MLB betting: Are Astros and Dodgers worth backing as underdogs?

·3-min read

The Atlanta Braves and Boston Red Sox both just need two more wins to clinch their respective pennants and claim spots in the World Series. Both teams entered their current series as underdogs to the Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros, respectively, but they've managed to flip that script. 

The Astros and Dodgers were favorites for a reason. With two pivotal games on tap Tuesday night, is now a good time to back the former favorites as underdogs

Familiar territory for the Dodgers

The Los Angeles Dodgers are defending World Series champions and are coming off a regular season in which they recorded 106 wins. Despite the impressive resume, they're down 2-0 in the NLCS against the Atlanta Braves. 

After opening the series as -225 favorites to advance, Los Angeles' odds to get past Atlanta currently sit at +160.

In 2020, on route to their championship, the Dodgers also encountered the Braves in the NLCS. In that series, the Braves jumped out to a 2-0 lead. Sound familiar? It's the exact situation that we find ourselves in now. 

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 14: Cody Bellinger #35 of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrates his RBI single to score Justin Turner #10 against the San Francisco Giants during the ninth inning in game 5 of the National League Division Series at Oracle Park on October 14, 2021 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Cody Bellinger and the Dodgers are looking to get back in the series against the Braves. (Harry How/Getty Images)

Falling behind two games in a playoff series is hardly a recipe for success, but if there's a team powerful enough to overcome this deficit, it's the Dodgers. Winning four of five games seems like a daunting task for most teams, but the Dodgers went on 12 separate winning streaks of at least four games this season. 

They say a series doesn't start until a team loses a home game. The rationale is simple: If you win your home games, you will force a Game 7. In a do-or-die game, anything can happen.

While +160 may not be the greatest value for a team trailing 2-0 in a series, it's an opportunity to buy a great team at a very favorable price. 

Can Astros right the ship?

The Houston Astros opened the ALCS as -150 favorites to advance to the World Series, but after falling behind 2-1, the Astros are now +185 underdogs to get to the Fall Classic. 

This seems like a bit of an overreaction, but things have been ugly for the Astros over the past two games. The Red Sox have hit three grand slams, Astros starting pitchers Luis Garcia and Jose Urquidy have combined to go just 2.2 innings, and the Red Sox jumped out to 9-0 leads in both of their starts. 

Despite everything that's gone wrong over the past two games, I think this series is still wide open. Both teams have legitimate concerns about their pitching staffs. Both teams have deep lineups that could put a crooked number on the board.

I think we continue to see an exciting and back-and-forth series here. I wouldn't be surprised to see this series go the distance. If you bet the Astros to come back and win the series at +185, that's a very good place to be should this series go to a Game 7. 

Tuesday's odds

The Dodgers are -175 favorites at home against Atlanta. Walker Buehler will pitch for the Dodgers, opposed by Charlie Morton for the Braves. Los Angles is getting 72% of the betting handle. 

In the night cap, the Red Sox are -130 favorites at home. Nick Pivetta will get the start for Boston, and he'll go up against Zack Greinke for Houston. Seventy-eight percent of the betting handle is on this game to go over 9 runs.

World Series odds

Thanks to a 2-0 series lead in the NLCS, the Atlanta Braves at +200 are your current World Series favorites at BetMGM. The complete odds are as follows: 

Atlanta +200.

Boston +250.

Los Angeles +300.

Houston +360.

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