Baseball betting systems are useful tools for both novice and experienced bettors. When I was a beginner, I researched betting systems so that I could eventually develop my own handicapping method. But I’ve found that using these systems as a template means that they’re valuable to me even now, with ten years of MLB wagering experience under my belt.
Generally speaking, the mass of baseball bettors wager on favorites way more often than underdogs. This is somewhat true in all of the sports betting markets I participate in. When one team is a “clear favorite,” most of the squares I know will back that team regardless of other circumstances.
How I Use Baseball Underdog Betting Systems
I’m no heavy-hitter in the sports betting world. Far from it. But I have turned a profit in each of the last six MLB seasons. I don’t place big bets – the most I ever wager on a single game is $50 – so my profits have been modest.
But what if I told you that I managed to turn a profit while losing more than I won?
The purpose of the baseball betting underdog systems I talk about below is to teach you to look for value instead of your likelihood of winning. For our purposes, the word “value” refers to the difference between the price you get (with odds) and the likelihood of the bet paying off. These systems teach you how to find MLB betting situations where your return is greater than your risk.
The Early Underdogs System
Betting on underdogs early in the season is a smart move. For one thing, oddsmakers are still learning the new players in the league, new management styles, new rosters, etc. Baseball lines are only likely to be flat-out wrong in the month of April.
Another reason to back underdogs early – at this stage in the season, all thirty teams are still technically in the hunt. By the early summer, a consensus will have formed in terms of what teams will make the playoffs and what teams won’t. That means underdogs have a lot of incentive to succeed in April that they don’t in, say, May or June.
You’ll want to develop your own system for finding these opportunities based on real-world results. Under what conditions do you see underdogs doing well? I’ll give you one that I’ve found to be consistently good – an underdog in the month of April that’s dropped the first two of a three-game series. I noticed this situation coming up time and again, so I started laying bets on this type of dog whenever I had the chance.
The Early Road Underdog System
Here’s a variation on the first underdog system we talked about that’s also really powerful.
I like this system more than the generic “early dog” system because it works in April and May. I even used the system successfully a little bit in early June last year. I like to bet on road dogs (odds no worse than +150) that have a losing record and are coming off a loss to play a first game against a team with a winning record.
I’m not entirely sure of the psychology behind this system. I’m no therapist, but I’d guess it has something to do with the mindset of the favored home team. Maybe this is a situation in which the home team is looking entirely past the incoming underdog. Whatever the reason, I consistently earned a great ROI on this wager in the last four years that I’ve used it. Teams in this situation fared better than 52% against the spread last year, which is well beyond what I expected.
The Divisional Underdog System
If you’re past the early months of the season but still interested in using an underdog system, you’re not out of luck. In fact, one of my favorite ways to incorporate underdog betting in baseball doesn’t really work until June.
By the time June rolls around, I concentrate on underdogs in divisional games. I’ve refined my system time and again over the years – this season, I plan to keep my divisional underdog bets within a well-defined sweet spot. My plan is to bet on underdogs in divisional games after the month of May provided that their odds are between +105 and +150 and they’re coming off a win. I particularly love to find a situation where the previous win occurred on the day prior to the game I’m betting on.
The psychology here isn’t hard to work out. As the season progresses, divisional underdogs that still have something of a shot at winning (hence the limitation in odds) have even more incentive to win and even more hot blood pumping through their veins when they head to play a team ahead of them in the pennant race.
In each of the above situations, the systems teach bettors to back whichever side is offering a positive ROI, rather than trust the “favorite/underdog trope.” Underdog systems can be profitable – my own results in the last six years prove that – if you become skilled at finding underdog teams that deserve an investment based on the potential for upset. Sometimes, turning a profit means losing a few bets.