Just a few weeks removed from the 2022 Olympics, international curling is once again in the spotlight — this time for the men’s world championship. The competition runs from April 2-10 in Las Vegas. As the tourneys nears, you’ll want to see who our favorite betting picks to win the 2022 World Men’s Curling Championship are.
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2018 National League Central Outright Odds, Prediction
Odds are courtesy of Bodog.eu.
Chicago Cubs (-225)
The 2016 World Series champion Chicago Cubs return to the field hungry to win another MLB crown. The Cubbies’ 1-2 offensive punch of Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo will carry the load at the plate, but the real question mark will come on the mound this season. With the departure of starter Jake Arrieta coupled with the health of Yu Darvish, Chicago’s once rock-solid rotation may have a few cracks in the foundation heading into the 2018 campaign. However, coming off a 92-70 season, the Cubs are the odds-on -225 favourites to win the National League Central Division. That is a bargain price at this point of the year, so expect bettors to jump on that line while it lasts.
St. Louis Cardinals (+350)
For such a storied franchise, missing the playoffs in back-to-back seasons doesn’t sit well with the St. Louis Cardinals’ upper management. The Cards boast a versatile lineup with a nice mix of speed with Dexter Fowler and power with Marcell Ozuna. St. Louis, which enters the 2018 campaign as +350 underdogs to win the NL Central, finished third in the division last season with a respectable 83-79 record. The Cardinals had the second best run differential in the division and with the current bats in the lineup, St. Louis could improve on its 761 runs for from 2017. At +350, taking a chance on the Cardinals to win the division doesn’t seem as far-fetched as many believe.
Milwaukee Brewers (+450)
If Spring Training is any indication, bettors may be inclined to take a shot on the Milwaukee Brewers to win the National League Central in 2018. The Brewers, who finished the 2017 campaign with an 86-76 record, were at the top of the Cactus League — ahead of division rivals Chicago Cubs — in Spring Training. Bodog has pegged the Brewers at +450 to win the NL Central in 2018, but can these underdogs leapfrog powerhouse teams like the Cubs and Cardinals in the regular season as well? There is enough experience in Milwaukee’s lineup to contend for a championship, especially near the top of the order, which includes Ryan Braun, Lorenzo Cain and Travis Shaw.
Pittsburgh Pirates (+3000)
After the top three teams in the National League Central, the odds really take a nose-dive. The Pittsburgh Pirates come in at +3000 to win the NL Central — something the franchise has never done. The Pirates finished with a dismal 75-87 record in 2017 and projections suggest Pittsburgh may hover around the same mark — or worse — heading into the upcoming season. The Pirates struggled to score runs last season, crossing home plate 668 times, while giving up 731 for a run differential of -63. With an average batting order, don’t expect those numbers to rise in 2018. However, with Ivan Nova leading a respectable starting rotation, the Pirates will remain in many games this season.
Cincinnati Reds (+4000)
The Cincinnati Reds have three National League Central titles in their pocket, but the last one hasn’t come since 2012. Can the Reds break through in 2018 and win its fourth division pennant? Odds suggest no, as the Reds come in as +4000 longshots to win the NL Central. Cincinnati’s struggles were on full display in Spring Training as the club struggled to find any offense and finished near the bottom of the Cactus League standings. Expect those frustrations to carry over to the regular season for the Reds, who finished second last in the National League a year ago with a 68-94 record in 2017. Only the San Francisco Giants had a worse record.
National League Central Pick: Chicago Cubs (-225)
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