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MLB Underdogs: Who is Making $$$

   by ASA - 05/08/2010


In my 20+ years as a professional handicapper, I have always had the philosophy in baseball that underdogs are the way to go. Most of my plays throughout the season are small favorites and underdogs. I will occasionally use a "higher" favorite, however I'm of the belief that in the long run those plays can get you in trouble. You need to win such a high percentage of those types of games that just a few losses can really hurt. That's why I stay away from large favorites for the most part. I would much rather try and target an "undervalued" dog and know that at +150 I only need to win over 40% of those plays to make a profit. I'm more comfortable with that scenario as opposed to laying 150 and hoping to hit 60% plus of those plays to come out on top. I like to keep track throughout the season of how teams do as an underdog. This list changes daily but this is how it looks as of May 7th. Right now, just over half of the MLB teams this year have made a profit so far when tabbed as an underdog. Here they are...


HERE ARE THE MLB TEAMS WITH A POSITIVE "ROI" AS AN UNDERDOG SO FAR THIS SEASON (as of Thursday, May 7th)...

ROI = Return on Investment. That is a simple calculation where I take the total money won by a team this year as an underdog (based on $100 per game) and divide it by the total amount of money wagered on a team as an underdog (at $100 per game). For example, Washington has been an underdog 26 times (thus $2600 wagered on them this year as a dog) and they are currently +$900 as a dog (profit) thus their ROI would be 34.6% which is great. Or $900 (profit as a dog) divided by $2600 (total wagered) = .346 or 34.6%.

Tampa Bay Rays - 7 games as a dog - 5-2 record - +$415 profit - ROI = 59%
Philadelphia Phillies - 7 games as a dog - 5-2 record - +$400 profit - ROI = 57%
New York Yankees - 3 games as a dog - 2-1 record - +$150 profit - ROI = 50%
Washington Nationals - 26 games as a dog - 14-12 record - +$900 profit - ROI = 34%
Milwaukee Brewers - 11 games as a dog - 6-5 record - +$315 profit - ROI = 28%
Minnesota Twins - 11 games as a dog - 6-5 record - +$180 profit - ROI = 16%
Kansas City Royals - 25 games as a dog - 11-14 record - +$380 profit - ROI = 15%
Texas Rangers - 12 games as a dog - 6-6 record - +$160 profit - ROI = 13%
San Diego Padres - 19 games as a dog - 10-9 record - +$260 profit - ROI = 13%
New York Mets - 16 games as a dog - 8-8 record - +$190 profit - ROI = 11%
Pittsburgh Pirates - 26 games as a dog - 11-15 record - +$260 profit - ROI = 10%
St. Louis Cardinals - 4 games as a dog - 2-2 record - +$40 profit - ROI = 10%
Toronto Blue Jays - 16 games as a dog - 7-9 record - +$130 profit - ROI = 8%
Cincinnati Reds - 17 games as a dog - 8-9 record - +$130 profit - ROI = 7%
Detroit Tigers - 15 games as a dog - 7-8 record - +$90 profit - ROI = 6%
San Francisco Giants - 9 games as a dog - 4-5 record - +$25 profit - ROI = 2%


I realize it's still early in the season and these numbers can change quickly, however it's something that I like to keep an eye on throughout the year. It can give me an idea of who some of the solid underdog teams might be as the season wears on. I like to look for a solid underdog team, with a solid underdog pitcher slated to start. If that team is then playing an overrated team or pitcher (in my opinion), it can be worth a long look as a potential play. These are just a few of several different factors that come into play during my decision making process. My underdog charts simply provide me with a good starting point.

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