Your MLB insight into betting bases

Posted: April 12, 2013 in General, MLB
Tags: , , , , ,

BETTING BASEBALL – Every year, during the first month of the season, my Customer Service Department is inundated with questions about BETTING BASEBALL. I can tell you personally – and have been the past decade – it is one of the best ways to make money, and one of the simplest forms of handicapping.

I am actually shocked there aren’t more baseball bettors out there. For instance, of the $3.17 billion wagered on sports in Nevada in 2011, a mere 18 percent was on baseball, compared to the 42 percent placed on football. And yet in baseball there is so much more value, epecially knowing you’re dealing with day-to-day situations, a pitcher vs. batter scenario, travel schedules, pitching rotations and some of the most valuable momentum you could ask for in any sport.

Perhaps it’s the popularity – or lack thereof – since so many people would rather wager on a fast-paced game, such as football and basketball. But guys, money is money, and just like in the stock market, you’re either investing long-term mutual, or on the aggressive risk play. The same applies here.

Now, with the regular season officially underway, let’s go over some important points you’ll need to consider, or phrases you’ll hear throughout the season, and defined here:

LISTING PITCHERS – I take into account the pitchers in every game in some way shape or form, and generally surround my handicapping around the starters. There are going to be times – not every – I will tell you to list the pitchers in a baseball game, which basically means you’re making a wager on a game and stating specified hurlers in the event.

If Cliff Lee is facing Justin Verlander, I might tell you to list Lee and Verlander, which means both must start in order for you to have action on the game. If one, or both pitchers don’t start, you have no action and your money will be returned. You can also play a team and list its pitcher, or only choose to list the pitcher your team is opposing.

Bottom line, when listing one or both pitchers, whomever is on your ticket must start the game (throw one pitch), in order for you ticket to be valid.

You can also make an ACTION bet, which means regardless of the pitchers who start or play, you’ll have action on the team you’re betting on.

MONEY LINE – Instead of a point spread, we have the Money Line; and this is what you’ll be playing daily – UNLESS IT’S NOTED to play the Run Line. Money Lines are expressed in terms of a dollar. If we’re making a play on the favorite, we’ll be laying more than a dollar in order to win a dollar – the same we lay $1.10 to win a $1 in football and basketball. If we’re playing an underdog, we’re investing one dollar to win a dollar plus the juice. For instance, if a favorite is -1.35, we’ll lay $1.35 to win $1. If we’re betting the underdog in that game, we’d likely be catching +1.25; so we’d lay $1 to win $1.25. Most bettors might not realize over the course of an entire baseball season, the house edge – the vigorish, or juice – is only about 35 percent of what it is betting on sports such as football and basketball.

Why? Because your investment is on which team will win. You’re dealing with that pitcher, you’re dealing with a lineup and you’re counting on a skipper that will do anything to manage his team to a win. And by playing these prices over the course of a season, you have such a bigger advantage. Think about it, you have the opportunity to invest in any number of 2,430 games. In pro football you’re offered just 256 regular-season games.

Now, this is very important, as we must discuss Sports Books. I will never tell you where to play, and don’t offer any recommendations on any, but I will tell you this is the most important time of the season to find a quality one, or use multiple ones to shop the prices effectively, as we’re looking for ones offering “Dime Lines.” Here in Vegas, I can get a nickel line at times, but that’s irrelevant.

Notice my example above – a favorite laying $1.35 and the comeback at $1.25. There are some books that will offer a .20-cent line, and you’d only be getting $1.15 for that underdog. You lose value by not knowing these things, so take in consideration your book when signing up. Understandably, at most books, as the price reaches $1.80 or $2.00 with favorites, the come-back price is now a 20-cent line and that can’t be avoided.

RUN LINE – Now, a run line play will be used throughout the week and here is where a “point spread” comes in. If the Tigers are a big favorite with an ace laying $2.10 to No. 4 guy in the rotation, I would be inclined to laying 1-1/2 runs, and reduce the price to +1.05. Quite a difference, right?

The catch is, my team must win by two or more runs. Rarely would we play an underdog +1-1/2, so we won’t get much into that, but the thought process remains the same, as we’d be getting a run and a half, lose by one and still win our bet. There are have been sharps and handicappers known to do this, thinking a pitching duel will end up in a one-run game, but it is not something I am a fan of.

When making a Run Line wager, it will always be based on the pitchers listed at the time the wager is made. If one, or both, of the listed pitchers do not start, there is no action and your money will be returned.

TOTALS – Baseball totals are the same across the board, just as in any sport, as there is a number listed for the game itself, and it applies to the number of runs both teams score in the game. This includes extra innings, when applicable.

Both pitchers are automatically listed at the time a total-bet is made and both must start for a total wager to have action. If one, or both, of the listed pitchers do not start, there is no action and your money will be returned. I will have action on totals, not a lot, but more often in baseball than in any other sport will I find value in MLB totals.

Many bettors will take into consideration the umpires in handicapping baseball, particularly the totals. I’m not that big on it, though at times I will refer to the home-plate assignment to solidify a big play.

SYSTEMS – No handicapper might like admit it, but when it comes to baseball, there are some age-old betting systems the late-great Mike Lee used to follow religiously. I love three of them in particular, none of which I’m ready to reveal though, as I work them into my daily lineups quite often.

The key to these systems, is they’re profitable from the start of each season, and basically to the end of the campaign. It’s not something you can jump in and out of, as there could be losing streaks with them. Fact is, there’s always losing streaks in sports betting, but you cannot lose focus on the task at hand, and must play accordingly, following the rules of your money management, the sport you’re playing and the system(s) you’re following.

This is the main reason I always insist on playing with me for one of two packages – one that’ll take you through the All-Star Break, or one that’ll get you through the World Series.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Good luck this season, and remember, it’s a very long campaign that can be grueling at times. The ups, the downs, the highs, the lows … it’s an investment, not a hunt-and-peck kind of sport you want to jump in and out of.

The prices give us an advantage at times, and that’s where we make our mark.

I follow strict money management guidelines in baseball, so if you’re on board long-term, stick by everything I tell you and follow the ratings.

See ya at the ball field, and don’t forget your Peanuts and Cracker Jacks, I don’t care if we ever get back!


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