Big Bets Bombing
By Tom Barton
We have had a historic summer in MLB this betting year but for some it was a summer to forget. Not once but twice did we have the Houston Astros, and Justin Verlander, make history. The first history making event took place when Verlander and the Stros traveled to Baltimore and the linesmakers made Houston a -480 favorite. According to most insiders this was the largest road favorite in baseball history. At the time I wondered out loud, on Wanna Bet!?, what would Verlander's next start be at home against the lowly Tigers.
The Orioles were a massive underdog but jumped on Verlander early. Bettors were sweating and nervous but the Astros tied the game in the 9th inning to give those who went all in on a "sure thing" new life. That ended fast though as the Orioles hit a bottom of the 9th home run to win the game and remake history as the largest baseball underdog to ever cash.
The next game Verlanders started re-set all sorts of records. The worst team in baseball were coming into Houston and surely Verlander couldn't look bad two starts in a row. Oddsmakers set the Astros as another all time high as the line opened up with Houston a -520 favorite. That was the largest favorite in MLB history.
Once again people lined up and bet on the favorite. They added parlays, first 5 innings and round robin bets to their straight plays making the ticket count for the Astros a large number. Once again history would be made though as the Astros couldn't muster any offense and won the game again.
That means in a week in August we saw history being made multiple times. The largest road and home favorite were set ... and both lost. If you bet $100 against Verlander for the week your profit would have been just shy of $1000 profit. Not a bad week for underdog players but this is a cautionary tale for anyone who lays the big juice.