Making big money, winning bets, locks, guaranteed bets, huge winners,… sounds good, right?

Sports Handicappers

Thousands and thousands sports bettors look for magical sports handicappers who will make them rich. No matter if you follow paid or free sports handicappers, usually this following mindset will end as a disaster. Not even to blame sports handicappers, because most of them truly think they are good, but simply don’t take into account very big sample size. How many times you see a sports handicapper that starts selling picks after his 100 or 200 bets?

I see them constantly. And even those who have hundreds of bets, most of those sports handicappers don’t track bets properly.

Sports handicappers will guarantee sports picks and winning bets, all kind of winners and how you will make big money in sports betting…

..but this is just bullshit and I will be little bit harsh here, because we need to repair sports bettors minds and if I can change at least one mind, it is worth. I don’t care about what some people will say, because conclusions are based on my 20 year experience in sports betting world.

Even if we find a good sports handicapper, who can beat the closing line, who uses probabilistic methods, who has the edge over big sample size,…. it is almost not possible to follow such picks. Good sports betting picks beat the closing line. And once you are late, you are late. Nobody has such edge to cover all the line movement + the cost of subscription + your bankroll. Most sports gamblers struggle with small bankrolls anyway and the is no logical calculation to cover all these things and end with the profit. At least on the long run and at least it will not work for most people, even if they follow the best sports handicapper.

I saw a guy who made more than 2700 bets with yield of more than 17% and his followers can not make profit with his picks. If you still don’t know after years of betting  what is yield, ROI, CLV (closing line value), +EV (concept of positive expected value in sports betting),… it is maybe to re-think if betting still makes sense.  It is the same if baseball player would not know what is double play or QB doesn’t know what is touchdown. If you didn’t have motivation so far to learn sports betting basics like yield, basic probabilities, ….  you will never win and you will lose money. And those basics are free on the internet. Instead of watching Game of Thrones or being on instagram whole day, take couple of hours and learn.

Well…if we think twice…such foolish people will almost for sure lose money, so bookmakers can pay the rest who make that small profit and that work hard on analysis and understanding betting. I don’t sell sports betting picks and will never sell any bet predictions, because I think it is wrong. But if I think twice, the prices should be much bigger for bet prediction / betting picks subscriptions.

The foolish average Joes get what the foolish average Joes deserve. In the wild, weakest animals die. In sports betting naive bettors will lose money and will not survive. Think twice about this. The only record that matter is lifetime sports betting record. If your betting bring you the money in life or you lose it. And we all know that 95% of sports bettors pay and work  for those 5% that make money in sports betting world. They pay bookmakers, betting services and of course winning sports bettors. Winning bettors will get paid from bookmakers, because they are paid by foolish bettors. Is this ok? Well…it looks ok,  if there are bettors/gamblers who invest in something that they don’t understand.

If you can not understand the concept of sports betting and making money now with all the free information about betting on the internet, then you deserve to lose. Period. As I said, I want to be completely honest and little bit harsh here, because sometimes this is the only way to spread the message. Despite I know that 95% of all people who will read this will be the next minute on social media sharing or looking for picks. It is a magical circle, which makes magical money for bookmakers.

So, let’s go trough couple of things, that sports bettors, sports gamblers, sports betting losers or whatever you call them, can not understand. And you know what it is amazing when I see smart people, from college, from universities, from math background, that still don’t understand what I will write here.

Why is this so? Some people will say, that our society is too soft now and when we lived in caves we were always under some risk and people need gambling risk, this is why they gamble. But this should not be the reason, because when you start losing money all the time, I don’t know if this is fun anymore.

So what I will write here is not a rocket science. If you can not understand those simple concepts, you have no chance in sports betting or any other speculative business based on numbers, which is similar to betting. There are still other jobs and ways to make money. Go buy a garden and sell beautiful flowers. Flowers are always good. But don’t bet if you can not understand those simple concepts.

The number ONE rocket science – THE CONCEPT OF HOW TO:

Make Money in Sports Betting

If you want to make money in sports betting, you need to take an investment approach (I don’t know which other approach could work). What is the concept of making money if you invest?

The concept is very simple. You need to invest in something with big potential. You can buy a real estate now for $300,000 and later sell it for $400,000. You made a profit. You can buy a car for $10,000 and sell it for $15,000. You can invest in stocks for low price and sell it for bigger price. Right? I hope you agree with me.

There is no other way. The concept of making money is to invest in something with big potential.

The number TWO rocket science:

Value Bet, Not Bet Winner!

But what is the key here?

THE PRICE. THE PRICE. THE PRICE.

You need to be smart enough to buy a car for $10,000, so you can sell it later for $15,000. Right?

This difference is a value or in sports betting – value bet.

I think this is not hard to understand. Just take an example. We have two cars. Ferrari and Ford. Ferrari is let’s say a winner and Ford is not a winner.

So let’s say you are a car dealer….and  you have a wife and you send her to buy a Ferrari, so you can sell this Ferrari later for bigger price. But you don’t tell her what is the last price to buy a Ferrari. She can buy Ferrari for 1 mio USD or for $20,000. But she doesn’t care, because she got a “PICK”, she got a “WINNER”. She will buy it no matter what the price is. And she will buy it for 1 mio USD. But you can not sell this car for more than 1 mio USD and you lose money because of this. So, you have winning pick, but you still lose. Wife = bettor who make a bet from other people without understanding anything.

On the other side you can make a profit with Ford if you can buy it for $4,000 and sell it for $5,000.

It’s not rocket science to understand this.

It is always about the price. It is always about understanding the price. You must understand for which price you buy this car and for which price you can sell it.

But what most bettors do? They look for winners, locks. Not odds, not closing line value, not probabilities, expected value,… but “winners”.

If you don’t understand the price, you will never make money in sports betting (not anywhere else).

How to come to the numbers and prices, well… this is another topic, which I will left for next time.

The number THREE rocket science:

Sports Betting Odds Comparison is basically Price Comparison

In sports betting those prices are basically the odds. It is not rocket science again.

