- Joined ESPN in 2014
- Journalist covering gambling industry since 2008
The Los Angeles Dodgers have been World Series favorites the entire season and remain the team to beat as the playoffs begin, according to oddsmakers.
The Dodgers are +375 to win the World Series at Caesars Sportsbook, followed closely by the Houston Astros at +475. The Tampa Bay Rays are +650, and the San Francisco Giants are +675. The Chicago White Sox (+750) and Milwaukee Brewers (+800) round out the teams with single-digit odds.
The New York Yankees and Atlanta Braves are each +1,200, the Boston Red Sox are +1,600 and St. Louis Cardinals +2,000.
The Dodgers, the defending World Series champions, opened at +450 to repeat and were never surpassed as the favorites at Caesars Sportsbook. The Dodgers host the Cardinals on Wednesday in the National League Wild Card Game.
The Astros were 22-1 on Opening Day but saw their odds improve quickly. By June, Houston was 10-1 and attracted the largest reported World Series bet at Caesars Sportsbook, for $2 million. Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale, a popular Houston furniture store owner, placed the big bet on the Astros. McIngvale often uses the betting market as insurance on promotional giveaways at his Houston store, Gallery Furniture.
“Obviously, the Astros would be our worst-case scenario,” Craig Mucklow, vice president of trading at Caesars Sportsbook, said in a company release. “We’d also like the Giants, Yankees and Dodgers not to win.”
The Giants overcame long odds to reach the playoffs. They were 100-1 to win the World Series on Opening Day, the longest odds of any team to reach the playoffs. They were 200-1 back in February, when Caesars Sportsbook said a Nevada bettor placed a $2,550 bet on San Francisco that would pay a net $510,000 if the surprising Giants win it all.
The Cardinals faced even longer odd than the Giants, and in August, could be found as long as 500-1 to win the World Series. A St. Louis win would be the worst-case scenario for BetMGM sportsbooks in their odds to win the World Series.
The Yankees and Red Sox face off in a wild-card game Tuesday in Boston to open the playoffs. New York is around a -125 favorite over the Red Sox in what bookmakers are anticipating will be a heavily bet game.
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