Cubs-Pirates Betting Preview: Oddsmakers Taking Advantage of Public Perception


Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Willson Contreras (40) tags Pittsburgh Pirates left fielder Corey Dickerson

  • It's not surprising that the Cubs are being backed by the public against the Pirates tonight.
  • Even though Chicago is getting the majority of the bets, the Pirates' odds have shortened by 20 cents.

Betting Odds: Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh Pirates

  • Cubs (Jon Lester): -104
  • Pirates (Jameson Tallion): -106
  • Over/under: 7.5
  • First pitch: 7:05 p.m. ET

>> Download The Action Network App to get real-time MLB odds, track your bets and follow all of our experts’ picks.

There’s a lot to unpack here so bear with me.

Let’s start with the obvious. The Cubs have a better record than the Pirates, and this line is essentially a pick’em. Right off the bat, that should indicate that oddsmakers are attempting to take advantage of public perception.

On a similar note, the Cubs made the playoffs last season; the Pirates didn’t. Public bettors have that ingrained in their minds, and oddsmakers know it. They’re going to shade lines to account for it.

The Pirates are also the home side in this one. That’s the type of factor that the public tends to consider only when it benefits them — at least in baseball — which means they’re completely overlooking any edge the Pirates might have from playing in Pittsburgh tonight.

As for the betting market, the Pirates are getting fewer than 40% of bets, and have seen considerable line movement in their direction going from +114 to -106 at Pinnacle. That’s especially noteworthy considering the range in which this moneyline stands. It’s a 20-cent line move, but it corresponds to a win probability change of 5% (that’s a lot).

And finally, this game is on pace to be the most heavily bet game tonight, so you can be sure that oddsmakers care about this outcome. They’re well-aware that the public will love the Cubs in this case and they’re happy about that.

Why? Well, putting all the above filters together creates a system that’s gone 42-14 since 2005, winning 26.4 units for a 47% return on investment.

The pick: Pirates (-106)

How would you rate this article?

Top Offers

Odds Boosts
See More >
Odds boosts are simply regular bets offered at enticing odds. They're available to everyone and there's no limit to how many you can bet.
Sportsbook Reviews
See More >
Discover the best online sports betting sites and take advantage of bonus offers from legal sportsbooks.
Expert Picks
See More >
See what plays the Action Network experts are making for all of today's games.
PRO Membership
See More >
Access betting systems and signals to get daily, actionable picks.
Download the App
See More >
Download the Action app to track all your bets in one place. Exclusive data helped you make smarter betting decisions.
See More >
The best sports betting newsletter with trends, insights and news - condensed in a two-minute read.
Live Odds
See More >
See live odds and the best lines for every game.

Follow Us On Social

Top Stories