MLB picks are a great money maker when other professional sports seasons are over if you understand how to take advantage of them. To help you get started with MLB picks, we’ll go over some of the basics for Major League Baseball betting.
For months, Major League Baseball is the only mainstream American sport to wager on and you’d do well to learn a bit about what it takes to win consistently at this often overlooked sport. The first thing you need to realize is that making MLB picks is not like wagering on most other popular sports, and the reason for the difference lies in the season size. The NFL plays 16 regular season games while the NBA and NHL both clock in at 82. By contrast, Major League Baseball season is 162 games and you can make a great profit on MLB picks for months on end if you make your bets with the understanding that this sport is a grind.
When I say “grind”, I mean that you will be wagering more often than on other sports just because there are plenty MLB games to bet on nearly every single day. Don’t treat it like you would in the NFL where every week is important. Never force plays. Don’t worry if you are making MLB picks on 5-10 games a day, as long as you think those MLB picks are worth wagering on. I always advise people to bet about 3% of their bankroll on each play during the Major League Baseball season. If you keep to that percentage, you’ll most likely get some profit by way of working hard every day at making the best MLB picks. I’ve also found that underdogs are a great way to make MLB picks because they just seem to happen more frequently in this sport if you choose your spots wisely.
The 3 main ways to make MLB picks are the money line, the run line, and the total. An example of the 3 would be:
Mariners -200, -1.5 +130, 9
Athletics +180, +1.5 -159, 9
The money line is the first number you see after each team’s name and all you are doing here is making MLB picks on who you think wins outright. The “-“ sign in front of the number for the Mariners indicates that Seattle is favored and you’ll have to risk $200 to win $180.
The “+” sign in front of the Athletics’ number denotes the underdog, and you’d win $180 for every $100 wagered. Of course you don’t have to wager $100 on your MLB picks, but the risk and reward percentages remain the same no matter what amount you feel comfortable betting.
Run line MLB picks are becoming more and more popular each year and they are the “-1.5” and “+1.5” lines listed above. If you bet on the Mariners on the run line in the example above, you’d risk $100 to win $130 on Seattle winning by 2 or more runs. A bet on Oakland would mean $159 wagered for every $100 won, and a winning bet would mean the Athletics won outright or lost by a single run. It’s a fun way to make MLB picks if you think the game will be a blowout or if you believe the game should be really close.
Betting on the total, in this case set at 9 runs, is a simple way to make MLB picks. You just predict how many total runs both teams will score. If they score more than 9, it means the “over” has hit, while the “under” would be a winner if the runs are less than 9. A final score of exactly 9 combined runs would mean that you’d get your money back regardless of your MLB picks. You can choose any or all of these options when making your MLB picks, so choose the ones that make you feel most comfortable.
MLB picks are what originally started my personal money train rolling, and so I wanted to help some other sports betting entrepreneurs get off on the right foot by going over what it takes to get the best value with your selections.
“Value” is a bit of a subjective term, but in the context of what I have to say it deals with getting the best odds and making the correct MLB picks. We’ll go over both of my personal interpretations and hopefully you’ll be a better handicapper when all is said and done.
Getting the Best Odds
You’d be surprised at how much money you are throwing away by betting into poor MLB odds. But don’t worry, because there are a few ways to correct any problems with the way you make MLB picks.
First off, know the team you are betting on. A public team like the Yankees or Red Sox will have a ton of support and it would be wise to bet on them early or bet against them late to get the best odds after the public has their say on these teams.
Second, make your MLB picks early if possible. If you know what you are doing, you’ll want to make your MLB picks right after the odds come out because others will follow in the next few hours and push the line against you generally.
Third, monitor the line moves in the early going if you are not 100% sold on your MLB picks. Often it’s the consistent winners that bet the MLB odds right after they come out and you can use that to your advantage. If you like the Marlins but aren’t sure, and they get steamed from -130 to -140 in the first hour, make a wager on them. The odds are actually likely to move further in that direction and it’s a good way to figure out whether to make a bet or not. If the odds go from -130 to -120, it’s probably a good idea to lay off of the bet. It sounds funny that I’m now saying to take worse odds than at the opening, but using this system is a good barometer to separate a play from a pass and you’ll be surprised at the results you get from using this advice to make your MLB picks.
Making Good MLB Picks
Some use the term “value” a bit differently when it comes to making MLB picks. An example of this would like the Astros to beat the Yankees about 1 of 3 games the play in a certain situation. A line of Astros +250 isn’t going to win you money if Houston takes 1 of 3, but a line of +350 would be something that should be looked at as a long-term winner. You shouldn’t expect to win every bet made on underdog MLB picks, but you should be confident that the bet in that situation will eventually win money over the long haul.
Sometimes the odds are just so inflated in one direction on MLB picks that it’s the intelligent thing to do to take a large underdog you don’t see winning every time out. The same goes for MLB picks on the favorite. If you think the line should be -300, and you are getting -220, that is what I consider to be “value”. It’s a long-term winner if you consistently bet into games where the odds just don’t match up with your personal expectations of who wins and at what percentage. By betting this way consistently, you make your MLB picks work for you.