Personally, I love to bet on sports all year round. But there is one time of the year that I always seem to make more money than the rest of the year, and that is in July!
When the weather heats up, so does my betting action.
It’s not a coincidence that I always crush souls in the summertime, as there are a lot of dynamics at play that help make July the best month of the year for sports bettors!
What Is the Best Month for Sports Betting?
With most other major sports like the NFL, NHL, and NBA being out of season, July is when Major League Baseball takes center stage. As a former sportsbook operator, I can tell you that baseball is the lowest hold game for the house, as it is very beatable, particularly during the dog days of summer.
But, in order to beat baseball in July, you have to understand all of the factors that make it such a great time to bet.
In this article, we are going to highlight TheSportsGeek’s Top 5 reasons why July is the best month for sports bettors by zeroing in on Major League Baseball. Let’s get started by taking a look at how the looming trade deadline can affect your bets!
MLB Trade Deadline
Some sports leagues, like the NBA for example, go crazy at the trade deadline with lots of activity and franchise-changing deals being made. Whereas in other leagues, like the NFL, we don’t see very much in-season action when it comes to trades.
Major League Baseball falls somewhere in the middle, as we do see lots of impact players moved, but we rarely see too many Earth-shattering deals made midseason before the trade deadline.
The Major League Baseball trade deadline is August 2nd this year, which means that the teams that are going to be wheeling and dealing are going to make most of those moves during the month of July.
We don’t have to look back very far to see the potential impact of these deals, as last year, the World Series champion Atlanta Braves won the trade deadline, which allowed them to go on to win the world title a couple of months later.
Atlanta had a slow start to the year, but they didn’t lose hope, as they went all in by making several moves in July to bolster their already talented, yet struggling, roster. The Braves picked up Joc Pederson, Jorge Soler, Eddie Rosario, and Adam Duvall and quickly went from a fringe playoff contender into a true World Series favorite.
It is impossible to perfectly predict which teams are going to be buying and which are going to be selling, but you need to keep a very close eye on any and all trades, as they can significantly change the competitive landscape of the league overnight.
Imagine the horror of making a bet on a team that seems undervalued in a matchup at first glance, only to find out they just traded away their top hitter or reliever and you missed it.
This goes both ways, as we have teams loading up on talent, and we have other teams dumping salary and looking towards the future. Every year, we see teams rising and falling in July, and once you identify which direction a team is headed, you can take advantage of it by backing or fading these teams.
We already talked about how the Braves parlayed last year’s trade deadline into a bunch of wins, and when you look at the other end of the spectrum, we saw the exact opposite with teams that dumped talent.
The Washington Nationals held an epic fire sale last year in July, and when all of the smoke cleared, they came out of the deadline by losing 13 of their next 15 games.
This next topic that I am going to highlight piggybacks on the previous trade deadline topic, as we see a lot of teams start to tank in July. Some of those tanking teams are like the Nationals last year who tanked because they traded away all of their best players. But teams tank in July for other reasons as well.
By July, we generally have a pretty good idea of who teams actually are. This year, for example, when you look at the teams that would make the playoffs from each league, there aren’t many that are going to surprise anyone. In the AL, the Yankees, Astros, Rays, Blue Jays, and Red Sox were all expected to be good, and are living up to that billing.
Over in the NL, most everyone expected the Dodgers, Braves, and Padres to be elite, and they have been just that. And when you look at the teams that we thought wouldn’t be competitive, most of them aren’t. Nobody is going to be shocked that the Orioles, Royals, Athletics, Nationals, Reds, or Rockies are sitting in last place.
As former NFL head coach Dennis Green once famously stated, they are who we thought they were!
July is where those struggling teams generally really hit a wall, as they realize that they aren’t going to realistically make the postseason and when wins are no longer a major part of the equation, we can see a lot of sustained losing. As ugly as things have been for teams like Reds, Royals, and A’s, you can be sure that things are going to get even worse the rest of the month.
Find The Fade
Finding ways to fade these tanking teams is a great spot to start when you are planning your July sports betting strategy. Good teams find ways to win games that they shouldn’t, and bad teams love to give games away, and that is only amplified in July.
It used to be that it was very rare to see teams lose north of 100 games in a season. But now that teams are intentionally tanking, which generally starts in the month of July, we almost always see at least one, and sometimes multiple, teams losing 100 games in a year. When teams are losing at that high of a rate, you can basically blind bet the other way and get paid.
Prospect Call Ups
As a fan, I absolutely love seeing the next generation of future stars get called up to the show. Seeing top prospects get their first shot at the Big Leagues is always exciting.
We tend to see a lot of those call ups come in late June or early July.
