It’s certainly not rare to want to bet on hot teams and against cold teams.
That’s pretty much human nature. In baseball, I don’t consider a team streaking until it wins or loses against multiple teams. Sweeping a bad team or getting swept by a great team for three or four games doesn’t mean as much as if the team continues the streak to another series, so that’s when I look to jump on the bandwagon.
If you’ve watched or listened to VSiN over the last four years, you’ve probably heard some of our hosts and guests talking about betting on or against streaks. The key is to find the ones that will last and not jump in too late. It’s also important because you don’t want to be fading a streak (a friend calls that “getting in front of a train”). There’s another old saying that goes: “If you’re fading a streak, you can lose multiple times, but if you’re backing a streak, you lose only once.”
In my mind, this is best illustrated by an episode of “The Simpsons” when Krusty the Clown was asked why he had bet against the Harlem Globetrotters. Krusty replied, “I thought the Generals were due.” You don’t want to be that clown.
We’ve seen several MLB streaks lately. The Rays, Padres and Dodgers had winning streaks of 11, nine and eight snapped last week, while the Diamondbacks ended a 10-game skid Sunday. Heading into Tuesday’s games, the Orioles had lost 14 straight while the Rangers had lost seven in a row. On the winning side, the Rays, Mets, Brewers, White Sox and Mariners were on winning streaks, but all five lost Tuesday.
The other part of streak betting is that once a team on a long losing streak of six or more games in any sport wins a game, you look to bet on it to win again. Mike/tpking called this the “swagger” theory in the ViewFromVegas Forums, as we often see teams like this get their swagger after snapping a losing streak and winning another game. We get to test this right away Wednesday with the Orioles around + 135 after snapping their 14-game skid Tuesday by beating the Twins. It works the other way too. We call these “anti-swagger” plays, as a team that has a long winning streak snapped will often have a letdown and drop a second game. This works especially well in football, particularly when a college team is having an undefeated season and loses a game to spoil its national title hopes, so I’m sure we’ll revisit this topic in the fall.
So my advice is to check the MLB standings daily to see which teams are streaking and bet accordingly, but also to be on the lookout for those swagger and anti-swagger spots.
Happy streaking (but not onto any fields or courts).
Tuley’s Take on NBA playoffs
The zigzag theory we wrote about last week hasn’t been faring too well, though we warned that it’s not as profitable as it used to be and you definitely shouldn’t be betting it blindly. Zigzag teams — the theory is to bet a team ATS after an SU loss in the NBA playoffs — are 12-15 ATS after Tuesday night’s games.
Zigzagging underdogs have really struggled at 3-13 ATS, so you know I haven’t had a profitable playoff so far, though I’ve passed on many of those. However, if you’ve been jumping on zigzag teams that are favored in the next game after a loss, they’ve gone 9-2 ATS. Home zigzag teams are 8-8 ATS, while road zigzag teams are 4-7 ATS, so they're dong much better at home.
Looking forward to Wednesday’s games, the Knicks are laying 1.5 points against the Hawks in a zigzag spot. After winning in a zigzag spot in Game 2, they let me down in Games 3 and 4, but we’ll be on them to get the job done in Game 5 as they try to avoid elimination on their home court.
I’m on the Mavericks + 7 vs. the Clippers despite being in a road dog zigzag spot. The Mavs came through for me in Games 1 and 2 in Los Angeles even though neither was a zigzag play.
I’m passing on the 76ers -7 vs. the Wizards, though they’re in the favorable home fave zigzag spot along with the Knicks, and the Grizzlies + 9.5 vs. the Jazz, as Utah has taken control of that series with three straight wins after dropping Game 1.
As for other playoff-long betting results (posted nightly on Twitter @ViewFromVegas and in the VSiN morning newsletter), NBA favorites have been dominating at 26-9 SU and 24-11 ATS (68.6%), home/road teams took a 19-16 ATS lead and Overs were leading 18-16-1 after Tuesday’s games. If you saw Josh Appelbaum’s NBA betting trends from Tuesday’s newsletter, you might have noticed that his figures were different, but Appelbaum includes the play-in tournament (which I graded with faves/dogs 3-3 ATS and totals also at 3-3).
Tuley’s Take on NHL playoffs
The NHL is into the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. If you saw my betting results recap on Twitter @ViewFromVegas or in the VSiN newsletter, favorites went 23-19 in the first round, with three games closing pick-’em. Home teams went just 23-22, so we haven’t seen home-ice advantage take hold, though that could change as more fans are allowed in stadiums. In totals wagering, Unders went 24-21 in the opening round.
After Tuesday’s lone game with the Tampa Bay Lightning beating the Carolina Hurricanes 2-1 to take a 2-0 lead, underdogs and road teams are leading 3-2 so far in the second round, with Overs going 3-2.
I passed on the Vegas Golden Knights preseries price against the Colorado Avalanche, but I’m jumping in now as Vegas is available around + 375 (+ 380 at Circa Sports for those in Nevada). There’s not much difference between these two top teams, and I’m not discouraged by the Golden Knights’ 7-1 loss in the opener. That often happens when a team goes through a tough seven-game series and has to travel to face a rested team in Game 1.