Baseball bettors! Have you been making money this baseball season? I love handicapping baseball.
As my friend Lem Banker has mentioned to me on more than one occasion, “They play the Star Spangled Banner every day.” This simply means there is an opportunity to make money betting baseball on a daily basis.
I love football but the NFL really only plays one, two or maybe three days a week. When betting baseball I am constantly evaluating and re-evaluating, knowing when to get on and when to get off teams. Like in stand-up comedy, timing is everything.
The sports books are to be respected but let us not forget, in March before the season began, the books had you believing which six teams would be favored to win each respective division. As of this past Monday, the books had it wrong in 5 of the 6.
It would be 6 of 6 except the Tigers lead the Indians by one percentage point in the AL Central. I bring this to your attention because I pride myself on being an underdog player. In football, I am generally on the dog plus the points.
In baseball, I am constantly taking pluses. I have made a very good living seeing things before they happen, and pouncing on underrated teams at the bet window. I must say I did not see the Pittsburgh Pirates as the best team in baseball after 81 games.
The Pirates have been a cash cow. This is a perfect example of seeing value early and taking advantage before the odds makers catch up. The big question is will this Pirates team continue cashing tickets as we approach the All Star game and beyond? I don’t think so. I do have a lot of respect for this team, especially when it comes to pitching.
Every sports bettor will make more money betting on sports by perfecting four key skills.
First, patience – pick your spots, spot your picks, and never pick your nose.
Second, discipline – bet with your head, not over it.
Third, money management – I feel this is the most important skill to master. In the past I have been hurt by letting my ego get in the way once I find myself in the middle of a losing streak. The point here friends is to never press. Keep things in the proper perspective and try not to wager more than two percent of your bankroll on any one game.
Fourth, shopping – why lay minus 30 cents on the Red Sox when you can lay minus a quarter across the street. Five cents may not seem like much but that is $50 per thousand that you bet, times three to five bets per day, times seven days, times 52 weeks…well, you get the point. Respect your money.
I mentioned loving to bet totals in baseball. Three teams come to mind when betting OVER this season. Red Rover, Red Rover, I love the OVER with these three teams. The Dodgers, Angels and A’s have seen the majority of their games shatter the closing total.
On the other side of the equation, two teams come to mind when betting the UNDER. Texas has 20 more UNDER wins than OVER. Kansas City is the other one.
In betting baseball, he with the most information wins. You and I both know the game of baseball is very streaky, including totals. As of Monday, the Cubs had seen seven straight contests go OVER with the Padres having gone six straight with the OVER. Conversely, the Rockies have gone UNDER in five consecutive games while the Giants have gone UNDER in four straight.
Remember, a little advantage goes a long way. This applies to sports betting as much as it does in real life. The more you know, the more your bankroll grows.
Scott Pritchard, now based in Las Vegas, is a nationally renowned sports betting handicapper and teacher. Contact him at [email protected].