Players might scream that this is intentional service time manipulation, whereas the GMs are going to say that it is strategically based on the needs of the team, but whatever the true case may be, we always see a fresh crop of newcomers taking the field during the summer.
The J-Rod Show
Sometimes these young guns hit the ground running and provide an immediate boost to their team. Seattle Mariners prospect Julio Rodriguez is a perfect example of that, as J-Rod has quickly become a staple near the top of the Mariners lineup, and recently became the fastest player in MLB history to hit 15 home runs and steal 20 bases, needing only 81 games.
J-Rod was a consensus top-5 prospect entering this season, so most people expected him to be great, but just because you are highly touted, doesn’t mean you are going to be a needle mover right away in the majors.
It was actually Baltimore Orioles catching prospect Adley Rutschman, not Rodriguez, that was the top prospect on most scout’s big board coming into the season, and things haven’t gone very well for the hard-hitting backstop.
Rutschman Struggling In The Big Leagues
Unlike J-Rod, playing every day in the majors has been tough on Rutschman, as he is hitting just .214, with only 4 homers, and 11 RBI, in 38 games. Some of these young guys are going to boom and some are going to bust and keeping a close eye on them is key to making money when betting in July.
Pay attention to these calls up and make sure you understand how they affect the dynamic of the roster once they get a chance to play.
If teams are able to add a potential All-Star caliber player like Julio Rodriguez, that needs to be on your radar. And when potential stars like Adley Rutschman turn into a black hole in the lineup, you need to factor that into your plays as well.
30 years ago, load management wasn’t a thing, as players played every day unless they were hurt. Those days are long gone now, as teams are always looking for ways to extend the shelf life of their best players. That’s not to say that some guys aren’t out there playing 160+ games a year, it does still happen, but that is now the exception, not the rule.
What we see a lot nowadays, is that teams are tracking at-bats, innings, and pitches to make sure that their studs are healthy for the playoff push ahead.
This might mean a starter misses his spot in the rotation once a month, or that a position player gets an extra day off here and there. The best teams will space these out to not negatively affect the on-field product too much, but some teams don’t care about winning at this point in the season and will sit several guys all at once.
We see most of this load management hitting the very young or very old players.
Guys like Albert Pujols and Miguel Cabrera aren’t able to play every day like they did a decade ago. And youngsters, like Mariner’s star prospect pitcher George Kirby, are held to inning count caps, and you are going to see him get pulled earlier than usual or skipped in the rotation, as Seattle tries to keep his arm fresh.
July is where we really start to see this workload management start to hit hard. Nobody wants to burn out a top prospect this far out from the postseason and those veteran stars with the achy knees want to stay fresh, so they are going to get more days off than you might expect.
It can be difficult to predict when these extra days off are going to hit, which means you need to always check the lineup card for a game before making your bets. There is nothing worse than to see the starter you thought you were backing was a late scratch, or that their cleanup hitter is getting a day off after you make your bets.
A futures bet is a catch-all term for a bet on something that is going to happen in the future.
These can be bets on teams to win the World Series, over/under win totals, or player award bets like rookie of the year or league MVP.
July is a perfect time to make these bets, as you have a fairly clear picture of where these bets stand, and the odds are still attractive enough to bet them profitably.
AL Rookie Of The Year Award:
Let’s take a look at his year’s rookie of the year award betting in the American League. We already talked about Julio Rodriguez taking the league by storm, and despite a couple of other rookies having strong years, most notably, Bobby Whitt Jr. and Jeremey Pena, J-Rod seems to be running away with the award. In just the last week, Julio went from a -120 favorite to -210. That is a huge jump, and assuming that he continues to dazzle for the M’s, these odds are only going to continue to plummet. That’s not to say that he is a mortal lock to win the award, but you can be sure that the odds are only going to get sharper and sharper as we get deeper into the season.
After July comes and goes, most of these future’s bets are going to lose all of their value. Being able to have a ton of data to help guide your bets, while still having solid odds to bet on, is one of the top reasons why July is the best sports betting month of the year!
If you ask me, July sports betting is the highest value type of bet that you can make! With Major League Baseball roughly half of the way through the season, you have lots of information at your disposal to make informed wagers and the odds are as good as they are going to be the rest of the way out.
Are you looking to get in on all of this juicy July sports betting action? Then make sure that you swing by TheSportsGeek’s online sportsbook page, where we bring you exclusive offers at all of the top online sports books.
We are already well into the month, so you don’t want to waste another minute missing out on July sports betting, as it is some of the best action of the year! Thanks for reading and good luck betting on Major League Baseball this July!
PLACE YOUR BETS NOW!