Maximizing Small Bets When Betting on MLB on a Budget

Even if you don't have a ton of cash to spend at the sportsbooks on MLB games, you can still get in on the action. We've put together some of the best strategies to help you get started, even if you have a small budget.
Maximizing Small Bets When Betting on MLB on a Budget

Betting on MLB can be an exciting and potentially lucrative way to engage with the sport, even if you’re working with a limited budget. And in this economy, we all need an edge where we can get it.

With the right strategies, you can enjoy the excitement of betting while keeping your financial risk low.

Bankroll Management is Key

First and foremost, as with any strategy, you have to take a look at your bankroll. Managing your bankroll effectively is the foundation of successful betting, especially when funds are limited.

Start by setting aside a specific amount of money that you’re comfortable losing. The keyword iscomfortable.This amount should be something that won’t affect your daily life or financial obligations. We’re not talking about altering your lifestyle; it’s just some cash you would’ve otherwise tossed at something else that isn’t a big deal. You have to go into betting as if you’re going to lose because it will happen.

Once you have your bankroll, it’s important to bet only a small percentage of it on each game. Limiting your bets to 1-5% of your total bankroll helps protect you from significant losses during inevitable losing streaks.

So, for example, if your bankroll is $100, then you’ll want to keep your unit size (betting amount per bet) to around $1 – $5. That might not seem like much, but everyone’s bankroll is different, and that might be a big difference to someone else.

On top of that, keeping a detailed record of your bets, including wins and losses, can provide insights into your betting habits and help you make necessary adjustments to your bankroll. You might be on a hot streak, and if your bankroll is ballooning, then you can either adjust your bankroll strategy or cash out your winnings and stay the road ahead.

Shop for the Best Lines

Don’t just go for the biggest sportsbook you know. There are so many, and they all want to fight for your business, so make them fight!

One of the easiest ways to make the bookmakers work for your business and to maximize your betting budget is by shopping for the best lines.

Different sportsbooks offer varying odds on the same games. You read that right. Even slight differences can impact your profitability over time.

Opening accounts with multiple sportsbooks allows you to compare these odds and place bets where you find the most favorable lines. Not just that, when you sign up for multiple sportsbooks, you can take advantage of all of their bonus offers as well.

However, we digress. Back to the odds. Let’s take, for example, a difference between -115 and -120 on the Yankees over the Rangers. This favorite might seem minor, but over the long term, these small differences add up.

Taking the time to find the best odds ensures that you’re getting the maximum possible value from each bet. Fortunately, we do what we can to help you out, and we’ve put together an odds shopper that shows you who has the best odds for each game.

Focus on Underdogs

Do you like Philly? Of course! They’ve got the best record in the MLB through ⅓ of the season. With only 20 Ls out of 65 games, they’re a sure shot to win, right?

Not so fast. Take a look at who they’re playing.

Betting on underdogs can be a smart strategy when you’re on a budget. Underdogs typically offer higher payouts compared to favorites, which can stretch your bankroll further. Specifically with the Phillies, Atlanta, though behind them 9 games, has their number and knows how to beat them.

In MLB, the long season and frequent surprises make underdog bets particularly appealing. Divisional games often present good opportunities because teams are more familiar with each other, increasing the chances of an upset, such as our ATL and PHI example above.

Look for underdogs with strong starting pitchers or those on a winning streak. By focusing on these factors, you can identify value bets that have a higher probability of paying off. 

Avoid Parlays and Teasers

While parlays and teasers might appear tempting due to their high potential payouts, they are generally not a good idea for budget-conscious bettors. In fact, we always recommend staying away from these bets. We sometimes call them predatory, but they are legit and yes, you can win with them.

These types of bets require multiple outcomes to go your way, significantly lowering your chances of winning. The odds are in the house’s favor.

Instead, stick to straight bets like moneylines, run lines, or totals.

These simpler bets are easier to manage and offer better chances of success. Of course, the payouts aren’t as high, but remember, you’re budget conscience. We’re not trying to get rich off a bet or two, we’re trying to stay in the game longer.

