While various media outlets try to make predictions about the upcoming season, they do so without any real consequence. Everyone will either forget, or not hold anyone accountable because they are after all, only predictions.
But for odds makers it’s a little different. A bad prediction results in a bad betting line, which can, if exploited by bettors, have an effect on the sports books’ bottom line profits. While they are as careful as possible, this doesn’t necessarily mean they are always accurate either.
Online sports books Bovada and Bodog, last year pegged the Jays as World Series favourites at 15 to 2 following the trade to acquire R.A. Dickey. Some bettors made good money on the Red Sox who paid long odds.
So where do the books have the Blue Jays this year?
To win the AL Pennant, the Jays sit middle of the pack at 16 to 1. The Tigers are favoured at 17 to 4 (4.25 to 1), while the Astros will—or almost certainly won’t—make someone good money at 100 to 1.
For winning it all in the World Series, the Jays are in the middle at 28 to 1, with the high-payroll Dodgers as 13 to 2 favourites.
There are also individual player futures. The UK sports book William Hill has a bet on pitchers who will record the most saves in 2014. Braves closer Craig Kimbrel is a 6 to 1 favorite, while Blue Jays closer Casey Janssen has long odds at 33 to 1.
Jose Bautista is fourth on the homerun leader projections, paying at 12 to 1. Edwin Encarnacion is on the list at 20-1. Miguel Cabrera, and Chris Davis are shorter odds, both tied at 7 to 1. And Giancarlo Stanton is at 8-1.This according to LVH Superbook.
LVH also has over/under on home run totals for both Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista. Encarnacion’s number is 30.5, and Bautista’s number is slightly lower at 29.5. This is interesting given the previously mentioned leader projections having Bautista more likely to lead the league in home runs. Maybe they see Bautista’s range of home run totals more varied than Encarnacion’s.
TopBet has an over-under line set on win totals for each team. For the Jays the line is set at 79.5 wins. This is right around the PECOTA projection from Baseball Prospectus which has the Jays with 80 wins.
So what are your thoughts on these odds? Would you take any of these bets?