September 2, 2018 by

Betting on the Big Four Sports is Coming to a Casino Near You

In the United States, the Big Four spectator sports remain baseball, football, basketball, and hockey. At this time of the year, each sport is gearing up for either the start of the season (football, basketball, and hockey) or for the playoffs, in the case of baseball. Along with great sports action from the Big Four, sports betting is coming to many states where the law called PASPA had for about 25 years prevented it.

In most states, sports betting will be allowed through land based casinos. Bettors see this as a type of bonus to their casino experience. Although online casino bonuses are far more plentiful, the bonus of being able to bet on sports at a land based casino enhances the casino’s attractiveness.

Sports bettors will soon be able to bet on these sports and on many other sporting events plus “events” from the non-sporting world. Although there have been tens of billions of dollars bet illegally on sports in the United States for many years, the legalization of sports betting in states where it was previously illegal is certain to draw from the large group of citizens who never bet on sports illegally.

Each of the Big Four sports is unique and it is that uniqueness that makes one or more sports bets desirable as against other bets. We are reading these days in the news about several betting strategies and methods as sports betting gets going all over the United States. Here we will report on the best way to look at betting on the Big Four sports, especially at this time of the year.


Baseball is a relative low scoring game so the best bet is usually either a straight win bet or a straight lose bet. Bettors factor in weather, injuries, pitching, and other factors to make their final betting decisions.

During the regular season, when there are so many games and so few days off, one of the most important factors is simply to focus on teams’ streaks. If a team is playing well and winning, betting on them to continue is usually the best bet. Similarly, if they are in a funk, even if the funk lasts only one week, the team could lose six out of seven games very quickly. Thus, betting with a team’s short term trend is often the best strategy.

In the playoffs, there are far more off days. This has two very important effects on betting on baseball. First, many teams need only three starting pitchers so the relative value of their fourth and fifth starters may be entirely irrelevant. Also, because of the many days off, mangers are willing to go to their bullpen earlier than in the regular season. Thus the talent of each team’s bullpen often determines the outcome of a short playoff series. So, the number of quality starts a pitcher made during the season may not be important in the post-season.

All other factors remain important in the post-season except trends. Managers do not have the luxury of waiting for a team to get itself out of a losing funk so they will make changes in the playoffs that they wouldn’t make during the season.


The key here is that the result of pre-season games is not important to betting on football at the start of the season. Football teams have so many players and the long term outlook for a team often relies on the skill set of the bottom half of the roster. In the pre-season, coaches evaluate dozens of players to determine the team’s final roster.

Cold weather plays no role in the early weeks of the season.

The key in the early season is defense and quarterback play. Since you’ll be betting on the spread or the over/under, the improvement on defense from one year to the next is a very important betting parameter. You need to look closely at a team’s defense to see if new players are having a major impact on the team’s overall performance or if seasoned players are showing improvement in their play.

Improvement from one season to the next is even more important with quarterbacks. Study their maturity, passing accuracy, and general ability to keep the offense on the field. Every year, a quarterback who had not performed well previously begins to make excellent plays and changes the dynamic on their team.


The modern NBA is a league of so-called super teams and a large number of lesser teams. In basketball, winning “only” 60% of ones games is considered mediocre among the top echelon of teams. This contrasts dramatically with baseball where teams who win as many as 60% of their games are considered truly top teams!

The skill of the handful of superstars is the most important factor in the early part of the season. Players are still fresh and relatively healthy and teams want to get a fast start to the season so they are more likely to play their starters longer minutes. After about one fourth of the season, teams begin to rely on their bench players more but at the start of the season they have less need to do so. As a result, there are many lopsided games in the NBA in the early part of the year.

The impact of new coaches is also a big factor early on in the season. New coaches bring either a stronger commitment to offense or to defense but not usually to both. How a team responds to its new coach is very important especially at the start of the season. The enthusiasm factor is very important especially at the start of the season before the grind of the long season takes hold.


This is the quintessential team sports as most teams have to play all their players every game even if for just a short period of time to rest the main players. Superstars determine the outcome of many games but it is the goaltenders who are the biggest X factor in hockey. This is even more significant in the playoffs but in the regular season a hot goalie can set the tone for a long stretch of excellent play by a team.

Keep your eye on who is playing well in goal. Hockey is such a low scoring game, that goalie play determines many games.

Bottom Line

The best strategies for sports betting have always been to watch very closely in order to see what many others fail to see and never bet from emotion or sentiment. Of course, you can bet on your favorite team as long as you know that emotional betting on sports is a losing proposition in the long run.

Jack Marsh Picture
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Jack Marsh enjoys examining the world around him from many different points of view: the mathematical, the psychological, the political, and the philosophical.

He will write from a mathematical perspective on why the cards fall the way they do, from a psychological perspective on why gamblers gamble the way they do, from a political perspective on why forms of entertainment that are encouraged in one place are prohibited in another, and from a philosophical perspective on the nature of happiness ... [Read Jack Marsh full bio]