Welcome to the 2012 edition of MLB Marketwatch, where the team at Sports Insights gives sports fans unprecedented insight into the MLB betting market.
Every week we analyze the sports betting marketplace to pinpoint which games the public is chasing and which the sharps are pounding.
Overall Record: 4-1 (+4.22 units)
The goal of this weekly column is to highlight games that offer true line value. Often, if a line looks too good to be true, there is a reason. You’ll occasionally need the worst teams on the board to come through. We typically buy on bad news and sell on good.
Texas Rangers vs. Houston Astros
Interleague play has begun and this week’s installment of MLB marketwatch focuses on the Texas Rangers (24-15, 13-6 Away) and the Houston Astros (17-21, 12-8 Home). The visiting Rangers will send righty Neftali Feliz to the mound, who is 3-1 on the year with a 3.32 ERA and coming off of a win over the Angels on May 13. The Astros counter with their lefty ace Wandy Rodriguez, who is just 3-3 on the year but owns an impressive 1.99 ERA. He also pitched on May 13, earning a no-decision at Pittsburgh after pitching 8 innings and giving up just one run.
The Astros, though 4 games under .500 on the year, are playing well in regards to their preseason outlook, and are coming off a two-game sweep of Milwaukee after they’d lost 4 straight. Rodriguez has struggled in his career against the AL going 8-10 with a 5.25 ERA.
The Rangers own the league’s most potent offense, led by slugger Josh Hamilton, who has hit .406 with 11 homers and 31 RBIs over his last 30 Interleague games. Manager Ron Washington aimed to rest his starters this past week in hopes of having a healthy, efficient lineup before playing National League opponents.
Texas opened as a -154 favorite at Pinnacle and is receiving an overwhelming majority of public bets placed on this game. Sports Insights’ MLB Betting Trends show that 79% of moneyline bets, 61% of runline bets and 85% of parlay wagers have taken the visiting Rangers.
The public betting chart below is available on our Live Odds 3.0 page to all Live Odds and All-Pro members and shows a breakdown of moneyline Betting Percentages from our six contributing sportsbooks.
Though nearly 4 out of every 5 bets on this game are coming in on Texas, the line at Pinnacle has actually dropped to -151. This reverse-line movement indicates that sharp money has been placed on Houston since the vast majority of bets are on Texas. At books such as 5Dimes, the line has dropped from the -165 opener to -150, which is the common trend at most sportsbooks for this particular game.
The line history graph below, which is available to all Live Odds and All-Pro Combo members, shows how the public Betting Percentages have affected line movement for this game at Pinnacle.
At the time of publication, Bovada is offering the best price on the Astros at +140, but as always, be sure to shop for the best line before getting down on this game.
Game to Watch (4-1, +4.22 units)
Houston Astros +140 (Bovada)
Enjoy the games!