2021 World Series Game 1: Bettors like the Astros as 1.5-run favorites

Think the Braves will give the Astros a fight in Game 1? You’re in the minority.

Bettors have the opportunity to lay some money on the Atlanta Braves in the World Series for the first time this millennium. Unfortunately for them, their action pales in comparison to the Houston Astros on their home turf.

The Braves are +1.5 run underdogs in Game 1, but have only garnered 25 percent of the pregame action in the run up to the series opener, per Tipico Sportsbook. Perhaps that’s because taking Atlanta and the spread will only net you a -180 payout. Betting Houston to win by two runs or more will get you a +145 return.

Those same gamblers are putting their trust in the batters’ box Tuesday night, A 71 percent majority of bets lean toward the over at 8.5 runs (-102). If recent returns hold true, that bet could dissolve into the night air in Texas.

The Braves have only allowed 3.3 runs per game in former Astro Charlie Morton’s three postseason games so far. Houston counters with Framber Valdez, a trusted piece of the rotation the past two seasons and a player who was most recently seen holding the Boston Red Sox to three earned runs across two ALCS starts. The Astros have given up just three runs per game in his postseason appearances.

Those numbers suggest a pitchers’ duel at Minute Maid Park, but there’s still value to be found in Tuesday night’s batters. Yordan Alvarez had at least one hit in each game of the six game series win over the Red Sox, but will still pay out +175 if he can keep that streak going against Atlanta. Dansby Swanson is in the midst of a five-game hitting streak and has hits in eight of his 10 postseason games this autumn, but returns +250 value if he can poke a single into the outfield in Game 1.

Is the public overvaluing a 95-win Astros team at home? Is the minority foolishly backing Atlanta because it faces the biggest villains in baseball? Or are Morton and the Braves destined to come through in their first World Series appearance of the 2000s? We’ll know more tonight.

UFC 248 card: All the fights on Saturday’s UFC pay-per-view

Two UFC champions will defend their titles on Saturday in Las Vegas.

Two UFC champions will defend their belts on Saturday night at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas at UFC 248. Undefeated middleweight champion Israel “The Last Stylebender” Adesanya (18-0) will face off against Yoel Romero in the main event, and a women’s MMA legend will try to reclaim her spot atop the strawweight division as Joanna Jedrzejczyk faces the UFC’s first Chinese champion, Weili Zhang, in the co-main.

The UFC 248 main card will begin at 10:00 p.m. ET on ESPN+. Prelims will begin at 8:00 p.m. ET on ESPN.

See MMA Junkie’s picks for UFC 248

Here is the main card for Saturday’s PPV:

Welterweight: Alex Oliveira (19-8-1, 2 NC) vs. Max Griffin (15-7)

Welterweight: Neil Magny (21-7) vs. Li Jingliang (17-5)

Lightweight: Beneil Dariush (17-4-1) vs. Drakkar Klose (11-1-1)

Women’s Strawweight championship: Weili Zhang (c) (20-1) vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk (16-3)

Middleweight championship: Israel Adesanya (18-0) vs. Yoel Romero (13-4)

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How to watch UFC 247 on ESPN+

All the information you need to watch UFC 247 with ESPN+.

UFC 247 is this weekend, and while this event may not have the big name of Conor McGregor involved, it’s got a host of great fights scheduled that MMA fans are very excited about.

The main event is a light heavyweight bout between Jon Jones (25-1-0) and Dominick Reyes (12-0), with the co-headliner a women’s flyweight bout between Valentina Shevchenko (18-3-0) and Katlyn Chookagian (13-2-0).

The undercard has plenty of great fights as well, including a bantamweight fight between Miles Johns (10-0-0) and Mario Bautista (7 – 1 – 0).

The UFC 247 main card will begin at 10:00 p.m. ET on Saturday, February 8th, on ESPN+.

The preliminary card will be held at 8 p.m. and televised on ESPN.

The event will cost $64.99 alone, or you can package it along with a year-long ESPN+ subscription for $84.98, which is a 30 percent savings.

Live stream: ESPN+ subscribers who purchase the event can stream the fight via their computer at Watch ESPN, on their mobile devices via the ESPN app, or on a number of smart home devices (PS4, Xbox One, Chromecast, Roku, Fire TV and tablet, iPad and Apple TV, and Samsung Smart TVs.)