As the calendar turns to fall, betting on the MLB regular season winds down. Meanwhile, the intensity on the diamond is about to be turned up several notches. The MLB Playoffs get underway right after the season is in the books, culminating in the World Series.

The evolving legal sports betting environment only adds to the excitement and anticipation. Folks in a number of states, including right here in Colorado, can legally and safely bet on the World Series and sweat the action right along with the players on the field.

We’re going to walk through how you can do so in full detail. Read on as we discuss everything you need to know about betting on the World Series and the latest odds and lines at Colorado sportsbooks.

World Series odds at Colorado sportsbooks

How to bet on the World Series

Throughout the MLB season, there are a number of different ways to get in on the action and place your MLB wagers. The same holds true for the World Series. Here are the top options you’ll have at your disposal.

  • Futures: The futures market is always going with opportunities, including picking the winner of the next edition of the World Series.
  • Series: When the Fall Classic rolls around, you’ll be able to place your bets on the winner of the series.
  • Games: You can drill down even further into the individual games by betting on the moneyline, run line, or totals.

Futures bets are a great way to get involved at any time. We’ll cover what you need to know there in a bit.

For the series itself, let’s consider a hypothetical matchup between the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees. Once the matchup is finalized, sportsbooks will release odds on the outright winner of the series which may look something like this.

  • Los Angeles Dodgers -130
  • New York Yankees +120

As the oddsmakers see it, the Dodgers are slight favorites to win the series. For your reference, a winning $100 bet on that side would return a total of $176.90. If you bet $100 on the Yankees and they go on to win, the total return would be $220.

When it comes time to bet on the individual games, you’ll have a number of different options to consider. Let’s begin by looking at the moneyline.

  • Los Angeles Dodgers -140
  • New York Yankees +120

For this game, the Dodgers are once again favored, which you can tell by noting the negative odds next to their name. As the positive odds for the Yankees indicate, they’re the underdog for this matchup. Moneyline is a simple bet in which you merely have to choose the winner.

Next, there’s a run line in MLB betting which is similar to the point spread used for other sports. The run line is generally the same for all games and set at 1.5.

  • Los Angeles Dodgers -1.5 (-110)
  • New York Yankees +1.5 (-110)

If you place a bet on the Dodgers with the run line, that means they would have to win the game by a margin greater than 1.5 runs to cover. For the Yankees, a bet on that side means they have to keep the final score closer than that or win the game outright to cover.

Totals betting is also quite popular for MLB. For these wagers, oddsmakers set a benchmark of an estimated total runs scored in the game. Bettors then get to choose if they think the total runs will be Over or Under that amount.

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

You’ll see lots of MLB totals set between 7.5 and 9 runs. Games that fall lower than that can be viewed as potential pitching duels, while those with totals higher than that range could be high-scoring affairs.

Beyond these three main bet types for the individual games, there will also be numerous prop betting opportunities, which are essentially side wagers on things that might happen during the game.

Live betting opens up even more possibilities. These are bets that you’ll be able to place after the action has already started. It’s a fast-paced market which opens the door to even more opportunities.

What are World Series futures?

We mentioned the futures market earlier, and now it’s time to take a closer look. Futures are wagers you can place on something that has yet to happen.

For MLB purposes, that means things such as team regular season win totals, players that’ll win individual player awards, league and division winners, playoff teams, and the winner of the next World Series.

MLB futures odds are released in advance of the season. Using the World Series as an example, each of the MLB teams will be listed in descending order with their corresponding odds, such as:

  • Los Angeles Dodgers +350
  • New York Yankees +400
  • Houston Astros +750
  • Atlanta Braves +1400
  • Minnesota Twins +1600

And so on for each team. Some futures bettors like to take a long-term view and place their wagers in advance of the season. Others will keep an eye on the market and take a more active approach as appealing opportunities pop up.

As you can see in our example of World Series futures odds, there’s a potential for nice returns if you manage to pick the right team. For example, a $100 winning bet on the Astros at odds of +750 would return a total of $850.

World Series betting odds

At virtually any point during the season – and even in advance of it – we can take a peek at the odds for the winner of the next World Series. The futures market will list out all teams in contention, from favorites all the way down to longshots.

Once the playoffs begin, the field is cut down dramatically. You’ll only see odds listed for the teams that actually qualified for the MLB postseason.

When the matchup for the World Series becomes official, you’ll then see odds for the outright winner of the series. As the individual games approach, you’ll see all of the lines for single-game betting.

