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Nationals vs Astros World Series Game 1 betting picks and predictions: These arms can hit the Under

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The 115th World Series gets underway on Tuesday night in Houston with the Astros hosting the Washinton Nationals. The Astros are big favorites to win their second World Series in three years while the Nats are making their franchise’s first appearance at the Fall Classic. 

A large part of both of these teams’ success this year has been the quality of their starting pitchers, which will be on full display in Game 1 with three-time Cy Young Winner Max Scherzer facing off against this year’s AL Cy Young favorite in Gerrit Cole.

From the first pitch to the final out we break down the odds with our best bets and predictions for Game 1 of the World Series.

QUICK HITTER

Gerrit Cole has been absolutely incredible this season, but he’s not completely invincible – even though he might seem it at times. In 33 starts during the regular season, he allowed 22 hits, which is very good but still means that teams can get a hit off him every now and then.

The Nationals are very strong at the top of their lineup and had a batting average of .300 during the first inning this year. Bet on the Nats getting at least one hit against Cole in the top of the first.

PICK: Top of the first inning hit – Yes (-110)

FIRST FIVE INNINGS

Speaking of Cole, the guy has been red-hot. He might allow a hit in the opening inning but I don’t see him giving up many runs early. He has allowed more than a single run in just one of his last nine starts – and in that outing, he gave up just two runs in eight innings.

Cole had a terrific 2.50 ERA during the regular season and has been even better in the playoffs with 0.40 ERA through 22 2-3 innings.

However, Scherzer is pretty good himself. The future Hall of Famer recorded a 2.92 ERA during the regular season and has a 1.80 ERA in the postseason.

Even with O/U for the first five innings set at just 3, I’m leaning towards the Under.

PICK: First five innings Under 3

TEAM/PLAYER PROP

Astros outfielder Michael Brantley had an excellent regular season, batting .311 with 40 doubles and 22 dingers. Scherzer struggles a little bit against left-handed hitters like Brantley. He holds right-handed batters to a slugging percentage of .307, while lefties have a slugging percentage of .446 against him.

In fact, Brantley has hit well against Scherzer throughout his career. In 44 at bats against Scherzer, Brantley has a BA of .341 with eight doubles and a homer. Taking the Over 1.5 on Brantley’s total bases pays out at +150 while betting on him to record at least one double is installed at +350.

PICK: Michael Brantley Total Bases Over 1.5  (+150)

 

FULL GAME TOTAL

The Astros have cashed in on the Under in five of Cole’s last seven starts, while the Nationals have hit the Under in five of Scherzer’s previous six starts. That said, the O/U is installed at 6.5, which is the lowest total I’ve seen in recent memory.

While that might seem like too low of a number because these lineups combined for 11.89 runs per game during the regular season, keep in mind that both squads haven’t hit well against playoff pitching.

The Nationals are hitting .243 in the postseason while the Astros have a BA of just .208. With two terrific starters and two teams struggling to consistently generate runs, I’m sticking with the Under.

PICK: Under 6.5

FULL GAME SIDE

It seems nuts to bet against Cole given how well he’s pitched this year but this number is simply too good for a pitcher of Scherzer’s caliber. Especially when you consider that the Nationals are 4-0 in his previous four starts and 15-3 in his previous 18.

Sure, Cole has been terrific and the Astros have been the World Series favorites for most of the year but anywhere near -200 seems like too steep of a price to pay when you consider how well Washington has played over the last few months. The Nationals are 40-16 in their last 56 games overall and are 20-7 over their previous 27 contests against teams with a winning record.

Back Scherzer and the road ‘dogs.

PICK: Washington +170

Canucks vs Golden Knights picks and predictions for Game 1

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Perhaps no team has been more fun to follow during the NHL playoffs than the Vancouver Canucks, and hockey bettors can still get the Canucks at +1,300 to hoist Lord Stanley’s cup. Vancouver is coming off a thrilling series win against the defending champion St. Louis Blues, but now a much more difficult challenge awaits. The Vegas Golden Knights are +350 favorites to win it all, and they’ve certainly looked the part while dropping only one playoff contest.

Game 1 of this series gets underway Sunday, so we’re here to bring you our NHL picks and predictions in this Western Conference semifinal showdown.

Vancouver Canucks vs Vegas Golden Knights betting preview

Starting Goalies

Canucks: Jacob Markstrom – playoffs – 7-3, 2.44 GAA, .929 SV% (season – 23-16, 2.75 GAA, .918 SV%)

Golden Knights: Robin Lehner – playoffs – 5-1, 2.44 GAA, .904 SV% (season – 19-10, 2.89, .920 SV%)

If this game was actually played in Las Vegas, then Markstrom could easily spend a few hours performing with Cirque du Soleil. The 30-year-old dazzled against Blues with an eye-opening array of acrobatic saves and an impressive 7-3 record. He’ll need to provide more of the same against a dangerous Vegas squad.

