By Sam Panayotovich
FOX Sports Betting Analyst
Major League Baseball is the best when a team like New York Yankees shining brightly.
The 27-time world champion has rocketed out of the proverbial gates with a ridiculous 56-21 record and a staggering 12.5-game lead in the American League East as the calendar turns to July.
And you better believe American sports bettors are taking full advantage of the Bronx Bombers in this Independence Day betting window.
“We easily write six figures in the Yankees every day,” Westgate SuperBook executive director John Murray told FOX Sports. “That’s a lot more than we’ve written on any other team. And remember, we have a SuperBook operating in New Jersey right now, where the Yankees are wildly popular over all the money that’s showing in Nevada.
“They have blown us away. We had people in our risk room who had the Blue Jays as the best team in the AL East before the season. We thought there were a few holes in the Yankees roster, but it was very clear early on. that we were wrong about that. They continue to exceed expectations almost every day. It seems that even when they die in the game, they find a way to win the game and bury us.
“The Yankees are the team that hurt us the most.”
People like Murray are used to ordering big bucks when the marquee franchise thrives in a given season.
When teams like the Yankees, Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers, Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Lakers dominate their respective sports, the flow of money in the betting window never seems to stop.
“Now that we’re into the hot summer days, and it’s just baseball, our biggest need almost every day is whoever the Yankees are playing,” said Murray. “They lost 5-1 that night with A’s, and we only needed A’s to cover +1.5 for such a huge amount. We couldn’t even get it. [NYY won 9-5, thanks to a six-run explosion in the seventh inning].
“It’s every possible way. These runlines, parlay bettors and some of our biggest house players also make significant live bets on the Yankees. It is the accumulation of all those things. Every day when we do our ‘what if’ numbers and discuss what we need, it seems like the Yankees are always the team we play against.
“The public seems convinced the Yankees can’t lose.”
And where the public goes, responsibility follows.
“The Yankees are definitely the best team, and their division has already won their division, but all that matters is all the money that comes in. We opened the Yankees too high in the front book at 14-1, and we took some pretty big bets at 10-1. The responsibilities pile up quickly. It was a very easy decision to move them to the World Series favourites.”
One of the biggest factors that contributed to the Yankees’ shortening chances was Aaron Judge’s historic season. So far, his 29 home runs are first in the league and his 59 RBI is fourth — all of this before the All-Star break. And if the fan-favorite Judge ends up finishing the season with 60 homers in the Yankees’ 110-winning side, the Baseball Writers’ Association won’t be long considering awarding Aaron a new award.
“He would be MVP if all that happened,” said Murray. “[Shohei] Ohtani is very dominant as a hitter and pitcher, and you could argue that he is the most valuable. But the MVP goes to the player who had the best season and the Jury was amazing.
“It looks like he’s doing home runs every day. And he hits big homers in big moments. He provided clutch moments instead of blasting the ball out of the park as the Yankees led 7-1 in the eighth inning. He must be the best. deserves to be a favorite now and the obligation is real.
“One person bets $500 on the Judge at 40-1 and another person has $1,000 on 25-1.”
History also bode well for this Yankees team. This is the fastest they have reached 50 wins since 1998 when they also started 50-17. New York went on to win the World Series that season.
While the pinstripers appear poised to win another World Series later this year, there are several potential strong contenders standing between the NYY and their 28th trophy, Murray said.
“I would still appoint Houston in the Americas League because of his pedigree,” he said. “Astros have lost two of the last three World Series, and they have always been there. It was a great draw between the two teams in 2017. Both are pretty even.
“And I know the Dodgers have lost a few games recently, but it’s still a phenomenal team. They are the best in the National League. In a seven-game draw, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Astros or the Dodgers beat the Yankees in the postseason.”
Sam Panayotovich is a sports betting analyst for FOX Sports and NESN. He previously worked for WGN Radio, NBC Sports and VSiN. He will probably vote against your favorite team. Follow him on Twitter @spshoot.
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MLB Odds: New York Yankees hot start paying off for bettors
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