We have the same bet or pick if you like:

NY Yankees -110

after 3 hours

NY Yankees -135

It is not the same price is you bet on Yankees -110 or Yankees -135, because if you bet on Yankees -110 you need to pay $110 to win $100. If you bet later, when the odds drop you pay more. You need to pay $135 to win $100.

It is not the same if you pay a car $5000 or $7000

It is not the same if you bet $110 or $135 for the same profit. Come on….this is not hard to understand.

It is not focus on who will win, but what is the price.

Winning bettors and potential future winning bettors understand this.

The number FOUR rocket science – Bettors ask this question many times:

Best Betting Accounts to Follow?

DO NOT!

One of the problems you will face is odds dropping. For example, this season I beat the line 83.78% of time on international basketball league games. What this mean? This mean, that when I bet the odds drop later most of the time.

You as a follower will never get the same odds (price) and this is why you lose money.

Following is not winning mentality (I hope you agree with me – to understand this = not rocket science) and you need to find the way how to beat the market by yourself, because you have your own prices.

Just take an example of the bet Goyang +5.5 on December 5th, 2018

I took Goyang +5.5 at 1.93 (-107 US odds)

then the odds dropped to 1.66 for the same bet (Goyang +5.5)

What this mean for an average bettor when they follow other people’s picks?

We have the same bet. If you follow other people’s bets on the long run, you will probably lose money. Sharp bettor, who bet for himself (and has his own method and the knowledge how to pick games) can make nice profit. I took my basketball record and I took an example if bettor is playing with $100 per bet. So he will make more than +7000 USD of profit in this example. On the other side if you are a follower and if you are too late and if you don’t know for which price you buy the odds (= bet), then you can fall into the group of Follower 1 and Follower 2.

Most bettors don’t have any money management, nor the discipline to bet anyway. But let’s take “rare example”, that Follower 1 and Follower 2 have enough basic knowledge how to bet and they both started with $10,000 of a bankroll and their initial bet is $100.

They would make a huge loss in both cases. And usually when bettors follow good picks, they pay for subscriptions too. Most services charge at least $100 per month or more (there are services, that charge $1000 per month, but let’s take $100 per month as an example). So follower needs to pay $1200 for subscriptions in one year. This is $6000 in 5 years. And one bettor will basically lose his whole bankroll in first or two years, despite his advisor make a profit.

Of course not all games and the odds will drop in advisors favour. But in general if you follow profitable bettor, he will beat closing line and that means that most of the time you will get worse price.

The number FIVE rocket science:

Learn Sports Betting FIRST, Bet second

Do you think that doctors first make surgery and then they go to medicine school?

Come on guys. I think my 4 year old daughter understand this.

Do you think you will drive safely on a road and then go to driving school?

Do you you think that engineer builds a bridge first and then he learns about building the bridges?

NO. All those things lead to a disaster.

But what bettors do?

They bet first. This is the first thing they do. They think that they watch games and they will find winners. And we saw, that it is not point in finding the winners, but finding the right price or value, if you like.

So, if you don’t know how to turn probabilities into the odds, you will for sure face all kind of problems and lose money on the long run.

So, you don’t know what is yield, what is ROI, what are implied probabilities, how to calculate bookmakers margins? You have very little chance.Note also, that all those things are free on the internet.

The number SIX rocket science:

Profitable Sports Betting has nothing to do With Sports watching 

“I am big fan of baseball, I watch every game. I can pick winners”

Come one guys. Be serious. This has nothing to do with reality.

Watching sports, love for the sport is one thing. Betting/Investing on sport is another thing.

When you watch sport, you are focusing on the winners, on fun and to do this you need just a beer and good company. Of course you will hit winners sometimes, so you can brag about yourself on twitter. After all, there are usually 2 possible outcomes if you watch games (home win, away win). Of course you will hit something.

But when it comes to investing/betting I believe your goal is to make money. And in this case, this has more in common with investments, probabilities, statistics, math, then with watching sports. You need to beat the market if you want to make money. If you still don’t understand this simple concept, you are wasting time reading this. After all, we need you to lose, so bookmakers can pay us.

It requires good strategy, analysis, so you know what is good price to bet, discipline, realistic expectations,….

What do you think, who is on other side? What do you think who are bookmakers? Do you think that those are some kids playing with computers? No. Bookmakers are very smart companies with best experts who work 24/7.

Why do you think, they change the price (odds) if this the odds are not important? Odds are important. Not “bet winners”, “lock bets of the day”, “guaranteed profit betting” or other marketing material for foolish people.

It is all about the price. It is not about lock bets of the day. And if you think that you are a “good” sports fan that can pick betting winners you will lose sooner or later. If you are looking for winners instead of value bet, you will lose. Even if you find someone with good “sports betting picks” you will not get the same price and if you want to follow other sports handicappers picks, you are in that stage “YOU DON’T KNOW THAT YOU DON’T KNOW”. If you are in the dark when it comes to the prices, then you will never be successful trader, investor or a sports bettor.

Write it down 10x times on your paper until you don’t learn and thank me later :) :

  • Don’t follow sports handicappers
  • Don’t look for sports betting picks, rather look for numbers, probabilities, win %, knowledge,…
  • Learn to bet for yourself. This is the only way how to win
  • Following betting accounts = losing mentality and you are wasting your time
  • I saw a sports handicapper who made more than 2700 picks with the yield of +17.08% which is absolutely amazing. But his clients/followers couldn’t make a profit, because they didn’t have a clue about money management, betting, statistics,….
  • Spend extra time to learn how to bet on the internet, rather than looking for sports betting picks.

Final note: If you made it this far and read my texts, you must understand one thing –  I intentionally wrote such post, where some words could be harsh little bit for someone, because I want to shake your mind. I hope this will change some people’s minds. The problem is that most bettors don’t know that they don’t have a clue about whole thing. And the problem is that there is so many information on the internet, so we don’t even know where to start. If I can change at least one mind and one gambler, so he starts researching betting and because of this he becomes a winner or he just sees, that this is not for him (and because of this stop losing money), I am happy. It is enough for me.

