The 2021 Major League Baseball regular season is almost here, and our experts have collaborated for a one-stop shop for all your betting needs.
Josh Appelbaum, Derek Carty and William Hill combine to offer top tips for betting MLB, World Series futures, over/unders they like and a few prop bets to make before Opening Day.
Top 10 tips for betting baseball
Betting on baseball is different from betting on other sports. Unlike football and basketball, baseball is predominantly a moneyline sport, which means you just need to pick which team will win. Bettors also have many more games to choose from compared with other sports, usually with about 15 games per day and about 2,400 throughout the season.
If you’re new to betting baseball or looking for a refresher, here are 10 easy tips to help you turn a profit and avoid some common mistakes.
1. Avoid Big Favorites
The public loves taking favorites. After all, they’re the better team and expected to win. However, books know this bias and shade lines toward popular teams, forcing bettors to lay hefty, overpriced numbers. If you’re constantly laying -200, -250 or -300, you’re assuming big risk with little reward. If you like big favorites, you might be better off taking them on the spread, also known as the run line. For example, instead of betting a favorite -300 on the moneyline, you could bet the team to win by two or more runs on the run line at -1.5 (-140).
2. Lean on Divisional Underdogs
To break even betting on spread and Over/Under sports like football and basketball, you need to win 52.38% of your plays assuming standard -110 juice. One advantage in baseball is that if you avoid big favorites and focus on underdogs, you can win at a sub-50% clip and still turn a profit based on the plus-money payouts (think + 110, + 130 or + 175). However, this doesn’t mean you should bet every dog. The key is focusing on divisional dogs. They perform much better than underdogs playing out of their divisions. This is due to the built-in familiarity. Teams in the same division play each other 19 times per year and know what to expect in terms of an opponent’s scouting report, managerial tendencies and even the stadium. This helps level the playing field and benefits the dog.