Vegas Lines Can Do More Than Just Empty Your Pockets
Daily Fantasy Baseball has more data than any other sport. While still very complex to analyze, baseball is largely a one on one battle between pitcher and batter, with way less variables than a sport like football. For a running back to have success during the course of a rushing play, he needs his blocking to do their jobs as well. During the course of a baseball “play” a batter is relying on only his abilities.
The comparably simplistic nature of baseball has led to much deeper analysis than in any other sport. Advanced analytics have been around far longer in baseball than in any other sport and as a result we have a plethora of data at our disposal.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the available data in Daily Fantasy Baseball. Making sense of what data is useful and what data isn’t is key as there’s limited time to select lineups. We’ve already broken down the most important pitching and batting stats, but the most important data to factor in during research are Vegas lines.
Let’s face it, the odds makers for major sportsbooks are way better at predicting outcomes of games than we’ll ever be. Rather than try to do that ourselves, we’ll sit back and take advantage of their work by applying it to our DFS selections. For a more in depth look at why Vegas Lines are accurate for predicting sports outcomes check out this article. Now lets look at the 3 types of Vegas lines we use.
Moneylines demonstrate the odds of either team winning. An example of a moneyline:
Washington Nationals -118
New York Mets +105
The lower number (-118) shows the favorite, while the higher number (+105) shows the dog. By using a no vig odds calculator, you can use moneylines to predict the probability of either team winning. In this example we’d predict the Nationals to win 52.6% of the time and the Mets to win 47.4% of the time.
Los Angeles Dodgers -153
Cleveland Indians +136
Using the no vig calculator, we can predict the Dodgers to win 58.8% of the time and the Indians to win 41.2% of the time. It’s important to note sometimes both sides will have negative numbers, such as Blue Jays -108 Twins -104. In this instance the Blue Jays are slight favorites.
Moneylines are most useful in aiding us in our pitcher selections. We want pitchers on heavily favored teams as they’re more likely to get fantasy points for a win (4 points on DraftKings and 12 points on Fanduel). Of the four teams above, we are most likely to select the pitcher for the Dodgers as his team is a strong favorite.
Team Run Totals
Team Run Totals show the odds of a team scoring a certain number of runs in a game. They are expressed in an over/under format, allowing bettors to wager that there will be more or less runs scored than the run total provided. Example:
Rangers Over 4 Runs+105 / Under 4 Runs -118
Again using the no vig odds calculator, we can predict the probabilities of both outcomes. We’d predict the Rangers have a 47.4% chance of scoring over 4 runs and a 52.6% chance of scoring less than 4 runs.
Unlike moneylines, sportsbooks have the ability to change not only the odds, but the run total number itself. When the disparity in the odds of each side grows too large they will adjust the run total. This allows us to eyeball run totals for a prediction of how many runs will be scored, as the odds will typically be close to 50/50. We can quickly estimate the Rangers to score 4 runs in this game.
We want to pick batters on teams with high run totals. We want to pick pitchers facing teams with low run totals.
Players prop bets show the odds of an individual player achieving a specific feat. Here sportsbooks are really trying to make life easy for us, projecting the outcomes of individual players. For example:
Jake Arrieta Will Have 6 Strikeouts
Once again you can use the no vig calculator to project the specific probability of either side. You can almost always find individual props for pitchers. Batters can and will also have props (for things like home runs), but not all batters will have props. It’s unusual to find a hitting prop for lesser known players.
Use props to target players who have strong probabilities of achieving stats greater than their average game stats.
Neither of these sites require you to log in to view their odds:
Pinnacle Sports has the sharpest lines in the industry and I highly recommend using them for moneylines and team totals. They do not however offer player props.
Bovada/Bodog offers a wide range of player props that cannot always be found elsewhere.