For extensive Sunday betting analysis and line move updates be sure to join Michael Lombardi, Patrick Meagher and myself this morning LIVE from 10 a.m. ET to noon on The Lombardi Line. We'll also be joined by VSiN's Will Hill and also check in with Thomas Gable at the Borgata in Atlantic City.
Meanwhile, the 2022 MLB season officially begins later this week. Let's discuss a few data-driven futures bets to consider...
AL Central: Houston Astros -165
The Astros went 95-67 last season to win the AL West by five games over the second place Mariners. One might expect Houston to take a step back this season after losing star shortstop Carlos Correa to the Twins in free agency. However, sharps are banking on Houston to win the division once again. At BetMGM, Houston is getting 10% of bets to win the division but it accounts for 53.1% of the handle, signaling a sharp "low bets, higher dollars" bet discrepancy. The Astros also got steamed up from -140 to -165. Houston still enjoys a powerful lineup featuring Jose Altuve, Michael Brantley, Alex Bregman, Yordan Alvarez and Kyle Tucker. The Astros also welcome back ace Justin Verlander from Tommy John surgery.
NL Central: Milwaukee Brewers -175
The Brewers won the division last season, finishing 95-67. Milwaukee finished 5-games ahead of second place St. Louis. Over the offseason, the Brewers added sluggers Andrew McCutchen and Hunter Renfroe. Milwaukee still features one of the best three-man rotations of Corbin Burnes, Brandon Woodruff and Freddy Peralta, plus the unhittable Josh Hader out of the bullpen. At BetMGM, Milwaukee opened at 100 to win the division but has since moved to -175, indicating wiseguy support in their favor. Milwaukee is receiving 24.5% of bets but 74.3% of dollars, another sharp bet split. The Pirates ( 5000), Reds ( 1600) and Cubs ( 1100) are all longshots to win the division and could be looking at down years. Milwaukee's only true competition is St. Louis ( 230).
NL West: Los Angeles Dodgers -225
The Dodgers finished in second place in their division last season, going and impressive 106-56 but trailing the Giants by one game. After losing to the Braves in the NL Championship series, the Dodgers signed former Braves slugger Freddie Freeman to a 6-year, $162 million deal this offseason. Freeman joins Mookie Betts, Trea Turner, Max Muncy, Justin Turner, Will Smith, Chris Taylor and Cody Bellinger in what could be the most formidable starting lineup in recent years. Los Angeles returns Walker Buehler, Julio Urias and Clayton Kershaw to the rotation, while also adding Craig Kimbrel to strengthen the bullpen. Los Angeles opened at -150 to win the division but has since been steamed to -225. The Dodgers are receiving 25% of bets but 37.3% of money, signaling a sharp bet split in their favor.
AL Central: White Sox -200
The White Sox ran away with the division last season, going 93-69 to finish 13-games ahead of the second place Indians. Respected money is thinking much of the same this season. At BetMGM, the White Sox are receiving 12.7% of bets but 43.9% of money, by far the biggest money share of any team in the division. Chicago boasts a loaded lineup, featuring Tim Anderson, Luis Robert, Yoan Moncada, Jose Abreu and Eloy Jimenez. Chicago also added outfielder A.J. Pollock in a trade with the Dodgers. The White Sox will lean on their rotation of Lance Lynn, Lucas Giolito, Dylan Cease, Dallas Keuchel and Michael Kopech, along with their deep bullpen headlined by Liam Hendriks and Kendall Graveman.