NJ Sportsbooks Seeing Most Money on Yankees in AL Playoffs
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With the start of a busy weekend, New Jersey sportsbooks are gearing up for Friday night’s Game 5 showdown in the American League Divisional Series between the Tampa Bay Rays and the New York Yankees.
The winner advances to face the Houston Astros in the American League Championship Series, and most sportsbooks in the two states would like to see a Yankees-Astros matchup in MLB betting.
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To get there, the Yankees have to get through the Rays, which have had the Yankees’ number for the majority of the season. But Yankees starting pitcher Gerrit Cole was brought to New York to pitch and perform in games like this.
“We have the Yankees favored for Game 5 tonight with Cole on the mound. They are -150 Moneyline favorites right now. Going into last night’s game, you could have gotten them at +240 to win the series. We have a small amount of liability on them to win the series,” said Thomas Gable, director of race and sportsbook at The Borgata in Atlantic City.
“The bigger picture for us is the amount of liability we have on Tampa Bay to win the American League. So, from Borgata’s perspective we will be rooting for the Yankees tonight as it will eliminate Tampa Bay (who we have the most amount of liability on to win the AL) and will keep the Yankees alive in the playoffs, which will help drive handle for the ALCS. The Yankees are a huge draw for us and certainly a series that they are playing in will lead to increased handle than if they weren’t a part of it.”
'One-Way Traffic' on Yankees
“We are seeing one-way traffic on the Yankee game. Almost 95% of the money is on the pinstripes tonight with everyone all in on Gerrit Cole coming back off short rest to finish the Rays. The Yankees are currently -152 on the Moneyline which is pretty much where they opened when we posted the line,” said John Sheerhan, director of risk and trading at FanDuel Sportsbook. “Despite the liabilities, we want to see the Yankees win. Having the Yankees progress towards the World Series will only be a good thing for FanDuel customers.”
DraftKings is also seeing strong Yankees interest.
“DraftKings is seeing early money on the Yankees, and I expect the late money to be on the Yankees as well,” Johnny Avello, DraftKings sportsbook director, said Friday.
BetMGM has Friday night's game in a different light.
“The Yankees are the most bet on team to win the World Series and we would really appreciate it if the Rays would be so kind to say farewell to them from the playoffs,” said Matt Cosgriff, BetMGM’s sportsbook manager. “Tonight, BetMGM are Rays fans.”
BetMGM’s Moneyline had the Yankees open at -170 and is currently down to -150, with 89.9% of the handle (50.1% of tickets) going New York’s way. The Yankees are -1.5 (+110) on the runline and total runs opened at 7.5 (under -120) with 84.8% of tickets and 92.8% of handle on the over.
Books Win When Yankees Lose
New Jersey-based PointsBet opened Game 5 with Yankees -160/Rays +135, saw some slight movement that pushed the Yankees into -150 and Rays +130 mid-week, but the line has since moved back to the opener of Yanks -160/Rays +135.
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“We are seeing most of the money come in on the Yankees side — there are five times the amount of bets on Yankees on the Moneyline side and accounts for over 90% of the handle,” said Mike Korn, sports analyst for PointsBet. “This has been a common theme throughout the playoffs and always for the Yankees. Bettors always like taking the Yankees side and therefore when the Yankees lose, the book normally wins.”
PointsBet’s most popular prop of the game: Giancarlo Stanton to hit a home run (+270).
“The book will be rooting for the Rays to win, not only as it will affect tonight’s result, but also because we have a bigger liability on the Yanks to win the series and also to win the ALCS and World Series,” Korn said.