Betting large favorite in MLB has become shockingly profitable the last two seasons in MLB confirms Joe Duffy’s Picks databases. Bettors who have wagered on -130 or larger chalks are up 39.7 units this season after turning a surprising profit of 37.5 units last year. By comparison, from 2004-2010, large favorite bettors lost every year, never dropping less than 17.8 units including 74 or more units in the red all four seasons from 2004 through 2007. Cumulatively from 2004 through 2010, gamblers lost 485.1 units if they wagered on every favorite of at least 130.
However, including the season in progress, gamblers have made 77.2 units the last two seasons. Historically the most profitable pitchers to bet against have been players who were considered “aces” before the season started, but not in 2016 with proven studs Stephen Strasburg and Jake Arrieta with combined team records of 19-0 in their starts. Only the Mets Matt Harvey is a widely accepted ace who has been a great pitcher to fade at 3-7 for -7.2 units.
“A kneejerk reaction may be to say it’s because the ending of the steroid era,” a well-known sharp told me. However, he quickly points out that sharps exploited underdogs in the 1980s, presumably before the steroid era.
There is no consensus among oddsmakers, pro bettors, and professional handicappers on why favorites have become so profitable, nor whether or not it’s an aberration or the dawn of a new era. But the numbers prove that blind underdog bettors have seen better days.