MLB April 2018 Betting Recap: Historic First Month for Public Favorites
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sport
The first full month of the MLB season is in the books. Using our Bet Labs software, we took a deep dive into the numbers to see which spots were the least and most profitable for April bettors.
Generally speaking, both favorites and dogs were a losing bet in April. Favorites posted an impressive win rate (58.8%), but because they were always laying a big minus number, they still resulted in negative units won (-7.89). Dogs were even worse. A $100 bettor taking every dog lost $1,361.
The biggest takeaway from April: public favorites absolutely dominated. Favorites getting 70% or more moneyline bets went an incredible 81-37 (68.6%), +10.05 units, 8.5% ROI.
This is historic and incredibly abnormal.
From 2005 to 2017, favorites getting 70% of more bets went 897-655 (57.8%), -63.66 units, -4.1% ROI. Before this season, they posted only two winning Aprils since 2005 (+5.47 units in 2007 and +4.4 units in 2009). Contrarian bettors and sportsbooks took a beating. The silver lining? Big regression is coming.
Visitors also had a great first month, going 186-193 (49.1%), +13.94 units, 3.7% ROI. Visiting favorites were especially profitable: 82-52 (61.2%), +7.31 units, 5.5% ROI. This makes sense, as public bettors overvalue home-field advantage, creating contrarian value for road teams.
No Place Like Home
Meanwhile, home teams got taken to the woodshed. A $100 bettor taking every home team lost more than $3,500. Home bettors spent April living in a van down by the river, eating a steady diet of government cheese.
The Total Picture
In terms of totals, overs were pretty much break-even (+0.61 units). But unders got crushed, going 178-186 (48.9%), -17.07 units won.
$nakes and $ox
The two most profitable teams to bet on in April were the Arizona Diamondbacks (+11.8 units) and Boston Red Sox (+7.18). The Braves (+6.97), Mariners (+5.91) and Mets (+4.82) were the top pleasant surprises.
The teams that cost bettors the most money: Cincinnati (-11.57 units), Kansas City (-10.73) and Baltimore (-10.16). A $100 bettor taking the Reds, Royals and Orioles every game lost more than $3,200.
Beware of Big Dogs
Big dogs barked loudly in April. Dogs +250 or more went 4-4, but because of the massive payouts they resulted in +7.75 units won and an insane ROI of 96.9%. The Marlins were the leader of the pack, pulling off the two biggest upsets of the year so far: +295 over the Yankees and +347 over Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers.
One month down, five more to go. We look forward to updating you with more MLB betting stats as the season progresses.
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Cover photo via Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sport
Pictured: Arizona Diamondbacks base runner Paul Goldschmidt (44) is forced out at second base by Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Chris Taylor