There wasn’t a ton of action at the sportsbooks last night on the Phillies-Cubs game, but there was enough to add another layer of drama to Bryce Harper’s majestic walk-off grand slam.
“One of my worst beats,” said one bettor who had $2,500 on the Cubs and an $800 parlay involving Chicago. “I can’t believe Maddon.”
The reference is to Chicago manager Joe Maddon, who yanked starter Yu Darvish after he threw seven shutout innings on 92 pitches. The Cubs led by 5-0 at the time. That’s when, from Chicago’s viewpoint, things disintegrated.
With Darvish out of the game, the Phillies scored one in the eighth and six in the ninth, culminating with Harper’s biggest hit of the season.
FanDuel got hurt by the home run with in-game betting both online and at the Valley Forge Casino Resort.
The Phillies were 100-1 entering the bottom of the ninth. The line dropped as they added base runners, with one bettor grabbing the Phils at 40-1 for $25. Three large bets ($1,000-$2,500) came in when Harper came to the plate with the bases juiced. The odds were +200/+220 by that time.
» MORE COVERAGE: A compilation of the TV and radio calls of last night’s home run
“We all know what happened next,” FanDuel spokesman Kevin Hennessy joked.
Evan Davis, vice president and general counsel for SugarHouse, said his sportsbook saw 56 percent of moneyline handle on the Cubs, “which is fairly unusual for the Phillies opponent.”
The Phils had won the first two games of the series, but Chicago had the pitching advantage Thursday with the red-hot Darvish facing Drew Smyly, who had been knocked around in his previous two starts for Philadelphia. The total (9.5) also landed on over when Harper’s drive eventually came down in the second deck of the right-field stands.
Davis said there was some celebrating in his casino as 56 percent of the run-line plays were on the Phillies. The run line was Phillies -1.5. It’s not often a team enters the bottom of the ninth down by four and wins by two runs.
Davis said SugarHouse also sold a few prop tickets on Bryce Harper to homer AND the Phillies to win the game. Odds on that closed at +550. A few bettors took +475 on both the Phillies AND Eagles to win Thursday night, which also hit.
Nick Bogdanovich, director of trading for nationwide William Hill gaming, is in Iowa, which opened sports betting yesterday. That’s thick Cubs country, and someone there had 9k on Chicago.
While action was light at William Hill’s New Jersey locations, Bogdanovich said they also took bets of 12k and 45k on the Cubs.
“Ouch,” he said.