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Behind the lines

Red Sox and Mets remain the teams to beat

September 12, 2007|Lonnie White | Times Staff Writer

With the major league baseball regular season winding down to its final three weeks, Las Vegas oddsmakers have made the Boston Red Sox and New York Mets favorites to play each other in the World Series.

According to Covers.com, the Red Sox and Mets have the best combo chance of advancing to the Fall Classic with odds at +600, which means a player would win $600 on a $100 bet.

The next-best matchup? The Red Sox versus the Chicago Cubs at +650, followed by the New York Yankees versus the Mets at +750.

Since Boston has remained a steady favorite to win the World Series throughout the season, at +300 according to Betus.com, it is not surprising to see the Red Sox as the pick for the American League.

But the Yankees are on the move. Thanks to their second-half surge, the Yankees have moved from +600 to +500 to win it all, according to Betus.com.

Although Alex Rodriguez appears to have a clear path to the American League most-valuable-player award, the National League picture is a lot cloudier. Albert Pujols, David Wright, Chase Utley and Matt Holliday are rated the same at +300, according to Sportsbook.com, with Chipper Jones at +500. And Barry Bonds? Not listed.

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College football

Oddsmakers are starting to notice that Nebraska is undefeated and playing at home against a USC team that has lost two of its last three road games. The Cornhuskers opened as 13.5-point underdogs, but in recent days, the line has steadily dropped to as low as -10 on some charts.

Nebraska has been waiting for a game like this since Notre Dame visited Lincoln in 2001, when the Irish hit town for the first time since 1948. The Cornhuskers would love nothing better than to knock off the Trojans, who have won 60 of their last 66 games since 2002, and shared or won two national championships.

It was only a decade ago that Nebraska was rolling over competition like USC is today. The Cornhuskers won 60 of 63 games and shared or won outright three national titles from 1994 to '97.

Based on the current betting trend for the game, it would not be a surprise to see the Trojans' favorite line in single digits by kickoff. There's always something about nostalgia.

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lonnie.white@latimes.com

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