Daily public money update: Bettors pounding the Padres on Opening Day

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Andrew Ortenberg


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I'm an NFL handicapper here at Pickswise who was raised in a household full of sports fanatics. Since I unfortunately never had LeBron James' jumping ability I wasn't able to make it to the NBA, and chose writing about sports as the next best thing. An avid sports bettor myself, I'm excited to get to write about the industry as it gets set to take off across the country. Buckle up. For Andrew Ortenberg media enquiries, please email contact@pickswise.com.

Baseball is finally back. Opening Day is here, we’ve also got some nice NBA and NHL action on Thursday, plus we’re looking ahead to the Final Four for March Madness. There are a lot of big games, which always attracts some big public sides. Will bettors be lucky this time around? Let’s take a look at where the public money is going as bettors once again try to beat the books.

MLB: Padres -1.5 vs. Diamondbacks

MLB will kickoff its 2021 season on Thursday, and there are some heavy public sides. One of the heaviest is this Padres run line, as 88 percent of the bets and 94 percent of the money are laying a run and a half with San Diego over the Diamondbacks, per DraftKings’ internal numbers shared with us.

Given the hype the Padres have been on the receiving end of this offseason, it’s not too surprising the public is hammering them on Opening Day. This has been the most highly anticipated Padres season in quite some time thanks to their bold moves, including trading for Blake Snell this offseason. Those moves have resulted in them having the third-lowest odds to win the World Series, behind only the Dodgers and Yankees. We’re excited about the Padres too, so we’re riding Fernando Tatis Jr. and co on the run line as well. In fact, it’s one of our ‘MLB best bets‘ for Thursday’s action.

MLB: White Sox ML (-115) @ Angels

The White Sox are another team that’s generated a ton of excitement, so their bet splits are interesting to see as well. They’ve also gotten a lot of offseason buzz, and they had the fourth-lowest odds to win the World Series behind only the aforementioned teams. Chicago was a year ahead of schedule in 2020, and everyone is expecting them to take the next step in 2021. 80 percent of the bets and 88 percent of the money are on them at a nearly even price here against the Angels on Opening Day.

The Angels were a big disappointment last season, so it’s not too surprising to see bettors fading them to start the year. Los Angeles will start Dylan Bundy, who was a lot better than expected last year, and we’re skeptical that he can keep it up in 2021. As such, we’re going with the public again here.

CBB: Baylor -5 vs. Houston

Looking at the March Madness Final Four slate now, the public is pounding the favorites. This isn’t just the heaviest public side of the Final Four, it’s one of the heaviest public sides of the entire tournament. 78 percent of the bets and a whopping 87 percent of the money are laying the points with Baylor over Houston here.

Baylor just made light work of Arkansas while Houston had a much easier path against Oregon State, which is surely fresh in the minds of bettors. The Cougars have gotten pretty lucky with their schedule, as each of their four tourney games have come against double digit seeds. This step up in competition is going to be a shock to their system, so we’re rolling with Baylor here too.

NBA: Wizards -2.5 @ Pistons

Looking at the NBA now, the team attracting the largest percentage of bet handle on Thursday is the Wizards. 77 percent of the bets and 90 percent of the money are laying it with Washington as a short favorite on the road here against the Pistons. The Wizards haven’t exactly been playing great recently, so this is most likely a fade of Detroit more than anything else.

But Bradley Beal is questionable with a hip injury, the Wizards are just 3-9 in their last 12 games, and they’re 7-14 against the spread on the road this year. It never feels great backing the Pistons, but they have been pretty competitive recently, and there’s value on them as a home underdog. We’re fading the public here and going with Detroit.

NBA: 76ers -9 @ Cavaliers

There’s another road favorite the NBA public is lining up behind on Thursday. 79 percent of the bets and 88 percent of the money are laying a nearly double digit spread on the road with the 76ers over the Cavaliers here. Almost any time a top team is going up against a team like the Cavs, you’re going to see a heavy split like this.

But the 76ers haven’t been at their best recently, losing their last two games to the Nuggets and Clippers by at least nine points each. The Cavs are coming off an ugly loss to the Jazz, which also helps explain why this action is so lopsided. Cleveland plays much better at home though, and they’ve already beaten Philly outright twice this season. We think they can do enough to stay within this big number, so we’re fading the public again here.

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