Kornegay’s Korner: Resetting Summer
June 23, 2023
With hoops and hockey titles in the bag, it’s time to look at summer’s best bets
The advantage of the NBA and NHL playoffs essentially swapping nights for the better part of May and June? Well, that’s obvious – every night offers primetime sports viewing (and, ehem, betting).
For some bettors, the raising of the Stanley Cup and handing off of the Larry O’Brien might feel like falling off a cliff. They go from a lot to bet on, to just baseball. And while America’s Pastime is a great game on which to wager, it’s still not the only option until football season begins. For validation, it’s time to check in with SuperBook Chief Oddsmaker, Jay Kornegay, to see how he’s sizing up summer. Here’s what he said…
Jay, we just saw a long shot win the U.S. Open. Next up is the (British) Open Championship. That same long shot is still a long shot at +4000, while Rory McIroy is the favorite at +800. Any advice to those who like to bet golf?
Kornegay: I was so impressed by Colorado native Wyndham Clark. He showed incredible composure and confidence during his U.S. Open win. I truly believe there are a number of these young players who can break through and compete against the best on the biggest stage. I believe Wyndham inspired those players with that performance. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see more of these type of performances from players that would be considered 2nd or 3rd tier PGA players. If you’re betting on golf, I would certainly take a couple of shots on some of these longer odds players. It’s always tough to land the winner, but there are also other options. First, SuperBook Sports offers updated tournament odds after each round of each major and most other golf events. Secondly, other options like head-to-head matchups, over/under round scores, and group matchups are available at SuperBook Sports. Those don’t pay like an outright winner, but you will hit winners more often playing those options and will make that Sunday viewing a little more interesting.
The Rays, Rangers, Diamondbacks and Orioles are the surprise teams of MLB, while traditional powers Dodgers, Yankees, Mets and Astros are struggling a bit. Yet, the odds to win divisions, pennants, and the World Series don’t necessarily reflect the standings at the moment. Put yourself in the shoes of the bettors; how do you view the MLB futures as we approach the All-Star Break?
Kornegay: Especially in baseball, the cream usually rises to the top. We’ll adjust as we move along, but you won’t see oddsmakers making drastic changes based on the early results. The odds adjustments will happen slowly as the season progresses – whether it’s raising the top dogs or lowering the new arrivals. It’s a long season but if you believe in one of the longer shots, I don’t blame you taking a shot with them.
The day after the Stanley Cup was won by Vegas, and just two days after the Nuggets won their first NBA title, both the Nuggets and Avalanche were the odds-on favorites to win next year’s titles (and still are). What are your thoughts?
Kornegay: The Nuggets are still loaded but SuperBook Sports has a few contenders right behind them. Denver will once again will have to contend with the Suns in the West. If the Suns get rid of Deandre Ayton and deepen their bench, Phoenix could be the favorite. I love Chris Paul, but we know he’s on the downside, so the Suns didn’t give up anything for Bradley Beal. That’s a nice addition. On the Eastern front, Boston and Milwaukee rule the roost. They will certainly be there at the end, pending health. The Celtics and Bucks are clearly the top two that should battle for the eastern crown and will give the Western Confernce champs all they can handle. Currently, the Nuggets are the favorites at +550 but it’s tight. Here are the other top contenders: Boston 6-1; Phoenix 6-1; and Milwaukee 7-1.
In the NHL, the Av’s are the top choice for next year’s Stanley Cup. A few of us would have enjoyed a healthy Colorado team vs. Vegas series this year, but it wasn’t meant to be. I think we can agree if the Av’s are healthy, they’re the top choice. There are a few teams that can easily challenge next year. The Stanley Cup Champion Golden Knights – I had to get that in there for my fam back in Colorado – will again have a loaded roster with only a couple possible holes due to free agency. But they do have a few young guns to fill those holes. If the Oilers can figure out their goaltending and get a little depth, they’re right there once again. Everyone on the Eastern side will be chasing Boston, Carolina and Toronto. Here are the current odds by SuperBook Sports: Colorado 8-1; Edmonton 10-1; Golden Knights 10-1; Maple Leafs 10-1; Bruins 12-1;l and Carolina 12-1.
The takeaways from our conversation with Kornegay? If you like the Yankees, stick with the Yankees. If you bet on golf, make more bets than just the outright winner. And If you like NBA and NHL futures, the time is now and the price on your favorite team isn’t likely to get any cheaper.
Until next time…
Friday Night Trio
Three bets worth considering when the weekend kicks off
Oakland A’s at Toronto Blue Jays
Rogers Centre – Toronto, ON
7:07 PM ET
SuperBook Line: Toronto -305
The Toronto Blue Jays are 41-35. That record puts them at fourth place in a tough AL East, but only half a game back of a wild card spot.
