Twins vs. Indians Betting Pick: Can Cleveland Pull Off the Sweep?

Twins vs. Indians Betting Pick: Can Cleveland Pull Off the Sweep? article feature image
Credit:

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports: Jorge Polanco (11) is tagged out by Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor (12)

  • The first-place Twins (+102) will attempt to avoid a sweep tonight in Cleveland, and most of the betting public is behind them.
  • History suggests that the betting market's reaction to this line might be indicative of some value.

The Twins and Indians will close out their three-game series tonight as Cleveland goes for the sweep at home.

So far, the public has gotten roasted by the Tribe’s past two wins, as they’ve been all over the Twins on both occasions (65% and 77% of bets in games 1 and 2, respectively).

It’s looking like more of the same tonight, as 75% of bettors see no way that the first-place Twinkies drop a third straight game to a team still 9.5 games back.

Especially intriguing to Minnesota backers is the even- to plus-money payout — Minnesota is currently available at anywhere from +100 to +103 around the market.

If you’ve been following along with these picks over the past week or so, you probably have a good feel for where this is heading, but here goes.

Despite the Indians’ inferior record, they are still the favorites. And I promise you, oddsmakers aren’t listing that line to be nice.

When the public fades a favorite because it is the worse team (by record), it often creates a profitable spot for bettors willing to lay the price on that side. That becomes especially true in cases where the unpopular side won the previous game (or in this case, two).

Favorites seeing less than one-third of bets against opponents whose record is still at least 10 percentage points higher through at least 45 games (we’re at 61 and 62 for these two squads) have gone 172-133 (+14.3 units) since 2005 according to Bet Labs.

When the team is coming off a win, though, that record shoots up to 87-55, winning 19.8 units for 14% return on investment.

Tonight’s Indians have a bit extra going for them as well. The 25% of bettors behind them have accounted for 37% of actual money being wagered. That means bigger bettors — the ones more likely to be sharps — are backing Cleveland.

Unfortunately, our money percentage data doesn’t go back quite as far as the rest of the Bet Labs database. But filtering the above system to only include teams whose money percentage was at least five percentage points higher than its bet percentage creates a 13-3 record since 2016, winning 7.9 units for a 49.6% ROI.

Obviously, that’s an extremely small sample that can’t be expected to continue at the same rate. The takeaway once again, however, should be the impressive number of angles that are all pointing toward the Indians tonight.

And for what it’s worth, taking out the 45-game restriction still leaves a 21-5 record, maintaining an almost identical 49.1% ROI.

The pick: Indians (-112)