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Odds and Ends

Indians Unders continue to be a cash cow

by Sam Panayotovich
Updated On: August 13, 2020, 2:28 pm ET

"Trends don't pay the rent, kid." 

That was legendary Vegas bookmaker Jimmy Vaccaro's response to my comment about the Boston Celtics ripping off seven straight covers at home in the 2018 NBA Playoffs. 

The Celtics covered three more home games before succumbing to LeBron James and the Cavaliers in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals. 

I would argue you could pay the rent with a 10-and-1 run. 

There's a piping hot run in Major League Baseball right now that's just as successful during this pandemic-shortened season. The Cleveland Indians are 15-and-3 to the Under. They've combined the best pitching staff in baseball (2.32 ERA) with a sputtering offense (.304 OBP) to keep defying the odds.

"I shade their totals to the Under every single day," Golden Nugget executive sportsbook director Tony Miller told NBC Sports. "I've even dropped it a half a run [from the market]. We've gone from 10 to 9.5 or 9 to 8.5, but mostly I move off the money."

"Their staff is damn good though." Miller added. “Especially the way guys like Bieber and Carrasco are dealing. If their sticks come around, they'll be pretty solid." 

Therein lies the rub. Until the offense gets cooking, you've got to stay the course. The Tribe have scored three runs or less in 9 of their last 13 games. 

Also, it's more difficult to overadjust totals than moneylines. Bookmakers can shade a popular favorite from -145 to -180 or -200 to -240. That's pretty normal. They can't, however, move a total more than a half run here or a half run there. They would get crushed by sharp bettors on the other side.

Carlos Carrasco takes the ball tonight for Cleveland when they host Kyle Hendricks and the Cubs. Both hurlers rarely issue free passes and Hendricks' changeup will work wonders at cavernous Progressive Field. Bookmakers have already moved the total from 8 to 7.5, but that still seems too high. 

Let's roll with the Under 7.5 (+100). 

Trends don't pay the rent -- but they're hot until they're not. 

Sam Panayotovich

Sam Panayotovich is a sports betting analyst from the South Side of Chicago. He'll probably pick against your favorite team a lot. Follow him @spshoot