Home > Baseball Betting Sites: A Guide to Betting on Baseball > Baseball Betting Mistakes

Baseball Betting Mistakes

Baseball Betting Mistakes Feature Image

Ever have one of those moments where the lightbulb clicks on in your head, and you realize you just did something really stupid?

Well, when it comes to baseball betting there are a lot of those moments sitting around waiting for you to stumble into them.

The problem, though, is that these baseball betting mistakes don’t just make you feel stupid, they can cost you a lot of money and put a big damper on your ability to be profitable.

What we’re going to do today is try and help you prevent that.

We’re going to introduce you to a list of the most common and most expensive baseball betting mistakes.

All of these mistakes are easy to avoid as long as you’re aware of them and make a conscious effort not to fall victim to them.

So, if you care about your profits and bottom line, take some time and read through this list and make sure you aren’t making any of these baseball betting mistakes already and that you don’t make them in the future.

Ignoring the Weather and Stadium Conditions

Why should you have to pay attention to the weather if the game gets stopped in inclement weather? Well, we’re specifically talking about the wind. If you’re an over/under (totals) bettor, you need to make sure that you’re paying attention to the speed and direction of the wind at the ballpark.

If the wind is blowing out from home plate, balls are going to be more likely to carry. This means fly balls that normally would be outs on the warning track are now going to be home runs.

This obviously favors the over. If the wind is blowing in from the outfield, balls are going to be more likely to fall short of their normal flight path. This means that balls that normally would be home runs are now going to be deep outfield outs.

It’s not a massive effect on the score, but it is something that you need to consider when you’re making a totals bet and neglecting it is a mistake.
On the same token, make sure you’re taking the stadium where the game is being played at into play.

Some fields are longer and discourage offensive action while others are shorter and tend to favor offensive action. Usually this is factored into the starting lines and totals, but the betting public loves to ignore this stuff and bet the lines in directions that don’t take this into account.

Don’t base your entire bet on the wind and the stadium, but make sure you’re at least taking it into account in case you’re able to find some small edges. A small edge is a small edge, but a lot of small edges together is a big edge and a lot of value you can bet.

Trusting a Tired Bullpen

Kudos to you for knowing that you need to pay attention to the quality of a team’s bullpen when making a baseball bet. But, what we often see is that people just look at the quality of these players in a vacuum.

What we mean is that they assess their full abilities and their stats without taking a look at their current condition based on previous games.

Specifically, we’re talking about fatigue and usage. Has the bullpen been used a lot and run ragged lately? Are their top relief pitchers fresh or have they been overworked as of late? It’s important to know this information for two reasons.

One, you can figure out who they are most likely going to be using in an upcoming game. Two, you figure out if the whole bullpen is exhausted and the team is going to struggle to close out games.

You’d be surprised how many baseball bettors (including experienced ones) either ignore or are too lazy to assess the current health of a team’s bullpen. Don’t be one of those people.

Betting Too Many Games

2,430. That’s how many baseball games there are in a single season. That number does not include the post-season at all, either. If you’re like us, that probably makes your mouth water with so many awesome opportunities for you to get in the mix and hopefully make some money.

But, the problem is that being overeager and too hungry can actually get you in trouble.

No, we are not talking about the total amount of money that you have bet. You can bet as much or as little as you’d like as long as it is in line with your bankroll management rules. What we are talking about is the number of games that you’re betting.

Let’s put it bluntly and then unpack it. If you are betting every single game or most of the games on a day’s slate, you are probably doing something wrong.

You see, sports bettors have an uncanny ability to lie to themselves. They can convince themselves that literally any game out there has some sort of value and that they have the master prediction to find that value. The reality is, though, not every game is going to have value.

And even if every game did magically have value, you’re not going to be able to have a strong prediction one way or the other on every single game.

Avoid betting too many games. Instead, cherry-pick from the thousands of games to find the ones that have the most value. If you are dying to get more money in play, up your bet amounts instead of upping the number of games that you’re betting.

Of course, make sure you aren’t violating your bankroll management rules in the process.

We understand the temptation to want to bet more and more games especially when you’re on a hot streak or a cold streak. When you’re hot, you want to win more, and when you’re cold, you want to chase those losses.

Avoid these temptations and stick to the games that you are confident in and that have a lot of value. This is a key to being successful betting baseball.

Betting the Big Dogs Blindly

So, our title of this section is a little misleading. By “big dogs” we don’t mean underdogs; we are referring to the popular teams that everyone loves, and everyone loves to bet. You have got to be extra careful when you are betting the big fan favorites like the Yankees or the Dodgers.

Teams like this are usually bet heavily by the betting public which means that even if they start out as a good value pick, the line is often going to be skewed offering value on the other side or making it a no bet.

To be clear, we are not telling you to avoid betting the popular house names in baseball. What we are telling you to do is make sure that you’re extra careful when betting on these teams.

