Wayne Root: MLB Markets Not Catching Down to 2017 Disappointments
One of the best ways to make money as a sports bettor is to ride a hot team before the market "catches up" to how good they are. But, you can make just as much money fading disappointing teams before the market "catches down" to their new level of play.
Wednesday's results in Major League Baseball are a great example of that. A few teams who have been burning money all season continued to do so at prices that shouldn't have discouraged any faders.
*The Chicago Cubs won the World Series last year, but are having trouble staying above the .500 mark deep into the 2017 season. They fell back below that line with a loss to the New York Mets Wednesday. The Cubs were -120 on the road, but lost big 9-4. Chicago is now down almost 17 betting units this season. Oddsmakers and bettors just refuse to believe this has become a generic team that shouldn't be priced like a champion.
*The Cleveland Indians lost to the Cubs in the World Series last year, and have followed them right into a 2017 abyss. The Tribe (-135) lost its second straight game to the Los Angeles Dodgers Wednesday, to sit right at .500 for the season. They're down about 16 betting units because everyone just keeps assuming a team with this great a bullpen eventually has to rise to the top of its division.
*The San Francisco Giants (at a whopping -160) were embarrassed at home by the Kansas City Royals. That was a winner on the Root Trust, which is just over 60% in the month of June thus far (playing nothing but dogs and small favorites). San Francisco is down more than 17 betting units in 2017 because the market keeps pricing them like a .500 team rather than a doormat.
*The Philadelphia Phillies, clearly one of the worst teams in baseball, were just even money at home Wednesday vs. the hot Boston Red Sox. Philadelphia is now 21-43 for the season after that loss, and is down 19 units. Many oddsmakers and sharp bettors were sure it was the San Diego Padres who were going to make a run at historic lows in terms of won-lost record. While the Padres are pretty bad (down seven units), the Phils are the minor-league team everyone thought San Diego would be.
Sustaining a winning record over decades of sports betting is difficult to pull off. It takes hard work, great resources, and the kind of drive and desire most gamblers just don't have. But, every so often, winning is EASY when the market just won't accept the obvious reality in front of them. Why is that?
Oddsmakers, sharps, and the general public all read the same preview publications! Chicago was supposed to be a dynasty, not a one-year wonder. Maybe they'll still become a dynasty. But, right now...this team isn't anything special. Who was telling you back in March that the Cubs weren't going to be anything special? Or the Indians? The Giants were a popular sleeper pick. Nobody was going to be as bad as San Diego. Everybody falls into groupthink at the start of a new season, then refuses to believe their own eyes when surprises happen.
Through all of our talks about betting underdogs with an "us against the world mentality," an offense capable of scoring enough to earn upsets, and their sights set on an opponent who is prime for a flat performance, it's worth remembering that the market isn't perfect. Far from it! Sometimes the money's just there for bettors who trust their own convictions over what they hear other people say.
With that in mind...
*Try to spot which mid-level teams are likely to catch fire in the second half of the season while the market doesn't believe in them. Maybe Tampa Bay or Toronto in the AL East can pull it off. Maybe the LA Angels will surge when Mike Trout comes back (they've held their own without him).
*Try to spot which early hot starters are going to fall back to earth (as Baltimore has already done). Once a team wins consistently for two-and-a-half months, the market starts to assume they're for real. Are Colorado or Arizona about to suffer a rude awakening? Will my home town Yankees turn into a pumpkin? I have a feeling a team like this is going to be priced like a winner for the next month just as the laws of math start to jump up and bite them.
Major League Baseball is one of my favorite betting sports because my clients and I have a shot to attack a busy schedule every day for six months. You can pile up profits very quickly if you know what you're doing. I'm the only man in this industry with a star on the Las Vegas "Walk of Fame" because I know what I'm doing!
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