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Key Elements of Successful Baseball Betting

Key Elements of Baseball Betting Success

By Scott, MLB Handicapper,

Even for those who have been betting on baseball for a long time, it’s helpful to review some principles of baseball betting every now and then to make sure we’re on the right track. It’s an easy form of betting to fall into a rut from time to time. There’s no let-up in the baseball season, which doesn’t allow for much reflection. Here are some things to keep in mind.

Underdog Power: There will be good opportunities to bet on favorites during the season--make no mistake. But betting on favorites exclusively or even most of the time is a sure way to lose. First of all, we need to calibrate our understanding of favorites and underdogs as it pertains to baseball. In all major sports, there will be upsets that are truly surprising. Not in baseball. Almost never.

The parity in baseball provides a whole different betting dynamic to bettors used to betting on other sports. When betting on a favorite in baseball, there is hardly ever a spot where you can be really surprised if they don’t win. In the vast majority of cases, teams win between 40% and 60% of their games over a 162-game season. While there are teams that are better than others, it’s not by much. The difference between a good team and bad team in the Majors is not something that will necessarily manifest on the day you happen to be betting.

Betting on underdogs gives you the built-in edge of being able to win even if you’re not picking 50% of the games right. Everyday there are underdogs on the betting board where you can make a pretty good case the game is a virtual toss-up--a 50/50 proposition. Not to say the bookies will be wrong, but there are a lot of small underdogs where the reasons they are underdogs is caught up more in public perception and not actual reality. Most underdogs deserve to be underdogs. But at the same time, a lot of them are maybe bigger underdogs than they should be or maybe not underdogs at all. Success in baseball wagering will at some point require you to make some well-placed underdog wagers.

Placing Less Value on Opinions: As sports bettors, we run the risk of becoming too opinionated. We rely on our opinions, but we can’t let that part of us run amok. In baseball, the value of a casually-made opinion is even less. How strong can an opinion really be when betting on one game out of 162 in the middle of April?

Over the course of a long baseball season, we develop opinions and a lot of them come from what we personally witness. We can’t see it all in a baseball season or even come close. It’s important to not over-value the things that you have seen at the expense of what has taken place outside of your radar. This can include betting on your favorite team, a team you have seen a lot of lately, or even betting on teams that have been good at winning bets for you in the past.

Our opinions need to be made after we sift through the information. When we look at a matchup and an opinion shoots into the head, we need to make sure that’s coming from the right place. It’s important to find the balance between useful intuition and casually-made opinions that really get us nowhere.

Straight Bets: In baseball, the difference between the good teams and bad teams is so small. The odds are never that big. So notch all the wins you can by betting teams straight. Making singular bets allows your results to stand on their own and not rely on other picks to also win. When you pick a game correctly, it is imperative to get credit for it. That sounds easy enough, until you find out how large a bulk of total baseball bets are made up of parlays, where bettors need multiple things to go right. Like when betting on underdogs, we do that so maybe we can still profit even if we are picking under 50%. When playing parlays, you are asking for too much in terms of winning percentage. When you win, be sure that you make it count.

Getting the Best Price: There is a common misnomer that every bookie/sportsbook offers the same baseball odds. This couldn't be further from the truth! Many betting shops do indeed offer "vanilla" lines, however, underdogs pay more and favorites cost less at 5Dimes Sportsbook. Making the switch will save you oodles of cash!

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