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Strategic Wagering For Major League Baseball (MLB) I

As time has shown, if given the opportunity, people will bet on just about anything and at anytime! Throughout history people have found things to wager on, from cockfighting to bare knuckle fights to horse racing to baseball and much more! In the past, sportsbook betting was limited to fixed locations, with information coming by word-of-mouth, newspapers, and at the event site.

With the Internet a new wagering platform was created. The once restricted pastime evolved into...

As time has shown, if given the opportunity, people will bet on just about anything and at anytime! Throughout history people have found things to wager on, from cockfighting to bare knuckle fights to horse racing to baseball and much more! In the past, sportsbook betting was limited to fixed locations, with information coming by word-of-mouth, newspapers, and at the event site.

With the Internet a new wagering platform was created. The once restricted pastime evolved into worldwide wagering opportunities that you could access 24/7 on your home PC while in your PJ’s. Yee haw! With global sport betting at consumers’ fingertips, it’s no wonder that the convenience of the web has resulted in rapid growth and surging popularity in the sportsbook industry. The major sportsbook websites have numerous features, including live lines and odds, information about sports, commentaries on contests and wagering opportunities. Some even offer a daily live radio show focusing on sports and sports betting on the web!

With new electronic opportunities, new strategies developed in sports wagering. On the web, each sport’s betting event possesses preferred wagering strategies. Major League Baseball season has started and it’s a great time to review the ins and outs of Strategic Wagering for the sport.

Hey, what is Major League Baseball without betting for or against the outcome! When you have something going besides the actual game, like the bettor’s action, things get very exciting when watching the highs and lows of the contest. Just thinking about it can give you an adrenaline rush!

Although wagering on MLB has some peculiarities, overall it’s pretty straightforward. In the following sections, we will cover basic bets common to MLB. These include:

Straight or Side bets: These are the most common MLB wagers-- “betting to win or lose.”

Run lines: Most popular for MLB, a combination of Point Spread and Money Line.

Money lines: Next best for MLB, which gives odds that one team will beat another.

Over/unders (total runs): The bettor is wagering for the game to go over or under the run total.

Action points: Team against team, regardless of the starting pitchers. However, if there is a change in one or both of the starting pitchers, the bettor still has a wager, but the price will be adjusted according to the new starting pitcher.

Point spreads: Used as a margin to handicap the favorite team.

Head to head propositions: This is “betting to win” on one sports figure/team against another sports figure/team.

Note: These wagers have no built-in mathematical advantage in a sports event. Why? Sports are independent events and are not ruled by probability theory! Instead, the sportsbook acts as a broker and gains a commission only on losing bets. This commission is called vigorish, vig or juice and typically is 10% of your wager. So if you are wagering $100, you place $110 (11/10 odds). If you win you get $210; or if you lose, you lose $110 and the Sportsbook gets the $10.

Straight bets are the most common MLB wager. When you place a straight bet, you simply pick the team that will win or lose the game. All straight bets have 11/10 odds, unless otherwise noted at the time of the wager. This translates into the sportsbook making 10% vigorish (juice) on losing wagers.

OddsRiskGet Juice (lose only) Win
Straight$110$100$10$210
Straight buy ½ point$120$100$20$220
Straight buy 1 point$130$100$30$230

The format used for sportsbook wagering charts is displayed differently and will look more like:

Major League Baseball Run Line Money Line Game Total
HcapPricePriceOver/Under Price

Datetime905(Away Team & Pitcher)+1.5-220+104O: 9.0-120
(Home Team & Pitcher)- 1.5+180- 114U: 9.0+100

DateTime906Dodgers Valdez+1.5+115- 138O: 9.5-115
ExposHermanson- 1.5-135+128U: 9.5-105

DateTime907Athletics Loaiza +1.5-220+112O: 10.0-120
TwinsSilva- 1.5+170 -122U: 10.0+100

This typical sportsbook wagering chart is compact and shows the Run line, Money Line and Over/Under Straight Bet with the odds. This compact format will list the Away Team wager line first, then the Home Team wager line. The minus sign (e.g. -130) always indicates the favorite and the amount you must bet to win $100. The line without the minus sign (e.g. +120) always indicates the underdog and the amount you win for every $100 bet. Using this example, therefore, you would bet $130 to win $100 on the favorite, while for the underdog you would bet $100 to win $120.

Run Lines: The MLB Run Line is a combination of the Point Spread and the Money Line. The team you wager on must win by covering the Run Line spread. The amount you lay down is determined by the Money Line odds next to the Run Line spread. (Odds are primarily determined by who’s pitching). The same rules that apply for the Totals apply for the Run Lines. When wagering on the Expos Run Line, the team selected must win by at least 2 runs. When wagering on the Dodgers Run Line, the selected team can lose the game, but not by more that one run. Note: Run Lines are always “listed pitchers”.

