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Author: [MLB Betting] Topic: MLB primer - what kind of MLB bettor should you be?
vanzack send a private message View Space | Blog | Friends | Playbook | My Sportsbook: Pinnacle Sports |
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#1
Posted: 4/5/2009 12:35:48 AM
As the MLB season is upon us, it might be time to think about your strategy for betting bases.  There are 2 main schools of thought for handicapping, handicapping a winner - or handicapping a line.
 
From my perspective, the vast majority of MLB bettors handicap a winner.  They come up with reasons to bet a team and while the line comes in to their thought process, they are looking for a winner.  This leads to betting lots of favorites, and often paying too high of a price for teams.  Chasing is not only for bet amounts - a lot of people chase a line too - thinking "if its a winner at -150 it is a winner at -160 so Im still betting it".  In my opinion, this is a recipe for longterm MLB disaster.
 
The second way to bet baseball is to handicap a line, and bet on the side that gives you the most value in relation to your line.  When you come up with a line, you are not coming up with the line you think will be closest to the betting line - you are coming up with a line that you think is an accurate reflection of results.  If those 2 teams played 100 times, the line you handicap would break a bettor even if they took one side all of those times.
 
Using this method, you could end up on either side of any game on any day based upon what the line is, regardless of whether you think they will win that day or not.  In MLB you are often betting on teams you think have a better chance of losing that day than winning, but the line is the great equalizer.  Lots of guys go sub .500 in MLB and win lots of money.
 
Baseball, more than any other sport, is a longterm venture.  So overpaying even 3 or 4 cents will kill you longterm - its just like paying a tax.  Do yourself a favor and get numerous outs - and always always always bet the best line you can - and make sure you have reduced juice books in that mix.  Dont make the mistake of saying "5 cents is no big deal" - it is a big deal - every penny is a big deal on lines. 
 
The average bettor would be better off line shopping and betting the best available line than increasing his win percentage by 3%.  For some reason, people like to put all of their time in to handicapping and then pay too much for the team they bet. 
 
Remember - the number one determinant of longterm sportsbetting success is how often you beat the closing line and by how much.
 
So the next time you read someones writeup and it is loaded with comments about how they think a pitcher will come to play, or how a team is motivated, or anything of the sort - remember one thing - all of that doesnt matter if you are paying too much for that team - and if that line is 10 cents too much you should be playing the other side.
 
In my opinion, the only way to make money at MLB longterm is to handicap the line by predicting results, and betting whichever side is value in relation to that number.  This takes a totally unemotional approach, as you cant "fall in love" with any team on any day, but instead you will be falling in love with your bankroll as you profit on the marathon that is MLB.
 
GL all
 
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#2
Posted: 4/5/2009 12:41:17 AM
Well said Van  

MLB = value betting
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#3
Posted: 4/5/2009 1:22:15 AM
Bottom line is, pick winners. Value doesn't mean squat if it doesn't win. Plus, MLB was a pay juice season in 08 if i can recall.
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#4
Posted: 4/5/2009 1:29:31 AM
QUOTE Originally Posted by $CashingItIn$:

Bottom line is, pick winners. Value doesn't mean squat if it doesn't win. Plus, MLB was a pay juice season in 08 if i can recall.

Both make good points because Van is right...doesnt matter how good a pitcher is if the line is too high...but also value doesnt do you any good unless you win...I'm ready for the bases...here is for a successful year!

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#5
Posted: 4/5/2009 1:35:54 AM
QUOTE Originally Posted by $CashingItIn$:

Bottom line is, pick winners. Value doesn't mean squat if it doesn't win. Plus, MLB was a pay juice season in 08 if i can recall.


please explain a "pay juice season." As in each team was in the red for the year for the money? I doubt this so please teach me.

...the problem with this post, van, is that i have no idea how to handicap an accurate line. This is why I do totals and try to ONLY hit dogs.

always love to read what you say
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#6
Posted: 4/5/2009 1:42:22 AM
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#7
Posted: 4/5/2009 1:47:08 AM
Are you still going to be using matchbook, Van?
 
If not, where?
 
Good luck this season.
 
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#8
Posted: 4/5/2009 2:44:40 AM
Best baseball betting book I ever read was the one by Robert Ross
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#9
Posted: 4/5/2009 4:59:06 AM
Good stuff VZ
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#10
Posted: 4/5/2009 6:19:25 AM
QUOTE Originally Posted by NJDevils:

Best baseball betting book I ever read was the one by Robert Ross

Has it help in anyway?

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#11
Posted: 4/5/2009 7:34:59 AM
Van How about a thread on how to handicap an accurate line, everyone always talks about their line but no one ever devulges even the basics of how they come up with their number and if one pays only attention to the number  won't you fall into ever trap line or don't you believe they exist?
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#12
Posted: 4/5/2009 8:08:35 AM
This will be my first season betting on baseball, other than the series. I can tell it is already going to be a painful lesson. If I am taking you correctly then you try to avoid the big favs. This will def be a huge change as with BB and FB there is a standard 10%. I understand your point on taking the lowest possible juice, but I use a local as I have never wanted the trouble of fighting the internet books. I have to look at putting $$$ on several sites as I have read on this forum that a large % of you guys bet bases and of course my book doesnt take them.
 
BOL this year.
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#13
Posted: 4/5/2009 8:59:07 AM
Nice post.  But this is very hard for your average bettor to do, because they don't know how to come up with their own lines (like a couple other posters have already mentioned).  I fall into that group, too.

