MLB betting: Giants and Dodgers, with 109 wins each, play an enormous winner-take-all game

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Major League Baseball couldn't ask for a better elimination game. Well, maybe they'd prefer to not be going up against Tom Brady on Thursday night. 

The rest is storybook. The Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants, one of MLB's best rivalries, square off in Game 5 of the NLDS. The loser's season is done. The Giants won 107 games in the regular season and two more in the postseason. The Dodgers won 106 games in the regular season and three postseason games, including a walk-off wild-card win. 

According to ESPN Stats and Info, it's just the fifth winner-take-all game between two 100-win teams in MLB history. It's also just the fifth winner-take-all game since 1969 between teams with the two best records during the season. 

Just to add a little more drama to it all, the two 109-win teams are -110 odds to win Game 5 at BetMGM

Game 5 odds are even

The records, the odds and the fact that both seasons have come down to one game hint at how even the teams have been. 

That didn't follow the preseason expectations. The Dodgers were the easy World Series favorite, having won last season and bringing back MLB's most talented roster. The Giants weren't expected to be in the NL West race. The San Diego Padres were the team that everyone figured would compete with the Dodgers. 

But the Giants just won. They got off to a great start in April and never quit. They were underrated in the odds all season. That's why it's a little surprising the odds are even going into Game 5. The Dodgers were the betting favorite in all but two games this season, and the betting favorite in every single game of the 2020 season as well. The Giants were underdogs 57 times this regular season. Then they were underdogs in the first four games of the NLDS, despite winning 107 games, winning the NL West and taking 10 of 19 games against the Dodgers in the season series.  

The Giants finally are getting some due respect on the betting line. And it comes in what could be their final game this season. 

Mookie Betts and Walker Buehler celebrate Betts' home run in the NLDS. (Photo by Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images)
Mookie Betts and Walker Buehler celebrate Betts' home run in the NLDS. (Photo by Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images)

Giants, Dodgers have been great all season

The reason the Giants are not underdogs for the first time this series is probably Logan Webb. 

Finally, Webb is being treated like an elite pitcher. He was 11-3 with a 2.72 ERA this season. He struck out 10 in 7.2 scoreless innings in Game 1 of the NLDS. Webb is like the Giants as a whole: Since he wasn't a known commodity before the season, the odds have been slow to come around on him despite a full season of evidence that he's an ace. 

The Dodgers have earned all of their respect, when it comes to the odds. They're loaded. Their Game 5 starter was lined up to be Julio Urias, who won 20 games but is probably their fifth-best starter if everyone was healthy and not suspended. Instead, the Dodgers announced reliever Corey Knebel will start, perhaps to make the Giants move away from their normal lineup against left-handed pitchers. The news on Knebel, a former all-star closer, didn't change the line. There's a reason the Dodgers were World Series favorites even as they prepared to play a single-elimination wild-card game against the Cardinals with their season on the line. 

But this has seemed like a storybook season for the Giants all along. Thursday night is the rare time you aren't getting a lot of value on the Giants as an underdog. But it still feels like they'll find a way to win, just as they've done all season. 

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