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Baseball Betting Tips: Baseball Wagers We Should Utilize More

By Loot, MLB Handicapper.

It’s easy to get stuck in baseball wagering. We get comfortable betting the same way game after game. That could be a good thing. When making straight baseball bets on the money line, those are the best wagers as far as “juice” or “vig” is concerned. By no means should you relinquish a larger “house-edge” for the sake of variety. At the same time, there are times where different situations call for different wagers.

Betting on the “first 5 innings” is an interesting option for some bettors. A lot of times, you will be winning games after 5 innings, only to eventually lose the bet. There might be a gap in your handicapping. Maybe you’re not taking team’s bullpens into full consideration. It could be for any reason. The odds for games in the first 5 innings are usually pretty close to the normal game money line, so it’s not a bad idea, especially if you are finding yourself constantly being snake-bitten late in games.

There are times where the run-line wager can be used to enhance our wagers in certain spots. It’s not always an advantageous play, but it can be in the right situation. It can move the line quite significantly. A favored team that now has to win by two runs can become an underdog, while the team getting 1.5 runs can go from an underdog to a favorite.

Let’s say you think a team is going to hammer its opponent. The team is a -180 favorite on the road, but with a -1.5-run handicap, is now a slight +110 underdog. Not bad for a one-run difference, especially considering that almost 75% of all games will not end with a one-run margin. In spots, playing a few well-timed run-line wagers can enhance one’s bankroll.

A lot of bad things have been said about parlays. In a sport like baseball, where the results can seem rather random--it might be asking too much for multiple games to fall our way. But let’s face it, a bet is usually bad because of the house edge. Typically in sports betting, a parlay is a bad play due to the inequitable payout we receive--with the odds not being a fair representation of the true probabilities.

That’s not really the case in baseball wagering. Unlike football parlays or basketball, there is no set payout. It’s all relating to the money line of the teams selected. Therefore, the wager is not subject to extra juice. The payout is determined by the odds of each team. The way to figure out how much a parlay pays is to take any of the games, figure out how much you would collect off that win (bet and winnings) and then bet it on the next game, and so on. You can call out parlays for any reason, but in baseball--juice is not one of them.

Don’t forget totals. A lot of us, when looking at the betting board, just skate past the totals. We might not even look at them. Being in the business of looking for good bets, we should look at everything. We should at least give the totals some passing thought. Even if we dislike playing totals, we should still look for good plays along those lines. When just paying a little attention, there will be some totals that begin striking us as being playable wagers and we shouldn’t hesitate to play them. There is no reason not to, other than we like to stay in our comfort zones, which isn’t always a good thing.

All the different wagers available in baseball should be looked at as weapons. We are in a war. Our opponent is the bookie, ourselves, and the whole institution of gambling. There may be weapons we depend on more than others, but beating such a worthy adversary requires a versatile approach. For the most part, we should be making straight baseball wagers. That’s a big part of how we’re going to win, if we end up being one of the few that makes it in this business. There are situations, however, where we need to dig into our bag of tricks and not always rely on the same tactics.

If what you’re doing is working, don’t feel the need to start mixing it up for the sake of it. That’s not what this is about. This is just meant as a reminder that if you are losing the war, it might not be an indication that you’re a bad soldier. You just might not be using the proper weaponry.

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