Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Mike Trout
Seattle Mariners-Los Angeles Angels, 10:07 p.m. ET
- Mariners (Mike Leake): +142
- Angels (Garrett Richards): -158
- Over/under 8.5 (o-120)
Bet to watch:
The Mariners and Angels open a three-game series on Tuesday in Los Angeles, and the line for Game 1 is … a little strange.
In general, divisional matchups tend to result in closer games, so you’d think they’d be less likely to see high moneylines, especially if the team with the significantly worse record is favored (the Angels’ 46-45 record puts them 11 games behind Seattle).
So essentially, this play comes down to trusting the oddsmakers. While most bettors aren’t (59% are behind the Mariners), the Angels have actually become even more heavily favored throughout the day — they opened at -147.
Regardless of the matchup, any time a big favorite sees reverse line movement, they’ve been profitable.
Since 2005, teams listed at -155 or higher, getting fewer than 40% of bets, and having line movement of at least 10 cents in their favor have gone 90-34, good for 17.3 units for a 13.4% ROI.
But here’s the kicker. Make it a divisional matchup, and that record becomes 45-9, winning 16.4 units for a 30.4% ROI.
So yes, the 46-45 Angels are -158 favorites against a 57-34 division opponent. Why? Couldn’t tell ya. But what I do know is that oddsmakers know how to play public perception, and that’s exactly what they’re doing — or trying to do — tonight.
The pick: Angels (-158)
All data as of 4:45 p.m. ET. For live odds, check out our MLB live odds page.