So I was in Las Vegas the weekend before last (just a short four-hour drive from sunny Los Angeles, although I did hit a bit of snow in the mountains on the way back!) and I wandered into the sports book at the hip, fancy Cosmopolitan where I was somehow staying. Everybody was watching March Madness, but I was busy checking the betting odds for the upcoming baseball season. And I almost put my money where my mouth was. Almost.
I knew I was going to write the post predicting the Mets winning 84 games, so I was going to bet on that. The over/under was 71 games, but the odds were pretty much even-money, so there was really no value there.
Then I checked the line on winning the World Series — 75-1. Certainly there was value there, but really, what are the odds of the Mets winning the World Series (75-1, apparently)? As much as I hope and pray the Mets can pull out such a miracle, I just don’t see it happening, so I passed.
But then I found an intriguing bet — 40-1 odds of the Mets winning the NL East. As I wrote in that earlier post, if all goes perfectly I think the Mets have a chance to surprise. And the East, which many call the strongest division in baseball, has some flaws. The Phillies have that great pitching, but their offense could struggle. The Nationals are young and can go either way. The Braves are coming off an epic collapse that could extend into 2012. And I am just not sold on the new-look Marlins.
So the Mets could sneak in, and at 40-1, that’s pretty good value for a $10 bet. I was close to placing the bet but ultimately I decided not to. I just didn’t want to jinx it (not that me placing a little bet could wreck a team’s season). As a fan, I want my team to win, not to profit from it.
If the Mets do somehow pull out a division win, I will not regret not placing the bet. A playoff berth alone is worth more than $400 to me and most Mets fans.