2017 World Series Futures Betting Guide

2017 World Series Futures Betting Guide

With spring training wrapping up, fans and bettors are getting a better understanding of how different teams around the league will look. For the most part, there haven’t been any major injuries for the top World Series contenders. Most of the big names have been off the market for over a month now and all of the big trades appear to be done with until the trade deadline comes around. If you’re going to make a futures bet for the World Series, now may be the time to do it.

However, don’t just look at your book’s odds and place your bet willy-nilly. There’s a formula to it. A very simple formula!

Well, part of it is simple, part of it isn’t. If you want to take the Cubs, just take a look at the table below and find the book with the best payout. While some sportsbooks are offering the Cubbies at +350, others are offering slightly longer odds at +450. Long-term success in sports betting is all about maximizing your payout, so getting the best price is crucial.

However, if you don’t plan on going chalk and taking the Cubs, you might want to know more about the process taken by these books when coming up with these odds. This article does a great job of explaining it. All of the books have to take more juice on these futures because of the risk of massive payouts, but some books are going to be taking more juice than others. By looking at implied probabilities, we can find out the theoretical hold percentages to see how much juice these books are taking

In a normal non-gambling situation, the chance that one of these teams win the World Series is exactly 100%. However, by calculating implied probabilities based off each team’s odds, we will find that the sum goes well over 100%. This is because sportsbooks are businesses and they will end up earning money off of us…not us, of course, but less intelligent folks.

The books that are taking in the most juice will be the ones whose total implied probability is the highest over 100%. The books I have chosen for this particular list range between 121.59% and 144.27%. As told by thee David Solar, “In order to calculate the hold percentage, start by adding the implied probabilities for every team together. That number, which will always be higher than 100%, will be called “X.” From there, the formula would be 1-(1/X).”

Here are the hold percentages from each of the books. It should be noted that Heritage and 5Dimes currently have the exact same odds for every team, and therefore the exact same hold percentages. Someone’s copying someone here…

  1. Pinnacle: 17.75%
  2. Sportsbook: 18.16%
  3. Bookmaker: 20:48
  4. Bovada: 23.46%
  5. BetOnline: 24.56%
  6. SportsInteraction: 24.84%
  7. Westgate: 25.77%
  8. PaddyPower: 26.27%
  9. Heritage & 5Dimes: 30.69%

Interesting results, to say the least. Pinnacle and Bookmaker, two of the sharpest books on the market, are towards the top of the list. This isn’t all that surprising. However, Sportsbook and Bovada, two of the squarest books on the market, are right up there with them. One reason for this may be because they aren’t really at that much of a risk. Their limits on futures are generally far lower than sharper books in the first place so they’re not going to have to pay out immense sums no matter who wins.

Alright, Mark. ENOUGH WITH THE MATH. 9 out of 10 people tell their friends in high school, I quote, “I won’t be using math in the real world, so why do they force us to study it now.”

Below is the table, all odds accurate as of 3/21/17. I’ve used Pinnacle as the baseline since they finished first on our hold percentage list and are arguably the sharpest book on the market. The rest are listed in alphabetical order.

TEAMPINNACLE5DIMESBETONLINEBOVADABOOKMAKERHERITAGEPADDYPOWERSPORTSBOOKSPORTSINTERACTIONWESTGATE
Chicago Cubs397350450450389350400380450350
Boston Red Sox604425550450571425650700450700
Cleveland Indians871750700900820750800700800500
Los Angeles Dodgers1033950700100086395012007001000800
Washington Nationals11559001000110011049001000120012001000
New York Mets1185130012001400130513001600120016001200
San Francisco Giants12898151200110012768151400140012001200
Houston Astros1557110012001400130011001400120014001000
Toronto Blue Jays2075220022002200235122001600300012002500
Texas Rangers2438250025002800200025002000300028003000
New York Yankees2535220025002500280022001900300025003000
St. Louis Cardinals2697225025002200280022502000300022003000
Seattle Mariners3234300025003300280030002200300033002500
Kansas City Royals3741350050003300430035002800800033006000
Detroit Tigers3772215033002500390021502800300025003000
Baltimore Orioles4406300036003300317930002500500033004000
Pittsburgh Pirates46654500500050004200450040001000050006000
Colorado Rockies4665400050004000650040005000600040005000
Los Angeles Angels8755650066004000700065008000600040006000
Tampa Bay Rays8824800080001000011000800050009000100008000
Miami Marlins911980006600750012500800050001000075008000
Chicago White Sox11086900010000100001200090008000400001000050000
Arizona Diamondbacks12910100001000075001150010000500012000750010000
Atlanta Braves16137150001000075001350015000100001200075008000
Philadelphia Phillies16137150001500015000185001500010000120001500010000
Oakland Athletics16577135001500015000190001350010000120001500010000
Minnesota Twins18826160001500012500155001600010000120001250010000
Milwaukee Brewers20724200002500020000230002000010000300002000030000
San Diego Padres23001200002000015000255002000010000500001500050000
Cincinnati Reds26890210002000020000245002100010000350002000030000

