Orioles-Yankees Betting Preview: 3 Reasons to Bet an Unpopular Underdog

Orioles-Yankees Betting Preview: 3 Reasons to Bet an Unpopular Underdog article feature image

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis

Betting Odds: New York Yankees vs. Baltimore Orioles

  • Orioles: +270 (Yefry Ramirez)
  • Yankees: -330 (Masahiro Tanaka)
  • Total: 9u-119
  • First pitch: 7:05 p.m. ET

It has paid to be contrarian since the All-Star break.

One of Tuesday’s most lopsided games (in terms of moneyline tickets) is Yankees-Orioles. Oddsmakers opened the O’s as +270 underdogs in New York against the Yankees (-330), and more than 70% of tickets are on the Bronx Bombers.

I like betting against the public when possible, but it’s not the only reason I’m backing the Orioles today.

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Fade Elite Teams in Division

In the second half of the season, it has been profitable to fade elite teams in division games. Since 2005, losing teams such as the Orioles are 267-319-1 straight-up when playing a division opponent that has won 60% or more of its games, according to Bet Labs. A $100 bettor would have returned a profit of $8,763 following this system July through September.

Steam Move

Bet signals aren’t the be-all and end-all in sports wagering, but it never hurts to be on the same side as the sharps. A steam move — sudden line movement across the betting market that indicates professional action — was triggered on Baltimore. The Orioles consensus line has moved from +270 to +264.

Ride the Hot Team

The O’s are 5-5 in their last 10 games, outscoring opponents by an average of 1.9 runs. Since 2005, teams that have outscored opponents by 1.5 or more runs over a 10-game sample while getting little public support (fewer than 30% of bets) have been undervalued. Teams in this situation are 341-399 straight-up, returning a profit of $7,755 for a $100 bettor.

Despite trading their best player in Manny Machado along with Zach Britton and Brad Brach, the Orioles have won four of their past five games. Baltimore is also 5-5 straight-up against New York and 27-69 against everyone else.

The implied probability of a Baltimore win is 27%, so an Orioles victory is unlikely. Yet, considering those long odds, there is value betting the worst team in baseball to win … again.