The Oakland Athletics, on the other hand, are 23 games back of a wild card spot. At 19-58, the A’s have the worst record in baseball.
MLB fans around the world are all in agreement that any game in which the A’s are involved is bound to be a mismatch. They feel like a free win for the opposing team. Such is the case on Friday night, when they travel to Toronto to face the Blue Jays for the first time this season.
Chris Bassitt will be pitching for Toronto. He’s 7-5 this season with a 4.16 ERA.
While those numbers aren’t outstanding, they are far better than those of James Kaprielian, who will be the A’s starting pitcher on Friday. Kaprielian is 2-6 with a 6.38 ERA this year.
The Blue jays are not only at home, but they also have the pitching advantage. But it doesn’t stop there. Offensively, the Blue Jays are led by Vlad Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette and Matt Chapman.
Bichette is fifth in the league when it comes to batting average and second in hits. Chapman leads the league in doubles. The A’s do not have as much firepower as the Blue Jays, but they do have Esteury Ruiz, who leads the league in stolen bases with 39.
All in all, the Oakland Athletics are outmatched in this one. The Blue Jays have talent on both sides, they are at home and have the pitching advantage. They are a big favorite for a reason and they will likely win big on Friday night.
Richard DeMala’s pick: Toronto M/L (-305)
Seattle Mariners at Baltimore Orioles
Oriole Park at Camden Yards – Baltimore, MD
7:05 PM ET
SuperBook Line: Baltimore -112
The Baltimore Orioles haven’t exactly been relevant for quite some time. They haven’t been to the playoffs since 2016 and their last 100-win season was in 1980. But they seemed to have found something with this year’s team.
The O’s are currently 45-28 and sit second in the AL East. The only teams with better records in all of baseball are the Rays, Rangers and Braves. In other words, they are in unfamiliar territory.
So unfamiliar that they are actually on pace to hit 100 wins this year. They also have a 62% chance of making the playoffs.
The Seattle Mariners, on the other hand, are having a worse season than last year. They are just 35-37 and are fourth in the AL West, despite having a rising star in Julio Rodriguez on their roster. They are currently 4.5 games out of a wild card spot.
While that may not seem like much, it is quite a lot of ground to make up considering how close the competition is in the American League. There are five teams within 5.0 games of each other, all competing for a wild card spot. Despite there being almost 90 games left in the regular season, ones like this matter.
They also matter for the Orioles. They are 5.0 games back of the Rays in the AL East. While a playoff berth alone would be an accomplishment for Baltimore, a division title would be an outstanding turnaround.
The line for this one is close, with Baltimore having a slight edge. Kyle Gibson, who is 8-4 with a 3.94 ERA will be on the mound for the Orioles. Logan Gilbert will be on the mound for the Mariners. Gilbert is 4-4 with a 4.31 ERA.
Expect this one to be close but for the Orioles to come out on top. They are at home and have the better pitcher; that’s enough to lean their direction.
Richard DeMala’s pick: Baltimore M/L (-112)
Los Angeles Angels at Colorado Rockies
Coors Field – Denver, CO
8:40 PM ET
SuperBook Line: Los Angeles -165
The Colorado Rockies have lost eight straight games. They are now 29-48 and officially have the worst record in the National League. Thankfully, they will be at home for the first time since June 11, which could spark a much-needed turnaround.
Colorado will host the Los Angeles Angels who are 41-35 and have two of the best players in the league. Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout are without a doubt the best tandem of players in the entire MLB.
Ohtani is a dominant pitcher, but he also leads the league in home runs with 24. Mike Trout is also one of the game’s best hitters with 15 home runs and 39 RBIs on a .250 batting average. Those two, at 5,280 feet is dangerous to say the least.
Pitching for the Rockies will be Kyle Freeland. Despite being Colorado’s best pitcher, Freeland is 4-8 with a 4.48 ERA.
The Angels will counter with their No. 2 starter, Patrick Sandoval. Sandoval has similar stats to Freeland with a 4-6 record and a 4.08 ERA.
Despite the pitchers being fairly even, the oddsmakers are giving the Angels the edge. They just have more firepower than the Rockies.
C.J. Cron, the Rockies best player and 2022 All-Star is out with a back injury, making their chances that much worse. In a scenario that is Freeland versus Ohtani and Trout, it’s obvious which choice is better. Take the Angels to come out on top.
Richard DeMala’s pick: Los Angeles M/L (-165)