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Submitted by Richie Baccellieri on Tuesday, October 6, 2015 at 12:00 PM

With the Major League Baseball playoffs starting tonight…and all the talk about the topsy turvy world of college football…I decided to add in championship odds for those sports in this week’s “Futures” market report. I may not do that every week through October. But, I want to add some context to what all the talking heads are discussing on TV. Sometimes they’re way off the mark.

Starting with the bases…



Toronto +300

St. Louis +500

Kansas City +500

LA Dodgers +600

NY Mets +750

Texas +1200

Pittsburgh +1200

Chicago Cubs +1400

NY Yankees +1400

Houston +1600

(For first time readers…the numbers you see reflect the return on a $100 bet. If you bet on the Toronto Blue Jays to win the World Series right now, you’re risking $100 to win $300. I’ve taken a composite of Futures prices in Las Vegas and offshore to arrive at the numbers. Prices vary at individual stores.)

Obviously the four Wildcard teams bring up the rear…because they have to survive an elimination game just to get into the main brackets. Texas is being priced like a Wildcard team because the market doesn’t see them thriving through October because of that tough opening round draw against market favorite Toronto. Of course, the market greatly underestimated this Rangers team all season.

You hear a lot of the TV guys talking about the big arms scattered across the rosters. Those who aren’t talking about the big arms are talking about the importance of playoff experience. The market is most impressed with Toronto because they were so dominant down the stretch after getting their pieces put together. If you follow the market a long time, you’ll find that the most important money tends to focus on skill sets rather than intangibles. Pitching is obviously respected…but hitting isn’t ignored.

Toronto is seen as the best team in baseball by the betting markets entering all the October drama.

Now to college football…



Ohio State +300

TCU +800

Alabama +1000

LSU +1000

Baylor +1200

Michigan State +1400

Clemson +1600

Florida, Stanford +2000

USC, Florida State, Texas A&M, Ole Miss, Georgia, Oklahoma +2500

Utah may be ranked #5 in the national polls…but they’re currently around +2800 to win the title. UCLA looked so bad last week in a home loss to Arizona State (and so shaky in a close home win over BYU) that the Bruins dropped to around +3000. It’s Stanford and USC who have the best chance to represent the “local” major conference for Las Vegas in the Final Four according to the markets.

Even though Alabama has a loss on its resume, it would still be a neutral field favorite over most of the country. In fact…it would be interesting to see if Alabama would be favored over Ohio State on a neutral field right now given how poorly the Buckeyes have been playing while staying undefeated. Urban Meyer’s team certainly isn’t in championship form yet. The market is giving OSU the benefit of the doubt in the big picture for the moment.

Wrapping up our discussion with a Super Bowl update…



Green Bay +350

New England +400

Seattle +650

Denver +1000

Cincinnati +1400 (improving from +1600 last week, leapfrogging Arizona)

Arizona +1600 (fell after losing at home to St. Louis)

Atlanta +1600 (still rising with every win)

Indianapolis +1800

Carolina +2800

All at +3300: Philadelphia, NY Giants, Pittsburgh, Dallas, Buffalo

Seems like I say this every week…the market sees Green Bay and New England as well clear of the field. As long as they stay healthy…they’re going to be heavy favorites to win their respective conferences. It would take quarterback injuries to knock them out of #1 seeds and home field through the playoffs.

Seattle and Denver continue to be the most obvious threats…but Peyton Manning’s inconsistent passing is still an issue for the Broncos, while the Seahawks are like Ohio State in that they’re getting “benefit of the doubt” respect because of the recent past. Maybe Seattle will seem more dangerous in January than they do now.

Below that…we may be set up for a “flavor of the month” club where whoever’s hot recently rises up. Cincinnati and Atlanta are off to great starts. But, several teams in that +2800 to +3300 range could be just as good in month two as the Bengals and Falcons were in month one. There are a lot of “decent” teams who are clearly below the Packers and Patriots…but also very clearly legitimate Wildcard threats at the very least.

That makes for competitive football. Will it make for an exciting season if fans decide the Super Bowl matchup is a foregone conclusion? Las Vegas sportsbooks hope interest stays high. NFL is KING in these parts.

Back with you Thursday to begin our regularly scheduled “sharp betting” articles.

Lunchtime Thursday: How Sharps are Betting Thursday/Friday Football

Lunchtime Friday: How Sharps are Betting College Football Marquee Matchups

Dinnertime Friday: How Sharps are Betting Sunday/Monday NFL

I’ll try to throw some discussion of MLB series prices into that Thursday report. Remember that almost any line moves you see in October baseball is going to reflect sharp money. The public doesn’t bet baseball heavily….and their money isn’t respected enough to move the line when it does come in. You’ll be able to determine sharp MLB takes just by watching the numbers.

I will be posting baseball playoff releases between now and then for those of you who are planning to watch the games. My daily BEST BETS can always be purchased right here at the website with your credit card between now and then. If you have any questions about longterm packages, call the VSM office at 1-888-777-4155 any weekday during regular business hours.

Thanks for reading. See you again in a few days.


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Richie B. on twitter @vsm_baccellieri

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