Submitted by Jim Hurley on Wednesday, June 20, 2018 at 1:00 PM
IT SHOULDN'T BE POSSIBLE IN MODERN MARKETS, BUT ORIOLES ARE DOWN 30 UNITS BEFORE ALL-STAR BREAK
You've often heard that point spreads and money lines are "the great equalizer." In betting terms, it doesn't matter what a team's won-lost record is because the markets will find an equilibrium. Betting all the good teams won't make money because high lines will counter-act any advantages. Fading bad teams won't make money because it will be too expensive to lay high point spreads or money lines against them.
Let us introduce you to the 2018 Baltimore Orioles!
After Tuesday night's "fall from ahead" loss to the Washington Nationals, the Baltimore Orioles are down almost 31 betting units for the season. And, we're not talking about a 162-game season...or even the halfway point of a 162-game season. In just 71 games, the Orioles are 20-51 straight up, at prices that's barely budged that differential in money terms.
Baltimore isn't being priced like a big enough loser, even though it's one of the biggest losers in the history of the sport to this stage of the season. At the current place, Baltimore would finish with a 46-116 record.
The Orioles are 1-10 their last 11 games, and 3-17 their last 20 games. And they were bad before that! Instead of fixing problems at 17-34 out of the gate (just 33% success), the team dumped a 3-17 disaster on top of the pile. Unbelievable.
Well, maybe not so unbelievable in the era of tanking. Now, we're not going to accuse the players of losing on purpose. But, it's certainly possible that management has compiled a roster built to lose in the short term so it could acquire resources in the long term. The Houston Astros model from a few years ago just won a World Championship. It's being called "The Process" in the NBA, where the 76ers became contenders in a finger snap after compiling draft picks. Ownership and management may WANT to go 46-116.
*Baltimore ranks #29 in the Majors in runs-per-game
*Baltimore ranks #28 in the ERA in earned run average
So, should you just plan on fading the Orioles every day in the foreseeable future?. Normally, we'd say NO, that would be stupid. Teams regress...the line catches up...you're just going to lose money. Here, it's obvious that smart bettors at least have to consider it. The market ain't catching "down" to 3-17! If the Orioles are committed to losing, then the money lines on opposing favorites must rise to -300 or more to counter-balance that moving forward.
The markets have had trouble dealing with the brave new world of extremes in all sports. As more teams commit to "rebuilding" it's hard to drop the prices down to their level of play. And, that's happening as other franchises are building juggernauts that continue to be underpriced. You've probably noticed that the Yankees and Red Sox are both showing nice profits for bettors this year even though it was no secret they'd be contenders for the AL and MLB championship. Great teams who MUST win in a battle for postseason positioning can be hard to price accurately. They'll win more often than good teams from the past few years have.
At the very least, keep an eye on things. JIM HURLEY suggests you monitor Orioles results daily to see if there's any sign the tide is about to turn at least toward mediocrity. You should also be watching market pricing. You know Baltimore will be big dogs to the Yanks and Red Sox. Lately, the O's are losing to everybody. Are they big enough dogs in those other games?
Beating baseball right now is a complicated mess for novices. It's okay if you're a fan of the Yankees or Red Sox. They've been taking care of you. Fans of the Dodgers busted out before a recent hot run even started. Fans of the Indians are down money, and probably down more than they should be due to stubborn "double up" betting that hasn't paid off. Teams you thought would be bad have turned out to be pretty good. Hope you weren't fading the Braves and Mariners in the first half of the season.
JIM HURLEY'S NETWORK is built to cover all the bases from all the angles. Our SCOUTS AND SOURCES spot important developments before anyone else realizes what's happening. Our STATHEADS see pitchers who are about to collapse or find their form in time to beat price changes. Our COMPUTER PROGRAMMERS created and continually improve state-of-the-art simulation software that might as well be real baseball it's so accurate. And, of course, our WISE GUY CONNECTIONS let us know what the smart money and dumb money is doing.
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Back with you next week for more handicapping notes. Hope you're already beginning your summer football preparation as popular preview publications are hitting the newsstand. We'll talk more about how to take advantage of those as we get closer to the NFL preseason in August and the start of the colleges. Whatever the sport...whatever the season...you're going to GET THE MONEY with JIM HURLEY'S NETWORK!