MLB Opening Day: Betting Guide for Everything You Need to Know

Thursday, April 1 marks is MLB Opening Day, the first opportunity for baseball and sports betting fans to enjoy the 2021 MLB Regular Season. Each of the 30 teams will be in action on Opening Day, meaning it’s just the start of every clubs’ World Series aspirations.

This year’s Open Day allows fans to feel a sense of normalcy. Last year’s MLB season was delayed until July because of COVID-19 concerns. An April 1 start means things are back on track. The league is hoping to see all 162 games being played this season.

When it comes to wagering on MLB Opening Day games, it’s important to understand what’s available to bet on. It’s equally important to familiarize yourself with the different markets, as well as important first-day matchups.

MLB Opening Day General Information

The first game for MLB Opening Day will take place between the Toronto Blue Jays and New York Yankees at 1:05 PM ET on Thursday, April 1. After that game begins, the other 28 MLB are scheduled to open the season throughout the day. The latest game begins at 10:10 PM ET between the San Francisco Giants and Seattle Mariners.

Noteworthy Opening Day Storylines

All odds via BetOnline as of Tuesday, March 30

Padres Biggest Opening Day Home Favorite

At -210, the San Diego Padres are the biggest home favorites on MLB Opening Day. The Padres will be taking on the Arizona Diamondbacks (+192) to begin their season. The Padres are also have the third-best odds (+900) of winning the 2021 World Series.

The Padres were 5-2 against the Diamondbacks at home last season, which included a 7-2 victory on the 2020 MLB Opening Day. With how the standings are projected to fall this season, don’t be surprised if the Padres continue their home success against Arizona.

Dodgers Biggest Road Favorite

The Los Angeles Dodgers won the 2020 MLB World Series last October and they’re projected to be the top team in the league again. They’ll visit the Colorado Rockies (+189) on Thursday as the -207 road favorites. While some teams can find it hard to dominate in opposing teams’ stadiums, the Dodgers were 22-8 on the road last season. They were also 3-1 when visiting the Rockies last season, outscoring them 33-16 in those games.

The Rockies are also without star player Nolan Arenado, who they traded to the St. Louis Cardinals during the offseason. With Colorado having a worse roster than last year, it might not be difficult for the Dodgers to win.

The Over/Under for the game is also 11.5 and the Dodgers have reached the Over in six of their last seven road games.

Mets/Nationals Projected to be Lowest-Scoring Opening Game

The MLB Opening Day contest between the New York Mets and Washington Nationals is projected to be the lowest-scoring game of the day. As of March 30, BetOnline has set the Over/Under at seven runs. This is likely due to the possible pitching duel between the team’s starting pitchers.

The Mets confirmed on March 6 that two-time NL Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom would be starting on Opening Day. He finished last season going 4-2 with a 2.38 ERA and is favored to win the NL Cy Young again this season. Meanwhile, Max Scherzer will start on MLB Opening Day for the Nationals for the sixth time in seven years. The Nationals are 3-3 in Scherzer’s previous six Opening Day starts. Meanwhile the Mets are 2-0 when deGrom pitches to open the season.

BetOnline has listed the odds of the teams reaching the Over at -103 and -117 for the Under. However, the Mets and Nationals have reached the over in five of their last six games against each other.

MLB Opening Day Betting Information

Before taking part in or even thinking of MLB Opening Day betting markets, you’ll need to make an account on a sports betting website of your preference. Once you’ve done that, you may run into some of the following terms:

  • Moneyline: A moneyline bet is when you’re choosing the outright winner of a game.
  • Run line: Run line bets are when you’re choosing how many runs you think a game will be decided by. For example, if the Los Angeles Dodgers are expected to win a game by -1.5 runs, they have to win by two or more to “cover the spread.”
  • Over/Under: This is when a total combined number of runs will be given for a game. You then choose whether the two teams will score more (Over) or fewer (Under) runs than that’s given.
  • Futures: MLB Opening Day bets aren’t limited to what’s happening on April 1. You can also wager on individual award and World Series odds.
  • Prop bets: Prop (“proposition”) bets are markets that can be related to the outcome of a game, but they can also do with individual player performances or random scenarios. *As of Tuesday, March 30 BetOnline and Bovada haven’t listed Opening Day-specific props. But if they do, this page will be updated to reflect it.*

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Devon Platana
After graduating with a Masters degree in Journalism, Devon joined USGS to improve his sports writing skills. As a lifelong sports fan, one of Devon’s favorite things to do is analyze statistics across all sports.