MLB odds and line moves

Sports betting odds for the winner of the World Series don’t stay stagnant. In fact, it’s not uncommon to see substantial movement after the initial release.

Once sportsbooks release the odds, the betting public has its chance to weigh in. Depending on the amount of action that comes in, there could be some movement.

Let’s consider the fictitious odds for a trio of favorites which look something like this.

  • Los Angeles Dodgers +400
  • New York Yankees +450
  • Houston Astros +700

As the action begins to come in, sportsbooks take in a good amount of money on both the Dodgers and Yankees. However, not much interest has been shown on the Astros. Oddsmakers respond by adjusting the board a bit.

  • Los Angeles Dodgers +350
  • New York Yankees +400
  • Houston Astros +750

In a nutshell, oddsmakers try to limit liability as best as they can while attempting to even out the action. To help make that happen, they can make sides that are seeing more bets less attractive, while doing the opposite on sides they want to see more money come in on.

Additionally, there can be adjustments in the futures market based on how teams perform. For example, if the Astros hit a tough stretch and drop nine games in a row, they may not see as much action. On the other hand, if the Yankees go on a run and win 12 out of 14, they could see even more bets head in that direction.

Once the MLB Playoffs get underway, it’s possible to see a good amount of line movement on teams in the field based on things such as untimely injuries or potential matchups for the next round.

How do the MLB Playoffs work?

Many moons ago, the MLB postseason format was really simple. The winners of the American and National League met in the World Series, and that was it.

That changed in 1969 with the advent of the League Championship Series. The winners of the two divisions in each league met in the LCS, and the victors in those series advanced to play in the World Series.

That format stayed in place until the 1990s. Expansion led to the need for three divisions in each league, and a Wild Card was also added to the postseason mix. Fast forward to 2012, and a second Wild Card team was added in each league.

There has been talk of further tweaking the format moving forward and expanding to 14 playoff teams, but the current incarnation remains in place for the time being. Here’s how it works.

A total of 10 teams qualify for the MLB Playoffs. That’s five from each league – three division winners and two Wild Card teams.

The Wild Card squads on both sides face off in an elimination game with the winner advancing to the next round, which is known as the Division Series.

That round of the playoffs is contested under best-of-five rules, which means that the first team to win three games in the set advances. The victors move on to the LCS for a best-of-seven series.

The first squad to win four games in the AL and NL advance to the World Series, which is also contested under a best-of-seven format.

The MLB postseason has evolved dramatically over the past few decades, and betting interest has increased right along with it. The entire postseason – and especially the World Series – is one of the biggest highlights of the year for bettors and fans alike.

Biggest underdogs to win the World Series

If you make it to the World Series, then you’ve obviously done a lot of things right. However, there are plenty of times when the Fall Classic hasn’t adhered to the script. Here are some of the biggest and most memorable upsets in World Series history.

  • 2019: Washington Nationals over Houston Astros – The Nationals put together a run for the ages during the 2019 postseason, but it was expected that the clock would strike 12 when they squared off with the Astros. That proved not to be the case as Washington sealed the deal with a Game 7 victory to earn the franchise’s first World Series crown.
  • 2003: Florida Marlins over New York Yankees – The powerhouse Yankees of the early 2000’s were expected to make really easy work of the Marlins. After stunning New York in Game 1, Florida dropped the next two before roaring back to win three in a row. For an exclamation point, the series clinching win in Game 6 came by a score of 2-0.
  • 1990: Cincinnati Reds over Oakland Athletics – For context, this Athletics team was loaded with talent, including then-young sluggers Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco. What was supposed to be a coronation for Oakland turned into a humiliation, as Cincinnati stunned the baseball world by sweeping the series in four games.
  • 1969: New York Mets over Baltimore Orioles – From the time of their debut in 1962, the Mets were rather hapless. That changed in big league fashion in 1969. A loaded pitching staff led the way, but Tom Seaver and company were expected to bow down to the favored Orioles. The so-called Amazin’ Mets had other ideas, taking the series in six games.
  • 1954: New York Giants over Cleveland Indians – The Indians roared through the regular season while racking up 111 wins. The lineup and pitching staff were stacked, so the ‘54 series appeared to be theirs. And then it wasn’t. Willie Mays was among those who led the way for a stunning 4-0 sweep and series win for the Giants.

Colorado Rockies – The path to the World Series

The Colorado Rockies joined MLB as an expansion team in 1993. The franchise quickly gained notoriety as home games in the thin air of Denver became conducive to high-scoring contests.

