There was a short line of bettors holding Astros tickets at -470 at Boulder Dam Sunday afternoon waiting to take a dive into the Colorado River when the Orioles took a 5-4 lead into the ninth inning against an AL-leading Astros squad who were down 5-4. But the score alert brought them down from the ledge when the powerful Astros scored three runs in the frame to take a 7-5 lead.
It was the largest split of the MLB season featuring Justin Verlander and the 77-40 Astros against the lowly Orioles (38-78). The bettors came off the ledge wiping their sweat off and wanting to live again as if they learned a quick lesson to never lay that type of money in baseball again. There is no easy money in baseball.
But just as they were heading back to their normal lives, the lowly Orioles would score three runs in the bottom of the ninth off closer Roberto Osuna capped off by a Rio Ruiz two-run homer to win 8-7.
Down go the Astros. The Orioles at +385 get the money for the few so brave and so do those that took +1.5 runs at +235, but there wasn’t a lot of either of those wagers.
Obviously, there was no line of jumpers at the Hoover Dam, but it’s a gambling reference from the horse racing industry where bettors take a huge favorite in a short field because it can’t lose and then creates the “Bridge Jumpers” when that favorite loses. They were all-in, failed, and jumped off a bridge rather than accept the reality of the massive losses and self-humiliation.
But the fact is around Las Vegas that not many bettors were willing to lay the large price, or at least on straight bets.
“The high price scared away our usual Astros action,” said Wynn sportsbook director Doug Castaneda. “But it was definitely one of the most notable games of the season based on the high price going in and the see-saw lead changes in the last inning.”
Where the books like CG Technology and Westgate SuperBook cleaned up with was the run-line wager on the Astros (-270) tagged in parlays, which looked to be the dream cover up 7-5 in the top of the ninth.
The love for the Astros Sunday, besides their record, was a 23-2 win on Saturday and were also going for the sweep. Bettors looking to fill up a three-game parlay saw this as an easy way to boost their odds — “I just have to win two games because the Astros are easy money.”
This is where the city did quite well on Sunday because it chopped a huge chunk of risk off with tickets dying immediately as the Orioles won. The books scooped most of the chips on the day because of it and had a clean slate for the rest of the day’s action with minimal risk.
By the way, the Astros had gone 18-6 behind Verlander this season for a +7.2 units profit, a low number only because he’s been such a large favorite all season and the big money losses take its toll to his stats.
But now his -4.70 loss drops him to a measly +2.5 units, right on par with Cincinnati’s Anthony Desclafani who the Reds are 11-11 behind this season.