Casual observers might be surprised to learn that none of the current playoff contenders in the Korea Baseball Organization are the most “profitable” team for bettors. Even the league-leading NC Dinos, with a gaudy 28-12 record, have failed to match the seventh place Samsung Lions where it matters most to gamblers.
Here are current profit/loss stats for all 10 teams, according to the new “KBO Advanced Stats” data compiled here at vsin.com by our database guru Jason Latus.
Samsung Lions: plus 7.6 units
NC Dinos: plus 6.5 units
Kia Tigers: plus 2.05 units
LG Twins: plus 1.9 units
Lotte Giants: minus 0.65 units
Kiwoom Heroes: minus 0.8 units
Doosan Bears: minus 1.15 units
KT Wiz: minus 7.35 units
SK Wyverns: minus 17.2 units
Hanwha Eagles: minus 17.6 units
Riding any baseball team for profit (globally) can be difficult thanks to the vigorish sports books charge to create a house edge. It’s a bit easier in the KBO right now because betting markets have been slow to react to the poor play of SK and Hanwha. But you can’t attribute Samsung’s profit to that issue. The Lions have yet to play Hanwha, and have played only three games against SK!
NC is 12-3 this season vs. the cellar dwellers. The LG Twins and Kiwoom Heroes are both 11-1. Samsung leads the league in profit thanks to grinding out more victories than expected against a tougher-than-realized schedule. Respect the roar of these Lions.
Will that value continue? Profitable dogs aren’t always great favorites when stepping down in class. Samsung will at least have a chance to crash the playoff chase when schedule difficulty evens out. Let’s see if betting markets are able to make proper adjustments on both ends of the spectrum.
MARKETS IN SYNC WITH OVER/UNDERS
All KBO teams have played at least 40 games now. None are showing any dramatic Over/Under tendencies that would lead to easy profit, according to Jason’s data
KBO Over/Under Records (Overs listed first)
NC Dinos: 22-18
KT Wiz: 22-18
Doosan Bears: 22-19
Kia Tigers: 21-19
Samsung Lions: 21-21
LG Twins: 20-21
Lotte Giants: 20-21
Kiwoon Heroes: 20-22
SK Wyverns: 19-22
Hanwha Eagles: 19-23
Even at a standard 11/10 vigorish, there’s not much there. Many shops are charging MORE than that on totals…making it much harder to make real money from simple strategies. Markets reacted quickly to higher scoring games out of the gate, and did a better job of defending against SK and Hanwha’s poor offenses on totals than on money lines.
For now, handicappers and bettors will have to dig deeper to find spot bets when indicators align for pitching and hitting skill sets. Be sure you make use of VSiN’s advanced KBO stats feature (available in the “Quick Links” box on the home page) that include key numbers for projected starters. (Also, remember that there are usually no KBO games on Mondays, so you’ll need to click “next day” if you try to access info that day.)
DOOSAN BACK FROM THE BRINK
A huge statement series from the Doosan Bears this past weekend, sweeping their rival LG Twins at shared Jamsil Stadium by scores of 18-10, 8-2, and 3-1. That lifted the Bears back into a tie for second place in the KBO standings. And, it raised serious questions about LG’s readiness to contend. The Twins are now just 5-9 heads-up against Doosan, NC, and Kiwoom.
In other series, Kiwoom swept SK, NC could only manage two of three as big favorites over Hanwha, KT won two of three vs. Lotte, and Kia won two of three from Samsung.
Standings entering the new week…
Contenders: NC 28-10, Doosan and LG both 25-16, Kiwoom 25-17, Kia 23-18.
: Lotte 20-21, Samsung 20-22.
: KT 18-23, SK 12-29, Hanwha 10-32.
Remember that Samsung will have a chance to make up ground when the schedules balance. Which starts now…
SAMSUNG FINALLY GETS TO PLAY HANWHA!
While Kiwoom at LG is the most prominent mid-week series beginning Tuesday, handicappers and bettors should try to determine if Samsung’s early profitability is a signal for a run to relevance when it hosts Hanwha. For Samsung, 12 of its next 18 games will come against opponents that currently have losing records. We’re about to learn if the Lions are only a live dog…or live all the time.
Also in action Tuesday through Thursday: NC at KT, Doosan at SK, and Kia at Lotte. Be sure to check espn.com for live broadcast and replay scheduling through the week.
A quick note for those of you still deciding whether or not you want to handicap and bet the KBO, and NPB in Japan that just started its season this week. Major League Baseball here in the states will have a very short season at best. Maybe there will be 50-60 regular season games per team, maybe there won’t.
*KBO teams still have about 100 games left per team in a 144-game schedule that will go deep into autumn.
*Japanese teams still have 117 games left per team (no rainouts this past weekend for a 120-game slate) in a season that will also last many more months.
There’s no certainty that major US sports football, basketball, and hockey will be able to play in 2020 given what we’ve seen in early training camp preparation. We’re all hoping for the best. If you love sports betting, or need it to supplement your income, you may have to put Asian baseball front-and-center in your investment strategy through America’s covid recovery.
VSiN will continue to “cover the bases” from a market perspective around the globe. See you again Thursday for a preview of the huge weekend series matching the NC Dinos and Doosan Bears.