Bookies Clean Up After Epic Dodgers, Braves NLDS Collapses
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The Los Angeles Dodgers sure looked like they might win the World Series this year.
Bettors seemed sure that, at the very least, they’d advance to the second round of the playoffs, as 82% of MLB consensus betting handle was riding on the Dodgers as of Wednesday afternoon, according to DraftKings.
Up 3-1 in the eighth inning with future Hall of Fame pitcher Clayton Kershaw on the mound, the Dodgers absolutely seemed poised to eliminate the Washington Nationals in Game 5 of the NLDS on Wednesday night.
But Kershaw’s career-long playoff struggles continued as the pitcher shockingly gave up back-to-back home runs to give the lead away. Then in the 10th inning, the Nationals cleared the bases with a grand slam to nab the amazing 7-3 come-from-behind victory over Los Angeles at Dodgers Stadium.
So the Nationals scored, and if the DraftKings reported numbers of bettors backing the Dodgers to advance to the NLCS were similar across other bookmakers, it looks like the bookies scored big last night, too.
With 63% of the total bets backing the Dodgers at -162 MLB betting odds before the game, according to DraftKings, it appears only the sharpest bettors, or perhaps just the luckiest ones, got to celebrate alongside the baseball team from our nation's capital.
Washington Nationals Comeback Win A Rollercoaster
In-game odds were a real rollercoaster. After outfielder Enrique Hernandez's second-inning home run put the Dodgers up 3-0, DraftKings offered the Nationals at +1300 to win. While that number fluctuated greatly throughout the 10-inning game, plus money bets backing the Nats were to be had at just about any point during the game except the final moments.
The Nationals were +1200 when Kershaw came into the game 😬 pic.twitter.com/Pz9HzkTl7e— DraftKings Sportsbook (@DKSportsbook) October 10, 2019
Heck, when Kershaw entered the game late, bettors hoping to witness the epic comeback that eventually unfolded were given the chance by DraftKings to back the Nationals at +1200. Imagine having the wherewithal to throw some money down on that.
Kershaw, probably the best pitcher of an entire generation, with a 2-run lead and just six outs from victory? How could anyone bet against that?
But Kershaw allowed home runs on consecutive pitches as Washington tied the score at 3 in the eighth. Joe Kelly gave up the rest in the tenth inning courtesy of second baseman Howie Kendrick’s grand slam to seal the deal.
The bookmakers made a mint on the action, but hopeful bettors who placed the right bets at the right times did, too.
Bookies Also Win With St. Louis Cardinals
The Atlanta Braves entered game 5 of the NLDS against the St. Louis Cardinals the underdog per the bookies on the moneyline but were still the betting public’s overwhelming favorite to win the game.
According to DraftKings, 61% of the total bets made before the Braves-Cardinals game on Wednesday night – and 68% of the total handle – rode on the home team Braves as it sought to reach the NLCS for the first time since 2001.
But Atlanta’s hopes were dashed quickly when the Cardinals bludgeoned the Braves pitching staff for 10 runs in the first inning. Atlanta never really recovered as St. Louis went on to clinche the best-of-5 series with a 13-1 beatdown.
So it wasn’t quite the same rollercoaster of odds choices for bettors, but the result was still the same for bookies.
The Cardinals advanced to the NLCS with relative ease and because the moneyline leaned just enough their way to keep most of the public money behind the underdog Atlanta, the bookies did well.
It was a memorable Wednesday night of playoff baseball that saw both home teams collapse in epic fashion. Most of the bettors’ money went the same way.