Another week, another slate of title-odds-altering college football games.
But first, let’s look back at one game last week that I really, really wanted to include, but didn’t.
It’s easy to dislike Ohio State. From the ubiquitous “THE Ohio State University” uttered by ex-alums on every single one of their freaking player intros on TV, to Urban Meyer being a moral-less weasel, the only people that don’t currently viscerally dislike the Buckeyes are Ohio residents and future/current/past students.
I’ve thought THE Ohio State University looked vulnerable all year. Purdue was a team that seemed to right the ship after a shaky start and was performing well, and would surely bring a boisterous home crowd to the game.
Still, it was THE Ohio State University vs. Purdue.
Behold, Purdue was awesome, and the Buckeyes fell. However, despite the throttling, THE Ohio State University only saw their title odds dip from +1000 to +1400. This is, in part, because the Big 10 is still very winnable for them, which would clear their path to the college football playoffs. FiveThirtyEight gives them a 23% chance of making the playoffs (but just a 5% chance of capturing the championship).
The loss though means that their Nov. 24 game against Michigan has massive odds-shifting potential.
Looking into the futures
Enough about the past, let’s look into the futures.
The biggest game this weekend is the world’s largest outdoor cocktail party, with Georgia (+1400 at FanDuel to win title) vs. Florida (+10000). The implications here are simple: if Georgia wins, (with apologies to Kentucky) they likely have smooth sailing to the SEC Championship where a win would put them in the playoffs. A loss by Georgia and their title odds are toast. If Florida wins, while I wouldn’t expect their futures to swing up to the +1000 range, it won’t hang back at +10000 either. You don’t need an air-brushed Florida diploma to figure that out.
After Georgia vs. Florida, the other games are of much less potential impact. Texas (+5000) plays on the road against unranked and eliminated Oklahoma State. Traveling to Stillwater is never easy, and both Vegas and computer models agree, as Texas only opened as a 1.5-point favorite.
According to ESPN’s Eliminator, the only PAC-12 team with a chance of making the playoffs is Washington State (+16000). That being the case, this week’s Washington St. vs. Stanford (#24) has some weight. While the PAC-12 is still a longshot to get a team into the playoffs, a Washington St. win coupled with some higher ranked teams losses would certainly improve their odds.
The first playoff committee rankings are released on Tuesday, Oct. 30. Along with this weekend’s games, those committee rankings (and specifically, what the committee is thinking) will certainly shift some futures as well.
The Los Angeles Dodgers return home for Games 3 and 4 of the World Series. Maybe the National League champions can go ahead and unpack. Get out the golf clubs. And get to the golf course earlier than they anticipated.
With four runs coming with two outs in Game 2, the Boston Red Sox put away the Dodgers to grab a 2-0 Series lead. Of teams that win the first two games in a best-of-seven series, 84 percent have gone on to win, including each of the last the last 10 such instances in the Fall Classic.
On paper, it appears, the Red Sox, on the doorstep of dynasty status 100 years after kicking off an eight-decade-long championship-less drought, are in line to win the franchise’s fourth Commissioner’s Trophy in 14 years.
Yet while the Series is all but decided (don’t at me, Dodgers “fans”), and unlike Los Angeles, there’s still something for bettors to play for as at least two games remain to enjoy Series NJ sports betting.
Recapping Game 2 betting action
Throughout the regular season, even into the postseason, the Red Sox and Dodgers took on their respective identities: Boston relying on clutch hitting, LA on the long ball.
During the playoffs, the Dodgers have racked up 14 home runs, but only one in the Series. In banking on the big bopper, Los Angeles has struck out 187 times this postseason — 50 more than Boston.
In the World Series, the Red Sox, as shown in Game 2, have scored nine of their 12 runs with two outs. More than half of Boston’s runs in the playoffs have occurred with one out remaining. The Sox head into Game 3 batting .425 with two outs and runners in scoring position, which would be tops in World Series history. By contrast, the dinger-reliant Dodgers are hitting just .234.
At FanDuel Sportsbook, the betting disparity between Boston and Los Angeles was narrowed. According to the book, 52 percent of the total handle came down on the Red Sox, creating a four percent gap between them and the Dodgers after Game 1 featured 68 percent of the handle on Boston.
The winning ticket for moneyline/total parlay betting was wagering on a Boston win and the under of 8.5 total runs. Like in Game 1, this prop proved most popular, as 40 percent of the wagers occurred here. That said, per FanDuel, just 16 percent of the betting slips cashed out.
