The Pinnacle Pulse
Inside the Wagering Line
The Pinnacle Pulse, a column highlighting betting strategy and line movement on key games. In this edition, Simon Noble of PinnacleSports.com discusses handicapping college basketball games before discussing line movement on a variety of betting options at PinnacleSports.com. He then gives insight into the early line movement on this weekend’s big games.
MLB Baseball Sports Betting Information
Tuesday evening was one of the rare times that the Kansas City Royals looked like a legitimate Major League team. After 5 ½ innings, the Royals held a one run lead over Cleveland. Kansas City backers were then frustrated when the Royals failed to score again in the game, and its bullpen collapsed in the ninth inning. Adding insult to injury, even Kansas City run-line bettors lost when Cleveland’s Travis Hafner hit a 3-run homer in the ninth to win by two runs.
All baseball fans know that a manager’s strategy changes throughout the game, especially in one-run games. Bettors can make money by understanding the ins and outs of the baseball “endgame” by betting “Second Chance” lines at Pinnacle Sportsbook. After 4½ innings, Pinnacle Sportsbetting puts up a Second Chance line on each MLB game. This line assumes no one will score in the bottom of the fifth inning. This also allows us to leave the line up for about ten minutes so players have time to consider the offerings and place wagers. If there’s a score in the bottom of the fifth inning, those bets are cancelled and a new line is posted after 5½ innings. These bets are graded on the result of the entire game and the markets feature an appealing 16-cent reduced juice line.
Like all other types of bets, second chance wagers are simply another tool in the skilled sports bettor’s arsenal. One way to use these is as a hedge or middle on the game. In the game discussed earlier, players with bets on Kansas City (either the moneyline or runline) probably believed they’d win with the Royals leading by a run after 5 ½ innings. Checking the second chance line, bettors could have played Cleveland at -168, and locked in a small profit.
In addition to playing hedges and middles, there are some “second chance experts” who skip full game wagering entirely and just bet on the second chances. A rule of thumb for professional players is that the smaller the market, the easier it’s to beat. Since Pinnacle Sports Betting is the only sportsbook offering this kind of wagering, bettors are matching wits against just one oddsmaker, instead of the twenty or more oddsmakers that set the lines for a full game. If a player is willing to invest the time, second chance wagering can be much more beatable than betting the whole game.
To handicap this type of match-up, bettors should start with the same fundamentals they’d use for the game, including the batting statistics for each team and ball park factors. Pitching is much more difficult to measure, since one cannot be sure which relievers will be used. One simple approach is to use the “available bullpen” statistics, which can be found on several Internet sites, including USA Today. Knowing how managers utilize the bullpen can help determine which (if any) teams will use their closer and bring you closer to successfully wagering on second chance lines.
A bettor playing second half totals must also remember that the game ends after 8 ½ innings if the home team is winning. While this is a minor factor in a game line, it’s much more significant when looking forward from the end of the 5th inning.
There are several other special offerings for MLB at PinnacleSports.com featuring discounted vigorish. Bettors frustrated by betting on baseball totals, might want to try wagering on team totals, which are easier to analyze. With game totals there are two random variables (each team’s scoring) plus the chance that the teams will be tied resulting in extra innings. Instead team totals offer bettors the opportunity to wager on the total runs scored by just one team, limiting the variables and giving players a distinct edge.
In addition to team totals and second chance betting, there are several MLB propositions that feature a discounted 16-cent line available at Pinnacle Sports. There are two types of players who do very well at these: prop specialists, and surprisingly, avid fans of teams. The prop specialists use statistics to grind out a profit – any number the book puts up, they’ll check and correct it by betting. Fans on the other hand win with knowledge and intuition. They know tidbits about players and teams that statistics don’t accurately reflect. For example, a fan of a team may know a batter’s vulnerability to a certain type of pitcher, or some players’ tendencies to play poorly in early games. If you’re a baseball fan with an intricate knowledge of certain teams, you may want to look at these type of propositions to become a long-term winner.
While baseball season is in full swing and has reached the first weekend of Inter-League play, the biggest sporting event taking place this weekend is the Preakness Stakes. With Barbaro having already captured the Kentucky Derby, let’s take a look at how players are betting him in the Preakness and to capture the Triple Crown.
Will Barbaro win Preakness? Yes -142
Barbaro was dominant in the Kentucky Derby, winning by 6 ½ lengths. While many horses are passing on the Preakness, the nine horse field could still mean a tough run for unbeaten Barbaro. This prop initially opened with Barbaro at -130, but after moderate two-way action, there’s been more bettors favoring the horse capturing the second leg of the Triple Crown.
Will Barbaro win the Triple Crown? No -212
No horse has won a Triple Crown in the last 28 years, but six horses since 1998 have come close by capturing both the Derby and Preakness. The combination of inadequate rest and the longer 1½ mile distance for the Belmont Stakes makes winning this prestigious distinction extraordinarily difficult. With this in mind, we opened the “No” at -520.
Every once in awhile, linesmen put a line up, and later say “What was I thinking?” This was one of those times as we took heavy unbalanced volume on the “Yes”. When there are huge price movements like this, the bettors causing the movement are usually right. Given the substantial line movement and lack of sharp money on the “No”, we’re not particularly happy with this position.
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