“The Empire Slate” is a weekly look at betting angles and trends involving New York sports.
The Yankees just pulled the Ferrari over and put the wheels back on with a two-game sweep of the Mets in the Bronx.
Those two victories on Tuesday and Wednesday, both by 4-2 scores, helped the Yankees stabilize what had been a hellish August, with 14 losses in their previous 19 games. As usual, it was a highlight of the New York summer, the last two of four Subway Series games between the New York teams this season, each team winning two.
But, who knows? Maybe it won’t be the last time these teams tangle in 2022. Both New York teams are among the five MLB squads to have already reached 75 wins, and there is at least a decent chance they reprise the 2000 World Series by eliminating the need for jet travel in the Fall Classic.
But exactly how decent are the odds of a second Subway World Series? FanDuel is one of two New York mobile sportsbooks (along with PointsBet) offering an exact World Series matchup of the two teams. FanDuel has a price of +1000 on the Yankees and Mets meeting in the crisp October air.
Is that a good price?
In assessing the value in that number, consider first that the Mets are +250 to win the National League (behind the Dodgers at +140) and the Yankees are +210 to win the American League (behind the Astros at +145). If the season ended today, both teams would have a bye for the wild card round, so that crucially eliminates one series each would have to survive en route to meeting.
As it stands, the Mets would be likely to play the winner of a Cardinals-Padres series in their first playoff round, followed by a showdown with the Dodgers, Phillies, or Braves in the NLCS. The Yankees are cruising toward getting the Guardians or Mariners first, followed by the Astros, Blue Jays, or Rays in the ALCS.
That’s a lot of hurdles to clear for both teams, including getting past a team currently with shorter odds than their own in their respective leagues. The Mets’ pennant odds imply a 28.6% probability, while the Yankees’ imply a probability of 32.3%. Multiply those odds and you get 9.2%, virtually identical to the probability implied by +1000 odds (9.1%). So, yeah, it’s at least a fair price if you believe in both teams.
As usual, heavy action from the Empire State is nudging the sportsbooks to root against the New York teams. According to The Action Network, BetMGM’s biggest liability on exact World Series results is the Yankees beating the Mets, which had accounted for 29.6% of the handle as of early August.
Let’s just hope nobody throws a bat fragment at anybody if it happens again.
Jets, Giants looking for Week 1 upsets
It’s never too early to start lining up Week 1 bets for the NFL season. Not surprisingly, both New York teams — which each went 4-13 in 2021 — are getting points. The Jets are seven-point underdogs at home vs. the Ravens and the Giants are 5.5-point underdogs at Tennessee, per DraftKings.
In both cases, you can make a strong argument for the ‘dog. The Ravens didn’t handle their theoretically easy games particularly well last season, going 0-4 ATS as a favorite of a touchdown or more. Similarly, the Titans went 1-3 ATS as favorites of 5.5 points or more.
We’ve already praised some of the New York teams’ offseason moves, including their draft strategies, and neither team has been hit particularly hard by injuries so far in the preseason. If you believe in the Jets’ rebuild and the Giants’ ability to bounce back from an injury-ravaged ’21 season, you might want to jump in early.
Bulls open as big ‘dogs
College football kicks off this Saturday with a slate of pretty bad games, followed by a more robust schedule of games starting next Thursday through Saturday. Reminder: You still can’t bet on New York college teams inside the state’s borders.
In some cases, that may be a blessing. One of those instances is the Sept. 3 game between Buffalo and Maryland, with the Bulls installed as 21-point underdogs against the Big Ten team.
What’s the right side to take on this one? All sorts of mixed signals, as the Bulls are probably a lot better this season than their 4-8 record indicated from 2021. They’re 9-3 in their last 12 games in September, but they also are 1-6 against the spread in their last seven road games. Hard to find a good reason to cross a border to bet on this one.