Regular season win totals are an increasingly popular bet, and one that can often present nice value for astute bettors. The problem is, though, that it can be incredibly easy to make costly mistakes with these bets because of the amount of time your money is locked up, and the amount of risk and uncertainty involved in them. Here are six mistakes bettors often make when betting MLB regular season win totals:
Being too optimistic – This is a problem that a lot of people have when they are dealing with any bet, but especially bets over a long time frame. Bettors tend to be overly optimistic when looking at sports betting. That’s why the favorites and the over typically draw more attention than the underdogs and the under. Being optimistic is a good trait when it comes to your life in general. In your betting, though, it can be very costly. your focus must be on being as objective as you can possibly be.
Looking at teams in isolation – The standard way most people look at win totals when they are handicapping them is to see how many games the team won the year before, consider the changes they made in the offseason and the impact they will have, and adjust accordingly. That approach ignores what has happened to the other teams in the league, though. A team has to play every other team in their league, and they have to play the games in their divisions a lot. If the division has improved significantly then the team could find wins harder to come by even if they have improved. On the other hand, a weak division can make an average team look pretty good and add a lot of wins to the total. You need to beyond the team to the schedule and the impact that will have on the team’s search for wins.
Ignoring pitching depth – Bettors will look at the rotation and the bullpen that the team is heading into the season with and will determine how many wins that collection of players is likely to contribute. It never turns out that way, though. Pitchers get hurt, they get moved to the bullpen when they are less effective, and young players come up from the minors. For every pitcher on the opening day roster each team will use at least one more pitcher during the course of the season – and often many more than that. It’s important to look at the pitching depth in an organization. Was there a strong competition for the five positions in the rotation, or were they scrambling to find warm bodies? Do they have young, pro-ready talent in their system, or are they short of prospects? Are their former starters – or guys with starting potential – in the bullpen?
Ignoring hitting depth – Hitters are a bit more stable than pitchers in the lineup, but teams will still be forced to go through several different hitters because of injuries or poor performance. A team that has solid talent at the major league level could be in trouble over the course of a season if they don’t have depth behind that talent in case of bad luck. The more luck that is involved in how a team’s season may turn out, the harder it is to have any faith in the quality of a bet you make on that team. If a team lacks depth, then, you really need to make sure that there is good value in the bet.
Assuming best case scenarios from young players – Every year there are several young players who are heavily hyped heading into the season. They have all sorts of talent, and have the potential to have excellent careers. Bettors will often make the mistake of getting too excited about these players – assuming that they will be able to achieve their potential right away. That’s rarely the case because of the challenges of adjusting to the major leagues, so it is very easy for bettors to be too optimistic about a team if they are too optimistic about a youngster. It can also be a problem after a young player has had a strong rookie year. Bettors will naturally assume that the second year will be even better. When that’s not the case the results of the team can fail to meet expectations.
Accepting bad prices – Bettors will often just look at the posted win totals and bet based on that. By ignoring the price they will have to pay to bet that total, though, you can fall into the trap of making bets that have far less value than you assume they do. If a total is being heavily bet then the oddsmakers will likely adjust the price before they bet the total, so this is a real concern for bettors – one that they really need to pay attention to.