Minus 1.5 Run Lines are Steep



There's been a lot of talk amongst squares this week about laying 1.5 runs in Major League Baseball. This if often a popular strategy for people who aren't very familiar with baseball betting. It can work if you're VERY picky. Most bettors tend to lose a lot more than they win with the approach.

Here's why it's become such a hot topic:

*The Yankees had a GREAT run this year of winning games by more than one run. Sunday's tight decision at Toronto has been the exception (only the fourth one-run win for the Yanks all year out of 35 victories). Squares love betting on the Yankees. Those who were doing this saw it WORK for a few weeks, and couldn't shut up about it.

*Baltimore had gotten so bad that they were getting blown out on a daily basis. Squares love betting against horrible teams...and this approach was working as well. Only 10 of Baltimore's 41 losses through the weekend have been by one run.

*We've reached the point of the season when lines start to get steep all over the card. Contenders in both leagues are often -200 or more at home against opponents who have been losing for two months. Whenever lines get that high, squares start trying to come up with ways to bet the powers without having to lay high prices.

*Temperatures started rising across America. Hot weather often leads to high scoring games...which means fewer of those pitcher's duels that end 2-1 or 3-2. It's easier to 'get away' with laying 1.5 runs in higher scoring environments.

Now, I'm not one to dissuade anybody from a winning approach right while it's working. Just be careful with this. Remember why the minus 1.5 run lines were instituted in sportsbooks in the first place.

*Sportsbooks want action...and want to make sure bettors take the worst of it. We didn't used to have -1.5 run lines. Now we do. They were installed because they make money for sportsbooks not for bettors!

*They make money for sportsbooks because bettors don't realize how common close games are in baseball. They don't have to happen that often to make this a losing bet for you. Games are priced to take advantage of this public ignorance.

*Squares also don't realize how much additional action hurts them. Imagine a game that's priced at -240 on the regular moneyline. Some squares will make the bet. But most will pass the game. Make it -1.5 runs at a cheaper moneyline, and a bunch of extra guys will come in to take a shot. Let's say the favorite loses outright. In the past, sportsbooks would make a little bit from the small number of bettors who got involved. Now, they make A LOT because MORE bettors are involved. You'll hear squares saying 'Well, I saved myself some money by betting on the run line because I didn't have to lose the -240.' That's true...but you probably just lost a game you weren't going to bet before. That wasn't smart it was dumb! Increasing your action when you're taking the worst of it isn't smart at all. Sportsbooks learned that installing the minus 1.5 run lines encouraged squares to make more bad bets.

Here's how sharps generally play the runlines in Vegas and Reno:

*They TAKE the 1.5 runs rather than laying them, knowing that the prices take advantage of public ignorance. Sharps love fading the public. One of the few times you'll see sharps lay odds is with a +1.5 run line in a pitcher's park. They'll lay -160 or -180 when getting +1.5 runs because the odds favor a tight game. Advantage players have an edge there.

*They focus on TAKING the 1.5 runs in PITCHER'S parks where run production is going to be lower. If the game Over/Under is 7 runs...you're looking at a lot of tight finishes. It typically takes TWO decent pitchers for a total to be that low. A 4-3 finish is the best expectation.

*If they're going to lay 1.5 runs, they'll do it with UNDERDOG payoffs in high scoring environments. Many of you think about moving a -220 favorite down to something more affordable. Sharps think about taking a team that was -130 on the regular line and going for the underdog payoff if the win by more than 1.5 runs. There are so many blowouts in hitter's parks like Texas, Colorado, etc...that you can grind out a profit this way. Remember, you only have to go 50/50 on your picks to win money with underdog payoffs in play.

*Occasionally you'll see a sharp move a big favorite down to something more affordable. They'll only do this though, with a top notch offense in their corner...and a very weak pitcher on the opponent.

I encourage you to look for value with these baseball propositions. Just don't fall into the square trap of thinking you're 'saving money' by laying -1.5 runs. That one run is more valuable than you think. And, you don't want to be betting games you shouldn't be touching with a 10-foot pole anyway!


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