Many square gamblers tend to play the favorites more often than they bet on an underdog in baseball. The average baseball gambler sees the team that is supposed to win and looks at the other team as the one who is supposed to lose. Losing is no fun so it’s tough for some players to realize it can be profitable to lose more games than you win as long as your return on each bet is greater than your risk.
The real key to being successful if you are going to bet on baseball is to find value. Value is the difference between the price you are getting with the odds and the true chances of a team winning. For instance, if you think a team has a 50% chance of winning a game and you are getting +110 on the team, that’s a great bet and you should make your wager. If you are getting -110 on that team, that means you have a negative expectation and should not. Going back the last five years combined you will find the following results for underdogs and favorites:
Favorites: 7,476-5,580 (57.3%) Avg. Line = -142.8
Underdogs: 4,443-6,360 (41.1%) Avg. Line = 137.6
With the 57.3% winning percentage you would have to get odds of -134 on each game just to break even. The true odds were closer to -144 so you can see the 10 cent expected loss on each favorite.
On the other hand if you won only 41.1% of your games you would only need to get odds of +143.3 to show a profit. The true odds were 137.6 for a difference of 5.7, a lot less than with the favorite but still not profitable.
You can see if you stick to underdogs you are ahead of the game, but you can’t bet them blindly because you will still end up behind.