MLB Betting: 5 Best Times To Bet Underdogs



Typically, amateur bettors tend to be bullish on riding favorites a lot more often compared to betting on underdogs. An average bettor views one team as the one that should win and the other team as the one that should lose. However, what these bettors fail to realize is that at the end of the day, what matters is profit. Profit can be attained even if you lose more games than you win – you simply need your return on each bet to be greater than your risk. As a result, the key to success in sports betting is to find value, which represents the difference between the price that you’re getting with odds compared to the true chances of a team winning. In this article, we’ll take a look at the five best times to bet on underdogs during the MLB season.

#1 – April Underdogs

One of the best times to bet on underdogs is during the first month of the season as oddsmakers are still adjusting to the new rosters. By the time June rolls around, we’ll have a pretty clear idea of which teams are true contenders and which teams are pretenders. As a result, there’s a lot more incentive for bad teams to play harder early on during the season. Compiling results from the last 10 years, underdogs in the month of April have a 1,487-1,866 record. While this win-loss record may seem low (only 44.43%), the average odds in these games were +131.3 or 2.313, resulting in a total profit of $3,114 on simple $100 wagers (ROI of 1%). What’s been a more profitable scenario was underdogs (+105 or higher) who have lost the first two games of a series and were also an underdog in the most recent loss. These teams have gone 97-110 (46.9%) with an average payout of +141.1, in turn providing an ROI of 12%.

#2 – Early Season Road Underdogs

Road underdogs with payouts between +100 and +150 who have come off a loss with a losing overall record while playing against a team with a winning record have gone 448-483 (48.1%) over the past ten years with an average payout of +123.2. This resulted in a ROI of 7.2%, which is clearly profitable over the long-run.

#3 – Divisional Underdogs

With 162 games during the MLB regular season, games against divisional rivals hold much more weight compared to games against non-divisional teams. Division games make up just about half of a team’s schedule and under the right circumstances, low- to mid-underdogs can deliver decent profits. From game results over the last 10 years, division home underdogs with a line of +100 to +145 and who lost game one of a series as a home favorite with a record of .500 or worse have historically provided positive ROIs. The overarching trend has been that the worse the record of the home underdog, the higher the ROI.

#4 – Home Underdogs Coming Off Long Road Trips

Long road trips always present a challenge, especially for underdogs. However, at the end of a long road trip will always be a lineup of games at home. Home underdogs coming off a lengthy road trip of seven to 10 games have typically responded in a big way, posting a ROI of at least 3.5%. Compounding this fact, by limiting the odds to cover underdogs only ranging from +106 to +170, the average ROI ranges from 11% to 22.5%, ascending as the number of games spent on the road increases.

#5 – Underdogs After Scoring >10 Runs

The final situation to look out for is a team who is an underdog coming off a high scoring game of 10 runs or more and is a home underdog in their next game. These teams have posted a 272-315 (46.3%) record, with an average payout of +123.9 along with a ROI of 3.3%.