rays0-12008NA
Washington Nationals1-020192019
Seattle Mariners0-0NANA

It’s interesting that the Yankees and Dodgers were once again the favorites to reach the World Series before the season started. We’ll have to wait and see if the two franchises can pad their total number of appearances or if any of the other MLB teams will continue climbing up the list.

World Series betting tips

There are some key differences between betting on World Series futures and the games themselves. For the former, it’s a matter of projecting out the season as a whole. If you have the time to go through all 30 teams, that’s fantastic. For the time-pressed, here’s a quicker process that you can use.

  • Review the odds for all teams.
  • Make mental note of teams that jump out.
  • Go through the list again and do the same.
  • You should walk away with a shortlist of teams to research.

From there, it’s a matter of going through your shortlist in full detail and finding the wagers you feel best about.

When it comes to the games, you can go through your normal handicapping routine, but there are some key factors to really zero in on come World Series time.

  • Fully understand what the odds say: The odds for the Series as a whole and the individual games can paint different pictures, so be sure to keep that in mind. For each game, study up on the numbers and shop around to see what the prices are at multiple sportsbooks.
  • Overall momentum for both sides: The teams are obviously doing something right when they’ve made it this far, but they may have taken different paths. Is one team rolling while the other has had to fight and claw every step of the way?
  • Who has the pitching advantage? This is always applicable for MLB betting, but it can really be the key to winning the Series. You need to spend time examining each projected pitching matchup and both bullpens in full detail for an idea of how the games may play out.
  • Hotter bats for postseason as a whole: This also falls under momentum, but it’s worth examining on a stand-alone basis. Has one side been crushing the ball lately? Has either team been struggling to get it together at any point in the postseason?
  • Historical splits when teams have hooked up in past: This one is mainly useful when the teams have faced off during the preceding regular season. If they have, there could be some valuable intel on how batters have fared versus pitchers, etc.

At the end of the day, remember that the goal of the handicapping process is to make the case for one side over the other. Do your best to leave preconceived notions at the door and let what you uncover be your guide on which way to go with your wagers.

World Series FAQ

How many repeat World Series winners have there been?

It has been awhile since the last one, but a back-to-back winner of the World Series has happened 14 times in MLB history. The New York Yankees were the last to turn the trick, winning three straight crowns from 1998-2000. The last two before that were the 1992-93 Toronto Blue Jays and the Yankees from 1977-78.

When do World Series odds get released?

The futures odds for the next Fall Classic get released right after the current one is in the books. At some sportsbooks, that can be as soon as the night of the last game of the current World Series. For others, it might be the next day or sometime in the following week.

Can you bet on the World Series in Virginia?

Sports betting was officially legalized in VA in April 2020. The official rollout for legal and regulated sportsbooks is expected to happen before the end of the year. In a perfect world, the timeline will be accelerated, but we’ll have to wait and see for now.

What are the dates for the 2020 World Series?

The MLB postseason is expected to get underway on Sept. 29, 2020, with the best-of-three Wild Card Series. The format for the playoffs has changed for this season with an expanded field, and concrete dates for the rest of the postseason are still to come. The last possible date for a World Series game in 2020 is October 30.

Has any player won the World Series MVP award multiple times?

Just three players have managed to win the award multiple times, and they happen to be three of the very best to ever play the game.

  • Sandy Koufax — 1963 and 1965 with Los Angeles Dodgers.
  • Bob Gibson — 1964 and 1967 with St. Louis Cardinals.
  • Reggie Jackson — 1973 with Oakland Athletics and 1977 with New York Yankees.