Archives for April 2009

MLB Betting: Starting Pitching Mismatches-What to Look For

Pitching Mismatch Hints

When examining a slate of MLB betting action for potential wagers, every handicapper always looks at who the starting pitchers are on that particular day. It makes sense because the starting pitcher is the guy who should in most cases get the bulk of the pitching duty for each given team. I, like everyone else, look at each pitcher’s win/loss records and earned run average. These are important elements to look at, but I will also explain later why it’s not the only thing a handicapper should look at.

A starting pitcher’s win/loss record gives you an indicator of how he has performed for his team while taking the rubber. I like guys with solid win/loss records. However, I also like to know what his team’s overall record is when he starts a ball game. Pitchers who pitch well and give their team’s a shot at winning will have high overall win/loss records for their teams. That’s the number I’m going to evaluate along with his own win/loss record. I like pitcher’s who put their teams in good positions to win ball games. If a guy pitches six strong innings but the game is tied or his team is only down a run has put in quality work for his club. He has done his job; he has put his team in a position to win.
Earned run average is also extremely important. I steer clear of guys with high ERA’s because they give up a lot of runs, something you don’t want your starting pitcher to do. It’s simple when betting baseball, you want your team to give up less runs then the opposition right? It may seem elementary, but ERA is the greatest indicator of how a pitcher performs in the only column that matters, runs scored.
Not only do I look at these two very important statistics for each pitcher in the current season but I also look at these statistics in categories. I like to know a guy’s win/loss record over the past two seasons against the team he’s facing. Sometimes a pitcher just doesn’t match-up well against a team or that team simply has his number. It may be that he is a right hander who is facing a team full of great left handed hitters that pound right handed pitching. All in all, I like to see a pitcher who has had success against the team he’s facing over the past couple of seasons.
The final category I look at it is how a pitcher has pitched in his last three starts. The last three starts are important because it shows you how a guy is throwing recently. It becomes more and more important as the season progresses because who cares if a guy had a couple of bad outings in April when I am handicapping a game in July or August. You see, pitchers sometimes find their groove at some point during the season. If he is pitching well in his last three or even last five starts, it shows me that he has found his zone. He may have great command over all his pitches and is pitching with confidence at a certain part of the season. In baseball, you want your money on the hot hand more times then not.

I take win/loss records for pitchers individually and his team. as well as ERA into account in all three of these categories. I want my money on a guy who has been solid all season as well over his last three to five starts. My money is also on a starting pitcher that has had good success against the team he’s facing. Sometimes a guy just knows how to take down a particular line up more so then others. When all statistics have been evaluated by category and they look good, I move on to other facets of handicapping baseball which we will discuss in articles soon to come. For now, you know what to look for when handicapping the starting pitching match-ups on a day to day basis.

Vegas Posts Betting Lines for NFL Season Win Totals

Wager Now!

2010 Las Vegas NFL Team Win Totals

2010 NFL Season Win Totals Betting Odds

(Bet these odds today at

– Arizona Cardinals
Over 7.5 (-110) Under 7.5 (-110)

– Atlanta Falcons
Over 9 (even) Under 9 (-120)

– Baltimore Ravens
Over 10 (-110) Under 10 (-110)

– Buffalo Bills
Over 5.5 (even) Under 5.5 (-120)

– Carolina Panthers
Over 7.5 (+110) Under 7.5 (-130)

– Chicago Bears
Over 8 (+110) Under 8 (-130)

– Cincinnati Bengals
Over 7.5 (-130) Under 7.5 (+110)

– Cleveland Browns
Over 5.5 (+105) Under 5.5 (-125)

– Dallas Cowboys
Over 9.5 (-165) Under 9.5 (+145)

– Denver Broncos
Over 7.5 (-155) Under 7.5 (+135)

– Detroit Lions
Over 5 (-135) Under 5 (+115)

– Green Bay Packers
Over 9.5 (-165) Under 9.5 (+145)

– Houston Texans
Over 8 (-130) Under 8 (+110)

– Indianapolis Colts
Over 11 (+110) Under 11 (-130)

– Jacksonville Jaguars
Over 7 (even) Under 7 (-120)

– Kansas City Chiefs
Over 6.5 (-150) Under 6.5 (+130)

