World Series odds: Tigers favored by Vegas

Alan Crowhurst

Bovada has released updated betting odds for this year's World Series, and guess who's at the top of the list again?

The great seers and prophets of Las Vegas have spoken, and the bookmakers (motto: "We've Never Made A Single, Actual Book") have revised the betting odds for this year's World Series. And look who's at the top of the list:

Team Odds on 3/31/14 Odds on 5/1/14 Difference
Tigers 9/1 13/2 +32%
Dodgers 13/2 15/2 -14%
Yankees 14/1 10/1 +33%
Cardinals 15/2 10/1 -29%
Braves 16/1 11/1 +37%
Nationals 10/1 11/1 -10%
Athletics 20/1 12/1 +50%
Red Sox 12/1 14/1 -15%
Brewers 66/1 14/1 +130%

For the uninitiated, this means that Bovada (the source of these odds) is basically willing to pay $6.50 for every dollar you (and by "you" I mean "me") bet on the Tigers to win the big trophy this year, whereas they will pay $7.50 for every dollar you (and this time I mean "you") bet on the Dodgers to win the Series. The lower the payout, the more Bovada thinks that particular team will win.

Clearly, this is horrible news, because it means I am now going to put actual money down (not anywhere in specific, mind you, just in a generally "downward" direction) on the Tigers winning the World Series, and I can 100% guarantee you that no baseball team ever wins anything once I get my hard-earned cash involved.

"Ha, ha, you're such a kidder, HookSlide," I can hear you say, because I am sitting in the cubicle down the hall from you, "you don't seriously mean that!" Perhaps you think I am also kidding when I say that I am typing this post and accessing the Internet using a rotary dial phone and a laptop cobbled together from spare toaster parts, because I lost all my money and belongings betting on baseball.

Ok, I am kidding about that part, but not about the part where I never actually win.

One of the ways I like to entertain myself (and I use the word "entertain" here in the sense of "ruin my evening completely") is to place the occasional baseball bet at Bovada. The type of bet that I like to place is a "parlay" bet, from the French "par," meaning "you will never win a single cent," and "lay," meaning "seriously, not ever." A parlay bet involves picking two or more teams from the day's MLB matchups, and if any one of the teams you picked loses, the entire bet is lost. If all of the selected teams win, enjoy it while it lasts, because your morning alarm will soon go off and remind you that you were only dreaming.

The allure of a parlay bet is that it promises potentially huge rewards for very little investment, but the relative huge-ness of the rewards is proportionate to the size of the parlay. In other words, betting $2 on a seven- or eight-team parlay can easily pay up to $300, and betting that same $2 on a 12-team parlay comes with a payoff well into the thousands of dollars.

How hard could that be? You look at the day's matchups and decide: are the Blue Jays going to beat the Pirates? Are the Red Sox going to beat the A's? Are the Diamondbacks going to win another game, ever? Piece of cake. Except that it's virtually impossible to pull it off, because the baseball gods are essentially malicious pranksters who love to urinate in your bowl of Joy and Happiness Ice Cream.

For instance, I put together a few parlay bets over the past three days, and - being a relatively smart person - included the Marlins/Braves games, on the theory that matchups like this are easy wins on the way to solving an eight-team parlay puzzle. Naturally, the Marlins beat the Braves in every single one of those games, sometimes by as much as a zillion runs. At this point, I could look at a matchup of "The All-American Dream Team of Superstars vs The Decaying Lumps of Diseased Livestock Flesh," and I guarantee that the diseased livestock would win if I bet on the superstars.

So that's why this latest news from Bovada is bad news. It's an interesting set of numbers to look at - notice that the Tigers' odds went up while the Dodgers' odds went down, and the Brewers took a huge leap of 130 percent in just over a month - but in the end, I know that if I put my money where the odds are, it will seal the Tigers' fate for 2014.

The most obvious solution, of course, is that I must not, under any circumstances, bet money on the Tigers to win the World Series. Ha ha! There's that wacky HookSlide humor again!

But seriously, send me a thousand dollars as ransom money, and I'll lay off the Bovada betting to give the Tigers a chance. I'll just be over here, dinking with my rotary phone connection.

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