Big Baseball Favorites on a Roll

With the 2020 baseball season still down the road, until at least May if not later, there is plenty of time to do research. A bit too much time, perhaps, but you will be rewarded later on for the time you put in now.

When I first began to get serious about sports betting, I read everything I could get my hands on about the subject. Some of the best sports betting books ever written came out in the 1980s and 1990s. While quite a bit of the material is now outdated, the general premises can still be used. There are a few exceptions. One of them is in regards to large baseball favorites.

As a rule, betting favorites of -200 and greater were considered ‘sucker bets’ and a sure path to ruin for any sports bettor. There were even tales of a Las Vegas dishwasher named Leroy who turned a borrowed $50 into tens of thousands by backing the marquee pitchers at the time, such as Bob Gibson, Sandy Koufax and Juan Marichal. He layed the huge odds, only to see it all come crashing down and our hero ended up washing dishes again.

But that hasn’t been the case in a number of years, as those -200 favorites have been a great wager recently, although it definitely stings when one goes against you.

Let’s take a look at how they have fared lately:


As you can see, there have been many more large favorites the past couple of seasons. This is likely due to a greater disparity in teams, as well as pitchers, as some teams send guys to the mound on a regular basis who have no business being there.

But the one thing the chart does show, is that large favorites are no longer sucker bets.



Making Use of the Down Time

We’re entering the second week without sports betting and by now, most sports bettors have gotten a little tired of Netflix, watching reruns of sporting events or reading and are ready to get back to doing something sports betting-related. I gave myself a week off and it’s time to get back to it. As we get farther into the sports shutdown, we’ll look at more specifics, meaning individual sports, situations, etc., but this is just a general type of article.

Analyze Your Results

The first thing sports bettors can do is to study their previous results. What went well, what didn’t go well? What are their strengths and weaknesses? Do you find yourself betting too many TV games, too many favorites or underdogs, overs or unders?

While there’s a tendency to spend your time looking at sports that didn’t particularly go well, don’t overlook the sports where you fared well. We can always learn more and we can always strive to do better. Whether or not we do get better is a question mark, but nobody will ever get to the point where they know everything when it comes to betting any one sport.


Naturally, the most obvious place for me to start will be with the NBA, as a late slump right before the shutdown, knocked me down to right about 50% on the season. That simply doesn’t cut it. At the very least, we should see the playoffs, along with at least a few regular season games. But if you bet the NBA, it’s probably a better starting point than others.

The one drawback to putting in so much time into college basketball is that there wasn’t always time to study the NBA on a daily basis quite as much as I’d like to. While our projected scores were better after looking at more recent games, my selections were not.  I was guilty of over-thinking some games and also staying away from some games for one reason or another.

Other avenues I’ll spend some time looking at are how teams do before and after certain opponents, after a win or loss, which we did some of, and how teams do after an exceptionally good or poor performance. So far this season, teams who score fewer than 90 points are 40-30 ATS their following game, while teams who allow 130 or more their previous game are just 56-70-1 (44.4%) ATS their next game and 54-72-1 (42.1%) in totals.


Major League Baseball is another decent choice, as the season will take place, even though it has been pushed back a ways. The schedule will most certainly be condensed but we should be seeing baseball in the somewhat near future.

While we’ve been able to grind out a profit with our daily side plays, which are almost always underdogs. But totals haven’t fared too well, so the emphasis this season will be on the sides and how we can get better with those plays.

Since my method of baseball handicapping creates a projected score on each game, which I then transfer to a moneyline price, I need to determine if my conversion method is as good as it can be. Right now, I’m using one run equals 50 cents on the moneyline, so a team I predict to win by two runs will be -200, while a team I have predicted to win by .3 runs will be a -115 favorite.


The WNBA has been pretty good to us the past few seasons and I think one reason for that is due to the small number of teams, you get a better feel for each squad and can predict when they’ll be up or down. But, some big-name players have already switched teams, so it’s time to look at the transactions and how they’ll affect play this upcoming season, as well as spend some time looking at more numbers and finding some situational plays.

These are just for starters and since this shutdown is looking like it’s going to continue for some time, we’ll get into other sports over the upcoming weeks.

Other WRITING Projects

I’ll also be working on some other projects, which I’ve wanted to get to for a while, but simply haven’t had the time in most cases. My initial project is creating a second edition of my first book, Becoming a Winning Gambler. While there is plenty of good information in there, there were also areas where I thought it could be better. That’s what I’m working on now.

The next one after that will be a new book aimed at beginning and novice sports bettors. Their numbers are going to continue to grow as more states legalize sports betting. This one will be much more detailed than my current book for beginners, Sports Betting Basics. Much of the new book is already written. I’m toying with the title, Becoming a Sports Bettor, and using the Becoming as the first word in all the titles.

Once those two are taken care of, it will be time for more serious sports betting work. First will be an intermediate to advanced book on sports betting in general. Then I’d like to get into hardcore sports betting, with separate books for each sport. Obviously, some of these are down the road a bit, but it does give me something to shoot for.


The other area I’m looking at getting involved in is creating some sports betting YouTube videos. These will take on several different formats, although the initial focus will be educational videos, as many people would rather watch several 5- or 10-minute videos than read a book for several hours. Others could include interviews with some of the sports betting legends and a whole lot more. It’s something I’d like to get going over the summer.

Finally, a complete site overhaul is in the works, although it won’t take too terribly long once I actually decide to do it. It’s the pre-planning stage that will take the longest, so once the upgrades get started, the site can get back online without much disruption.

Just because sports are currently shutdown, that doesn’t mean we can’t gear up for when they do resume.