Many people think that the history of baseball in Colorado is only as recent as Major League Baseball expanding into Denver in 1993 when the Colorado Rockies began play. But in truth, the history of baseball in the state even predates the creation of the National League.
It was in 1862 that the first organized baseball team was formed in the territory (not a state yet), although the Civil War got in the way of expansion until 1866 when teams like the Rocky Mountains and the Occidentals began play.
In 1876 Colorado became a state, and in 1877 the Denver Brownstockings became the state’s first semi-pro team. In 1882 Colorado Springs built the state’s first ballpark, and in 1885 Denver built its first stadium just a few blocks away from the current site of Coors Field.
As for a team for fans to call their own, that began with the minor league Denver Bears, who took off following World War II. Over the years, the Bears were the minor league affiliate of the Yankees, Tigers, White Sox and Expos. And now the Denver team, the Colorado Rockies, claims a fan base that extends throughout Colorado and into Wyoming and Utah too.
Fans in those states who want to bet on the Rockies and the rest of MLB have to come to Colorado, since that’s the only place where it’s legal in the area. That happened in November 2019, when voters in the state approved Proposition DD and legalized sports betting throughout the state. And with an in-state market that includes nearly 6 million people, the biggest names in the industry have set up sportsbook operations.
How to place MLB bets in Colorado
The process of making a baseball wager at a sportsbook in Colorado is straightforward and easy to follow.
To use one of the legal sportsbooks in Colorado, a customer must be at least 21 years old and be within the borders of the state. A person does not need to be a resident of the state — visitors to Colorado are welcome to place bets at one of the state’s many sports betting operations — but only people within state lines can make a legal wager.
Retail sportsbook locations
Colorado has had legal casino gaming since 1991 and boasts 33 casinos operating in the mountain towns of Black Hawk, Central City and Cripple Creek. Black Hawk and Central City are just up I-70 from Denver, while Cripple Creek is in the mountains to the west of Colorado Springs.
All of these casinos can apply for a sports betting license, and most of them already have. If you want to place a baseball wager in person at a retail sportsbook in Colorado, you’ll need to go to one of these three cities.
Online sportsbook registration
Sports betting in Colorado does expand beyond the brick-and-mortar sportsbooks located in the currently operating casinos. All retail locations that have a sportsbook also have an online partner sportsbook, and you can access all of these from anywhere in the state. Your IP address will confirm your location.
All that you must provide to sign up for an online sportsbook account is your name, physical address, email address, date of birth, phone number and the last four digits of your Social Security number. After inputting that information, you will need to create a unique username and password and answer a pair of security questions.
After that, just make a deposit into your new account, and then you can make your first wager.
Using a mobile app to bet on MLB in Colorado
When Colorado wrote its sports gaming laws in 2019, it benefited from some of the mistakes that East Coast states made when they wrote their laws. New York and others have been in a protracted fight to include mobile sports betting into their legalization efforts, while Colorado added it from the beginning. When sports betting was legalized for retail and online outlets, it was also legalized for your mobile device.
Using an iOS app with your iPhone
If you are a regular iPhone user, then you’ve used the iOS App Store many times, and no doubt you know your way around it. Assuming you meet the legal requirements to place bets in Colorado, go to the App Store and search for the sportsbook you want to download.
Apple requires that all gaming apps be coded into native iOS language, so some of the smaller sportsbooks out there may not have an app to download. But since most of the sportsbook operators in Colorado are big names like DraftKings, FanDuel and William Hill, you shouldn’t have an issue. If an app isn’t provided, then mobile access to these sportsbooks will be possible over your phone’s internet browser.
Once you find the app you want, download it, and follow the same instructions as listed above to register for a new account and make a deposit. Then you’re ready to start betting.
iPhone apps are known for their user-friendly interface, so you should be able to find your way around fairly easily. And most will be laid out like their internet partners, so if you’ve spent some time at an online sportsbook, the corresponding app will be familiar.
If you can’t find your way to the betting page you’re looking for, almost all sportsbook apps include tutorials, help sections and an FAQ page. One pass through those, and you’ll be able to find the baseball page and make your bet with ease. Just be sure to confirm the details of the wager — team, bet type, amount — before finalizing it.
Using an Android device to place MLB bets
If you are an Android user who regularly downloads and uses Android apps, you’ll have no problem understanding how to download a sportsbook app. But for Android, these apps do come with a caveat.
Google Play does not carry any gambling-related apps, so you’ll need to go to the sportsbook’s website and find a link to the app you want. You will receive a text or email with a link to the app, or you’ll be able to download it directly from the website.
Once you have your sportsbook app on your Android device, you’ll need to go through the registration process and create a new customer account. If you’ve already registered for an account through the sportsbook’s website, you can skip this step and just sign in on the app using the same log-in information.
Once you have an account, and more importantly, money in that account, you are ready to place a bet. Navigate your way to the list of baseball events — or go through the tutorial to find it — and then find the team you want to bet, the type of bet you want to play, and add the amount of your wager. Be sure that all of the information is correct before confirming the bet. Once you’ve officially placed the bet, it can’t be undone.
Also, be sure to have sufficient funds in your account before trying to place any bets. When you’re rushing to place a bet before the opening pitch, there is nothing worse than failing to get it in because your account is short on funds.
