The Basics of Betting Baseball

A question a lot of people wonder is do sharps aka professional bettors even bet MLB baseball? It’s a mixed answer because I know a lot of wiseguys who say absolutely and it’s their favorite sport to bet because they feel they have the biggest advantage against the books. I know of other big money bettors who feel the juice is too much and after the NBA playoffs they don’t return until preseason NFL. For the wiseguys who do invest in the MLB betting marketplace a lot of you probably wonder how do they bet baseball? It’s an easy philosophy, if you start to think like a sharp you will eventually win like a sharp, it’s that simple. I’m going to pass you along some criteria that all sharps follow when betting MLB baseball. Using these tactics and formulas should help to start having you thinking sharper this MLB season and of course rolling in the profits like a true wiseguy.

Money Lines
First think about this stat. Let’s go back to 2011 when the Philadelphia Phillies had the best record in baseball and won 61% of their games. That year in the NBA the Spurs had the best record and won 76% of their games. In 2011 the worst record in baseball was the Arizona Diamondbacks who only won 40% of their games. In NBA the worst record was the Bucks who only won 18% of their games. As you can see there is about a a 15% difference in win and loss percentage between the best and worst baseball and basketball teams. Moral of the story is even the bad teams in baseball win quite a few games and even the best teams in baseball lose quite a few games.

90% of baseball teams win between 40% and 60% of their games. You don’t have to be a mathematician to figure out that teams playing a standard three game series the odds are stacked against even the best of teams to win all 3 games. If you lay -150 juice in baseball that means you will need to win 60% of your games just to break even! That’s why you rarely see sharps venture into favorites over -150 on the money line in baseball. Some guys I know rarely venture on favorites over -125 juice. I even know some old school guys who never even bet a favorite all MLB season.

Ask any book maker and they will tell you the majority of the betting public usually bets on favorites so most of the time they are rooting for the underdogs to at least rake in a enough cash from sharps to help their liability. Those lights in Vegas aren’t on because books lose all summer long in baseball trust me. Underdogs hit at a nice clip during the season helping books and sharps line their pockets with cash.

Money Lines are the most popular form of baseball betting because it seems quite simple, all you have to do is pick the straight up winner of the game. Well it’s not that easy because the juice in MLB season can kill you. I know guys who have hit 57% in MLB season but still ended in the red because they were betting high favorites and the juice burnt them.

In 2015 the Dodgers won 57% of their games but finished down on the season when it comes to gamblers. In 2010 the Yankees won 59% of their games but if you had bet them on the money line every game you would have lost money on the season. Last year the Detroit Tigers won 56% of their games but finished the season in the red and you’d be down money if you were betting on them.

A general rule is sharps like to find money line favorites under -150 juice, more so especially under -125 juice is the preference. Sharps like to pick out dogs on the money line and every old wiseguy will tell you divisional home dogs in baseball make money in the long term.

Sharp Arbitrage
The books are going to hate me for letting the cat out of the bag on this one but it’s gotten much harder to do these days as the market has sharpened up over the last 15 years. Let’s say the the Phillies open as a -165 favorite and the Mets are a +145 dog. Sharps feel there is an edge in this number and know it will drop before the game starts, so they buy the Mets at +145 right away. So for simple terms they risked $1,000 to win $1,450. So now as the day goes on the line dropped to Phillies-135 because of all the sharp action. They now risk $1,50 on the Phillies to win $1,000. They still are rooting for their Mets to win so they can ensure that $450 profit, but if the Mets lose they don’t lose a penny! It’s rare this big of a move occurs but it does happen more than you think. It’s a way sharps hedge money lines that books hate.

.For you to utilize this tactic you definitely need accounts at multiple sportsbooks. I can’t stress that enough you NEED accounts at multiple shops to make a profit using this tactic in baseball season. The reason for this is you may get the Mets opening at +145 at the best price at one shop and you may luck out before the game starts and find a shop with a line at -125 for the Phillies and you’re setting yourself up for a potential 20 cent profit with no risk at all! Rare it happens but it definitely does if you keep your eyes peeled.

It’s not like football and basketball where most sportsbooks basically are within 1 point of each other on the same game in terms of the pointspread. MLB numbers can differentiate at all books by 10 or 20 cents which makes a huge difference when shopping for money lines. Try to find books with dime lines in baseball. A -130 favorite will be paired with a +120 dog at a shop with dime lines. A -130 favorite will be paired with a +110 dog at a shop with 20 cent lines. Saving that extra 10 cents adds up over the course of the season trust me.

Run Lines
The betting public loves betting a -190 Money Line favorite on the Run Line at -1.5 runs for +100 even money. You’d be surprised how many games are decided by one run, and like I said even the best teams in MLB lose 65 times per year. You can lay that 1.5 runs and lose outright at over a 40%clip.

Sharps bet the Run Line different. Sharps bet Money Line dogs on the Run Line at +1.5 runs especially when the total is 7 or lower. Absorb that whole last sentence there and beat it into your head. A lot of these games that open with a 7 or 6.5 total do end with a 2-1 or 3-2 score so they’ll take free +1.5 runs and lay up to -150 on the Run Line. So it has to be a total that is 7 or lower where the favorite is kind of a hefty favorite on the Money Line. Say you have a total at 6.5 and the dog is +180 on the Money Line they will likely be about -120 on the Run Line +1.5 runs. Games like this sharps circle right away, they do their homework, and if their statistics show that they have an edge in this spot they will definitely lay it on the Run Line. Games like this you will see in low scoring pitcher ball parks a lot like San Diego, St. Louis, etc.

Totals
Sharps love betting MLB totals especially because you’re laying your standard 11 to 10 juice in most cases. There is so much that goes into sharps betting totals with umpires, stadiums, pitchers, weather, etc. I’m going to do a blog alone on some tactics sharps use on betting MLB totals because to be honest it’s the biggest edge you have in baseball. A lot of sharps will tell you oddsmakers have very low limits on MLB totals because they know they are vulnerable.

MLB can be a long and profitable season if attacked right. Having a guy like Chris Torrisi with his resources, experience, and knowledge to navigate you through the arduous MLB 162 games is a huge bonus. Chris crushed books for +93.2* Profit in 2015 and Sonny D. delivered a +31.3* profit from when he joined the site last year during he second half of the season Join Chris and the rest of the We Cover Spreads handicappers this 2016 MLB Season and get their Early Bird MLB Passes here

Want Free Picks?

Sign Up for my news-letter & I'll email them to you!

Find Out More