The defending champion Los Angeles Dodgers have been the World Series favourite since the betting odds were first released.
After some tense moments on Wednesday night, L.A. is moving on to the National League Division Series.
Chris Taylor propelled the Dodgers to a 3-1 win over the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL wild-card game with a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning.
At -240 on the money line, Los Angeles was the second-largest betting favourite for a wild-card game since Major League Baseball changed its playoff format in 2012.
While their odds to win it all were slashed even further following the win, the Dodgers now must face their toughest test of the season against a familiar foe in the NLDS.
Here is the Morning Coffee for Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021.
Dodgers, Giants set for NLDS showdown
Los Angeles entered the postseason at +390 to win the World Series.
After beating the Cardinals, the Dodgers’ odds to win it all have been slashed to +240. L.A. is +135 to win the NL outright.
The San Francisco Giants, who will face the Dodgers in the NLDS, are the second choice to represent the NL in the World Series at +270.
The Giants shocked the baseball world with 107 regular-season wins to beat out Los Angeles for the NL West division title as a 40-to-1 long shot.
This time around, no one will be shocked if they beat their rival to advance.
The NLDS will mark the first time in MLB history that a pair of 105-win teams have met at any point, regular season or playoffs.
The 213 combined regular-season wins between these teams are the most combined wins for any postseason matchup in MLB history.
Per the Elias Sports Bureau, the 2,535 games between the Dodgers and the Giants are the most head-to-head meetings all-time between two teams before their first playoff matchup.
While San Francisco won 10 of the 19 regular-season meetings, they will once again be an underdog versus Los Angeles in the NLDS.
The Dodgers are -145 to win the series, with the comeback on San Francisco at +125.
For perspective, the only series with a bigger gap in the betting odds to advance is the Tampa Bay Rays at -165 versus the Boston Red Sox at +145 in their ALDS.
In that instance, it’s the wild-card winner that is the underdog.
Rams, Seahawks set for TNF Clash
The NFC West has been widely regarded as the best division in football for a couple of years now.
With all four teams at .500 or better entering Week 5, the competition is as fierce as ever.
The schedule makers didn’t do the Los Angeles Rams or Seattle Seahawks any favours by scheduling another tough divisional matchup for them on a short week for Thursday Night Football.
Seattle is coming off a 28-21 win over the San Francisco 49ers to improve to 2-2.
Los Angeles is coming off its first loss of the season after the undefeated Arizona Cardinals beat them 37-20.
Those results led to a bit of a recency bias that bettors attacked early.
The Rams opened -1.5, but that number has been bet up to -2.5, with some sports books already landing on the key number -3.
While I bet L.A. at -1.5 earlier in the week, I’ll take them -2.5 as my best bet for Thursday Night Football.
L.A. is 5-1 ATS following a straight up loss and 4-1 ATS in its last five head-to-head meetings with Seattle.
As for home-field advantage, the Seahawks lost their home opener 33-30 to the Tennessee Titans in overtime in Week 2.
Plus, home teams are 4-14 against the spread on TNF since the start of last season, including 0-4 ATS this season.
I have the Rams as the better team, coming off a loss, laying less than a field goal in a divisional game.
Argonauts roll over Redblacks
The Toronto Argonauts celebrated the 30-year anniversary of their 1991 championship run at BMO Field on Wednesday night.
For a moment, it seemed like the Ottawa Redblacks could spoil the party.
Trailing 9-8 at the half, the Argonauts rallied with 27 points in the third quarter en route to a 35-16 win.
Toronto covered easily as an 8.5-point favourite, improving to 4-0 straight up and against the spread at BMO Field this season.
Meanwhile, the Redblacks fell to 0-6 straight up and against the spread versus opponents other than the Edmonton Elks this season.