Oct 5, 2018
By Tony Dunst
Even if you don’t like baseball, I think October is inarguably the best sports month of the year. Beyond the World Series, there’s the heart of football season, the beginning of the NBA season, and early regular season hockey. It’s the only month of the year where all four of the major sports in the United States are in action, which means it is one of the best months of the year for sports betting. This October includes a bonus in the form of a huge UFC fight. Let’s take a look at the lines for some upcoming events:
1. Khabib versus McGregor
One of the most anticipated fights in UFC history is this weekend. Reigning champion Khabib is favored around -165 in most places. I’m certainly no fight analyst, and I’ve heard compelling arguments for each fighter. Rumor has it, the smart money is on Khabib. It’s interesting to see how he has become a bigger favorite than when I checked earlier this week. McGregor’s long absence from the sport makes it even harder to handicap. Some say he wasn’t much of a boxer; others say that doesn’t mean he got worse at MMA.
2. MLB World Series
Futures markets are tough to beat, especially if your only plan is to bet your favorite teams. I’m a Brewers fan, but I actually think their price to win the World Series is too low at +600, as they are a team with mediocre pitching talent. I’m more interested in the Cleveland Indians at +800. Now that Trevor Bauer is back, they have an excellent four-man rotation, and their already deep lineup added Josh Donaldson at the end of the regular season. The issue with backing Cleveland is their seeding; a trip to the World Series likely means going through the favored Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox.
3. NBA Team Totals
The NBA regular season tips-off in about two weeks, and it’s interesting to watch the totals move since the lines opened across Las Vegas. The biggest mover was, not surprisingly, the Minnesota Timberwolves, who are likely to trade Jimmy Butler and lost four wins off their total. So far, the Los Angeles Lakers are sliding, with a total that sits at 48 and projects them to be the No. 4 seed in the West. Picking the right side of that is really a question of how serious LeBron James takes the regular season. If he logs 37 minutes a game again, I want to load up on over. If the Lakers (or LeBron) hint that they’ll scale back, then back the under.