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Manager lifts betting interest in Cubs

Given how much better the odds have gotten for the Cubs to win the World Series, some baseball fans might be asking what position Joe Maddon is playing.

Since it became clear that the lovable losers were going to land the former Tampa Bay Rays manager, the bets started rolling in for the Cubs to win the World Series, and in turn, the odds continued to rise.

Online sportsbook, Bovada.lv, lowered its odds for the 50-to-1 last Thursday all the way down to 20-to-1 Monday, as Maddon was introduced in Chicago.

"The movement of the Cubs World Series odds based on the hiring of a manager is unprecedented," said the Bovada's manager Kevin Bradley. "We feel like the impact of manager or head coach is felt the least in Major League Baseball. There are a few coaches in sports that would move the needle in terms of odds, such as [New England Patriots coach] Bill Belichick or [San Antonio Spurs coach] Gregg Popovich, but rarely are the best coaches free agents and they tend to stay with a franchise where they have a great relationship with the owner."

Bradley said that he isn't used to adjusting odds based on a managerial hiring, but the amount of money wagered on the Cubs left him no choice.

"They are already a huge liability," Bradley said. "They have taken four times more money than any other team."

At the Wynn in Las Vegas, the Cubs opened at 40-to-1 to win the World Series, but since word of Maddon's hiring started to leak it moved to 30-to-1.

Although some sports books in Vegas have the Cubs as low as 15-to-1, the Wynn's sports book manager John Avello thinks he has gone low enough for now.

"Maddon is an excellent manager and will most likely get the Cubs to the playoffs within two years," Avello said. "A World Series title over the next five years is certainly possible, but in the short term, it's difficult to make chicken salad out of chicken you-know-what."

The Cubs are owners of the longest title drought in all of baseball, having not won the World Series since 1908.