MLB Spread Betting – Expert Guide
To introduce you to MLB spread betting If you’re not already familiar with it, here’s an example by way of introduction. We’ll employ a regular season MLB game to introduce the principles, terms and math of MLB spread betting. Markets are typically split into two categories; (i) Short Term Singular Events (such ‘Total Game Cross Runs’ in a given MLB matchup, which is The Market) or (ii) Longer Term Markets that incorporate a group of Singular Events (i.e. Total Runs aggregated for the days games).
For example, it September 26th and the Cubs are up against the Pirates with a post-season berth at stake. The Market is Total Game Runs for the matchup. The Price (or Spread) is set at 8.5-9 runs. If your prediction is that batters will dominate with home runs aplenty, you would Buy at 9. if you think that nerves will win the day and the pitchers will have the upper hand you might Sell at 8.5.
You decide to buy match runs at 9 for £20. This makes every run scored worth £20, with profit starting when 10runs are reached. In a see-saw battle, and with the help of a late Pirates surge the match goes into the 10th innings as the teams are tied at 7’s after the ninth. Eventually, the Cubs prevail with a run in the 10th that is not answered by the Pirates, meaning that the Cubs progress to the playoffs and you clear up a tidy profit as the Make-Up is 13 runs. Therefore you win (13 – 9) x £20, so £80.
If, however, you had decided to sell runs for the game at 8.5, you would have made a loss. As points ended up at 13 you would have lost (8.5 – 13) x £20, i.e. -£90. Of course the higher the stake, the more you stand to win or lose – that is why staking policy is important and you need to calculate, at least roughly, the best and worst case before you place MLB bets. Remember, markets such as touchdown short numbers can be very volatile so be sure to understand your risks and upside before trading. Keeping stakes smaller helps mitigate those risks for volatile markets.
The advantage of spread betting is that prices are also often traded “In-running” meaning that you can open or close positions at any time to maximize gains or reduce losses. Therefore if you had sold runs, and there was a quiet start, you could have probably taken a profit at some point before the runs started to pile up.…..but of course timing (and hindsight!) are always a wonderful thing.
Longer Term MLB Picks
The most interesting thing about longer term markets, the play offs and the World Series is that there is often plenty of MLB history to refer to and learn from…… and it is often a great predictor of present and future events. At FBT we look for patterns in history and use that data as one of our criteria to assess the betting odds and spreads on offer for current sporting events. www.mlb.com is an excellent resource for general information, and more specifically this example gives very thorough statistics on almost any facet of the game, batting, pitching and entire team. Using these tools, let’s take another example for a World Series prediction.
Spread betting companies generally break MLB Spreads into three categories: (i) One off game markets, (ii) Group Total Markets for the days games and (iii) Long term markets for the season. We’ll use a daily group of games for our next example. The spread betting companies will always offer total runs for the day as well as home teams versus away teams supremacy. That is their prediction of the difference between all the home teams runs totaled up and all the away teams.
Let’s say that the Supremacy is set at 10-15 in favor of the home teams. This means the betting company believes homes teams will score between 10 and 15 more runs that the travelling teams. In this example, let’s assume you actually like the travelling teams’ chances a little more than that. You would therefore ‘sell’ the homes over aways supremacy at 10, let’s assume for £10. The days games unfold and you get to enjoy around 6 hours of entertainment, willing the away teams to score and the home teams to strike out. At the end of the day, the home teams score 67 points in the 15 games and the away teams 74 so the Make-up is +7 in favor of the travelling teams. As a seller of the home teams supremacy this is great news as you not only get the 10 you sold at but the additional 7 because the away teams actually scored more. You would enjoy a profit of (10 + 7) x £10 or £170.
Using our data for just one market (total match runs) our MLB predictions net a significant profit on a consistent basis, with what we believe is very low risk when the correct staking policy is employed. This is a prime example of the process we use at FBT to arrive at our free MLB tips. The typical steps involved are, record, research, analyse, assess (risk), scale (for staking and go/ no-go decision) and publish. The graphic below is a reminder of how we use this data to underpin our cricket tipping process.
At FBT we have the entire history for all the MLB seasons and with the application of other useful data sources like www.mlb.com already mentioned we have a powerful mix of data to work with when making predictions. Our clients don’t need to see the entire tipping process play out every time, but just receive the fruits of the process. With forecasts across all the major MLB games and post-season action, April to September are very exciting months. Take a look at our MLB resources page for other useful prediction tools or go straight to our MLB Tips page for up to date picks.