VEGAS-RUNNER’s “VALUE TOP 10” LIST for MLB BETTING MARKET…Week of 6-21-11
The NBA and NHL seasons are officially over and it’s all MLB until football takes center stage. This means that recreational bettors looking for action will be forced to get involved in MLB throughout the summer months. Odds makers are well aware of this yearly phenomenon and will look to help their clients, the sports books gain an edge by shading the lines to reflect the biases of the market.
When the market is saturated with sharp bettors the odds makers will tend to send out “true lines”. A true line is meant to split the result over time. Since bettors are forced to lay a vig, this gives books the best chance to profit while limiting their exposure.
When the market is saturated with recreational or public bettors the odds makers will instead aim to send out a “fair line”. A fair line is meant to split the action which will once again limit the book’s exposure while profiting from the vig.
Obviously it’s close to impossible to split the betting action right down the middle on every game so the vig also helps compensate for errors. With that said, by shading the lines to reflect the biases of the market…odds makers help books increase their hold so that it’s more than just the built-in edge.
The reason I bring this up is because at the moment odds makers understand that the MLB betting market will see an influx of unsophisticated bettors when compared to those months when other sports received the bulk of the action. So they will look to factor in the biases of those bettors to help increase the bookmakers edge.
Ultimately this results in more value for sharp bettors. But when the action of public money outweighs that of wise guy money, it becomes a trade-off they’re willing to take. So it’s even more important than ever for handicappers and bettors to go into each day and week, with a list of teams that are over and under valued.
You can more or less categorize each team with one of those two labels…Below is my version for the week ahead…
TOP ‘5” OVER-VALUED TEAMS in MLB BETTING MARKET :
1.) CINCINNATI REDS
They are only 2.5 games out of 1st place in the NL Central and above .500 this season but a $100 bettor is down backing them…Odds makers have added a premium so unless they win at a much higher rate, bettors won’t be able to make any money…They turned a profit in back to back seasons so it’s not surprising to see them over-priced this year, especially since they attract public money nightly.
2.) CHICAGO WHITE SOX
Expected to contend for the division coming into this season, they now find themselves 5.5 games out of 1st place in the AL Central…They have a negative run-differential and a $100 bettor’s down over a nickel…Chi Sox receive plenty of support at the betting window and odds makers know to add a premium…They‘re 5-5 over their L/10 games but have been favored in 8 of them.
3.) SAN DIEGO PADRES
Now 10 games out of 1st place in the NL West after losing 9 of their L/10 games…They have a -38 run-differential and have won only 35% of home game…They were the listed favorite in 8 of their L/12 home games so it’s no surprise that a $100 bettor is down over a dime backing them this season.
4.) TEXAS RANGERS
After coming out of the gate winning 7 of 10 games on average but are now only 4 games above .500...That may be good enough for 1st place in the AL West but it’s not turning a profit for their backers…With a big premium added it’s tough to make any money backing this team…They were favored in 8 of their L/10 games even with “9” of them on the road…They’ll have to win at a higher rate than their current 52.7 % for bettors to profit backing them.
5.) ST LOUIS CARDINALS
They’re 7 games above .500 this season, winning close to 55% of their games overall…Even so, they’ve yet to show a profit for their supporters at the betting window…They’re only .500 on the road so bettors shouldn’t be in any rush to back them as favorites there…But they do, and because of that odds makers will continue to add a premium, making them a long-term losing proposition.
TOP “5” UNDER-VALUED TEAMS in MLB BETTING MARKET :
1.) WASHINGTON NATIONALS
As long as this team hovers around .500 this season they should continue to show a profit…Currently 2 games below .500 but a $100 bettor is up over a nickel backing them…They may not make any noise in the NL East standings but showing a positive run-differential like they do means they’ll win some games…Odds makers continue to offer them at a discount and as home dogs they’re definitely positive EV.
2.) MINNESOTA TWINS
Yes, you read that correctly…the Twins are now an under-valued team after having a horrific start to the season…That perception created early on means odds makers are forced to send them out at a huge discount since bettors look to fade them nightly…They’ve won 9 of 10 and even at 8 games below .500, a $100 bettor is now down only 2 dollars backing them.
3.) PITTSBURGH PIRATES
We’ll keep the Pirates in the Top 5 because perception hasn’t changed and they continue to offer value…At 2 games below .500, only 2 teams in the entire NL have made their backers more money…They are only 5-5 in their L/10 games but were offered as Dogs in 6 of those and -105 or less in 4...Odds makers know bettors are conditioned to fade them so they’ll continue to be discounted.
4.) ARIZONA DIAMONBACKS
Still the most profitable team for bettors in the NL and going back and forth w/ the Giants for 1st place in the NL West…They have a +13 run-differential and may be 5 games above .500 but bettors are in no rush to back them, especially on the road…Since they’re a .500 team away from home and being offered at a discount on the road, getting them as dogs offers a lot of value.
5.) SEATTLE MARINERS
Only 1 game out of 1st place in the AL West and the 2nd most profitable team in the entire AL, but books report very little betting action on them…In fact, they receive more action against them so we’ll continue to see them discounted by odds makers…They’ve gone 6-5 the L/11 games and were the listed dog in 7 of them.