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One of the better things about being a fan living in Montana is the varied teams that are supported.

You can always find a rival to talk trash to, or a compatriot to commiserate with, no matter the sport.

With the return of Major League Baseball next week, then the NBA and NHL the following week, there will be plenty of sport to watch. In fact, with Premier League and UEFA Champions League soccer during the day, as well as all the other sports that will run day and night, it is soon to be a sports smorgasbord for fans and bettors alike.

Baseball will be the first major sport back, with two games Thursday, followed by a full slate over the weekend. There are still some hurdles to overcome, but fans will finally get a chance to watch their teams get back on the diamonds around the country, although from home and not in the stands.

As said, there are so many different teams that are supported by the people of the Treasure State. Many people in Missoula support the Seattle Mariners, but of course some may have an allegiance to the Arizona Diamondbacks because of the hometown Pioneer League PaddleHeads. Then of course, there are the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, who each have their own pockets of support around the state.

No matter which team you like, though, if this 60-game MLB season is allowed to play out, this could be the year to throw down some money on an underdog.

On the PointsBet, there are two distinct favorites to win the World Series, one from each league. The Los Angeles Dodgers, who went to and lost the 2017 and 2018 World Series before losing to the eventual champion Washington Nationals in the NLDS last season, are the slight favorite at +350 to finally bring home their first title since 1988. But the Yankees, bolstered by Gerrit Cole and a prolific offense, are right behind at +385.

After those two teams, who are both very good and should be the clear favorites, there are some very interesting odds. The Houston Astros, who have gone to two of the last three World Series, are +800 to win the title, and a very decent +400 to win the AL Pennant. The Minnesota Twins are +1500 (WS) and +700 (AL), which once again are very good odds.

All the fans of the Seattle Mariners in the state might be out of luck this season. But if you have true faith that the Mariners will play well this year, they are +1500 to make the playoffs, +17500 to win the American League, and +35000 to bring home their first World Series title.

Paddleheads’ fans, who are also Arizona fans, can get them at +220 to make the playoffs. While their odds are pretty high to win the NL Pennant (+2200) and World Series (+4500) with PointsBet promotions, a playoff berth may not be out of the question.

With this new format (teams just playing teams in their Division and the corresponding one in the other league) and the 60-game season,  there is every chance that some team can get hot for a month and make a run at a title. This could be the year to place a wager on one of the outsider squads.

Of course, it may end up as many people are predicting, a Dodgers Yankees World Series, which would be massive for the television ratings. That series would probably see the two best teams playing; but remember, just last year, the Nationals started the season 19-31, and were behind in the Wild Card, the NLDS, and the World Series.

PICKS:

I am going to take two teams, one from each league. I will take the favorite, Los Angeles Dodgers (+350), and go with one “long shot”, the Tampa Bay Rays (+1800).

Atlanta (+1500) might be worth a play too, and I like the Rays to make the playoffs (-125) as well.

Montana has nine casinos currently awaiting approval in their partnership with the Montana Lottery, but you can currently bet through the kiosks and online now.

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