Tips for finding Quality MLB Underdogs
Shopping For Baseball Bargains When I was extolling the virtues of gambling on baseball and hockey in the previous chapter, I intentionally neglected to mention that much of the value on betting moneylines comes from the financial upside of going with underdogs.
I waited to get into this until now, knowing that this chapter is devoted entirely to the topic. I never fully understood the power of underdogs until I met Andrew in Vegas.
He's a professional gambler but "works" only 6 months a year, during baseball season. Remarkably enough, he doesn't even work that hard on making money during baseball season. All told, it takes Andrew about 15 minutes each morning to make his picks for the day, then he goes and plays a round of golf and is home with the wife and kids by mid-afternoon.
Once I saw the kind of money he was making and how effortless he seemed to be doing it, I told Andrew I had to know his method. At first he was reluctant, like a grandmother with her secret, prize-winning peach pie recipe. But, like most people with a great secret, he eventually spilled the beans. It turns out, he bets only on baseball and he bets only on underdogs.
And, like I said, it takes him less time to determine who he's betting each day than it does for him to get from the first tee to the second hole on the golf course. Much less time, in fact, since he's not much of a golfer. Now I'm going to teach you his secret, which I've modified slightly to maximize profits. I call it, fittingly, The Baseball Underdog System.
The Set-Up Each of my 12 Money-Management Programs are composed of a Series of bets that are either predetermined by me or can be quickly calculated by you using a Formula I'll provide you.
For the purposes of our examples in this chapter, all bets are at varying moneyline odds, which will be explained with each scenario. So instead of simply betting on the underdogs in every game, you must weed out about two-thirds of the games by following my 3 simple criteria: This prevents you from throwing away money on an underdog on a bad skid or an underdog facing a red-hot offensive team whose bats may more than make up for its own mediocre pitching.
If the odds are any higher than this, there's undoubtedly a good reason, most probably that the underdogs are seriously out-manned. So scratch such games and move on. Third, eliminate games in which the underdog is facing one of the Top 20 pitchers in the league, according to earned-run average ERA. When you go the USA Today's site, you'll notice that it lists the American and National Leagues separately, and also that it breaks pitchers into categories according to number of innings pitched.
For each pitcher ranked, there is much information included, but you're primarily interested in the first 5 columns, which list the pitcher's rank in the entire league, his name, his team, whether he's a righty or a lefty, and his NPERA: He still could be among the league's better pitchers yet is ranked highly in a category of lesser innings pitched further down the screen. This applies mostly early in the season.
Following the 3 primary criteria, on a day with a full slate of as many as 15 games, you should be left with between 3 and 9 underdogs on which to wager.
Odds can vary wildly from one bookie or site to the next, and you should shop around for the ones giving you the best possible odds on any particular game. For instance, if you're betting 5 games on a particular day, you may want to spread those wagers over 2 Web sites and 3 local bookies, depending on who's giving the best odds on each underdog.
The Goal The simple objective is to bet only on baseball underdogs that haven't lost 3 or more games in a row and are playing against favorites that haven't won 3 or more games in a row and are starting mediocre pitchers.
The key is to look for situations and systems where the underdog has a profitable track record. Luck for you, I have five of the best strategies to help you win more of your wagers this season. One of my favorite times to back underdogs is early in the year, as oddsmakers are still adjusting to the new rosters.
This is also the only time of the year where all 30 teams are in the mix. Over the last 10 years, underdogs in the month of April have gone 1,, While that comes out to a mere The key when you find a strong angle like we have here with underdogs, is to try and spot situations where they excel. Coming into the season, this system has gone These underdogs have a SU record of There is no doubt that, despite the game MLB schedule, division games have a lot more meaning to them.
The teams within the division are rivals. But as we just alluded to, you've got to pick quality underdogs in order to be a profitable bettor.
That said, here are some points to keep in mind when wagering on underdogs. Taking this into account, even major underdogs can offer good value in the right situations. The value you stand to get by winning such a bet may be better than how much of an underdog the team is.
Seek Underdogs with Good Starting Pitching - This might seem like the most obvious piece of advice, but it's still worth mentioning. After all, bookmakers create lines that will convince the public to equally bet on both sides of the line - not what they think will actually happen. And since the public is fascinated with favorites - even when they're facing an ace pitcher - it can present a solid underdog wager.
Focus on Divisional Games - If you're going to bet on underdogs, it's a great idea to look for divisional games. According to a study cited by About. Watch for Underdogs coming off Shutout Losses - Continuing with Moody's cited study, another time when non-favored teams excel is if they're coming off of shutout losses. The reasoning behind this is simple because oddsmakers are more likely to give favorites a little more backing when they're facing a struggling team.