2021 MLB playoffs: Dodgers vs. Braves odds, NLCS Game 1 picks, predictions from expert on 170-123 roll

The 2021 National League Championship Series begins on Saturday evening with a highly-anticipated Game 1 matchup. The Los Angeles Dodgers visit the Atlanta Braves in the opener at Truist Park. The Dodgers beat the San Francisco Giants in Game 5 of the NLDS on Thursday, landing in the NLCS as the NL Wild Card representative. The Braves won the NL East before defeating the Milwaukee Brewers in the NLDS. 

First pitch is at 8:07 p.m. ET in Atlanta. Caesars Sportsbook lists Los Angeles as the -135 favorite (risk $135 to win $100) on the money line, while the over-under, or total number of runs Vegas thinks will be scored, is eight in the latest Dodgers vs. Braves odds. Before making any Braves vs. Dodgers picks, check out what SportsLine’s No. 1 MLB expert John Bollman has to say.

Bollman combines MLB front-office experience with a deep statistical background. Bollman, who has a master’s degree in biostatistics, worked in the Toronto Blue Jays‘ analytics department in 2018, focusing on high-performance sports science and player development.

In his last 293 MLB money-line picks, Bollman has gone 170-123, returning more than $5,200 to $100 bettors. Anyone who has followed his MLB picks has seen huge returns.

Now, Bollman has dialed in on Dodgers vs. Braves and released his coveted 2021 NLCS picks and predictions. You can visit SportsLine now to see Bollman’s NLCS picks. Here are the MLB odds and betting lines for Braves vs. Dodgers:

  • Dodgers vs. Braves money line: Dodgers -135, Braves +115
  • Dodgers vs. Braves over-under: 8 runs
  • Dodgers vs. Braves run line: Dodgers -1.5 (+121)
  • LAD: The Dodgers are 50-34 in 2021 road games
  • ATL: The Braves are 44-38 In home games this season

Why you should back the Dodgers

Los Angeles led all of Major League Baseball in run differential (+269) this season, and the Dodgers just unseated the team with the best win-loss record in San Francisco. That speaks to the overall dominance of the Dodgers, with Los Angeles leading the National League in both runs scored (830) and runs allowed (561) this season. Offensively, the Dodgers are patient, leading the league with 613 walks, and they rank in the top five in home runs, on-base percentage, batting average and slugging percentage. Los Angeles has star power, headlined by Mookie Betts and Trea Turner, and the Dodgers had seven starters with at least an .832 OPS this season. 

Los Angeles, who hadn’t announced a starter yet as of Saturday morning, led the league with a 3.01 ERA and allowed fewer hits than any NL team. That run prevention extended to the bullpen, with the Dodgers posting a 3.16 ERA with a reliever on the mound. The bullpen induced a ground ball 47.3 percent of the time, No. 2 in the NL, and the Dodgers relievers struck out 9.64 batters per nine innings this season.

Why you should back the Braves

Atlanta’s run prevention was elite in the NLDS, allowing only six runs in four games against the Milwaukee Brewers. In Game 1, Max Fried takes the hill, and he has a career 2.43 ERA as a postseason starter, headlined by six shutout innings in the NLDS. Atlanta’s bullpen is also excellent, with an above-average 3.97 ERA for the season, and the Braves’ relief group posted a sterling 1.23 ERA against the Brewers. 

Offensively, the Braves enjoyed high-end success in 2021, finishing No. 3 in the National League with 790 runs scored. Power was the team’s calling card with 237 home runs, No. 2 in the NL, and the Braves led the National League with 116 home runs after the All-Star break. Atlanta also has star power, with 2020 NL MVP Freddie Freeman coming off a 31-home run season and a heroic moment on the series-winning home run against Milwaukee. Austin Riley also experienced a breakout in 2021, hitting 33 home runs, driving in 107 runs and generating a .531 slugging percentage.

How to make Braves vs. Dodgers ALCS picks

Bollman is leaning under on the run total and has discovered a critical X-factor that has him jumping all over one side of the money line. He’s sharing that pick and the rest of his MLB playoffs predictions only at SportsLine.

So who wins Dodgers vs. Braves in Game 1 of the 2021 National League Championship Series? And what critical X-factor makes one side of the money line a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the money line to jump on, all from the MLB expert who’s brought in more than $5,200 to $100 players, and find out.

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