The Knights will likely roll with Robin Lehner, who has taken over the spot as Vegas’s starter in the crease—and rightfully so. Still, the Knights have the luxury of having Marc-Andre Fleury as their “backup.” The five-time All-Star matched an NHL record this season with his 14th consecutive playoff appearance.

Injuries

Vancouver: Tyler Myers D (out), Tyler Toffoli RW (out), Micheal Ferland LW (out), Josh Leivo LW (out)

Vegas: Tomas Nosek LW (out)

Betting Trend to Know

Canucks are 0-6 in their last six Sunday games. Find the latest NHL betting trends for Canucks vs. Golden Knights.

MONEYLINE PICK

The Canucks have been a force with the extra man during the postseason, converting 26.2% of their power plays. While the Knights are known for their offensive firepower, it’s their stingy defense that allows them to suffocate opponents—as evidenced by an 86.4% penalty kill during their playoff run. Vancouver is the only team in the league to never beat Vegas in regulation, going 0-11 all time. That’s something I just can’t ignore.

PREDICTION: Vegas ML (-175)

OVER/UNDER PICK

Each team is filled with loads of offensive talent. Vancouver’s Bo Horvat and J.T. Miller have combined for 11 goals thus far. Elias Pettersson has racked up 13 points, tied with Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon for the playoff lead.

The Knights can match Vancouver’s scorers, but they’re more balanced—Shea Theodore, Alex Tuch and Mark Stone have each lit the lamp four times during the postseason. The difference is on defense, where Vancouver has allowed the most high-danger chances of all remaining playoff teams.

PREDICTION: Over 5.5 (-110)

PROP PICK

Though I like Vegas to win, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Canucks kept it close and continued their offensive success. I’ll take a flyer on Vancouver scoring at least three goals.

PREDICTION: Canucks total goals Over 2.5 (-100)

Canucks vs Golden Knights Betting Card

  • Vegas ML (-175)
  • Over 5.5 (-110)
  • Canucks total goals Over 2.5 (-100)
NHL Parlays

Did you know that if you parlayed today’s NHL Canucks vs Golden Knights picks, you could win $104.93 on a $10 bet?

Use our NHL parlay calculator to create your own parlays and see their potential payouts.

Verlander injury shuffles Astros’ MLB futures odds

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MLB betting got a shake-up Sunday afternoon, specifically on World Series odds and AL pennant odds, with news that Astros star pitcher Justin Verlander could miss the rest of the season – or at least a significant chunk of it – with an arm injury.

Initial reports suggested Verlander had an elbow ailment, but both he and manager Dusty Baker quickly denied that. Baker called it a forearm strain and said that Verlander would be re-evaluated in “a couple of weeks.” The reigning AL Cy Young winner pitched a solid six innings in an 8-2 Opening Day rout of the Seattle Mariners on Friday.

Verlander’s injury led oddsmakers to shuffle futures book odds on the defending AL champions. Covers checked in on the MLB odds moves with a couple of Las Vegas sportsbooks.

How does Verlander’s injury affect Astros’ World Series odds?

At CG Technology books, risk analyst Rich Zanco said the Astros quickly moved from +1,200 to +1,800 in World Series futures. The SuperBook at Westgate also had Houston pegged +1,200 prior to Sunday’s news and initially went to +1,600, then dialed it a little further to +1,800.

However, there were apparently buyers on the Astros at that point, prompting the SuperBook to reel the price in to +1,400.

How does Verlander’s injury affect Astros’ American League odds?

In AL pennant futures, the Astros initially moved from +600 to +800 at The SuperBook, then ticked back to +700.

World Series odds

Team Odds to win
Los Angeles Dodgers +350
New York Yankees +350
Houston Astros +600
Atlanta Braves +1,600
Minnesota Twins +1,600
Tampa Bay Rays +1,800
Washington Nationals +2,000
Cleveland Indians +2,000
New York Mets +2,000
Chicago Cubs +2,000
Oakland Athletics +2,000
St. Louis Cardinals +2,500
Cincinnati Reds +2,500
San Diego Padres +2,500
Philadelphia Phillies +3,000
Chicago White Sox +3,000
Los Angeles Angels +3,000
Milwaukee Brewers +4,000
Boston Red Sox +5,000
Arizona Diamondbacks +6,000
Colorado Rockies +8,000
Toronto Blue Jays +10,000
Texas Rangers +10,000
Pittsburgh Pirates +20,000
Detroit Tigers +20,000
San Francisco Giants +30,000
Seattle Mariners +30,000
Miami Marlins +30,000
Baltimore Orioles +30,000
Kansas City Royals +30,000

Odds courtesy The SuperBook