Millions of baseball fans breathed a sigh of relief after the MLB resumed on August 15 after a prolonged COVID-19 hiatus.
If you’re betting on the MLB for the first time, you’ve certainly picked an interesting season. However, on a game-by-game basis, this season won’t be too different than any other.
Unlike basketball and football, where the point spread is the basis for most bets, baseball is a Moneyline game. In other words, baseball bettors don’t have to pick who covers. They only have to pick the winner of the game.
Another unique thing about MLB betting is the drawn-out, long schedule. With a normal regular season consisting of 2,430 games, bettors get virtually unlimited opportunities for maximizing their edge.
Here are three tips on how you can maximize yours:
Avoid the Big Favorites
Oddsmakers are aware that casual bettors tend to bet on favorites, and they shade their lines accordingly. Consequently, popular teams like the Dodgers, Cubs, Yankees, and the Red Sox will always be overpriced. That’s because the Average Joe will always bet on them, even if they’re -200.
When you bet on favorites, you get a small payout if they win. However, you’re crushed if they lose. In other words, the juice simply isn’t good for the squeeze. When an underdog loses, your only loss is what you risked. However, if they win, you’re rewarded with plus-money payouts.
To make a profit, basketball and football bettors need to have a winning rate of $52.4% (given the juice is set at -110) to break even. But, if baseball bettors steer clear of the big favorites and consistently bet on plus-money underdogs (+170, +150, +120), they can win at a below-50% clip while still ending the year with positive unit winnings.
All smart bettors are aware of the value that lies in going contrarian. But why would you bet against the public, you may ask? Well, that’s because the public is on the losing end most of the time. The majority of the bets made by the Average Joe are based on their gut instinct. They tend to bet on the favorites, the big franchises, home teams, and the teams with the most star players. He also tends to have a recency bias—if a team is enjoying a good run of form, he’ll bet on it. If it has looked off-color in recent games, he’ll fade it.
Betting against the house (going contrarian) allows you to take advantage of the public bias and capitalize on the artificially-inflated numbers.
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