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

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

Credit: John Glaser-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Oakland Athletics shortstop Marcus Semien (10), Houston Astros third baseman Alex Bregman (2).

  • Wiseguys are getting down on three MLB games on "Fade the Public Friday," headlined by Twins-Rays (7:10 p.m. ET).
  • Sharps are also betting Nationals-Reds (7:10 p.m. ET) and Astros-Athletics (10:07 p.m. ET).
  • Using the tools available at The Action Network. we analyze how pros are betting each game.

Wiseguys swung and missed on both of their Thursday plays. Time to bounce back and get back to Green Dot City.

Luckily today is “Fade the Public Friday,” which is historically the best day of the week for sharps. With Average Joes wrapping up their work weeks (and getting their latest paychecks), casual bettors are more likely to get down on games which leads to increased ticket counts and an elevated contrarian edge for the Goodfellas.

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 pair of MLB games.

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.

Washington Nationals @ Cincinnati Reds

7:10 p.m. ET

Sharp angle: Reds (moved from +115 to +103)

Casual bettors see “Nationals” vs. “Reds” and that’s all they need to know. A perennial 90+ win team against a cellar dweller. Nats all day.

But wiseguys aren’t buying into the public bias. They see a rare opportunity to back a slightly better team (Nats 24-32 vs Red Legs 26-30) at plus-money in its home ballpark.

This game opened with the Nats listed as short -125 road favorites. With Patrick Corbin (5-2, 2.85 ERA) toeing the rubber, nearly 70% of bets are backing Washington, yet we’ve seen this line fall away from Washington (-125 to -111) and toward Cincinnati (+115 to +103).

This is a classic case of sharp reverse line movement. Despite the public loading up on the Nats, oddsmakers moved the line away from the popular side because they took in a wave of big money from respected pro players on the unpopular underdogs.

Using our Sports Insights Bet Signals, we tracked a trio of steam move and reverse line moves on CIN at +117, +111 and +110. We haven’t seen a single conflicting move (or buyback) on Washington.

Minnesota Twins @ Tampa Bay Rays

7:10 p.m. ET

Sharp angle: Rays (moved from -108 to -125)

Tampa Bay crushed Minnesota 14-3 in last night’s series opener. Average Joes say that Twins (37-18) are a wagon with their ace on the mound (Jose Berrios 7-2, 3.20 ERA) and have to bounce back and win tonight.

Not the sharps. They’ve buying low on the streaking Rays (35-19) to win another one at home.

This marquee matchup between AL elites opened at a virtual pick’em, with Tampa listed as short -108 favorites. Currently 60% of bets are pounding the Twins, yet the line has moved further toward the Rays (-108 to -125).

This peculiar movement is a dead giveaway that sharps are fading the trendy dog and buying low on the home team.

The Rays are receiving only 40% of bets but 55% of dollars, further evidence of big smart money in their favor. We’ve also tracked heavy steam on TB at -119, which moved the entire market further in Tampa’s favor.

This spot has been a big moneymaker for wiseguys this season. According to our Bet Labs database, favorites getting less than 50% of bets have gone 81-48 (62.8%), winning +17.71 units with a 13.7% ROI.

Houston Astros @ Oakland Athletics

10:07 p.m. ET

Sharp angle: Over (stayed at 8.5)

Recreational bettors love betting overs. After all, who wants to sweat an under and root for strikeouts, doubl -plays and a boring 1-0 game? Casual bettors want action: hits, home runs and high-scoring games.

When the public loads up on an under, it creates a rare contrarian over opportunity for the sharps. That’s exactly what we’re seeing in this late NL West matchup.

This total opened at 8.5. With Brad Peacock (3.19 ERA) facing a pitcher who recently threw a no-hitter (Mike Fiers), currently 64% of bets are taking the under.

However, despite this heavy under betting, the total has remained frozen at 8.5. In fact, the juice has trended toward the over, with most books moving from 8.5 under -120 to 8.5 over -115. This indicates over liability.

We’re also seeing heavy smart money on the over. Even though only 34% of bets are backing the over, it accounts for a whopping 78% of dollars, a clear sign that the big wagers are backing a higher-scoring game.

Sharps also triggered two big steam and reverse line moves on the over (without any conflicting under moves) and the wind is blowing out to dead center at 5 mph.

Overs have been a profitable bet this season, which is completely outside the historical norm. From 2005 to 2018, overs cashed at a 49.2% rate. But this season overs have cashed at a 51% rate, a nearly 2% increase compared to years past. Juiced ball anyone?