Saturday MLB Sharp Report (5-15)

May 15, 2021 12:34 AM

Friday marked a momentous day in the history of legalized sports betting in America: The three-year anniversary of PASPA being overturned. Widespread legalization of sports betting was once an unachievable pipe dream. But in just three years it's become a widely accepted reality. All the while, the sports betting industry has exploded like wildfire. 

Prior to the Supreme Court overturning the federal ban on sports betting in 2018, your only options as an American bettor were to fly to Vegas or bet through a global sportsbook. Now we have 21 states with live, legal sports betting and six more that have legalized but aren't yet up and running. 

Since PASPA's repeal in 2018, $4.6 billion has been wagered on sports legally in the US. On the day PASPA was overturned, that number was $522 million. Here are the top five states in legal betting handle since 2018: Nevada $14.5 billion, New Jersey $14.4 billion, Pennsylvania $6.8 billion, Illinois $3.6 billion and Indiana $3.4 billion. 

Today the weekend kicks off with a loaded betting slate featuring 15 MLB games, 6 NBA games, Stanley Cup action and UFC 262: Oliveira vs Chandler.

For extensive Saturday betting analysis, be sure to join Michael Lombardi, Patrick Meagher and myself this morning from 10 a.m.-noon ET on The Lombardi Line. We'll be dissecting all the big matchups and updating the top lines moves and late sharp action across all the major sports. We'll also talk Preakness betting with Millie Ball and check in with Thomas Gable at The Borgata in Atlantic City.

In the meantime, let's discuss where the money is flowing for several Saturday MLB games...

4:10 p.m. ET: Chicago Cubs (18-19) at Detroit Tigers (13-25)

The Cubs took last night's Interleague Series opener 4-2, cashing as -145 road favorites. The win snapped a three-game losing skid for Chicago and also ended a four-game win streak for Detroit. In this afternoon's rematch, the Cubs hand the ball to Trevor Williams (2-2, 5.81 ERA) and the Tigers tap fellow veteran righty Jose Urena (1-4, 3.60 ERA). This line opened with the Cubs listed as -120 road favorite and the Tigers a + 110 home dog. Respected money has sided with the Cubs, driving Chicago up closer to -130. The Cubs have value as a Interleague team with a line movement in their favor (37-27, 58% this season). Chicago is 9-7 as a favorite this season. The Tigers are 11-22 as a dog. The Cubs are -5 in run differential. The Tigers are -66, worst in MLB. We're also seeing some under liability. The total is 9 with the under juiced up to -120, signaling a possible fall to 8.5. The forecast at Comerica Park calls for high 60s with 5-10 MPH winds blowing in from right field. Both teams have been profitable to the under this season: Chicago is 20-16 to the under and Detroit is 22-16. 

6:35 p.m. ET: San Francisco Giants (23-15) at Pittsburgh Pirates (16-22)

These non-division opponents have split the first two games of this four-game series. The Giants won the opener 3-1 as -150 road favorites and the Pirates won 3-2 on Friday night as + 170 home dogs. In tonight's rematch, the Giants send out veteran Johnny Cueto (2-1, 3.52 ERA) and the Pirates counter with lefty Tyler Anderson (3-3, 3.05 ERA). This line opened with San Francisco listed as a -140 road favorite and the Pirates a + 130 home dog. The public says San Francisco is the far better team and has to bounce back and win tonight after losing last night. However, despite this lopsided support, we've seen the Giants fall from -140 to -130. This signals some sharp reverse line movement buying low on the Pirates (+ 130 to + 120). Pittsburgh has value as a contrarian dog off a win. Home dogs with 10-cents or more movement in their favor are 21-17 (55%). 

9:10 p.m. ET: Cleveland Indians (21-15) at Seattle Mariners (19-20)

After Cleveland took the series opener 4-2 as -115 road favorites, the Mariners bounced back with a 7-3 win last night, cashing as + 105 home dogs. The win ended a five-game losing streak for Seattle. It also ended a four-game winning streak for Cleveland. In tonight's rematch, the Indians give the ball to righty Triston McKenzie (1-1, 4.94 ERA) and the Mariners start lefty Justus Sheffield (2-3, 4.91 ERA). This line opened with Cleveland listed as a short -120 road favorite and Seattle a + 110 home dog. The public is all over the Tribe laying a short price as the "better" team. However, we've seen Cleveland dip slightly from -120 to -115. This indicates some wiseguy action on the Mariners as a short home dog (+ 110 to + 105). Essentially, the game is trending closer to a pick'em despite lopsided action favoring the Tribe. Seattle has value as a contrarian dog off a win and a dog with a line move in their favor. Cleveland is 12-6 against righties but just 8-8 against lefties this season. 

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