The Chicago Cubs have emerged as the favorite to win the World Series


The Chicago Cubs have been defying the odds for years—just in a negative fashion.

Reasoning suggests that out of 30 teams each one would be able to win a championship over the course of 107 years. It’s more unlikely that in 107 efforts a team would fail to win it all. Thanks for proving that one wrong, Cubbies.

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Generally, though, the odds have gone against a team with a legacy of losing.

Well, now the oddsmakers in Las Vegas are going Effie Trinket: Sports Illustrated reports that the Cubs are now favored to win the World Series with 5-to-2 odds.

Seldom have the Cubs entered a season bearing the burden of being labeled odds-on favorites. More consistently, the Cubs enter their seasons with long odds (this year included as they began the season with 40-to-1 odds). Putting “Cubs” next to “odds-on favorites” feels a bit like an oxymoron (like jumbo shrimp).

When the Cubs opened the season, expectations were moderate. Theo Epstein’s plan for rebuilding was well underway and the baseball world expected improvement for a team coming off five consecutive losing seasons and two consecutive last place finishes.

But they did expect not a high degree of success. Even before the season started, Cubbies Crib staffers had limited expectations for this year, forecasting that the Cubs would have a winning record, but ultimately miss the playoffs.

They were all right in a couple predictions: the Cubs do have a winning record and finished 3rd in the N.L. Central.

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A team as talented but as young as the Cubs inspired many to note that they would have spells of greatness and spells of awfulness. And maybe those expectations are true—except that their spell of greatness has lasted for the past couple months and looks like it will continue for a while now.

Cubs fans have long been favorites of Las Vegas sportsbooks. For decades, they’ve been making money on Cubs fans willing to take the long-shot and lay money on the Cubs to win it all.

This year looked especially great for bet-takers, as Cubs fans laid out more money than ever before and far more than any other team. According to, the Cubs had twice as many bets for World Series futures than any other team.

Who’s looking to make the big money now?

So here’s the question: With all the odds speaking against the Cubs to start the season, what did the bettors know that the rest of us were missing?

What about now: would you take the 5-to-2 odds?

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