So...you got some tips on how to come up with your own line?  You've been around the block a few times, so hopefully you can give us a few pointers.
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#14
Posted: 4/5/2009 9:46:31 AM
stay away from baseball, i been loosing 15k a year.................
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#15
Posted: 4/5/2009 11:40:24 AM
One thing I can see is misunderstood already:
 
I am not advocating betting underdogs, and I am not advocating betting favorites.  Either one is just as likely to have value.
 
If NYY are playing Toronto, and you have the line at -142, and the real line comes out at -158 and you can get Toronto at +156, you take Toronto.

But if that line is NYY -128, you take NYY.
 
In the end, you are not betting more underdogs than favorites, you are betting value based on a predetermined threshold that you set for a difference to your line.
 
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#16
Posted: 4/5/2009 11:41:12 AM
QUOTE Originally Posted by Bluefin:

Van How about a thread on how to handicap an accurate line, everyone always talks about their line but no one ever devulges even the basics of how they come up with their number and if one pays only attention to the number  won't you fall into ever trap line or don't you believe they exist?


Great stuff Vanzack! Despite the Hulk Hogan-Andre the Giant relationship Vanzack and I share, I have much respect for him and we are both on the same page in most aspects of sports betting.

Bluefin: I wanted to chime in as your question also has been asked of me often. While there is no set formula for calculating value, I find that in my research and analysis in a game, if I can come up with many small hidden factors (or at least non-public perception factors) that point more favorably than we'd think towards one side, then it means you will see value in that side against the line. Not sure if that helps but look for things that the average bettor may not see on the surface and you can find value without knowing exactly how to calculate what the line should be.

For
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#17
Posted: 4/5/2009 11:44:47 AM
QUOTE Originally Posted by The Giant:

Are you still going to be using matchbook, Van?
 
If not, where?
 
Good luck this season.
 

Matchbook is still the best single option out there for bettting MLB, even with their new commission structure.

They have taken out the reasonable ability to sell back bets, so this season I will be holding a lot more of my original wagers and not selling them.

BTW - Dont know if you saw - but they announced today .6% commission on MLB accepts, and .1% rebate on offers.

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#18
Posted: 4/5/2009 11:46:47 AM
QUOTE

Originally Posted by GameHunter:



Great stuff Vanzack! Despite the Hulk Hogan-Andre the Giant relationship Vanzack and I share, I have much respect for him and we are both on the same page in most aspects of sports betting.

Bluefin: I wanted to chime in as your question also has been asked of me often. While there is no set formula for calculating value, I find that in my research and analysis in a game, if I can come up with many small hidden factors (or at least non-public perception factors) that point more favorably than we'd think towards one side, then it means you will see value in that side against the line. Not sure if that helps but look for things that the average bettor may not see on the surface and you can find value without knowing exactly how to calculate what the line should be.

For

GH - I heard you talking about this same subject on that radio show - which btw I think you did a great job on.

If anyone wants someone to tail during MLB - GH is the best documented MLB poster at covers for the last several years - no arguments. 

Im going to attempt to give a short primer on coming up with lines....

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#19
Posted: 4/5/2009 11:48:04 AM

Im going to attempt to give a short primer on coming up with lines....

----------

ill see what i can do to get a few of these info threads stickied in the mlb forum

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#20
Posted: 4/5/2009 11:53:04 AM
Great write up! 
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#21
Posted: 4/5/2009 11:59:41 AM

This can be as simple as looking at tomorrows games, and using gut to come up with lines, or as complicated as coming up with statistical algorithms that produce a line.  There is no right or wrong way to get there - but it should be judged against results for accuracy. 

Personally, I use a combination of gut and stats.  I have a fairly simple statistical model to come up with a percentage of a given game.  I also use "gut" to come up with a line for every game - literally spending about 15 minutes total going game by game and spending a minute or two on each and coming up with a line.

I then take my statistical percentage and convert that to a line, and then combine my statistical line with my gut line.

Now that I have a line, I compare it to the real line.  If I am 7 -15 cents away from the real line, I bet 1 unit.  16-25 cents away from the real line, I bet 2 units.  More than 25 cents away and I thoroughly re-evaluate my line to see if there are errors, and then bet 2 units if it is still a play.

And it is very important to look backwards at results.  Tweak your formulas and your gut based on results.  As simple as it sounds - I think this is the critical flaw of most gamblers - once a game is over they move on and dont learn anything.  Compare how close your line is to the real results - and come up with some kind of analysis that will help tweak your process.

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#22
Posted: 4/5/2009 12:04:34 PM
Thanks Van!

Looking forward to helping each other this season.
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#23
Posted: 4/5/2009 12:07:25 PM

FYI - this is how percentages break in to lines:

Line   Favorite   Dog
300     75%      25%
280     74%      26%
240     71%      29%
220     69%      31%
210     68%      32%
200     67%      33%
195     66%       34%
190     66%      34%
185     65%      35%
180     64%      36%
175     64%      36%
170     63%      37%
165     62%      38%
160     62%      38%
155     61%      39%
150     60%      40%
145     59%      41%
140     58%      42%
135     57%      43%
130     57%      43%
125     56%      44%
120     55%      45%
115     53%      47%
110     52%      48%
105     51%      49%
100     50%      50%

Everyone should memorize that table.

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#24
Posted: 4/5/2009 12:08:49 PM
Van

FYI, Matchbook's new baseball policy:


Baseball rates for 2009 will be as follows: Monyelines and Runlines: 0.6% accept side; -0.1% offer side (rebate). Totals: 0.8% accept side; -0.2% offer side (rebate). Rates will be reviewed at the end of April to ensure they are promoting liquidity for each market type.

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#25
Posted: 4/5/2009 12:10:16 PM
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