NLCS Odds: Dodgers vs Braves Picks, Predictions & Betting Preview
Baseball’s two best teams met in the National League Division Series — far too early for our liking — and in the end, the reigning-champion Los Angeles Dodgers outlasted the San Francisco Giants to advance.
|NLCS Series Bet||Odds|
|Dodgers to Win Series||-220|
|Braves to Win Series||+182|
|Dodgers -1.5 Games||-134|
|Braves +1.5 Games||+110|
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Why You Should Pick the Braves
This time last year, the Braves were well on their way to their first NL pennant since the 1990s. On Oct. 15, 2020, the Braves beat the Dodgers in Game 5 of the NLCS to take a 3-1 lead, and then … well, you probably remember the rest of it.
Yes, Atlanta choked. But they were so, so close. And who says they can’t do it again? They haven’t had their star, Ronald Acuña Jr., since July, and somehow that hasn’t mattered. Atlanta is 47-30 without him.
Suffocating pitching has been the story there, and it’s continued this postseason. The Braves have the lowest playoff ERA (1.54), pitching two shutouts in four games and posting a 12.34 strikeouts-per-nine rate. Everyone in their bullpen has an ERA that’s better than league average, and their starters are seasoned. In last year’s NLCS, Max Fried and Ian Anderson combined for a 2.75 ERA against the Dodgers in four starts. That’ll play.
Oh, and how clutch is Joc Pederson? The guy is 3-for-7 with two pinch-hit home runs already. Watch out for him in a big moment, because one swing could change the series.
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Why You should Pick the Dodgers
The easiest argument to make for the Dodgers is the fact they’ve done it before. Most of this group won last year, and while Clayton Kershaw won’t be able to help this season, Max Scherzer certainly will. All-star first baseman Max Muncy hasn’t played yet this postseason, but his potential return would be huge, too.
Then there’s Cody Bellinger, whose nightmarish regular season hasn’t carried over to the playoffs. He nabbed the series-clinching hit against the Giants, and he’s 5-for-17 (.294) this October.
Remember how we lauded the Braves’ pitching staff? This one is pretty good, too. The Dodgers rank second behind the Braves in playoff ERA (1.87), but they’re first in WHIP (0.83) and opponent batting average (.178).
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Our NLCS pick
Pitching is exceptional on both sides, but the Dodgers have the offensive star power — and the championship pedigree — to push them over the top. The MLB betting juice is certainly limited, but that doesn’t really matter if the choice is correct.
And if you’re worried about the Braves’ home-field advantage, consider this: The Dodgers were better on the road this year (48-33, .593) than the Braves were at home or on the road. We except the Dodgers to find their way back into the Fall Classic.
The Pick: Dodgers in 5 at DraftKings
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