What to look out for when betting on baseball’s opening day
For baseball fans there’s nothing better than opening day at the ballpark. And the same is true for players and baseball bettors.
Opening day is the birth of a new season and a fresh perspective. It’s the one day when every team in Major League Baseball forgets the past and sets their sights on the present. And for baseball handicappers, it is a day to learn from last year’s mistakes and to profit from its successes.
Nevertheless, it’s also the end of an off-season, and if baseball bettors aren’t careful, opening day can offer some unique challenges that can be costly. So, here are a few of some of the biggest challenges of betting on baseball’s opening day
First, the betting pool will be much larger than the ones found during the regular season. Most MLB teams will sell out their home opener, and with bigger crowds comes a much larger home field advantage, which can have an effect on a visiting team’s moral and a home team’s ego.
Along with those bigger than normal crowds, also comes the increase in public betting volume. With the increase in hopes of a better season ahead, a large number of public bettors will wager entirely with emotion. A huge percentage of those bets will be on last year’s top finishers, as well as the bigger name pitchers and the big name free agents who have caught the public’s attention during the offseason.
This heavy public betting action can have a big impact on how betting lines are set and how they move, which means bettors will need to pay close attention to where the value really is. That’s because there is no real information for betting on opening day MLB games.
Baseball is a game based on stats, and handicapping baseball is too. It’s all about comparing what has happened in the past and determining what the future will bring. However, on opening day there is no past – or at least not one that is meaningful. Sure there is spring training and a couple of exhibition games, but that’s not usually enough to accurately predict what will happen on opening day.
That means handicappers are going to have to make good guesses, being cautious, and making sure they have a good reason to make a bet. They need to feel confident they have a solid edge.
If so, baseball handicappers looking to cash in on opening day, need to pay attention to teams with numerous young players who opening day is a very big deal. It’s tough to know what to expect from young players at the best of times, and even harder to on opening day. Especially a pitcher.
MLB pitchers taking the mound on opening day, may or may not be in their regular spot in the rotation, as teams want to coming off into the season with their aces ready to go. This may require some shifting of the usual rotation, forcing some pitchers into an extra day or two of rest, and others into performing on less rest.
Bettors need to look for pitchers who haven’t performed up to their potential during spring training, as these issues could be magnified.