With opening day Thursday, we asked professional oddsmakers and bettors to share some tips on betting on baseball.
Batting leadoff is legendary Las Vegas oddsmaker Michael “Roxy” Roxborough, who simply recommends pacing yourself and managing your money wisely over the course of the six-month regular season.
“Not many baseball bettors can see out the season; 2,430 regular-season games takes its toll on your bankroll or your sanity, often both,” said Roxborough (@RoxyLasVegas).
Handicapper Dana Lane advises playing only short favorites or underdogs.
“For me, rule No. 1 is rarely bet games over -120,” said Lane (@DanaLaneSports). “It’s a long season, and it’s the sport you have to be the most disciplined at. This year, it’s going to be even more important because you’re going to see large money lines early in the season. Be prepared to bet totals.”
Systemplays.com handicapper Doug Fitz also advises against laying high prices.
“The best advice I can give is to concentrate on short home underdogs,” said Fitz (@fitz_doug). “Don’t lay high prices, as the juice on the losses will really add up. Personally, I won’t lay -150 or higher.”
Westgate SuperBook manager Randy Blum agrees that laying high prices on favorites, on the money line or run line, is not a winning formula.
“Those -300 favorites lose outright enough to where I think it’s definitely not profitable,” Blum said. “If you lose one, you’re chasing it.”
Blum advises to always shop for the best price and search for the best information.
“One thing that applies to baseball and sports betting in general, you need to price shop for all games,” he said. “Totals can be a half-run different sometimes, and the money line and run line can also be a big difference in the price. It might not seem like a big deal to the casual bettor laying 140 as opposed to 160. But if you talk about betting over the course of the very long baseball season, it adds up in the end.
“Second, utilize the information that’s out there to your advantage. There’s a lot of information on Twitter from beat writers, as far as guys who might take a day off or aren’t 100 percent or starters who might only throw 60 pitches.”
WagerTalk.com handicapper Dave Cokin has a tip for betting totals.
“If you’re betting unders, stay away from the full game,” said Cokin (@davecokin). “Bullpens are tough to predict, and the extra-inning ghost runner is a killer. (Play) first five innings for unders.”
SportsLine.com handicapper Micah Roberts and former Station Casinos’ Last Man Standing winner Terry Gomez suggest baseball bettors go streaking.
“Bet the streaks,” said Roberts (@MicahRoberts7). “Once a team has won or lost three straight, bet for the same thing to occur until it loses. Ride the streak.”
Last season, the St. Louis Cardinals compiled a 17-game winning streak and the Baltimore Orioles had a 19-game losing streak.
“Baseball is very streaky,” said Gomez (@TerryGomezLV). “Look to ride hot teams and/or hot pitchers and fade the other side of that.
“Also, look at day/night splits for teams and pitchers, as you can often find some real valuable data by doing that.”
Contact reporter Todd Dewey at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @tdewey33 on Twitter.