The Blue Jays’ recent hot streak has been awesome to watch, but oddsmakers are making it very difficult for us to cash in.
Knowing the Jays are both a popular bet and very likely to win, sportsbooks have jacked the Blue Jays betting odds up to the point where you’re not getting any value anymore.
In Toronto’s last six games, the Jays have been favourites of -180 or higher (meaning you have to risk at least $180 to win $100) five times. One game against the Yankees, Toronto was a -223 favourite. In games against the Phillies over the past month, the Jays were -250 or higher favourites three times. (All stats as of Tuesday, Sept. 1)
So what, you might think? As long as they’re winning, who cares how much you have to risk?
But when the Jays do lose, like they did at home as -220 favourites against Cleveland Monday night, it can put a serious dent in your wallet. If they were to lose two straight games as -220 favourites, there’s $440 out the window in an attempt to win $200.
Fortunately, there are other ways to bet on heavy favourites in baseball without risking as much. Let’s explore:
1. Run Line
The run line is a handicap, much like the point spread in football. The standard run line in baseball is -1.5, meaning the favourite needs to win by 2 or more runs in order for you to win your bet. Taking a -200 favourite on the -1.5 run line often drops the odds down close to the 50/50 range (-100).
The downside to the run line bet is that even if the Jays win the game by 1 run, you’ll lose. But the way the Jays have been blowing out opponents (19 of their last 21 wins have come by 2 or more runs), you might not have to worry about it too much.
Over/under is when you bet on whether the teams will combine to score more (over) or less (under) runs than a total posted by the oddsmakers. Over/under is nice because the odds are generally in the -110 range.
It’s no secret that the Jays have the best offence in baseball, and that’s the biggest key to their success. So if you think the Jays are going to win the game, there’s a strong chance their game will also go over the total. Toronto had gone over the total in 9 of 11 games before Monday’s loss to the Indians.
3. Team Total
Team totals are like over/under, except you are just betting on whether one team (not both) will score over or under the amount of runs posted on their team total. If the Jays are big favourites and the over/under for the game is 9, the Jays’ team total will likely be 5, or maybe 4.5 with steeper odds attached.
In their last 9 wins, the Jays scored 5 or more runs in all of them. In their last 5 losses, they scored 2, 1, 4, 1 and 3 runs. So it’s almost like betting the Blue Jays over the team total is the same as betting on them to win, but you’re getting much better odds.
4. First half
First-half betting allows you to bet on the result of the first 5 innings, rather than the full 9. The Jays have been jumping ahead of their opponents in a lot of games lately (doesn’t it seem like Josh Donaldson homers in the first inning every night?) so they appear to be a pretty good bet in the first half of games.
Toronto’s money line odds on the first half will still be high, but you can lay the -0.5 runs in the first half to reduce your risk. The downside is that if the game is tied through 5 innings, you’ll lose your bet. But you’re still able to use a run line without requiring the Jays to win by 2 or more.
If you’ve played Proline, you’ve played parlays. Parlays are when you combine several bets onto one ticket in order to increase your payout (Proline makes you parlay games, but sportsbooks allow you to bet one game at a time).
Taking the Jays at -200 odds might be too rich for your blood, but if you combine the Jays -200 with a favourite in the -150 range, you’ll be getting approximately +150 odds on your bet.
SportsBook Bonus tip: Pinnacle Sports and Bet Online offer the best Blue Jays betting odds. These sportsbooks cater to professional bettors so they won’t increase the Blue Jays betting odds too high just because they think a lot of people want to bet on them.