Sports betting hit it’s second biggest peak of the year (the first being the entirety of the football season) with the Final 4 and Major League Baseball’s opening, coinciding on the same weekend- as they always do. Most sports fans think it’s the best viewing day of the year, and I’m sure bookies and online gambling
moguls would agree with them. With the unpredicatble nature of this year’s NCAA basketball tournament, oddsmakers around the globe all lined their pockets as favorites went down right and left in one of the strangest Mad March’s in history. Only one team in the Final 4 was ranked in the preseason top 25 (UCLA at #19) and don’t get me started about George Mason, who before losing to the eventual champs Florida, knocked off UNC, Michigan St. and UCONN. But the real reason bookies were licking their lips, was because of MLB’s opening day, as gamblers around the country got ready to start throwing their money down the drain.
Here are the reasons why THEY love when you bet on baseball – and why YOU should never do it…
1. YOU CAN’T WIN. Are you great at calling heads or tails when somebody flips a coin? Do you always beat your friend at rock, paper, scissors? Then maybe you should bet on baseball. Otherwise, just don’t do it. There is not a more unpredictable sport than Major League Baseball. And I know what your’re thinking…all sports are unpredictable, why is baseball any different? That’s true to a certain extent, but let me tell you why baseball is impossible to handicap…
A) THE PITCHERS – So last year’s Cy Young winner is going against some noname rookie call-up from the Rockies, sure bet right? Wrong. Even ace hurlers are guaranteed to have bad days and even nobodies are going to pitch like aces once in awhile. And you can NEVER predict when this is going to happen. You can try and scan the entire internet for some report or another that, you think, might give you the leg up, but it’s impossible. There’s a dynamic to pitching that is completely intangible. sometimes they got it and sometimes they don’t- unless you live inside the heads of these athletes, there is no way to know if they got it or not. Plus, there is no other individual in sport that makes this big of a difference. Quarterbacks can have miserable days, but if the defense and the running backs can pick the team up they can still win (or at least cover the spread). But if a pitching staff is going to let up 17 runs, that team is going to lose 99% of the time.
B) THE WEATHER – Even more unpredictable than the pitching is the role that weather plays. Let’s say you miracuosly hit the first five games of a parly and you just need the Astros to hold onto the 4-1 lead they got in the second inning. And then it starts raining. If that games doesn’t make it past the fifth inning, your entire bet is nullified. Mother Nature can screw up your bet. Do you really want to bet on baseball now.
C) THE MANAGER – In the course of a long season, managers might do some pretty strange things in the eyes of the fans, and more importantly, gamblers. They might pull a pitcher who’s throwing a one hitter after he gets hit in the elbow with a liner, even though the pitcher says he can still go. They might replace said pitcher with a subpar hurler because their best middle relief guy has pitched the last four days in a row. The other team might go crazy off this new pitcher, thus erasing the 6-0 lead you had in the 7th. This might happen and, at some point, it’s pretty much a guarantee that it will, possibly on the day you decided to lay down a hundred bucks. Which brings up my next point…
2. THE BASEBALL SEASON HAS A MILLION GAMES AND LASTS ALL YEAR. Okay, that’s not accurate, it’s more like 9 months long and has a few thousand games, but no sport can touch the grind that is an MLB season. At first, you might think this is cool, “Hey, I can bet every single day”, but after a few weeks of never winning, maybe you’ll change your tune. The more games, means the more opportunities for you to lose money, and this is exactly how the gambling moguls think. Gambling wise, nothing can touch football in terms of the pure volume of cash that is flowing, but there is nothing like baseball when it comes to consistency.
3. THE ODDS STINK. Because the oddsmakers know that baseball is basically a coin flip day to day, they never offer odds that actually pay big dividends. You can lay down ten bucks on the underdog Phillies, and if you win you’ll only get 15 back. And let’s say you like the favored Yankees, okay, throw down 20 on them to get a mere 11 back. Bookies love these odds, because their never paying you huge, regardless of who wins. It’s not like football, where, if you take an 8 point dog on a hunch, you win big. With baseball, it’s a win-win situation for the gambling gurus and a lose-lose situation for the gamblers.
If you still need to bet, try the NHL and the NBA (at least for a little while). Plus, Football will be back before you know it. This is actually the prime time to bet on hockey and basketball games as the playoff push has some teams in high gear trying to make a push, others coasting with their post season spots locked up and the teams totally out of it wondering if they should even show up. Take your time and scout out some games before you make your bets and lay off MLB. It’s a waste of time. Good luck.