All the best

MB

Sign up for Betting Course

​​Hi,

how are you? I hope you are dong well and I hope you are making some profit as well.

The World Cup group stage games will be over today and if you watched my betting course about World Cup, you would make cca +10 units of profit so far. Depends on the odds you got, but I made +10.39 units of profit so far. The best odds are on Cloudbet.

If you didn’t watch the course about World cup and ideas how to beat the market, you can watch it here:

WATCH FREE COURSE (1:14:48)

….because it will be closed on 2 days. ​So hurry up. 

At the end of the course you get also a chance to learn how to easily turn the probabilities into the odds for football/soccer.

If you didn’t watch it – in short….

  • ​World Cup is special event with 64 games
  • There is almost no betting model for this world cup and if there is one, it is very hard to estimate probabilities. To many obstacles, like ranking teams, not enough statistics, huge psychological​ factors,….
  • Nobody can guarantee a profit and mostly amateurs bettors and sports fans take this competition as a serious competition from sports betting perspective.
  • This is biggest event in 2018 and many people that don’t watch sports, right now watch every single game. Many of them bet too and there was huge amount of money added to the market
  • So, if we are regular daily bettors, right now we are not alone and there is huge amount of extra money involved
  • Because of all that also the bookmakers don’t know how to set the odds properly, but they know one thing. They know how amateur bettors and sports fans think.
  • Amateurs bettors will bet a lot on World Cup games, without any strategy or pre-research, they talk about every single game, they take this world cup very seriously, they also like to bet on huge favourites and we have probably couple of millions new “betting experts”.
  • Because of all that, bookmakers offer them “tricky” odds on favourites.

Before the world cup, I researched the market and I saw, that betting blindly on underdogs in last couple of big competitions was profitable ting to do. This was announced in my video above. It is a combination of all those tings I mention here. 

“What is your point to bet on all underdogs?” 

That was the question I received yesterday. If this is so easy, why everyone don’t bet on all underdogs?

Why you bother with watching games, reading news, when you know that you don’t have any edge?

Many bettors think they have the edge in those games, but in fact they don’t have. I don’t have the edge in any of those games, you don’t have the edge and bookmakers don’t know how to set the odds, but they have margins and they have a lot of amateurs gamblers, that will lose money anyway. But in general it is almost not possible to have the edge compared to betting prices. And if there is someone who won couple of games without some strict strategy, system or estimation of the odds, it was probably pure luck.

Nobody can guarantee a profit in world cup games and nobody can guarantee that one team will win. We saw how Germany lost to Korea and focusing on one single game is in my opinion not right way.

It is little bit easier to beat the competition than one game. Even this is not a guarantee, but if you look at bigger picture, you have bigger chance.

Instead of focusing on on game, I focused on whole competition and on whole 64 games. I saw that betting on underdogs was profitable on big competitions and this is sample of 254 games now since 2010 (added 44 games now). I also recommended two other strategies, that have not such a good record in the past, but both could be profitable as well (betting on draws and betting on double chance against favourites – explained in video). I didn’t check the record on those two strategies, maybe some of you play this too and you can show us what is your record.

254 big competition games (EURO, WC) since 2010:

  • +33.98 Units
  • Yield: +13.38%

I think you can not do much better than this. 

So, the answer on what was my point is this: I researched the market before the world cup. I didn’t just say – bet on underdogs without reason. I understand how bookmakers think and I know how sports fans/recreational/amateur bettors think. They also act very emotionally and they like to bet on huge favourites. So I looked at the bigger picture and I didn’t want to predict one game. I found some patterns, I researched past competition with betting odds (not who won, but how you can make money compared to the odds on the market). And of course when we take into account common sense and mentality of recreational bettors, I came to final conclusion.

When I see bets on the internet like Switzerland over 3.5 or Germany 1.40, I really don’t understand how those people come those those prices. So, if you bet on Germany 1.40, then you must estimate somehow, that this price should be lower (like 1.25 for example) and it is very hard to estimate those prices on such event. No games, very small sample sizes, confusion with the market, etc…

So, the point is that when I recommended to bet on underdogs, that was with the reason and there was some work behind this. The reason was – betting market and understanding it. I don’t care if Germany needs win, I didn’t care if Korea is not playing for anything. I knew, that betting on underdogs has probably some advantage, that was the pattern in the past and if we take into account mentality of amateur gamblers, who bet on huge favourites, there are strong reasons for doing this. I would probably never come to this conclusion if I would not understand the market, I would not come to this conclusion if I would not make every single mistake in the past and learn on my own losses.

If blindly betting on underdogs is very easy thing to do, why most bettors don’t do this?

I mentioned many times, that blindly betting usually doesn’t work, because bookmakers take such things into account. For example, betting blindly on underdogs or betting blindly on favourites will lead to a loss in MLB baseball. But bookmakers know how to set the odds there, because of many games, where it is easier to set the odds. On the other side, they are also confused with World Cup and because of this there was a chance to take the advantage. 

There is of course NO POINT , if you wake up in the morning and you say, I will bet blindly on underdogs without a reason and have fun. 

On the other side…

There is A POINT, if you wake up in the morning and say, I will research the market, I will research mentality of bettors, I will look at how bookmakers think, how bettors think and what was most profitable thing to bet in last big competitions, because of the same nature of event. After that I will make a conclusion and I will share those information with my followers, so they can look at the competition from different perspective than some amateur gambler, who will try to analyse every single game and bet on Spain 1.50 and Germany 1.40. If the message was completely understood, I think you could take the advantage so far and even have fun watching those games.

I bet only for fun….

