Got plans for the All-Star break? If you are an MLB oddsmaker in Vegas the chances are that you do – stopping the bleeding. It has been too easy for MLB bettors this season. Vegas has practically handed out all the answers before the test.
Some might remember this line from my MLB Favorites article back on June 11:
“MLB betting systems do not have to be complicated. Sometimes all it takes is to pick a hot team to bet every night”
I wrote that article because favorites had been making extraordinary amounts of money … they still are. At the time, betting strictly favorites would have netted $8,614 in profits. Guess what … things did not regress back toward the mean. At the All-Star break, MLB favorites have now netted $9,412 in profits!
The hardest part about “picking a hot team to bet every night” is determining which teams are currently hot and will remain hot. That is where Vegas has made it too easy for us. It’s the favorites! They are the hot teams!
These types of profits from betting simply favorites or underdogs alone is extremely rare. Vegas is obviously setting the lines too soft for favorites but they do not seem to be able to adjust – probably for fear of overcompensation.
During most MLB seasons (and in other sports, too) neither favorites nor underdogs alone will turn a profit. This is because of the juice – the commission the book charges.
Betting all favorites and turning a profit is rare. How rare? The following chart shows how much money you would win or lose by betting all of the favorites through the first 2 months of the season. As the graph clearly shows, this bet-all-the-favorites strategy typically doesn’t work.
This trend has to end sometime, right? How long can it be expected to last?
Unfortunately, because favorites hardly ever profit like this, we do not have much precedent we can look back on. This is what we do know:
Since Killersports began recording MLB betting data in 2004, favorites have only been profitable at the All-Star break in 3 seasons – 2016, 2018, and 2019.
In both 2016 and 2018, favorites finished the season with a negative bottom line, meaning they lost some major money in the second half.
Let’s compare the first and second halves of those 3 seasons.
|Season||1st Half $||2nd Half $||Total $|
It is a small sample size, but each time the favorites begin the season strong, Vegas compensates and winds up turning the underdog into the profitable bet in the second half.
The first half of 2019 has been 6 times more profitable for favorites than the first half of either 2016 or 2018. Does it mean favorites will fall 6 times harder or are these particular favorites immune to a collapse?
It is eye-catching when a system nets profits north of $9,400 in the first half alone. I would assume that the MLB betting public is going out of their way to bet favorites and get a piece of the pie. The underdogs begin the second half of 2019 as the value bet.
It is hard to make yourself go against such a strong trend, but the underdogs are where my money will be over the next month. See you on top!