From DFS to DraftKings Sports Betting

Plays (Favorites to win per unit – i.e. 1.5 units to win 1 if -150, dogs risking per unit)

Indians 5.5o (+114) – 2 units to win 2.28 (free DK bet)
Indians/Reds 9over (-104) 1.03 units to win 2.03
Diamondbacks/Rangers 9.5over (-115) 1.15 units to win 2.15
Angels/Padres 8over (-114) 1.14 units to win 2.14
Giants/Dodgers 7over (-115) 1.15 units to win 2.15
Mets +170 1 unit to win 1.7
Because I have no faith in the Mets bullpen, to book the win, added:
Yankees +1500 (B7th) for 0.1 units to win 1.6

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6:30 ET Update

The Padres have the highest wRC+ on the board over the last week (+131) with some bats who can handle LHP. RHBs have a .406 wOBA against Andrew Heaney this season. I still think he can be successful against him, but he’s more likely than not to allow a few runs, while Clayton Richard could get run over (-3.6 K-BB% last eight starts) despite the absence of Trout.

The Dodgers are an improved and very dangerous lineup against LHP, while neither Madison Bumgarner nor Clayton Kershaw have been nearly as dominant this season. I still think Kershaw is the better pitcher at this point, but don’t want to lay -220. It’s an extremely negative run environment, but seven seems too low considering the current state of these two pitchers.

Also buying into deGrom at +170 because it’s just too high. May be looking to buy out of that if the game is close late and it looks like it’s going to come down to bullpens. Will try to update if that happens. Without the possible option to buy out of this later, I might lean towards not even playing it.

Angels/Padres 8over (-114) 1.14 units to win 2.14
Giants/Dodgers 7over (-115) 1.15 units to win 2.15
Mets +170 1 unit to win 1.7 units

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5:30 ET Update

Updated weather forecast seems optimistic tonight. Want to wait until Kevin updates on Crunch Time, but leaning towards a small play on Mets (currently +190) which I then may look to buy out of if it looks to be decided by bullpens.

Also still looking at late game totals. Will update at least one more time.

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4:30 ET Update

I promise I don’t only play Overs and generally play more Unders, but I think Zack Greinke is being over-valued here. His recent numbers aren’t very sharp. The Rangers may be able to put a few runs on the board, but I’m certainly not comfortable betting on Colon to get it done at +150. The Diamondbacks might be able to cover this Over on their own. This total seems too low.

Diamondbacks/Rangers 9.5over (-115) 1.15 units to win 2.15

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3:15 ET Update

- Homer Bailey has allowed at least four runs or more in five innings or fewer eight of 15 starts, five of them at home. In three of those home starts, he’s allowed multiple HRs. The bullpen is bottom of the board too. You’re getting plus money for the Indians above 5.5 runs tonight. The Reds are a well disciplined offense that may be able to put a few runs on the board against Clevinger as well.

Indians 5.5over (+114) 2 units to win 2.28 (Should note that I used a DraftKings free bet for this.)
Indians/Reds 9over (-104) 1.03 units to win 2.03

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Early Afternoon Update

This is my first peak at the lines today. Thoughts while seeing each one for the first time.

- We’ll want to watch the first game of the double-header for clues if there can be an advantage found in the second game…injuries or reliever usage? Folty has been struggling a bit recently and the Braves a huge favorite in Game Two.

- Wow, deGrom is up to +170. I know the Mets don’t score for him and he’s in a tough spot today, but the Yankees aren’t at full stength and have a struggling starter on the mound. This could be a game decided by a run late. Of course, the Yankee bullpen is miles ahead of the Mets. That price may be too high though. deGrom is also +150 for the first five innings, in which case I can avoid the pen. That may be the way to go. Another option is to straight up bet the Mets at +170, hope for the best and then live bet the other way if it looks like bullpens will decide it. This game opened around +145 for the Mets.

- The Rangers may be able to make some hard contact against Greinke at home, but I don’t think I want to side with Colon for +150. Let’s wait for lineups and more info and see if we can find something on the total (9.5 currently).

- While a debuting pitcher can sometimes have an air of mystery advantage for DFS, I’m wondering why the Jays are a reasonable favorite in Kansas City.

- All three west coast games have a total of eight or below. Negative run environments, but some pitchers who have been struggling or at least not at their best. I’m especially not sure Kershaw/Bumgarner warrants a total of seven anymore…or at least at this point in time.

More as lineups are released.

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Let’s start with something I can’t recall ever saying before. I’m very lucky to live in New Jersey (or unlucky depending on how this experiment turns out), where all the fun stuff seems to be legal now. We can play poker online, we can buy fireworks at Costco and, as of last week, we can now bet on sporting events at DraftKings.

It’s been a decade or even longer since I last wagered on a game. A lot of things have changed. There are options available to me now that I never would have dreamed of, but that’s a subject for future articles.

