When the NHL and NBA seasons in the books, and the NFL and college football seasons are still months away, the sports betting spotlight shines solely on baseball. While it’s a long and grueling season, it’s one where a lot of bettors profit.
Here is a look at three easy ways to win money betting on MLB odds.
Bet The Moneylines
All major sports betting insight points towards finding the best value in selecting underdogs with moneyline bets. In moneyline sports such as baseball and hockey, the numbers don’t lie with historical data that shows picking underdogs is the best way to earn profits when investing. You might win only 40-50-percent of your selections but the plus-money odds betting on underdogs means that you will have positive units won despite a losing winning percentage. Contrarian sports investing makes a lot of sense because the majority of sports bettors want to pick winners and that leads to the favorites or “better teams” being overvalued and doing poorly from a money making perspective.
For example, if you take the Boston Red Sox in four straight games at -180 then an even split at 2-2 would result in substantial money lost. However, if you take an underdog Tampa Bay Rays team at +150 for four games against Boston and they earn a split then you will make money.
Bet Against The Public
Baseball has historically been the most profitable sport when betting against the public for some of the same contrarian ideas that we mentioned above. The numbers can be broken down in to tiers to make the dynamics that much simpler and easier to handicap.
For example, in a eight-year study of baseball sports betting numbers from 2003-2011, it was found that the biggest profits were made betting on the underdogs in situations where the favorite had 30-percent more public interest. The number drops off a bit when 25-percent more of the public is on the favorite and then again when 20-percent more is on the favorite. In general, the same concept applies.
Home teams continued to be undervalued as favorites and that is one area in particular where the value is that much higher.
You’ll find that sportsbooks like Bookmaker (Bookmaker Review) open the lines early. From there, you can track the movement and see. Sharps tend to bet early while public tends to bet later. That way, you can start to get an idea of where the sharps and casuals are split on the games.
Dive Into The Analytics
Baseball is a stats-driven sport – possibly more so than any other. That means you have access to ample data. Take a close look at how teams perform against each other historically, on the road, in all types of situations to get a better gauge on if there is an edge one way or another. Also, take a look at the pitching stats. Sites like ESPN allow you to examine game logs and split stats that offer a wealth of information.
Beyond that, you’ll want to learn about the analytical stats. Statistics like WAR, WHIP, and OBP are often more useful than ERA, wins and losses, and batting average. And if even if you’re a traditionalist who doesn’t appreciate these new numbers, just use them as additional insight to get a better picture.
The stats won’t predict the future but they’ll give you a better idea of what’s a good bet and what’s one that you’re better off avoiding.