Why it’s not a good idea to bet on the Yankees

By the Decade: More designated, less hitting
Open Thread: The other side of the lake

If you were to bet $100 on one team, every game for the past decade, who do you think would have paid out the most? Since the Yankees had the decade’s best winning percentage, they’re an easy first choice. Yet they’re not even close. In fact, they’re one of the worst teams to bet on. You can thank the oddsmakers for that. If you’d bet $100 on every Yanks game this decade, you’d have lost $5,233. Mets bettors would have fared worse, losing $6,151.

Covers.com notes the best and worst bets of the decade in each sport, and the worst bet in the majors might come as a surprise. It actually has me wondering what is more cursed: the Cubs franchise or the Cubs bettors. Had you bet $100 on every game of theirs this decade, you would have lost $16,276. The winners, apparently, bet on the Angels. Anyone who bet $100 on each of their games would have won $10,888. The Marlins, Twins, A’s, Giants, Cardinals, and Rangers also finished in the positive.

All of this illustrates exactly why I don’t bet on baseball.

By the Decade: More designated, less hitting
Open Thread: The other side of the lake
  • Johan Iz My Brohan

    /Pete Rose’d

    • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)


  • Jeremy

    I still receive sports betting junk mail from signing up to place a Super Bowl bet four years ago. That’s why I don’t bet on any sports.

  • Ams223

    I bet 1 “sleeper” to win the ws each year… Haven’t won yet… Damn rays and Indians

    • radnom

      Mariners this year man.

      100-1 odds.

  • http://thebronxbloggers.wordpress.com Bronx Blogger

    I only play the parlays for the NFL, and i still lose.

    • http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bring-Melvin-To-America/193013541601?ref=nf Andy in Sunny Daytona

      Parlays are a sucker bet.

  • thurdonpaul

    many many years ago, i placed a bet through an illegal bookie on the super bowl, i actually won !! if i remember correctly i won 240 dollars. i owed my sister some money, so i used my winnings to pay her, when she went to the bank to deposit the money they told her 1 of the hundred dollar bills was counterfeit. i told her wow that sucked for her. i could not get away with that, so i had to give her another hundred, so thats the end of my betting on sports.

    • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

      That’s still 150 more dollars than you had before you made the bet.

      Not that I’m advocating illegal betting. Just saying.

  • Johan Iz My Brohan

    My worst bet ever?… That the Red Sox would not win the WS in 2004 =(

    • radnom

      You jinxed it you motherfucker.

  • radnom

    I was scanning the paper today and I saw the WS odds for each team.
    Yankees 3-1, Sox 7-1.

    What caught my eye was the Mariners at 100-1, tied for worst with the same odds as the KC Royals and all the other dregs of the league.

    I’ve never bet on sports before, but I might put a little down on the M’s to win it all.

    • http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bring-Melvin-To-America/193013541601?ref=nf Andy in Sunny Daytona

      It’s worth a $100 bet.

    • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

      I concur.

  • radnom

    So if you bet against the Yankees every game the past decade, would you come out positive?

    I feel like it can’t be that easy.

  • Section 39

    Why would anyone bet on a single team every year? That makes absolutley no sense at all. There were plenty of years where the Yanks were in no way in contention that year and it wouldn’t have made sense regardless of the odds. I would love to know the stats on what would happen if you bet just the years they were actually predicted to make the playoffs. I’m sure the payout would be much better than 5-6K in the red.

    Overall, dumb article.

    • radnom

      Reading comprehension fail.

      Which year in the past decade were the Yankees “in no way in contention”?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

      “There were plenty of years where the Yanks were in no way in contention”

      In what year, from 2000 through 2009, were the Yankees not in contention?

      I also think you missed the point. Don’t call dumb what you don’t understand. It’s just a look at how each team fared from a wagering perspective.

    • Spaceman.Spiff

      You actually misunderstood the article. If you understood what the method of getting those numbers were, you’d understand that what you said wasn’t addressing the same thing.

      Overall, not a dumb article.

  • Jersey

    I briefly looked into how these teams performed relative to their expected pythagorean won-loss using B-R, to see if maybe there was a relationship between that over- or under-performance and the initial line set by oddsmakers. For example, teams that routinely underperform their pythagorean might also tend to receive better odds than they should, and thus cost bettors money (at least, I think the theory is logical, but I may be misunderstanding how betting works).

    At first glance there appears to be a weak relationship – the Cubs, who would have lost bettors money, are something like minus-24 in actual win total versus expected win total for the decade, while the Cards are around plus-16, meaning they won 16 more than expected cumulatively for the decade. Other “profitable” teams for bettors also seemed to outperform their pythag quite a bit, cumulatively.

    As usual, the Yankees are the exception: for the decade, they outperformed their pythag by 41 wins or so, which leads me to wonder if that’s the best mark relative to pythagorean record for the decade out of any team. Also blows my theory out of the water.

    Some others I looked at (I just did these calculations in my head so they might be slightly off):

    Twins: plus-23
    Red Sox: plus-3
    Marlins: plus-17
    Mets: Plus-3
    Dodgers: plus-1
    Astros: Even

    Just some fun with numbers. Dog-sitting makes you do weird things.

    • Jersey

      Oh yeah: Anaheim was plus-22 or so for the decade.

  • V

    This is why you only bet on games after evaluating the odds. I’ll bet against Tim Lincecum if you give me insane odds. I’ll bet that the Royals will beat the Yankees if you give me insane odds, etc.

  • pollo

    You know who you shouldn’t bet on?

    Brett Favre.

    I swear that asshole is in bed with the Vegas. Call it a strong hunch.

  • Pasqua

    Maybe I’m missing something (obviously I am), and I see that it’s mentioned in the post, but if the Yanks had the best winning % of the decade, and we’re talking about betting $100 on the Yanks to win each game, exactly HOW in the hell would you lose money?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

      Also mentioned in the post: the odds.

      • Pasqua

        Right. Missed that sentence…twice. I’ll leave quietly.

    • Pasqua

      Okay, just looked at Jersey’s post above…are we talking about bets against a win “expectation” or just flat bets, as if you were betting on a horse to win a race?

      • Letthegamesbegin

        Betting baseball is one of the more difficult wagers. It’s not straight odds like horseracing, but goes as follows ..

        (from casinogambling website):
        “Let’s say that the Yankees are playing the Red Sox and the Yankees are the favorite. The money line may be listed as:
        Yankees -140 Red Sox +120.
        In this example, if you wanted to bet on the Yankees who are the favorites you would be putting up $140 and if you win you would collect $240 giving you $100 profit. In other words, you risk $140 to make $100. If you wanted to take the underdog Red Sox you would wage[r] $100 and collect $220 if you won. This means that you risk $100 to make $120”.

        Sounds easy. It’s not!

  • umbria

    accuscore and cool standings ( both.com) were good predictors of winners.

  • Yazman

    I’m guessing the most popular teams are generally the worst bets.

    Fans betting on their teams (as opposed to serious/sophisticated betters) skew the odds towards the popular teams. Makes it a bit harder for them to beat the odds.