Fans love high-scoring games, and our public betting information tells us that bettors do too. We constantly see contrarian value on the Under as the majority of sports bettors pound the Over.
It makes sense too. If you’re going to watch a game, you always want to think that you have a chance to win.
Let’s say you take the over of 8 in an MLB game. Even if there have only been two runs scored after eight innings there is still a chance — however slim — that you can win your bet. That mentality is what creates value betting the Under, but simply betting every Under is not profitable.
Since 2003, if you bet every Under at Pinnacle, you would have gone 8715-8432. This shows the inherent bias towards the Under, but when you factor in the juice, this system would have lost you nearly 220 units with a -1.3% return on investment (ROI).
Obviously we can filter this information using our betting against the public philosophy, and that can be quite profitable. In fact, when under 15% of all wagers are placed on the under, it has a 128-95 record — good for 35.74 units earned and a 16% ROI. However, bettors can also find value by studying the different ballparks.
Each stadium is like a snowflake and no two are alike. Ballparks with high walls (like at Boston’s Fenway Park) can turn mundane fly balls into home runs, and sharp line drives into long singles. Some, like Yankee Stadium, have short porches in right field which rewards left-handed pull hitters. There are intimate parks where balls fly out, and cavernous outfields where potential dingers die just short of the wall.
But which stadiums have been the most pitcher friendly? Which stadium is best to bet Unders at? The table below, with data taken from Pinnacle, shows the five best Unders ballparks since the 2003 season.
|Tropicana Field||Tampa Bay
|Angel Stadium of Anaheim||Los Angeles Angels||313-261||34.80||6.1%|
|Safeco Park||Seattle Mariners||301-264||20.30||3.6%|
|Progressive Field||Cleveland Indians||309-271||19.50||3.4%|
This information matches up almost identically with ESPN’s Ballpark factor for the 2011 season, with the exception of one. Safeco, Angel Stadium, Petco and Tropicana all ranked within the bottom five — however, Progressive Field in Cleveland actually ranked towards the middle of the pack.
This season, you could turn a profit by betting the under on all five of the teams listed with Angel Stadium setting the pace with a 15-9 record — good for 5.8 units earned.