Betting on baseball has taken place during the pandemic thanks to games in Asia, but the real show returns this week as Major League Baseball kicks off its abbreviated 2020 season on Thursday.
Ohio has yet to legalize sports betting. Same goes for Kentucky, but Indiana’s legal online/mobile sportsbooks are serving fans of the Cincinnati Reds in the tri-state area. Downtown Cincinnati is only about 20 minutes from the Indiana border, and Reds fans are located throughout the southwest Ohio region that includes northern Kentucky and southeast Indiana.
Geolocation data from late last year shows that many bettors are placing bets from places such as Indiana highway rest stops. With the COVID-19 pandemic still ongoing, it’s expected fewer bets will be placed at bars/restaurants than would occur under normal circumstances.
You’re not going to find any difference among the sportsbooks for the odds of the Reds winning it all.
FanDuel, BetRivers, PointsBet, DraftKings, and BetMGM are all offering the team at +2500 to win the World Series. Odds on the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees, basically the co-favorites to win the World Series, do vary in the Indiana market, but for a relative long shot like Cincinnati the odds are consistent. The Reds last won the World Series in 1990.
The abbreviated schedule features ball clubs playing two-thirds of their games against division rivals, and the rest against teams “in geographically corresponding divisions in the opposite league,” according to a MLB presser. The team opens its 2020 season on Friday against the Detroit Tigers.
FanDuel set the over/under line for the Reds’ wins at 31.5. The season is slated for 60 games.
The sportsbook is offering a -132 price on the over and +108 on the under.
PointsBet has the same win total, offering -121 on the over and +100 on the under.
The prices are -124 and +100 at DraftKings, respectively. Same for BetRivers.
The Reds are considered to have one of the best pitching staffs in the game. Will that be enough in 2020?
— Cincinnati 💔 (@CincyProblems) July 14, 2020
If you’d rather wager on the Reds winning the division, you can find odds on that outcome as well.
FanDuel is offering the Reds as +230 co-favorites with the Chicago Cubs.
BetRivers and DraftKings have the Reds as slight underdogs at +230 and the Cubs at +225.
PointsBet actually has the St. Louis Cardinals ahead of the Reds here, with the Cubs at +215, the Cardinals at +240, and the Reds at +260.
BetMGM has the Cubs and Cardinals at +240, while the Reds are +275.
Playoffs or no playoffs?
The Reds, of course, don’t have to win the division to make the playoffs.
FanDuel is offering the team at +114 to make at least the Wild Card game, with -140 on the team not making it. BetRivers and DraftKings are offering +110 and -134 on “yes” and “no,” respectively.