Make sure the value is there before you fire off a bet. Just because you think they are going to win or cover the run line does not necessarily mean that it’s a smart bet. (If that statement confuses you, stay tuned for our next mistake where we’ll cover it).

Also, make sure that you check games where betting against these fan-favorites might be smart. While you shouldn’t blindly bet against them, you can check these lines more often for value.

If you’re going to do that, we recommend checking the lines closer to game time and more often on primetime games because the betting public loves to bet games they can watch and they love to bet right before the game starts. This is when you’ll find the best lines against these public favorites.

Not Looking for Value

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when betting on baseball is focusing on hitting winning tickets and not focusing on value. Look, we get it.

It feels awesome to win bets, and you can’t make money betting on baseball if you’re not winning bets. But, if that is your main goal, then you are doomed to feel good but lose money.

If you’re confused, check out these two statements. You can have a winning baseball betting record (more winning tickets than losing tickets) and be losing a lot of money.

You can also have a losing baseball betting record (more losing tickets than winning tickets) and be one of the most profitable bettors out there.

It all has to do with what is called value. This is an advanced concept, but one that is key to understanding how to be profitable betting on baseball. If anything we’ve talked about in this section does not make 100% complete sense to you, then you need to drop everything you are doing and read our Understanding Betting Value and How Betting Lines Work guide right this second.

It is something that you have got to understand if you have any hopes of being a successful baseball bettor.

Getting wins can make you feel good and stroke the ego, but if that’s your main focus, you’re going to find yourself light in the wallet way too quickly.

Using the Wrong Type of Bet

Most baseball bettors are aware that they can bet the moneyline, the run line, and the over/under on a game. But, a lot of them are unaware of the fact that there are a lot more bets out there that might be a better fit for the prediction that you have.

You can make plenty of money betting the three most popular baseball bets, but we guarantee that there have been and will be moments in your baseball betting career where a more unique type of bet might be a better fit.

Here’s a perfect example. Let’s say you are handicapping an upcoming baseball game and you think that one team’s starting pitcher is going to be lights out.

You think the other team stands no chance with him in the game. As for their bullpen, though, you’re not completely sold that they can close out as strongly as you’d like.

But, you’re so confident in the starting pitcher that you think he can get them far enough ahead and far enough into the game that they can pull off the win.

So, you go ahead and make a moneyline bet on that team. Is this the best bet you can make? Not at all. In this situation, you could make something called a first five innings bet.

This is a bet much like the moneyline bet except that it only counts for the first five innings. Once the fifth inning is over, that bet is decided. Whoever is ahead after five is the winner.

This is the perfect bet because the first five innings are when the starter that you think is a rock star should still be in. This is just one example of where a different type of bet would be a better fit for the prediction that you have.

If you’d like to learn about all the different options that you have, check out our Types of Baseball Bets page now for everything you need to know.

Overvaluing a Star Player

The following mistake does not apply to pitchers. Make sure when you’re looking at a game that you don’t put too much value on a star player that is in the game or is sitting out of the game.

While the big hitters are important and can add a lot of value, we find that people seem to overvalue them and overreact when one of them is out for a game.

We’ll skip the little league speech about how baseball is a team sport and all of that, but it really is true. One player can do a lot to help the team along, but they need the support of the other players to turn that help into runs.

Teams are still highly capable of winning without one star player in the lineup. In fact, you can find a lot of value betting on a team that has a starter out because the betting public loves to overreact to that and bet insanely heavily the other direction.

Not Line Shopping

We’ve saved the biggest baseball betting mistake for last. If you are not shopping your lines regularly, then you are doing yourself a grave injustice. What is line shopping? It’s nothing more than checking a few different sportsbooks to see who is offering the highest payout on the exact same bet.

Yes, different sportsbooks will pay you different amounts of money for the exact same wager.

How do you know who is paying the highest? Well, you have to check. It’s a lot like shopping for a deal in “real life.” You might check multiple stores online to see who has the best price and then you buy the product there. Line shopping is exactly the same.

You check multiple online sportsbooks to see what they are offering on each bet, and then you place each individual bet where you are getting the best payout.

The only excuse for skipping line shopping is laziness, and it’s a massive mistake. It’s especially a massive mistake when betting baseball because due to the smaller market size on each game, the lines are more volatile which means you’re going to see a lot of variance across the books.

If you aren’t getting the best price and the best lines, then you’re leaving free money on the table.

What You Should Be Doing

It looks like we’ve thoroughly covered what you should not be doing when you’re betting on baseball. But, what about what you should be doing? Well, we’ve got you covered there as well.

Check out our Baseball Betting Strategy Guide for a complete breakdown of what you should be doing when you’re betting on baseball. Our experts take a look at basic and advanced concepts in a way that anyone and everyone can understand.

It’s the perfect complement to this baseball betting mistakes guide.