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Betting Baseball Underdogs

Past Results for this System

Year Record Win Units E[X]
201219-180.5135145.2700000.142432
201119-180.5135146.1000000.164865
201016-190.457143-0.650000-0.018571
200916-180.4705880.6500000.019118
200827-280.4909094.4100000.080182
200726-260.5000006.3700000.122500
200624-310.436364-1.780000-0.032364
200520-280.416667-4.580000-0.095417
200425-270.4807694.7900000.092115
200336-260.58064518.5500000.299194
200234-250.57627115.8000000.267797
200135-350.5000006.5000000.092857
200028-210.57142912.4500000.254082
199918-190.4864865.5500000.150000
Total343-3390.50293379.4300000.116466

Total Scores: 3169.000000-3446.000000, average Margin of Victory: -0.406158. Pt. MOV: 0.000000

Betting on baseball underdogs consistently and winning is one of the first steps in successful baseball handicapping. There are numerous factors that go into defining what makes a profitable underdog in baseball. The money line odds in baseball are almost always tied to starting pitching so the key to baseball handicapping is to find factors outside of the realm of starting pitching to make your decision.

Let us start by defining underdogs and providing some justification to why betting baseball underdogs is the right direction to pursue when handicapping baseball. I define an underdog as a team whose spread is equal to or greater than +100. I define favorites as teams with a spread less than -100. So if two teams are each -105, for example, I consider them both favorites for my purposes.

Underdogs over the past 7 seasons have gone 6917-9644 (-153 Units). If you understand that the -153 units refers to the juice Vegas gets, you will not be so surprised. Favorites during that span are 9619-6891 (-641 units). So even though you see favorites winning at a strong 58% hit rate, betting on them will cost you more than 4 times your money.

Does this mean that underdogs are 4 times less riskier? YES!

Since the public by and large loves to bet the favorite, Vegas puts far less value on the spread of the favorites. It is easy to know that a favorite team should win and is very likely to win but you must compare the likelihood of this favorite of winning to the spread. You could have looked at all of the favorites over the past 7 years and said, I believe they have a 58% chance of winning, they are the right bet. But Vegas is eating you alive by making you pay way more juice than you should be.

I prefer to bet underdogs and small favorites. Finding an underdog in a game that is evenly matched allows me to bet on a game that has value on the line and more importantly frees me from having to worry about the stupid break-even percentages of the money line odds. With the Vegas bias pointed against favorites anyways, being wrong and betting on underdogs is a less risky proposition anyways.

Now that we know that underdogs are a less riskier bet, here are a couple of factors that I like to look at when betting underdogs.

  • At home against division rivals. Teams play their best ball against division rivals and with the low scoring affairs in baseball, most division rivalry games are evenly matched.
  • Good offensive production over the past week. I generally like to spread my systems over 6 games because it gives you a good week of past offensive run production results.
  • Our team is on a cool winning streak or is playing well over their past 10, 15, 20 games.
  • Our team is going against a lefty or a righty which it does well against.

If you can find teams satisfying 2 of the 4 situations and a few other key handicapping angles going against the favorite then chances are you have a decent bet on your hands.

Let me put 3 of the 4 constraints together to see if we have some type of a system going. Underdogs at home against division rivals with around average to better run production over its past 6 games, and having 6 wins L10 is a cool 51% winner. Winning the bettor 70 units over the past 7 years. So a dime bettor would be profiting on average $10,000 on this system alone. I would not recommend blindly betting this because it does not take into account any factors of the favorite.

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Free Football Picks

Updated: 10/27/12

NEW: Pitcher Home/Road Disparities

Bold indicates team falls into that angle today.

Overall
Orioles 93-69 +41.76
Athletics 94-68 +40.30
Nationals 98-64 +27.78
Giants 94-68 +23.57
Reds 97-65 +20.87
Full Table >>
Home
Athletics 50-31 +20.95
Orioles 47-34 +14.14
Nationals 50-31 +12.19
Reds 50-31 +8.39
Giants 48-33 +8.34
Full Table >>
Road
Orioles 46-35 +27.62
Athletics 44-37 +19.35
Braves 46-35 +16.83
Nationals 48-33 +15.59
Giants 46-35 +15.23
Full Table >>
vs Righty
Athletics 64-39 +34.98
Orioles 67-52 +28.93
Braves 65-38 +25.38
Nationals 70-45 +21.99
Reds 65-49 +6.64
Full Table >>
vs Lefty
Giants 41-20 +24.22
Reds 32-16 +14.23
Orioles 26-17 +12.83
Cardinals 31-17 +9.96
Nationals 28-19 +5.79
Full Table >>

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