Three Easy Ways to Win Money Betting Baseball

The 2012 MLB Season opens tonight (on US soil) and we’ve got three simple strategies that will help you increase your bankroll.

1. Bet Moneylines

In all major Sports Insights research, we’ve found value in selecting underdogs. In moneyline sports, such as baseball and hockey, historical data shows that picking underdogs is the best way to earn profits when investing in the sports marketplace. This may result in winning only 40%-50% of your selections, but the plus-money odds mean you’ll have positive units won despite a losing winning percentage.

Why does this work? Psychologically, contrarian sports investing makes a lot of sense. Most casual bettors like to watch a game and say that they picked the winner. This is why many fan favorites or championship-caliber teams are overvalued and do poorly against the spread.

Most sports fans like to bet on heavily-favored teams like the Yankees or Red Sox and happily watch their team win 55% or 60% of the time. However, they forget that they might be laying -200 moneyline odds (or betting $200 to win $100). Many of these fans who lay heavy odds shrug their shoulders if they see themselves losing money because they know that their team seems to be winning around 60% of the time (even as their bankrolls dwindle). In the long-run, if you continue to lay heavy (-200) odds and win even 60% of the time, you will lose.

2. Bet Against the Public

Baseball has historically been our most profitable sport when applying a Betting Against the Public sports betting strategy.

Below, we update the results of Betting Against the Public at various MLB Betting Percentage thresholds. In addition, because baseball is a moneyline sport, we show the return on investment (ROI), or the gains/losses divided by betting dollars at risk.

MLB and Betting Against the Public (2003-2011 Seasons)

Betting % Total ROI
50% -42.4 units -0.2%
40% +42.1 0.3%
30% +94.9 1.2%
25% +74.8 1.5%
20% +87.9 3.6%
  • The contrarian “30% bet against level” continues to be the largest profit-maker in terms of units won.
  • However, the “20% level” results in more consistency between Home and Visitor plays. That is, both Home and Visitor selections have been positive over the entire dataset.
  • Home teams continue to be undervalued when Betting Against the Public.
  • Higher or lower Betting Percentage thresholds will increase or decrease the number of plays, respectively.

3. Shop for Reduced Juice

Betting reduced juice lines is one of the easiest ways to increase your units won without having to increase your winning percentage. Reduced juice means a sportsbooks’ vig is different than the standard -110 juice. Some sportsbooks offer daily specials like -107 every Friday while others offer dimelines every day for baseball.

To learn more about reduced juice and for examples of reduced juice sportsbooks, visit our Sportsbook Reviews.

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