It’s Opening Day of the 2018 Major League Baseball season. You’ve been so focused on March Madness you forgot about the boys of summer. With no time to research, you scan the board and realize all 30 teams are in action Thursday. Double dukes, now you’re really up against it.
Yankees over Jays, Kershaw against the Giants, Astros-Rangers under, the options have you going cross-eyed. Before you strike out looking, here are five MLB systems that every bettor should follow.
Betting against the public is one of the most profitable strategies to employ during the baseball season. Casual bettors love backing popular teams such as the Yankees, Red Sox and Dodgers. When the squares load up on big-name favorites, fading their action has been profitable.
Contrarian bettors have gone 706-832 (45.9%) on the moneyline wagering on underdogs in heavily-bet division games with reverse line movement. A $100 bettor following this system would have returned a profit of $16,641 since 2005.
This is the simplest system you’ll find for betting baseball. Take a bad team (won 40% or less of games) after a win. Why does this work? Recreational bettors think it’s unlikely that a poor team will win two games in a row, which leads to inflated lines.
A good betting strategy has a theory (why it works), a large sample and consistent results. Check, check and check for this system that has nearly a 3,000-game sample and has never had a losing season since 2005. A $100 bettor would be up $19,513 betting bad teams after a win.
Not a fan of betting the moneyline? A wager type you are more familiar with is the over/under. An approach that works on the diamond is betting the under when two winning teams play.
Winning teams score runs, and the public likes to bet the over. So, if you have a pair of winning teams on the field, the oddsmakers will inflate the total expecting casual bettors to get down on the over. When there is lopsided betting, the under has gone 1,188-973-100 (55%) since 2005. This system has been even more profitable in the last five years, even with scoring on the rise, going 493-358-29 (58%), a $11,263 return for a $100 bettor.
It’s not all moneylines and over/unders. Another option for bettors is the runline, which is like the spread in other sports. In baseball, the runline is always set at 1.5. You bet a team to either win by two or more runs or lose by one run/win outright. When betting the runline, contrarian bettors have found an edge taking unpopular teams on losing streaks against good opponents.
Good teams are often overvalued because squares like to bet winners. Teams on a losing streak are usually undervalued as casual bettors will fade the team after being burned by the team at the ticket window. This system is the most profitable when backing a team that is getting less than 25% of runline tickets. Bettors following this system have gone 472-292 (62%) since 2005.
What factors do you consider when handicapping a baseball game? If weather isn’t one of them, you are making a mistake. It is pretty easy to understand the impact wind can have on a game. A strong gust can change the trajectory of a ball. Wind blowing out can turn a fly ball into a home run or wind blowing in can knock a dinger into a long out.
When the average wind speed is 5 mph or greater and blowing in from center, betting the under has gone 764-613-75 (55.5%) since 2005. This is a simple and effective strategy for incorporating weather into your baseball handicapping.
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Pictured Los Angeles Dodgers Clayton Kershaw