A sports bettor is always looking for new opportunities to get in some action, with the MLB now available there is action everyday but handicapping the start of a Major League Baseball season can be a little tricky and if you’re not careful, you can do serious damage to your bankroll in a very short period of time. On the other hand if you utilize the common sense approach of simply paying attention to the lines and results, you can really cash in.
Looking at the past few weeks there is a spot that seems to always call wise guys’ attention, and that is to find good home underdog value, there seems to be lots of. After a few days of successfully betting home underdogs, I wanted to see if this was a league-wide trend or just a few days of luck resulting in profits.
Turns out, underdogs, both home and away, in the National League have been on an absolute tear, posting a record of 70-78 which translates to a profit of $1304.52 (based on $100 bets). Digging deeper into the National League underdog trend, home dogs actually have a winning record of 30-29, good enough for a profit of $777.48.
Here’s how the two leagues compare:
MLB UNDERDOG PROFITS
League Underdog Record Home Underdog Record
National League 70-78 ($1562.98) 30-29 ($777.48)
American League 53-79 (-$1304.52) 22-24 ($63.28)
Now it is important to understand that these numbers are probably not sustainable, oddsmakers will adjust and teams will start to show their true colors, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late to get in on the trend before it dries up. You’ll want to zero in on teams like the Rockies and Diamondbacks when you see they’re plus money as they’ve already combined to go 17-9 as underdogs. NL clubs to steer clear of when tabbed as a favorite include the Giants and Mets, who have combined to go just 11-18 as the favorite.
Don’t just bet this blindly, though. Take a few minutes to analyze the pitching matchup, you know, how have the starting pitchers fared recently, home/away splits, history vs team he’s facing. When betting home underdogs, consider the situation the visitor is in: are they in the middle or at the end of a long road trip? If it’s the first game of a series, how long did they travel to get there? And, of course, are any key players out of the lineup?
While starting pitching is clearly one of the most important aspects of handicapping a baseball game, don’t overlook the other components. Offense, fielding, bullpens and even the weather all can be great places to find value if you can identify something that others might not see. For example, one thing that doesn’t get much attention is bullpen availability. If a closer has been used for three consecutive nights, you can be almost certain that he’s going to get the day off. Depending on the team and its closer situation that could be a big factor that doesn’t get picked up in the betting markets. Details matter because they aren’t always considered by others and can provide value. Follow this strategy at Heritagesports