Counterintuitive Betting Pays Largest Dividends in Baseball
By Joe Duffy
Sports Network) -
So many of our top sports angles are counterintuitive. A high percentage of systems that have won at least 80 units or have a z-score of 4.5 or better involve betting on bad teams and pitchers and/or against quality teams and pitchers.
These angles help us anticipate regression to the mean, isolating overachieving and underachieving teams. This advantage is heightened by the fact the public fancies betting on superior teams, hence while squares pay a premium betting overpriced squads, we get a discount on the posted sportsbook odds.
While this paradigm applies in all sports, certainly not equally. At one extreme, college football is the only team game in which mother lode conventionalities often actually favor the better-quality squad.
However in baseball, the semblant paradoxes (to the commoners) are furthest magnified. There are two obvious whys and wherefores. As I have stated countless times, oddsmakers overvalue pitching, so baseball levies higher imposts in select situations than reality justifies.
Furthermore oddsmakers must account for taking bets from plebeians, who are even more un-persuaded by steep moneylines than lofty pointspreads. To quote the single worst degenerate gambler I have ever known, 'They don't charge juice when the bet wins.' Those would be words to live by if a gambler hit 100 percent of bets.
The sharp riposte is that in moneyline betting, bookmakers do not disburse recompense based on winning percentage. In baseball betting, many of the most profitable gamblers in the world have winning...and I do mean, 'winning' percentages of less than .500.
For example if a starting pitcher has an ERA a full three runs higher than the other starting pitcher, the public will salivate at the thought of betting on the better pitcher. They would have lost 89 units if they staked on said situation every time the line was -150 or higher. Betting on the vastly inferior pitcher would have won you 20.8 units. However in the process the winning bettor would be 282-498, hitting just 36.2 percent of bets.
Or to put it another way, to the aforesaid degenerate, the bookmakers does pay juice when our underdogs win.
Two terrible starting pitchers (both with ERAs of 5.00 or higher) are facing each other. It must be a higher scoring game right? So bet the over. There is one problem: such games go under at a 722-610-62 rate. Counterintuitive anticipation of mean regression proves invaluable again.
Of course, some uncultivated bettors may point out that is only 54.2 percent winners. One could make quite the living riding angles that hit better than 54 percent over nearly 1.400 games.
However keep in mind, quoted stats are not our preeminent angles, just a few that demonstrate how contrarian reasoning pays dividends. All systems are only part of the preponderance of evidence before making a bet.
So how about two pitchers with ERAs of less than 2.00 going head-to-head? Did you surmise it would be wise go over instead of the knee-jerk under? You would be correct as such situations have gone over 632-548-46.
At 53.6 winners, that is a lukewarm angle at best, but the extreme value is avoiding the impulsive bet to wager on two superior pitchers under. Turning that frown upside down is a substantial net gain.
Please note that all quoted angles go back to 2005.
Lateral thinking when applied to sports betting means vertical profits. In baseball betting, thinking outside the box translates into significant capital gains.
Joe Duffy's Picks is the anchor of OffshoreInsiders.com and will have NBA playoffs daily including the famed bounce back angle the better looking sister of the zig-zag angle.