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Baseball Betting Tips

   by Scott Spreitzer - 04/11/2006

Every year I see casual wagerers here in Las Vegas make the same mistakes early in the major league baseball season.

They overreact to everything they see in the first week. And they let that cloud their thinking for several days afterward. This leads to a lot of bad plays and missed opportunities just because they didn't know how to properly evaluate what happened before their very eyes.

Here's a list of DO'S and DON'TS for evaluating the first week.

*Look for teams who were able to win on the road. One of the best
indicators for early season success is a winning record away from
home. There's no reason to get excited about a team that was hot on a
homestand. They were supposed to win those games. If a team jumps out to a 4-2 start or better with some road victories…look for the good times to continue.

*Look for bad teams from last year who are clearly playing with
enthusiasm. Often the best "value" teams in April are the teams that
nobody wants to bet on because they were so bad the prior season. The
past few years we've seen several small market teams play .500
caliber ball in the first three months even though they were underdogs
most of the time. You'll make good money catching these teams early.

*Look for highly regarded big money teams who may be flat to start the
season. Back in 2005, both the defending World Champion Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees were very sluggish out of the gate. Oddsmakers priced them like they were going to win 115 games apiece. It took both teams a few months to get rolling. Be sure you're paying
special attention to the 2005 playoff teams to see if any will be overpriced this month because they can't get the juices flowing just yet.

*Don't overreact to bad performances from your favorite starting
pitchers. Many big name guys have trouble in their first couple of starts as they transition from spring training to the regular season. This is
compounded if they have to deal with cold weather right away. Don't
invest heavily in your favorite guys out of the gate…but you can back
them with confidence once they’ve found their form in a couple of
weeks. There's nothing worse than sitting on the sidelines when a
money pitcher starts mowing people down. If you give up on a guy
because he was sluggish at first, you'll find yourself in that
unenviable position.

*Don't assume it's going to be an "offensive" year just because you've
seen a lot of high scoring games early on. This is a short-term thing
that’s a direct result of starting pitchers being rusty. You'll be
tempted to bet Overs later in the month because all the stats in the
newspaper make it look like the hitters are on fire and the starters
are struggling. You'll see two guys with ERA’s higher than 5.00
squaring off…and the Over will be very tempting. Don't make that

*Don't trick yourself into thinking you've got all the teams figured
out. Every year I see baseball fans go crazy in the first few weeks
because they have so much pent up excitement from the time off.
Baseball fans in particular have a love affair with their sport that
can prove costly. They pick a few upsets…nail a few Overs…and BOOM,
suddenly they think they've got it licked. You've got to
evaluate your own first week properly as well as that of the major
league players. Be patient and pick your spots even if things are
going well.

Baseball can be a very profitable sport if you know how to "go with
the flow" of the season properly. Be sure you keep everything you see
in its proper context after the first week of action. What you learn
by studying things in context will help you pick winners for the next
several weeks!

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