Handicapping Huge MLB Favorites
I can't recall a baseball weekend that had SO many big favorites all over the card. The Yankees laid more than -400 in many spots Saturday against Kansas City. Boston was a big favorite all four games against Minnesota. Houston was big chalk in all three games vs. Texas. Cleveland wasn't cheap as a road favorite in Detroit.
Because we're going to see a lot of this through the rest of the season…particularly when any projected AL playoff team is matched up with one of the many stragglers "rebuilding" for the future…it's time to review the smart way to bet these here in my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping.
*Normally, KELSO STURGEON wants you betting on PLAYMAKERS AND GAMEBREAKERS in any sport. The problem in baseball is that market odds are stacked so high against elite teams that you can't really back those high favorites. The market finally adjusted to the clustering of talent with the richest teams…and the virtual tanking from teams at the bottom.
A -400 favorite must win that game 80% of the time just to break even. A -300 favorite must win that game 75% of the time just to break even. You saw this past weekend that the powers aren't that automatic vs. the patsies. A high-priced pitcher has a bad game (like Luis Severino of the Yankees this past Saturday), and you have to win FOUR other bets just to make up for that loss. A great offense goes into a slump (like Houston vs. the Rangers), and those losses are more like seven, eight, or nine depending on the prices.
So, first piece of advice…DON'T take any shots on these teams just because you think the dog stinks! Even if you're right two out of three times, you'll lose out on the deal. If you hit some bad luck, it could take a couple of weeks to recover. Pass…or make sure a blowout is imminent. Honestly, you should assume you don't have very good instincts for how often blowouts are certain. Even the worst teams have pro players capable of having a big day.
*Second piece of advice, don't switch to laying -1.5 runs at cheaper odds. The market has priced these propositions too high as well. The Yankees took three out of four games from the Royals. But, two were one-run victories. Trying out the run line option created a 1-3 record with some lousy juice making the money tally even worse.
For some reason, the public automatically knee jerks to "I guess I have to lay -1.5 runs" when they see a high-priced favorite. That run also carries a big price. Leave those alone unless you have to reason to believe a blowout is certain. Then, have to make a determination from your read regarding whether it's better to lay a huge price to win straight up, or a friendlier price to give up a run.
*Third piece of advice, spend more time studying the "bad" teams to get a better sense of when they're most likely to play well. Maybe Baltimore gets up for the Yankees while tanking other games. Or, maybe EVERYBODY gets up for the Yankees. Who are the best rotation starters on the non-contenders? Which have closers who can be trusted to protect a lead? When are their offenses most likely to shine. To many bettors focus on all the big TV teams, while ignoring the dregs. YOU will make money in August and September if you can get in synch with the teams "nobody wants to bet on."
And, THAT'S your homework assignment for this class. Devote time and energy this week to finding positives for:
Chicago White Sox
That will allow you to find value spots at big underdog prices, or even when taking plus 1.5 runs to hang close. This is where money will be made down the stretch if you're willing to do the work. Let the public keep cursing its "bad luck" with huge favorites. You can quietly cash some nice scores by recognizing value.
We're now just hours away from August, which means football is almost here. Last time we talked about how to handicap the NFL Preseason. If you missed that discussion, please go through the archives at this website to get up to speed. Don't forget that the exhibition slate begins Thursday when the Chicago Bears take on the Baltimore Ravens.
If you'd like help making smart picks in baseball and football daily and in the coming weeks, KELSO STURGEON'S BEST BETS can be purchased right here at the website with your credit card. Questions about extended service and combination packages can be answered in the office by calling office at 1-800-755-2255 during normal business hours.
Early bird rates will be expiring soon. I know many of you are do-it-yourselfers. As always, I wish you the best. If you'd like assistance, KELSO STURGEON has been helping bettors win for longer than many of you have been alive. History has made it clear that every dollar you earn in August can be turned over several times before the Super Bowl. The later you start, the lower your ceiling.
The Dean of Sports Handicapping greatly appreciates your attendance. See you again at the end of the week for more sports betting coursework.