MLB betting: weekend odds preview features Braves vs Nationals

Greg Fiume

Baseball betting kicked into higher gear last week with college basketball dropping off the wagering calendar. The result was surprising MLB odds on a handful of key series.

The Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves have all season to beat up on each other, and they'll start their NL East rivalry with three games this weekend in DC.

The Nats-Braves clash is just one of several interesting series match-ups this weekend. Here's a quick look at some of the goings-on, with some MLB betting odds to play with.

Washington and Atlanta finished 1-2 in the NL East last year, and with the Braves at 8-1 and the Nats at 7-2 that's where they sit this season. [ Check out pitcher game logs to study trends and patterns ]

Atlanta has won its first three series of this season, after sweeping three games at Miami this week by scores of 2-0, 3-2 and 8-0.

Washington has won two of its first three series, after sweeping three games from the White Sox this week by scores of 8-7, 5-2 and 7-4.

So both teams come in hot for the beginning of a season-long battle that will probably decide who wins their division.

As of Friday morning most baseball betting outlets were listing the Nats at -165 to win this series, with the Braves getting +145 as underdogs.

Washington is slated to throw lefty Ross Detwiler Friday, Stephen Strasburg Saturday and Gio Gonzalez Sunday, while Atlanta is expected to counter with young Julio Teheran, veteran Tim Hudson and Paul Maholm.

Washington took the season series from Atlanta last year 10 games to eight.

Elsewhere around MLB betting this weekend, the 4-4 Yankees were listed as -160 favorites to win their series at home against the 5-4 Orioles; the 5-4 Reds were -160 favorites to take their series at the 3-6 Pirates; the 6-3 Dodgers were -120 faves to win their series at the 6-3 Diamondbacks; and the 5-4 Tigers were -130 chalk to win their AL playoffs re-match series at the 8-2 A's.

Watch all the odds every day here at SBNation.com.

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