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Game 5 odds: Nationals are slight favorites, Yankees are big favorites

Oct 12, 2012, 12:16 PM EDT

gambling poster

With a pair of winner-take-all games tonight I thought it would be interesting to examine the Las Vegas betting lines (for entertainment purposes only, of course).

In the early game the Yankees are -200 favorites over the Orioles, which means you’d have to risk $200 to win $100 on New York. During the regular season there are often favorites as big as -250 or even -300, but those are usually matchups of very good teams versus very bad teams. To get -200 in a matchup of two playoff teams is uncommon and says a lot about the faith people have in CC Sabathia (or the lack of faith in Jason Hammel, maybe). For a -200 bet on the Yankees to be profitable they must win at least 67 percent of the time.

In the later game the Nationals are -130 favorites over the Cardinals, which means you’d have to risk $130 to win $100 on Washington. That’s a more typical playoff line and for that bet to be profitable Washington would have to win at least 57 percent of the time. They’re at home with Gio Gonzalez on the mound, so that seems about right.

Also worth noting: Last time I did one of these “what’s the Las Vegas line?” posts was for the two Wild Card playoff games and both favorites (Rangers at -190 and Braves at -170) lost.

  1. Jeremy T - Oct 12, 2012 at 12:21 PM

    Hammel’s had a good season (when healthy), and CC has had a few rough starts, although for the last month or so he’s been lights out (and even in his “bad” starts he’d get 7 IP, 4 ER, 8 H or something). Still, the lines are based on what people are expected to bet, not necessarily what’s actually expected to happen, so I guess it makes sense. Based on the way this series has gone, CC’s going to have to do his best Verlander impression and absolutely dominate in order to end the fairy tale that has been the Baltimore Orioles season.

  2. greymares - Oct 12, 2012 at 12:25 PM


    • kkolchak - Oct 12, 2012 at 2:40 PM

      Why? Do you have fleas or something?

  3. natslady - Oct 12, 2012 at 12:29 PM

    Need Gio to be the real Gio and some players who have been MIA at the plate (Morse, Harper, Espinosa and Suzuki–I’m looking at YOU) to step up. It will be interesting to see if Wainwright can fool them again with that curve.

  4. natslady - Oct 12, 2012 at 12:32 PM

    Most gamblers say don’t take the bet if it’s -140 or higher, BTW. Not sure if that applies in postseason, because, as Craig notes, you rarely get those high numbers unless you have a bad team against a very good one. Vegas puts a lot of stake in the pitching matchups.

    • natslady - Oct 12, 2012 at 12:32 PM

      Ooops, sorry–as Gleeman notes.

  5. cdeangelus - Oct 12, 2012 at 12:39 PM

    The way the Yankees are swinging the bats, betting on the Orioles to win sounds like free money.

    • Chas - Oct 12, 2012 at 1:05 PM

      I agree, and with the way the Orioles are swinging the bat betting on the Yankees…oh, never mind.

  6. number42is1 - Oct 12, 2012 at 12:55 PM

    just put down $300 on the O’s. at the very least SOMETHING good can come out of tonights loss

  7. psuravens19 - Oct 12, 2012 at 1:08 PM

    What were the odds when the O’s played Texas? I could be wrong, but wasn’t it the same thing and how did that turn out…

    • natslady - Oct 12, 2012 at 1:16 PM

      Texas looked pretty whipped after getting swept by the A’s. I’m not a betting woman, but I would not have bet on Texas–the odds didn’t match my eyes.

  8. ezthinking - Oct 12, 2012 at 1:18 PM

    You do know the line is set to attract the most action right?

    • natslady - Oct 12, 2012 at 1:51 PM

      Of course. That’s why these big lines are for suckers.

  9. randomdigits - Oct 12, 2012 at 1:30 PM

    I wonder how much you would have won this year if, in each of the prior 22 meetings, you had bet $100.00 on the O’s to win?

    I also wonder if the O’s were favored in any of those prior contests?

  10. stlouis1baseball - Oct 12, 2012 at 5:20 PM

    Let’s go Cardinals. Seal the deal.

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