– Miami Dolphins
Over 8.5 (-110) Under 8.5 (-110)

– Minnesota Vikings
Over 9.5 (-110) Under 9.5 (-110)

– New England Patriots
Over 9.5 (-140) Under 9.5 (+120)

– New Orleans Saints
Over 10.5 (even) Under 10.5 (-120)

– New York Giants
Over 8.5 (-120) Under 8.5 (even)

– New York Jets
Over 9.5 (+140) Under 9.5 (-160)

– Oakland Raiders
Over 6 (even) Under 6 (-120)

– Philadelphia Eagles
Over 8.5 (-120) Under 8.5 (even)

– Pittsburgh Steelers
Over 9 (+130) Under 9 (-150)

– San Diego Chargers
Over 11 (+110) Under 11 (-130)

– San Francisco 49ers
Over 8.5 (-145) Under 8.5 (+125)

– Seattle Seahawks
Over 7.5 (-110) Under 7.5 (-110)

– St Louis Rams
Over 5 (+115) Under 5 (-135)

– Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Over 5.5 (-110) Under 5.5 (-110)

– Tennessee Titans
Over 8.5 (-130) Under 8.5 (+110)

– Washington Redskins
Over 7.5 (+120) Under 7.5 (-140)

Bet these odds today at

Baseball Betting: What You Need to Know About the Vig

Don’t Vig Out On MLB

Anyone who has bet the favorite in a baseball game knows that juice kills! However, most people don’t understand exactly why paying juice in baseball can drain a bankroll. The reason that laying a hefty price on favorites consistently can be fatal is the fact that the higher the juice, the higher the breakeven point of winning wagers. What do I mean by that? Well, when laying -110 in vig on a football or basketball game against the point spread, you must hit approximately 53% of your wagers just to breakeven. In baseball, lines range from a pick to as high as -300 in rare occasions. The higher the number you are laying, the higher your break-even point becomes.
Let’s say you are an avid baseball betting enthusiast who likes to bet favorites around -150. I mean after all, these teams are favored by that much for a reason right? So theoretically, they should win. What most novice bettors don’t understand is this: If you were to bet favorites of -150 all year long, you would have to win 60.2% of your wagers JUST TO BREAK EVEN! Every professional gambler’s goal is to win 60% of their wagers but if you do that by betting on teams -150, you’re not making any money.
Thus, many pros search for value in underdogs and smaller favorites in order to lower their breakeven percentage and to line their wallets for a living. On the flip side, if you are betting underdogs on an average of +150, you only need to win 40% of the time in order to come out even. Now you see the appeal of betting underdogs. However, finding appealing underdogs at that price is not easy to do. After all, that team is being placed that heavy of an underdog for a reason. They simply may be overmatched from a pitching standpoint or may be playing a flat out much better team.
It is clear that the bookmakers get their edge with the juice in baseball because unless you bet the run line, there is no point spread. Therefore, they have to penalize the better teams and better pitchers in order to steer bettors away from betting obvious favorites on a day to day basis. I personally advise never to lay more then -150 when wagering on baseball because of the tremendous percentage you have to win to come out ahead.
I like to bet small favorites who have value. I search for mismatches with low priced favorites where I feel the odds makers have made a mistake. Hence when searching for the top baseball handicappers, you will see my name. The break-even point for -130 favorites is 56.5%. That’s a number I can live with much more comfortably then having to win more then 60% just to come out even. Listed below I have broken down the breakeven points for each price that you will see bookmakers post on a daily basis. It may blow you away but it’s very important to understand what percentage you must win in order to be square with the gambling gods.
Line Break-even %
+200 33.3%
+180 35.7%
+170 37.0%
+160 38.5%
+150 40.0%
+140 41.7%
+130 43.5%
+120 45.5%
+110 47.6%
Pick 50.0%
-110 52.4%
-120 54.6%
-130 56.5%
-140 58.5%
-150 60.2%
-160 61.7%
-170 62.9%
-180 64.5%
-200 66.7%
-220 69.0%
-240 70.4%
-260 72.5%
-280 73.5%

Is Mark Sanchez the final piece for the NY Jets?

NFL Odds

2009 NFL Betting Odds

Is Sanchez the answer?

