The Fall Classic has arrived in what has, for many, been the strangest and most unique baseball season in modern history.
And while attendance at the games is limited, there is no shortage of betting opportunities.
From tacos to free parlays, the underdog Tampa Bay Rays and slugger-filled Los Angeles Dodgers have brought enticing chances to Hoosier bettors.
After Game 1, what are the series odds?
Heading into Tuesday’s Game 1, DraftKings had the Dodgers as a heavy favorite: -210 for Los Angeles to win the World Series, compared to +165 for the Rays.
On its surface, such drastic lines were surprising for two teams that finished with the best records in their respective leagues.
Plus, the Rays possess a dominant bullpen and a strong starting staff.
But it’s the gap between the two lineups that impacted betting lines – and showed the Dodgers’ clear upper-hand in the first game.
By midway through the Dodgers’ dominant 8-3 Game 1 win, lines had moved to make the West Coast squad even heavier favorites.
A Rays comeback in this series would shock even the biggest fans of the team’s trailblazing analytical approach.
A lineup with only one consistent postseason hitter – American League Championship Series MVP Randy Arozarena – does not bode well for Tampa Bay, especially following his 0-3 Game 1.
Many expect to see the Dodgers and their powerful bats bring the Commissioner’s Trophy to Los Angeles for the first time since 1988.
There are many more game left in the series, however, and even more chances to get in on the action.
BetRivers profit boost
A top Indiana promo for World Series bettors can be found on BetRivers.
BetRivers is offering a 25% pre-game profit boost and a 25% in-game profit boost for anyone who logs into their account on a game day.
Every day a World Series game is played, we're giving you TWO 25% profit boosts just for logging in.
Game 2 is today! What are you waiting for? pic.twitter.com/B6D7zSpPce
— BetRivers (@BetRivers) October 21, 2020
The profit boosts can be used each day there is a World Series game. Max bets are limited to $50 and additional winnings to $250.
FanDuel, PointsBet Release World Series betting promos
FanDuel, meanwhile, copied its NFL approach and offered $10 risk-free same-game parlays for Game 1. Expect this promo to continue throughout the series.
Bettors can bet up to $10 on a 3+ leg parlay with at least +200 odds on a World Series game. If the bet loses, FanDuel will refund the bet in site credit.
PointsBet is providing 100% free-bet matches on a bettor’s first in-play bet of each World Series game, up to $25.
The sportsbook also boosted the Dodgers’ Game 1 odds from -165 to -140, and is likely to give similar boosts in subsequent games.
BetMGM offers up free tacos, World Series betting promos
On BetMGM, anyone who makes a $25+ bet on a World Series game will win a $10 free bet in the event of a walk-off home run.
More excitingly, BetMGM partnered with Taco Bell for its ninth consecutive Steal a Base, Steal a Taco promo. And after Mookie Betts‘ stolen base in the fifth inning, everyone in America is eligible for a free Doritos Locos Taco on Oct. 28.
Sportsbooks hope World Series boosts baseball betting
Baseball found itself at the bottom of the pile during a record-breaking betting month in September for Indiana.
The sport ranked last in handle in the categories tracked by the Indiana Gaming Commission:
- Parlay: $50.6 million
- Football: $48.4 million
- Other (including hockey): $43 million
- Basketball: $34.2 million
- Baseball: $30.5 million
Games that transcend baseball’s typically-regional attraction are an obvious boon for sportsbooks.
And the nationally-broadcast World Series (on FOX) is sure to do that.
Sportsbooks and MLB officials, however, are likely lamenting the Rays’ defeat of the Houston Astros in Game 7 of the ALCS.
Every intriguing story needs a villain, and a rematch of the 2017 World Series between the Dodgers and Houston Astros would have generated hordes of media and fan attention.
Many would have cheered – and bet – for the Astros to be dealt retribution on the sport’s biggest stage. Others would have pulled for the anarchy of an Astros World Series title in the first year since the emergence of their cheating scandal.
Interest would have been enormous.
Instead, the league has a Series matchup between the mega-market Dodgers and small-market Rays. The matchup still presents a compelling difference in team-building approaches.
And baseball fans aren’t going to ignore the World Series. So while it may not be the intriguing matchup everyone wanted, there are still plenty of ways to enjoy the World Series and get in on the betting action.