If you’re betting on baseball, you should be taking advantage of MLB first 5 innings lines. Betting on the first 5 innings is baseball’s version of 1st half betting.
You’re no longer limited to having to bet the winner of a full MLB Game, as was the case not long ago. You can also wager on the 2nd half of MLB Games as well as live in Game betting. All of which present the sharp bettor with more opportunities to gain an edge. All Sportsbooks offer 1st 5 inning lines.
The first thing you’ll notice if you compare the 1st five innings line to the game line is that they are nearly identical (sides, totals differ greatly). The 2nd thing you should notice is that the results when comparing the 1st 5 innings to the full game results, are anything but identical. That fact alone should tell you that there is a great opportunity to gain an edge over the bookmakers.
Simple Record Keeping Can Lead to Profits
For example, this article originally ran in 2009. The Yankees had the 3rd best record in the Majors with 51 wins. As one might expect, the Yanks were favored most days.
However, if you looked at their record in the 1st half of games, or, their record after 5 innings, they were 35-40. A losing record (remember, there are ties in the 1st 5 innings, which is why the record adds up to 75 when in fact they had played 87 Games). So betting against the Yankees and getting an underdog price each time would have been profitable in this example.
With the Yankees having a good overall record that year, and yet a losing record in the 1st 5 innings, that obviously tells you that the Yanks did well in the 2nd half of games. In fact they were among the better teams in baseball in the 2nd half with a record of 41-25.
The LA Dodgers had the best record in the Majors when this was first written, with 55 wins. Yet they were far from the best in MLB after 5 innings. They were 37-31 in the 1st 5 innings.
The San Francisco Giants had the best 1st 5 innings record in baseball at 47-31. Here again, you can see where there is a chance to exploit an edge. Looking for spots to bet against the Dodgers at a nice dog price in the 1st 5 innings was a good idea that year.
Looking for spots to bet on the Giants at a fair price was also a good idea. Looking to bet the Giants over the Dodgers in the 1st 5 innings of their Games was a real good idea!
Focus on Home and Away Records
Now you can even break it down even further into home and away stats. Back to the Yankees. Almost always favored at home and why not with a home record of 26-16 at the time of this article.
Their record at home in the first 5 innings was 15-19. That placed them among the worst in the Majors!
Looking for spots to bet against the Yankees at home getting a nice underdog price should have been on the top of any handicappers list that year.
You can, and should, also track pitchers records in the 1st 5 innings of games. A little record keeping goes a long way. Sportsbooks are obviously not paying much attention to their 1st 5 inning lines.
Many 1st 5 Inning Lines are Simply Wrong
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that when you have odds on two completely different betting propositions that are identical, yet you have results that are so completely different, there is an edge to be had. Put bluntly, the 1st 5 inning lines are wrong in many cases. The books don’t care because not enough players are taking advantage of them.
This approach to sportsbetting holds true across the board in all sports. If you really want to gain an edge, you need to look at alternative betting offers. Halves and quarters betting in football and hoops for example.
Far much less attention is paid to those bet offers by both players and bookmakers. While the whole world is betting on the outcome of a college football Game, very few are likely betting on the outcome of the first quarter.
Take the Bull Pen Out of the Equation
How many times have you bet on a baseball Game and lost in the later innings due to a bullpen blowing a Game? Betting on the first 5 innings eliminates that problem and allows you to concentrate on the starting pitchers without having to consider bullpen strengths.
Do a little extra work. Keep records, both teams and pitchers, wins and losses, based on the 1st 5 innings only. That simple process will allow you to find some fantastic opportunities on a daily basis. Or, should I say daily bases!