Betting on Baseball Urban Legend


One of the many great aspects of wagering is the amount of choices available to those who choose to partake in this endeavor. While most prefer to play side action, many are more comfortable studying totals, devaluing risk by being able to pay reduced juice or find favorable numbers, betting against public perception of adjusted figures. One of the urban legends still floating around in betting baseball totals is to Play Under when the oddsmakers set the numbers low and or when two aces of any major league teams are facing one another.

Never one to take something at face value, decided to dig into these perceived notions and see what we find in 2008. Like always, certain elements follow certain situations. For example, ballparks will have a large influence on totals wagering, because of size or conditions. San Diego, Los Angeles and Texas immediately come to mind for their traits. Teams that hit poorly or feature robust lineups, will tend to be on either end of the spectrum, like a Washington or the Cubs as this year's clubs. Lastly, top line pitchers will heavily influence totals; names like Brandon Webb, Tim Lincecum, Johan Santana, John Lackey and Roy Halladay, are top of the mind hurlers for linemakers.

For this exercise, we looked only at how home performed when the total was 8 or less. We also followed the hybrid versions of numbers, meaning 8Under, 8Even and 8Over for example. The only caveats were for the Dodgers, we eliminated any games supposed aces Brad Penny and Derrick Lowe didn't pitched at home and the was true also for San Diego, using just only games Jake Peavy and Chris Young pitched in downtown San Diego. Everything else was fair game.
Seeing this information had not manifested itself on the internet, it was really not shocking to find out all totals at 8 or less were 102-94-6 Under, 52 percent. Hardly revolutionary and mildly compelling. Here is the break down by numbers where we can start to find value.

The number 8 57- 50-6 Over
The number 7.5 36-29 Under
The number 7 13-6 Under
The number 6.5 3-2 Under

It is evident, reviewing these numbers, 7.5 or less is your best bet with Under hitting 58.4 percent, with 52-37. This does perpetuate the common belief of betting below the oddsmakers number and is a descent reason to wager on these contests, nevertheless, not a sole reason by itself as you will see below. This is a noteworthy figure, but hardly the only one found.

The number 7.5 Under figured to be a large number and was, with 49 instances. Playing Under this number produced 27 winners, for a nice 55.1 winning percentage. The downfall is the juice associated with this sum, as many sportsbooks now try to hang on to numbers and are unafraid to post up to a -135. The juice eats away at winning percentage, leaving almost no profit. What was interesting was further breakdowns. Home favorites at Un7.5 are 10-4, for +4.45 units. What did catch us off-guard was the differential in leagues. The National League, one would assume would have a greater propensity to go under this total. Instead, we found the American League was 14-6 Under with total set at Un7.5.

The most popular number to arise was Under 8. This ended up being split at 29-29-5, providing almost nothing for bettors. Here we found home teams were 41-22, a becoming 65 percent. In this case, profit was available on two fronts, home favorites were 30-15, +10.6, with the better value on the home dog at this price with 11-7 record, +5.2 units.
When the count was steady at 8, it was more boring than watching a Washington and San Diego contest. The record was 16-15-1 Over, with home teams 14-18. One potential wager to consider is favorites lost -4.85 units, with 9-11 record.

One gem that came to the surface was Over 8 wagers. This turns out to be a multi-pronged winner to think about. To date, all Ov8 bets are 12-6-1 Over, offering a meaningful profit on such a few wagers. Home teams at this tally have been even better at 13-6, for +6.1 units and home underdogs have cashed all three times they have bubbled up.
[…..especially tantalizing is the Un7, with a 6-1 Under mark and even more delicious record for the road team at 6-1 for +6.2 units.]
As shown previously, with the total at 7 or less, the Under is 16-8, making betting contemplation is a worthy idea. Visitors have won 14 of these 24 encounters. What is especially tantalizing is the Un7, with a 6-1 Under mark and even more delicious record for the road team at 6-1 for +6.2 units.

While the general belief of this angle is somewhat overblown, it has merit. The real opportunities lie in other areas, nuggets of gold are just waiting to be picked up. Take a frequent look at's Betting Trends to stay on top of the information.

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