A World Series triumph would make 2021 a dream season for the San Francisco Giants — and an absolute nightmare for oddsmakers.
Multiple sportsbook operators each stand to lose at least $1 million if the Giants win this year’s World Series, according to ESPN’s Doug Kezirian. The Giants’ World Series odds were 100-1 at the start of the season but they made a mockery of those projections by amassing Major League Baseball’s best record, 107-55, in the regular season. Even though sportsbooks have lowered San Francisco’s World Series odds and also will collect wagers placed on other teams, they stand to lose big if the Giants reign.
“Honestly, we get crushed if the Giants win,” MGM director of trading Jeff Stoneback told ESPN.
Oddsmakers set the Giants’ regular-season win total at 74.5 games. Their 107 wins made them just the second team since 1994 to exceed their projected win total by at least 30 games. When the Giants started the season hot, some bettors wagered on them to win it all.
“Obviously you’ve got a team with high odds like that with a fast start, people jumped on them early at those high odds and they never went away,” Stoneback told ESPN.
While the Giants racked up wins over the course of the season, oddsmakers believed they’d fade away.
“We didn’t think they had a real chance to do this,” SuperBook executive director John Murray told ESPN. “We consider the Dodgers to be the best team in baseball. We’ve thought that the whole season and thought it was just inevitable they would pass the Giants.”
That never happened. The Giants won the National League West Division, consigning the Dodgers to the NL Wild Card Game. Los Angeles beat the St. Louis Cardinals, setting up a best-of-five matchup against the Giants in the NLDS.
Dodgers-Giants looks certain to be a close battle, and the winner will emerge as favorite to reach the World Series. If the Giants represent the National League in the Fall Classic, oddsmakers will follow the action with maximum nervousness. After all, they have plenty to lose.