The Chicago Cubs are in a state of transition. Theo Epstein is out and Jed Hoyer is in.
The “Northsiders” face looming personnel decisions on several players who had pivotal roles in the Cub’s 2016 championship win, such as Jake Arietta, Javier Báez, Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo. For several, this could be their last season wearing Cubbie blue.
Regardless of the low expectations for the MLB team this year, betting on Cubs remains popular. Opportunities include player and team futures, run lines and totals bets on individual games.
Here’s your guide to betting on the Chicago Cubs at Iowa sportsbooks during the 2021 season.
As the 2021 MLB season represents somewhat of a return to pre-pandemic times, the Cubs have games almost every day from April through the end of September.
The Cubs (41-33) will face the LA Dodgers (44-30) in a four-game series at Dodgers Stadium starting Thursday, June 24.
Check our odds tool below for the latest spread, moneyline and totals at multiple sportsbooks in Iowa. Click on any odds to go directly to the online sportsbook and place your bet.
Most Iowa sportsbooks have the Cubs as the second- or third-most likely team to win the National League Central division. Chicago won this division in 2020. Thus, if you think the Cubs can defend their title this season, check out the live odds from IA sportsbooks:
What are the latest odds for the Cubs to win the World Series in 2021? Well, oddsmakers expect the Cubs to miss the Fall Classic again this year. Cubbies faithful who believe their squad will end a five-year drought can find the best available odds at Iowa online sportsbooks:
Sinclair owns regional sports networks (RSNs) that bring viewers NBA, MLB and NHL games, but the channels now fall under the Bally’s brand.
Major League Baseball begins on Thursday and sportsbooks have plenty of offers for Iowa bettors on MLB Opening Day. PlayIA has the odds.
MLB blackout restrictions cause Iowa baseball fans to struggle to see Cubs, White Sox, Cardinals, Twins, Royals and Brewers games.
Sports betting is legal in-person at casinos in Iowa and online using on a legal, regulated sportsbook app or website.
As long as you are at least 21 years or older, not on any self-exclusion lists and within the state’s borders when you place your wager, you’re good to go. The process of betting online consists of the following steps:
Iowa is home to multiple sports betting licensees with mobile apps. However, among the top echelon as far as baseball betting goes is PointsBet in Iowa. PointsBet has everything a baseball betting fan could want. The shortlist of desirable attributes includes:
In the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, the Cubs won their first division title in three years but failed to advance in the postseason. Their final regular-season record was 36-24, good enough to get them a first-round matchup with the Miami Marlins. The Marlins swept them in two games as the Cubs only managed a single run over the 18 innings. Starting pitcher Yu Darvish led the Cubs in WAR at 2.4 in new manager David Ross’s first season.
For most individual games, the standard pregame markets include three types of wagers. Those are the moneyline, run line and run totals. Here’s an example from an Iowa sports betting app:
|Pittsburgh Pirates||+1.5 +210||O 5.5 -110||+155|
|Chicago Cubs||-1.5 -175||U 5.5 -110||-182|
In this example, the run line is the first market. That’s a wager on the margin of victory for, in this case, the Cubs.
The second market is the run total, which is the combined number of runs between both teams. This market asks you to pick either fewer or more than five runs in the game.
Finally, the moneyline is a bet on which team will win the game. In this instance, the Cubs are the favorite.
Throughout their history, the Cubs have fared far better against certain franchises than others. Without any qualifiers for the number of games played but only counting currently active franchises, all of the other MLB franchises these records skew most heavily one way either against or for the Cubs are American League teams.
The three teams that the Cubs have their best winning regular-season percentages against are:
As far as the worst regular-season winning percentages for the Cubs go, the three teams are:
After the World Series each year, futures betting for the next MLB season begins. As the off-season closes, the number of individual player and team futures markets grows. Those markets stay available throughout the regular season, although the odds can greatly fluctuate once games begin.
As far as Cubs team futures, here are some examples:
Futures markets for individual players for the 2021 season are available as well, including:
The most important thing to do with futures is shop around. Bettors in Iowa have access to many licensed sportsbook operators.