Money Lines: When wagering on sides, if you are betting the favorite, you will be laying odds. When betting on the underdog, you will be picking the odds. The odds for each game are based on who is pitching.

Over/Under: Waging on the total runs scored on the game (both teams combined, overtime included). If you wager on the Dodgers/Exposes game to go OVER the predicted total, the amount of the runs on the game must be more than 10 in order to win the wager. If you wager on the Dodgers/Expos game to go UNDER the predicted total, the amount of runs on the game must not exceed 9 in order to win the wager. The game must go 9 innings (8.5 if the home team is ahead) to have action.

Those are the basic wagering strategies for Major League Baseball! With this basic information, the beginner should feel comfortable with looking at and figuring out how to use a typical sportsbook wagering chart.

 

Strategic Wagering For Major League Baseball (MLB) II

In the last article “Strategic Wagering for Major League Baseball,” the basics of straight and side bet wagering were explained. By understanding those basics you can garner an understanding of strategic and tactical wagering. As a MLB sports enthusiast, you enjoy the game and follow teams and players. If you’re really into it, you’re probably able to rattle off the stats of a majority of the teams, knowing all the important facts and figures. You feel you have a firm unders...

In the last article “Strategic Wagering for Major League Baseball,” the basics of straight and side bet wagering were explained. By understanding those basics you can garner an understanding of strategic and tactical wagering. As a MLB sports enthusiast, you enjoy the game and follow teams and players. If you’re really into it, you’re probably able to rattle off the stats of a majority of the teams, knowing all the important facts and figures. You feel you have a firm understanding of a team’s potential to win or lose. If that’s the case, then you’re ready to test your MLB knowledge and analytical abilities against those of the professional handicapper. Assuming you have basic understanding of straight bets, run lines, money lines and over/under wagering, you need to consider the more esoteric forms of wagering, such as specified pitcher, parlays, if bets and reverses.

Major League Baseball is one of the most unpredictable and fickle bettors’ games in all of sports. Many enthusiasts can recall incredible strings of statistics, history and facts about their favorite team. To the casual observer, some of this data may seem trivial, such as a pitcher’s ERA in day games verses night games or perhaps the win/loss record when a particular umpire is behind the plate. All things considered, they are not trivial to the baseball aficionado. They are “clues” that must be considered when wagering on an outcome. Sorting through the endless amount of information is a challenge, sometimes making analysis a daunting task. Baseball, a game bound by the laws of physics, often conforms to probable outcomes. However, like any game, there are often improbable outcomes, making handicapping difficult.

In the game, there exists that important and unpredictable element of human interaction. One thing any bettor has to realize is that in making intelligent bets based on stats, former player performance and a team’s present line-up, they can never be right 100% of the time. In fact, professionals who are genuinely skilled at handicapping are right approximately 60 to 65% of the time. If you’re going to wager in a variety of ways, going beyond the straight bet, run line and money line, then you must use every resource you possibly can. This means that a good Internet sportsbook can be invaluable to helping you achieve success.

Many have called MLB the most cerebral of sports. Odds makers use various strategies in determining the favorite, always analyzing a range of the most recent team and individual player statistics. Home field advantage, field surface, and time of game are also considered. The experts do not base their decisions on hunches, and you shouldn’t either.

With the Internet, there are numerous wagering opportunities that didn’t exist a decade ago. Here are some bets, beyond the basic ones, in which you can engage.

One specified pitcher: A bet is placed against a specified pitcher, regardless of the other starting pitcher.

Both specified pitchers: A bet is placed that specifies both starting pitchers as posted, any change in pitchers constitutes no action.

If Bets: A combination of conditional straight bets (2-6 picks) in one single play. Wager a fixed amount on one team, and if that team wins, bet another fixed amount on a different team.

Single action if bet: Play continues if previous play wins only.

Double action: Play continues if previous play wins, pushes or cancels.

Reverses: A combination of 2-8 picks combined in all possible two team If bets and then reversed. Reverses are always double action.

Parlays: Consist of picking teams or totals and combining them together into a single play, or wager, creating only one risk. Parlays then, are basically a collection of straight bets. The trick to parlays is that all your straight bets must win for you to win your bet, however the payout is much better than you would realize on single straight bets.

