Like dumping the wife or girlfriend, we often forget the girl we brought to the dance the moment the new "hot girl in town" shows up. OK, I'm excited about the NFL season this weekend too. But has anybody noticed the many great existing betting opportunities available for Major League Baseball with only 20 games or so left in the season.
I believe better than guessing in NFL Week One, where we really are more valuating last season's rosters than handicapping the here and now. For all the hype how much improved the Jacksonville Jaguars are, it could be just that..hype. And who knows, Tony Romo going down may turn out to be a blessing in disguise for the Cowboys. Dallas likely would be -4 with Tony under center this Sunday against the NY Giants vs. untested Dak Prescott at QB. The game is currently a Pick Em at most preferred online sportsbooks.
The point being maybe we are overlooking baseball and the many excellent future propositions left on the board offered by many of the top sportsbooks. Several including Bovada, BetOnline and Diamond Sports have some interesting wagers with excellent payoffs available. The main reason being, besides the Chicago Cubs, the rest of MLB is highly competitive, with not many clear cut favorites guaranteed spots in several playoff races. That in turn makes for attractive wagering and the potential for good payoffs securing the right team.
American League Pennant (odds courtesy of BetOnline)
Baltimore Orioles +750
Boston Red Sox +375
Cleveland Indians +300
Detroit Tigers +1400
Houston Astros +2000
Kansas City Royals +3300
New York Yankees +4000
Seattle Mariners +7500
Texas Rangers +250
Toronto Blue Jays +400
Unlike the Cubs reservation for the National League pennant and the worry about curses and Billy goats, it's wide-open in the AL and the betting odds prove it. We're into the second week of September and the Texas Rangers are a timid +250 choice with the Cleveland Indians a close second at +300. In comparison, those 71 year cursed Cubs are a current +130 to win the NL.
Not making any solid predictions here but +750 odds on the Baltimore Orioles are tempting and the really talented line-up of the Toronto Blue Jays a worthy stab at +400. I'd forget about the rest but who knows, they're all in the wild-card chase expect likely the Yankees. And hey, +250 on ANY TEAM at this late point in the season are great odds mathematically.
Take the Bribe Against the Tribe
Odds to Win the American League Pennant (courtesy of BetOnline)
Cleveland Indians +300
Field (any other team) -400
BetOnline also has some other interesting prop bets to consider as strictly "us against them". For example, speaking of curses and underdogs, many baseball fans are rooting for a Cubs-Indians World Series. I can envision one jinx being alleviated but two? If you agree, BetOnline has a few team props than pose one specific team winning the pennant vs. the rest of the league. Here I believe -400 is a hefty price to pay but you receive every American League team to win the pennant besides the Cleveland Indians.
Baseball Betting Smorgasbord
Also not to forget are the new proposition lines put out by major offshore sportsbooks like Bovada that offer creative wagering challenges like Total Runs, Margin of Victory and Extra Innings Required. I especially like "Series Prices" that ask a bettor to select the team that will win at least 2 out of 3 games in a series. Important, as every game is crucial nearing season end whether either team is in playoff contention or a spoiler role.
Overall, we now tend to put our betting binoculars solely on College and NFL football until the MLB playoffs begin. But with so many baseball teams in competitive contention, this year offers a unique opportunity to potentially take advantage of late season futures and props for savvy bettors. And by the calendar, only about about six weeks, not six months to potentially cash in.
Glenn Greene covers the games from a betting angle every week exclusively at OSGA.com. For weekly betting insights, inlcuding previews and picks from Glenn, click here.