In the video I said, that I will bet for FUN, I will bet SMALL and I will bet on underdogs (I recommended 3 different strategies, one of them was betting on underdogs). Why I decided for underdogs? Because I bet for fun, I don’t take this competition seriously and for me it is more exciting to cheer for underdogs. And also if we strictly stick with the research, the most profitable betting in the past was on underdogs:

  • ​Bets on Favourites (last 210 big competition games): -14.46 Units
  • Bets on Draws (last 210 big competition games): +11.04 Units
  • Bets on Underdogs (last 210 big competition games): +23.59 Units

So, it was logical for me to bet on underdogs from both perspective. ​

This is not project for me – this is entertainment for me

I don’t gamble with such competitions. I bet for fun and very small. I could spend this money for parties, for drinking, cigarettes, but I decided that I will forget that amount of money. If I lose all, no problem. But if I bet it will make games more interesting to watch. That was my reason – just fun.

I know some people started to panic and this is what I announced in video as well and some people think that this is some serious project for me. I don’t gamble with those competitions. And this is not a project for me. With the video and with my information I wanted to help YOU, so you don’t make mistakes like most amateur gamblers. And I would not recommend to take this competition as some serious project.

Project for me is MLB for example. This is for me project, where I estimate the odds, try to beat closing line value, etc… but not World Cup. So, no matter what happen, this is not serious project for me and if you read and watch my videos, you should understand this.

If I say, that this is very risky competition, if I say, that I will bet only for fun and very small, if I say, that nobody can guarantee a profit,… and if you still decide to put your whole bankroll on this competition, it is your decision. I would definitely never recommend to bet big on such events. There are some ways how to take the advantage of this competition (like I explained in video above), but this is still not a guarantee, that it will work. It gives us just better chance against others.

So, what to do know if you still bet big and if you took my advice from video?

Right now the record is +10.39 units with the yield of +23.61%

If we go back and if I tell you before the world cup, that you will make exactly 64 bets and you will finish with the yield of +10% and +6.4 units of profit, I think everyone would take it. Yield of +10% or everything above +5 units on 64 games (if we bet 1 unit flat on each game) is very very good.

Right now we (or me) made more than +10 units. You can not expect much better result.

So, I recommend to take profits and don’t bet anymore on World Cup if you bet big and if you took this competition very seriously. This is nice profit. If you bet seriously always take profits. Simply take money, so you know, that you made a good thing. And expecting that you will finish this world cup with the yield of +30% or more is very optimistic. I don’t say it can not happen, but if you bet big, take profit if you listen to my advice and that’s it.

This is what I recommend now!

What about me?

I don’t care about this competition that much. I usually watch couple of minutes of every game, because I usually don’t have much time because of other work. I don’t even know if I watched full game yet. But I still have lot of fun. I consciously​ took some small amount of money to bet for fun in this world cup. And I will keep betting just for fun. I don’t care that much for profit here, because I bet one coffer per game. I still believe that I will finish with profit at the end. Maybe only +5 units, maybe less, maybe more, but I believe I will finish in profit. 

WHAT TO DO NOW?

I am not important here, or what I will do, because I do this for fun. It is more about you and I wanted to help you with advice before the world cup and I want to help you with advice now. If you took my advice earlier, you made a profit so far. Right?

So here is my last advice if you bet seriously on this competition:

Stop betting and take profits, because you can not expect much better result than +10 units and yield of more than +20%. We call this – realistic epectations and sometimes you need to know when to stop. 

If you bet for fun like me with the money you can lose without any problem, than keep having fun. I like to act as a sports fan here, I like to make some “fan tweets” on my twitter and I will say Croatia will be world champion and will beat England in final :-) :-) 

But if you bet seriously – I recommend to take profit and stop. This is amazing result so far if you followed my advice before World Cup and you can not expect much better result than this. 

Cheers

MB

I will show you today, how you can analyse baseball games and we will take a game between Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays as an example.

Boston Red Sox vs Toronto Blue Jays MLB Betting Analysis

Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays will play the first game of a 3 game series in Canada and both teams had a day off yesterday. Boston Red Sox will start with Rick Porcello, right handed pitcher, who is 4-0 to the season with ERA of 1.40, whip 0.818 and 23/1 K/BB rate in 25 innings. Toronto Blue Jays on the other side will start with J.A. Happ, let handed pitcher, who is 3-1 to the season with ERA of 4.50, whip 1.273 and 31/7 K/BB rate in 22 innings so fart this season.

Boston is 17-4 to the season and they have an amazing start so far. They score 5.9 runs per game and two of four losses came in last two games. They lost two straight games in Oakland.

Toronto Blue Jays on the other side is 13-8 to the season and they score 5.5 runs per game. They are coming home after two big losses against Yankees on the road. Yankees won 3 out of 4 games in this series and in the last two games, they outscored Blue Jays by 14-2 in runs.

Those are just basic information that we can find anywhere and of course, this is not enough to make a final bet.

Different approach betting 

So, let’s start with couple of different approaches. Sports handicappers make bets on a different ways. Some bettors will make bets just based on their gut feeling, some bettors will just analyse line movement, some bettors will use strictly statics bets and some will combine all together. We have different methods, we have different styles and if your method is making a profit for you, this is ok.

Baseball Betting Model

I use my betting model to estimate my winning percentages. I turn those winning percentages into the odds and then I compare my odds with the bookmakers odds. My betting models are the heart of my sports betting decisions. But before we go to my projected odds on this game, let’s start with the odds. The odds are the key. Betting is not about finding the winners, but about finding the value. In other words it is about finding the right price in a sports betting market. And if you can get better price than market, then you are doing well. But to know what is a good price we need to research games and estimate our own odds somehow.

So, let’s research this game game as a sports bettors, not as a sports fans.

OPENING ODDS AND MOVEMENT

The first thing you can do is to check the opening lines or the odds if you like. There are couple of free sites, that share this information. Oddsportal and SBR are two of them.

I will take a look at Pinnacle sports odds. Pinnacle is probably the sharpest bookmaker in the world and what kind of information you get if you check the lines?

