Tigers vs. Orioles Betting Pick: Should You Follow the Heavy Line Move?

Tigers vs. Orioles Betting Pick: Should You Follow the Heavy Line Move? article feature image

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports.

  • After opening around +130, the Tigers are down to just +110 tonight against the Orioles (7:05 p.m. ET).
  • If history is any indication, it might not be a bad idea to follow that hefty line move.

That Kansas City bet sure was fun last night. Nothing like following up a three-run first inning with one hit over the course of the next eight. Good stuff.

I suppose that’s what I deserve for betting on a game between two of the premier franchises of the American League in the White Sox and Royals. So where does that leave us tonight?

How does an even worse game sound?

The Tigers and Orioles will meet in Baltimore for what’s shaping up to be an extremely similar matchup — at least by how it’s been approached in the betting market.

Detroit is attracting only 26% of bets tonight, which is probably a result of the pitching matchup. The Tigers are sending out Ryan Carpenter and his 9.00 ERA to face John Means’ surprisingly impressive 2.96. That quarter of bettors, however, is accounting for 31% of actual money being wagered on the matchup.

>> All odds as of 1:40 p.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time MLB odds and track your bets.

While that’s still a minority, the fact that there’s a noticeable difference between bets and dollars means that the Tigers are attracting the bigger bettors — the ones more likely to be sharps. And because it’s a minority, it ensures that sportsbooks are also going to be pulling for Detroit tonight.

That puts the Tigers in a very similar spot to the Royals last night, especially since they’re also a bad team coming off a win (meaning recreational bettors are expecting a second straight victory to be unlikely).

Of course, it didn’t work out for Kansas City, but it’s generally been a good situation on which to capitalize, winning 30.3 units over the past 3+ seasons (a 31.3% return on investment).

What separates the Tigers, though, is how this line has moved since opening. While KC saw just a small line move (in the wrong direction), the Tigers’ line has fallen from roughly +130 to +110, meaning there’s been enough Detroit sharp action to convince oddsmakers to give the majority of their customers a better Orioles number.

So while the sample size is low (because the system is overfitted), when all of the mentioned factors come together on the same team, it’s provided an even more profitable betting opportunity.

From the embedded system above, simply cutting out teams that saw the line move away from them leaves a record of 28-19 (22.0 units, 46.7% ROI). To get even more picky, if the team saw more than 10 cents of line movement toward it — like the Tigers have — the record moves to 19-8, winning 18.4 units for a ridiculous 68.2% ROI, as 26 of those 27 teams were underdogs.

Again, such a specific system creates a sample size that’s just too small to be expected to continue at the same rate. What is encouraging, though, is the number of profitable factors that all are pointing toward the same side.

All right, you want more? As Mark Gallant pointed out yesterday, it’s generally not the best idea to bet on favorites that absolutely stink. If a favored team has a win percentage under .333 and won fewer than 70 games the season before, fading that squad has profited 12.6 units on a 70-65 record since 2006.

The pick: Tigers +110