The Los Angeles Dodgers are a very good team that has not been that great to bettors this season.
If you bet $100 on every Dodgers game, you'd be down $324 according to Covers.com. That's despite Los Angeles' 44-27 record. This is what happens when you're a favorite in 71 straight games to start the season.
The Dodgers are finally underdogs in a game, snapping a streak that dates back to October of 2019. Los Angeles is +105 at BetMGM against Yu Darvish and the San Diego Padres on Monday night. The Dodgers have been, amazingly, favorites in 150 straight games.
The line could dramatically shift before first pitch and the Dodgers could end up favorites, but let's assume that won't happen. The question we need to ask ourselves for the first time in more than 20 months is: Are the Dodgers a good bet as an underdog?
The thought was that when the Dodgers were finally underdogs it would be because they had a rare dead spot in the rotation due to injury or another reason, but that's not really the case. Julio Urias starts for the Dodgers, and he has been very good (3.54 ERA, 1.00 WHIP). He hasn't faced the Padres this season but did just fine in two starts against them last year, allowing just two earned runs over 11.1 innings. The Padres aren't good against lefties (.677 OPS, 23rd in MLB), so there's no reason to look to fade Urias on Monday night.
The Dodgers have been playing better than San Diego over their last 10 (8-2 for the Dodgers, 5-5 for the Padres), so you're not riding a Padres hot streak. Darvish is very good and has a 1.29 ERA over two starts against the Dodgers this season, and there's nothing wrong with backing him. It just seems that of all the nights for the Dodgers to finally be underdogs, this is a strange time. It's not like they haven't faced other very good pitchers and good teams over the last 150 games.
I'll trust the Dodgers to win tonight. In most cases, I'd blindly take the Dodgers as an underdog. You'd probably end up doing fine when that's the case, not that the opportunity presents itself very often.
Here's our first look at Monday's betting slate:
Wait, where's the NBA breakdown?
Sorry friends, no NBA games on Monday. It gives you a chance to look over some futures though. Here are the current odds to win the NBA Finals at BetMGM:
Milwaukee Bucks +110
Phoenix Suns +179
Los Angeles Clippers +700
Atlanta Hawks +1100
The conference finals series odds are Bucks -500 over the Hawks, and the Suns are -450 favorites over the Clippers after a Game 1 win.
Who cashed tickets this weekend?
A lot of bettors were very happy with Jon Rahm over the weekend. Rahm, the pre-tournament favorite, rallied in the final round of the U.S. Open and won it, resulting in a seven-figure loss for BetMGM. Rahm was the most-bet golfer to win the U.S. Open, including a $1,500 bet to win $15,000 when he was +1000 before the tourney started. Before the final round, Rahm had 12.3% of tickets and 17.9% of handle of all U.S. Open champion bets.
The Bucks' Game 7 win was a good one for BetMGM though, as the Brooklyn Nets were easily the sportsbook's biggest liability in the futures market. The Bucks will face the Atlanta Hawks, who upset the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 7. That was a good result for BetMGM too. Before Game 7, 76 percent of bets made on the spread were on the 76ers at -7. A couple of bets that could be worth $2 million if the Hawks win it all are still alive.
In the West, the Phoenix Suns won Game 1 of the conference finals against the Los Angeles Clippers as 4-point favorites. Until Kawhi Leonard returns it'll be hard to back the Clippers, even with Chris Paul out due to COVID-19 protocols. The Suns are 6-point favorites for Game 2.
The weirdest baseball outcome of the weekend was the Seattle Mariners sweeping a four-game series from the Tampa Bay Rays, knocking the Rays out of first place in the AL East. The 38-36 Mariners have been one of the best bets in MLB this season.
What about the Euro 2020 slate?
There are four Euro 2020 matches as group play winds down. Ukraine and Austria face off at 12 p.m. ET while North Macedonia takes on the heavily favored Netherlands. At 3 p.m. ET, Belgium meets Finland while Russia plays Denmark.
As always, Yahoo Sportsbook's Nick Bromberg has you covered with his picks.
Islanders heavy underdogs again
In the lone NHL game of the night, the New York Islanders are in a familiar position. They're big underdogs, getting +155 odds at BetMGM against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The series is tied 2-2.
The Islanders have been underdogs in 15 of 16 playoff games they have played this postseason. They are 10-8, cashing a lot of nice tickets against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Boston Bruins and Lightning. The Lightning have been very good this postseason and it's tough to go against them at home, but it's not like the Islanders haven't earned some trust by now.
What's the best bet?
Any time I can go against the Arizona Diamondbacks without laying an enormous number, I'll do it. The Milwaukee Brewers are -125 against Arizona on Monday night, and while Brewers starter Brett Anderson isn't a pitcher I want to back, this is a team tied for first place against a 20-53 Diamondbacks team that has lost 17 in a row. I'm fine with -125 odds on Milwaukee.
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