Top 5 MLB, NBA and NHL ‘Over-Valued’ ‘Under-Valued’ Teams in the betting market

Jun 2, 2011 7:04 AM

A reminder – with "over-valued" teams we would need a lot more support to overcome the bias that’s been added to the price by oddsmakers to compensate for the public’s perception.

With "under-valued" teams a bettor would need less We’re looking for positions where the data and information support making a wager. By knowing the market perception, we can better isolate "true" value.

I like to compare it to the stock market where a company may be rock solid and have a great product, but if it’s not priced right there really isn’t any value for investors to capitalize on. Value is present when the true worth isn’t reflected in the price being offered.

Many times that price will reflect perception more than true intrinsic value and that’s when we are able to profit. So let’s look at the teams this week that are being offered at a discount in the betting market.

"5" Most "Over-Valued"

DALLAS: The Mavericks were severely under-valued in the playoffs, supported by their amazing ATS record breaking run. In the Finals, public perception has changed. The oddsmakers have had to compensate by adding a premium. The +4½ in Game 1 vs Miami and +160 in the Series reflect the oddsmakers trying to protect their clients (the books) from all the public money that was expected on Dallas. When it comes to Championship Games and finals the public loves to see the "Underdog" win so this was no surprise.

VANCOUVER: The Canucks made quick work of San Jose while Boston needed "two" Game 7’s to reach the Finals so oddsmakers were well aware which team the public would be backing. In their last nine games they’ve scored more than three goals in eight of them and we know that recreational bettors prefer offense. With NHL betting volume low on straight bets and the majority of wagers being exotics, oddsmakers know the books will be getting mostly "favorite" money.

COLORADO: The Rockies have been getting a lot of support at the betting window specially at home. So far a $100 bettor is down over $1,300 on the season backing the Rockies and at 25-29. Being over-priced is nothing new. Last season even though the Rockies finished above .500, a $100 bettor lost well over a dime. As long as Colorado attracts public money, we can expect to continue seeing a premium added to the price.

DETROIT: It seems like every week we have an AL Central team "over-valued." Even though the Tigers have won six of 10 and three straight games, they have a negative run differential. Detroit attracts public money yearly and has turned a profit for bettors since 2007 when they won a little more than $100 for the entire season. When oddsmakers place a premium on a team, it’s very difficult for them to turn a profit even with a winning record overall.

LOS ANGELES: Books continue to claim bettors are backing the Dodgers, despite having the third worst run-differential in the NL. A $100 bettor is down almost $700 backing them. Though below .500 at home and on the road, the Dodgers continue to be offered as favorites. Maybe it’s because they’re a "big market" team or that they have a loyal fan base. Whatever it is, oddsmakers know to add a premium and make them a tough team to win money on.

"5" Most "Under-Valued

MIAMI: Yes, after being on my "over-valued" list for so long, the Heat are being offered at a discount in the NBA Finals. The casual fan and recreational bettor doesn’t want to see this star-studded team win the championship and the betting line reflects that. Books reported lopsided money on the Mavs for the Series and Game 1. The key factor to keep an eye on is whether that attitude will change from game to game based on results. For now, a discount is on Miami.

BOSTON: The NHL Bruins got past nemesis Montreal and avenged the Flyers, but needing the full seven games to beat Tampa Bay has them undervalued in the Finals. They were the best team in the Eastern Conference, bettors expect the Canucks to have an easy time of it and win the Stanley Cup. I don’t expect that perception to change throughout the series. There should be some good spots where Boston is offered at a discount.

ARIZONA: Probably the hottest team in MLB, yet bettors don’t have the confidence to back the Diamondbacks just yet. With a +19 run-differential and a huge home field advantage, I don’t think that’s the sharp move. Hopefully bettors won’t catch on and we can keep making money backing the DBacks – currently the second most profitable team in the NL and third in the majors.

MILWAUKEE: The Brewers were all but forgotten, but now are closing on first place in the NL Central with a +16 run-differential. There’s plenty of upside. The fact they are doing so poorly on the road is actually a good sign because they should progress to the mean. With such a great home field edge, Milwaukee can be extremely dangerous over the summer.

TORONTO: As long as the Yankees, Red Sox, and Rays are above them in the AL East, the Blue Jays will continue to be overlooked and should continue to offer up a ton of betting value. They have a better run-differential than two of those three teams and are the ONLY one that’s showing a profit on the season. Because so few make the playoffs, we’ll stick to looking for spots to back them on a day to day basis.

(Vegas-Runner is a Pro Sports Bettor and Handicapper in Las Vegas. Featured on CNBC & ESPN. Follow VR on Twitter @Vegasrunner and at Pregame.com)