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Betting Baseball Totals

Betting Baseball Totals - MLB Over Under Bets

By Loot, MLB Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

When the sportsbook limits how much you can bet on something, our ears should perk up. It’s the book’s way of saying “this is easier to beat than the wagers with higher limits, therefore we want to limit you.” That alone should nudge us in the direction of betting those things. At the end of the day, consistently doing what the bookie doesn’t want you to do is what separates the winners from the losers in this biz.

Picking which team will win is how most bettors wager on baseball. It’s in our DNA. You never hear people arguing on how many runs will be scored, it’s all about who will win. That’s how we were brought up and thinking along those lines is quite normal. You don’t see guys arguing in the break-room on whether a game will be low or high scoring. So when it comes time to bet on Major League Baseball, most bettors gravitate to wagering on sides (who will win the game).

As we realize that MLB betting is not supposed to be an extension of our experiences as a fan, we start looking more at totals. We’re in this to make money, not to take stands or enhance our fan experience. With that in mind, we will begin looking more and more at totals--a focal part of any successful baseball bettor’s wagering profile.

With MLB over unders, you aren’t interested who wins the game. You’re merely trying to predict whether the combined score of both teams will be “over” or “under” the number posted by the bookie. Let’s look at a quick example:

Los Angeles Dodgers/San Diego Padres, Over 8.5
Los Angeles Dodgers/San Diego Padres, Under 8.5

You just have to decide if the combined run total will be over or under 8.5. 8 or less runs would make the “under” a winning bet. Over 9 runs would make the “over” a winning wager. Both sides of the bet have a -110 money line, meaning you have to wager $110 for every $100 you hope to win.

It can be tricky deciding which factors to prioritize when determining if a score will go over or under the posted total. How to rank all the information (aka: handicapping) can be a difficult endeavor. In addition, we might struggle to find relevant info that hasn’t already been accounted for by the sportsbooks. When we make elementary observations like a game is being played in high altitude or that soggy weather will make a game low-scoring--we’re resting our laurels on tidbits that the bookie already made allowances for.

We might find ourselves wasting a lot of time trying to break down weather and altitude concerns. But the great majority of games fall within the same window, with very few games actually having conditions that substantially alter a total. There will be games where the air is extra thick, the wind is batting everything down, or the temperature is a serious consideration. When betting totals, one should look at the weather conditions. Look for warnings that your bet will be easier or harder to hit based on conditions.

But let’s not get all hypnotized by weather. There are a ton of other factors that could alter a total and most of it has to do with the play on the field. Barring some extreme weather situation, the scoring in a game will come down to player performance. So fascinating on the weather conditions can sometimes blind us from more important factors.

In other words, while weather is a consideration, it often takes an extreme amount of it to alter the scoring in a baseball game. When betting on totals according to weather, you might be surprised to see how little it factors into the score. You’ll find yourself feeling confident about your “under” bet with humid air, in a park with deep fences, and with wind blowing in. Then you tune into the game and the balls are flying all over the place.

Therefore, when betting totals, take a lot of things into consideration. Don’t get hung up on any one thing. Don’t make automatic conclusions based on weather unless it’s extreme enough to seriously alter a game. These are professionals and it takes more than a little wind or a marine layer to shut down their effectiveness. When taking an under, for example, you might want to see some weather conditions that badly affect offense. But you also want to see hot pitchers and hitters that have been struggling lately. Take everything into consideration.

Did you know that you can buy off runs on baseball totals? Find this awesome type of wager at 5Dimes Sportsbook.

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