Playoffs mean major business - Metro US

Playoffs mean major business

Planning to bet on the playoffs this week? Well, before you tap that ATM, heed our
advice and you could be living the high life.

Gambling 101: For beginners

Baseball games are bet against a “money line” instead of a point spread. It doesn’t matter how much a team wins by. To establish a favorite and an underdog, odds-makers create a ratio. For example, the Phillies are -200 favorites to simply beat the Reds in Game 1. That means bettors must risk $200 to win $100.

If there was no juice, bettors would get a +200 line on the underdog Reds. But bookies want theirs. So the Reds are +185, meaning if you bet $100 on Cincy, you would win $185.

» Don’t bet blindly on pitchers. “Who’s pitching?” The odds-makers know that. They inflate the money line on big-name pitchers like Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Tim Lincecum. If that’s all you’re going on, you’re losing value.

»Know the trends. Certain players just react differently in some situations. For example, Cole Hamels is 15-16 with a 4.27 ERA in 51 career day starts. Conversely, he’s 45-29 with a 3.20 ERA in 98 night starts.

» Home sweet home. Playing at home in baseball isn’t the advantage that it is in football. Even so, all eight playoff teams had significantly better home than road records during the regular season.

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