At DraftKings Sportsbook, with Boston trailing 2-1, a bettor wagered $50 on the Red Sox to be leading after five innings. Boston grabbed the lead in the home half of the fifth, paying out $400.
Onward to glory
As noted, teams that go up 2-0 in the Series become heavily favored to claim the world championship. As well as Boston’s clutch hitting, Los Angeles playing the matchups has stolen headlines.
After all, the Dodgers became the first team in World Series history to utilize an all-right-handed-hitting lineup. And they did it in each of the first two games, sitting their four top home run hitters in the process. Fortunately, with Boston’s Rick Porcello lined up to start Game 3, Los Angeles will likely send out its top lineup.
Regardless, the Red Sox become heavily favored to win the Series. And if they win Game 3… Well… Thanks for playing, Los Angeles. No team in the World Series has come back from 3-0. Only one in the postseason has done so: the 2004 Red Sox. If there is silver lining, at least the Dodgers have some karma on their side: manager Dave Roberts sparked that Boston comeback 14 years ago.
Looking ahead, here’s the schedule:
- Game 3 at Los Angeles: Friday, 8:09 p.m. ET
- Game 4 at Los Angeles: Saturday, 8:09 p.m. ET
- Game 5 at Los Angeles: Sunday, 8:15 p.m. ET (if necessary)
- Game 6 at Boston: Tuesday, 8:09 p.m. ET (if necessary)
- Game 7 at Boston: Wednesday, 8:09 p.m. ET (if necessary)
Game 3 lines
The Red Sox have won 14 of their last 16 games in the World Series. In Game 3, however, sportsbooks favor the Dodgers to pick up their first win of the Fall Classic.
|*Multiple lines offered|
|DraftKings||BOS +140/LA -159||BOS +1.5 (-165)/LA -1.5 (+135)||7.5 (-106/-115)|
|BetStars||BOS +140/LA -167||BOS +1.5 (-162)/LA -1.5 (+140)||7.5 (-110/-110)|
|FanDuel||BOS +132/LA -152||BOS +1.5 (-154)/LA -1.5 (+138)||7.5 (+104/-122)|
|SugarHouse||BOS +140/LA -159||BOS +1.5 (-165)/LA -1.5 (+135)*||7.5 (-106/-115)*|
|888sport||BOS +135/LA -167||BOS +1 (-110)/LA -1 (-110)*||7.5 (-106/-115)*|
|Caesars||BOS +145/LA -155||BOS +1.5 (-165)/LA -1.5 (+145)||7.5 (-105/-115)|
|William Hill||BOS +142/LA-152||BOS +1.5 (-155)/LA -1.5 (+135)||7.5 (-105/-115|
|MGM||BOS +140/LA-155||BOS +1.5 (-160)/LA -1.5 (+140)||7.5 (EV/-120)|
Props, props, propspropsprops
Boston has won the first two games, both at home. In the 2017 Series, also featuring the Dodgers, home teams went 4-3. The year before, in seven games, the hosts won just twice.
So in Game 3, do you take the Dodgers at home or Boston to continue rolling? Go ahead and parlay that with the run total, which itself has been inconsistent. Each of the first two games at DraftKings featured an over/under of 7.5 (as it sits for Game 3). The opener went for 12 runs, and the next game went for six. Toss-up again with Porcello going up against the Dodgers’ best lineup, and rookie Walker Buehler facing a clutch Boston offense.
Taking the Dodgers to win as well as the under pays +200, but banking on LA to come through offensively with Buehler’s victory pays +210. (Alternatively, a Porcello win and the run total finishing over and under pays +360 and +340, respectively.)
Sticking with pitching, DraftKings features lines on more strikeouts between the two starters (Porcello +275, Buehler -265, equal total +650) as well as a prop on if LA’s Kenley Jansen (+220) or Boston’s Craig Kimbrel (+275) earns the save.
Before the Series started, FanDuel pitted the odds of Boston’s JD Martinez winning the MVP at +550. After batting .429 with four RBIs through two games, Martinez is now the front-runner at +220.
Other MVP candidates on whom to wager include Boston’s Mookie Betts (+260) and Andrew Benintendi (+400). Certainly, Los Angeles has not lost all hope just yet. Should the Dodgers rally and claim the title, currently Manny Machado (+2000), and Cody Bellinger, Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp (all at +3000) lead the way.
