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Robert Trigaux

Tampa Bay Rays: Odds to win improve big time



Raysworldseries Before the 2008 season, its odds to win were 150 to 1. Before the 2009 season, it's down to 8 to 1. The team, of course, is the Tampa Bay Rays and the odds are to win the World Series.

Interesting story in the New York Times recently about how Las Vegas oddsmakers go about setting these figures for each team. States Jay Rood, who is the race and sports book director for MGM Mirage, which operates the Bellagio’s and nine other casinos’ sports books:

“Perception is reality in our world because people bet what they think is going to happen."

As the story explains, two consulting services provide MGM Mirage with an endless flow of information. Rood also gets insight from his casino managers and supervisors in establishing odds. There are numerous factors that determine a baseball team’s odds: how it performed last season; how its players are expected to do in the new season, and what kind of players it has added. Before Rood sets or revises a team’s odds, he has digested details from about 50 associates, reports the Times.

So if the Rays are now 8 to 1 to win the World Series, how are other teams doing? The Pittsburgh Pirates are 150 to 1 -- the same odds the Rays were before last season. But two teams boast 5-to-1 (the best) odds at the moment: the Chicago Cubs and the Boston Red Sox.

Hey, what does Vegas really know, anyway? Just remember, the odds change all the time.

(Photo of Game 2 of World Series  by James Borchuck of the St. Petersburg Times.)

-- Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist

[Last modified: Tuesday, June 1, 2010 11:23am]


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