Before last year, with the Giants coming off a World Series victory, the odds of them winning the World Series were 17/1. So it's kind of surprising that this year, with the Giants coming off a season where they missed the playoffs, Vegas has decided that the Giants are 15/1 odds to win the World Series.
That's according to Bovada.lv, who sets the Giants as the prohibitive favorite to win the NL West. And yes, there was technically more value in betting on the Giants in 2011 than in 2012.
But this is actually a good sign. For comparison's sake, the Giants are behind only the Phillies (11/2), Yankees (13/2), Angels (7/1), Tigers (8/1), and Rangers/Red Sox (10/1) when it comes to best odds to win it all this year.
For additional comparison's sake, the rest of the NL West has no shot, according to Vegas. The Diamondbacks 28/1 (!) to win the World Series, the Dodgers and Rockies are 40/1, and the lowly Padres are 100/1 to win it all.
Those teams all have one or two things in common: they're either big-time teams that people bet on frequently or are "off-season champs." The Giants are a bit of the first, but certainly not the latter, having primarily taken it easy this off-season.
In terms of the NL Pennant, the Giants are 7/1 to represent the Senior Circuit in the World Series, behind only the Phillies (9/4). The Braves, Reds and Marlins are all 9/1.
And in the NL West, things aren't even close: the Giants are 5/4 to win the division, while the Diamondbacks, who are attempting to defend last year's title, 2/1. The Dodgers are 11/2, the Rockies are 7/1 and the Padres are 15/1.
Most telling about the Vegas odd though is the over/under on games won by each team. Bovada sets the Giants over/under at 87.5 games, while the Diamondbacks are right behind at 86.5. That's a pretty big discrepancy between odds and expected games won, and probably means that the Giants odds are inflated a little bit based on people betting on them.
On the other hand, spring is the time for optimism, and if Vegas is backing your squad, that's about as good a feeling as you can get.