Inside Vegas: Big arms don’t equal big money

The over/under on Phillies wins is 96.5.

There aren’t many cardinal rules in sports betting. Not blindly betting on starting pitching is one of them.

To understand why, we must first understand how a baseball line works. Unlike basketball or football, there is no point spread. Favorites are established by money lines. So if Roy Halladay is taking on Clayton Richard, you would have to risk somewhere around $300 just to win $100.

Halladay started 33 games a year ago, compiling one of the best seasons in recent memory. He had a 2.44 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and struck out 219 batters. But the Phillies won just 22 of those games. So even though Halladay was dominant, bettors had to swallow big losses 11 times.
If you bet on Halladay every time last season, you only turned a very small profit.

Cheat sheet

Three tips for betting on baseball this season:

1 Look for four-game sweeps — It’s uncommon when a team sweeps a three-game set. But a four-game sweep is downright difficult. Bet against it.

2 Don’t be afraid of bad teams — Last year, the 76-85 Astros won bettors 1,249 units, sixth-best in the league. Meanwhile, the 86-76 Cardinals lost bettors 2,011 units, fourth-worst. The relative strength of a team is built into the money line.

3 Home team matters — Think it doesn’t matter where a game is played? Think again. Last year, MLB teams combined for a 1357-1073 record at home. That’s a 55.8 winning percentage for the team that bats last.

MLB props

Adrian Gonzalez to win AL MVP
Look at A-Gonz’s road splits. Now finally out of Petco Park, he is a strong bet to have a career year.

Ryan Howard to win home runs
Howard is the third choice to hit the most jacks behind Adam Dunn and Albert Pujols. But he is the only one of the three to ever hit 50 in a season.

CC Sabathia to win AL?Cy Young
Durability is a virtue. Sabathia has started 34 or more games four straight years and is a lock to contend for the league lead in wins.


G train riders brace for five-week shutdown

G train service will be suspended between Brooklyn and Queens between Friday, July 25, and Tuesday, Sept. 2.


Peaches Geldof's death was drugs-related, coroner rules

LONDON (Reuters) - The death of Peaches Geldof, the daughter of musician and Band Aid founder Bob Geldof, was drugs-related, a coroner ruled on Wednesday.The…


Family, supporters gather in Brooklyn for Eric Garner…

Family members gathered on Wednesday for the funeral of Eric Garner, who died shortly after police put him in a banned chokehold as they arrested him.


VIDEO: In Israel, Michael Bloomberg calls Wolf Blitzer…

CNN's Wolf Blitzer asked if the billionaire, three-term former Mayor Michael Bloomberg thought there might be political reasons for the FAA's decision.

Going Out

5 must-try dishes at Edible Manhattan's Good Beer

Rooting out the exotic amid the New York City bar scene is noble quest. But if you’d like to have it all come to you,…


Art imitates life (almost) in David Shapiro's new…

David Shapiro talks about his book, "You're Not Much Use To Anyone."


Dakota Fanning's indie growing pains on 'Very Good…

Dakota Fanning on her latest "Very Good Girls."


Britney Spears launches new lingerie line and fans…

Women everywhere can say that they are not that innocent when Britney Spears launches her new lingerie and loungewear line. “Every woman should feel confident…


NBA great LeBron James sends 800 cupcake apologies…

By Kim PalmerCLEVELAND (Reuters) - NBA star LeBron James, whose recent return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in his home state of Ohio sparked a frenzy…


Fantasy football: Johnny Manziel could give your running…

Fantasy football: Johnny Manziel could give your running game a boost


3 storylines to watch as Jets open training…

Jets head coach Rex Ryan might be in for an even tougher job in 2014 after arguably his best coaching job last season.


David Tyree hiring has gay rights advocates angry

Former Giants Super Bowl hero David Tyree will re-join the franchise as its new director of player development.


Colleges are increasingly embracing the concept of gender-neutral…

  Northwestern University recently made headlines after announcing that it would be installing two gender-neutral bathrooms in the university's student center. “These are two gender-open…


How to prepare to interview for your dream…

    Congratulations! You landed a job interview at your dream company! A lot of hard work has gone into determining which companies to apply…


The shirtdress is a summer must-have

  We love throwing on our boyfriend’s shirt and a pair of jeans (no matter how much he grumbles that it’s his turn to wear the…


Jennifer Oz LeRoy tell us how to lunch…

Jennifer Oz LeRoy tells us what to pack for a day in the surf and sand.