Get Ready for High MLB Prices
DIRECT FROM NEVADA WITH NICK BOGDANOVICH
MONEYLINES OF -200 AND HIGHER WILL BE COMMON THE REST OF THE SEASON
Based on some of the extremes we're seeing between have's and have-not's right now in Major League baseball, handicappers and legal sports bettors should get used to seeing some very high moneylines.
There are several good teams who will soon be in a position where they"have" to win because they're in pennant races. There are a few really bad teams who already look like they're playing out the string, and it's not even July yet.
As a general rule, I advise bettors not to lay big odds when it comes to baseball. You have to win a huge percentage of your games to make any money. If a team is a -200 favorite, that means"break even" for you is 67%. You have to win MORE than 67% of those big favorite bets to earn a profit. Tough task.
Most seasons those high lines are often"inflated" a bit anyway to shade against public money. Squares (the general public) love to bet on the best teams. They don't have a sense of what the right prices are in baseball, so sportsbooks shade against the squares to make sure they're getting the worst of it. So, when studying past records, you'll often see that taking big dogs was a money-maker.
This year though, and really since the economy went south, public action isn't that big a deal. Squares aren't betting much baseball, so sportsbooks are now defending against sharp action (from professional wagerers) rather than square action. Sharps are in the habit of fading the public and betting those big dogs. If you see -200 right now, it's probably a"fair" line rather than an inflated line.
Let me show you some subsets of teams who are crashing the -200 threshold in terms of wins and losses.
GOOD HOME RECORDS
NY Mets 28-12
NY Yankees 25-10
Those teams would still be showing a profit at home if they were -200 every time out. I talked about the Rangers becoming very expensive the last time we were together. The Yanks are always expensive at home. Some of those other teams will be too if they keep this up.
BAD HOME RECORDS
Those are some extreme marks. The"old school" approach of just taking all big dogs because there's probably value has run into a brick wall with teams like this. You back Pittsburgh or Baltimore on the road at +200, and it kills you (those records would turn into 18-31 and 16-29 if the wins earned that price). What happens when a horrible road team plays a great home team? Looks like -200 is way too low.
No, I'm not about to endorse an investment strategy based on laying high prices. That's a thin margin of error you're dealing with, and there's no guarantee everyone will hold their current form. I do want you to be careful with any"fade the big favorites" type of strategy. Asking horrible teams to win for you is rarely a great approach. Asking great teams to play flat is more reasonable, but be sure you're really focusing on a flat spot rather than just crossing your fingers because you want to win a lottery.
If you're going to take flyers on big dogs:
- Look for quality dogs
- Take them with their best pitchers
- Look for spots where the favorite has a logical reason to be flat
- Look to go against the most vulnerable pitchers on a successful team rather than their aces.
I'll talk more about strategies for these kinds of games deeper into the season if the board is truly flooded with big numbers. Baseball used to be a sport of parity. Right now rich is running away from poor. If you want to be rich, you can't bet on the poor!
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