First (BOOKMAKERS OPINION)

when Pinnacle open the lines, you get their first opinion on this game. Of course this is not final, because they will later move the line because of betting action and possibly also because of some other information that they will get later (injuries, lineups,…). But let’s check their opening odds:

  • TORONTO – 2.11 (+111)
  • BOSTON – 1.83 (-120)

We can say, that this is bookmakers opinion on this game. We can easily turn those odds into percentages to see how much chances they give to home and away team. If we divide 1/2.11 and 1/1.83 we get implied probabilities. They added some margins this is why when you sum both numbers you will not get 1, but little bit bigger number:

1.830.5464480874
2.110.4739336493
SUM1.020381737

If we cheat little bit, we can get probabilities on this game:

ODDSProb. (Margins)Probability
1.830.54644808740.5362572191
2.110.47393364930.4637427809
SUM1.0203817371

 

I simply take out the margins (juice): (1.020381737 – 1)/2

So, what kind of information you get with opening odds?

Bookmakers gave 53.63% of chance to Boston and 46.37% of chance to Toronto. In other words if they repeat this game a lot of times, bookmakers think, that Boston will win around 54 times out of 100 and Toronto 46 times out of 100.

Second (Bettors opinion)

After the opening odds we usually see some line movement and usually professional bettors opinion is little bit different then bookmakers opinion:

  • 04/23 11:10 PM 1.93 2.00
    04/23 09:38 PM 1.88 2.05
    04/23 09:37 PM 1.91 2.02
    04/23 09:26 PM 1.89 2.04
    04/23 09:25 PM 1.88 2.05
    04/23 09:24 PM 1.86 2.07
    04/23 09:23 PM 1.87 2.06
    04/23 02:41 PM 1.85 2.08
    04/23 01:56 PM 1.83 2.11

The initial line movement shows, that there was an action on Toronto and bettors tried to get better price here. The odds started dropping later too. But initial line movement is something that we like to see. Note also, that sometimes such movement can be done intentionally too, because of better price later. But in general, initial line movement show that there is some action on Toronto. Bookmakers will move the line because of sharp bettors action. And we as a bettors we like to be on sharp side, not on public side.

Third (public opinion)

After bookmakers open the lines and move the line, public will later jump and there will probably be some other movement couple of hours before game starts.

What I wanted to show you here is that you can always check what is bookmakers opinion on games in terms of probability and what are initial line movements. If you estimate your chances and if bookmakers have the chance of around 55% on one team and you think or estimate your own odds on this team at around 95%, then something is wrong. Bookmakers opinions are pretty good and we are looking for games, where we think that their probabilities should be little bit lower or little bit bigger.

So, bookmakers gave Boston better chance, but the odds dropped after one hour on Toronto from 2.11 to 2.08 an later to 2.00. The question is will those odds go to 1.95 or will those odds go back to 2.05. This is the market and you can try to speculate and get the best price. And if your price will be better than it is a closing line, then you will bet closing line. Pinnacle says, that if you can beat the closing line constantly, this is better indicator of who is a winning bettor than a profit. And if you beat the closing line, but you still didn’t make a profit, you were unlucky.

BETTING MODEL, VALUE AND MY WINNING PERCENTAGES

There are different approaches and different betting styles, some bettors will say, that only line movement is important, some other will say, that only statistics/betting models is important and a lot of bettors will say, that we don’t need to use statistics and analytics and they have special gift for betting. If we exclude the last type of betting, because I unfortunately don’t have super-human betting power and I believe most of you also don’t have this power, we need to to work and research games. And one thing is for sure:

One baseball game is an event, where two possible outcomes are possible. Home team win and away team win.

I have projected my winning percentages for both teams. How, You can learn here.

I have projected that Toronto Blue Jay should have 58.7% of chance to win this game and Boston Red Sox only 41.30% of chance. If the model is correct somehow, I see that I give Toronto more than 50% of chance, while bookmakers give them less than 50% of chance.

My fair odds on Toronto are set at 1.70 and this is basically direct price, that I expect. Or in other words, if my trust the model, I would expect, that I make a profit of $70 for my risked $100 if I bet and win with Toronto.

But we saw, that bookmakers offer me the odds of around 2.00 at this moment. They are willing to pay me more than I would expect. If I bet $100 on Toronto, I will make a profit of $100. Because of that I have a value on Toronto Blue Jays. Of course, if I would be quicker and if I would take Toronto earlier (my betting model is not dependent on line movement), I would get even better price. Some better or smarter bettors were faster and take Toronto for much better price. But what I like here is that the initial line movement and my betting model are on the same side.

TRADITIONAL ANALYSIS OF THE GAME

After we have information about the odds and after you have estimated your own winning percentages, we can make an extra analysis. I usually don’t like to write analysis, because if you want to write good and unique analysis, you need at least 45 minutes. Bettors then read this analysis and from delivering to final bets we lose couple of hours. And let’s check what can happen if you are 2 hours too late:

Because of writing analysis we probably lose the opening price of 2.11, and let’s say, that you I write analysis and I get the price of 2.06 and you get this analysis 2 hours later. Yes, this is exactly this example

04/23 11:10 PM 1.93 2.00 (get analysis)
04/23 09:38 PM 1.88 2.05
04/23 09:37 PM 1.91 2.02
04/23 09:26 PM 1.89 2.04
04/23 09:25 PM 1.88 2.05
04/23 09:24 PM 1.86 2.07
04/23 09:23 PM 1.87 2.06 (write analysis)
04/23 02:41 PM 1.85 2.08
04/23 01:56 PM 1.83 2.11 (opening price)

What that means in reality if you constantly get 2.00 instead of 2.06 on 1000 bets? And in Toronto vs Boston game we are talking about only 2 hours later.

Win%WLOdds 2 (+100)Odds 2.06 (+106)
47.50%475525-50-21.5
48.00%480520-40-11.2
48.50%485515-30-0.9
49.00%490510-209.4
49.50%495505-1019.7
50.00%500500030
50.50%5054951040.3
51.00%5104902050.6
51.50%5154853060.9
52.00%5204804071.2

In the best case (52% winning percentage) you can lose 31.2 units of profit on the long run, just because you didn’t make your own bets at the right time, but you read and follow other people’s picks. With $100 per unit, this is loss of $3120, just because of 2 hours late. Let’s go further. Betting $100 per game usually requires bankroll of $10.000, right? And losing $3120 on initial bankroll of $10,000 just because you are always too late, is little bit to much, isn’t it? Yes, of course every game is a different case and we can not use this example and implement it on every single baseball game, but I wanted to show you how much money you can lose because of writing and reading analysis of other people, instead of making your own.

