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Red Sox and Dodgers are World Series favorites

Oct 3, 2013, 3:45 PM EDT

gambling poster

Before the post-Wild Card portion of the playoffs officially gets underway in an hour or so here’s a look at the Las Vegas odds on winning the World Series, via Bovada:

Red Sox       3.75-to-1
Dodgers       4.50-to-1
Tigers        4.75-to-1
Cardinals     5.50-to-1
Braves        7.00-to-1
Athletics     7.50-to-1
Rays          8.00-to-1
Pirates      10.00-to-1

I’m a fairly big believer in the playoffs mostly being a bunch of coin-flips, in which case most teams are truly somewhere around 8-to-1 to win the World Series. So probably not a ton of good value to be had in the above odds, which is how these things tend to work, although the Pirates, Rays, and A’s would be fun to take fliers on.

Also: Don’t gamble. It’s bad for you. Seriously.

  1. Jeremy T - Oct 3, 2013 at 4:15 PM

    The Rays not getting days off to set up their rotation might change the odds a little bit, but there are enough off-days in the series to cancel out most of that effect.

    • kardshark1 - Oct 3, 2013 at 4:44 PM

      I agree. With those odds, how could you not bet the Rays and/or A’s? Other than the Pirates, I’d say all of those 7 teams are only marginally different in talent. Dodgers might slightly have the most, but they have Don Mattingly coaching, so that evens things out. Take the odds.

      • db105 - Oct 3, 2013 at 7:48 PM

        Don Mattingly is the great equalizer for a very talented Dodgers team.

    • Jeremy T - Oct 3, 2013 at 5:27 PM

      Not that I actually think the Rays don’t have a shot. I was just trying to think of what factors could possibly budge teams off of the 8-to-1 odds you mentioned, and the wild card team’s recent schedules were the main difference I could think of, with the Rays being affected twice as much as the Pirates. In theory, at least.

      • kardshark1 - Oct 3, 2013 at 6:54 PM

        Yes, but American League gets home field advantage, so I’d rather take a shot at the Rays or A’s at winning it all with those odds over any NL team.

        Find it hard to believe that people think that if this scenario played out 100 times, the Sox would win it all more than twice as much as the Rays. It would probably be pretty close to an equal share for every team other than Pirates… and I don’t even think they’d be that far behind.

  2. Detroit Michael - Oct 3, 2013 at 4:36 PM

    Unless one believes in the Pirates, there’s no money to be made there. I also tend to believe that it is close to 50/50 odds for advancing through each level.

  3. jlovenotjlo - Oct 3, 2013 at 4:57 PM

    The oddsmakers make odds not based on who is necessary the “real” favorite, they just lower them to a point where they can still get people to bet. Los Angeles and Boston have huge fan bases and are constantly being drummed up by ESPN because of the usual coastal biases. It is because of this that the oddsmakers can keep the low payout ratio and still get lots of action on the bets.

    A good example is that even when the Cubs are predicted to be bad, their preseason World Series odds would never be described as a serious longshot; their fans continue to bet on them every single year regardless of the odds.

  4. jwbiii - Oct 3, 2013 at 6:00 PM

    This is a related topic, but this seems to reasonable place to put it. As you may know, the Indians had woeful winning percentage against >= .500 teams, .409. I wondered if there was a correlation between beating good teams during the regular season and success in the playoffs. During the wild card era, 1995-2012, there has been no correlation between beating good teams during the regular season and playoff game winning percentage, winning playoff series, or winning the World Series. The G&P Beane was right: It’s a crapshoot.

  5. Minoring In Baseball - Oct 3, 2013 at 9:31 PM

    This is way the games are played. I think most of the teams have a solid chance of winning if they stay healthy. That’s usually one of the biggest keys of the post-season. If Miggy isn’t healthy in Detroit, the Tigers may not last long. If other players step up their game, however, anything is possible.

    • clemente2 - Oct 4, 2013 at 7:14 AM

      If one team scores more than the other team, that team wins, usually, but maybe the other team stepped up its game, so, you know, maybe they will win instead. Or not, right?

    • clemente2 - Oct 4, 2013 at 7:15 AM

      Its possible.

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