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Baseball Betting for Beginners

Baseball Betting: Beginning With the Right Mindset

By Loot, MLB Handicapper,

When someone begins betting on baseball, there are some considerations to keep in mind. It is a challenge for all beginning baseball bettors to understand how baseball betting works. Some guys start wagering and their expectations are all screwy. That poisons just about everything that happens from that point. You need a strong foundation before you begin--not just with baseball knowledge, but with what you can reasonably expect as a betting man.

A lot of beginning bettors want to hit the ground running. That sentiment might come from the right place. Naturally, everyone wants to start well, but we need to be realistic. A lot of us are speaking from experience. We know the pain. When I first began betting baseball in college, I wish someone had told me about the potential pitfalls that I fell into head-first. One of main ones is immediately trying to get up in a big way.

I had about 3 grand. Greg Maddux was in his prime and the Braves were the best team in the league. I figured I would bet him at -280 against the struggling Padres. I put $2800 on it. I figured if I could pick up a quick and easy $1000 and make that my bankroll, while using the other 3K for living. Well, the Padres shellacked Maddux and yours truly spent the remainder of the semester eating Top Ramen and recycling cans for beer money.

I learned a few valuable lessons. Among them was that betting huge chalk sucks, to never bet your whole bankroll on a game, and that success in baseball wagering is a steady climb--not an overnight thing. These are lessons that are better to know before you start betting. A few bad experiences can throw you for a loop and completely turn you off to baseball wagering.

We must wrap our heads around the fact that successful baseball wagering occurs steadily. Picture a train slowly climbing a hill and not a Ferrari going 180 mph. We make small bets, so in the event that we lose, we can absorb the defeat without too much suffering. And over time, we hope to win more than we lose, as our bankroll gradually increases.

Over time, the steady bankroll growth becomes quite significant. Then you can begin making larger bets, even though it represents the same percentage of your total bankroll as before. This takes time and a certain commitment--a staying of the course. We carefully pick our spots and over time, we can perhaps begin to illustrate success.

There are nearly 5000 baseball games in a season. We sit back and sharp-shoot. The 5000 games is the battlefield, but as bettors, we get to isolate the battles and engage the bookie along the lines we see fit. At the end of the day, we hope to show a profit. Sounds simple enough, but it’s surprising how many beginning bettors neglect this tactic and instead try slugging it out with the bookie looking for a first-round knockout.

The general betting public has the wrong perception in their heads about those who succeed at baseball wagering, or any form of sports-betting. They picture guys sitting in the back of limos, winning 90% of their bets, and “making it rain” at the nightclub. The real picture is a lot less-glamorous. These are just guys who win a little more than they lose. When your bankroll is $500, that minor progress won’t look like much. But if a bettor stays committed to the course, the bankroll grows and those few percentage points in his favor begin to represent big money.

The point is to use the same techniques the pros use, even if your bankroll is small. Don’t try to make untimely jumps to the next level by either making all-or-nothing bets or by picking games you have no business betting. Isolate a few games a day max. Don’t use over a quarter of your bankroll per week of betting. Resign your mind to the fact that your bankroll growth will be built slowly--almost painfully so. Then one day, you can hopefully grow to the point where coming out just a little ahead will represent a significant profit.

Lastly, you need to be betting on games at the lowest prices. Not all bookmakers charge the same price for betting odds. To make sure that you're always wagering at the absolute best possible price, get signed up at 5Dimes.

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