But let’s get back to analysis of this game:

STARTING PITCHERS

The most important players in a baseball game are pitchers and because of them the odds changing on a daily basis, despite teams will play 3-4 games in a row against the same team.

Starting pitchers will start the game, which is 9 innings long (if we exclude extra innings if they happen). A lot of bettors will focus on ERA, which is not the best indicator of how good pitcher is, so I will show you couple of other things to check.

J.A. Happ is a lefty pitcher, who will start for Toronto and his ERA is 4.50 so far this season and this will tell us how many runs this pitcher allows per 9 innings. But ERA doesn’t include many other things and sometimes pitchers were just lucky. Imagine, that you have a pitcher with ERA 0, but he walked many hitters and he survived couple of bases loaded situation. Of course, ERA will be low, but on the long run, if he continues to play like this he will be hit hard. And ERA will not tell you this. ERA will tell you what happened, but we want to know what can possibly happen in the next game based on pitchers performance.

There are two very good sites like Fangraphs and Baseball-reference, where they provide some ERA metrics numbers and in this example we can check Happ’s xFIP (xFIP = ((13*(Fly balls * lgHR/FB%))+(3*(BB+HBP))-(2*K))/IP + constant). (fangraphs)

RatingFIP
Excellent2.90
Great3.20
Above Average3.50
Average3.80
Below Average4.10
Poor4.40
Awful4.70

HAPP ERA = 4.50

HAPP xFIP = 2.97

As you can see in his example, despite his ERA is not that great his xFIP is almost excellent and xFIP for example is better future predictor than ERA. So with Happ we have very good pitcher on the mound.

He struck out 31 hitters in 22 innings this season, which is amazing. He went 5.5 innings per game, so we can expect that 3 innings will be pitched by bullpen and the biggest problem so far I see is that he allowed 5 home runs. This is the reason for big ERA.

What about his history against current Red Sox lineup?

BATTERABHRRSOAVGOBPSLGOPSwOBA
J.D. Martinez R100200.30.4170.30.7170.342
Eduardo Nunez R210130.2860.3180.3810.6990.309
Christian Vazquez R140240.2860.3330.3570.690.31
Rafael Devers L60020.3330.3330.3330.6670.3
Hanley Ramirez R321660.1880.3080.3440.6510.292
Mookie Betts R261320.1920.2220.4230.6450.272
Brock Holt L90120.2220.30.3330.6330.285
Sandy Leon S60020.1670.1670.1670.3330.15
Jackie Bradley Jr. L140150.0710.1330.1430.2760.13
Andrew Benintendi L1000200.16700.1670.117
Mitch Moreland L501200000
Boston Red Sox:153217300.1960.2660.3010.5670.255

As we can see, he has some very solid numbers against current Boston lineup, despite I would not pay such a big attention to those numbers because usually we have very small sample sizes and we must be careful how much weight we give.

However, Boston players combined 153 at bats against him with batting average of 0.196, which is also not most important metric for future predictions. But to get the first picture about how he played in the past against Boston Red Sox players we can check some numbers above in the table.

Happ is also 7-3 in his career against Boston and his team is 10-6 in those games. His career ERA versus Boston is 3.24.

Rick Porcello on the other side is a right handed pitcher, who will start for Boston. He is 4-0 to the season and he struck out 23 hitters in 25 innings. The most amazing thing about him so far is that he has amazing control. He walked only 1 hitter so far.

PORCELO ERA – 1.40

PORCELLO xFIP – 3.34

But if we check his xFIP numbers against Happ’s numbers, we see, that Happ has lower xFIP. At the end of the day, there will not be such a huge advantage and if we strictly stick with xFIP numbers, Toronto will have the advantage here.

Let’s check his numbers versus Toronto’s players:

BATTERABHRRSOAVGOBPSLGOPSwOBA
Luke Maile R100011231.25
Steve Pearce R90100.4440.4440.6671.1110.478
Justin Smoak S303680.2670.3890.6331.0220.428
Kevin Pillar R360370.2780.3160.3890.7050.311
Teoscar Hernandez R30010.3330.3330.3330.6670.3
Aledmys Diaz R30110.3330.3330.3330.6670.3
Devon Travis R150110.2670.3120.3330.6460.291
Kendrys Morales S392570.2050.2440.3850.6290.272
Curtis Granderson L130140.2310.2310.2310.4620.208
Russell Martin R291470.1030.1880.2070.3940.184
Randal Grichuk R200100.33300.3330.233
Active totals for
Toronto Blue Jays:180622370.2390.2970.40.6970.307

Toronto have 180 at bats against him, with batting average of 0.239 and 6 home runs.

Porcello is 9-8 against Toronto with ERA of 4.98 and his team is 10-10. Solid numbers, but if you strictly bet based on this pitcher vs batter information, then betting on Happ versus Boston would make you +5.2 units of profit in his career, while betting on Porcello would make you a loss of 0.9 units in his career versus Toronto.

The conclusion about pitchers: According to xFIP we have small advantage on Toronto’s side. Both pitchers have been playing very well so far and we will probably see very good pitching duel. Happ has pitched well against Boston in the past as well.

BULLPEN

The old times, when pitchers went 9 innings and at the same time scored 3 home runs are gone. Starting pitchers average is around 5.5 innings per game (my number is 5.46 innings per game for qualified SP last 365 days). If we know, that the game is 9 inning long, we simply can not ignore last 3-4 innings right? This is still more than 30% of the game.

When you make an analysis on bullpen (relievers), you can always check bullpen usage and if their key relievers pitched in a game the day before. But in our case, both teams had day off yesterday, so I will consider that all relievers, that are not injured are available today and can be used.

