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MLB Playoff Betting Strategy

MLB Betting: Changing Your Approach for the Postseason

By Loot, MLB Handicapper,

The postseason is often looked at as a whole different season. The best teams spend the regular season jockeying for position. Then it all explodes in the playoffs, as teams and players begin playing for their legacies and sense of professional accomplishment. The stakes are higher. All the games mean a lot. This article will help give you a plan... A strategy to come out on top.

As bettors, we have been along for the long ride, Through spring training and the 162-game season, we are developing our knowledge and working on our handicapping approach. Then suddenly--all that’s over. It’s the postseason, when the games really start having a different dynamic. We need to make adjustments. If we look at it the same way as we did in the regular season, we’re likely to be left in the back of the pack.

In the regular season, we try to gauge which teams will have a greater sense of urgency to win the game. That’s a good thing about postseason baseball--we can stop trying to climb into the heads of the players to determine their sense of urgency. In the playoffs, teams are going all-out to win. There may be a rare instance when a team that is up 3-0 in a series might phone it in, but that’s the exception to the rule. When betting on the postseason, we get the built-in luxury of knowing teams are not only trying to win, but are urgent and even desperate to do so.

Look for team weaknesses. A small cut becomes a gaping wound in the postseason. Teams may have been able to camouflage certain deficiencies during the regular season. In the postseason, everything is highlighted. A team that has an iffy bullpen is a major concern. If those guys had trouble in the regular season, the postseason has a way of really bringing to light the weaknesses that exist in that area. That applies to all areas of the game. The postseason does not make bad things better.

Things start evening out after a long season. None of us really know what it’s like to go through spring training and a 162-game season. Most of us would be lucky to get through a few innings without pulling something. In other words, we shouldn’t get too hung up on the fact that a player is banged-up. Who isn’t at this point of the season? Unless the injury is particularly noteworthy, we shouldn’t get too obsessed trying to break down every little malady that could be bothering a player. Everybody is hurting.

Experience is rarely a guiding light for us during the regular season. Over the course of a one-game spread in the regular season, the importance of team experience can be negligible. In the postseason, it’s a more specialized time of the year and style of play. Having guys on the team who know how to handle themselves during this time can provide a big edge. Teams with postseason veterans on the team can give that squad better leadership.

As bettors, we look for edges. In other words, we look to swoop in on vulnerable lines. With 15 games a day, the oddsmakers can occasionally throw in a dud here and there. We look for lines like that, when a team has a better chance of winning than what the bookie is forecasting. In the postseason, we’re less likely to be able to bet on a team just because the line is out-of-whack. There are far fewer games. The bookie has all his attention on just a few games. That results in tighter lines. The bettor really needs to be on his game. Just as the teams themselves up the ante during this time of year, we need to also elevate the level of our handicapping.

Even if we make the necessary adjustments to handicap the postseason from a more elevated viewpoint, there might not always be a spot. As baseball bettors, it will probably dawn on us that we should be betting the postseason. We need to remember that this is not the playoffs of handicapping. We have nothing to prove in the postseason as bettors.

If there is not a desirable spot, we need to leave it alone. The urge will be there, but we must uphold our standards. Hopefully, during the regular season, a game would have to really stand out before we put our hard-earned money behind it. The same should apply in the postseason. Just because it’s an important, urgent, and high-stakes part of the season doesn’t mean we should be going out of our way to place a wager. Lastly, DO NOT OVERPAY FOR ODDS!!! Why pay $150 for something that you could by $140 for? Too many sports bettors leave too much on the table. Ten bucks a day may not sound like much but added up, it's enormous. Dump your over-priced bookie TODAY and start wagering at reduced odds at 5Dimes.

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