Don’t Make Dumb Bets on Big MLB Favorites
We're starting to see some really big moneylines in Major League Baseball. And, that's only going to continue as the elite teams make a run at playoff positioning while bad teams throw in the towel with no chance.
There was a very big line on the night of July Fourth when Cleveland was laying more than -300 to San Diego. Squares were dying to find ways to bet the "sure thing" Indians with ace Corey Kluber against what's supposed to be a virtual minor league team in the Padres.
*They laid -1.5 runs to make the price seem cheaper
*They put the game in parlays (usually with the Dodgers or Nats) to make the price seem cheaper
*They put the game in parlays with the Under to make the price seem cheaper
Then, the Indians lost outright, killing all of those bets.
Though, some squares still thought they outsmarted the system because they "lost less" with those bets than they would have at -330 on a regular play!
Look, there's no "sharp" way to bet an overpriced favorite. Giving away 1.5 runs is its own extra vigorish, just in the form of a run rather than money. Sportsbooks KNOW that squares like to take big favorites on the run line, so they charge them a premium to do so. This is often a WORSE bet than the moneyline in terms of the math, even though it "feels safer" to squares.
Parlays? While some pro bettors do use parlays in baseball because they pay off at something very close to true odds...sharps DON'T stick OVERPRICED favorites into parlays. The key word is overpriced. If there isn't value initially...there isn't value in a parlay.
The general public has the hardest time realizing that big baseball favorites are usually bad bets. They bring a football mentality (good teams kill bad teams) to moneyline betting (my team only has to win the game straight up!) and either lose big right away, or fritter away their money over time. The worst thing that can happen for bettors like this is to win early because dogs don't deliver right off the bat. That gives squares a false sense of confidence, which costs them dearly once a few big favorites (like the Indians with Kluber Tuesday night) start to lay eggs.
*Baseball isn't like football...the best teams aren't THAT much better than the worst over nine quick innings.
*Oddsmakers know that squares want to bet big favorites, and post tall prices that favor the house.
*Even if your great pitcher throws a gem (as Kluber did vs. the Padres), your offense may not score enough to win.
*For every winning streak that great teams go on, there are surprisingly bad stretches that kill square bankrolls. Yes, the Dodgers are on fire right now. The Cubs were supposed to be the best team in baseball this season, and cost their backers a fortune in the first half of the season. The Indians were supposed to have a chip on their shoulders after losing the World Series. But, they're STILL losing games as big favorites. Washington's shaky bullpen has angered many squares and sharps alike this season.
I should also mention that laying -1.5 runs with a home favorite is really dumb because you may not get a chance to score runs in the bottom of the ninth inning. What if your favorite is ahead 4-3 after eight innings? Your ace closer just has to get three outs to guarantee that you LOSE your bet at -1.5 runs. You want your offense to have all nine cracks at opposing pitchers.
My best advice is to pass games with favorites of -200 or more...or to focus on finding live underdogs in those games. I can understand why you don't want to buck Clayton Kershaw at the moment. But, there are other respected arms who aren't going to be able to pitch to their high prices. Here's a quick way to visualize the challenge you're facing with high MLB chalk.
*Laying -200 means you must win 67% of the time to break even, more to make money
*Laying -250 means you must win 72.4% of the time to break even, more to make money
*Laying -300 means you must win 75% of the time to break even, more to make money
If you take ALL the games priced in those ranges over the years, you'll see that it's the HOUSE that makes money, not the player. Maybe you're the special bettor who can find big favorites that are going to win 75% of the time at -200, and 85% of the time at -300. I've lived in Las Vegas a long time. I haven't met that person yet.
Always remember that I want you to think like a sharp, and bet like a sharp. If sportsbooks are inflating the prices on big baseball favorites, it's your job to exploit that by finding the most dangerous big dogs. That will help you grind out a profit through the season.
If you'd like some help finding smart plays every night, you can purchase my BEST BETS right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions about monthly packages, or early bird football, call the office at 1-888-777-4155. The summer is flying by here in Las Vegas (it's the busiest summer I can ever remember because of the big NBA free agency and trade news, plus excited early betting on college and pro football). Act now to enjoy big savings on my football package.
Thanks for reading. I'll talk to you again next week.
By Richie Baccellieri: