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Expected Value vs. Odds
This is not a full report, it is an introduction. Future articles will be published on this subject that kind of dictate what we use all this information to help us do.
Are there certain spread ranges in MLB that have more value than others? We tend to say that favorites only really have value when they are motivated (off a loss/playoff contention, etc.). And then for all other circumstances say that underdogs are the ones with the value because the public money is almost always pouring in on the favorites.
First, let's take a look at the value associated with the following spread ranges (Seasons used: 1999-2005). The bottom row values is the expected return on your investment if you were to wager a single 100 unit on that team. -5 means that if you were to bet 100 dollars on that team, you expect to lose 5 every bet.
Just as we suspected, the public money shifts the odds in favor of the underdogs. In fact, blindly betting on underdogs in the 160 to 200 range was [890-1466, +82 Units] heading into this season since the beginning of the 2000 season. Thus far in 2006, this angle has won you 7 units.
The +160 to +200 range is a very vital spread range because the favorites are generally sitting at around -190 and the public will generally find themselves bettinng extra on the favorite. This is true because -200 can be kind of a deterrent.
We will extrapolate the spread range further from 120-200 and see how those teams have done in the following situations.
|Type of Series
As you can see, there is a 6.8 point difference in the true values of divisional rivalry games versus non-divisional rivalry games. And is representative as to why a shift in the odds of about 10 points can make or break a play in our minds.
So in this report, we dictate how important it is to focus on the underdogs of divisional rivalry games. In later reports, we will delve a bit deeper into what to look for in an underdog.