BOSTON PitchersGPIP
Matt Barnes11.1
Heath Hembree11
Brian Johnson10
Joe Kelly11
Craig Kimbrel00
Carson Smith10.1
Hector Velazquez13
Marcus Walden00
Team total IP:6.2

 

PitcherGPIP
John Axford21.2
Danny Barnes22
Tyler Clippard11
Aaron Loup11
Tim Mayza00
Seung-Hwan Oh21.2
Roberto Osuna11
Ryan Tepera11
Team total IP:9.1

I like to compare teams bullpens advanced ERA metrics numbers and according to my numbers I rank Blue Jays bullpen little bit better. I rank Blue Jays bullpen as 7th best and Boston as 16th best in the league (out of 30 teams).

TORONTO BULLPEN ERA – 2.12

TORONTO BULLPEN xFIP – 3.74

BOSTON BULLPEN ERA – 3.25

BOSTON BULLPEN xFIP – 3.83

As you can see, I would give small advantage here to Blue Jays.

HITTING AND THE OFFENSE

So, after we get the first picture about pitchers we need to check how many runs can our team score. Mainstream statistics that most sports fans and commentators use are home runs (HR), batting average (BA) and runs (R). Those are not the best future predictors and I see that more and more people started to talk about other metrics.

But let’s start with the basic picture about those two teams.

Boston scores 5.9 runs per game and they are one of the best offensive teams so far. Toronto on the other side scores 5.5 runs per game, which is also about league average. But instead of focusing on batting average you can focus on some other things, like  OBP, SLG, OPS, WRC+,…

And what I like to focus is on lefty vs righty matchups against hitters. In general, when left handed pitchers face left handed batters they have big advantage. It is much harder to hit left handed pitcher if you are a left handed batter. Second interesting thing is that there is much less left handed pitchers in the game and hitters sometimes are not that familiar with them. Of course this can not be the rule for every single player, but teams like to have at least one lefty in their rotation and at least one lefty in their bullpen so he can go against left handed batters in crucial moments.

According to my rankings I rank Boston as a 4th best offensive team in the league and Toronto as a 10th best team in the league. But this game is special because Boston will face a left handed pitcher and they were in 101 at bats this season against lefties. And what is interesting, I rank them as 29th team vs lefties so far. And today they will need to face Happ, that has almost excellent xFIP numbers and has very good past numbers vs Red Sox. Even if we check only runs/game, we see that Boston scores only 3.3 runs per game versus lefties, while on the other side they score much more vs righties. Note also, that Boston score little bit less on the road (4.7 compared to their overall 5.9 number)

Toronto on the other side score 5.5 runs per game, but they are much better versus right handed pitchers – 6.7 (this is the situation for them today) and they score more against lefties too – 5.8.

I rank Toronto as a 6th best team versus righties so far, while I rank Boston as a 29th versus lefties so far.

(of course I can not reveal everything in this post, but you can check my A Journey course, where I reveal exactly how I project my odds and what kind of metric and rankings I use)

FIELDING, ERRORS,…

The next thing you can do is to research couple of other things. How teams play in the field, how many errors they make, how good they are in stealing bases, etc…

BALLPARK FACTORS

We all know, that teams play in different ballparks and we have ballparks that are hitters friendly and ballparks that are pitchers friendly. In other words if Albert Pujols would play his whole career in Coors Field his numbers would be much better. I use ballpark adjusted numbers for my betting model. If you don’t use ballparks adjusted statistics, you can take this into account too.

Here is one interesting table from fantasypros, where you can get little bit better picture, which ballparks are hitters or pitchers friendly.

PARK NAME
RUNS
HR
1B
2B
3B
Coors Field
(Colorado Rockies)
1.3781.2231.1951.2671.816
Globe Life Park in Arlington
(Texas Rangers)
1.1721.0831.1191.1141.157
Chase Field
(Arizona Diamondbacks)
1.1641.1191.0241.2291.711
Fenway Park
(Boston Red Sox)
1.1380.9501.1131.2801.095
Progressive Field
(Cleveland Indians)
1.1381.0431.0701.2340.635
Oriole Park at Camden Yards
(Baltimore Orioles)
1.0461.1831.0460.9010.745
Target Field
(Minnesota Twins)
1.0461.0821.0671.0461.032
Miller Park
(Milwaukee Brewers)
1.0451.1780.9411.0701.000
Great American Ball Park
(Cincinnati Reds)
1.0371.1330.9701.0010.734
Kauffman Stadium
(Kansas City Royals)
1.0310.7951.0071.1831.398
Comerica Park
(Detroit Tigers)
1.0281.0251.0110.9961.485
Yankee Stadium
(New York Yankees)
1.0251.3010.9420.8560.613
Nationals Park
(Washington Nationals)
1.0051.0301.0441.0040.652
Rogers Centre
(Toronto Blue Jays)
0.9930.9780.9481.1421.000
Turner Field
(Atlanta Braves)
0.9900.8191.0160.9760.812
Wrigley Field
(Chicago Cubs)
0.9851.0040.9710.9331.135
Citizens Bank Park
(Philadelphia Phillies)
0.9801.2340.9470.9010.861
PNC Park
(Pittsburgh Pirates)
0.9640.8931.0260.9980.990
O.co Coliseum
(Oakland Athletics)
0.9570.8600.9711.0111.365
U.S. Cellular Field
(Chicago White Sox)
0.9461.1280.9360.8790.892
PETCO Park
(San Diego Padres)
0.9220.9190.9810.9560.835
Tropicana Field
(Tampa Bay Rays)
0.9200.9180.9610.8490.932
Safeco Field
(Seattle Mariners)
0.9120.9940.9460.8910.754
Busch Stadium
(St. Louis Cardinals)
0.9120.8701.0430.9570.835
Angel Stadium of Anaheim
(Los Angeles Angels)
0.9070.9820.9890.8550.682
Citi Field
(New York Mets)
0.9000.9410.8890.8920.655
Dodger Stadium
(Los Angeles Dodgers)
0.8990.9730.9300.9840.517
AT&T Park
(San Francisco Giants)
0.8970.6371.0400.9731.386
Marlins Park
(Miami Marlins)
0.8790.7950.9600.8670.967
Minute Maid Park
(Houston Astros)
0.8500.9720.9260.8801.107

 

UMPIRES

If you like, you can compare umpires and how they call strikes, balls, some of them favour home teams, etc. This is also another thing you can take into account.

