MLB Sports Betting 2019 – 162 Games of Studs, Duds & Oddsmakers Out For Blood

Posted on October 1, 2019 - Last Updated on February 24, 2020

We live in a glorious age. MLB sports betting is just a click away.

Inside The Lines – MLB 2019-2020

That’s the only conclusion I drew from an emotionally-gripping, seven-month baseball season involving brick-and-mortar, mobile, in-game and out-of-my mind parameters surrounding the NJ sports betting circus.

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A wild journey provided an emotional roller-coaster, sharpened handicapping skills and a freedom-unleashed thrill ride never possible before Paspa’s repeal. Perhaps its lessons will give you some golden MLB sports betting nuggets too.

As we start this post-season, I’ll try to advance on a slightly-profitable campaign that yielded a split on the over-under win totals on four teams, victory via the in-game mobile apps and a feel for the landscape.

  • I won with a month to spare on the Twins (over 84) and Diamondbacks, (over 76)
  • Lost just as quickly with the Phillies (over 88 1-2)
  • Sustained a nail-biting 1.5 game loss with the Chicago White Sox (over 73.5)

But what I gleaned from charting the teams, especially Chicago, provided profit via in-game mobile bets.

The original bets were wagered in a brick-and-mortar facility, Borgata, because it allowed me to place them amid an afternoon of horse-racing simulcasting. It was Opening Day and Post Time. In-game bets in September were all mobile.

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The season-long MLB sports betting NJ wagers formed inventoried data that revealed trends, inspired hunches and delivered the intellectual fuel to bet big with more confidence. That’s true in any sport.

A stark revelation from my odyssey was that many teams will finish in the neighborhood of their expected win total. Season long projections, compiled by sharp oddsmakers, provided the baseline against which I measured the game-by-game line.

One can handicap those teams like stocks, finding “buying” opportunities (betting on them) or “selling” opportunities (going against them) for individual games if you feel locked on to that team’s pattern.

>>DraftKings Boosts You Have To See To Believe – MLB Postseason Odds<<


The White Sox revealed the genius of the odds-makers.

Their number was 73.5. Their final win total of 72 revealed a strange ride. They were 42-44 went home for the All-Star break and never came back. They were spanked by the bad teams, the Angels and Royals, but showed up in spurts against good clubs.

They were frustrating, losing six one-run games down the stretch and then Mother Nature delivered the final Pale Hose.
It was last Friday night and the Sox were still mathematically alive at 70 with four home games remaining against the anemic Tigers.

But rain washed out Friday doubleheader and the teams decided to shorten the season to 161 games, triggering an unusual rule interpretation.

In past years, 161 games meant an automatic no-bet because the full 162 had to be played. The newer regulation is 160, allowing some wiggle room on a season-long wager.

It’s a rare and quirky phenomenon, because the clubs almost never forfeit the revenue from a game, but this time they did (couldn’t they play doubleheaders Saturday and Sunday? They did play two on Saturday).

The betting regulation itself makes sense because a last-day rainout on the Diamondbacks or Twins should not ruin the win I’d clinched before baseball season, right?

This washout was the final dagger in the White Sox bet. Keep the rule in mind with any over-under or season-long bets in the future. The rainout is a friend to the under, the enemy of the over.


Knowing the White Sox so well this year, I sensed when their pea-heartedness would creep in. If they lost a tough game one night, they also lost the following game. If they dropped the first two games of a series, they showed up and usually won the third.

Slowly, I had this team charted and made several bets in the last month of the season via mobile. Hit some in-game bets too.
As a final testament to this “insight”, I took the White Sox in game in the first leg of Saturday’s doubleheader.

They were losing 1-0, I placed the bet at plus 115 and they won 7-1. But the Sox can’t capture two games in one day so when they led the second game late, I went in-game against them. They coughed it up in the ninth. Another small win.

I made more money betting individual games than on the season-long win total.

But it was the combination of the two projections mixed with a feel of how a team is trending that provided an edge.

Think a team that won 72 games had a non-descript season? Not in THIS age. What helped make them playable is that, unlike the other teams, they were never a prohibitive choice. The price was always right.

The Phillies were harder to track. Remember they were a season-best 33-22 and should have had at least three more wins? The loss of Andrew McCutchen, in my view, was the blow they did not recover from. It was hard to gauge when they would play well thereafter.


Not much value for Nationals bettors tonight against Milwaukee, at -181 and the Brewers backers should be rewarded at more than +166 against Max Scherzer. But Washington giving 1.5 runs is a plus 115 and the over 7.5 is a -120. Reasonable possibilities.

Yes, four of the last five wild-card games have featured less than five runs, but that’s usually with two ace pitchers. Only recent history matters. Scherzer has recently been wild and Brandon Woodruff may not go deep into the game for Milwaukee, denoting this as a bullpen affair.

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Trying to time in-game bets has worked better for me at the start of a half-inning. It’s amazing how a walk, or a threat, makes numbers fluctuate wildly. A team down by a run early that you think will ultimately win should give you a good price.

Good luck tonight and going forward!

Dave Bontempo Avatar
Written by
Dave Bontempo

Dave Bontempo, a national multi-award-winning writer, and broadcaster, writes extensively on the evolving legalized sports-wagering world. Over the past four decades, he has called fights for all major networks, authored columns for the Associated Press, Atlantic City Press, and iGaming Player. He is in the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame, the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame and a Sam Taub Award for broadcast excellence, given by the Boxing Writers Association of America.

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