MLB Line Movement Advice
LAS VEGAS, NV (The Spread) - How important are line movements when it comes to betting on Major League Baseball?
Line movements in baseball are not as significant as in football or basketball. As baseball odds are made on a moneyline, a lot of times we will not see a game move more than 20 to 30 cents. While I said that the line movements are not as significant in baseball as in other pro sports, we still need to monitor these moves and see what's the reason behind the movement.
As I have stated in numerous other baseball articles, betting the underdog in baseball is something I love to do and win at as well. Now, a lot of times it is crucial for me to try to get the best line for the game so I have to use my instinct whether I think the line is going to go up or down from the opening line. A lot of times, we will see big favorites bet down as the sharps are known for pounding the dogs. I do not know the exact percentages, but I would say 80% of the time a favorite of -175 or more either stays relatively calm or gets bet down. So putting this into consideration, I usually put my wager in on an underdog as early as possible. (Of course not before checking the injury report and all other daily data that I use.) Now, when betting favorites, it is safe to say that it is best to wait closer to game time as you can usually get a more favorable line.
Other than money being bet causing line movement, a star player can make a line adjust anywhere for 10-to-30 cents. While this may not seem like much, over a 162-game MLB season, all money that can be gained is valuable. So I will check the daily injury report and wait for the starting lineups to be announced if needed be. While the line does not reflect it as much as other sports, key players missing out of the lineup can be huge for teams and a bargain for us bettors, simply because the linesmakers can only move a line so much. But when in reality the injured player is worth a lot more to the team than the line reflects.
Let's take Bryce Harper for example. When he got injured, linesmakers could only adjust the line about 20 cents for him, and maybe a 1/2 run on the total. I am talking about one of the best players in baseball and immediately there was a value play on 'fading' Washington as the linesmakers could not compensate enough for Harper's injury. Harper is due back in the lineup soon, and I will be monitoring the Nationals lines and see how the linesmakers react to him being in the lineup. This guy to me is clearly worth 50 cents to a line if he is in the lineup.
My point being, if the linesmakers do not raise the lines accordingly when Harper gets back healthy, then I will be looking to 'Pound the Books' with the Nationals strictly as a 'value play'. It will be interesting to see how things pan out upon Harper's return to the lineup.
In closing, do not put too much emphasis on line movements in Baseball. I do urge you to check daily injury reports and to try to get the best value/ price for a game as possible.