FanDuel also features inning-by-inning prop bets: total runs in the first inning, which team leads, total runs odd or even.
For those bettors focused more on the back end of the game, consider two props.
- Will the Dodgers bat in the bottom of the ninth inning? Yes (-112) or no (-108).
- Which team ends up with more hits? Boston (+128), Los Angeles (-106) or tie (+830).
Three props stand out at SugarHouse.
First: How many earned runs (line set at 2.5 for each) will starting pitchers allow? The over/under for Buehler (+115/-155) and Porcello (-143/+108) suggests a standout performance for the LA hurler.
Will Boston (+175) or Los Angeles (+100) post the highest-scoring inning in Game 3? Or will they match each other (+325)?
Will Game 3 become the first of this Series to reach extra innings? Yes (+750) or no (-1430).
Few props exist at Caesars, but they still appear intriguing.
For example, take the Red Sox to be ahead after five innings (+145), or bank on the Dodgers (-165) to lead for just the second time this Series.
Through those first five innings, Caesars sets the line of total runs at four. The over pays +100, while the under sits at -120.
Begin with Game 3 props. Wager on the first pitch of the game: ball (+135) or strike (-155). Decide between Benintendi (-105) and LA’s Justin Turner (-115) for more total bases, or Boston’s Mookie Betts (-125) and the Dodgers’ Manny Machado (+105).
How many players, total, will be stranded on the base paths: 15 or more (+100), 14 or less (-120).
Game 3 will allow for a clearer prediction of how many games this Series will go, but why wait? At William Hill, bettors can wager on the exact number of games the Fall Classic will last:
- Boston in four (+300)
- Boston in five (+280)
- Boston in six (+240)
- Boston in seven (+500)
- Los Angeles in six (+1500)
- Los Angeles in seven (+500)
Derek Stevens recently announced that he’s submitted paperwork with the Nevada Gaming Control Board to start taking sports bets at The D, Golden Gate, and his soon to be built 18 Fremont casinos.
William Hill currently operates The D sportsbook while the Golden Gate offers guests a William Hill kiosk.
TheLines sat down with Stevens to discuss the new sportsbooks. He expects to receive regulatory approval from the Nevada Gaming Control Board in the second quarter (April, May, June) of 2019.
Shortly after receiving approval from the Nevada Gaming Control Board, the Golden Gate casino will open a new sportsbook and begin taking bets on sports. A few days later The D sportsbook will begin taking bets on sports.
Our biggest takeaway from talking to Stevens: The Golden Gate and The D sportsbooks will no longer take bets on daily horse races.
Horses leaving Downtown Las Vegas
The changes mean that when 18 Fremont opens in 2020, 25% (three of 12) of casinos in downtown Las Vegas will not show horse racing daily. Stevens says his casinos will still book action on the bigger races like the Kentucky Derby and the Breeders Cup but they will not offer horse racing in any of his three sportsbooks on a daily basis.
Downtown Las Vegas is sometimes seen as a part of Las Vegas where older tourists migrate when the Vegas Strip skews a little too young. On the surface, casinos that cater to tourists no longer showing horse races continues a trend that we’ve seen on the Vegas Strip.
In the past two years of sportsbook openings, The Cromwell, Park MGM, and The Linq sportsbooks are not showing daily horse racing in their sportsbooks. The horse racing section at the Cosmopolitan still operates but features sports when there are big games.
Why dump the ponies in Downtown Vegas?
Stevens says the decision comes down customer demand. While guests love to watch the big horse races because they’re events, there isn’t enough demand to show and take wagers on every race, every day.
We talked a little bit about the history of horse bettors and sports bettors. There was a time when these gamblers were the same individual bettor. The sports and horse betting customer over the years. The majority of sports bettors no bet on the horses.
Times change and so do casino guests. If customers are only wagering significantly on horse racing four or five days a year, it’s difficult to justify keeping the horse races because that’s the way it has always been.
New Downtown Las Vegas sportsbooks
If all goes as planned, the new sportsbook at the Golden Gate casino should be open sometime in the second quarter of 2019. Stevens says he will refresh the sportsbook at The D with eyes on a new sportsbook down the line.
Construction is just getting beginning on 18 Fremont and its multi-level sportsbook. The plan is to have that casino open with the world’s largest sportsbook screen. We should here updates on progress throughout 2019.