With 2020 MLB Opening Day upon us, sports betting is back in a big way. David Main, BetMGM’s US Head of Sports Trading recently answered some questions about some of the trends we’re seeing from baseball bettors so far. We all know how crazy 2020 has been so far, but hopefully, baseball can help us return to “normal” — whatever that may be.
Main spoke about how COVID-19 has affected bettors, the biggest futures bets placed through BetMGM sportsbook app, and much more.
1. Has the MLB betting volume exceeded expectations? Comparable to previous years even with COVID-19 issues?
- The fact that there has been little preparation like full-on spring training, alongside with tighter schedules and not many rest days, plus fears that if a key player has a positive test they could miss two weeks, is impacting MLB betting activity. Over a regular season, two weeks out is manageable, however in a COVID-19 schedule that means they would effectively miss around 20% of the whole season just over those two weeks. The Yankees, for example, get only four days in August without a game, and only two days off in September and they have a stretch from the 4th through till the 27th of September where they play 23 games in 24 days, a 10-game stretch then one day off before a 14-game stretch. Both of those stretches include playing at the Blue Jays, so with them now looking like playing in Florida then traveling back straight after and then playing a home series with no rest day is going to take its toll.
2. What has been the largest bet placed via team futures to win the 2020 World Series?
- We’ve seen a couple of big wagers so far, we recently received a $10K wager on the Yankees to win @ odds of +375.
3. Most popular bets to lead MLB in home runs?
- Pete Alonso has been the most popular so far, closely followed by Vladimir Guerrero Jr and Giancarlo Stanton.
4. With BetMGM expanding into new markets like Colorado, how do you handle the home-town bias and assumed one-sided action on the Rockies?
- We have to pay some attention to home-town bias, but we won’t necessarily use the local bias in one state to force a price move if we are confident in our overall pricing. There are exceptions to this of course, but we tend to focus more on our pricing and our overall action across the country primarily.
5. Which MLB team over-under win total has received the most UNDER action?
- Pirates under 24.5 wins has had the most action so far, despite it being as low as 24.5 currently.
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