The first thing you need to do is find the right sportsbook for you. With legalized gambling becoming more and more the norm, there is a long list of sportsbooks promoting themselves to you, the cuctomer
Do your own research to ensure you pick the book you'll be at long term. Here are some key things to look into and compare between different books:
What do Current Users say About the Product?
If you know people who are into gambling, talk to them. Ask questions regarding payout methods and times, site functionality, and general feedback. Most importantly, make sure to ask about customer service. You don't want to be at a book that you can't contact quickly or has generally bad customer service.
If you don't know anyone, or you want to dive a little further, search social media. Yes, everything on social media should be taken with a grain of salt, but see what people are saying. Check mentions of the book and replies from the company to get a sense of how customers feel about the product. Not everyone will love a book or hate a book, so look to gather a strong consensus to help weed out the extremes.
Lastly, check review pages. There are a number of sites that accumulate reviews on each of the major sportsbooks, so see what they say. Make sure you evaluate all information, don't just take one persons word and run into it.
What Kind of Deposit Bonus do They Offer?
One of the most exciting parts of making that first deposit is capitalizing on the deposit bonus being offered to you. Most, if not all, well known sites will have some sort of an offer for you relating to your first deposit. Offers range from matching a percentage of your deposit, to matching your entire deposit, with many other options.
Such options include things such as a first bet money back guarantee, increased odds to give you a bigger payout if you win your first bet, and straight up free bets given to you based on the amount you risked in your initial bet.
While some bonuses look significantly better than others, make sure you fully understand the rules. Many sites require you to rollover the winnings a certain number of times, meaning you can't withdraw the money until you've multiplied it however many times they require. If struggling deciding between two options, consider factoring in the better bonus. It is your best chance at 'free money' with regards to sports betting.
Ways to Bet
Playoff baseball offers bettors quite a few options and different ways to bet the games. Whether you want to bet on a game, an inning, who will win a series, or who will eventually win the world series, you're given options on how to wager.
Betting a single game money line is the most simple, direct route to placing a bet in a matter of seconds. Like other sports, the money line represents choosing a winner of the game, regardless of what the score is. So a heavily favored team that has their ace on the mound could be -260, meaning $260 must be wagered in order to win $100. Often times risks get pretty hefty if an elite pitcher is going, or one team is significantly better than the other.
In a way, the run line is the counter to the money line. If -260 is too heavy of odds, and you're certain of a blowout, you can bet the favorite to win by 1.5 runs. This makes the wager required significantly less, because of how often baseball games are decided by just a run, especially in the playoffs. The line is almost always going to be at 1.5, the variance will come in how much must be wagered to win the bet. if you're really sure of a lopsided score, you can even bet higher run lines at better odds at some sportsbooks.
Typically you want to ensure your team has a strong bullpen if you take -1.5 runs. You can't just go off the starter, who could throw a gem but get pulled in the 8th inning. A 2-0 lead quickly becomes a 2-1 lead, and that's the difference in winning and losing your bet.
Other Single Game Bets
Other ways to bet on a single game include over unders, which are heavily dependent on the starting pitchers on the mound. Aces going against each other can produce numbers as low as 6.5, while struggling pitchers can cause lines to go into double digits.
Additionally, there are a ton of prop bets available at most sports books. Things like hitting a home run, or getting over X amount of hits are often available. I'd recommend against those things, as unless you have some great Intel or a really amazing feeling about a specific player, the odds tend to not be worth the risk. One prop bet that is more appealing is pitcher strikeouts, depending on who is on the mound and the strikeout rate of the players on the opposing team.
It's worth gazing over to see if any props jump out, but they can burn you quickly and painfully.
MLB Playoff Betting Tips & Strategies
As is the case with all sports gambling, you're never going to be right 100% of the time. Baseball is unique in a few ways, though, and often times there are trends to be found that point you in a direction.
Will you always read them right or they always continue? No. But it's important to use information you have to predict upcoming developments. Using statistics, when applicable, is tip number one.
Don't be shy about digging into relevant statistics
Baseball is a long season, with long post seasons in total games played. What does that mean? A lot of potential matchups, trends, and statistics are available on any given pitcher, hitter, team, or manager. Now, don't force it when it isn't there. Look for things that are direct in relation and have supporting evidence.
Has the starting pitcher struggled in this particular stadium in his career, especially earlier this season? How have his recent outings been? Has the team's bullpen been overworked leading up to this game?
Is the team slumping? Do they either strikeout or hit it out of the park? How are they on the base-paths?
These are all questions that, when researched into properly, could lead you towards smarter bets.
Don't bet on the team you root for
This is a common mistake made by gamblers early on. It's always best to just avoid your favorite teams games, whether betting against them or in favor of them. If you're a fan, emotions are involved, and emotions lead to regretful wagers. I also suggest following that rule regarding a team you despise, like your team's rival.