MLB Betting: How To Be A Contrarian

When it comes to betting on baseball throughout the summer months you simply want to stay ahead of the curve by doing the necessary research. The numbers never lie and if you understand how to use those numbers you can really improve your chances of building up your profit margins betting on baseball. While the casual bettor love to bet on the favorites, the sharp handicappers understand their perceptions and take advantage by betting on the underdogs with a contrarian approach. Here is a look at what you need to know when it comes to MLB contrarian betting.

The Basic Concept

The numbers illustrate that the public prefers to bet on the favorites and the over in baseball. The sportsbooks understand this and they tend to cheat in order to exploit those tendencies. Sportsbooks will shade their opening lines for the inevitable influx of public money on the favorites and the over bets. The obvious effect of this bias is that they have historically created value on the liens for the underdogs and the under bets.

The Numbers

The numbers indicate that if you blindly bet the same amount of money on every single underdog throughout the MLB season you will lose a small amount of money. However, if you apply some basic knowledge and strategy to your approach you can really improve your chances of making a profit. Underdogs that receive less than 30% of the public backing tend to be very valuable, particularly in divisional games with high totals. You can track the numbers on a number of sportsbooks that offer updated numbers for how much of the public is on each side of a matchup. Based on the closing lines, the numbers also indicate that betting against the public is a lot more effective in games that are heavily bet on. This makes sense since a good portion of the public is on the favorite in this situation. Teams receiving less than 30% of bets on the moneyline have produced a +0.9% return on investment in heavily bet games. The teams receiving less than 20% of bets on the moneyline have produced a +2.3% return on investment in the most heavily bet games. These numbers are based on every single bet in this situation. By narrowing your focus with other criteria, you can improve your odds of winning these types of wagers and raise your overall return on investment.


The key to a successful contrarian MLB strategy is to find the best possible values while having the confidence to risk your money on the underdogs. It’s important to remember that these are raw numbers and that you can improve your chances of winning by applying even more data in your decision-making process. For example, you can look at pitching matchups, home field advantage, recent trends and overall head-to-head records and apply the additional criteria to your evaluation of the matchups. The contrarian betting view can be extremely effective if done right. Just make sure you take the time to break down the numbers and include the most relevant criteria when evaluating which underdogs you take when betting on baseball.

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