Be Wary of Betting Streaks in Baseball

Richie Baccellieri: Be Wary of Betting Streaks in Baseball

You often run into gamblers in Las Vegas who say they love betting "streaks" in baseball. They remind you that if you're riding a streak, you only lose one time at the end. If you're trying to bet when a streak is going to end, you may lose a lot of times to win just once.

While all that is true, and can be put to good use for smart wagerers, this kind of mindset typically makes some mistakes that hurt the bottom line.

*First, these bettors really only want to bet a winning streak when one of the BEST teams is on one. Las Vegas has a lot of people who love betting the Cubs. They keep waiting for this year's team to get on a winning streak. Others are looking for the Dodgers, or the Nats, or maybe the Astros over in the AL. The problem with this is that elite teams are very expensive on the moneyline. Often the game that ends the streak is like two losers instead of one. If you're laying -200...that might as well be a double loss. If you're laying -250, which is going to become more common as the worst teams keep sinking...then it's like 2.5 losses.

Let's say you wait to see a three-game winning streak before getting started. You win #4, you win #5, but then you're laying -250 and the team loses the next time out. You're down half a unit even though you went 2-1 with your bets.

So...let me first dissuade you from looking to ride pennant contenders this way. They have bad games more often than you realize. Those can be very expensive.

This strategy is much more powerful when you can find a surprise team that suddenly starts to click. The Texas Rangers had a 10-game winning streak recently. Nobody was expecting this...and they weren't too expensive to back on a daily basis either. There's more value asking "pretty good" to get lucky for you than there is to ask "great" to avoid stubbing its toe.

*Secondly, they really only want to ride a losing streak when one of the WORST teams is on one. Everyone knows San Diego has little talent this year. People keep waiting for a streak to jump on against the Padres. Here we have the same thing in reverse. You'll be laying a big price with the opposing favorite in the game San Diego finally wins. That will be like two lost bets instead of one in many cases.

You're better off looking at middle of the road teams who suddenly throw a wheel. Maybe they suffer some injuries. Maybe clubhouse chemistry gets poisoned. Maybe the offense was playing over its heads for six weeks and finally falls back to earth. It takes the market a long time to adjust because the quants only look at numbers rather than chemistry.

Generally speaking, "squares" (the general public) wants to invest their money on the best teams, and bet against the worst teams. If daily moneylines strike them as too high for their own risk preferences, they try to invent shortcuts. They try to lay -1.5 runs because it's cheaper (and usually doesn't work because one-run wins by good teams are more common than they realize). They try to put big favorites together in parlays (and it doesn't work because baseball has more parity than they realize). Then, they try to bet "streaks" because having a "hot" good team, or fading a "cold" bad team feels safer.

Hey, Vegas oddsmakers have been around awhile. They know how you think. They know how to make you pay a tax for these approaches. You're not getting the best of it or gaming the system by playing streaks...you're letting the system play you.

Now, I don't want to tell you to NEVER bet streaks. You may actually have found an underpriced team that's going to string together some victories (or covers in football or basketball). If you've won a couple of days in a row with the same team, there's nothing wrong with riding that out if you believe you still have an edge. You're supposed to bet when you have an edge! Look for value, not shortcuts.

That's what I always do with the selections I provide to customers. Try to provide value. You always get my best shot based on my years of experience in the sports betting marketplace here in Las Vegas. You can purchase those daily best bets right here at the website with your credit card. Or, call the office at 1-888-777-4155 to get more details.

Thanks for reading. I'll be back with you right before the start of the NBA Finals later this week to look at how sharps have been betting Cleveland vs. Golden State. This series really has Las Vegas buzzing because the Warriors are a "local" team with a lot of public support...and people also love betting on or against LeBron James and rooting accordingly. See you then!

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