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Submitted by Richie B. Oddsmakers Consensus on Friday, April 6, 2018 at 1:00 PM

As promised last time, we now move our focus to betting Major League Baseball and the NBA. I'm going to wait until the playoffs start before digging into basketball. That's a week from Saturday, so we'll have our first NBA article in a while a week from right now.

Today and Monday, we'll look at how sharps are betting baseball. The most important factor early in the season involves game conditions. It's amazing the stark variety of conditions teams are playing in right now. There's nice weather in California. Domes never have weather issues. But, other places are dealing with freezing cold, odd winds, or postponements from blizzards!

Things will settle down eventually. Then, sharps will focus almost exclusively on player skill sets and travel dynamics. Right now, smart bettors must also think about:

*Game time temperature
*Wind direction and speed
*Weird starting times and possible shadows

You don't want to bet on home-run based offenses in cold weather with the wind blowing in, or at a weird starting time when batters can barely pick up the ball through infield shadows. On the other hand, you DO want to bet on home-run based offense in nice weather or in good visibility.

Your first activity each day should be to review the start times and weather forecast at every site. It's definitely not enough right now to just think about player stats or who you're also rooting for on your fantasy team. You want to swim with the flow of game conditions, not against them.

I should be clear that sharps don't bet "only" based on the weather. It's not like the Wise Guys see it's going to be cold and load up on the Under without doing any other work. They don't jump on the Over just because the wind is blowing out. If you have two offenses who don't hit the ball in the air as much as others, or won't make contact against today's opposing pitcher, the wind may not help them anyway. But, you HAVE to know the weather as a first step. Then take those additional steps.

If I were to sum up the sharp approach to April baseball, it's that they start with player skill sets, then adjust each game's expectation based on how ballpark conditions are most likely to influence those skill sets that day. With that, they calculate a price that they compare to the posted money line.

I also want to emphasize today what sharps DON'T do. They don't worry about early season stats. If a well-known starting pitcher had a poor first game, they don't assume he's going to keep struggling…but they also don't assume he's going to bounce back either. Unless there's an injury, sharps will always assume a starter is going to throw his "typical" game (before making weather adjustments. You don't win with gambler's fallacies, you win by avoiding gambler's fallacies!

They also don't bet streaks, which is a variation on the same theme. Now, they might end up riding the same team a few days in a row because they keep getting gradings to that team. Maybe their math says Team X is underrated…so they keep betting them until the line catches up. If that team happens to put together a winning streak, that's great. But, sharps will quit betting when the line catches up…not when the team finally loses. Sharps don't worry about streaks. Often, they don't even notice them. It's all about line value.

Based on the first week of Major League action, here are the most common mistakes I see squares (the general public) making so far:

*Worrying too much about early results
*Forcing bets on the teams who were supposed to be great
*Playing too many parlays on those projected powers
*Not even knowing what the weather is going to be until they start watching
*Complaining too much about bullpens

That last point deserves some extra notes. It amazes me every April how the public rants and raves about bullpens "screwing" them out of wins. Like, all 30 bullpens have ERA's of 0.00 except when you bet on them. No closers save "every" game. No team has guys who can automatically lock down the middle innings. And, too many bettors don't even think about the bullpen until after the game has started. If you only look at starting pitchers, or starters and offenses, then you'll end up backing too many teams with mediocre bullpens. Oddsmakers and sharps know the bullpens, so they're passing the games you're betting if you ignore that facet of play.

If you haven't started betting baseball yet, you haven't missed much. A lot of postponements. And, a lot of games with big favorites that are either "dog or pass" for smart bettors. There may be a developing story out in Anaheim with the new Japanese phenom playing for the Angels. That's a story I'll be keeping an eye on all summer. Whenever a California team does something special, it's felt immediately at Las Vegas sports books.

You can purchase my daily BEST BETS in baseball and pro basketball right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions call the office at 1-888-777-4155. Be sure to ask about long term packages that go through the NBA Playoffs and the Major League All-Star break. I'll do my best to find you selections that will earn a profit over the long haul.

Back with you Monday to talk more about baseball betting. Then, it's onto the NBA Playoffs that many sharps are really looking forward to. Can Houston derail Golden State in the West? Can Toronto finally break through in the East? Is Philadelphia ready to make postseason headlines with all of its young talent? Sharps are ready. Are you?

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