World Series Betting Trends & Futures Odds Report

World Series betting trends are taking shape, with the MLB regular season now moving into May. Granted, there are miles to go before the 2023 campaign finishes sometime in early November. But that's not stopping some bettors from jumping in early on World Series odds.

The Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers are co-favorites in odds to win the World Series. And the Tampa Bay Rays are right in the mix too, after a scorching start.

BetMGM sports trader Hal Egeland provides the latest insights on 2023 World Series betting odds, trends and action.

2022 World Series Betting

Rays of Light

Harold Ramirez and the Rays are on fire through the first month-plus. (Getty)

The Tampa Bay Rays blasted out of the gate by winning their first 13 games. Even now, in late May, Tampa is winning at a .714 clip, with an MLB-leading 35-14 record.

BetMGM opened the Rays +2500 in November, and Tampa Bay went into Opening Day at +2000 to win the World Series. Then came the scorching start and a lot more movement.

"A week into the season, we made a much more significant move to +1200," BetMGM sports trader Hal Egeland said, "Since then, they’ve made their way down to +650, proving that their performance wasn’t strictly based on their very easy schedule. We took some respected action early on, but the general public focused more on the Rays' individual games than the futures markets."

The Rays are now the third choice on BetMGM's World Series odds board. At the moment, the book wouldn't mind Tampa Bay keeping things going all season long.

"The Rays would be a good result as of now for all futures – division, pennant and World Series," Egeland said.

Updated on 06/02/2023
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Trending Teams

The Pittsburgh Pirates are off to a surprisingly strong start. (Getty)

A couple of outfits that have seen some pretty lean seasons recently actually got off to solid starts this year. As such, the Pittsburgh Pirates and more so the Baltimore Orioles are making a dent in World Series betting trends.

"The public has taken a liking to the Pirates and Orioles," Egeland said. "It’s pretty clear at this point we were wrong about the Pirates. The public was all over their win total leading up to the season, and it looks like they’ll pass the 64.5 wins in a couple months time. We’ll see if these teams can keep up their hot start."

Egeland's comments came in early May, when the Pirates were 20-13 and the Orioles 22-10. Pittsburgh has regressed a bit since then, but is still tied atop the NL Central at 25-22. But Baltimore has remained hot, at 31-16 through May 22.

Baltimore has a bit loftier season win total to reach, in the 77-78 range. But the O's are well on their way, and World Series futures bettors are on board.

"The Orioles have a tough path, having to battle the rest of the AL East. But that hasn’t tempered the excitement," Egeland said.

Between May 6 and May 23, the Orioles moved from +6600 to +3500 in BetMGM's World Series futures market. On the flip side, with the Pirates falling off the pace a bit lately, BetMGM stretched their odds from +8000 to 150/1.

Ticket Takers and Money Makers

Matt Olson's Braves are World Series favorites in early May. (Getty)

There's not much correlation between teams with the top ticket count and teams taking the most money in BetMGM's World Series betting market. Factoring in both retail and digital action, the Los Angeles Dodgers (+500) are No. 1 in tickets, followed by the San Diego Padres (+1600) and – perhaps surprisingly – the Seattle Mariners (+4000).

The Houston Astros (+700) have drawn the most cash so far, with the Padres second and New York Yankees (+1200) third.

Not among the top three in tickets nor money: The World Series co-favorite Atlanta Braves (+500) and the aforementioned Rays. As Egeland noted above, a Tampa title is a fine outcome for the book.

"I don’t anticipate a giant wave of Rays backers, if they didn’t bet them early on," Egeland said. "The Blue Jays and Braves would also be great results for us."

Toronto is the +1400 sixth choice.

As for the defending champion Astros, while they are No. 1 in money, BetMGM hasn't seen any cash yet from Jim "Mattress Mack" McIngvale. Last season, McIngvale cleaned up to the tune of $70 million-plus – a chunk of which came from BetMGM – on the Astros' title.

While Mattress Mack hasn't made an Astros wager at BetMGM this season, he did place a $1.9 million bet with Caesars Sports on Astros +600 to win the 2023 World Series. That's potentially $11.4 million in liability for Caesars.

Updated on 06/02/2023
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Flying Under the Radar

The Phillies' Bryce Harper just returned from offseason elbow surgery. (Getty)

Egeland pointed to two teams that might be a bit underappreciated in World Series betting trends thus far. The Milwaukee Brewers and Philadelphia Phillies are both +2500.

"The Brewers and Phillies are two teams I think deserve a close look," Egeland said. "Corbin Burnes hasn’t been himself and Brandon Woodruff has been hurt. I’m confident the starting pitching will be right up there with the best in the league.

"And I’m a believer in their young talent. It’s a shame some of them are hurt currently, but when looking at the long run, I think they could provide some needed offense."

Preseason, the Brewers could be had for +3500.

As for Philadelphia, Bryce Harper returned to the lineup in early May. Harper had elbow surgery in the wake of the Phillies' run to the World Series, where Philadelphia lost to Houston in six games.

"The Phillies are welcoming back Bryce Harper this week. That alone is enough reason to look at them at +3000 to win the World Series," Egeland said.

Philadelphia subsequently moved from +3000 to the aforementioned +2500.