It was clear on Saturday afternoon that the New York Jets were willing to do whatever it took to land who I had pinned as the best quarterback in the draft, Mark Sanchez.  The Jets jumped from the number 17 spot to number 5 in order to get their man.  They also gave up their second round pick, number 52 overall, along with defensive end Kenyon Coleman, safety Abram Elam and quarterback Brett Ratliff.  It was a gamble but it was one that I think will pay off dearly down the road.

NY Jets 2010 Super Bowl Odds
– NY Jets Odds to win AFC

The Jets truly haven’t had a franchise quarterback who could blossom into a perennial pro bowler since Joe Namath over three decades ago.  Now, I’m not saying that Sanchez is the next Namath but he is a guy you can build a winner around.  He’s tough, smart, competitive, and most of all, he’s a winner.  I know he only started sixteen games at USC, but this guy in his one year as a starter led his team to an outstanding season and a Rose Bowl blowout victory over Penn State.

He has the physical abilities, no doubt about it.  He moves well in and out of the pocket.  He’s extremely accurate, having completed over 66 percent of his passes a year ago and most of all he’s a leader.  Sanchez took over that team at USC and dominated the college football landscape for Pete Carroll.  I also like the fact that he comes from a school where excellence is par for the course.  He was groomed for the starting job for three years and when he finally got his chance, he took advantage of it.

People question the level of competition he faced in the Pac 10 but when Sanchez went up against two outstanding defenses from the Big 10 against Ohio State and Penn State, he was flawless.  As mentioned earlier, he’s got the intangibles to be great in the NFL.  He’s a hungry, feisty young man who is ready for the challenge of being “the man” in New York. Sanchez played in the neon glow of Los Angeles and now moves to the other coast to showcase his toughness and ability.  This is a charismatic player who embraces big time opportunities in the brightest of spotlights.  The Jets gave up a draft pick and three reserves but they got their man and I don’t blame them.

The other reason why I think Sanchez can be successful in New York is the fact that he has a competent supporting cast around him.  Thomas Jones can pound the rock and newcomer Shonn Greene has great potential to be a good player at the pro level.  The offensive line is solid and he has decent receivers to throw to.  The defense is also sound and combined with a good running game, Sanchez is being placed in a much better spot then Matthew Stafford who was selected number one overall by the lowly Detroit Lions.  All things considered, getting Sanchez was the best thing the Jets could have done in the 2009 draft.  They knew what they wanted and they went for it and in my mind, it will pay off!

Low Value Pitchers That May Provide ROI

Jacob Wheatley-Schaller takes a look at 3 staring pitchers that may provide baseball bettors some quality starts in favorable moneyline situations this MLB betting season. Their records many not indicate value, but Jacob has dug down into the numbers to find some good MLB betting advice for the true sports bettor.

Koji Uehara (Orioles)

Baltimore isn’t exactly synonymous with quality starting pitching, and Uehara didn’t get much hype when the Orioles signed him this past winter. But the 34-year old righthander has an excellent statistical history in Japan, with 1,376 strikeouts in 1,549 innings over 10 seasons. Certainly, that isn’t against MLB-level competition, but there are ways to adjust for that, and those systems think Uehara can make a real contribution to a major league rotation. The projection system CHONE projected him to a 3.60 ERA; that’s as a reliever, so it’d be expected to be a bit higher as a SP, but even with that adjustment it’s impressive. Baseball Prospectus’ PECOTA was a bit more pessimistic, with a 4.72 ERA in 135 innings, but that’s still good enough to be an average starter.

On the surface, it looks like Uehara has gotten off to a poor start, with a 5.29 ERA in 8:6 K:BB ratio in three starts. But that’s more understandable when you look at the lineups he’s faced; the Yankees, Rangers, and Red Sox. Two of those were also on the road, in incredibly tough environments (Arlington and Fenway), so even in the tough AL East it only gets easier from here. It doesn’t seem like anyone really thinks much of Uehara right now, so this is definitely a good buy low opportunity.

Carl Pavano (Indians)

Speaking of guys nobody thinks much of at the moment, Pavano is probably the ultimate candidate. He was famously a bust in his four seasons with the Yankees after signing a large contract prior to 2005. But really, most of that bad reputation was built based on never being on the mound, rather than not performing when he managed to make it out there. When he actually pitched for New York, he wasn’t good enough to live up to the gaudy contract, but he wasn’t Carlos Silva ’08 out there. Many came into the year saying that a team could never contend for the division title with Pavano as their nominal #3 starter, and while having him in the middle of your rotation may not be ideal, it’s really not the end of the world. CHONE projects him at a 4.60 ERA, which is entirely respectable for a mid-rotation starter.

