Betting the over-under in online baseball betting. It makes the game a lot of fun to watch, because the bettor has a vested interest in every pitch. If you’ve ever been in the sports room of a casino when several games are going on, every play elicits a reaction from the players; half of them cheer the out, the other half groans. Imagine all the additional cheers and groans from the thousands of online baseball bettors as well.
In an over/under bet, you typically you will see two teams listed like this:
Chicago White Sox (RHP Garcia 7-4, 5.13 at Cincinnati (LHP Claussen 3-7, 5.28) o/u 9.5.
Doesn’t take a genius to figure this one out. You’ve got two pitchers giving up about five runs a game, so the over/under dares you to go over (or under 9.5). Pretty well every game looks like this – the over/under reflects the collective earned run average of the two starting pitchers. To the untrained eye, the 9.5 looks like a push, which is exactly what the line-makers want – half the action one way, half the action the other.
But by factoring in a number of other considerations, it becomes easier to take a confident stand on one side of the established number.
For example, suppose that RHP Garcia has pitched brilliantly in his last three games, whittling his ERA down from 8.55? If he’s in a groove, maybe the Reds don’t score. There are many good baseball sites that you can glean these numbers from -majorleaguebaseball.com, cnnsi.com and, of course, the team site of the player whose stats you want.
You can also take advantage of where a game is being played. Houston’s Minute Maid Stadium is a hitters’ park, the Tigers’ new place favors the pitchers. Toronto’s Rogers Centre is conducive to high scores as is Boston’s quirky Fenway Park. If you get a couple pitchers with ERA’s well over four starting in Houston, Toronto or Boston, chances are pretty good there’s going to be ten runs or more.
By the middle of June, baseball fans have a good idea about the teams that are ripping the hide off the ball. Through 60 games in 2006, the Yankees had 33 games in which ten or more runs were scored. Of the sizzling Mets’ first 60, 33 games went over 9 runs (National League over/unders will generally be a run lower).
The best team so far in 2006, to bet the over on, was the Toronto Blue Jays. 37 of their first 60 games resulted in a double-digit box score.
With a team like that (into June, the Blue Jays led all of baseball in batting average) you can bet the over each game. Say your starting wager is 100 units. Each time you lose, follow that up with a bet of 125 units, then 150, reverting back to the base bet as each time you win. This means every time you hit the over, you will cash for 25 units more than your last defeat and since this particular team is inclined to put up crooked numbers, you’ve got yourself a formula for profit. Through the Blue Jays first 60 games in 2006, had you wagered this way, you would be showing 1700 units on the plus side. If each unit was a million dollars, you can now pay Vernon Wells’s salary.
Read up on teams like the Blue Jays. They have tons of hitting and some pitching problems (well at least until B.J. Ryan gets into the game). If you bet them to go over every game to the end of the season, you will show a profit.
Picking on pitchers is a nifty way to cash on the over as well. This year (2006) the guy to count on is Randy Johnson. By count on, I mean…one run, two runs, four runs, etc. By the middle of June, Johnson was 8-5, but his 5.32 ERA was scarier than his face and he’d given up 15 home runs in 86 innings. When Johnson starts, bet the over.
If you analyse the numbers for the best pitchers in the league, you can get some serious wagering guidance. Sixty games in to the 2006 season, Bronson Arroyo (Reds), Roy Halladay (Blue Jays), Bandon Webb (D-Backs) and Jose Contreras (White Sox) were pretty well the four best cannons..
Of Contreras’ first 11 games, 7 resulted in 8 runs or less. Halladay had nine of his first 13 games go nine runs or less, and Webb started 14 games, of which eight came in with eight runs or fewer. Until those trends change dramatically, the play is clearly to go under when those guys are pitching.
However, a check on Bronson Arroyo produced some funny results. Ten of his first 14 games had nine or more runs scored. Clearly the Reds hit for their main man and that tells me to take the over, not just when Arroyo pitches, but every time Cincinnati plays. That’s what Pete Rose would do.
So the moral here? You don’t have to guess at an over/under. The internet is blessed with all the numbers and all the facts will set you free (or at least help you find a game that will go over).