When the Astros played host to the Dodgers for a two-game series last week, the prices on Houston as a home underdog were tantalizing to many veteran handicappers.
The Astros had been favorites in 79 consecutive regular-season games, a streak that ended Tuesday when the Dodgers closed -220 with starter Walker Buehler opposing Framber Valdez. The pitching matchup clearly favored Los Angeles, but there appeared to be some line value in Houston getting +190 at home.
While home ’dogs are typically attractive to sharper handicappers, the betting public often gets criticized for landing squarely on road favorites. But in this coronavirus-riddled Major League Baseball season, which is abnormal in so many ways, it’s time to rethink the true worth of home-field advantage.
With cardboard cutouts replacing fans while crowd noise is pumped into empty stadiums, home ’dogs are losing their bite.
Road favorites were 20-4 through Thursday, including the Dodgers’ sweep of the Astros — 5-2 on Tuesday and 4-2 (at -150) on Wednesday. It was hip to be square through the first week of the season.
It’s a small sample size at this point, and most lopsided trends usually regress to…