MLB Sharp Report: Pros Betting Athletics-Twins, 2 Other Friday Games

MLB Sharp Report: Pros Betting Athletics-Twins, 2 Other Friday Games article feature image

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jurickson Profar and Max Kepler

  • Wiseguys are getting down on 3 MLB games tonight, headlined by Athletics-Twins (8:10 p.m. ET).
  • Sharps are also betting Blue Jays-Tigers and Royals-Indians (both at 7:10 p.m. ET).
  • Using the tools available at The Action Network. we analyze how pros are betting each game.

Wiseguys went 1-2 with their Thursday plays, easily cashing the Nationals-Braves over but losing the Diamondbacks moneyline and Mets-Giants over. Once again, chalk ruled last night. Over the past two nights favorites are now 21-6 (+7.87 units).

⚾️ Another good day for #MLB favorites yesterday: 10-3 (+3.91u).

Teams receiving at least 60% of bets went 8-0 for +5.18 units; Unders went 8-4-1 for +3.92u.

— Sports Insights (@SportsInsights) July 19, 2019

Now it’s on to Fade-the-Public Friday.

Historically, Friday is the best day of the week for pro bettors because Average Joes are finishing their workweeks, getting their latest paychecks and are more apt to get down on games. As a result, ticket counts skyrocket and the market is flooded with recreational money, providing wiseguys with exploitable lines and a heightened contrarian edge.

After analyzing Friday’s stacked 15-game schedule using the betting tools available at Sports Insights and The Action Network, I’ve identified sharp action coming down on a trio of MLB games.

>> All odds as of 1:45 p.m. ET.  Download The Action Network App to get real-time MLB odds and track your bets.

Betting Terms to Know

Steam Move: Sudden, drastic and uniform line movement across the market caused by an overload of sharp action from respected players.

Reverse Line Movement (RLM): When the betting line moves in the opposite direction of the betting percentages. It’s a top smart money indicator.

Line Freeze: When one side is getting heavy betting, but the line won’t budge, indicating sharp liability on the other side.

Juice: The tax or commission that bettors must pay sportsbooks in order for them to accept your wager. A -115 juice means a bettor would have to wager $115 to win $100.

Toronto Blue Jays (36-62) at Detroit Tigers (29-63) 

7:10 p.m. ET | Marcus Stroman (5-10, 3.25 ERA) vs. Jordan Zimmerman (0-6, 7.01 ERA)

This over should be a layup for the public. Zimmerman has a 7.01 ERA, has given up 14 runs in his first two starts coming off the injured list and now has a 9.23 ERA in his last nine starts (with opponents hitting an absurd .363 against him).

However, Stroman has been dealing as of late (now ranks in the top 10 in ERA in the American league) and gets to face a light hitting Tigers offense (only 337 runs scored, worst in the AL) in a game with a high total. These factors give Average Joes anxiety and they’re second guessing what should be an easy over.

But sharps aren’t on the fence. They’ve taken a clear position.

This total opened at 9.5. Currently 56% of bets are taking the over, indicating a slight public lean. However, despite this split support, we’ve seen the total rise to 10. In a vacuum, a line shouldn’t move at all (aside from a slight juice adjustment of a few cents) if the tickets are split. So we know this uptick was caused by wiseguys putting down smart money (78% of dollars on the over), not the undecided public.

Sharps have been crushing this over all day. Using our Sports Insights Bet Signals, we’ve tracked five separate steam and reverse line moves on the over 9.5. We haven’t seen a single conflicting move on the under (or buyback). We also haven’t seen any moves on the over 10, which means sharps are telling you that 9.5 is the key number here. That way a 8-2, 7-3 or 6-4 game cashes instead of pushes.

The over also matches a pair of profitable Bet Labs systems. So far this season, high-total overs (10 or more) have gone 143-108 (57%), winning 30.64 units with an 11.9% return on investment (ROI). Meanwhile, overs that rise a half run have cashed 54% of the time this season, winning +0.86 units (6.2% ROI).

It doesn’t hurt that the weather is providing ideal conditions for bats to come alive, as the wind is blowing out to left at 7-12 mph and it’ll be a scorcher at game time (87 degrees). FantasyLabs ranked this game at an 82 Weather Rating (well above-average hitting conditions), which is the fourth-highest of the day.

And oh yeah, the over has gone 200-156 (56.2%), winning 33.43 units (8.8% ROI) in the first game of a new series at Comerica Park.

Sharp angle: Over (moved from 9.5 to 10)


Kansas City Royals (36-62) at Cleveland Indians (55-40)

7:10 p.m. ET | Mike Montgomery (1-2, 6.01 ERA) vs. Shane Bieber (8-3, 3.49 ERA)

Casual bettors always gravitate toward overs. Why? It’s all psychological. If an Average Joe is putting his hard-earned cash down on a game, he wants to watch an exciting high-scoring game full of hits and home runs, not sweat a boring low-scoring game filled with strikeouts and double plays.

However, every so often the public will take an under, usually because of a pitching matchup. This creates a rare opportunity for sharps to buy low on a contrarian over.

That’s exactly what we’re seeing in this NL Central showdown.

The total opened at 9.5. Currently 57% of bets are taking the under, but 64% of dollars are going over. This Pros-vs.-Joes money discrepancy forced bookmakers to adjust the total up to 10.

This is also a big bet signal play, as we’ve tracked two steam moves and one reverse line move on the over 9.5.

Since 2005, contrarian overs (receiving less than 50% of bets) with reverse line movement (rises at least a half run) have gone 490-422 (54%), winning 55.1 units with a 6% ROI.

The forecast also benefits the over, as the wind is howling out to right at 10-12 mph and it’ll be 93 degrees at first pitch. The FantasyLabs weather rating sits at 83, the third-best hitting conditions of the day and highest rating we’ve ever tracked at Progressive Field.

Sharp angle: Over (moved from 9.5 to 10)


Oakland Athletics (55-42) at Minnesota Twins (59-36) 

8:10 p.m. ET | Chris Bassitt (6-4, 3.98 ERA) vs. Jake Odorizzi (11-4, 3.06 ERA)

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: sharps are loading up on a contrarian over in a hot, windy game.

This over/under opened at 10.5. With two sub-4.00 ERA starters going head-to-head, the public sees an easy under. But sharps smell a rat. Why is the total so high if two good starters are facing off?

If it seems too good to be true, it almost always is.

Currently 73% of bets are taking the under, yet we’ve seen the total rise from 10.5 to 11. Why on earth would the books jack up the line to make it easier for public bettors to cash their under when they’re already on it to begin with?

It’s simple. The house got hit with heavy smart over money, which forced it to raise the total despite heavy public under betting.

Wiseguys crushed the over 10.5 twice, triggering a pair of steam and reverse line moves. We haven’t seen any conflicting under plays, which means the under action is purely casual bets.

Once again, we’re looking at a sizzling game-time temperature of 91 degrees and the wind is blowing out heavy to left center (13.1 mph). According to our Bet Labs database, the over has won at a 55.4% clip (+78.25 units, 8.2% ROI) when the wind blows out at 8 mph or more in “conference” games on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday.

FantasyLabs has this Weather Rating pegged at 84 — second-highest of the day — another edge to the hitters.

It also doesn’t hurt that Gary Cederstrom is behind the plate. Since 2005, the under has lost 12.6 units with Cederstrom calling balls and strikes.

Sharp angle: Over (moved from 10.5 to 11)

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