Should You Ever Lay -200?

With Oddsmaker Nick Bogdanovich


There's a general understanding in Major League Baseball betting circles that you shouldn't lay very high prices. Even the squarest of squares (our term for the general public) know that it's dicey to lay -200 or higher in a baseball game. What's funny is, they still keep doing it!

I'll hear them say something like 'I know this is usually dumb. But, THIS TIME it makes sense to me.' A square can always justify a bet on a big favorite because the favorite usually has a lot going for it…and a big underdog usually has a lot of obvious negatives. Just list them all out and -200 seems like nothing.

The problem is, the world is always more complicated than it seems.

*The best teams don't play great EVERY time out. They just play well more than others do.

*The worst teams don't play horrible EVERY time out. They'll definitely have some ugly results. You'd be surprised how rarely those really terrible games happened if you sat down and counted them up.

*Teams are rarely as motivated to win TODAY as gamblers are. They know it's a long season. If they fall behind early, it's not the end of the world if they don't rally back to win. Nobody's going to go 162-0. It's tough to get to 100-62…and that's 62 lost bets right there.

*Oddsmakers know that the public prefers betting favorites, so the lines are stacked against them to begin with. Now, that's not a big a problem for baseball bettors as it used to be because the public hasn't been doing much baseball in recent years because of the down economy. Still, old habits die hard…and oddsmakers are prone to put some air in the line whenever there's a big pitching advantage for a much superior team.

The simplest way to answer the question of whether or not you should lay -200 in a baseball game is this. What percentage of time do you expect the favorite to win?

If a team is going to win 67% of the time, that's right at break even for a -200 favorite. You don't win money breaking even…so there's no reason to lay -200.

If you think a team is going to win 75% of the time, then it's justified. But…I wouldn't trust your gut feeling about this. You need REAL reasons you can point to for that level of dominance in a sport like baseball. How many runs does the favorite normally score in a game? How have they done as favorites in the past? Do they have any distractions coming up, like a big game against a rival that starts the next day? What do you know about the underdog pitcher? Are you going against him based on just a few bad games? Do you know what his velocity is and what his strengths are? JUSTIFY YOUR BET with tangible reasons.

If you think a team is going to win 100% of the time…meaning you walk around with your buddies saying stuff like 'NO WAY' so-and-so loses today, or 'This team wins 100 times in 100!,' then you're the kind of blowhard square that Vegas is built on. You need to stop betting immediately. There are no sure things in sports…except maybe the fact that new squares with a need to impress people are born every day.

Generally, I'd advise against laying anything at -200 or higher, and my personal cut off point is much lower than that except in very unique circumstances.

I bring this up now because we're going to start seeing more high prices in the coming days and weeks:

*Many of the projected powers are starting to string together wins.
*Many of the projected doormats are starting to fall off the map.
*Many relatively unknown pitchers are starting to get looks.

Many of you reading are going to be tempted to take some of these big favorites. Hey, if somebody runs off 10 wins in a row, it doesn't matter what the prices are! That's going to be less common than you think. So, play it smart.

Perhaps the smartest way to play it is to sign up for my BEST BETS here at the website. You can also purchase my top releases with your credit card a few hours before first pitch. There's a chance for split sessions Wednesday and Thursday because of the afternoon schedules. I have great rates for the rest of the season. Call 1-877-822-2276 for details. Be sure to check on early bird football rates when you call.

I don't want you to be a square. I want you to remember that the best information comes DIRECT FROM NEVADA!

This article is part of the VSM MASTERS SERIES presented by For more information on NICK BOGDANOVICH'S handicapping packages, call 1-877-822-2276.


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