Bet The Mets! Are The New Jersey Sportsbooks At Risk With MLB’s Hottest Team?

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Meet the Mets / Meet the Mets / Step right up and …

Bet the Mets?

A couple of weeks ago, there wasn’t much reason to bet on the New York Mets, who, following a 7-2 home loss to the Padres on July 25, weren’t just a million miles from playoff contention at 46-55; they were rumored to be in talks to deal starting pitchers Noah Syndergaard and/or Zach Wheeler just before the trade deadline.

But, oh, what a difference 17 games make. The Mets won seven straight, lost one, then won another eight in a row, including a pair of come-from-behind wins over the Nationals, before dropping the third game of the Nats set. As they head into a series with the NL East-leading Braves tonight, New York’s other baseball team sports a record of 61-57 and is just a single game out of the second Wild Card spot in the National League.

Good luck scrolling your Twitter feed tonight without seeing a bunch of #LGM hashtags.

What are the odds?

As of the morning of Aug. 13, here are the Mets futures betting odds at three top New Jersey online bookmakers, DraftKings Sportsbook, FanDuel Sportsbook, and PointsBet:

 DraftKings SportsbookFanDuel SportsbookPointsBet
To Win World Series+2500+2600+4500
To Win NL Pennant+1100+1200+1500
To Win NL East+1000+1300+1000
To Make Playoffs+175No posted odds+121

According to FanGraphs, the Mets have a 46.1% chance of making the playoffs (those DK odds look pretty juicy, eh?), a 4.2% chance of winning the division (the posted odds are not in your favor), and a 2.4% chance of winning it all (so PointsBet’s price is slightly better than the true odds).

Factoring in quality of remaining opposition, FanGraphs figures the Mets to finish 85-77, which would mean the oddsmakers nailed it with pre-season win-total over/unders of 84.5 or 85.5, depending on where you looked.

The best time to bet the Mets, of course, was not at the beginning of the season nor right now; it was around July 25, when 2019 looked like a lost cause for the Mets. How many people went out on that limb? You would think, even as they entered a soft run on the schedule (Pirates, White Sox, Pirates, Marlins), few would have seen this hot streak coming.

But because sports betting is legal in New Jersey, even when the Mets were at their lowest, the team from Queens drew some action at the state’s books.

NJ sportsbook liability

DraftKings tells NJ Online Gambling they currently have a seven-figure liability on the Mets to win the World Series “that increases every day.” Mickey Callaway’s crew is DK’s largest World Series liability — at about four times as much as the book’s second-largest liability, the Yankees.

It’s the same story at FanDuel Sportsbook, where the Mets are both their biggest World Series liability and their biggest NL pennant liability. In terms of number of bets and handle placed on them to win the World Series, the Mets are no. 2 in both categories at FD.

The outlook isn’t great at PointsBet either in terms of the damage a deep Mets postseason run would do, although the Mets are not quite their deepest liability.

“Nearly 30% of our National League futures handle is on them at an average price of 30/1,” PointsBet Head of Content Matt Chaprales tells NJ Online Gambling. “They’re our second-biggest liability in that market, and that’s only because we took a handful of bets on the Giants to win the pennant at 350/1.

“World Series futures are a similar story: The Mets are our second-biggest liability and no. 3 by ticket count — behind the Astros and Yankees — checking in at just over 9% of total handle. We also did a ‘Mets Day’ last week where we pushed our market-leading futures price of 50/1. That immediately generated interest, including a few $100 bets.”

FanDuel says that it has some customers who apparently own crystal balls and bet on the Mets at the perfect time. Right around the trade deadline, as the Mets were adding pitcher Marcus Stroman, they were +10000 to win the World Series at FanDuel, and more than 80 customers took those odds shortly after the Stroman news hit.

The biggest bet, FD tells us, is for $2k at those 100/1 odds.

Mets on the move

It’s fascinating to track the Mets odds movement since their hot streak began. Here’s a look at the changes in their World Series prices at DraftKings Sportsbook:

  • July 28: 200/1
  • July 31: 175/1
  • Aug. 1: 100/1
  • Aug. 2: 80/1
  • Aug. 4: 75/1
  • Aug. 6: 60/1
  • Aug. 7: 40/1
  • Aug. 8: 32/1
  • Aug. 10: 25/1

Meanwhile, at FanDuel, the fluctuations in the Mets’ NL East division-winning odds have been wild. At the start of June, they were +850. By the start of July, they were +10000. Now they’re +1300 (sitting eight games back of the Braves).

For the World Series markets at FanDuel, the Mets went from +5500 at the start of June, to that +10000 figure that some bettors pounced on at the beginning of July, to +2600 now.

Mets betting odds and ends

FanDuel says it doesn’t have any significant liability on the Mets in the “over” market on the team’s win total or the “to make the playoffs” market. But PointsBet does. Chaprales tells us, “In terms of ‘season wins’ and ‘to make the playoffs,’ we’re more than 80% to both the ‘over’ (84.5) and the ‘yes,’ respectively.”

Even though the Phillies occupy 55% of PB’s NL East handle and the Mets account for just 20%, the Mets are PointsBet’s biggest liability there because their odds have been longer for most of the season (average price: +2900).

DraftKings just added a few fun Mets props today:

  • Pete Alonso to hit 52 or more regular-season HRs: +135
  • Jeff McNeil to win 2019 NL batting title: +200
  • Mets to win their next five games: +1700

(Alonso is at 38 homers right now. McNeil is second in the NL in batting at .334, right between Christian Yelich (.335) and Bryan Reynolds (.333). The Mets’ next five games include three in a row at Atlanta, then two at Kansas City.)

Can the Mets remain hot for the better part of the next month and a half? Their schedule is daunting in spots, though there is a four-game set with the Marlins toward the end, followed by three games against a Braves team that might be coasting into the postseason at that point.

The next couple of weeks — Braves, Royals, Indians, Braves again, Cubs — should tell us a lot.

Soon we’ll know if L, G, and M are the three ugliest letters in the alphabet to the Jersey sportsbooks.

Photo by Andy Marlin / USA Today Sports

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Eric Raskin

Eric is a veteran writer, editor, and podcaster in the sports and gaming industries. He was the editor-in-chief of the poker magazine All In for nearly a decade, is the author of the book The Moneymaker Effect, and has contributed to such outlets as ESPN.com, Grantland.com, and Playboy.

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