As expected, the reigning World Series champion Cubs are favored across the marketplace. Their odds don’t vary that much, but there’s tremendous variance for some teams’ odds. Below you can find which book has the biggest payout for each team.

  • Arizona: +12000 (Sportsbook)
  • Atlanta: +16137 (Pinnacle)
  • Baltimore: +5000 (Sportsbook)
  • Boston: +700 (Sportsbook, Westgate)
  • Chicago Cubs: +450 (BetOnline, Bovada, SIA)
  • Chicago White Sox: +50000 (Westgate)
  • Cincinnati: +35000 (Sportsbook)
  • Cleveland: +900 (Bovada)
  • Colorado: +6500 (Bookmaker)
  • Detroit: +3900 (Bookmaker)
  • Houston: +1557 (Pinnacle)
  • Kansas City: +8000 (Sportsbook)
  • LA Angels: +8755 (Pinnacle)
  • LA Dodgers: +1200 (PaddyPower)
  • Miami: +12500 (Bookmaker)
  • Milwaukee: +30000 (Sportsbook, Westgate)
  • Minnesota: +18826 (Pinnacle)
  • NY Mets: +1600 (PaddyPower, SIA)
  • NY Yankees: +3000 (Sportsbook, Westgate)
  • Oakland: +19000 (Bookmaker)
  • Philadelphia: +18500 (Bookmaker)
  • Pittsburgh: +10000 (Sportsbook)
  • San Diego: +50000 (Sportsbook, Westgate)
  • San Francisco: +1400 (PaddyPower, Sportsbook)
  • Seattle: +3300 (Bovada, SIA)
  • St.Louis: +3000 (Sportsbook, Westgate)
  • Tampa Bay: +11000 (Bookmaker)
  • Texas: +3000 (Sportsbook, Westgate)
  • Toronto: +3000 (Sportsbook)
  • Washington: +1200 (Sportsbook, SIA)

Sportsbook ends up on this list 14 times, but it should be noted that they have a very bad history with payouts. Although they have the best payout for about half of the teams in the league, I would suggest choosing the next closest book for those teams.

Heritage and 5Dimes, who had the highest hold percentages, don’t make the list once. If you’re betting on the World Series, don’t do it at these books.

There are really three different groups of teams on this list. One group, starting with the Cubs and ending with the Mets, ranges from about 3/1 to 15/1. These are the legit contenders. Their odds don’t vary by more than a couple of units across the board.

The second group, starting with the Rangers and ending with the Angels, ranges from about 20/1 to 75/1. These “fringe” contenders don’t have a great shot at the World Series, but if things go right for them or wrong for other teams, they may just have a shot. As they say, anything can happen in baseball. Some of these teams have odds that vary quite a bit, but the implied probability difference between +2500 and +5000 is less than 2%. Big difference in payout; small difference in implied probability.

The third group starts with the Rays and ends with the Padres, Reds, or Brewers…whichever team can out-suck the others. The phrase “anything can happen in baseball” is actually a sham because it does not apply to these teams. “There’s no crying in baseball” is also a sham because my little league games were reminiscent of wine night watching The Notebook. The odds for these teams vary wildly. You could bet $100 on the Padres to win the World Series at Bovada and win $15,000 or you could bet $100 on them at Westgate and win $50,000. The fact of the matter is that it doesn’t matter because if you bet on the Padres to win the World Series you should check yourself into your local loony bin.

Looking to track the latest MLB odds, trends and futures throughout the baseball season? Make sure to bookmark our free MLB odds page.

If you have any thoughts or questions, feel free to reach out to the Sports Insights staff by utilizing our live chat feature, commenting below, or emailing us at help@sportsinsights.com.

Mark Gallant

I'm the guy who does his job. You must be the other guy.

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