As we embark on the second half of the 2021 MLB season, the oddsmakers are making serious adjustments in their future markets. Focusing on one favorite or spotting a longshot who offers long-term value remains the best way to attack futures betting.
Let’s take a deeper look into the risers and fallers in each respective offering at the Westgate Superbook in Las Vegas.
ON THE MOVE
The Los Angeles Dodgers remain overwhelming favorites in the eyes of the oddsmakers to win the 2021 World Series. Jockeying behind the Dodgers this week on the overall odds board are the Astros, Padres, and White Sox. Philadelphia is one team in the World Series market that has witnessed a noticeable shift in their odds before the All-Star break. The Phillies, who have closed to within 2.5 games of the Mets in the NL East, have seen their 80-1 odds drop back to their original offering of 30-1 posted last October.
Another noticeable move belongs to the Milwaukee Brewers, who, after winning four of seven games in a home-in-home against their NL Central rival Cincinnati, have seen their 40-1 opening odds sliced to only 12-1 this week after opening up a 7.5 game lead on the Reds.
The sportsbooks have immense respect for the Houston Astros, who lead the American League in run differential at +130. The oddsmakers at the Westgate Superbook believe Houston is easily the biggest threat to emerge from the American League and, correspondingly, are now listing the Astros as the only team with single-digit odds (6-1) besides the Dodgers (+250).
The Cleveland Indians, who have won just five of their last 15 games, see their odds move significantly, doubling from 40-1 to 80-1. The Indians, who trail the White Sox by 8.5 games in the AL Central, now witness their highest odds after opening at odds of 20-1.
In addition, the Chicago Cubs, who are just 4-15 over their last 19 games dating back to June 25, are a team that could be out of the NL Pennant chase by the end of the month. The oddsmakers were off the mark as they opened the Cubs at odds of 30-1 only to adjust to an offering of 60-1 two weeks ago. This week bettors now see massive odds of 200-1.
2021 WORLD SERIES FUTURES ODDS
2021 NATIONAL LEAGUE PENNANT FUTURES ODDS
The Dodgers, who have still failed to overtake the division-leading Giants in the NL West, continue to own the top spot atop the NL Pennant odds board (+130) well ahead of San Francisco, who sits at 6-1.
The biggest move post the All-Star break belongs to Philadelphia - who have closed the gap to just 2.5 games behind the Mets in the NL East. The Phillies see their odds drop from 40-1 to 15-1.
The Washington Nationals, who are seven games under .500 on the road (18-25), witness their highest NL Pennant odds of the season at 100-1.
2021 AMERICAN LEAGUE PENNANT FUTURES ODDS
The team that sees the biggest drop is Cleveland in American League Pennant futures. The Indians, who are now 8.5 games behind the White Sox in the AL Central race, find their opening 10-1 odds rise to 35/1 this week.
The Chicago White Sox, who have the most home wins (34) of any club in baseball this season, see their odds shrink once again this week. Chicago has cashed for bettors at a 68% win clip thus far this season when playing at Guaranteed Rate Field, and oddsmakers are now such strong believers that the White Sox they are offering them slotted just behind the Astros in AL Pennant odds at odds of +350.
At TwinSpires, World Series liabilities have seen some moves since we last covered this at SI Gambling. The Dodgers have now overtaken the Brewers in both the total number of tickets and total risk. The Padres, Astros, and Red Sox round out the top five most wagered upon teams supplanting Cleveland, Cincinnati, and the Yankees. "We're seeing Red Sox money show up now, but the Dodgers remain our biggest liability," said TwinSpires Trading Analyst Zachary Lucas.
In National League Pennant futures, the "Dodger liability has dropped a bit as they now represent only 15% of the tickets and 16% of the money," said Lucas. "We've seen bets fly in on the Padres at odds of +375 the last few weeks, and they now represent our second-worst decision after the Dodgers."
In our American League East futures, Lucas reported that "we've seen an influx of money come in on the Red Sox at odds of -129 to win this division. The traders in the back office of TwinSpires will easily be rooting for the Blue Jays as it would easily be the best result for our book."
Obviously, like all sportsbooks around the country, the overwhelming liability in the American League MVP market falls upon Angels star Shohei Ohtani. "We're rooting for anyone else to garner the award," added Lucas.
Surprisingly, in the American League Cy Young betting market, Oakland's Chris Bassitt is TwinSpires biggest liability. "We had wagers come in supporting Bassitt earlier in the season at odds of 50-1 as well at his current price of 25-1." This is a bit of a surprise as the sharp steam in Vegas has been backing Chicago White Sox pitcher Lance Lynn.