Red Sox-Nationals Betting Preview: Good Spot to Back Rare Contrarian Favorite?


Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Max Scherzer

Boston Red Sox at Washington Nationals, 7:05 p.m. ET

  • Red Sox (Rick Porcello): +162
  • Nationals (Max Scherzer): -180
  • Over/under 8 (u-119)

Red Sox-Nationals bet to watch:

This one’s gonna sting a little bit. I certainly don’t enjoy betting against my Red Sox, but tonight I don’t think I have a choice.

Washington is in a rare betting spot — a spot that happens to be my favorite to play. The Nats are getting the minority of bets as a heavy favorite. As of 3 p.m. ET, they’ve attracted only 41% of bettors at -180.


Big favorites, as you’d expect, win more often than not, but that doesn’t mean they’re always profitable for bettors. It’s a different story when they’re a contrarian bet, however.

What’s more, Washington’s line is rising thanks to some sharp action. Despite being the contrarian side, 70% of the money wagered on this game has come on the Nats, which has moved them from -175 to -180. Filtering for teams that saw at least five cents worth of line movement brings the above record to 52-16, +10.8 units, and a 16% ROI.

What really caught my eye, though, was that teams in this spot average a win by 2.3 runs, which naturally begs the question of how they perform against the runline.

As it turns out, they’re 34-25, good for 13.6 units and a 23.1% ROI, so as much as it pains me to do this …

The Pick: Nationals -1.5 (+125)

All data as of 2:30 p.m. ET. For live odds, check out our MLB live odds page.

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