Friday 28 February 2020

Parlaying Big Baseball Favourites

Rufus Peabody, who is usually worth listening to, tweeted this yesterday:

Rather a sweeping statement, and certainly not true in all sports.

Eric, of whom I know nothing, and based on this tweet that is probably a good thing, chimed in with this comment:
Well, as always, don't believe everything you read. Do your own research, and it shouldn't take you long to confirm the findings in this blog that backing hot favourites in baseball has been a very successful strategy over the past few seasons. 

My definition of 'hot favourites' in baseball has been teams at -200 (1.5) or shorter, and below is the record of all such teams since 2013 (regular season matches only): 
As I've pointed out before, note the dramatic increase in favourites at this level, with the total number of selections increasing by 281% in just five years. When markets change this quickly, it takes a while for participants to adapt, which means there is opportunity.

While the numbers in the table above are impressive, adding in parameters for recency and looking at just road favourites, the ROI over those six seasons is 15.6%. 

With a positive edge (+EV) such as these in baseball, parlaying can be very profitable. The problem with baseball is that on any one day there won't be many selections, and you need to be very disciplined to parlay profits from one day onto the next, but the vague claim that parlaying big money favourites in baseball isn't a winning strategy is verifiably false.

Between May 7th and September 25th last season we had a sequence of 18 winners, (accumulator of 827-1), then a loss, followed by 11 consecutive winners.   

In the NHL, -270 (1.37) or shorter appears to be the level at which backing the favourites is profitable. With a record of 23-2 this season, and winning sequences of 13, 5 and currently another 5, again parlaying these hotties is profitable. 

It's a similar story in the NBA where Home Favourites of 13 points or more have a 64.5% record ATS since 2013 and parlaying should again be profitable. 

Bottom line is do your own research, and question sweeping statements such as the one that opened this post. The idea that parlays are for mugs is an old one, but when the individual bets have a positive expectation, it's not an idea with any merit.


fmiren said...

I've 2 questions:
1) If even all winners are priced at 1.5, our P/L for 2019 will be 367*0.5-106*1=77.5. While it's impressive, it is lower than 105.75
2) There are 162 games in a MLB season, isn't it? How do you get more than 450 games? Other leagues?

Unknown said...

Hi, great read as ever!

I'd like to get into system betting on MLB and I was wondering if you could say where you get your historical data from - both the odds and the results. Is this something you've compiled yourself or is it garnered from other sources?

Unknown said...

Hi. Parlay with 2 events ? Or more?