Reality Check: Vegas’ Odds on the Giants

Las Vegas says the Tigers will win the Series, but should they?

After administering an 8-3 thumping in the opening game of the World Series, would sports pundits still consider the San Francisco Giants an underdog?

Las Vegas oddsmakers, for the second time in three years, have predicted the plucky Giants will fall to their adversary in the World Series.

The Detroit Tigers are a -170 favorite to win the World Series, which means a gambler would have to put $170 on the Tigers just to win $100.

The question from Giants fans throughout the Bay Area is a simple one - where is the love?

Historical data backs up the Giants’ case that they’re more deserving of the ‘favorite’ status than their Detroit counterparts.

For instance, take the fact that the Giants prevailed in game one. Dating back to 1980, 71 percent of the time a team has captured the first game it’s gone on to win the championship. If you look at more recent history, since 2000, that number jumps to 83 percent.

There’s also the fact that the Giants have home field advantage for the series, courtesy of a National League victory in this year’s All-Star Game.

The team with home field advantage has pulled out a World Series victory 77 percent of the time over the last three decades. More importantly, in series that go a full seven games, the home team is 9 for 9, winning 100 percent of the time.

Last but not least, what about the fact the Giants are squaring off against a reigning Cy Young award winner, Justin Verlander?

On its face, this sounds like a scary proposition.

But of the 11 World Series squads that have boasted a reigning Cy Young winner since 1980, a mere five of them have actually won a ring. That comes out to only a 45 percent success rate for teams with a reigning Cy Young champ.

So does this mean Las Vegas has miscalculated its odds? We wouldn’t go that far, but we would advise the experts there to get their facts straight.

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