Bankroll 911: How to dig yourself out of a MLB betting hole

May 8, 2017 |
The Cubs may be among the best teams in baseball but MLB bettors are always going to pay a big price to wager on Chicago, which can sting your bankroll with a loss.
Photo By - USA Today Images
The Cubs may be among the best teams in baseball but MLB bettors are always going to pay a big price to wager on Chicago, which can sting your bankroll with a loss.
Photo By - USA Today Images

April showers were supposed to bring May flowers, but for many MLB bettors those rainy days didn’t end.

Surviving the first two months of the baseball season with your bankroll intact can be about as tough a task as getting Cooperstown to acknowledge Alex Rodriguez's records. If you’re among the many with their baseball bets on life support, we’re dialing 911 before it’s too late.

Here is some insight, tips and practices on how to revive your baseball bankroll.

Money management

We may be taking you back to sports betting kindergarten here, but plenty of bettors don’t understand proper money management. This practice is extremely important when it comes to baseball. Without it, your wallet will thin up quicker than Keira Knightley on a hunger strike.

The majority of MLB wagers are made on the moneyline, which can be very deceptive when it comes to wins and losses. A 30-12 record may look good at first glance but – depending on the price of those moneylines – could actually be a losing mark. Covers Expert Steve Merrill says ranking your plays and knowing how much to wager is an important part of climbing out of the red.

“Money management is critical and especially in a daily sport like MLB where you have multiple plays every day for six months straight,” Merill says. “The best method is to use a fixed percentage of bankroll for each play.”

Some cappers suggest divvying out 1 percent of your bankroll on MLB plays you like ($100 wager for a $10,000 bankroll) while others look to bet 3 percent and jump to 4 and 5 percent on games they really feel strongly about. If you’re coming out of a terrible April and May, you may want to start smaller and go from there.

“This will enable you to withstand the inevitable statistical swings - both good and bad - that occur during a long and high volume MLB season,” says Merril.

If you’ve been properly managing your bankroll this whole time but still burning through units, drop your bet size down to relieve some of the pressure of the losing skid. Some cappers suggest a decrease of 25 to 30 percent from your regular wager size.

Beware big moneyline favorites

Teams like the Cubs, Dodgers and Nationals regularly find themselves at the top of the divisional standings but rarely sit among the top money earners for baseball bettors. That’s because you pay a premium to take these teams on the moneyline.

While these elite clubs win more often than not, those victories return cents on the dollar taking a long time to add up. And when those top teams do lose, it does Godzilla-like damage to your bankroll since it costs so much just to bet them.

Avoiding hefty favorites and finding other ways to cash in on these power teams is a good way to breathe life back into your bankroll. Costly favorites should not be toyed with, instead look to alternative odds – like runlines – to find better value when that moneyline juice rises to -160 or higher. You can get a great team at -1.5 runs around -105.



Doggy Dog world

Underdogs are underdogs for a reason – they’re not expected to win. That doesn’t always instill the greatest confidence in sports bettors. However, finding live underdogs is a perfect way to shoot Red Bull directly into the veins of your bankroll.

Some handicappers strictly wager on underdog teams to avoid getting burned by high-priced favorites. They lean toward plus-money teams, hunting down home pups and short road dogs showing their teeth.

Baseball bettors should consider a couple of underdogs each day, expecting to split at worst, and your bankroll will not only survive but grow over time.

Tracking totals


If you’ve been betting totals all along or just sick of getting pantsed on the moneyline, the MLB Over/Under is a great way to get out of a funk. And, perhaps more than any other sport, baseball total trends can be any easy way to spot profit. When the betting markets are off on a team's baseline total number, the value can last for weeks, even months.

And when it comes to the cost of the Over or Under, MLB bettors aren’t paying a premium to play one side of the other, usually dealing with lines no higher than -130 associated with the total.

The betting public is also slower to react to totals trends than hot moneyline bets, allowing those Over/Under streaks to hold their betting value longer. All the major sports media sources will cover a 12-game winning streak, but none of them will look twice at a 12-game Over streak.

Pump the breaks and stay patient

Baseball is an everyday sport, however, there’s no rule that says you have to be it every day.

If you’re feeling the sting of a bad beat or extended losing skid – like an Aroldis Chapman beanball – you can always take a day or two off. Like any task or project, sometimes fresh eyes can be the best solution to a problem.

"While no one wants to hear it, laying off can be a fail-safe strategy to not further dwindle one's bankroll," says Covers Expert Bryan Power. "I know that if I feel I am struggling to pick winners, taking a day or two off can help. Take some time, look at what's going on without making any actual wagers and see if you can come to any new conclusions."

Keep calm and give it time to turnaround. Don’t expect to follow a 0-fer day with a perfect 4-0 record just because you’ve taken all the steps above. Baseball is a 162-game schedule and as the classic sport betting cliché says, “It’s a marathon, not a race.”

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