MLB Sharp Report: Pros Betting White Sox-Royals, 2 Other Monday Games

MLB Sharp Report: Pros Betting White Sox-Royals, 2 Other Monday Games article feature image

Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Lucas Giolito

  • Wiseguys are betting three MLB games on Monday, headlined by Dodgers-Phillies (7:05 p.m. ET).
  • Sharps are getting down on Braves-Brewers (8:10 p.m. ET) and White Sox-Royals (8:15 p.m. ET).
  • Using the tools available at Sports Insights and The Action Network, we analyze how pros are betting each game.

The first post-All Star break series concluded on Sunday. How did teams fare in the first three games after the Midsummer Classic? After Overs crushed the first half, unders have rebounded to a 25-21 record (54.3%, +2.6 units) since Friday.

The biggest takeaway? Public sides. Over the past three days, teams getting the majority of moneyline bets (51% or more) have gone and absurd 33-14 (70.2%, +9.29 units).

In other words, casual bettors made it rain and the books are taking it on the chin. Will this trend continue? Or is it bound to regress?

After analyzing Monday’s short 11-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 2:45 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.

Los Angeles Dodgers (62-33) at Philadelphia Phillies (48-45)

7:05 p.m. ET | Clayton Kershaw (7-2, 3.18 ERA) vs Zach Eflin (7-8, 3.78 ERA) 

Casual bettors largely ignore head-to-head matchups, line movement, betting percentages, bet signals and historical data when placing a wager. Instead, Average Joes lean on gut instinct and, when it comes to totals, pitching matchups. Give them a future Hall of Famer toeing the rubber and that’s all they need to know. Under all day!

But wiseguys know there’s much more that goes into placing an over/under wager than just starting pitchers.

This total opened at 9.5. Right off the bat that line speaks volumes. Why is the total so high with Kershaw on the mound? Usually you’ll see a Kershaw total in the 6.5-7.5 range. Recreational bettors can’t bet the under fast enough, but sharps smell a rat.

Currently 72% of bets are hammering the under. Despite this heavy public betting the line has remained frozen at 9.5. The fact that it hasn’t dropped to 9 as a result of the overwhelming public action is a dead giveaway that books have liability on the over. They simply do not want to give contrarian over bettors an extra half-run.

The Over is getting only 28% of bets but nearly half of the money (45%), further evidence of the bigger, sharper wagers banking on a higher scoring game.

Using our Sports Insights Bet Signals, we’ve tracked four separate steam and reverse line moves on the Over 9.5. We haven’t seen a single conflicting under move (or buyback). This means sharps are united on the over and the under betting is purely public.

Sharp angle: Over (line has remained frozen at 9.5)

Atlanta Braves (57-37) at Milwaukee Brewers (48-46) 

8:10 p.m. ET | Max Fried (9-4, 4.29 ERA) vs. Adrian Houser (2-3, 4.01 ERA) 

Public bettors take one look at this line and see the layup of the century. Wiseguys see a line that absolutely stinks.

Atlanta is red hot (riding a four-game winning streak), has a much better won-loss record and sends a young lefty stud to the mound with an impressive winning record.

So why did the bookmakers open this line with the Brewers listed as -109 favorites and the Braves as +101 dogs?

In betting, if it looks too good to be true, it almost always is.

Currently 70% of bets are rushing to the window to back Atlanta, yet we’ve barely seen this line budge. Despite this heavy Braves action, the line has only moved three cents with the Brewers remaining -106 favorites.

Typically, this type of lopsided betting would cause big line movement toward the popular side. The fact that is hasn’t raises alarm bells. It means the books could care less about public bettors hammering the Braves. They’re really concerned about sharps sweating the Brewers because that’s where their liability is.

We’ve tracked a pair of reverse line moves on Milwaukee, which is evidence of respected pro bettors fading the trendy dog and backing the Brewers.

According to our Bet Labs database, conference favorites with high totals (9 or above) have gone 417-239 (63.6%), winning +45.55 units with a 6.9% return on investment (ROI) this season. Meanwhile, unpopular favorites (receiving less than 50% of bets) have won 57.6% of their games this season (+7.4 units won).

The Beer Makers fit both systems tonight.

Sharp angle: Brewers (barely moved from -109 to -106)


Chicago White Sox (42-47) at Kansas City Royals (32-62) 

8:15 p.m. ET | Lucas Giolito (11-3, 3.15 ERA) vs. Jakob Junis (4-8, 5.25 ERA) 

This AL Central total opened at 9. Currently 64% of bets are taking the under. This heavy public action has dropped the total to 8.5 throughout the day. Anytime it has dropped to 8.5, wiseguys have crushed the over. This is an example of sharps taking advantage of public bias and buying low on a deflated number.

We’ve tracked four big steam and reverse line moves on the Over 8.5. This has caused the total to rise back up to 9 at several books across the market. The key here is getting the Over at 8.5 (not 9).

This “contrarian over” spot has been a big cash cow for the wiseguys. Generally speaking, casual bettors love betting overs. After all, it’s much more fun to root for hits, home runs and runs crossing the plate. Anytime Average Joes hammer an under, it creates a rare opportunity for sharps to go the other way and sweat an unpopular over.

Contrarian overs receiving less than 40% of bets that rise at least a half-run have cashed at a 57.6% clip and won +45.68 units (+13.4% ROI) since 2005.

This has been the year of the Over so far, as blindly betting overs has won +2.6 units. This may not seem like much, but historically overs play right into the sportsbooks’ hands and are a huge loser (-1,113.57 units since 2005).

Sharp angle: Over (moved from 8.5 to 9)

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