The Rockies are members of the National League West Division. As with all MLB teams, the club has gone through its share of ups and downs along the way.

Here’s a look at the years which wound up with a trip to the postseason.

  • 1995: The upstart Rockies made it to the playoffs as a Wild Card, losing to the Atlanta Braves in the Division Series.
  • 2007: Another Wild Card berth for the Rockies. The club advanced to the World Series before falling to the Boston Red Sox.
  • 2009: The Wild Card Rockies squared off with the Philadelphia Phillies in the divisional round, losing in four games.
  • 2017: It was one and done for the Rockies as the team lost to the Arizona Diamondbacks in the Wild Card game by a score of 11-8.
  • 2018: The Rockies upset the Chicago Cubs in the Wild Card game but met their match next round as they were swept by the Milwaukee Brewers.

Larry Walker, winner of the 1997 National League Most Valuable Player award, is the lone Rockies player enshrined in the MLB Hall of Fame. Other notable players include Todd Helton, whose number 17 has been retired by the club.

All-time World Series champions

The Rockies have only made it to one World Series thus far, losing to the Boston Red Sox in 2007. Here’s how each MLB team has fared in the Fall Classic.

TeamAppearanceWinsLast AppearanceLast Win
New York Yankees402720092009
Los Angeles Dodgers20620181988
San Francisco Giants20820142014
St. Louis Cardinals191120132011
Oakland Athletics14919901989
Boston Red Sox13920182018
Chicago Cubs11320162016
Detroit Tigers11420121984
Atlanta Braves9319991995
Cincinnati Reds9519901990
Baltimore Orioles7319831983
Philadelphia Phillies7220092008
Pittsburgh Pirates7519791979
Cleveland Indians6220161948
Minnesota Twins6319911991
Chicago White Sox5320052005
New York Mets5220151986
Kansas City Royals4220152015
Houston Astros3120192017
Miami Marlins2220032003
San Diego Padres201998N/A
Texas Rangers202011N/A
Toronto Blue Jays2219931993
Arizona Diamondbacks1120012001
Colorado Rockies102007N/A
Los Angeles Angels1120022002
Milwaukee Brewers101982N/A
Tampa Bay Rays102008N/A
Washington Nationals1120192019
Seattle Mariners0N/AN/AN/A

World Series betting tips

When it comes to betting on World Series futures, it’s a matter of attempting to project out the season as a whole. Do you like one of the favorites to take it down? How about one of the longshots? Is a sleeper the way to go or should you stick to a safer pick?

For the World Series itself, normal handicapping rules apply. You’ll want to break down the matchup in full detail, consider what the odds board has to say, and look at numerous ancillary factors. Here are a few tips to keep in mind while doing so.

  • Current Team Momentum: To make it to the postseason, teams have obviously played at a high level for the season as a whole. However, some teams just get hot when the games matter the most while others tail off. Make sure you have a good sense of which direction each team is trending in.
  • Starting Pitching and Bullpen: The pitching matchup is always at the top of the list for handicapping MLB games, but it’s worth an extra mention here. A substantial pitching edge can make a world of difference in a series, as well as for each of the individual games. Be sure to weigh this metric accordingly.
  • Postseason Track Record: In the same fashion that teams get hot or cold, there are clubs that step up when the pressure is highest while others do not. While each season is a different story, consider the overall track record of the teams involved, especially if it’s a situation involving clubs that have regularly made the playoffs in recent years.

World Series Betting FAQ

Where can you find the best World Series odds?

In year’s past, the answer to this question was pretty simple. Las Vegas sportsbooks drove the market when it came to odds, but that’s not entirely the case now. Top legal and regulated sportsbooks across the US post odds and lines which are right on point with Sin City. If you do some shopping among Colorado sportsbooks, you’ll quickly see that’s the case.

When is the World Series played?

The World Series is typically played in late October as the capper of an existing postseason. For playoffs that run long due to weather delays or other circumstances, it’s possible to see some of the Fall Classic pushed into November.

How many games is the World Series?

It’s a best-of-seven series, which means that the first team to win four games is the victor. At a minimum, the Fall Classic will last four games, while the maximum number of games will be seven.

Which league has won the World Series the most times - American or National?

Of the 115 World Series played to date, the American League holds the edge over the National League by a margin of 66-49. For the past decade, the NL holds a slight 6-4 advantage.