Bookmakers work to generate interest

Amid the dog days of the MLB season, bookmakers are howling a lonely tune and pointing to August as their most challenging month of the year.

They cite a variety of factors tied to vacation time; the absence of regular-season NFL, NBA and NHL games; the fatigue of baseball betting; and a lack of enticing options. Bettors traditionally use the time to save up for the fall blitz of football wagering. 

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While books routinely retain more funds than they pay out, Las Vegas SuperBook Vice President Jay Kornegay said their profit share — known as “the hold” — is down during this time. 

New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Atlanta Braves.

It doesn’t help that the leading options for bettors are increasingly one-sided baseball matchups. 

“We know to set the odds high on those games, but they’re still betting them, ‘Give me the Braves, Mets, Yankees and Dodgers … ,’ and they’re usually all winning,” Kornegay said.

Tipico Sportsbook spokesman Sunny Gupta says 60% of his shop’s action this month is also on baseball. 

“During these dog days, we’ve focused our efforts on providing the best experience for live baseball by allowing users to bet on the next pitch, next inning, next three innings and, of course, the result of the game,” he said. 

Shrewd bettors aren’t entirely adverse to supporting teams playing out the string, as long as the underdog’s pitching is quality. 

On Monday, bettors attached to the Miami Marlins against the playoff-contending San Diego Padres and reaped the rewards because Cy Young Award candidate Sandy Alcantara was on the mound. 

The Marlins, a +112 home underdog, rode Alcantara’s arm to a shutout victory. 

Here are other wagering options for the August “dead period.”

WNBA postseason numbers

  • Las Vegas Aces at +175
  • Chicago Sky at +220
  • Connecticut Sun at +380
  • Seattle Storm at +550
  • Washington Mystics at +900
  • Dallas Wings at +4000
  • New York Liberty at +6000
  • Phoenix Mercury at +9000

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