For many sports fans, the only time baseball becomes a must-watch sport is during the playoffs. The good news? Even those who are joining the fun late in the season can profit off the fall classic. But that’s only true if you know what to look for.
Betting on baseball might be different from football and basketball, but there is tremendous value to be enjoyed. In this article, I’ll get into the most important things to consider when betting on the World Series.
Unlike other sports, in which betting on the point spread is the most common method, baseball betting typically revolves around the moneyline. While there are plenty of other options, this is typically considered the standard play.
Because the moneyline is the focus, it’s critical to always bet with value in mind. That means being wary of the heavy favorites, as you’ll be forced to risk much more than you stand to win—a scenario that most experienced sports bettors try to avoid at all costs.
I won’t go as far as some other baseball bettors who swear that taking the moneyline underdog is always the best move. But the data would suggest, over time, this isn’t the worst strategy. However, if you’re only betting on a series, there simply aren’t enough games to take a long-term approach.
The bottom line is that you should stay away from the favorite if the moneyline crosses over the -150 and below line. It’s simply not worth the risk and the upside of taking the underdog is too good to ignore.
If you don’t feel comfortable taking the underdog, but don’t want to take the risk of going with the heavy favorite, there are other options on the table that you might find more appealing.
I’ve already stated that baseball betting revolves around the moneyline. But just because it’s the primary bet, it doesn’t mean there aren’t a few alternatives.
One of the most popular ways to turn heavy favorite into a high value pick is through the run line. Although it’s called something different, you might recognize it by another name: the spread.
Baseball’s moneyline dependence, as mentioned previously, makes it hard to feel good about betting on a favorite. With that being said, nobody wants to bet on a team they think is going to lose just because of the betting odds.
The run line gives bettors the opportunity to take favorites at a much better price if they’re willing to sacrifice a run (or more). The concept itself isn’t that complex, but the odds shift significantly, even if you just give up one run.
I’ll lay out an example to illustrate how much of an impact the run line can have on a game.
The Dodgers could be the favorite over the Rays at a moneyline of -215. If you use the run line and change the odds to -1.5, meaning the Dodgers must win by 2 or more, the moneyline would shift to around -110. Obviously, that’s a much more favorable play in terms of value.
If you’re feeling like taking a risk, or just have a huge amount of confidence in the favorite, you could take things up a level and utilize a -2.5 or greater run line. Obviously, there is more risk involved since a team has to win by several runs. But if you can get the better team at +200 and above, it’s worth considering.
I don’t know if there’s a real explanation for it, but over baseball’s 100-year history, there are certain star players who just can’t seem to perform in the postseason. Similarly, there are some players who, despite relatively modest careers, seem to step up when the pressure is on in October.
When evaluating which way you’re going to bet on a series, it’s crucial to take past performances into account. A team’s ace starting pitcher in the regular season might have a reputation for struggling in the playoffs, or perhaps a relatively-unknown player has a .350 lifetime playoff batting average. One thing is for certain, if you seek out the data, you’ll be surprised and see how strong the trends are for many players.
In addition to looking at how players have performed in the past, it can also be beneficial to look at the experience level of the managers. If a manager has been to several World Series’ in his career, it’s likely that he’ll be able to better prepare his team for what they should expect in the series.
Your main takeaway should be that you need to be doing research on the players’ career playoff numbers. Some veterans that have flown under the radar can put their name back on the map come October. If you’ve done your research, you may be able to predict when these players are going to step up and capitalize on it.
You wouldn’t make most purchases without first seeing if you could find the same item for a lower price elsewhere. So, why wouldn’t you keep the same mindset when making a bet?
Odds on sporting events frequently change in the days, hours, and minutes leading up to the game. This means that not all sportsbooks will have the same games for the same price. In fact, they almost never will.
If you’re not looking at a few different betting sites before placing your bet, you’re simply giving away money.
It might not seem significant at first. But over the course of several bets, the small differences start to add up.
Sportsbooks’ odds change based on the action they receive. And because not all books receive the same action, there will almost always be some variance. It’s in your best interest to use this to your advantage.
You don’t need to be looking through every single betting website you can find to try to find a bet with a little better odds. But if you’re only looking at one sportsbook each time you bet, it’s time to change your habits.
Unless you’re a fan of the team, or just an avid baseball fan, there’s a good chance you aren’t going to be familiar with each team’s bullpen situation. If you want to win money betting on the World Series, it’s a good idea to get acquainted.
Not only are bullpens important for making a bet before the game, if you enjoy live betting, it could really help you make decisions about predicting a comeback before it happens.
Keep in mind that the back end of the bullpen likely won’t get many innings, so direct your focus on the two or three bullpen pitchers with the most innings in the playoffs. They’ll be getting the vast majority of the innings.
Simply put, if a team has made it all the way to the World Series, there’s a good chance that their starting pitching is among the best in the league. The difference between winning a championship and coming up short can be, and often is, the bullpen.
A good starter is valuable, but knowing that the rest of the staff can shut things down at the end of the game makes all the difference. If you’re on the fence between two teams and can’t find a reason to go one way or the other, the bullpen is a great place to look.
Betting on baseball provides huge opportunities for those who appreciate the concept of value in sports gambling. Just as it is on the field, betting on baseball is a numbers game.
Even if you’re unfamiliar with betting on baseball, once you give it a chance, you’ll understand why sports gambling purists swear by the opportunities the sport. This is especially true for the World Series and what it provides for bettors.
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