April is a tricky month for part-time sports bettors, but it is high time someone stepped into the spotlight and told the world â?¦ â??Baseball ainâ??t so bad!â?
As March Madness comes to an end and the NBA season winds into the Playoffs (which does, conveniently, stretch into June), there can be a desire in many to put the pencils down, turn the television to CNN, and take a four-month hiatus from placing a wager. There are, however, a handful of methods to make money in baseball, and at no point in the season are those angles more easily exploited than at the beginning.
Baseball is an intricate game many overlook because it remains one of the few sports without a spread. Betting cards are packed with three-digit numbers, and instead of seeing â??-4â? and â??+2.5,â? weâ??re presented with figures like â??-144â? and â??+108.â? Whatâ??s a man to do?
Donâ??t back down. It is unclear how baseball developed this mysterious reputation, but what is perfectly evident is that the betting populace needs to get over it. Moneylines are not reason for alarm, and the endless resources for statistics and trends are not entirely necessary.
Baseball is beatable for two reasons, each beautiful in its simplicity.
First, there are sportsbooks that offer â??dime linesâ? on baseball games, which translates to a savings of $10 per bet. Sportsbooks that carry this fabled â??dime lineâ? are willing to eat a portion of their potential profits just to keep people from retiring for the summer, confident that bettors will fail to exploit that huge edge effectively. Little do they know, we have some tricks up our sleeves, and we will explore those momentarily â?? but first, a little background on â??dime lines.â?
In spread-based sports, bettors are forced to lay juice on every play. Most people are aware that to place a straight wager on a game involving a spread, that bettor must pay a standard juice (usually â??-110â? or â??11-to-win-10â?). What many donâ??t realize is that to bet the moneyline on most spread sports â?? that is, to take a particular team to win the game regardless of spread â?? the cost to bet the favorite is often significantly more than $10 greater than the take on the underdog.
Take, for example, a perfectly innocuous basketball game in the middle of the season. Basketball is, of course, a spread-based sport. For our purposes, that showdown will be a Houston Rockets home game against the New York Knicks. The Rockets were listed as 2.5-point favorites, and to play Houston on the moneyline, a bettor would have had to pay $135 to win $100. If that same bettor were to take the underdog Knicks, his $100 wager would have only paid $115. Quick arithmetic reveals that the discrepancy between the favorite and underdog is $20. Conversely, a â??dime lineâ? indicates that the difference between favorite and underdog is just $10, allowing the bettor to get significantly closer to even odds with the book. This trimming of the house edge is huge, and 99 percent of people have no idea it exists.
The second reason to embrace the old stick-and-ball is that, in baseball, all a bettor has to do is pick a winner. Last-second free throws and the prevent defense can blow a cover, but in baseball, if a team wins, you win. If an underdog wins, you take home bonus dough.
The next logical question becomes, â??How do we pick a winner?â? For the purposes of this transitional period in March and April, and to alleviate the stress associated with changing sports, we will isolate our focus on the early parts of the baseball season.
There are many that will loudly preach backing the older, reliable teams, but those raving fools will lose. Instead, the two best means to get off to a hot start are to back under-the-radar teams that finished the previous season with momentum (but may have missed the playoffs because of a poor start), and to go against well-regarded veteran teams. Crazy?
Perhaps these theories are not as wild as they sound. Teams like the Baltimore Orioles that played incredible baseball down the stretch are heading into 2011 brimming with confidence. Even better, most bettors will look at Baltimoreâ??s record from 2010 and assume that the Oâ??s are a mess, when the truth is quite the opposite. This is a team focused intently on getting off to a better start and competing with the big boppers in the American League East, the very teams you should be betting against.
Baseball seasons are painfully long, with 162 games stretched over more than half a year, and not surprisingly, the older teams tend to take Spring Training a little less seriously. It takes those teams a few weeks to round into game shape, and bettors like you can make money playing against those cold muscles and tight ligaments. The frosting on the cake is that those veteran clubs are often the largest favorites on the board because of name recognition, which means that the underdog might only need to win 40 to 45 percent of the time for you to make a profit.
So there you have it. Baseball offers the bettor superior odds in a beatable game. If that doesnâ??t appeal to you, go try your hand at roulette.
For more free Baseball tips, visit www.gaminganddestinations.com/sports
Author Bio: Dan Bebe is a renowned betting expert, sports broadcaster and professional handicapper for Pregame.com, where his plays are available for purchase. Danâ??s daily sports betting podcast, â??Today in Sports Betting,â? is the fastest growing betting show on the Internet and can be found at PregamePodcasts.com. Learn more about the author at DanBebe.com.