The Power of Betting MLB Underdogs

For most bettors, betting baseball is a different animal from other major sports. Most of us are used to betting basketball and football where the point spread is the equalizer. In baseball we have a different aspect that creates an equal playing field; Odds. When betting baseball, you have to risk/lay increased vigorish (The bookies commission) if you choose to wager on the favorite. Depending on how great the favorite is will determine how much vigorish you will have to lay.

Conversely, if you choose to bet on the underdog, you will actual get a premium payout on your wager if it wins. The difficult thing for many bettors to overcome is that you are betting on an inferior team that actually has to win the game in order to collect on your bet. Despite that fact, let’s look at some of the advantages of playing the underdogs and some factors that may lead to good underdog picks.

Advantage #1 – You know that a team is going to give the best effort possible to try to win the game and there is no chance at a back door cover like football/basketball.

Advantage #2 – You can actually win money/turn a profit over time if your winning percentage is 50% or below. The reason for this is that you are collecting more on your winners than you are paying on your losing bets.

Advantage #3 – When backing the underdog, you will usually be against the public. There are many thoughts on this, but typically, the public loses, so I would prefer my rooting interest to be the same side the sportsbook is rooting for.

How to spot a good underdog play:

No.1 – Look for teams that are a small underdog with a better starting pitcher. This may seem obvious, but oftentimes you will see a team that has their ace pitcher on the mound who has a chance to totally shut down the opponent priced as the underdog in the matchup.

No.2 – Look for teams with a better bullpen. This is a factor that is often overlooked by bettors, but is a strong component to a winning team. The better teams have a strong bullpen, so if the team you are backing has an advantage, it will greatly increase the chances of a winning wager.

No.3 – Lefty/Righty situations. Some teams really struggle when facing left-handed pitching. If a team is facing a southpaw, make sure you know how they perform against them. The same could be said for right-handed pitching. Some teams struggle vs. each handed pitcher.

No.4 –Look at past performance. Look at the team’s record for their last ten games, we want to wager on teams that are playing well. If a team is in a losing pattern, don’t assume that they are likely to snap out of it. While it’s human nature to think a team is due, there are very few indications of when it’ll actually happen.

No.5 – Streaks – Baseball is a streaky game, and we don’t want to bet against the streaks. Many gamblers succumb to the “Gamblers Fallacy” that a team is due to win. Don’t let that happen to you!  Avoid betting a team on an extended losing streak. Especially when that team is on the road.

Betting the underdogs is not a get rich quick scheme, but if you’re selective with your wagers, it’s a nice way to grind out profits over the the extremely long MLB season. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint, and you could come up with some nice gains over the course of a season.

The best MLB underdog lines can be found at: Bovada Sportsbook. Most sportsbooks clone each other’s odds. Bovada offers opinionated lines that are much different than most other sportsbooks. They also offer a ton of prop bets, including alternative lines up to 5.5 runs!