MLB Betting: Over-Under Strategy



Other than the moneyline, the over/under game totals bet is the second most popular betting option in baseball. In this article, we’ll take a look at some over/under game total betting strategies that have proven to be quite profitable along with an explanation on how umpires can impact game total betting results.

Bet On The Under In Games With Streaking Underdogs

Over the course of the MLB regular season, with 162 games played by each team, there’ll be stretches when bad teams are playing at a championship level as well as elite teams playing like bottom dwellers. With these ups and downs, the opportunity arises for savvy bettors to cash in on unlikely outcomes by taking a look at historical results. In this section, we’ll focus on bad teams who have been playing well as of late. The key for the type of situation is to look for underdogs who have posted wins in their last five games, all as underdogs. Even considering even odds, the chances of any team winning five straight games only works out to 3.1%. In this type of scenario on the sixth game with the team still classified as an underdog, what’s also stood out is the under record for game totals since 2004. When betting on the under, this type of scenario has posted a record of 49-30-3, resulting in a .620 winning percentage along with a ROI of 17.3%.

Bet On The Under In American League Games With Short Moneyline And Game Total of >10

This is a pretty simple scenario which has profited in the long-run. First off, the strategy is to look for AL games with a moneyline range of +115 to -115 as well as having a game total of 10 runs or more. The next step is to focus in on games two and three in a three-game series, where the first game in the series went over the game total. The reasoning behind limiting this to AL games is the fact that the perception is that the games will be higher scoring due to the AL’s use of the designated hitter compared to NL games having the pitcher batting. Additionally, the reasoning behind limiting the odds to between +115 and -115 is to key in on games that are expected to be more or less evenly matched. The game total of 10 runs or more is to locate a bias towards a high scoring game along with adding in the first game of a series that’s already gone over the game total, which will have added to the bias. By following this strategy, the under has cashed in on a winning percentage of .534, corresponding to a record of 181-158-11.

Umpires Affecting MLB Game Total Betting Results

Over the long-run, most umpires will end up having a 50/50 split on the over/under game total for the games that they’re behind the plate. In order to truly make use of umpire tendencies to your advantage, it’s important to gain a solid understanding of what kind of strike zone the umpire has. Umpires with smaller strike zones will often result in higher-scoring games. Smaller strike zones force pitchers to throw more pitches over the heart of the plate, which is exactly where hitters prefer the baseball to be located. On the other hand, umpires with bigger strike zones benefit the under as bigger strike zones favor the pitcher, resulting in hitters being forced to swing at pitches outside of their comfort zone. However, it’s important to take note of whether starting pitchers will be able to take advantage of bigger strike zones.