- Only six states were operating licensed sportsbooks during the 2018 World Series.
- Now, there are 13 states that are offering World Series betting lines to sports bettors.
- The sportsbooks expect their lounges to fill up with sports bettors due to increased fan engagement.
HOUSTON – With Game 7 of the MLB’s World Series only moments away, the focus of the game has shifted majorly toward the betting action.
The road team has won every game thus far in the series, giving underdog bettors a positive week and a half of action. Yet still, the engagement for the World Series is going to be as high as it has ever been, as more and more states legalize sports betting.
For last year’s World Series, only six states had launched a sports betting industry, including New Mexico which opened their first sportsbook a week before the series began.
On Wednesday, bettors were welcomed to place a wager on Game 7 in over a dozen states at their choice of hundreds of land-based sportsbooks. Eight of those states also allow residents and visitors to engage in World Series betting from their mobile devices.
“Given that it’s the climax of the season for one of America’s four ‘major’ sports, we can expect to see a significant amount of interest from bettors,” said Pete Watt, a public relations spokesman for Oddschecker. “Following an increase of 18% of total bets placed on the World Series winner market during the regular season compared to last year, we could expect to see a similar rise in engagement for the Fall Classic itself.”
Though the numbers are not exact, the betting handle on the 2018 MLB postseason in Nevada, New Jersey, and Mississippi – the three states at the time that detailed how much of their betting handle is wagered on which sport – was around $100 million.
This includes the figures from every postseason game and not just the World Series, but the five-game series of last year should be heavily outnumbered from the seven games occurring in the 2019 World Series.
Though neither of the teams that are present in the World Series (the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros) are located in states with a launched sports betting industry, this doesn’t change the fact that people love betting on baseball.
“The closeness of the matchup is more likely to influence the popularity of certain markets in my opinion,” said Watt.
As the series is tied 3-3 and the percentage of likelihood of each team winning has changed drastically over the first six games, we are definitely in a close matchup.
“With a more even contest expected this year, we are seeing more variety of bets across a plethora of markets,” said Watt.
Revenue numbers for October won’t be released for a few days for some states and a few weeks for others. Still, the belief is that this World Series will see the highest betting handle it has ever seen.
For Game 7, the Astros (-130) led by Zack Greinke are favored over the Washington Nationals (+110), who will have Max Scherzer at the mound. As both of these aces were MLB All-Stars this season, the over/under is set at 7.5 runs, which is just slightly lower than the previous two games set at eight runs.
Game 7 of the World Series begins at 8:08 p.m. EST and can be seen on FOX.
Michael began writing as an NBA content writer and has spent time scouting college basketball for Florida State University under Leonard Hamilton and the University of Alabama under Anthony Grant. A graduate of both schools, he covers topics focused on legal sports betting, betting odds, and casino reviews. Michael likes to golf, play basketball, hike, and kayak when not glued to the TV watching NBA games.