Analyze This: Balanced Betting in the Conference Championships
by Bovada Sportsbook Staff | October 26, 2012
With Baseball down to its final four, every MLB wager was a tougher choice than the Presidential election.
The best part about the MLB playoffs is that you can wager on an intense handful of games. The problem, as the pretenders get separated from the contenders, is it gets tougher and tougher to make decisive wagers.
That’s why, we believe, there was a little balance in the Bovada Sportsbook on NLCS and ALCS wagers.
We start with the Cardinals at San Francisco in Game 2 of the NLCS. The series was between two squads that never look worthy of a deep playoff run … until October. That left bettors scratching their heads on where to go, in the end some simply followed the money.
With San Fran at home and given a +190 price on the runline 57 percent took the Giants. However, when it came to the moneyline the Cardinals were given EVEN odds, therefore 53 percent our action went there. Between the two starting pitchers St. Louis’ Chris Carpenter was the riskier play and it showed. With only his fifth start of 2012 Carpenter gave up five runs in just four innings, the Giants cruised to a 7-1 victory.
Even the New York Yankees facing elimination versus the Detroit Tigers had percentages that looked like a coin flip. We think what made the wagers tough was definitely the arm of CC Sabathia. The Yankee bets were dead through the three previous games, but Sabathia had clutch performances in the past and was capable of shutting out the Tigers. That gave incentive for 50 percent to take the Yanks on the road at +1.5 (-150). It was more decisive for the New York moneyline as 63 percent took the -119 price. Unfortunately, Sabathia didn’t have his best stuff at Comerica Park, while the Yankee bats combined for four hits. 8-1 was the final; Alex Rodriguez probably scored more digits than New York scored runs in this series.
Back to the NLCS, Game 5. Carpenter again got another start versus Ryan Volgelsong — he held St. Louis to one run in Game 2. Bettors were more decisive with the runline, 72 percent took Giants at -1.5 and a profitable +170. The moneyline, a lot tougher. -122 for the Giants versus +112 for the Cardinals and bettors couldn’t decide, another 50/50 situation.
A Game 5 win for St. Louis would punch its ticket to the World Series, but while Carpenter was better, his defense let him down. A fielding error gave the Giants a four-run 2nd inning. The Giants forced Game 7.
We know how that story ended, and with the Giants currently leading the Tigers 2-0 in the World Series it will be interesting to see where bettors went with MLB betting favorite Justin Verlander in Game 1, or if they expected Detroit to rebound in Game 2. Considering where the money went in the Championship Series we wouldn’t be surprised to see balanced betting again when we check the numbers next week.