Like Uehara, Pavano’s current line isn’t going to blow anyone away; 0-2, with a 9.69 ERA. But he too has faced a very difficult schedule, with all three starts coming on the road, one in vaunted Arlington and another one in the new bandbox in the Bronx. That start against the Rangers, his first outing of the year, was an unmitigated disaster, as he recorded just three outs while allowing nine runs. But since then, he’s actually been quite good. In Kansas City he did give up four runs over six innings, but his peripheral stats were much better than that, with eight strikeouts against zero walks. And regardless of how you look at it, he pitched very well against the Yankees, allowing just four hits over six innings to go along with four strikeouts and a single walk. He would’ve recorded his first win in that game, except the Indians’ bullpen blew the game as soon as he left. The rest of the year, though, Pavano should outperform the underwhelming expectations most currently have of him.

Manny Parra (Brewers)

Parra has gotten off to a very poor start, with an 0-3 record and 8.16 ERA in his first three starts. And while he’s been a bit unlucky, as just about anyone with an ERA over eight will have been, mostly he’s just been plain bad. The thing about getting off to such a bad start, however, is that his record and ERA are all anyone will pay attention to, especially as the season progresses and people start trusting the sample size of the current year’s stats a bit more. “0-3, 8.16” looks terrible now, and it’s bad enough that even if he pitches well over the next month or so his 2009 statistics still won’t be very impressive.

So there’s that to take advantage of, people substantially lowing their expectations of him after three starts. But there’s also not much of a reason to think he’ll keep struggling like this. After putting up a 4.39 ERA as a 25-year old last year, the projection systems expected a solid year out of Parra. And while his performance thus far has been poor, he’ still the same pitcher he has been in the past, with a 91-92 mph fastball, 76 mph curve, and 84 mph changeup (all data from FanGraphs). So if you can get past his ugly record and ERA, there is likely going to be a good deal of value in backing Parra in the near future.
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2009 Week 1 NFL Betting Lines and Odds Released

NFL Betting

2009 NFL Week 1 Betting Lines and Odds

2009 Week 1 NFL Lines

The Las Vegas Hilton and have posted odds for Week 1 of the 2009 NFL regular season, a day after the NFL announced its 2009 schedule, giving gamblers their first opportunity to make a bet on a specific game

“It creates a lot of discussion and interest among the bettors,” said Jay Kornegay, the director of race and sports at the Hilton. “It’s great for the tourists who are visiting. They can play early, and if they come back for the start of the season, they already have their bets.”

The majority of the games have lines between 3 and 7 points. Only one game has a double-digit point spread, as New Orleans is a 12 point home favorite against Detroit, which went winless last season.

09/10 8:30 PM
451 Tennessee 36
452 Pittsburgh -6

09/13 1:00 PM
453 Miami 41.5
454 Atlanta -4

09/13 1:00 PM
455 Kansas City 38
456 Baltimore -9

09/13 1:00 PM
457 Phila. 44.5
458 Carolina -3

09/13 1:00 PM
459 Denver -3
460 Cincinnati 44.5

09/13 1:00 PM
461 Minnesota -3
462 Cleveland 39

09/13 1:00 PM
463 New York-A 44.5
464 Houston -3.5

09/13 1:00 PM
465 Jacksonville 44.5
466 Indianapolis -7.5

09/13 1:00 PM
467 Detroit 48.5
468 New Orleans -12

09/13 1:00 PM
469 Dallas -3
470 Tampa Bay 41.5

09/13 4:15 PM
471 San Fran. 47
472 Arizona -6.5

09/13 4:15 PM
473 Washington 40
474 New York-N -5.5

09/13 4:15 PM
475 St. Louis 43.5
476 Seattle -7

09/13 8:20 PM
477 Chicago 43.5
478 Green Bay -3

09/14 7:00 PM
479 Buffalo 46.5
480 New England -10

09/14 10:15 PM
481 San Diego -7
482 Oakland 43.5