MLB Betting Tips
While it's never easy to make consistent profits through sports wagering, baseball generally offers a better opportunity to earn money than with most games. The big reason why is because Major League Baseball features more games than any other sport, meaning you have a wider variety of lines to choose from.
Of course, this certainly doesn't guarantee that you'll profit from MLB betting. The only way to ensure this is through diligent research and handicapping. However, if you're willing to do the work, you have a great shot at making long-term profits. And while we're at it, here are some MLB betting tips that should get you off to a nice start.
Tip #1 - Look for Value in Underdogs
You might be rolling your eyes at this tip because wagering on underdogs is one of most common pieces of advice in any sport. But it reigns even truer in baseball because the disparity between top teams and bottom-feeders is smaller. For example, the league's top team might finish 98-64, while the worst club may go 58-104. Sure this is a 40-game difference, but consider that the NBA often features the same difference in just 82 games.
Because bad teams have a solid shot at beating good clubs, you can find lots of value in many lines. To take advantage of this value, look beyond the starting pitching, which dictates a large portion of sportsbook lines. Focus on errors made by both defenses, hitting towards the end of lineups, and other overlooked stats that the public may ignore.
Tip #2 - Avoid Heavy Favorites
Assuming you are set on betting MLB favorites, it's best to avoid teams that have a moneyline of -150 or higher. If you stick with -150 favorites, you'd have to win over 60% of the time to make profits. And with playoff teams usually winning at a 55% to 60% clip, on average, it's hard to profit with big favorites.
Of course, we're not saying that you should completely ignore favorites. After all, you can find some decent value in plenty of good teams. However, if you're going to bet on a favorite, just make sure that their moneyline price isn't too high.
Tip #3 - Bet Sparingly during the Early Season
When spring rolls around and baseball finally picks up again, it's always tempting to dive head-first into the matter and start betting big. However, it's definitely a good idea to remain conservative in the early going because this point of the season is filled with so many uncertainties.
Sure we have a solid idea of who could be good based on team talent and last season's performances. But how many times do we see good teams, solid hitters and great pitchers get off to a rough start? Furthermore, you also have to consider that April and May weather can be unpredictable and add more question marks for games.
Tip #4 - Look at Pitching from Top to Bottom
It's no secret that pitching is a huge part of baseball. This being said, you need to look at everything from the starters to the bullpen before wagering. Beginning with the starters, it's always good to stick with players who performed well in their last outing. Since starting pitchers normally throw every fifth day, they don't have long to mentally overcome a bad outing before their next start.
You also need to consider the relievers because one or two bad innings could erase a starter's hard work. The main thing to focus on here is how much work key relievers are getting. If the starting rotation is doing its job, relief pitchers won't have to throw as many innings, and they'll be fresher and generally more successful.
Tip #5 - Beware of Historically Good Teams on TV
As we mentioned in the second tip, heavy favorites make it hard for bettors to consistently make a profit. And this is especially the case when talking about successful, iconic teams that are playing on TV.
For example, when the Boston Red Sox or New York Yankees are on television, they draw action from a large number of recreational bettors. This drives their moneyline up and makes it harder to turn a profit by wagering on them. So think twice the next time you're considering a big bet on the Yankees while they're televised.
Once you get past the basics, MLB betting success is all about studying matchups, focusing on specific teams and gaining experience. Assuming you remain dedicated to the game, you have a solid shot at becoming a good baseball bettor.