No I didn't forget what I preached in April. It's a marathon 162 game MLB baseball season and if you tucked your baseball future tickets into the vault you might only want to begin reviewing them in early September. No certain winners or losers although "Under" tickets on the Philadelphia Phillies are looking pretty good right now.
You may recall I pointed out it's highly unlikely that even the best teams will win more than 60% of their games (98), nor the worst teams will lose more than 60% (64 wins). And in this 3rd week of June, it's looking to be on course for those numbers again. Only the record 40-8 stretch the Los Angeles Dodgers accomplished in 2013 assured bettors of cashing their Over the Win Total ticket early. And that was the greatest 50 game winning ride since the Cardinals in 1942. But what is forgotten about that feat is the Dodgers were a dismal 30-42 accomplished in April and May. Proof that many were thinking their future "Under" bet looked pretty good. But also a great opportunity to take advantage of some updated "mid-season future odds" for the League Championships and World Series.
It would be foolish to prognosticate about next year's 2016 NBA Champion or Stanley Cup Winner although major sportsbooks like Bovada already provide you the opportunity. There will be significant roster changes, retirements, surprise injuries, draft selections and major player crimes affecting teams to place serious investment as yet. Even though the Over/Under win totals have been out for a few months in the NFL, there are numerous factors to occur before committing your dollars to the future book before September 1st. But bettor up... baseball is right at the plate.
Many of the larger online sportsbooks including BetOnline, Diamond Sports and 5Dimes offer a mid-season update of odds for the NL and AL Championships plus the World Series. The mid-June timing offers a good opportunity to still get a good "investment price" on a few teams before the odds on the likely contenders will shrink by August & September. It's also likely the heaviest action will be down by then offering a lesser chance of capitalizing on the more obvious choices. This is NOT a pari-mutuel field and the odds are strictly decided by subjective rule. Making it worse, comparing it to a Nevada or Las Vegas situation, the offshore books don't have the option of readily "laying-off" action, therefore if you prefer a certain team, you are stuck at those odds.
Here's a few current recommended selections from the current Future Baseball Odds board at Elite-rated Bovada. Please check the lines for up to date odds and shop around for best prices.
Best MLB Future Bets
Detroit Tigers (13-2 to win AL Championship)
A perfect example of the timing factor. Maybe the best team in baseball that is underperforming at the moment while the KC Royals and Minnesota Twins are playing a bit over their heads. The Tigers are a few games over .500 but only 5 games out of first place. Their line-up is loaded with some of baseball's best players including its best player in Miguel Cabrera. Backed up by Yoenis Cespedes, Ian Kinsler and Jose Inglesias, the Tigers are experienced and will be the favorite down the stretch. Let's also not forget they might have the game's top two starters in David Price and Justin Verlander. That 13-2 price will likely shrink to 7-2 once they get on a roll.
Washington Nationals (17-2 to win the World Series)
This is an interesting play and more of a gut feeling based on the odds. In the National League only 3 teams are given a reasonable chance of winning the NL Championship...the Nationals, Cardinals and Dodgers. In the American League it a real toss-up involving as many as 6 to 7 teams spreading the odds. Amazingly, the Kansas City Royals are current favorites at 7-1 to win the WS and the next choice is the Detroit Tigers at 14-1.
I can't envision the Nats not winning the division again this year and learning from last season. Getting by the Cards and Dodgers are their main obstacles. The true lure here is the price and that might be improved by shopping around at some of the preferred offshore sportsbooks. Like Detroit, Washington has premiere pitching with Gio Gonzalez, Max Scherzer, Steven Strasburg and Jordan Zimmerman. The starting eight is OK with young slugger Bryce Harper leading the way. They're banged up now with several players on the DL list but will recover shortly. That is why the odds are suspiciously low for a team barely over .500.
In the Suggestion Box
Future team sport wagering offers an ironic twist with fantasy wagering in the news as a legal argument to whether it constitutes "gambling" in comparison to placing a bet on a single game. There seems to be comfort level among the four leagues (well, at least three!!) spreading the risk or level of potential player collusion among many games. Perhaps we should next push the envelope toward sports futures wagering as a proving ground toward getting sports wagering legalized and regulated in the U.S. as it is readily accepted in most other foreign countries. After all, the #1 hidden fear of all four leagues is not corrupting the bankroll of its fans but more the chance of destroying "the integrity of the game" by corrupting ONE game's outcome. Surely no reasonable worry could pervade the outcome of 162 baseball games, 82 basketball games, etc. Just a thought...
Glenn Greene covers the games from a betting angle every week exclusively at OSGA.com. For weekly betting insights from Glenn, click here.