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ALCS betting: The World Series favorite Astros are favored to take Game 1

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The American League Championship Series begins Friday night (8 p.m. ET, Fox) when the Boston Red Sox take on the Houston Astros in Game 1 in Houston. 

World Series odds

  • Astros (+200)

  • Red Sox (+400)

Game 1 odds

  • Red Sox +1.5 runs (-185)

  • Red Sox moneyline (+110)

Is covering a one-run loss worth the difference in odds if you're wanting to bet the Red Sox?

  • Astros -1.5 runs (+150)

  • Astros moneyline (-135)

A two-run or bigger Astros win is a nice payoff. 

  • Over 8 runs (-115)

  • Under 8 runs (-105)

There's no hook here to think about. A push is in play.

Pitching matchup

  • Chris Sale vs. Framber Valdez

Sale missed much of the regular season recovering from Tommy John surgery. He started nine games in the regular season and had a 3.16 ERA and 52 strikeouts in 42 2/3 innings. Valdez also missed time at the start of the regular season after breaking a finger in spring training. He had a 3.14 ERA in 134 2/3 innings pitched and struck out 125 with a 1.25 WHIP.

Hitters to watch

  • Red Sox OF Kiké Hernandez

Hernandez delivered the series-winning sacrifice fly against the Rays in the ALDS. Hernandez also had eight hits over Games 2 and 3 of the ALDS and was a huge reason why Boston won three consecutive games after losing Game 1.

  • Astros SS Carlos Correa

Correa was 5-of-13 in the ALDS win over the White Sox with four RBIs and two doubles. He also had a walk in every game.

Bets to consider

  • Astros -0.5 after 5 innings (+105)

If you think the Astros are going to win the game, you should take them giving a half run through the first five innings of the game. It’s far better value than betting the Astros to lead after 5 at -130. Houston’s offense was phenomenal against the White Sox and should carry that at home in Game 1. Don’t be surprised if the Astros get out to an early lead.

  • Astros over 4.5 runs (+120)

These are enticing odds here — Houston is -140 to score over 3.5 runs. The Astros scored 6 or more runs in every game of the ALDS and scored 5.3 runs per game in the regular season.

  • Final score will be an even number (+135)

Eh, why not. An odd-numbered total is at -160, so this feels worth a bet.

  • Astros and under 9.5 total runs (+175)

Here’s where we make a prediction that Houston wins Game 1, 5-3. So yes, that’s an Astros cover, an even-numbered total and right on the over/under of eight runs in the game.