Opening day is April 1st and there are currently no MLB lines available at Sportsbooks. The Sportsbooks will start releasing them as soon as Monday. I have to be ready and sharp so I already have my lines for the opening day games. They are in the chart below.
It is important as a handicapper that originates lines to have comparison early! We want to get the best of the line as soon as we can. My lines show an implied probability to win the game, then that is converted into a money line commonly seen in the sportsbook. I do this every day for every game. I usually have my line in the morning of game days, so the overnight line has been released in most cases. I rarely if ever bet into the overnight line unless I am getting tremendous value on a dog. This line is put out to get a comparative evaluation from other books so the sportsbook can gauge their needed movement. It is also not usually a “vig” healthy line to bet into either. There are several if not many books that take “dime line” action on MLB games (-110) but the overnight line will not be set up that way. Often the “vig” or “juice” is -120 to -130. This line will reopen again with a new morning adjusted line and with an adjusted “vig” so it is important to have proper timing on when to wager. The new morning line will sometimes adjust against you but the reduced “vig” is usually worth waiting for.
I am looking for as much value as I can get. I will often throw out the “highest” valued variance my lines create as there is likely so kind of misread or error, so I will work on the variation value from there down. The variation is my odds to the sportsbook’s odds and where is the greatest value. An example might be; TB opens at -130 vs MIA somewhere. My line says it is TB -150, so we are getting 20 basis points of value or 3.5% EV+ (expected value positive). We want to make as many EV+ wagers as possible. These wagers are expecting a positive return on our investments so make as many of them as we can find. This is a perfect example of finding an edge in a line, then quantifying it. Knowing what your edge is and where it came from will be a guide to long-term success as a bettor.
You could use the Webbie Odds only to make your betting selections, however, I utilize them combined with handicapping the flow of the game. It strengthens my position in the game. I DO NOT worry about odds or lines moving against or toward me! I am not handicapping the betting market. I am handicapping the baseball game. I do understand the thinking, but that is not my style for MLB. I do look at line moves regarding other sports, but not baseball. My only worry is when should I bet the game or the timing of it. I have learned to bet favorites early and dogs late. The “public” market tends to make favorites’ odds grow larger as the game nears, so it is best to play it earlier in the day. Underdogs only grow in value as the market bets on the favorite, so wait to get max value. There is one caveat to this theory. Last season took away the security blanket of the listed pitcher. All games were deemed action. This meant that if your pitcher had a rough night sleeping and woke up with a stiff neck and was scratched from his start after you bet on him, your wager was still action! Prior to last season, you could make listed pitcher wagers. If your pitcher did not start, the game was voided. I will see how this season goes and how often this comes into play, which will determine waiting close to game time too.