Consistently winning smaller bets can help build your bankroll steadily over time, whereas chasing big payouts with parlays and teasers can quickly deplete your funds and put you on the sideline.

Take Advantage of Bonuses and Promotions

Remember when we said you can have accounts at multiple sportsbooks? Here’s another good reason why.

Many sportsbooks offer bonuses and promotions to attract new customers, and these can provide a massive boost to your betting budget.

Not all offers are the same or even have the same terms, so we’ve put together a list of the best bonuses in the industry.

BetMGM Sportsbook
First Bet Offer $1500Excludes NY, NC, NV and PR | Promo Code: EWBET1 Rated 4.9 Out Of 5.0 Stars
21+ Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-Gambler
Bet365 Sportsbook
Choose your Offer: Bet$5 Get $150 or Get a First Bet Safety Net up to $1,000 Rated 4.5 Out Of 5.0 Stars
21+ Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-Gambler
DraftKings Sportsbook
Bet $5 and Get $150 in Bonus Bets InstantlyNew Customers Only Rated 4.9 Out Of 5.0 Stars
21+ Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-Gambler
FanDuel Sportsbook
Bet $5 Get $200 in Bonus BetsIf Your Team Wins Rated 4.8 Out Of 5.0 Stars
21+ Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-Gambler
Caesars Sportsbook
Bet Up to $1,000 on CaesarsWin or Get a Bet Credit Back | Promo Code: BV1000 Rated 4.8 Out Of 5.0 Stars
21+ Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-Gambler

Be Selective with Your Bets

With so many MLB games on the schedule, it’s important to be selective about where you place your bets. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

Rather than trying to bet on every game, which you most likely can’t research every facet, focus on those where you have a clear edge or strong reason for making a wager.

Doing thorough research on team statistics, player performances, and other relevant factors can help you identify the best opportunities. These won’t necessarily be your favorite teams, but instead, teams that you think are going to pay out. 

Staying disciplined and patient and only betting when you have confidence in your analysis will ultimately lead to better results. Quality over quantity should be your go-to.

Play the Props

Prop bets offer another way to maximize your small bets.

These bets focus on specific outcomes within a game, such as individual player performances or particular events that might occur during the game.

Betting on props can provide good value with lower stakes. After all, the sportsbook analysts and algorithms are better tuned for total game outcomes, and they’re very good at those. You might just find an edge in the prop niche.

For example, you might bet on the number of strikeouts Tarik Skubali will have against the Royals or how many hits Juan Soto will get. These bets can be less predictable but often have favorable odds that you can leverage to your advantage.

By studying player trends and matchups, you can find prop bets that offer significant potential returns for minimal risk.

Embrace In-Game Betting

First of all, if you’ve never tried in-game betting, you’re missing out.

In-game or live betting allows you to place bets during the course of a game, responding to developments as they happen.

This type of betting can be really advantageous for those with a good understanding of the game.

By watching the game closely, you can identify opportunities where the odds shift in your favor. Remember, you’re trying to outmaneuver the house, and when you’re actively watching the game, you can do that much better than you’d imagine.

So, how does this help the budget-minded bettor? In-game betting allows for smaller, more frequent bets, helping you stay engaged without risking too much at once. It also provides a dynamic way to leverage your knowledge and instincts as the game unfolds.

Place Your Bets — Wisely

Betting on MLB games with a limited budget doesn’t have to be a limiting experience. In fact, we think it’s a great starting point and a gateway to you growing as a more experienced bettor.

By putting to use strategies such as effective bankroll management, shopping for the best lines, focusing on underdogs, avoiding high-risk bets, and taking advantage of bonuses and promotions, you can max out your returns while keeping your stakes low.

However, it really boils down to three things. With patience, discipline, and thorough research, you can enjoy the excitement of MLB betting without overstretching your budget.

Matt Brown


Head of Sports Betting and DFS

Matt’s love for sports betting and daily fantasy sports, coupled with a deep understanding of football, hockey, and baseball, shapes his innovative thoughts on Hello Rookie. He has a B.S. in Aeronautical Computer Science and a M.S. in Project Management.