4 Baseball Betting Systems that Work

Baseball Betting Systems Sports Strategy

If you want to win more consistently in baseball, you have to go beyond “bet against the public.”

Baseball’s long season has a way of grinding bankrolls down that makes it among the toughest sports for bettors. Betting systems use data and a little bit of sports psychology to show potentially profitable situations. But for every excellent MLB betting system out there, I can find a dozen that are totally worthless, at least from the perspective of a sports gambler looking to increase profits.

The four baseball betting systems described in this post are tried and true ways to highlight situations where bettors may be at a distinct advantage.

What’s a Baseball Betting System?

A baseball betting system is a strategy for wagering on baseball games.

Some of them are good – meaning they produce consistently profitable win rates. Others are bad – meaning they may look good on paper but don’t lead to a profitable betting system.

Please Note:
A good baseball betting system has three things – a theory underlying the reason the system works, a large sample of real-world data, and consistent results above the break-even point. Without a data set, you don’t have a system, you just have a theory. Without results above the break-even point consistently (generally meaning across more than one season), you don’t have a system, you have a statistical fluke.

The four baseball betting systems described below have all three features. Learn them, incorporate them into your betting strategy, and you may find yourself coming up with new angles to test out.

Back Bad Teams after a Win

When a team that’s been struggling to win pulls off a W, they’re much more likely to win again in their very next game. This trend is particularly powerful during the sports’ regular season. The psychology behind it is simple – a group of guys with targets on their backs finally get a taste of the good life and they want more.

For this post:
A “bad team” is a team with a winning percentage under .400. It’s also important to make sure that they won their most recent game by no more than 13 runs. A negative correlation exists between blowout wins of 14 runs or more and a next-game win, so when you’re eyeballing for this trend, be sure to stay within that parameter.

This system hasn’t had a losing season since 2005, producing a profitable winning percentage for nearly two decades. The winning percentage hovers somewhere around 53% depending on the season. Remember that for most of these games you’re getting plus money.

That means your break-even point is actually lower than the traditional 52.38%.

A great example of the “win after a win” effect is the Pittsburgh Pirates. Long the league’s worst team overall, the Pirates are 390-353 after wins over the past ten seasons, a winning rate of 52.5%. If you’re backing the Pirates at an average of +130, your break-even point would be 43.5%. Backing the Pirates after a W puts you almost 10% above the break-even.

When Two Winning Teams Meet, Take the Under

Let’s start with two obvious facts: teams that score runs win a lot, and bettors like to back winning teams. When two of these teams meet, online sportsbooks inflate their totals, knowing the public money is going to back the over. Let’s face it, baseball fans want lots of runs scored, and they bet accordingly.

When you notice lopsided betting in a game between two winning teams (meaning two teams with winning percentages above .500), back the under. Since 2005, in games between two teams above .500, the under has won 55% of the time. If you include only games played since 2012, the winning percentage goes up to 58%. This implies that, as scoring in the league has increased, the ability of this system to identify winners has actually improved.

This is nothing more than a specific version of the old “fade the public” adage that gets marched around from time to time. Public money always backs the over, and bookmakers always inflate totals between high-scoring winning teams. The smart move is to take advantage of both of those facts at the same time and back the under.

Wind Blowing In? Take the Under

Wind affects baseball more than weather affects any other sport. Gusts of wind can move balls around, push them out of the outfield and back into play, change their trajectory or angle of exit, and totally mess up what would normally be an easy run or easy out.

If you go back to 2005 and look at every game in which the average wind speed was 5mph or higher and it was blowing in from center field, the under has won 55.5% of the time. This isn’t exactly a rare thing; some 1,450 games have met that description over that period.

The trick here is to find a good local weather report for the cities that hold games you want to bet on. Then you have to set a time to check the weather forecast and stick with it. Obviously, forecasts change, and weather can be fickle. I like to wait as long as possible to get the most accurate forecast and (potentially) the best price.

There’s not as strong a correlation between the wind blowing out and winning.

The only meaningful system derived from weather that I’ve ever seen involves that steady (not even necessarily strong) wind blowing in from center field. Not only does it speed up the pitch a little bit, but it also has the effect of limiting the long bomb and setting up lots of easy outfield outs.

Consider a Contrarian Run Line

In baseball, the run line is always set at 1.5. Some contrarian baseball bettors have uncovered a system whereby they back small market and unpopular teams on a losing streak against a much better team. Since the run line gives the underdog a chance to pay off even if they lose (by no more than a run anyway), bets on these underdogs pay off at a ridiculous rate – 62% since 2005.

I want to point out some ways you can improve that win rate. For starters, if you only consider non-divisional games, you’ll earn a few more percentage points of advantage.

I put this down to familiarity. Divisional opponents know one another better than non-divisional. Another way to squeeze more juice from this system is to focus on teams with losing streaks of between 1 and 3 games. The longer a team’s losing streak, the less advantage you get.

Here’s one issue with this system:
It doesn’t present itself that often. Going back to 2005, I can find just 764 games that fit the bill. That’s only about 44 games each regular season. Still, backing the unpopular team on a losing streak wins often enough to be noteworthy. If you do a little extra research, and only back those teams that are getting 25% or less of run line tickets, you have an even more powerful system with a winning percentage close to 70%.

Why does it work? MLB’s best teams are overvalued because the betting public likes to back winners. The opposite is true for teams on a losing streak – they’re undervalued because the betting public assumes they’re going to lose since they’ve been losing so much lately. Both are examples of the Gambler’s Fallacy, and both are dangerous ways to bet.

Conclusion

Baseball is generally a moneyline betting sport. That’s down to the lack of a point spread, though the existence of the run line gives spread bettors something interesting to wager on.

Please Note:
Prop bets and run lines and game totals are out there, but most MLB betting takes place on the straight-up moneyline.

That’s a shame, considering how many successful baseball betting systems use those other less popular forms of betting to produce profitable seasons.

That’s why expanding your horizons beyond picking an overall winner can help you record more profits during the long and often grueling MLB season.

Use these four systems, which have been proven year after year to produce a potential profit, to make the toughest market in sports betting a little more bearable.

PLACE YOUR BETS NOW!

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Rex Hoffman / Author

Rex Hoffman is a passionate sports writer, with over five years of experience covering sports journalism in line with the Vegas betting landscape. His favorite subjects include football, basketball, and baseball. As a Las Vegas resident, he enjoys finding an edge against the local sportsbooks and aims to share his extensive knowledge with both beginners and experienced bettors. Rex also dabbles in horse racing wagering and enjoys typical casino fare like blackjack and poker in his spare time.

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