With the MLB season less than a week away, it offers an excellent opportunity to examine what goes into handicapping baseball games, what bet types are most common, and what to look for when trying to find an edge.Baseball bets fall into three major categories.The betting is based on Head-to-Head (H2H) and Over/Under (TOU) for the remainder of this series and throughout the season.
HEAD TO HEAD
It relies on teams Winning the game at all costs; it is the easiest to model, regardless of the margin or number of runs scored. Baseball is the only sport in the world that is so driven by statistics. A game can be priced using hundreds, if not thousands, of different statistics. The pitching is a crucial factor, but if you want to handicap a baseball game seriously, you have to dig much more profound.
It is different and not as popular in baseball since the favorite team is always given a -1.5 run advantage. Contrary to what we’re accustomed to in Australia with our football codes, baseball doesn’t change the line based on a team’s popularity. For example. A team that is $1.50 in an H2H market may be somewhere in the region of $2.10 at the -1.5 run line. You will get a more significant price for the favorite at the -1.5 run line the closer the teams are in the betting to win the match outright. Unlike other sports where the line changes, so the underdog gets a more significant handicap, the line stays the same in soccer, and the prices are adjusted to reflect that.I find this a poor betting proposition due to the many variables in a baseball game, primarily related to the length of the season. All factors to consider when playing a run line, blowouts, huge comebacks, shutouts, pitch counts, tactical changes, and protecting a lead.As an example, a team leads by four runs going into the last inning. There is no SAVE opportunity in situations like this, so traditionally, the manager won’t use his ACE closer (A closer is a pitcher that finishes off matches, used only at the end of games and usually for one inning or less, often for only one batter).The fielding team is “happy” to give away a run during the bottom of the ninth, one out, and a runner at third to get the batter at the plate to maintain the overall lead? Are we willing to be in a position where we have the line covered comfortably only to discover that we are not playing with the best possible personnel in that situation?
OVER-UNDER TOTAL RUN LINES AND TOTALS BETTED
Especially early in the season, I believe you can gain the most significant edge in MLB betting. There are a lot of different factors that go into it, and each one will impact the price, but it all depends on what weight you give to each variable. Home field advantage (home teams bat last), pitching match-ups (some teams hit much better against left-handed pitching than right-handed pitching), where the game is being played (no two ballparks are the same), etc. You have to find what works for you, and quite often, if you focus on just one factor, you can find an edge.
How to Bet on Baseball in 2021
Unlike football and basketball, baseball is a Moneyline sport, where most bets are based on point spreads. There are prop bets and run line bets, but they are less popular. Bettors must pick only the winner of the game, not the cover.You can either take the favorite – the team expected to win – or the underdog when betting on the Moneyline. It’s important to know that if you bet the choice, you’ll gain less money than you wagered if it wins, whereas winning an underdog bet will (usually) return more than you wagered. For more information on reading Moneyline odds, click here.In baseball betting, the “spread” is known as the run line, and in almost every case, it means -1.5 runs for the favorite with varying odds.As with other sports, you can also bet on the over/under (or total), which predicts how many runs the team will score.The long, drawn-out schedule of baseball betting is another unique aspect. During a regular season, 2,430 regular-season games are played every day, providing wiseguys with seemingly endless opportunities to maximize their edge.Here are a few easy tips to help you maximize your profits this MLB season.
Baseball Betting Tips
1. Stay away from big favorites
Betting on baseball has become a popular pastime among leisure gamblers. As a result, they will take advantage of public bias and shade their lines accordingly. Since “average Joes” take on popular teams regardless of whether they’re -150, -180, or -200 when betting on baseball, the Red Sox, Yankees, Cubs, and Dodgers will always be overpriced.You receive a small payout when favorites win. You get crushed when they lose. You can’t have it both ways.
2. Take advantage of underdogs with plus-money odds
Sports bettors who wager on football and basketball spreads must win 52.4% of the time (assuming -110 juice) to break even. MLB bettors, however, can win at a below-50 percent clip and still finish the year with positive units won if they avoid big favorites and take plus-money underdogs (+120, +150, +170) consistently. The only thing you lose when dogs lose is what you risked. You enjoy significant plus-money payouts when they win.For example, we have picked 3,005-3,378 on the spread/Moneyline since 2008, so our Sports Insights MLB Best Bet picks have been 47.1% successful. As long as we’re always taking undervalued plus-money dogs, that win rate translates to +202.7 units. In other words, if you had bet $100 on each Moneyline Best Bet since 2008, you would have profited $20,270.
3. Divisional dogs are the focus
It breeds familiarity and levels the playing field, which inevitably results in the dog benefitting since MLB teams within the division play each other much more frequently. In divisional games since 2005 (think Red Sox vs. Yankees), all underdogs have lost 72.1 units, while dogs in tournaments outside of the division have lost an astounding 645.7 units.We can improve the performance of divisional dogs even more by adding two additional filters: first, road teams (public overvalues home-field advantage, inflating the value of visitors), and second, a high total (8.5 or more). In a game where more runs are expected to be scored, the variance increases, helping the underdog. Between 2005 and now, +71.2 units have been produced.
4. Make sure you know the weather
There is still value in baseball betting on totals despite most bets being placed on money lines. One big thing to consider before placing a total wager is the weather, particularly the wind. The under has been successful when the wind is blowing at least five mph, as it has gone 960-781-89 (55.1%), suitable for 117.6 units won and a 6.4% ROI.The wind can turn home runs into warning outs, benefiting underdogs. It can also turn fly balls into home runs and help overs when it blows out. When the wind blows out at eight mph or more since 2005, the over has gone 1,174-1,045-125 (52.99%), winning 84.59 units for a 3.6% ROI.NATIONAL LEAGUE MLB TEAMS