Best Dodgers-Braves MLB bets: Run line lock and prop picks for epic Thursday night showdown

It’s a quiet Thursday in Major League Baseball — just three games on the evening docket — but the nightcap should be stronger than the rest of the slate combined. Tonight we get to see the Dodgers and the Braves, the two best teams in baseball, do battle in L.A. It’s must-see TV for sports fans, so naturally we’re also pinpointing some best bets from this clash of NL titans. 

Whatever way you slice it, this should be a fantastic opener to a four-game series that carries massive implications. Never mind the fact that Los Angeles has won 24 of its past 28 games and all of a sudden sits within a few games of Atlanta. These are also two of the hottest pitching staffs and lineups top to bottom in the bigs. 

We’ve also got the two MVP favorites — Mookie Betts and Ronald Acuña — who are neck-and-neck on the odds board going into September. We’ve got two of the hotter pitchers in the majors, NL Cy Young candidate Spencer Strider for Atlanta and the Dodgers’ red-hot Lance Lynn, who is 4-0 with a 2.03 ERA since Los Angeles acquired him at the trade deadline.

MORE: Mookie briefly leapfrogs Acuña in MVP odds — smoke or fire?

Oh, and then there’s Freddie Freeman — former Braves MVP and current MVP candidate for the Dodgers. Freddie’s two doubles away from the Dodgers’ single-season record, and 16 away from tying the MLB single-season record with 30 regular-season games remaining.

As you can see, we’re pretty excited about this series, especially this opening game. It’s a potential NLCS preview, and a game that will have us glued to the screen from start to finish. So, let’s make some bets! Here’s our favorite traditional bets, player props, and exotics from Game 1 of the Dodgers-Braves series tonight at 10:10 p.m. ET. 

Odds courtesy of BetMGM. Click HERE to sign up!

Best Dodgers-Braves bets for Thursday night showdown

Dodgers +1.5 (-140) 

Let’s be frank here: the Dodgers are the hottest team in baseball. They have won nine of their past 11 games, they’re 24-4 in the month of August, and they’re 32-11 in the second half. Lynn has also been tremendous for the Dodgers — he’s undefeated through five starts in Dodger blue, with a 2.03 ERA and 1.06 WHIP. 

And this L.A. offense has once again caught fire. Over the Dodgers’ past seven games, they have scored seven-plus runs six times. Over their past eight, they have scored a total of 58 runs. Now they’re getting 1.5 on the run line? Yeah, sign us up.

Strider has been great, but he hasn’t faced an offense of this caliber in a while. His past five starts have come against the Angels, Pirates, Mets, and most recently the Giants twice. As currently constituted, those are double-A clubs compared to the Dodgers.

Spencer Strider, SP, Braves — UNDER 7.5 strikeouts (+110)

Strider has been a great strikeout pitcher all season — he has an MLB-leading 236 Ks — but Los Angeles has been incredibly locked in at the plate. To put it bluntly, the ball looks like a beachball to 85 percent of this offense. And over the Dodgers’ past three games, they have struck out as a team just 4.7 times per game (second-fewest in the majors during this mini-stretch — tied with Atlanta, coincidentally). 

Strider also has far fewer strikeouts on the road this season than he’s racked up at home. In 13 games and 311 plate appearances at Truist Park, he has 130 strikeouts. In 13 games and 309 plate appearances away from Truist, he has just 106. So, let’s not expect an eight-strikeout gem from Strider this evening. Give us the UNDER at plus odds.

Jason Heyward, OF, Dodgers — OVER 0.5 hits (-130)

We have been all over the “hit” market lately, avoiding the over/under 1.5 total bases props typically listed for the bigger names. We have found that when we target the single hit props of non-superstars with good track records against certain pitchers, we get much better value and have a much greater rate of success. Tonight, our guy is none other than one-time All-Star Jason Heyward. 

On the surface, betting Heyward to collect 1+ hit seems pretty bland. He’s batting .262 on the season and probably the sixth-best hitter in this torrid Dodgers lineup. But dive deeper and you’ll see that he has Strider’s number, going 2-for-3 against the Braves ace with a home run in the one game they have faced off against each other. So, say hey, Heyward, make us some moolah! 

Marcell Ozuna, OF, Braves — UNDER 0.5 hits (+145)

We’re betting one OVER on the hit market and now we’re targeting one promising UNDER in the same prop department. Ozuna has been abysmal against Lynn throughout his career, managing just three hits in 22 career at-bats against the right-handed veteran. His slash line against Lynn: .158/.273/.263.

With Lynn on top of the pitching world since he left the south side of Chicago to become a Dodger, don’t expect Ozuna to finally figure the guy out at friggin’ Dodger Stadium. The Braves slugger is an auto-fade, hopefully delivering us our fourth and final cash of a fun Thursday evening of baseball betting.

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