The summer months are typically dominated by Major League Baseball.
The NBA is in the middle of its offseason, while the NFL is still ramping up as teams report to training camp. This year is a bit different with the Summer Olympics taking place.
But if you want to bet on sports during the summer, you have to focus on baseball. Betting on America’s Pastime tends to attract a very particular type of sports gambler.
That’s because it can be a lot more technical and challenging than other types of sports. It’s no secret the sport has hit a lull in the United States over the last several decades.
With fewer people tuned into the daily occurrences, it can be harder to become a sharp bettor. As someone who has years of experience, I’d like to tell you that it’s easy to jump into baseball betting.
However, that’s not the case. Mistakes will be made, and losses will happen. But, there’s no reason you should have to commit the same types of errors that most baseball gamblers make.
Here are the 6 things I wish I knew before I started betting on the MLB.
1 ‒ It’s Just as Hard as Everyone Says
There’s no point beating around the bush: betting on baseball is incredibly difficult.
It’s one of the most demanding types of gambling and requires a lot more work than betting on other sports. When it comes to betting on baseball, gamblers have to always be on top of things and can’t afford to take nights off.
Despite a brutal 162-game season, the sport moves at a blazing pace. Baseball teams and players can be streaky and anything can happen on any given night.
Not only that, but gamblers must be well-versed in combing through statistic after statistic in order to find value in wagers.
Baseball is driven by statistical analysis. If a team refuses to innovate and adapt to the times, they will be left in the dust.
Similarly, gamblers who refuse to adjust their methods and stay tuned in to the most relevant information will find it hard to win money.
When I first started betting on baseball I had no clue just how demanding it is. Of course, anyone can place a bet on a baseball game. But, making smart bets and becoming a sharp baseball bettor is exceedingly difficult.
Handicapping any sport comes with its own set of difficulties, but it seems like baseball can be particularly brutal for those who aren’t qualified to do so.
2 ‒ You Can’t Bet Based on Past Experience
Major League Baseball is all about tradition and has some of the richest history of all the major sports leagues. As sports gamblers, we allow past experiences to shape our opinions and impact our decisions.
However, doing so when betting on baseball is a dangerous thing to do.
Gambling on baseball is quite different from other sports, in many ways. Unlike a sport such as football, there are games every single night and plenty of action to choose from.
Whereas football gamblers typically have an entire week to make decisions and understand odds and line movements, baseball gamblers aren’t so lucky.
Baseball gamblers have to work a lot faster than many other types of sports gamblers. Sometimes that pressure can force you to rely on past gambling experiences.
While many aspects of sports gambling and certain strategies can be applied to baseball, there is a tremendous amount of deviation. In other words, just because you’re a half-decent basketball bettor doesn’t mean you’ll figure out how to win money on the MLB.
3 ‒ Winning Consistently Takes Times
When people ask me for advice about betting on baseball there are a few things I always tell them. One of the most important pieces of wisdom I can offer is that learning how to win money will take a lot longer than you think.
Sports betting is much more difficult than the average person might think. Sure, you can always get lucky and win a bet or 2. But only the best and brightest gamblers can make a living on sports betting.
As I said earlier, baseball might be the most complicated sport to bet on. Because of this, many sport bettors might struggle to keep up in the early stages of their time gambling on baseball.
Every gambler is different, but there are a few things you can do to assure short-term success.
- Learn about betting systems and try to create one that works for your style of gambling
- Do as much research and analysis as possible
- Try to think outside of the box and avoid falling into traps like most beginners
- Keep your gambling expenses low until you’re confident in your gambling abilities
There’s no shame in starting slow and enabling yourself to learn from your past mistakes. You might feel compelled to dive into as much action as possible when you first start gambling on baseball.
But trust me, the process takes time and there’s no point in draining your bankroll before you can even get started.
4 ‒ Betting Like a Baseball Fan Doesn’t Help
Betting like a sports fan is a great way to lose all of your money.
When you bet like a fanatic, you allow your heart to guide your actions. Instead, you should make all of the gambling-related decisions with your head.
Watching sports and rooting for teams is an emotional experience, which is one of the best parts of being a fan. It can be incredibly exciting and even rewarding to cheer on your favorite teams and players.
Betting on sports can be exciting as well, but it shouldn’t be a primarily emotional experience. Gambling with your heart on your sleeve is a terrible strategy that will almost certainly result in you losing money.
In my experience, it’s best to avoid gambling on teams and players you’re passionate about. This might seem counterintuitive to some of you.
You might feel like you know your favorite teams and players better than anyone, which makes you more than qualified to gamble on them.
However, there’s a major difference between approaching baseball as a fan and approaching it as a gambler. It makes for a much different viewing experience because you should be focusing on different aspects of the sport.
5 ‒ There’s Plenty of Help Out There
I made a ton of mistakes when I was learning to bet on baseball. One of the most frustrating was figuring out which sources and materials I could trust to help guide my decisions.
Sports gambling is incredibly popular and there is a tremendous amount of resources around for sports gamblers. Unfortunately, some of these resources are better than others.
To be an effective MLB bettor, you have to consult and analyze several different resources if you want to find value where others cannot.
These resources include top gambling sites, popular sports websites and even simple sources that simply aggregate statistics. Baseball is a numbers game, so it’s important to stay on top of all of these different stats.
However, for all the useful and relevant information around the internet, certain things should be avoided. Much of the popular sports networking is designed to entertain the more casual sports fan.
Not everyone is intrigued by obscure analytics and sabermetrics. The more well known sports programming is entertaining, but might not be as useful as less mainstream resources.
6 ‒ You’re Going to Lose, A Lot
Losing is an important part of sports gambling. Everyone is going to do it and it takes a solid sports gambler to handle those losses well.
When you’re new to betting on the MLB, these losses can be frustrating and demoralizing. But, they shouldn’t be.
Instead, you should try to understand why exactly you’re losing in the first place. Most losses are due to the unpredictable nature of baseball.
However, sometimes losing constantly says more about the gambler than the sports they’re gambling on.
If you’re losing more than 50-55% of your bets, then there might be something wrong with your system or betting strategy.
Learning to gamble on baseball and make money doing so is extremely difficult. There have been several points where I wish I could go back and tell my past self a few things to make it somewhat easier.
Before you start betting on baseball, it’s important to realize that it’s just as difficult as people say.
You might think that years of being a fan of the MLB and betting on other sports might help you. But, baseball is slightly different than most other sports, and betting like a fan is the easiest way to ruin your chances.
Always remember to consult the best resources possible and avoid confusing entertainment for quality content.