The American League Championship Series nearly is here, which means it’s time to think about propositional bets involving the result.
DraftKings Sportsbook has the Boston Red Sox as +130 underdogs to defeat the Houston Astros, who are favored at -155, in the best-of-seven series. That’s a slight change from the odds the teams were given immediately following the Astros’ Division Series-clinching victory, when the Red Sox were +120 underdogs — but it’s also a major change considering sportsbook weren’t high on Boston at all at the beginning of the season.
Either way, now that both teams have made it to baseball’s final four, here’s a look at how books have them faring through this part of the postseason.
Series Total Games
The beauty of the Championship Series is that they are seven-game sets, unlike the Division Series, which are best-of-five. That means there are more potential outcomes — and more potential bets — across the board.
Oddsmakers don’t see one team sweeping this. The biggest potential payout in this category comes for those who bet under 4.5 total games, currently sitting at +600 ($100 bet pays $600). On the opposite side of the spectrum, DraftKings offers 2-to-1 odds on this one going to a full seven games (over 6.5).
The important thing to remember with this category of prop bets is that it doesn’t matter who wins these games, and the over/under format offers tons of possibility — for example, betting under 5.5 (+150) wins if the series goes to four or fives games. So in an ultra-competitive series like the one this Red Sox-Astros set is expected to be, placing a total games bet is an easy way to cover multiple bases, regardless of your allegiance.
Series Correct Score
Here’s where things get a bit more specific, as this category of prop bets gives you the opportunity to pick the winning side and how many games they’ll win in order to get there. There are eight possibilities on the board, one for every outcome of the series.
The biggest payout comes if you pick the Red Sox to sweep, as that’s currently on the board at 16-to-1 (a $100 bet returns a $1,600 payout). Somewhat similarly, a Houston sweep would return $1,000 on a $100 wager.
Every bet here comes with some sort of gain on a $100 investment, with the smallest odds at +390 should Houston win 4-2.
This category combines elements of both of the above, forcing you to pick a side and the margin of victory for the series. At this point, the biggest payout will come from betting either side will sweep, similar to above. Betting the Astros to cover -3.5 games is 10-to-1, and the Red Sox are at 16-to-1.
More realistic bets come if you pick the Astros to cover -1.5 (+135), or the Red Sox to do the same (+225).
The ALCS begins Friday night in Houston, so be sure to get your picks in prior to that.
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