Submitted by Richie Baccellieri on Monday, July 9, 2018 at 4:00 PM
We just went through a weekend where some of the best teams in baseball crushed some of the worst teams in baseball. Those blowouts were a square’s dream, but it played to all of their worst instincts about how to bet this sport.
Far too many in the general public look to bet big favorites because they think ‘they’re going to kill” the team they’re facing. Then, scores like this make it seem easy.
*Washington beat Miami Saturday 18-4, meaning you would have pushed if you were laying two touchdowns!
*Arizona did that one run better by beating San Diego 20-5.
*AL powers Houston and Boston drew dregs Chicago and Kansas City, and beat them by a combined 27-10 score (12-6 and 15-4).
Betting baseball is so EASY when the best teams are running up the score on rag arms of teams who may not even be trying to win. Oddsmakers start complaining in the first inning and never stop. They’re the guys who have to root for the White Sox and Royals (and Orioles) every day.
The problems for squares are…those high run counts don’t get spread around all of their bets…and they can’t count on ALL the big favorites winning.
Here’s a quick review from Saturday and Sunday for favorites of -170 or more.
Washington (-330) beat Miami 18-4
Arizona (-180) beat San Diego 20-5
NY Yankees (-180) beat Toronto 8-5
Houston (-300) beat the Chicago White Sox 12-6
Cleveland (-270) lost to Oakland 6-3
Boston (-190) beat Kansas City 15-4
Seattle (-190) lost to Colorado 5-1
LA Dodgers (-170) beat the LA Angels 3-1
Straight up: 6-2
With Odds: 6 wins, 4.6 losses (profit of 1.4 units)
Even winning 75% of the time, big favorites only showed a profit of 1.4 units because Cleveland and Seattle both struggled. It must have felt GREAT to win by scores of 15-4 and 20-5, but so what if you also lost that -270 favorite…or had the Indians in some parlays that also went down.
Washington (-180) lost to Miami 10-2
Arizona (-200) lost to San Diego 4-3
Cleveland (-170) lost to Oakland 6-0
Houston (-340) beat the Chicago White Sox 2-1
Boston (-220) beat Kansas City 7-4
Straight up: 3-2
With Odds: 2 wins, 5.5 losses (loss of 3.5 units)
Weekend: 8 wins, 10.1 losses
Sunday was a disaster for squares. And, you know a lot of them jumped in on the Indians figuring they wouldn’t lose two games in a row as big favorites. Even with all of those huge blowouts Saturday, it was a losing weekend for big favorites because you don’t win any bonus money if your team wins huge. Down 2.1 units could have been even worse if Houston hadn’t survived CWS. Flip that game, and we’re talking 7 wins and 13.5 losses before you even get to parlays.
And, you know squares love putting big favorites in parlays!
Now, if you ONLY faded the Royals and White Sox, and left the other big favorites alone, you’re probably patting yourself on the back today. Maybe that will work the rest of the season because they’re both going to lose 120 games. Don’t count on it. And, don’t count on your ability to resist the urge to make bad bets on other big favorites when the going is good.
My goal with these articles is to teach you how to think like a sharp and bet like a sharp. The most important part of that for today’s discussion is that the Wise Guys think in terms of percentages rather than victory margins in baseball. If they see a favorite laying -300, they don’t think” they’re going to kill ‘em, I should lay that -300.” They ask themselves what percentage of the time that favorite is going to win straight up. The break even at -300 is 75%. They have to be convinced that favorite is going to win 80% of the time to make a bet.
It doesn’t matter that some of those winners win by scores like 10-2 or 14-4 if the favorite is only going to win 65% of the time. Some teams are like that (in all sports). They really pour it on when things are clicking…but things don’t click enough of the time to make money for bettors.
Unfortunately, you’re going to be confronted with this dynamic a lot the rest of this season. We have several excellent teams, and several horrible teams. The opposite of parity. If you’re not comfortable betting big underdogs, take the summer off and get ready for football! Betting big favorites might have days or even weeks where it works. History shows it’s unlikely to be a money maker for you. And, if any of the superpowers get to where they can coast down the stretch, it will be an even bigger disaster for squares.
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Thanks for reading. See you again at the end of the week. Can you believe the All-Star Break is already next week? The summer is flying by. Hope it keeps flying by because it’s way too hot in Las Vegas. Probably true where many of you live right now too. Stay cool!