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Faves Coming Through In First Half Of MLB Season

Sports books took some high heat in major league baseball in May and the numbers suggest that June may not be a whole lot better. 

Nevada books earned just 1.5 percent on baseball action in May according to Nevada Gaming Control - the worst hold for the month going back at least 12 years. A rise in scoring and big win rates for both favorites and the OVER seemed to be the culprits for books - and June isn’t looking much better. 

Favorites were 59.1 percent in June (240-166), which is close to May when faves cashed in at 61.4 percent (256-161). The OVER was 55 percent in May and 52.4 percent in June. 

For now, let’s look at the favorites and I’ll get into the OVER in another article. 

Faves are winning at 58.2 percent (768-550) this season compared to 55.9 percent (720-582) at the same point last season. 

"That doesn’t sound like much," you may find yourself saying. But in sports betting terms it’s significant when we’re talking about a mass of 1,300 games or so.

The proof is in the big adjustments sportsbooks are making. Take a look: 

Average Odds Per Game By MLB Season (To ALL-Star Break)
SeasonFavorite lineUnderdog line
2016-137+127
2015-122+113

That’s a line adjustment of nearly .14 cents, which is a lot if you're not familiar with the juice (or the price on a bet set by oddsmakers). It means you need to win at 57.8 percent compared to 55 percent if you’re betting the same amount on every game. That’s where the books really get you throughout the course of a long MLB season. 

On the flip side, that also means we are seeing better payouts on underdogs right now. Dogs are getting .14 cents more value on average compared to last year.

So I’d recommend now, more than ever, you may want to take a hard look at the underdogs in MLB if that’s not your normal approach. It’s not only because of the great value we're seeing but also because these trends tend to even out over the course of a season. 

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