The MLB is the dominant professional sports league in the United States during the summer months. America’s pastime features games nearly every day for every professional team, which means there are ample opportunities to bet on MLB games throughout the season.
This year (2023) the MLB started on schedule and will play a full 162 game season that will run from March 30th to October 1st. The World Series is expected to be played in late October. A 162 game regular season means a full slate of MLB games to find betting opportunities on this season.
On this page I will recommend our top rated betting site for California residents, touch on how close the state is to regulating sports betting, look at examples of the three most common MLB bets, and finish with a simple 3 step guide you can follow to bet on the MLB online.
Best Betting Sites For California Residents
Bovada.lv is our #1 rated betting site for California residents looking to bet on MLB games. Bovada is the most popular and trusted betting site for Americans and has served the US betting market since 2012. They are focused on providing a great betting experience for Californians and Americans as a whole.
Bovada offers a wide variety of early and fair betting lines for all MLB games.
Sports Betting in California
It is not currently legal to operate a sportsbook within the State of California.
Two ballot measures to legalize sports were voted on in November of 2022, with both propositions failing by significant margins. 2024 is now the earliest that sports betting can be legalized in California, but after the ballot measures failed in 2022 optimism is not high.
That said, California residents do still have the ability to bet on sports through offshore betting sites that are licensed and regulated outside of the United States. Bovada falls into this category and is without a doubt the best place for California residents to bet on sports for the foreseeable future.
Check out our California sports betting section for more details about the betting climate in the state.
MLB Betting Options
There are three MLB bets that are featured for each game. These are the runline, to win (money line) and total (over/under).
Also referred to as they money line, this is the most common MLB wager. You are simply wagering on which team will win the game. The odds are set based on each teams perceived chance of winning the game and determine the risk vs reward of your bet.
Here’s an example using a couple California MLB teams:
In this example the Dodgers are big -295 favorites. This means you would have to wager $295 to win $100 betting on the Dodgers (payout of $395). The Giants are the underdogs at odds of +245, which indicates a $100 bet on the Giants would win $245 (payout $345) if they pull off the upset.
The run line is always a spread of 1.5 runs in the MLB, with the favorite needing to win the game by 2 or more runs and the underdog needing to either win the game or lose by 1 run.
In this example a run line bet on the Dodgers has odds of -140. The Dodgers must win by 2 or more runs for runline bets on LA to win. The Giants run line odds are +120 and those bets would payout if the Giants win the game or lose by 1 run.
The total, also known as the over/under, involves betting on the number of runs to be scored by both teams (combined) in the game. The oddsmaker sets a total and you can bet on whether the number of runs scored will be over or under that number.
In this example the total is set at 8 runs. Bets on the over would win if 9 or more runs are scored in the game and under bets would win if 7 or fewer runs are scored. If exactly 8 runs are scored all over/under bets would push.
How To Bet On MLB From California – 3 Step Guide
Follow this three step tutorial to bet on MLB games online from anywhere in California.
Step 1. Join Bovada.lv
Click the above link and fill out the short form on the home page to open your account.
Bovada is the most popular online sportsbook serving the United States betting market and our top rated site for California residents.
Step 2. Deposit Funds
After logging into your new account click on the ‘Deposit’ button after opening the drop down menu in the top right corner of the screen. Select your preferred deposit method and follow the instructions to fund your account.
Bovada accepts Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Bitcoin, Ethereum, and MatchPay (PayPal, Venmo, Zelle, etc.). **You can also cash out via bank wire or check through the mail.
Step 3. Place Your MLB Bets
Click ‘Sports’ from the top menu bar and select ‘Baseball’ from the secondary sports menu.
Select the MLB bet that you want to make and enter your risk amount on the Bet Slip in the right sidebar. Click ‘Place Bets’ to lock in your wager.
Here’s a screenshot showing the clicks:
It’s that easy. Ready to bet? Click here to visit Bovada.lv.