With spring training games being played, MLB futures available, and WBC approaching, this is a good time to think through wagering and, specifically, when to place your bets. An MLB future wager will not payout for months. We are in March, and the season ends in October or early November, 8-9 months away. We can look at this as money in the bank. However, we can also make a wager today; then next week, learn that two of the teams’ best pitchers have had injuries that will cause them to miss the entire season. We would not have made it if we had known this before our wager. The timing of wagering is sometimes lucky or unlucky, but we as bettors need to examine the best time for the eager.
Any wagers made on MLB team wins must be made before the season begins. We have from today until March 30th. We can make wagers on which team will win the division or the world series and which players will win the Cy Young or be the homerun champion during the season, as this is a fluid market. So now is the time to be looking at season wins.
They have been out for a few weeks now. We must understand that a wager made today is binding even if there is bad news around the corner. The cause for concern is that our odds or win number may change, causing us to get a worse price. First, NEVER bad a number! That is a golden rule of winning bettors. You do not always have to get the best number, but do not bet on the worst number! If you are presented with that scenario, hard pass! This can be said for future bets like we are discussing, but it applies to any wager you make. So we must avoid betting the worst number, which will be our first eliminator for our list of wagers we like. That will look like this. Our team is 82 wins -110 to open and now is 83.5 wins -110. Hypothetically, you have a list of 10 wagers to bet. After looking at how the numbers have changed, we can cross off 3 of them, so now we have 7 wagers we like. Of these 7 possible wagers, we need to know if the win totals have stayed the same, yet the odds have changed. It would be like this. Our team has 82 wins with Over -135, and it was 82 -110. The market likes the over, and the book moved the odds. We are now getting the same number but worse odds. We are not getting a worse number, yet our payout is worse. This is slightly different from the previous look, but it will still be a lower outcome if we win this wager. We either need to move before the number of wins changes, or we need to ride this out and either pass or take the smaller return. A winning wager is most important. The number of wins is more valuable than the odds (most of the time). There are unique situations where the odds reflect numbers move; the bettor does not realize it. This a topic for another discussion. So we choose to back burner this one and analyze the 6 others. Of these six, think hard about how they could lose! What would have to happen for our wager to fail? If you come up with some ideas pretty quickly for one or two of them, maybe these wagers should also be moved off the list. The idea is simple, we want strong wagers that can withstand 8-9 months of scrutiny, and we need to put forth strong tests to feel convicted that our wager can survive. Let’s say get it to 5 wagers we like. Now we need to shop the numbers and see if there is a likelihood that the markets will change before the start of the season. We don’t have to bet until WE HAVE TO BET. It means that as time moves forward, we get more information.
More information allows for better wagers. Wait until you have to bet. That goes for any bet! Too many people want that CLV (Closing Line Value) buzzword. CLV is not a winning bet which is what we strive for, but optimally CLV is a good gauge for winning bets. The better our numbers, the more likely we win bets. But don’t get consumed with CLV. It is not the goal, just a tool to help pave the path. My list of season wins is currently at 8 or 9. I will likely only bet 5 or 6 of these as I have yet to make a season wins wager.
When it comes to our daily routine, MLB offers overnight lines. We can bet on this market if we create lines to compare and find a value between them. On a Tuesday at around 7 pm, the books will set the lines for the games on Wednesday; thus, they are called overnight lines. These odds will not be as sharp as the odds the next day. There will have been market adjustments based on wagering into them, thus making them sharper in the morning and the next day. It could be a good idea to wager the best odds early because there is a chance you won’t be able to wager a game you like at all. After all, the odds may have moved too far away from the opening ones. It also does not mean to make only these wagers, though. Again, for clarity, the more information you can acquire, the better your ability to evaluate your wagers. Waiting on information is not taught, but should be. It is more important than many other aspects. What if you get the news that Mike Trout, Anthony Rendon, and Shohei Otani are not in the lineup for the Angels as the manager planned a rest day for them, yet you bet that overnight? Makes you sick to your stomach. Another such concern is the starting pitcher. Maybe he woke up with a stiff neck and will not pitch today (being pushed back until tomorrow), so get some callup guy to pitch in this spot. I like to wait but am not opposed to those who don’t. If you know what you are betting and why you are betting, based on complete information, you will make better wagers than those who just fire based on numbers!
I think there is valuable information here. Season-long wagers need to be strongly tested to survive the length of time; CLV is only a tool, and winning wagers is the goal; get complete information before making your wager; NEVER bet bad numbers! If you follow this advice, you will win more bets!