Avoid Betting Big Favorites in Baseball

On MLB betting, you see the Astros are playing the Orioles and start thinking dollar signs. Have you ever done that before? Who wouldn’t want to bet on the Astros? They should dominate and easily win. However, is that actually the case in reality? Let’s take a look.

In 2019, the Astros played the Orioles head-to-head six times. Houston ended up only going 4-2 in the season series. They won one game by a score of 23-2!

However, with just a 4-2 record, the Astros backers lost money. If you flat bet the Astros to win $100 in each of the six games against Baltimore, you would have ended up losing $300.

The Astros were big favorites in every game. The best price you would have gotten on the Astros against the Orioles was –200. They were a –460 favorite in one game and ended up losing.

Let’s take a look another example. In 2019, the Astros who had the league’s best record (107-55), went 6-1 against the league’s worst team, who was the Detroit Tigers (47-114).

Even with a 6-1 H2H record against the Tigers, if you bet to win $100 on the Astros in each game, you would have only ended up with a small profit of $85. In the lone loss, HOU were –515 favorites, so it ended up wiping out most of the profits they had built-up earlier in the season.

That’s why you need to avoid betting favorites. It might look like easy money, but even one loss can deplete built-up profits when you’re betting on big MLB favorites (> -200 Odds). 

I actually don’t bet on MLB favorites priced above –150 and I try to stick to underdogs only when betting on the money line for a full game. Any team can win on any given day in MLB.

Here’s another example of why you should avoid big favorites. 

Justin Verlander led the majors in 2019 in wins (21). Despite having a 21-6 record, if you flat bet $100 on every game that Verlander started in 2019, you would have ended up losing $234.

The Math Is Simple

If you’re betting at –110 odds you need to hit 52.38% to breakeven, at –200 odds you need to hit 66.67% to breakeven, but at let’s say +120 odds, you only need to hit 45.45% to breakeven.

MLB betting is a numbers game. You need to put yourself in the best position to not only survive every season, but to make money. Betting big favorites isn’t the strategy to utilize.

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