UFC 253 comes packed with fireworks from both inside the octagon and the betting lines as middleweight king Israel Adesanya settles his grudge with the unbeaten destroyer, Paulo Costa. Both fighters are explosive strikers and with ill will all but guaranteeing heated exchanges. Co-headlining are red-hot fighters Dominick Reyes and Jan Blachowicz facing off for the vacant light heavyweight title. Let's break down these fights and see which bets we can cash.
2016 NL West Outright Betting Lines And Prediction
The Los Angeles Dodgers have owned the NL West division recently, entering the 2016 MLB season as the three-time defending champions of the division. All of those regular season wins hasn't translated into much playoff success for the Dodgers as they've been eliminated in the NLDS the last two years. LA is looking to get back to October baseball again this year, but in order to defend their NL West crown they are going to have to make up 6.5 games on the division-leading San Francisco Giants in the second half.
NL West Outright Betting Lines
Now that the 2016 All-Star game has come and gone, the NL West outright betting lines have become a two-horse race between the hated rivals from San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers. The Giants got to the break with the best record in baseball at 57-33 SU, and it's a big reason why Sports Interactin currently has them listed as (-200) favourites to claim the NL West and end the Dodgers reign within the division.
Bettors looking to back the Dodgers efforts in erasing that deficit over the next few months can get a (+135) payout, while the three other teams in this division (Colorado Rockies, Sans Diego Padres and Arizona Diamondbacks) have been essentially out of the race for weeks. Colorado is the best of the bunch but they still trail the Giants by 16 games at the break.
So with only the Dodgers and Giants having a realistic shot at winning the NL West division this season, bettors have to decide whether they believe that this Giants team is for real. Can San Francisco sustain this high level of play we've seen from them in the first half, or will the Dodgers make a late push to overtake the Giants and win their fourth straight division crown?
NL West Outright Betting Pick
Take the LA Dodgers to win the NL West Division @+135
Although the Giants do have the best record in baseball at the All-Star break, there are quite a few advanced stats that suggest San Francisco has been quite lucky in attaining that record and that type of luck isn't completely sustainable over the course of the season.
For starters, based on renowned statistician Bill James' Pythagorean Theorem model of expected wins based on run differential, the Giants “true record” at the All-Star break would be 53-37 SU and just 1.5 games up on the Dodgers “true record” of 52-39 SU. That's quite an alarming number if you are a Giants fan, especially when you consider their 2016 record according to another advanced statistic – BaseRuns – would be even worse at 51-39 SU, you can see that the Giants have been quite fortunate to get to 57 wins already. San Francisco is just 6-4 SU in head-to-head meetings with the Dodgers this year, and with nine games left in that rivalry, six of which are in LA, San Francisco could be in for a rocky second half of the season.
On the other side of things we've got a Dodgers team who really got hot in the final few weeks leading up to the break (16-7 SU last 23 games) and did the bulk of that work with P Clayton Kershaw on the DL. Kershaw is the best pitcher in the game right now and for him to see his teammates keep themselves within striking distance of the Giants in his absence had to be reassuring. This is an organization that has rolled out the checkbook the past few years in an attempt to get to the World Series but always coming up short. Maybe being the “hunter” and not the “hunted” this year is exactly what this team needs to prove their worth come October, but for now they are in a solid position to chase down those Giants.
Rookie SS Corey Seager should run away with the Rookie of the Year award this season and the rest of the cast offensively like Adrian Gonzalez, Justin Turner, Yasiel Puig, and Howie Kendrick have yet to really catch stride together. Each one of those guys has gotten hot for a short period of time this year, but if the whole Dodgers lineup can get going together, this is a team that nobody wants to play.
In contrast to the Giants advanced statistics, the Dodgers have played basically right to what their numbers suggest. While that hasn't exactly put them in a tremendous spot in regards to the division lead, it does tell bettors that you can expect more of the same from this squad in the second half as they try to close the gap. At the (+400) odds being offered on a talented team like this, there is quite a bit of value in backing L.A in this spot. Getting a healthy Kershaw back in a few weeks will only boost the confidence of a very confident team right now. LA has a tough start to the second half with a nine-game road trip in places like Washington and St Louis, but if they can get through that with a healthy record, things really ease up schedule-wise for them the rest of the way.
The Dodgers and Giants meet for a three-game set in San Francisco in the last series of the year and the division could very well be up for grabs in those games. If that's the case, holding a +400 ticket on the Dodgers to come out on top is a very attractive option.
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