Tips for Betting on Baseball
At some point, Major League Baseball will be back. While you wait, bone up on these baseball wagering tips.
We’ll hear those magical words again: “Play ball.”
We’ll get past the extraordinary moment when esports, ping pong, Russian hockey and Nicaraguan soccer were the only sports to bet on (along with horse-racing, which is year-round and thankfully, still active).
So, how to bet on the great American pastime when it finally returns?
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- First, let’s look at the basic betting number. Say you see the Milwaukee Brewers +180 against the Chicago Cubs, who are -135. Apply the number 100 to those two figures to determine your betting odds. If you wager $100 on Milwaukee, the bet returns $180, plus the original $100, and you get a profit of nearly 2-1. By the same token, you’d have to wager $135 on Chicago to win $100. Basically, you’re giving odds of nearly 7-5, a low-percentage play.
- Baseball is a moneyline game. You only have to win outright, but there are runs propositions too. One way to mitigate the bet on a prohibitive favorite is to give 1.5 runs and hope your team wins by two or more runs. That will usually drop a big favorite to roughly even money, in exchange for the higher difficulty of winning by two or more runs.
- In general, it’s wise to avoid prohibitive favorites. Recent studies have shown that favorites of -150 or higher win about five times in eight. That’s a losing proposition for the long term.
- Play against the sweep. A team that wins the first two games of a three-game series often won’t win the third. This is a good bet to load up on occasionally.
- Play some season-win total bets at the beginning of a season. Study the teams you play on a daily basis. Watch long enough, and you’ll see patterns emerge. You’ll see mini-streaks coming. You’ll sense a high-water mark. And you can bet individual games accordingly. This is a self-developed inside angle based on data you gain a feel for.
- As for bullpens. Has a team’s top reliever been used two games in a row? Chances are it won’t be three. That can be a good time to go against a particular team.
- Watch a decent team on a long road trip—say, nine games. If they’re under-performing, there’s a good chance they’ll steal a game near the end of the trip.
- Copy other forms of gambling. Like the teams themselves, you’ll get hot. You’ll get cold. Playing heavier when you’re rolling and slowing to a crawl when you’re not is a gift to your season-long bankroll.
This is just a primer for baseball strategies. Many others will come from your gut. Good luck when we eventually “play ball.”
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