2021 MLB playoffs: Dodgers vs. Braves odds, NLCS Game 5 picks, predictions from expert on 181-131 roll

2021 MLB playoffs: Dodgers vs. Braves odds, NLCS Game 5 picks, predictions from expert on 181-131 roll

The Atlanta Braves have failed to reach the World Series each of the last 21 seasons after making five appearances from 1991-99. They had a golden opportunity to get back to the Fall Classic last year but squandered a 3-1 lead against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2021 National League Championship Series. The Braves hope to avoid a repeat performance as they bring a 3-1 lead into Game 5 of the 2021 NLCS against the host Dodgers on Thursday. Atlanta, which is seeking the 18th NL pennant in franchise history, bounced back from a heartbreaking loss in Game 3 to take command on the series with a 9-2 triumph the following night.

First pitch at Dodger Stadium is scheduled for 8:08 p.m. ET. Atlanta sends left-hander Max Fried (1-0, 1.50 ERA) to the mound, while it'll be a bullpen game for Los Angeles. Los Angeles is the -146 favorite (risk $146 to win $100) on the money line in the latest Dodgers vs. Braves odds, while the over-under for total runs scored is eight. 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 312 MLB picks, Bollman has gone 181-131, returning more than $5,400. Anyone who has followed his 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: Los Angeles -146, Atlanta +124Dodgers vs. Braves run line: Los Angeles -1.5Dodgers vs. Braves over-under: 8 runsLA: The Dodgers have won 18 of their last 20 home gamesATL: The Braves have scored at least five runs in four of their last five contests

Why you should back the Dodgers

It would be difficult to count Los Angeles out after it overcame an identical deficit in last year's NLCS. And any team with Mookie Betts and Cody Bellinger in its lineup is a legitimate threat to opposing pitchers. Betts arguably has been Los Angeles' most dangerous hitter in the playoffs, as he's been held without a hit in only three of his 10 games and has recorded five multi-hit performances.

The 29-year-old former American League MVP is 14-for-38 with five walks this postseason. Betts has stolen five bases and driven in five runs while scoring five others. Bellinger, who had a forgettable regular season, has hit safely in seven of his nine playoff contests and has had a flare for the dramatic, delivering a go-ahead RBI single in the ninth inning of the Dodgers' 2-1 victory at San Francisco in Game 5 of the NL Division Series and belting a game-tying three-run homer in the eighth frame of a 6-5 triumph in Game 3 against the Braves.

Why you should back the Braves

Los Angeles has been unable to contain Eddie Rosario, who has gone 10-for-17 with two home runs and six RBIs in the NLCS. The 30-year-old left fielder, who was acquired from Cleveland in July, has recorded two four-hit performances in his last three contests and has hit safely in each of Atlanta's eight postseason games. Former Dodger Joc Pederson also has hurt his former team in the series, going 5-for-16 with a homer and four RBis.

Fried is looking to make good on another chance to close out the Dodgers after failing to accomplish the feat last year. The 27-year-old took the loss in Game 6 of the 2020 NLCS after allowing three runs on eight hits and four walks in 6 ⅔ innings. Fried settled for a no-decision in the opener of this year's series despite giving up only two runs over six frames and registered nine strikeouts over six scoreless innings in a victory at Milwaukee in the NLDS.

How to make Braves vs. Dodgers NLCS picks

Bollman is going under 1.5 total bases for Los Angeles' Trea Turner and has discovered a critical X-factor that has him jumping all over one side of the money line. You can see that pick over at SportsLine. 

So who wins Dodgers vs. Braves in Game 5 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 $5,400 to $100 players, and find out.

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