Just a few days ago, I was suddenly staring at lines and totals again and it felt like I had forgotten how to ride a bike in a sense. I’ve been a DFS players for more than half a decade now, attempting to hone a particular skillset. Some of the skills necessary to succeed at sports betting might be similar to those necessary for daily fantasy, but I’ve become much more accustomed to projecting individual performance before that of teams in recent years. I rarely ever even look at the standings anymore. We use moneylines and totals more as tools to inform than something we’re trying to figure out how to beat.

The other day, I was looking for other writers/contributers/employees of this site who lived in NJ and may want collaborate with sports betting ideas. When RotoGrinders asked me to write about the transition from daily fantasy to sports betting and my experiences with the new DraftKings Sportsbook, it essentially meant they were funding the experiment. How much luckier could I get?

At first, I’ll be coming at this almost entirely from a DFS perspective. Maybe some of the research I already do will be enough to stay afloat as a sports bettor. But over the course of the next few weeks/months, I’ll be attempting to accumulate or regain additional skills necessary to profit from sports betting. This article will be about that journey.

The good news is that I won’t be coming at this from an empty knowledge base. Integral knowledge of the sports I’ll be playing (mostly baseball, at least at first) and tools already available on RG are going to help. However, I also realize that there’s now access to information that may not have even been available the last time I placed money on a game. Things I may not even know about or don’t even really know where to find anymore. I’ll also be looking to rediscover previously lapsed skills with the hope that knowledge and life experiences over the last decade might even allow them to return stronger. At the very least, I now understand that things I used to believe might be important probably aren’t. I didn’t know what sabermetrics or advanced statistics and sports analytics were before six or seven years ago.

The day’s thoughts and plays will be posted with each article, but please don’t blindly follow the plays. This is an experiment with intent to acquire knowledge, improve and eventually profit, but certainly consider me an amateur, a casual at this point. If you find the reasoning to be valid and it helps, then great, but I don’t even pretend to have a clear handle and direction on everything yet.

I don’t have a system. I don’t know how many plays there will be on any given day. The size of the slate generally dictates the workload (more games = more work of course), but won’t necessarily affect the number of plays. Some days there might be nothing, but I’ll at least still attempt to offer thoughts and reasoning. I also hope for this to be entertaining too.

The intent is for the article to first publish at some point in the afternoon with initial ideas and leans, then be continuously updated as information becomes available throughout the day. While line moves are important, the good thing is there’s less time sensitivity involved (as opposed to daily fantasy) as players don’t need additional time to construct lineups and there’s no worry about contests selling out. We do want the best lines of course, but, at least at first, I have no way of predicting whether they’ll move in favor of or against over the course of the day (maybe that’s one skill that can be gained along the way).

Check back later in the day on for Day One plays and updates. Let’s just hope this experiment goes better than my foray into cryptocurrency at the end of last year.

About the Author

  • Matt Trollo (MTro86)

  • Matt has written for ReupSports in the past where he developed his unique pitching charts. He probably watches and reads more about baseball than any normal human being would find enjoyable, accumulating an incredible wealth of mostly useless knowledge, while he patiently waits for his jedi powers to manifest. In addition to writing the Advanced Pitching Charts column for RotoGrinders, MTro86 also heads up the premium MLB News Alerts during baseball season.

Comments

  • tkdman14

    • 2015 DraftKings FFWC Finalist

    Excited to see this Matt! Will you still be doing the Advanced Pitching article throughout the week also? It’s my favorite MLB article

  • upsyogi

    I also live in Jersey and have been play a ton on the sportsbook at low dollars. Very new so i look forward to read your stuff.
    Will you be talking parlays or just single bets

  • MTro86

    RG Writer

    I’m not sure exactly what this will be. Since the allure of DFS GPPs are always the big money, I’ll probably have to throw in a small parlay every day just to keep myself entertained. Yes, pitching articles still coming three days a week, along with alerts.

  • Vervdawg

    Good Stuff Matt! I am in NJ as well and it has been a roller coaster ride so far. Gone on winning streaks of 6 in a row, followed by a losing streak of 4……..I still have not decided if having played DFS for years gives me a leg up. We are used to doing a ton of research, but are we overthinking every bet we make? I look forward to seeing your results.

  • MTro86

    RG Writer

    I think there’s one aspect where DFS skills definitely help. That’ll be a future article as well.

  • rogue335

    I wish I lived in NJ. Wow. I really said that. I think legal betting in TX is scheduled for 2099.

  • upsyogi

    I like the Mets and the Under here as a parlay but i am also playing low dollar multi team parlays for fun here

  • MTro86

    RG Writer

    I don’t know if the Mets’ bullpen can hold the Under. Also great seeing the Mets jump up to +190, miss it, get it at +170 and then watch it go back up to +188 again.

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