Sports betting is alive and well in Virginia. Indeed, the Commonwealth is one of the most active sports betting markets in the country. That extends to betting on MLB, and especially the most popular team in the state, the Washington Nationals.
Indeed, the only downside for Nationals fans is that betting wasn’t legalized back in 2019 when Washington went on a magical run, starting with the Wild Card game and ending with the Commissioner’s Trophy.
When the Nationals get ready for another postseason tear (or even just get ready for a Wednesday afternoon regular-season tilt), we’ve got you covered with everything you need to know about betting on them—or any other MLB team.
Sportsbooks Options Available For Virginia Bettors
Virginia is currently one of just a few states with no brick-and-mortar casinos or sportsbooks, but approval has been granted for retail locations in five cities throughout the Commonwealth. Caesars Virginia is scheduled to break ground in December 2021 and is tentatively expected to be completed in 2023.
In the meantime, Virginians can place wagers on a number of sportsbook apps that have been launched in the state.
Here is the breakdown.
|Sportsbook Operator||Sportsbook Features|
|DraftKings||20% deposit match bonus up to $1,000, $50 free bet with $5 deposit, all major sports (plus more), free contests|
|Caesars||Odds boosts opportunity, $1,500 first bet insurance|
|BetMGM||$1,000 risk free bet, user friendly UI|
|BetRivers||Free tournaments, initial bonus up to $250 (1x playthrough)|
|FanDuel||Same game parlays, user friendly UI, great promo offer for $1,000 risk-free bet|
|PointsBet||$2,000 risk-free across 2 bets as a welcome promo, unique "pointsbetting" wager type for risky bettors, great market depth|
|Unibet||Well-established brand, up to $500 as a risk-free bet for new players|
How To Bet On The World Series In Virginia
What’s great about sportsbooks opening in a new territory is the bonuses that come with it. Most of them have excellent MLB bets available. The best time to take advantage of a futures bet is leading up to a new season. The Nationals did not fare well in 2021, but after some reshuffling in the offseason, they could field a group primed to make another postseason run.
How the Initial Lines and Odds Are Determined
Now that you have an idea of where you can bet on MLB games, it’s important to understand the basic terms usually associated with placing a wager.
What Is A MLB Sports Bet?
A bet is the process of risking money on an outcome you think might happen. For example, if you think the Washington Nationals are going to beat the Astros in spring training, you could bet money on it and if you are correct, possibly see a return.
What Is A Win?
Virginia is for lovers winners. A win is what we aim for in the sports gambling community, and hopefully lots of them. So what constitutes a win? For the most part, it’s quite simple. If you choose the correct side on a wager, your bet will be graded as a winner.
What Are Sports Betting Odds?
Odds are the numeric value given to each bet. The odds are what make a bet either enticing or avoidable. There can only be plus odds, negative odds, and even odds. A favorite to win would have negative odds tied to them. An underdog will have plus odds. And if the bookmakers consider a match to be even, the odds will be even. There are three types of ways odds are displayed.
Most sportsbooks give you the option to change this setting to your preferred way. Although Virginia sports betting apps, like FanDuel Virginia, will mostly default to American odds for Virginia bettors.
What Affects Baseball Odds?
Between the time the initial odds are set and the actual commencement of a game, the odds will most likely fluctuate. This shift can be attributed to a couple of different things. If the majority of MLB bettors are all betting on one team, the odds will reduce and the other teams odds will increase. Another reason why odds change is due to breaking news. If a star player gets injured or doesn’t play, the odds could shift significantly.
The Vig In Baseball Betting
The Vig is a tax the sportsbooks tack on to each and every bet. It’s how sportsbooks make money. This is the reason why every bet isn’t 1:1 or plus money. Typically the vig is around 10% on most bets and it will be displayed as -110. This means to win $100 you would need to bet $110. Regardless of the outcome, the sportsbooks get $10.
If the sportsbooks did not collect a vig, they would stand to make no profit. Most savvy bettors shop around multiple sportsbooks to find the lowest vig available.
The Basic Types Of Bets In The MLB
A futures bet on the World Series is a bet placed on the outcome of the World Series weeks or even months ahead of time. As the MLB season approaches, there will be more ways to bet on the Washington Nationals other than just a future World Series bet. There are three main types of bets you will encounter when betting on the Nationals.
This is the softball of sports betting. The moneyline bet is basically choosing a team to win and if they do, so do you. The downside to this type of bet is the odds associated with them. If the team you want to wager on is a heavy favorite to win, you will often see undesirable odds such as -300. However, when betting an underdog, you might stand to make a huge profit.
In some situations, the odds for the lesser team can sometimes reach +1200 or more. As the season wears on and teams are eliminated mathematically from winning the World Series, you can see odds set as +10,000 or even +20,000.
The spread is like the moneyline but differs slightly. If there is a huge discrepancy in the two teams’ talent, you might want to bet the spread rather than the moneyline. The spread can be thought of as a handicap for the teams.
As you can see, giving each team a handicap shifts the odds to even and allows the bettor fair value on both. If you wanted to bet the Braves, they would need to win by 2 runs or more. On the other hand, if you wanted to back the Nationals, they would need to win or not lose by more than 2 runs.
Sometimes bettors just have no gauge on what team to bet on. The run line is the total number of runs in the game scored by both teams. If you are certain that both teams will be hitting dingers all day but not sure who will come out victorious, this is the best bet for you. You will typically see the run line displayed as an over or under.
If you want to get real fancy, you might take a swing at an exotic bet.
The most popular exotic wager around is the parlay bet. Many people choose to bet on parlays because with just a small investment, they could see major profit. A parlay is a combination of single bets within one bet. You will often see it structured like this.
|3 Team Parlay||Odds +3000|
While there could be a massive payout if this parlay is successful, there is a major caveat. Every leg needs to be graded as a win or the entire parlay fails. This means that all three MLB teams would need to win for the parlay to pay out. This can get quite frustrating when 6 of 7 legs come though and that huge payday slips through your fingers with the last team.
A Better Understanding Of MLB Future Bets
Speaking of massive paydays, a bet that could provide one is an MLB futures bet. A futures bet is a wager that is placed a significant amount of time before the start of what you are betting on. The most popular one in MLB is a futures bet on the winner of the World Series.
As mentioned before, you would want to start looking for these types of bets to pop up before the start of the season. Although you will be able to bet the winner as the season plays on, the best value is before any outcomes start to unfold. It also can be the riskiest.
Prop Bets Available For The Nationals
If you want to switch up the types of bets you place, you should check out prop bets. Props are becoming more popular because they can offer bettors a non-conventional way to make money. Props can vary from the outcome of individual players stats to who will be the World Series MVP. If you placed a $100 bet on Stephen Strasburg to win MVP of the World Series back in 2019, you would have won $1400. Not too shabby.
Washington Nationals Sports Betting FAQs
Yes. The state passed legislation to legalize sports betting and mobile sportsbooks launched soon after.
There are a number of options available for Virginians to bet on the World Series in the near future. Online sportsbooks launched in 2021.
Yes. DraftKings launched in early 2021 and is legal in the state of Virginia.
Yes. FanDuel was the first sportsbook to launch in Virginia and is legal.