MLB Handicapping: The Benefits of Betting on Team Totals
by Aaron Smith - 5/11/2010
The MLB season is a long grind, and the dynamics of it make it very different than most of the other major sports. Bettors must adjust to the differences in the sport, and try to find certain angles where they may be able to stay ahead of the oddsmakers and the sportsbooks. I tend to think that betting on totals is a solid way to profit over the long haul, but individual team totals betting has some big benefits in baseball. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons team totals may be something you should look at betting on.
First of all, pitching matchups are everything to a baseball bettor. Anyone who has followed baseball and bet on the sport should understand that no matter what your wager is on in a given game, the starting pitcher is always going to be the biggest factor. Betting on a team total allows you to look closely at how a team’s lineup will fare against the opposing starting pitcher. There are plenty of occasions where one team has a pitcher’s number, or a pitcher has consistently shut down a particular team. One great example of this is Roy Oswalt of the Astros, who has an amazing career ERA of just 2.6 against the Cincinnati Reds in 31 starts. Oswalt is 23-2 in his career against the Reds. No doubt about it, there has been a lot of team total ‘under’ winners on the Reds when Oswalt pitches. The team total gives you a great opportunity to profit on these trends.
By betting on team totals, you are essentially getting rid of several variables, which certainly help your chances of winning your wager. It’s very possible that you have a lean to the ‘over’ on a certain game, because of the possibility that one team could put up a large amount of runs. The difficulty here can be that the game could end at 8-0, and your bet of ‘over’ nine would lose. If you had wagered on the team total, which would have likely sat around 5, you would have cashed your ticket. It’s difficult enough to predict how a team will play in one particular game out of 162, so reduce the variables, and raise your chances of winning!
As is the case with all other sports, the books will pay much closer attention to the odds on betting options the average public bettor is highly interested in. As you probably have guessed by now, most baseball bettors don’t deal in team totals, which gives you an opportunity to make money. While there aren’t likely to be any soft lines on something as common as the money line, team totals can provide a great value.
Not every book offers MLB team totals, but many of the best do. Doc’s Sports has a great list of recommended sportsbooks on the left side of the home page. Bodog, Bookmaker, Sportsbook.com, Sports Interaction, 5Dimes, and WagerWeb are all terrific places to look for the odds on team totals. It’s a good idea to always shop around for the best line on whatever wager you wish to make, and since there are so many options, you’ll definitely have the chance to do just that.
Team totals betting is not just a quick way to get rich, so don’t think it should come easily. You’ll have to do your homework, and follow the pertinent trends to make a wise bet. Betting on MLB team totals is a solid way for the average bettor to get that much needed edge when betting on baseball.
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