Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Monday, June 29, 2015 at 7:00 PM
The last time we were together here in my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping, we talked about the best times to lay -1.5 runs on the baseball run line. Today, we’re going to turn it around and talk about the best times to take +1.5 runs.
For too many of you, this never even occurs to you! It’s human nature for too many “square” bettors to try to “justify” betting on the most dominant teams. If they can’t “afford” laying -240 because that seems to high, they lay -1.5 runs at lower juice even though the percentages might make them worse off!
Hey, sometimes there really is value at -1.5 runs, as we discussed last time. Smart students will also be thinking about ways to cash tickets by taking +1.5 runs and laying reasonable prices.
First…let me tell you what not to do. Don’t say to yourself “I can just tell this underdog is going to break my heart and lose a close one if I bet them…so I’m going to take +1.5 runs to be safe.” Smart bettors look at team skill sets and market prices. They DON’T CARE about feelings. The point of betting is not to avoid heartbreak. It’s to find the best investment options and exploit them.
With that in mind, here’s what to look for:
*LOW SCORING RUN ENVIRONMENTS
Taking runs is more valuable when runs are likely to be scarce. If the wind is blowing out in Wrigley, scores are likely to blow up into 8-5 or 10-6 type scenarios. One offense or the other is going to have a big innings. Worrying about half-runs is a waste of time. Just pick the game normally. In a pitcher’s park with good arms on the mound, 4-3, 3-2, and 2-1 finishes are much more common and likely. This is where you want that extra run in your favor. Neither offense is likely to blow up. Exploit the tight scoring range. (Note: the market is generally aware of this of course, but still doesn’t fully reflect true value in my view.)
*FAVORITES WITH MEDIOCRE OFFENSES YOU CAN FADE
We’re currently in a good pitching era because the strike zone has expanded a bit, because steroids are out of the game, and because many teams have developed a mindset of just playing out the string once they’re out of the playoff picture. As a result, the whole sport is kind of in a low scoring run environment. It’s not like every game is in Seattle or San Diego. But, we have a lot of quiet games where mediocre offenses don’t have what it takes to run away and hide. Make a list of the worst park-adjusted run-scoring offenses in both leagues. Then look for good spots to take +1.5 runs against them at affordable prices.
*UNDERDOGS WITH GOOD BULLPENS
Oddsmakers have been having trouble coming to terms with the impact that superior bullpens are having on the sport right now. They’re still in the habit from 20-plus years ago of emphasizing the starting pitchers at the expense of everything else. Bullpens are launching teams to the top of their divisional standings even if the rest of the roster isn’t particularly daunting. Similarly, bullpens are creating some great value at +1.5 run lines because they keep their teams in position to win or lose a close game. Just another twist on the “low run environment” theme. The best bullpens create low run environments for opponents in a way the market hasn’t fully understood yet.
If you’re serious about making money as a sports bettor, you have to exploit all the options available to you. A lot of you don’t even bet baseball! You should start. Those of you who bet baseball only focus on the main moneylines and totals. You should diversify. Those of you who bet moneylines focus on laying -1.5 runs because you want to root for the best pitchers. You should spend more time taking +1.5 runs in the right environments.
Play around with today’s notes “on paper” so to speak this week…seeing if you can pick some winners before you worry about placing any actual bets. I believe you hard workers will uncover edges you were missing before. You can start taking advantage of that with real money in very short order.
Those of you who’d like help finding the best baseball bets on the board every night can sign up for my personal service. Top releases can be purchased right here at this very website with your major credit card. Questions about extended service can be answered personally by one of my representatives in the Vegas-Sports-Masters office at 1-888-777-4155. It’s never too early to ask about my 2015 football program.
Thanks again for your continuing attendance. It takes a true loyalist to show up for every class during our summer session! The Dean of Sports Handicapping will see you again later this week.
Be sure to follow:
Kelso Sturgeon on twitter @vsm_sturgeon
Vegas-Sports-Masters on twitter @vsmasters