Yankees vs. Nationals Odds, Betting Pick: Late Sharp Action Hitting Thursday’s Opening Day Matchup

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Elsa/Getty Images. Pictured: Giancarlo Stanton

It’s been quite a ride for the betting line on tonight’s Yankees vs. Nationals Opening Day matchup.

If you haven’t been following along, you might be surprised to know that the Yankees — now around -160 favorites — were listed down in the -130 range at about 10 a.m. ET. So what happened?

Well, the main catalyst has been Juan Soto’s positive test for COVID-19. The Nats slugger was expected to be the brightest spot in the reigning champs’ lineup, so it wasn’t much surprise to see that his absence had an effect on the line — to be exact, it pushed the Yankees up to around -160, or -165 in some spots.

And while that’s the range in which many books are currently listing this game, don’t kid yourself into think that the movement stopped there.

Yankees vs. Nationals Sharp Betting Report

7:08 p.m. ET | ESPN

Just after 4 p.m. ET, a Sports Insights Bet Signal in the form of a steam move — sudden line movement across the entire sports betting marketplace — was triggered on the Yankees moneyline.

Steam moves serve as a giveaway of sharp action, meaning it wasn’t recreational money on the Yanks that caused sportsbooks to reconsider, but money from pro bettors.

As a result, the Yankees shot up to -170, and even a few cents higher at a handful of shops. The Nats, meanwhile, saw their odds brought from around +145 to +155. But just because some respected bettors were laying the juice doesn’t mean they all were.

About an hour later, another SI Bet Signal was triggered — this time in the form of a reverse line move on the Nationals.

Reverse line movement occurs when the line moves toward the less popular side of a bet. In this case, Washington has received just 33% of bets and 24% of money, so there was no monetary reason for books to move the line in that direction. In other words, the move back to +150, which is where the line currently sits, was very likely a result of sharp action coming back the other way.

So, what is the answer to the question of, “which team are the sharps taking tonight?”

Well, it’s both.

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