For example: Let’s say you bet $100 on the Mets. You risk $110 to win $100 (the juice on a straight bet is 10%). Then you place a separate $100 bet on the Giants. Again, you risk $110 to win $100. That’s $220 to win $200. If you had bet the same $200 in a 2-team parlay you would have the chance to win $520 (This total includes your original wager of $200; thus if you do win, you’re up $320, which is $120 more than you’d realize from your two straight bets.) The parlay payouts are as follows:

2 teams pays 13/5
3 teams pays 6/1
4 teams pays 11/1
5 teams pays 20/1
6 teams pays 40/1
7 teams pays 70/1
8 teams pays 100/1

How do you get started? Start looking for MLB wagering with an Internet search engine. Wow, there are so many sites! The Internet site you select should have a full section dedicated to MLB, providing live lines and odds, the latest information on baseball and expert commentaries. It should also take bets. You’ll find that some sites have daily live radio shows on the web about sports and sports betting. Additionally, the better sites create additional interest by sponsoring MLB wagering contests. Does the site you’re considering offer other sports betting and wagering opportunities on all of your other favorite sports, including the NFL, NCAA football, the NBA, NCAA basketball, the NHL, soccer, horse racing, boxing and casino and card games?

 

The Futures Of Major League Baseball - Betting To Win Big

Futures wagering-- which is in essence betting on who will win their division, conference, league or the whole kit and caboodle-- is extremely attractive because more times than not the odds are very good. With any sport it is difficult to predict the future, but baseball with its 162 game, seven-month season offers an especially daunting challenge.

The great thing about wagering on futures is you can bet on various teams-- fairly sure bets, up-and-comers, and long shots--...

online sportsbook,sportsbook,sports book,sports betting,sportsbetting

Futures wagering-- which is in essence betting on who will win their division, conference, league or the whole kit and caboodle-- is extremely attractive because more times than not the odds are very good. With any sport it is difficult to predict the future, but baseball with its 162 game, seven-month season offers an especially daunting challenge.

The great thing about wagering on futures is you can bet on various teams-- fairly sure bets, up-and-comers, and long shots-- and in the end either cover or win a substantial amount of money without having risked a lot.

This article will focus on two basic topics-- strategies for determining on which teams you’re going to bet and basic methods of betting that can, to a degree, protect your wager.

In betting futures you’ll want to wager on more than one team and spread your bets amongst favorites, teams that have shown improvement, and clubs that might have that chance “Impossible Dream” year. It’s similar to betting March Madness in that you have a much better chance if you spread your money amongst various teams rather than putting everything on one club.

Before you place even one bet, do your research. Magazines, newspapers and the Internet have a wealth of analytical pieces on each team and how they should fair in the upcoming season. If possible, reviewing some back issues to see how various prognosticators have done in the past is not a bad idea. Looking for trends, such as how many analysts have chosen the Yankees to finish first in their division and to go all the way. If you have a particular expert that you find has been fairly accurate and you think that their methodology is sound, that can be extremely helpful.

Read carefully, be selective especially in considering how the analysis has been done and how detailed it is (the more detailed usually the better), and be sure to incorporate your own knowledge of the game.

If an analysis does not include the following beware of its accuracy-- business and management practices, including the team’s budget for player salaries; baseball managerial experience and Minor League system strength. Some more obvious areas that should be covered include key acquisitions, trades and losses; pitching strength and depth; offensive potential and defensive abilities. Team chemistry and other intangibles, overall depth of the team and age/experience of the club are also important to consider.

Feel free to do more detailed research yourself, you certainly may and it can pay off. If, prior to the NHL season, you had read what everyone said about the Ottawa Senators you certainly would have known that they were an improved team.

But when you analyzed the Heatley-Hossa/DeVries trade, looked at how much the Senators had upgraded in terms of speed, scoring, and defense and saw their balance and depth, it became readily apparent that the Senators were the most improved team in the NHL and that they were poised to have a breakout season (which they have thus far). Anyone who says they are a “surprise team” did not do a thorough analysi
s of the Ottawa Senators.

Baseball, because of its long pre-season, may have more positive hype associated with it than any other sport. Every team seems to have at least one veteran player who’s ready to have a breakout year, a rookie sensation who will make a difference, and a pitcher who can really put the team over the top.

Spring training by its very position in the calendar embodies and symbolizes optimism, signaling the end of a long, wet, cold winter and the start of a time that is defined by lazy, pleasantly warm days. Don’t fall for it, especially if you have a favorite team. Wagering based on spring training hype is as dangerous as its gets.

Also, consider that some previews are written to generate fan interest in a season that is the longest in professional team sports and, thus, will not be overly critical of many teams. Of the 30 major league baseball teams less than half have any chance of making it into the playoffs, and of those who do get to compete in the post-season only three or four possess the potential to win it all.

So you’ve completed your due diligence and you’re considering which teams to pick. Let’s take a look at this year’s futures and see what some of your choices are. The odds below were published the first week of February. Realize that different gaming sites will often present different odds. As an example, in this list the Toronto Blue Jays are 17 to 1 but another odds maker at the same time had them listed at 25 to 1.

MLB
2006 World Series (These are not current odds.)

