Just For Starters: First 3, First 5 Innings Wagers Allow Iowa Bettors To Sleep Easy

Written By Russ Mitchell on June 29, 2021 - Last Updated on August 9, 2021
first five bets in iowa

One of the Midwest’s best MLB pitching matchups unfolded Monday night when 10-4 Kyle Hendricks (pictured above) of the Cubs (3.84 ERA) took the mound against 7-2 Freddy Peralta of the Brewers (2.11 ERA).

The first pitch was at 7:10 p.m. in Milwaukee. Batters touched each starter up for a pair of runs in the first inning. But, even if both talented starters mowed through batting orders, Iowa MLB bettors weren’t going to catch the final out in time for the evening news.

Sure enough, the teams combined to use nine pitchers in a game that lasted 3 hours, 43 minutes (a 10:53 p.m. finish time).

Fortunately, the best online sportsbooks in Iowa offer a betting version of early-bird specials. First three innings and first five innings bets allow you to both:

  • Place your faith in a starter (it wasn’t warranted in either case Monday).
  • Know the outcome of the bet before Jimmy Fallon and Stephen Colbert start their late-night monologues.

The bets can be especially handy for games on the West Coast, where the first pitch might not reach the catcher until after 9 p.m. Iowa time.

At DraftKings Sportsbook in Iowa, for example, you had the following partial-game options as the noon hour approached for Monday night’s key NL Central game. We’ll underline the successful outcomes below.

The teams were tied at 2 after the first inning. The Brewers led 3-2 after the third- and fifth-inning betting windows. Milwaukee used a 10-run eighth inning en route to a 14-4 win:

First inning baseball bets

  • Total Runs — Over 0.5 (-105) Under 0.5 (-120)
  • Total Runs — Over 1.5 (+250) Under 1.5 (-335)
  • Cubs to Score a Run — Yes (+260) or No (-345)
  • Brewers to Score a Run — Yes (+205) or No (-275)
  • Inning Winner — Cubs +360, tie -137 or Brewers +265

First three innings MLB bets

  • Moneyline — Cubs +120 or Brewers -148
  • Total Runs — Over 1.5 (-165) or Under 1.5 (+130)
  • Total Runs — Over 2.5 (+123) or Under 2.5 (-152)
  • Lead (three-way) — Cubs (+195), Tie (+235) or Brewers (+123)

First five innings baseball bets

  • Moneyline  — (Cubs +125, Brewers – 157)
  • Total Runs — Over 3.5 (-125) or Under 3.5 (+102)
  • Lead (three-way) — Cubs (+170), Tie (+410) or Brewers (-110)

DraftKings also has wagers for the first team to score as well as the first team to score and win. Bettors in Iowa can wager on whether the total runs scored ends in an even or an odd number as well. Evens bettors carried the day in this case.

All this is just one sportsbook’s example. Generally, you can find a sportsbook’s partial-game wagers by clicking on the baseball game you want to bet. Some sportsbooks in Iowa even have a “more bets” prompt.

First three inning and first five inning wagers allow you to focus on the matchup of starters. The sportsbooks suggest the following pitchers will keep early inning scores down:

NL Cy Young odds


AL Cy Young odds


Of course, there is another way to bet on baseball without late-night vigils to see the final out. The season reaches its halfway point this week and several Midwest teams are in the playoff hunt.

Going into Tuesday night’s games: The Brewers (46-33) have a four-game lead the NL Central over the Chicago Cubs (42-37). The St. Louis Cardinals are 8.5 games back at 38-41.

Current odds to win the NL Central


In the AL Central, the Chicago White Sox (45-32) have a two-game lead over the Cleveland Indians (42-33). The Minnesota Twins (33-43) are heating up, but they remain 12 games behind the South-siders. The Kansas City Royals (33-44) have slumped. They’re 12.5 games back with a six-game losing streak in tow.

Odds to win the AL Central


The White Sox have 8-to-1 odds to win the World Series. That’s fourth best at DraftKings behind the LA Dodgers, Houston Astros and San Diego Padres. At 16-to-1, sportsbooks think the Brewers are a potential sleeper.

Futures odds to win the World Series

Photo by Aaron Gash / AP
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Russ Mitchell

Russ Mitchell has been covering news and sports in northwest Iowa since 1997, including 11 years as managing editor for one of the most acclaimed community newspapers in the state. He looks forward to keeping readers up to date on the growing sportsbook industry in Iowa.

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