Geolocation for mobile apps
Because the laws of all 50 states are different, sports betting on a Colorado-based mobile app must be done within the borders of Colorado. To ensure you meet this legal requirement, all mobile apps will use geolocation technology to confirm the location of the user. This also means that for users to place bets, they must have location services enabled on their phone.
If, for example, you live in neighboring Wyoming, you can download a sportsbook app and register for a new account while still at home. But betting options on the app will be disabled until you cross over into Colorado.
Different types of MLB bets available in Colorado
If it’s an available baseball bet, then it’s available for betting at any of the many sportsbooks in Colorado. ]
Since baseball doesn’t have points, it wouldn’t make much sense to have a point spread. Plus, the scoring isn’t enough to warrant a spread, so instead, it has a run line.
Much like with a puck line in hockey, the run line is always 1.5 runs. The posted odds look something like this:
- Blue Jays +1.5 (+125)
- Yankees -1.5 (-175)
This means that if you bet on the Yankees, they must win the game by at least two runs. On the flip side, a bet on the Blue Jays means that you will win your bet as long as they don’t lose by two runs or more.
The Yankees at home by two runs might feel like a great bet. It is, so that’s why the odds only pay off at -175. That means that for every $100 you want to win, you’ll have to wager $175.
For the Blue Jays, if they manage to stay within two runs, the bet will pay +125. So for every $100 you wager, you will win $125.
The most common margin of victory in baseball is just one run. So quite often betting on a run line that is 1.5 runs is a bad bet. That’s where the moneyline comes in, which is just a straight bet on the winner of the game, using odds to decide the favorite and the underdog. This is the most common type of baseball bet, and the posted odds look like this:
- Cardinals +155
- Dodgers -205
These odds pay the same as the odds posted on the run line. A $100 bet on the Cardinals will win you $155. A $100 bet on the Dodgers will win you $48.80.
Of course, none of these bets require a $100 wager. You can bet any amount you like, and since Colorado doesn’t have a maximum cap on bets, your wager can be as high as you’d like. It’s just that the payoffs on American odds are easiest to understand using $100 as the base wager.
As with other sports, a totals bet — also called over/under — is based on the total combined score of both teams. The bettors put their money down on the over or the under. The posted odds look like this.
- Nationals 5 (+110)
- Braves 5 (-120)
The line on the over/under is 9.5, and betting on the top number means that you’re talking the over, and it pays +110. Betting on the under pays -110.
Totals bets count all runs that the teams score, including extra innings. Some sportsbooks, however, offer insurance on select baseball bets, which means that if your team loses in extra innings, you receive your wager amount back.
A prop bet is best described as an individual or team bet that takes place inside a game and is not affected by the outcome of the game. Examples of common prop bets are:
- Run scored in first inning (yes/no).
- Total strikeouts by starting pitcher (over/under).
- Home runs hit by team/player (over/under).
- First team to reach three runs.
- Most hits, runs and RBI (player vs. player).
Almost any game statistic has the potential to be a proposition bet.
A futures bet is a wager on any event that doesn’t take place until sometime in the future. Baseball futures bets aren’t as popular as football futures bets, but within the world of baseball wagering, there are many great team and individual futures bets available.
- World Series champion.
- American League pennant.
- National League pennant.
- Over/under for win totals on each MLB team.
- American League MVP.
- National League MVP.
- American League Cy Young.
- National League Cy Young.
- American League Rookie of the Year.
- National League Rookie of the Year.
When engaging in live betting, baseball bettors can bet on the outcome of games that are already in progress. As the game advances and the score and innings remaining change, so do the odds, giving the bettor an entirely new set of bets to play. With live betting, players can also wager on small events, like per-inning results and individual at-bats.
Live betting is best on a mobile app because of the constantly changing odds and the speed necessary to make new bets. It’s also one of the most equitable ways to wager since a computer using an algorithm provides the changing odds. That removes any human biases of the sportsbook when setting updated odds.
Betting on baseball FAQ
Do I have to be in Colorado to place baseball bets?
When placing your bets through a Colorado sportsbook, you will have to be inside the state for those bets to work. Using an internet sportsbook or mobile app will trigger geolocation technology, which will disable the ability to place bets if you are outside state lines.
Is baseball betting legal in Colorado?
Yes. When the state of Colorado wrote its sports gaming laws in 2019 — which the voters then approved — betting on all professional and college sports became legal. This includes betting on all Major League Baseball teams, including the team that plays in the state, the Colorado Rockies.
Do Colorado sportsbooks offer free bets on baseball?
Most Colorado sportsbooks have bonuses and free bet offers for new customers that they can use to bet on baseball. You will find deposit matches, and you can use that betting credit on any available sport. Free bet offers can be used on baseball, and some bet matching offers may be specific to baseball.
Colorado has numerous sportsbook options, and it should be fairly easy to find one that offers bonuses that you can use on baseball bets.
Can I bet on baseball from my mobile device?
Yes. Unlike some of the states on the East Coast that began this march of legalization across the country without including laws for mobile sports betting, Colorado did. It learned from the mistakes of others and was smart enough to avoid them when writing its laws. In Colorado, sports betting is legal at retail sportsbooks, online sportsbooks and mobile sportsbook apps.
In fact, because of the availability of live betting, smartphones and other mobile devices offer some of the best baseball bets in the state.