The Importance of Starting Pitchers at the Sports Book

December 1, 2010 Sportsbook

Sports book baseball lines are greatly influenced by the starting pitchers in each game, perhaps too much so.

While the starting pitchers in a baseball matchup are certainly relevant to both the side and total bets, they are not the only factor to take into consideration when wagering at the sportsbook.

Sports book baseball betting is oftentimes all about other factors. Nowadays, with teams relying on their bullpen specialists more than ever before, it is just as important to know about a team’s relief staff as it is their starter when handicapping sportsbook baseball odds. There are actually very few starters that should command top dollar on the sports betting boards at the sportsbook. Just as important, many starting pitchers will go through snake-bit type seasons in which they pitch with extreme effectiveness and yet be abandoned by their hitting lineups or late relief staff and still not be able to bring home the bacon at the sports book.

More than ever before at the sports book, a gambler must take a complete team into account when analyzing the side and total selections. For example, what good is a top notch starter versus the sports book odds if he has weak lineup support or a late inning relief staff that will give away all that he gained on the hill during his start?

For players who quickly fall in love with the under at the sports book in games that involve two top shelf starters taking the hill they should be reminded that the baseball betting lines at the sportsbook will be set to reflect the stellar reputations of those starters.  Also, you had better know that both starters will receive quality relief as it is a near certainty that they will not get past the seventh inning, which leaves plenty of time for lesser pitchers to give up runs that will put the game over the sports book total.

The opposite holds true in a game featuring two weak starters, which often prompts over action at the sports book. First, the sports book oddsmakers will post extremely high totals at the online sportsbook to compensate for these bad pitchers and, second, if these pitchers have good relief staffs they will likely receive a “quick hook” from their managers at the first sign of trouble and those relief staffs may put out the fire and keep the game under the inflated sports book total.

Far too many sports book gamblers place far too much significance on the starting pitchers, when there is so much more for them to take into account for a complete sports betting handicapping job.