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%