When the Cleveland Cavaliers won the NBA Championship, it gave Major League Baseball center stage by itself in Las Vegas sportsbooks and what a first week it was as the feature attraction.
Several storylines have popped up to grip the attention of the most casual of fans, at least until pre-season football begins in August.
The Cubs, Nationals and Mets have all experienced some rough patches lately while the Indians, Rangers and Astros keep winning. The Rays have shown you count on betting against them nightly with an 11-game losing streak through Sunday and Clayton Kershaw finally lost a game after 10 straight Dodgers wins behind him.
Dead part of the betting calendar year? That’s absolute crazy talk, especially if you jump on the wagon with some of these teams rolling through streaks.
The best thing about betting baseball is the 10-cent splits – eight cents at Aliante – and true odds in parlay payouts. Football and basketball have 20-cent splits with a pointspread and use pay charts on parlays.
This is the time of the year that sportsbook directors hold their collective breaths with hopes of escaping with a small win until preseason football starts. It can be extremely volatile when popular teams keep winning together.
Fortunately for the books over the past week, some of those top teams kept large parlay payouts to a minimum because the teams kept losing regularly in a June swoon.
Last Sunday the Cubs had the best record in baseball (47-20) after sweeping the Pirates, but then they went into a season-worst, four-game losing streak, including getting swept at home by St. Louis, and eventually lost six of seven for the week.
In the process, the Rangers were in the middle of winning 10 of 12 games and their 49-27 record is now the best in baseball.
Texas has won 18 of 24 June games for a profit margin of +13 units and their +29.1 units on the season is 12.1 units better than the second most profitable team, San Francisco (+17).
What’s amazing about the Rangers is they’ve been crushing June with three of their starting pitchers on the disabled list. The other thing bettors can trust with Texas is that they’ve won their last nine games coming off a loss.
It’s one of the best situational trends going.
The other trend to follow has been just betting on the Indians to win, especially when they play Detroit. Following the weekend scalping of the Tigers at Comerica Park by a 22-8 combined score, the Indians have now gone 9-0 against the Tigers this season.
Sunday’s 9-3 win was also their ninth win in a row and made them 18-6 for the month to extend their lead over Kansas City to five games in the AL Central.
Cleveland is still feeling the buzz from the city winning an NBA title and the Indians haven’t lost a game since the Cavs were down 3-2. The starting rotation has been the key to its nightly success and they’re so good as a collective unit that 14-to-1 odds to win the World Series might not be a bad move to grab now.
The Astros were thought to be dead following a 7-17 April and those thoughts were enhanced through May 22 when they were 17-28, but since then they’ve gone 22-9 and have moved past Seattle into second-place in the AL West, 10 games behind Texas at 39-37.
Making the playoffs again looks like a possibility as they’re only 1.5 games out of the final wild card spot. They are currently 30-to-1 to win the World Series.
The Dodgers were riding a six-game win streak until they ran into to a Pittsburgh squad that had lost 13 of its previous 15 games. The Pirates would win the first three of the series, including Sunday night’s 4-3 win against -270 favorite Clayton Kershaw. It was the third straight time, dating back to last season, the Dodgers had lost to Pittsburgh behind Kershaw, who is now 11-2 with a 1.79 ERA this year.
The loss halted an incredible side-to-UNDER, two-team parlay streak with Kershaw that had cashed for 10 straight games. Despite the loss, Kershaw is having what might be his best season ever and should be considered the leading candidate to win the NL MVP. The Westgate SuperBook has him at 5-to-1 odds to win the MVP behind Colorado’s Nolan Arenado (3/1) and Chicago’s Kris Bryant (9/2).
NHL coming to Vegas
The biggest question surrounding the NHL awarding Las Vegas a franchise team to begin with the 2017-18 season is regards to betting. Will the NHL request to the Nevada Gaming Control board that they don’t want wagers to happen on the home team?
It is their right to do so, but they never have for the exhibition games held in town over the years. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman addressed the subject, kind of, saying, “While we know gambling is part of the industry in Las Vegas, we’re not going to make it that easy for you to pick up a ticket, a gambling ticket, on your way to the arena.”
So what does that mean? It’s not clear. Does that mean the MGM books won’t be able to have kiosks outside of the new MGM Park Entertainment district adjacent to T-Mobile Arena or inside?
The arena is equipped to easily hook up data cables and connect to the MGM sportsbook hub and there are all kinds of marketing possibilities through all the venues held at the new jewel of the Strip to help MGM books grow business.
MGM Resorts does own half the arena, but doesn’t own the franchise, which has yet to be named. I like the Black Jacks, but the NHL doesn’t want a gambling name.
Ideally, the MGM books would love to have everyone who wants to have a bet on the home games sign up for their mobile app, which by the way, is now available. Imagine sitting there on your phone betting the action live as it happens.
It would bring an entirely new zest to watching the NHL live and give the Las Vegas experience an edge no other arena in the country has. We’ll see how this story unfolds.
Who knows, by the time the puck drops for the first time we could have interstate wagering and if that happens, you can expect all the sports leagues to have somehow found a way to get a piece of the betting revenues.