Even though I believe various sharps will debate this topic, I am one who is under the belief that when comparing sides and totals, that totals are more profitable long term than sides. The most obvious reason would be the fact that since more people bet sides, the lines themselves are inherently more accurate.
Reviewing close to two years of data on the NBA and CBB you see that the side lands close to the number in some cases almost twice as much percentage wise as a total does.The books know this and that is why the sharpest book on the planet (who sadly no longer accepts US players) Pinnacle has lower limits on totals in comparison to sides. In college basketball, Pinnacle has a 3-1 ratio on max bet between side and totals. Why? I think you know why. Betting groups have a tendency to eat books up on totals. This past basketball season, on some Saturdays I would have 20+ total middles on games that moved 2-3 points at a time. You see the same thing on Friday night in mass on Saturday college football games. The sharps hammer it on Friday and the public is forced to deal with bad numbers when they wake up to call in their wagers.
Well JD, that is nice and dandy, but what have you done for me lately? It is baseball season right now. How do we make money on the bases! Even though I get the majority of my moves and middles in the foots and baskets, I have seen people make money each and every year using one system for handicapping MLB totals. It is the same thing Vegas Runner said on why in his first days with a betting group they had some college kids from Rutgers on the payroll doing research. What you ask is this overlooked aspect of handicapping totals in baseball? Weather conditions. Back in the days when I met RJ we used to have a connection with a betting group that only bet on MLB totals. These guys were made up of cats with degrees in Meteorology. They studied the heat index, precipation, wind, etc. Anything that could effect the ball they considered in the process. Not just the hitting aspect, but how certain conditions in the air could relate to movement on the pitches. Outside of a pitcher who focuses on offspeed stuff (not as much movement), there is an edge in colder weather for UNDER. Last week, certain CA based areas had some colder weather and condition and a group of sharps I know blanket bet the UNDERS on all those game. The result? 4-0.
There are tons of weather resources on the internet, but a good starting point is a basic one from the Weather Channel that reviews MLB conditions: http://www.weather.com/activities/events/mlb/?from=breadcrumbs
If you find anything interesting, please feel free to shoot me an email at email@example.com.