TeamOdds

TIER 1:
New York Yankees7/2
New York Mets 4/1
St. Louis Cardinals 5/1
Boston Red Sox 7/1
Chicago Cubs 8/1
Chicago White Sox 9/1

TIER 2:
Los Angeles Angels 10/1
Cleveland Indians 12/1
Oakland Athletics 15/1
Houston Astros 15/1
Toronto Blue Jays 17/1

TIER 3:
Atlanta Braves20/1
Philadelphia Phillies 20/1
San Francisco Giants 20/1
Los Angeles Dodgers 20/1
Minnesota Twins 30/1
San Diego Padres 30/1

TIER 4:
Texas Rangers 50/1
Ariz. Diamondbacks50/1
Detroit Tigers 60/1
Wash. Nationals 60/1
Seattle Ma
riners 70/1
Milwaukee Brewers 80/1
Baltimore Orioles80/1
Tampa Bay Rays 100/1
Cincinnati Reds 100/1
Pittsburgh Pirates 125/1
Colorado Rockies 150/1
Florida Marlins 200/1
Kansas City Royals 300/1

For the purpose of this exercise, the teams have been divided into four tiers. Tier 1 contains the six teams that this odds maker considers most likely to win the World Series. Tier 2 consists of teams that are believed to be competitive, but have less of a chance of winning it all. The third tier is made up of teams that many of us would consider to have some chance of getting to the post-season, but they are far from favorites. The final group, which is the largest and amounts to almost half of the MLB teams, are true long shots.

One strategy dictates that you divvy up the money you want to wager in order to increase your chances of winning. If you are going to do this, and in wagering on futures it certainly makes sense, you’ll need to decide how much of a risk you want to take. The greater the risk, the greater
the payoff; however, the greater the risk, the less likely you’ll see a payoff.

Let’s say you’re willing to wager a total of $100, and you decide to put it all on the 300 to 1 Royals. If Kansas City wins the series, you realize $30,000! The chances of that are, however, negligible. Instead, you may want to divide that $100 into 10 bets at $10 each. If you do that, you need to realize that betting on the top six teams means that if any of them win, you have lost money (anywhere from $10 to $65).

However, putting money on any combination of Tier 2 to Tier 4 clubs insures that if you do pick a winner you will, at the very least, break even (the Los Angeles Angels are 10 - 1). Consider that Tier 2 includes the Jays, Astros, Indians, and A’s. All of these teams have been in the mix in recent years.

Looking at the six Tier 3 teams, you’ll find that all of these clubs certainly have a chance of winning and many have been competitive and playoff bound over the past five years. Simply betting these six and the bottom four teams in Tier 2 provides you with some action that has potential to garner a return.

If you decide to venture into Tier 4 with one or two of your bets, you will be lessening your chances of hitting the winner, but if you do hit, your return will be much larger than that from any of the other tiers.

How you wager is entirely up to you. But when putting money down on baseball futures remember a few salient points. When choosing your team(s), carefully analyze each club’s entire pitching staff. Why? Pitching wins championships.

Good, steady pitching will defeat even great hitting at least 70% of the time. Don’t just consider starters. Middle relief and closers are essential in going all the way. You also need to weigh the age of the pitching staff—too old may equal a late season breakdown and too young may mean a late season meltdown. Finally, you will want to look at the depth of the farm system in terms of rookies ready to come up and, more importantly, talent that team may be able to use in a mid-s
eason trade to bolster either its defense or offense. There’s a dearth of quality pitching and even less quality pitching that a club is willing to deal to another team. When push comes to shove always go with sound pitching.

It’s interesting to note that the New York Yankees are the team favored by most to win the World Series. The Yanks have not won it all since their team salary broke the $100,000,000 mark. It is now, of course, over $200,000,000. Although it’s been five years since they’ve brought a championship to New York, since 2000 the Yanks have been the favorite every year.

Remember in 1991 when the Braves and Twins met in the World Series? Before the season began, both had been more than 100 - 1 underdogs. The Twins won it in seven games, with Minnesota pitcher Jack Morris being chosen series MVP. That was a big payoff!

Last year the Chicago White Sox were about 30 - 1 (a Tier 3 team in our example) and the Yankees were the overall favorites at 5 - 4. The White Sox paid $300 on a sawbuck bet.

Of course if you believe in fate, numerology, and curses consider that in 2004 the Red Sox won the crown for the first time since 1918 and in 2005 the White Sox were world champs for the first time since 1917. If that trend remains that means the Chicago Cubs (last World Championship 1908) are next in line. Unfortunately, they’re somewhere around 9 – 1, meaning the payoff is slim considering it’s a futures wager.

Whether you’re putting everything on one team or spreading your dough around, predicting the future World Champions is rarely a sure thing but often it’s a lucrative venture for the people who get it right.




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