INJURIES

It is of course important to take into account injuries. I use active rosters numbers, so the numbers from injured players are excluded and two notable missings are Donaldson fot Toronto (injured from 13.April) and Bogaerts for Boston (from 11.April).

CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDED BET

So, what we have here?

The bookmakers opened the odds at 2.11 on Toronto, but the odds dropped to 2.00 later. We have my betting model, where I have projected, that Boston should be an underdog and not Toronto.

We have Happ, who has very good history against Red Sox players and his advanced ERA-metrics (I used xFIP for this example) are even better than Porcello’s numbers. A lot of bettors will be fooled by ERA numbers, because we have Porcello with much better ERA and on the first look Happ ERA of 4.5 looks bad versus a team, that scores 5.9 runs per game.

But we can not take this 5.9 runs per game for Boston numbers, because they score much less against left handed pitchers (3.3 runs) and they will face one very good left handed pitcher today.

Toronto is an underdog here, despite they will probably have better pitcher on the mound and as we saw, they have slightly better bullpen so far too.

Toronto is also very good scoring home team and they play well against right handed pitchers too. I don’t see any big advantage from Boston in this game and I think we have a good underdog play on Toronto.

I would recommend to take Toronto up to 1.95. (Where to bet?)

​Let’s say, that I tell you: “Mercedes is a very good car. Buy a Mercedes for $40.000”

You decide that you will buy this car. But when you want to buy a Mercedes, the price jumped to $46.000. Will you buy it or not?
You don’t know, because you don’t know the true value of Mercedes. And I also didn’t tell you the true value, because I simply don’t know how to estimate the true value of this car.
THIS WAS A PICK
The basic concept in our life, when it comes to money is that we buy things for low price or at least for fair price. It is the same with all kind of investments (buy low, sell high), it is the same concept when you go to a store or a market,…and it is the same concept when it comes to a sports betting.
If you always buy things, that are overpriced, you will lose money. Right?
Making a pick is very easy. Anyone can make a pick and I would never pay for a pick.

Example of picks:
  • ​Bet on Lakers -7 (1 unit)
  • Bet on Boston Red Sox +124 (3 units)
  • Bet on Real Madrid @1.78 (1.5 units)
The problem is…
that those prices are changing all the time in sports betting. I don’t believe, that Mercedes price is changing every 10 minutes, but in sports betting and some other investments, especially speculative, the prices are changing all the time.
To make money, you need to buy things for the right price. If you buy high and sell low, you lose. If you buy low and sell high, you win.
I hope that you understand the concept of a value and how important is to bet on the right price (if not – sign up for my 7 day free online betting course, where I talk about those things).
What will you do, if you follow someone and you get those prices:
  • ​Bookmaker: Lakers -8
  • Bookmaker: Boston Red Sox +110
  • Bookmaker: Real Madrid @1.97
Will you bet on
  • ​Lakers -8?
  • Boston +110?
  • Real Madrid at 1.97 only 1.5 units, despite the price went up?
You don’t know, because you didn’t have the projections or if you like you didn’t have the winning percentages to see what to bet, when to bet and how much to bet.
And here we come to PROJECTIONS.
Projections will tell you the price. Projections will tell you your winning percentages, your spreads and your totals. The basic concept to win at sports betting is to bet on games, where you give your team better winning percentage than bookmaker. I hope you agree with me. Those projections are made independently and without bookmakers. When I make projections for NBA for example, I estimate my own spreads and then later bookmakers throw out their lines. I simply compare my prices with their.
Example of projections:
  • ​Lakers -12
  • Boston +160
  • Real Madrid 1.30
The projections will tell you this:
  • ​Play Lakers if you get Lakers -11 or better (-10, -9, -8,…depends on betting model and method)
  • Play Boston for the price of +161 or more (depends on the method)
  • Play Real Madrid for the price of 1.31 or better
In other words (if we take Boston example):
  • ​I will play Boston only if someone (bookmaker) will pay me at least $160 for my every risked $100.
  • Or for example….I will buy a Mercedes only if the price will be $41.345 or less
If the bookmaker will pay me only $110 (the odds of +110), I will not bet on it, because I will pay too much. Paying too much all the time = losing money.
Betting on the wrong price = losing money.
PICKS WITHOUT PROJECTIONS ARE USELESS
When I started betting I must say, that I understood the concept pretty quickly. The biggest problem was how to estimate the odds, how to calculate winning percentages. I already understood, that betting on the right price is the key concept. But I also knew, that creating some imaginary price in my head is also not the right way.
Bookmakers were smarter and smarter and even those local bookmakers didn’t make any mistakes more. The prices were sharper and sharper and I was trying to find the way how to estimate my own odds and winning percentages.
Of course this can not be made in your head without any formulas or without betting model. I hope we all agree with this. Owners of sportsbooks don’t wake up in the morning and take a paper and say: “ok, Lakers will be -3, Celtics will be -4,…or maybe -4.5….let it be -3.5…”

So, if I have pick from someone: “Boston +124”, I simply don’t know what to do with this. It is almost not possible, that the price is the same.
I also don’t know if I should buy a Mercedes for $46.000. Right?
And the pick without projection is almost useless. Betting without previously projecting the winning percentages, is nothing else than – guessing. Some handicappers can guess well, but at the end of the day, if you follow them, you will not know when you should bet the game or when you should stay away.
  • PICKS will tell us nothing else, than what to bet 
  • PROJECTIONS will tell us for which price you should bet something
And the price is the key! 
Cheers!
MB
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