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The Atlanta Braves are favored to take a 2-1 lead in the World Series. Barely.
Atlanta enters Friday night’s Game 3 at -115 to beat the Houston Astros at BetMGM. The Astros, who tied the series in Game 2 on Wednesday night, are at -105 to win. You can get Houston -1.5 runs at +155 while Atlanta is -190 getting 1.5 runs.
A majority of bettors are backing the Braves, though the sharp money is on the Astros. The Braves are gettin 57% of tickets on the moneyline but just 36% of the handle. The Braves are getting 48% of the tickets on the run line, but those bets make up just 24% of the handle.
One thing the sharps and squares can agree on is the over. Just over 70% of tickets are on the over and that makes up 77% of the handle.
Luis Garcia is set to start for the Astros while Ian Anderson will go for the Braves. Garcia was phenomenal in his last postseason start after two rough outings to begin October. Garcia struck out seven and allowed just one hit and one walk in 5.2 innings pitched against the Red Sox in Game 6 of the ALCS as the Astros closed out the series. That outing was a huge bounceback after he struggled in his first two postseason appearances.
Anderson pitched twice against the Dodgers in the NLCS. He gave up three earned runs in seven innings while striking out six and walking no one. Anderson has 12 strikeouts in 12 innings pitched so far this postseason.
It’s worth looking at some different type of bets in this game. The total for the entire game is 8.5 runs (the over is at -105) while the five-inning total is at 4.5 runs. You can get the Braves giving the Astros 0.5 runs through five innings at +120. That’s worth a shot if you think what Garcia did against the Red Sox isn’t sustainable.
Team totals are also a good place to go to win some money even if the return isn’t great. The Astros are -250 to score 3 or more runs and -135 to score four or more runs. The Braves are at the same odds at 3 or more runs and -140 to score at least four.
The Braves are also a decent bet to score the first runs of the game. Houston is at -150 by virtue of hitting first in an NL park. The Braves are +115 to score first. A scoreless first inning has odds of -125 and you can get a single run in the second inning at +333.
There are ton of fun plays at BetMGM — 81 of them in fact — so take Game 3 as your chance to have some fun betting different options. You don’t always have to bet the total and game outcome.
Two college football games Friday
Let’s be real, the college football slate on Friday isn’t great.
Navy heads to Tulsa as an 11-point underdog. The Midshipmen are 1-6 but 4-3 against the spread so far this season. Tulsa, meanwhile, is 3-4 against the spread and 5-1-1 against the total, which is 47 on Friday night.
Preparing for a triple-option team on a short week is tough, but Navy has been so bad this season that it’s hard to have faith in the Midshipmen, barring a late cover.
UNLV and Nevada are the nightcap on Friday night and the winless Rebels are 20-point underdogs against the Wolf Pack. Both teams are 5-2 against the spread and five Nevada games have gone over this season. The total here is 58 and we wouldn’t be stunned to see a UNLV cover. Asking Nevada to cover three touchdowns in a rivalry game is tough.
Can Nets cover vs. pesky Pacers?
There are seven NBA games on Friday night, including the Pacers’ trip to the Nets and the Clippers at the Blazers.
Brooklyn is favored by eight after opening the season 2-3 without Kyrie Irving. James Harden has also struggled so far this season, though it feels like it’s a matter of time before he gets things going. The Pacers are -14 but are losing games by an average of 3.8 points per game. That’s the lowest points differential of any team under .500 in the Eastern Conference, though it’s also skewed by two one-point losses to open the season. After beating the Heat, Indiana has lost by 10 to the Bucks and eight to the Raptors.
The Clippers are getting 2.5 points at Portland as L.A. is 1-3 and Portland is 2-2. The Blazers beat the Grizzlies by 20 on Wednesday night after losing by 30 at Los Angeles on Oct. 25. We’re confident that Portland is going to shoot better from three than it did four days ago. The Blazers were just 8-of-37 from deep in that 30-point loss and got blown out in the first and third quarters.
A bunch of other sports
October is the best sports month of the year, and it’s going out as a busy month. There’s the PGA Tour’s Bermuda Championship and the field is wide open. There aren’t many recognizable names in Bermuda, either, so this is your chance to take a flier on a golfer who doesn’t typically get a lot of bets.
NASCAR is at Martinsville on Saturday and Sunday, and you can bet on all three races. Drivers in Toyotas are favored in each race: John Hunter Nemechek (+350) in the trucks, Ty Gibbs (+450) in Xfinity and Martin Truex Jr. (+400) in the Cup Series on Sunday.
It’s also a full soccer weekend between the European Leagues and MLS. Manchester United and Tottenham play on Saturday in a game that you should not bet just because of the unpredictability of both teams. In MLS, we like Western Conference leaders Sporting Kansas City to get a win on Sunday (+240) at Minnesota United.
Who cashed tickets on Thursday?
Under bettors in Green Bay’s win over Arizona got a late gift after an Aaron Jones TD was reversed.
Bettors who had the Knicks and Wizards also enjoyed wins on Thursday night. Utah easily covered at a Houston team that would prefer to lose as many games as possible, and Dallas squeaked out a five-point win (but no cover) against the San Antonio Spurs.