Tuesday's Game 1 of the World Series already is attracting large bets at Las Vegas sportsbooks -- almost all of them on the favored Los Angeles Dodgers.
MGM reported taking a mid-six-figure bet on the Dodgers that would pay $300,000. The Westgate SuperBook took a high-five-figure bet on the Dodgers to win $50,000, and sportsbook operator CG Technology took a $33,000 bet on L.A. shortly after the Game 1 odds were posted.
With ace Clayton Kershaw getting the start, the Dodgers opened as a minus-165 favorite for Game 1 against the Astros. The price had grown to minus-175 at several sportsbooks, as of Monday. Left-hander Dallas Keuchel will start for Houston.
The Westgate on Saturday night opened the Dodgers as a minus-140 favorite to win the best-of-seven series. The price had grown to minus-160 as of Monday, with some sportsbooks all the way up to minus-170. The Astros are listed as a plus-140 underdog.
"I think when the wise guys start betting this thing, they will bet the Astros," Westgate assistant manager Ed Salmons told ESPN on Sunday. "There's value there."
"[There are] lots of people from L.A. in town for the weekend, putting some action on the Dodgers," a manager for Caesars Palace sportsbooks said. "It'll be a good series for us. There are a ton of Dodgers fans who will bet them no matter the line, and some value bettors should hit the Astros as the Dodgers money drives the line to a favorable spot for them."
Houston advanced to the World Series by overcoming a 3-2 series deficit to the New York Yankees, much to the delight of a big bettor who wagered $500,000 on the Astros in Friday's Game 6 at a William Hill sportsbook. Houston beat the Yankees 7-1, and the bettor won $337,000.
Game 7 of the ALCS generated more betting handle than all but the most heavily bet college football games Saturday.
"We had almost as many tickets written on [Game 7] as the Michigan-Penn State and USC-Notre Dame games," MGM assistant manager Jeff Stoneback said. "It gave us a quandary over what game to put up [on the big screen] with sound. We were going to make two-thirds of the people angry no matter what game we put. We ended going up with the Michigan-Penn State game."