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Odds and Ends

MLB Opening Day Bets, Lines and Movements

by NBC Sports EDGE Staff
Updated On: July 26, 2020, 4:03 pm ET

MLB betting odds are back on the board, thankfully, after a four-month hiatus due to the COVID-19 shutdown. Thursday night’s season openers feature an interleague matchup of the Yankees against the World Series champion Nationals, and the Dodgers hosting the NL West rival Giants.

CG Technology risk analyst Dave Sharapan provided insights on early MLB line movement, sharp money and public betting. Covers will update this action report with MLB sharp picks vs. public bets and line movement, up until Thursday night’s first pitch. 

MLB line movement

Sharapan said that, so far, CG Tech books in Las Vegas have been right on the mark for the Yankees-Nationals game. CG opened New York a -132 favorite behind Gerrit Cole, with the total at 7.5 (Under -120). Washington, with Max Scherzer on the bump, is a +122 underdog in a 7 p.m. ET start.

“We have moved neither,” Sharapan said Monday morning of a static line and total.

However, the Giants-Dodgers tilt has seen line movement. Clayton Kershaw and Los Angeles opened -300 and ticked up to -320, with San Francisco a +260 pup behind Johnny Cueto in a 10:08 p.m. ET matchup. CG has the total at 8 (Under -120).

MLB sharp money

CG books said MLB sharp bets have yet to land on either the Yankees-Nationals tilt or the Giants-Dodgers clash. Sharapan said he’s not surprised by that fact, in this most unusual season.

“We discussed this in the risk room, and I’ve had conversations with guys I respect,” Sharapan said. “It sounds like the sharps are really going to take a wait-and-see approach to baseball, at least in the beginning. In years past, you can see that they sit out more often than not when there are a lot of interleague matchups. That is what we are expecting them to do (now), with all of the uncertainty.

“No one has a feel for how far starting pitchers are going to go, let alone how bullpens are going to be used. Even the extra-inning rule will have an impact that affects wagering in a way that is unknown.”

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MLB public betting

Opening Day action is almost all MLB public betting on the Dodgers – and almost all of that coming from one bettor, hence the 20-cent line move in that game at CG. Sharapan provided details in a Saturday Twitter post (@SportsbkConsig):

Story time from the book:

Guy walks into the book, comes to the counter and says “baseball lines up yet for Thursday?”

Yes.

“Gimme the Dodgers.”

How much?

“15 dimes.”

Its action. Is that ok?

Head nod. Count the money. Print ticket.

People will come Ray, people will come..

— Sportsbook Consigliere (@SportsbkConsig) July 18, 2020

And just like that, there was a $15,000 play on Los Angeles, and CG Tech books had an early rooting interest in San Francisco.

“The Dodgers bet was a limit play,” Sharapan said. “Enough to move the line, but not necessarily a sharp play.”

Action on the Yankees-Nationals is lighter, and it’s all public betting.

“Only small bets on that game both ways, even in parlays,” Sharapan said. “No sharp bets at all.”

Where can I bet MLB odds?

Many online books and casinos offer bets on baseball odds and props. Check out the best sportsbooks available where you live.