TSP Live Insider 5/29 – Baccarat vs Baseball

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Strategy, Commentary, Ramblings & Wagering

Good morning!

June TSP Live and FMA subscriptions are now open for signup at https://TSP.Live/tsp-live. Thank you for joining me in May’s TSP Live! I hope you had fun and cashed some tickets. I look forward to another month of quality market intel and content ahead! Thank you as always for your support and good luck in your action! Let’s keep building bankroll…football is only two months away! LOL

The topic for today is playing streaks in MLB. One of the questions I get a lot is whether it is good to follow a good team after their first win after a losing streak…or fade a lousy team after their first loss after a winning streak. What does this look like?

Let’s say the Yankees are a good (i.e. winning) team and are 0-5 their last five games (making this stat up). Today, the Yankees play Seattle and the Yankees win the game. Do you bet the Yankees the next game and keep betting the Yankees until they lose? Not a rollover, just 1 unit bets to ride a potential winning streak after a losing streak? Call it a “progression play”. Obviously, the same theory plays itself out in fading a bad team after they lose a game following an extended winning streak.

The theory behind the “strategy” being that if a team is good, they won’t just win one game and then lose one game and then win one game, etc. Instead their wins (and usually losses) will come in bunches. I call it the “Baccarat Theory”. In the casino game of baccarat, most bettors will wager on the runs that occur in the dealt hands between the “Player” and the “Banker”. Without getting too deep into the game of Baccarat (you can Google it), there are three options to bet…Banker, Player and Tie. Let’s leave out the tie for now. Ties are like an added prop bet (versus like a 3-way soccer bet…where if there is a tie/draw the other bets lose). So, if you bet the Banker and the hand is a tie, you get your money back…same as if you bet the Player. If you bet the tie, you bet pays off at 8-1. So, on a tie the Banker and Player hands push.

Alright, so in the game of Baccarat, most players will look for trends like three Bank hands winning in a row, then a Player hand wins and then a Bank hand wins. At this point the bettor will often play the Bank in the hopes it has another three hand or run. There is no card counting, no major strategy. Baccarat is about playing the runs and effectively betting on a coin toss using cards instead of a coin. However, just like flipping a coin, the coin won’t go heads, tails, heads, tails, heads, tails. It will be more like heads, heads, heads, heads, tails, heads, tails, tails, tails, etc. Whereby even though the odds of heads or tails coming up is 50/50, you will see a lot of runs by both sides of the coin along the way.

So, sports betting is also a binary choice (Team A or Team B) and thereby will theoretically operate in the same way. The “strategy” of this method for sports betting is simple. If a team wins, you blindly bet them in their next game and keep betting them as long as they are winning in the hope they win 2,3,4+ games in a row. If the Yankees are going to win 60% of their games this season…it means they are going to have to win some games back to back to back to do it. Likewise, if Oakland is going to lose 80% of their games, then they will have to lose games back to back to back. As such, when Oakland wins three games in a row and finally loses one, is their a higher chance they lose the very next game due to regression to the mean? Statistically yes…but there’s a catch…your equation assumes that Oakland will not get better but will continue to win 20% of their games and lose 80%. Likewise, your equation for the Yankees assumes they will continue winning 60% and thereby will win more games than they lose…meaning wins back to back to back along the way. It is this risk as to why you can’t just blindly bet this theory and expect easy wins. Teams do go from awful to winning…and from winning to awful throughout a season.

I have no statistical evidence supporting or discrediting this strategy from a performance standpoint. However, the obvious issue at the end of the above paragraph is the clear risk in this theory. Obviously there is no guarantee that the Yankees who may be winning 60% of their games will continue to win 60% of their games for the entire season. Likewise, as bad as Oakland may be, there is no guarantee they will continue to win less than 20% of their games. If we know those factors to be correct and could predict them accurately moving forward, then yes, blind betting the fresh winning and losing streaks would be a great strategy.

Yes, if Oakland improves to 40% wins then still fading them on their first loss after a winning streak would work from a win percentage perspective BUT their moneyline may still reflect a team that is awful (because the public will be fading with you so the book will juice the prices) so you are overpaying by fading them and this won’t work. Same thing with the Yankees. If the Yankees hit a stretch where they win 54%, then sure, playing the runs strategy might work from a win percentage standpoint, but when you figure in their moneyline odds it may not work out. The Yankees will see a lot of public action, the moneylines will be higher. So, when you win two bets and lose one…technically this theory played out, but if those two wins were as -220 favorites, and the one loss was at -250…you lost $50 despite the strategy “working”. The line is the great equalizer and makes blind following this strategy a likely loser.

However, despite lacking statistical evidence through my own analysis…I know many bettors use this strategy, some to success. Usually, those who are successful use it as a filter and then bring in other data and information to decide whom to follow or fade. Some also don’t just blind follow the entire run either. An example would be that someone might see the Yankees getting a sharp buy, OK, not enough to fire on its own…but then they also see the Yankees got a win in their last game after coming off a long losing streak. So, it is now not just a sharp buy but a progression to the mean angle as well…and given those two reasons they bet. The Yankees win…but the next game the Yankees are -330…the bettor passes. So, in this way they aren’t just blindly riding the streak, but they used the progression theory to find one well situated bet to wager on the Yankees…and then that was it. They got their win and now they are out!

So, I would not use this strategy of playing the runs by itself, but it can be a good handicapping filter when analyzing the action and your wagers.

Today’s early sharp buying sees buying on…Dallas Stars -123, Cecchinato -105 (ATP French Open/Roland Garros), Tampa Bay/Chicago Cubs OV8 (-120). To a tiny extent right now, Boston -7 in the NBA.

Let’s see what develops and maybe find something to keep our Twitter rollover rolling!!!

That’ll do it for me today. I hope you have a wonderful day and good luck in your action!