Expert advice: How to bet the baseball money line
One of the most often ignored sports when it comes to gambling is baseball — and I honestly do not know why. In my opinion, it is the easiest North American sport to bet and make money on, and do so on a consistent basis. I became a full-time sports better a few years ago, and, as of now, baseball has been the most lucrative sport for me on a day-to-day basis.
In fact, many people could easily become successful baseball betters if they would simply approach the process with an open mind — that is, approaching the numbers without a fantasy baseball perspective. Many who lose money gambling on baseball do so because they can’t wrap their heads around the mindset it takes, compared to paying attention to the numbers in order to win a fantasy baseball league. However, that is definitely another post for another day.
Briefly, I wish to provide you a quick rundown of why anybody interested in America’s pastime should consider becoming a day better of the game. If you are going to pick one sport to bet on over all the others, it should be baseball. Why? There is absolutely no point spread to cover or beat in order to win money. Rather, you simply bet on who you think the winning team will be — which is called betting the money line. The money-line system, in effect, removes the point-spread system from the equation.
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For example, your typical baseball money-line wager will look like this:
Los Angeles Angels: +160
Florida Marlins: -170
The top team is always the road team (though, that is something I usually ignore). The number with the plus (+160) before it signifies the amount of money you stand to win on a risked wager of $100. The number with the minus (-170) before it is the amount you must risk to profit $100 if that team wins. To clarify this point, a winning bet always receives the amount you risk to profit $100.
When betting the money line, the most important consideration is the starting pitcher. Vegas will set the money line numbers based on the starting pitchers for any given game. Because of this, it is vital to know whether or not your “bookie” of choice is taking your bet as an “action” or not. In other words, if you bet as “action,” then last-minute pitching changes will have absolutely no effect on your bets. However, the majority of places provide an opportunity to automatically cancel your bet if either (or both) of the starting pitchers are changed from the time you make your wager. In the grand scheme of things, I typically stay away from “action” bets as the quality of pitching can drastically alter a game and the results.
Aside from the starting pitching, I always look at the lineups and the team trends before placing my bets. If a team is starting an ace pitcher, but several of its “big bats” are taking a day of rest, I will steer clear of betting on that game. If a team is on a cold streak, or playing poorly during a road trip, I will generally steer clear. The art of betting on the money line is, first, rating the pitching match-up and figuring out if one team’s starter is drastically in your favor. After that, you must crunch all of the other possible variables against your ace pitcher — and, if after all that, you still believe that one team is the clear winner, bet.
Baseball fans are typically numbers people. And, because of this, betting the money line is a logical first step into making daily money off a game they love. In my years of experience, there is only marginal amounts of luck embedded into winning the money line. For the most part, a true knowledge and love of the game will earn you the wins and money.