Mike Francesa’s MLB Betting Theory: Is It Smart to Wager on Streaking Teams?

Mike Francesa’s MLB Betting Theory: Is It Smart to Wager on Streaking Teams? article feature image
Credit:

Jim O’Connor-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Radio talk show host Mike Francesa

  • Mike Francesa has a MLB betting theory: Wager on teams that have won or lost three games in a row.
  • Using Bet Labs, we test Francesa's baseball betting strategy to determine if it is profitable.

Mike Francesa has a baseball betting theory. The radio talk show host’s strategy is simple: Don’t bet any team, for or against, until it has a third win or a third loss in a row.

Once a team wins three in a row, you wager on it every game until it loses. Conversely, when a squad drops three in a row, you bet against it until it wins.

Finally, if a team on a winning streak of three or more games takes the field against an opponent on at least a three-game losing streak, you double your bet.

Francesa’s theory behind the strategy is that baseball teams are very streaky. Baseball streaks have a habit of being long. Often, teams will run off seven, eight and nine straight wins, then lose six or seven in a row.

Is Mike onto something? To test his theory, I used the Bet Labs database to see how betting teams on winning and losing streaks performs.

Since 2005, a bettor wagering on a team with a winning streak of three or more games would have gone 4,576-4,261 (51.8%) straight up. Though this strategy produces a winning record, a $100 gambler would be down $20,641.

It has also not been profitable to bet against every team after a three-game skid. Since 2005, teams facing an opponent on a losing streak of three or more games have gone 4,678-4,190 (52.8%). Once again, the winning record is not enough to overcome the juice as a $100 bettor would be down $10,432.

You probably guessed, if it’s not profitable to bet on a team once it wins three or more in a row or fade a squad once it has lost three or more consecutive games, then it is a horrible idea to double down when these teams meet.

Since 2005, betting teams in this scenario has produced a 1,584-1,421 (52.7%) record and a $9,560 loss for a $100 bettor.

Francesa is a legend in New York sports talk radio, has won numerous awards and can pound Diet Coke with the best of them. But baseball bettors would be wise to avoid Mike’s baseball betting strategy.