There are lots of things to look at when it comes to betting baseball. First, let’s take a look at the lines and what they mean.
If a favorite is -200, you must bet $200 to win $100. If you bet the underdog in that game, that team would most likely be listed at +180. A $100 bet on the underdog would win you $180. Finding the right underdogs to bet on is paramount to having success when betting baseball. This doesn’t mean that you should never bet on favorites, but you have to pick the best spots.
Now if we are talking betting totals on games, that strategy is totally different, and there are many things to look at to give you an edge. First off, let’s talk about the number and what it means. If a game has a total of 8.5, you need both teams to combine for nine runs or more to hit the over — or eight runs or fewer to hit the under.
There are so many things to look for when trying to find an advantage on teams or totals. First off, weather is a huge factor. I’m not just talking about games getting postponed or starters getting scratched if there is a long delay. Humidity and wind are the two biggest factors, in my opinion. Weather data is huge when it comes to having an edge betting on games. The wind blowing in is obviously a bump to pitchers and the under. The wind blowing out will move the line on the total every single time.
Wrigley Field has some of the craziest windy days that you will see. So you could see a total of 12 with two good pitchers starting and the over will most likely still be a good bet. Humidity is huge, and I think it is overlooked too often. Humid days mean the ball will carry, and we see those games go over the posted total all the time. I use RotoGrinders’ WeatherEdge tool, which has been amazing for me in getting an edge betting on totals.
You can now find umpire data on the internet as well. Which umpires have tight strike zones? Which umpires are pitcher-friendly? I believe weather and umpire data can give you a huge edge on the totals.
Lastly, it is still important to watch where all the money is going. Find reverse line movement. When the line is being moved contrary to the public money, the traders and books are responding to the sharp money. You can follow the public money or sharp money. You can always visit a website like scoresandodds.com or wagerline.com and check consensus reports to find out where the public money is going.
If you really want to dive deep, start checking box scores to see what arms are likely to be available in the bullpen. When teams don’t have their best relievers available, that’s an edge for the opposing teams.
Jeremy Conn is the co-host of “The Big Bad Morning Show” on 105.7 The Fan.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Delaware Park