Losing can be a difficult habit to break. If you don’t take the right steps to correct your previous mistakes, you are going to continue to see similar results.
The same principles holds true when it comes to betting baseball. You have to be willing to learn something from each loss and use it to your advantage going forward.
When you first start betting on baseball, your first reaction will likely be this is going to be easy, as all you have to do is pick the team that’s going to win the game.
The biggest problem that amateur bettors have, is they want immediate results. While short-term success is great, your focus needs to be on long-term profit.
7 Most Common MLB Betting Mistakes Amateur Handicappers Make
I’m confident that if you put the time into handicapping the games and avoid making the seven common mistakes that are listed below, you too can start beating the odds on a daily basis.
If you don’t have the time to breakdown the numbers to make smart wagers, let myself or one of the other top baseball handicappers on this site do all the dirty work for you.
#1 – You Play Too Many Favorites
Everyone who gets started with sports betting instinctively concentrates on favorites over underdogs. They take a look at a favorite at -160 and see that team as a sure thing to beat their opponents.
Their research is then centered around reinforcing the idea of why the favorite will win rather than researching the percentage chance each team has to come out on top.
If you want to break yourself of this habit take a look at the league standings. Notice how bad teams win 40% of their games and great teams don’t win 70% of the time.
The best thing about playing more underdogs is that you don’t have to win as much to profit long-term. If you play two underdogs, you only need to hit one of the two to profit, where if you played two favorites, you need both to cash to end up positive.
#2 – You Fade Streaks
The first reaction that a lot of people have when they see a bad team that has won a few games in a row, is to immediately fade that team the next time they play. If you are someone who uses this kind of thought process, I encourage you to break this habit immediately.
Baseball is a game of streaks both from an individual and a team perspective. Even the worst teams in the league are going to go on runs where they string together winning stretches over multiple weeks.
Instead of playing the due factor and banking on a streak to come to an end, I recommend jumping on the bandwagon when things are going well and ride the momentum to some nice profits. Just make sure you are disciplined and jump ship when things start to go in the other direction.
#3 – You Overvalue the Starter
Most of the time the lines are based off of the starting pitcher. However, in the modern era of baseball the starters only last a little over six innings on average, so you’ll need to factor in the bullpen.
Don’t put all of your eggs in a basket that only takes care of a little more than half of the game.
#4 – You Fail to Completely Analyze the Game
Too many bettors focus in on one thing or another. Following one simple trend or handicapping a single aspect of a game will not lead you to winning in the long run.
Winning isn’t simple so you are going to have to go deep into the stats and look at every different facet. Sure the starting pitcher might be hot, but how is his run support and bullpen help? Are there any key injuries? Does the opposition have hot bats?
Make sure you scrutinize all of the different angles instead of locking in on one of your favorites and forcing something to work.
#5 You Take Only High Scoring Teams
Most bettors become attracted to teams that score a lot of runs. These bettors think that lots of runs and star sluggers translates into wins.
Everyone loves home runs and RBIs, but fans don’t necessarily make smart bets. The general public will drive the line up on these teams and frequently leave value on the opposite side.
Teams that score a lot of runs frequently have a lot of expensive, talented names in the lineup. It’s even more important to find out who looks strong on paper but hasn’t been producing, or the teams that are scoring a lot of runs without any fanfare. Going against the grain is a great way to find value.
#6 – You Ignore Home & Away Splits
There are teams out there that are great at home and terrible on the road, and vice versa. If you can find a two-faced team, then you’ll more than likely see some value in taking them when they are in their right spot, and going against them when playing out of their element.
You also need to do a little bit of work to investigate why the teams are performing how they are. Do they have strong pitching but are playing in a hitter’s park? Do they have flyball hitters in a short porch? If so, then you can also figure out what stadiums they will play well in on the road, then you can really find some strong winners.
#7 – You Worry Too Much About Reputation
For the most part, you need to take performances from previous years and throw them out the window. Just because an aging starting pitcher has won a few Cy Young trophies earlier in his career does not mean that they are going to win on any given night.
You need to ignore reputations and focus more intently on the here and now. I want to know how the pitcher has done in getting batters out over his last month of starts, not what he did two years ago. If you have a big favorite that is struggling this year, then he’s perfect for fading. Lots of guys have arm troubles and don’t perform well in consecutive seasons, others could be adjusting to a new town and a new team.