Can the total on a baseball game tell us anything about which team will win? That’s not really an easy question to answer, but there are a few indications that it does, especially when we get to games with high totals.
We’ll use the last three seasons as our sample for this article and while that doesn’t sound like much, remember it’s twice as long as the NBA season and 10 times longer than the NFL season, so the number of games contained in that span is pretty significant.
For starters, let’s look at the record and winning percentage of the favorite for each total, beginning with 5.5 and ending with 13.
5.5 2-0 (100%)
6.0 32-16 (66.7%)
6.5 125-98 (56.1%)
7.0 384-277 (58.1%)
7.5 687-459 (59.9%)
8.0 684-474 (59.1%)
8.5 828-624 (57%)
9.0 624-469 (57.1%)
9.5 388-242 (61.6%)
10.0 165-103 (61.6%)
10.5 92-65 (58.6%)
11.0 52-44 (54.2%)
11.5 26-26 (50%)
12.0 19-12 (61.3)
12.5 11-12 (47.8%)
13 1-1 (50%)
If we were to break that down into two separate groupings, such as totals of 10 and under and totals of 10.5 and over, we’d see that in games with totals of 10 or less, favorites are 3919-2762, which is 58.7%.
In games where the total is 10.5 or higher, favorites are 201-160, which is 55.7%, or 3% less than games with lower totals. Blindly playing the underdogs in these games would have yielded a small flat-bet profit of $402 and an ROI of 1.1%, so we can use that as our foundation, but have a little bit of work to do to get it to a worthwhile winning percentage and return on our risk.
It’s pretty simple in this case, as away underdogs with a total of 10.5 or higher have posted a 106-130 record, good for a profit of $1,210 and an ROI of 5%. Home underdogs are 54-71, but at a lower take price and would have resulted in a loss of $800 and a -6.5% ROI.
Now, if you read the Rested Underdog Baseball Betting System that was just posted, you saw how rested underdogs have performed poorly, so if we look at away underdogs with no rest, our record would improve to 100-115 and have yielded a profit of $1925 and an ROI of 8.9% and if they are dogs of +120 or greater, our winning percentage drops slightly, but our return is greater, as these teams have gone 65-81 for a profit of $1,648 and an ROI of 11.2%.
Underdogs of less than +120 have actually posted a winning record, going 35-34, but show a small profit of $277 and an ROI of 4%, which isn’t bad, but not quite as good as larger underdogs have fared.
To sum up, take unrested away underdogs of +120 or more in games where the total is at least 10.5.