The good news with the American League and National League Championship Series concluding over the weekend is that the World Series matchup — the Atlanta Braves taking on the Houston Astros — is set and it should be really intriguing and competitive. The bad news is that there are only, at most, seven games left in a great 2021 MLB season and, at least, four games remaining.
So, with all the attention focused on Atlanta and Houston, it’s a great time to be betting online because of all the interesting — and often value-laden — bets available on the board at the BetUS Sportsbook. From the general series price to World Series MVP to even which player will hit the series’ first home run, there’s an almost endless assortment of bets to take. Let’s run through some of them:
Series Prices, Spreads
We can start with the basic series prices. Considering that the Astros were a much better regular season team than the Braves and have maybe the best offense in baseball — to go with multiple strong starting pitching options and a good bullpen — they’re a good value at -140 just to win the series straight up. It’s not plus-value, for sure, but they’re justifiably big favorites based on the current MLB playoff odds. The Braves are +110 moneyline underdogs.
If you want to take the Astros and get plus money to do so, consider one of the alternate MLB lines, like Astros -1½ (+135) which pays out if Houston wins the series in six games or fewer — a 4-0 sweep, 4-1 win, or 4-2 win. That wouldn’t pay out as much as specifically betting on the Astros to sweep (+1100), win 4-1 (+550), or win 4-2 (+375) but it provides some cover if the Braves get a few games.
Then, on the flip side, if you like the Braves to pull off the upset, you can take the Braves -1½ (+190), which would pay out at almost 2-to-1. You can take any series combination since they’re all on the board. Even betting on the total number of games in the series and the series score after three or four games are possibilities.
Game 1 Spreads, Moneylines, Over/Unders
There are also some smart MLB picks for Game 1 specifically, especially if you go chalk and think the Astros are going to win. Their moneyline is only -129, which, like the series price, isn’t terrible value but you can do a lot better. That’s why Houston’s runline is an interesting play, since +155 for a loaded team, at home, is good value. The Braves’ moneyline is +119 and the Atlanta runline (+1½ runs) is -175.
You can also bet on the over/under, which is at 8½ runs right now. The over is -105 and the under is -115 because runs are always at a premium in the playoffs and especially so in the World Series.
Betting the first five innings team spread is also an interesting potential play, with the Astros -½ runs at +115 for the first five and the Braves +½ runs at -135 (and +105 on the first five moneyline).
Game 1 Props
If the more basic Game 1 bets aren’t enough, there are a host of exciting football-style Game 1 prop bets that could pay out big and be resolved early on Tuesday night. You can bet on whether there will be (Ev) or won’t be (-130) a run scored in the first inning or even which player will hit the game and series’ first home run. Of course, with the Braves batting first, someone like Freddie Freeman (+1200) or Austin Riley (+1100) would be a good bet for that value, but you can’t go wrong with Yordan Álvarez (+900) or Alex Bregman (+1000) on Houston’s side.
The over/unders for nearly every player’s statistical output are available to take. The overs on total bases (almost uniformly 1½ bases) for guys like Freeman (+130), Michael Brantley (Ev) and Carlos Correa (+130) provide great value too.
Taking either team winning by four or more runs (+350 for the Braves and +330 for the Astros) is also an intriguing option because you can run the gamut of potential blowout scenarios while getting plus money regardless of how things turn out as long as either team wins easily.
World Series MVP
There is always going to be a lot of potential juice on the World Series MVP odds because it’s pretty difficult to essentially throw a dart and pinpoint the exact player who happens to get very hot and swings the series in either direction with their play. So, it could be smart to take a few guys on both teams to cover your bases.
The odds-on favorite is Álvarez (+800) which makes sense after he destroyed the Boston Red Sox en route to being named the ALCS MVP. Correa (+1200), Brantley (+1400), and Valdez (+1600) are relatively safe choices on the Houston side of things. Starting pitchers who are expected to make at least two starts are always good places to begin with series MVP bets since two shutdown outings from them can shorten the series and maximize their impact.
On Atlanta’s side, Riley (+1200) and Max Fried (+1600) are solid picks while Ozzie Albies (+2000) and Charlie Morton (+2000) are longshots but provide a ton of value. One total flyer option is Dansby Swanson (+4000) because he hasn’t had a good postseason but has a lot of power and could hit some huge home runs in clutch situations.