Cubs Vs Braves Odds: Atlanta Laying Huge Price in Series Finale

Atlanta Braves second baseman Ozzie Albies dives head-first into third base against the Chicago Cubs
Image Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

It’s getaway day across the MLB landscape Thursday, which means a bunch of matinee affairs on the schedule. In fact, just two of 13 games are under the lights, with one of them taking place in Atlanta, where the Cubs and Braves square off in the rubber match of a three-game series.

Despite both teams having similar less-than-stellar records — and despite both starting pitchers posting strong early-season numbers — Cubs vs Braves odds reveal the home team as a massive favorite.

Are bookmakers overvaluing an Atlanta squad that has just three victories in its last nine games? Or is this lofty price justified because the Braves are sending a pitcher to the mound who has registered twice as many strikeouts in three starts (26) as he’s allowed runs (two) and baserunners (11) combined? breaks down Cubs vs Braves odds and ends in the best of Thursday’s two late-day MLB matchups.

Odds via DraftKings and updated as of 7 p.m. ET on April 28.

Chicago Cubs (8-10) vs Atlanta Braves (8-11)

Atlanta Braves right-handed starting pitcher Kyle Wright reaches back and prepares to throw a pitch against the Cincinnati Reds
Image Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

First Pitch/TV: 7:20 p.m. ET/MLB Network & MLB.TV
Moneyline: Braves -220/Cubs +180
Run Line:
Braves -1.5 (-115)/Cubs +1.5 (-105)
8.5 (Over -105/Under -115)

Cubs vs Braves pitching matchup: LHP Drew Smyly (1-1, 2.45 ERA, 1.02 WHIP) vs Kyle Wright (2-0, 1.06 ERA, 0.76 WHIP) 

Season series: Tied 1-1. Going back to the start of the 2019 season, the Braves are 11-5 against Chicago, including 7-2 at home. (The teams didn’t meet during the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign.) 

Did you know: Smyly pitched for the Braves in 2021 and earned a career-high 11 victories. He went 11-4 with a 4.48 ERA in 29 games (23 starts). He also made three relief appearances in the playoffs, giving up five runs in 7.1 innings. 

About the Cubs 

Hits & Misses: Chicago pulled out a 6-3, 10-inning victory Wednesday night to even the three-game series. Despite that win, the Cubs are just 2-6 in their last eight games. The other victory was Saturday’s 21-0 thumping of the Pirates at home. So during its current eight-game slump, Chicago has tallied 27 runs in two victories but only 16 in six defeats. The Cubs own baseball’s best team batting average (.267). And thanks mostly to that 21-0 rout of Pittsburgh, they’re averaging an MLB-best 5.06 runs per game. Chicago also ranks second in doubles (40) and OPS (.764), and tied for third in hits (160). Conversely, the pitching staff ranks in the bottom 10 in ERA (3.92, 20th), WHIP (1.28) and opponents’ batting average (.238, 21st). However, the bullpen’s 2.47 ERA is the fourth lowest in MLB.

Drew Smyly vs Braves: Smyly was brilliant in his first two starts of 2022, tossing a total of 9.2 shutout innings in victories at Pittsburgh (2-1) and Colorado (6-4). The veteran southpaw yielded a combined seven hits and one walk while striking out five in those two contests. However, Smyly’s career-long 17.1-inning scoreless streak ended in a rematch against the Pirates at Wrigley Field on Friday, when he yielded four runs in five innings of a 4-2 loss. It was just the second time in his last 20 starts that the 33-year-old allowed more than three runs in a game. Smyly’s lone career start against his former team was in 2019 when he was with Philadelphia. He gave up four runs (three earned) in four innings.

Key injuries: SS Andrelton Simmons (shoulder) and LF Clint Frazier (appendix) remain on the 10-day injured list. 

About the Braves 

Hits & Misses: Atlanta — which has split a pair of four-game series against the Reds and Padres — is seeking its first series win of the season Thursday. The Braves, who are awaiting the return of All-Star RF Ronald Acuña Jr. (knee), have been scuffling at the plate. Including Wednesday’s loss, they have scored three runs or fewer in 12 of 18 games. Atlanta is averaging just 3.89 runs per game for the season, which is nearly a full run lower than its 2021 average (4.83). One positive for the defending World Series champs: They’re tied for fourth in MLB in home runs (21). 2B Ozzie Albies has delivered six of those long balls, tied for third most in MLB. On the mound, the Braves have baseball’s seventh-worst team ERA (4.39) and sixth-worst bullpen ERA (4.19). 

Kyle Wright vs Cubs: Wright has been on the mound for three of the Braves’ eight victories on the season, and he was dominant in each outing. The 26-year-old from Alabama has surrendered a total of two runs (both in a game at San Diego) across 17 innings of work. He’s permitted just 11 baserunners (9 hits, 2 walks) and struck out 26. In his most recent outing Friday, Wright tossed six shutout innings against the Marlins and whiffed a career-high 11 in a 3-0 home victory. Wright’s only career start against the Cubs was a little over a year ago at Wrigley Field. He gave up two runs on three hits and two walks while fanning five in 4.1 innings, with Atlanta winning 5-2. 

Key injuries: Acuña, who is recovering from a torn ACL in his right knee, is on a rehab assignment in Triple-A. He could return to the Braves as soon as next week. Also, LF Eddie Rosario (eye) went on the IL this week and is out until July.

Notable Trends

  • CHC is 22-53 in its last 75 games as an underdog
  • CHC is 8-20 in its last 28 vs. right-handed SPs
  • ATL is 17-8 in its last 25 at home
  • ATL is 8-2 in Wright’s last 10 starts
  • Under for CHC is on runs of 4-2 overall and 6-3 on the road
  • Under for ATL is on runs of 7-4 overall and 11-6-1 at home
  • Over is 7-3 both in the last 10 series meetings overall and last 10 in Atlanta 

Cubs vs Braves Odds and Action

UPDATE 7 P.M. THURSDAY: Roughly 45 minutes before first pitch in Atlanta, DraftKings has the Braves as a hefty -220 home chalk, way up from Wednesday’s opening number of -179. The odds have steadily climbed in this contest, reaching -200 around 9 a.m. ET today before ticking up again to the current price about four hours later. Chicago backers can get +180 on the take-back. As of 5 p.m. ET, nearly all the action was on Atlanta at 77% tickets and 91% cash.

The total was initially listed at 8.5/Over -115 Wednesday evening, quickly moved to 8.5/-110 both ways, then tumbled to 8/Over -115 at 11:30 a.m. ET. However, about 90 minutes ago, the total returned to 8.5/-110. The Under is taking 73% of the wagers and 70% of the money.

UPDATE 1:40 P.M. THURSDAY: Atlanta hit PointsBet USA’s odds board Wednesday evening as a -185 favorite, with the Cubs +155 on the take-back. The moneyline steamed upward from there, jumping to Braves -196, -204 and -222 before dialing back to the current price of Atlanta -216/Chicago +175. The total opened at 8.5 Wednesday evening then dipped to 8/Over -120 shortly before noon ET today. It’s currently sitting at 8/Over -115.