If you’re looking to bet on the MLB Divisional Series games, we’ve got you covered. What wagers should you avoid when placing your bets?
After a weak Wild Card Series, the MLB has four more intriguing matchups this week. The Wild Card Series was a best-of-three series, while the Divisional Series will be a best-of-five series.
Let’s see what the MLB odds tell us as we head into the Division Series for both the American and National League!
Only one game of the Wild Card series went three, which was pretty weak for the MLB. The games figure to be much better heading into the Divisional Series. The Atlanta Braves will take on the Philadelphia Phillies. That’s an NL East showdown.
Then, the Houston Astros will face the Seattle Mariners. That’s an AL West showdown. There’s also the Los Angeles Dodgers taking on the San Diego Padres. That’s an NL West showdown.
And then the final series between the Guardians and Yankees is not a divisional matchup. But rivalries in the playoffs are always more intriguing. Each team knows just a little bit more about their opponent, which helps manage games a bit tighter.
Managers and Bullpens
Anyway, there are plenty of ways to bet on these series’ moving forward. Managers are going to start to announce their rotations. All teams likely have four starters in their rotation. They’ll return to their number-one pitcher in the fifth game. You still need to follow along with each team and its manager.
For example, some teams will save pitchers for different spots. If a team losses the first two games, we might see the ace pitcher back sooner than later for a limited amount of innings. Managers will spice things up at times. You have to pay attention to the outcomes of each game. You also need to know the manager’s tendencies in the first place.
But that’s if you’re betting on the series as the games happen. If you’re looking to bet before the series, there are plenty of ways to attack.
Betting on Series Winner
In the first game of the series, oddsmakers are smart. The price for a series winner is the same as Game 1.
For example, the Braves are -185 to win the first game of the series. Therefore, they’re also -185 to win the NLDS. But if you’re patient, you can get better prices later on in the series.
If the Braves win Game 1 but still like the Phillies, you can get the series price for larger odds than Game 2. The Phillies would give a better payout with the series price compared to Game 2 odds.
But then, if the Phillies do win, the odds would be back to pre-NLDS, and you’d have a solid, valuable ticket. In the Wild Card Series, I suggested that people avoid betting on the correct score for the series. These odds are juiced and, unfortunately, not a good bet.
However, if you’re looking to win the lottery, taking underdogs to win the series 3-2 is something I’d consider. If you backed all four underdogs to win the series in Game 5 and one hit, you’d earn a profit. Nothing is guaranteed, and all favorites could win the divisional series. So don’t go putting a crazy amount of cash on those bets.
Rooting for Upsets
Most of us love rooting for upsets. If you can pick your favorite upset of the four games and take that underdog to win a series 3-2, you can hedge before the game even begins.
Hedging would guarantee profit. You’d have a +600 bet, for example, and could bet the favorite to win in Game 5 to earn a guaranteed profit.
However, you can also bet series handicap. The payout isn’t as good, but that’s because you’ll have more insurance.
You can bet the Brave -1.5 to win the series at +140 over the Phillies. So now you can win with outcomes of Braves 3-0 or Braves 3-1. You just can’t win if the Braves win the series 3-2. That’s why the odds are more in your favor because multiple outcomes in series handicaps can win with your money.
There are also plenty of markets for total runs scored, total games played, total home runs, series strikeouts, etc. These are fun little markets to keep you interested in the games. But it’s truly difficult to bet those without knowing how many games could be played in a series.
If you like a 3-0 sweep, you’d take the Under for strikeouts and home runs in a series. But if you’re expecting five games, you’d probably take the Over.
Therefore, I’d rather just bet on other markets than those options. It’s a true gamble and risk.