One of the primary reasons to use a sports betting app in Iowa is in-game or live betting for Cubs games. Using a sports betting app will let you follow the game and the odds in real-time. Then, you can quickly pounce on lines you like the second you see them.
Examples of in-game markets you will find for Cubs games include:
The Cubbies started the season against the Pittsburgh Pirates on April 1 at Wrigley Field. The Cubs find themselves within striking distance of St. Louis and above .500.
You can check out the full 2021 schedule here. Here’s what June looks like for the Cubbies:
|June 1-2||vs. San Diego Padres|
|June 3-6||at San Francisco Giants|
|June 7-10||at San Diego Padres|
|June 11-13||vs. St. Louis Cardinals|
|June 14-17||at New York Mets|
|June 18-20||vs. Miami Marlins|
|June 21-22||vs. Cleveland Indians|
|June 24-27||at LA Dodgers|
|June 29-30||at Milwaukee Brewers|
To qualify in all seasons but the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign, hitters must have recorded at least 100 at-bats while pitchers needed to record at least 25 innings.
|Year||Batting Average||Home Runs||Runs Batted In||Wins||Earned Run Average||Strikeouts Issued|
|2020||Ian Happ, .258||Ian Happ, 12||David Bote, 29||Yu Darvish, 8||Jeremy Jeffress, 1.54||Yu Darvish, 93|
|2019||Nick Castellanos, .321||Kyle Schwarber, 38||Anthony Rizzo, 94||Jon Lester and José Quintana, 13||Rowan Wick, 2.43||Yu Darvish, 229|
|2018||Ben Zobrist, .305||Javier Báez, 34||Javier Báez, 111||Jon Lester, 18||Jesse Chavez, 1.15||Kyle Hendricks, 161|
|2017||Kris Bryant, .295||Anthony Rizzo, 32||Anthony Rizzo, 109||Jake Arrieta, 14||Wade Davis, 2.30||Jon Lester, 180|
|2016||Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant, .292||Kris Bryant, 39||Anthony Rizzo, 109||Jon Lester, 19||Aroldis Chapman, 1.01||Jon Lester, 197|
|1||Brailyn Marquez||Left-handed pitcher||22|
|6||Kohl Franklin||Right-handed pitcher||21|
|7||Christopher Morel||Third base||21|
|8||Ryan Jensen||Right-handed pitcher||23|
|9||Chase Strumpf||Second base||23|
Manager David Ross’ staff is a combination of one of his teammates from his own playing days, other MLB veterans, and some people who have been around Wrigley for decades. Entering the 2021 season, Ross’ aides consist of:
David Ross is in his second season at the helm of the Cubs. It’s Ross’ first job managing at the MLB or any other level. Ross’ most recent predecessors had mostly short and unsuccessful tenures with the Cubs with one very notable exception.
|Name||Tenure||Record (w/the Cubs)|
Chicago’s north side is well known for the Cubs’ long residency. In fact, the area around Wrigley Field is known as Wrigleyville. It endures as one of the oldest stadiums in continuous use in all North American professional sports.
Visitors to Wrigley Field who are eligible to place legal wagers under Illinois law can place sports bets at any IL sportsbook operator in the state. However, DraftKings Sportsbook has a deal in place with the Cubs to operate a retail sportsbook in or near Wrigley Field. When the Wrigley Field sportsbook opens, DraftKings will enjoy an “exclusivity zone” around the stadium representing a five-block radius. That will apply to online wagering as well as retail. Currently, there is no official timeline for the completion of that project.
As the Cubs handle their broadcasting duties mostly, their broadcasting staff is quite small compared to other MLB franchises.
Jon “Boog” Sciambi (left) and Jim Deshaies (right) handle television duties while Ron Coomer and Pat Hughes are on radio.
MLB has national broadcast deals with Disney, Fox and Turner. Thus, fans may find a number of Cubs games each season on the ESPN networks, FS1, FS2, Fox and/or TBS. Cable and satellite customers can stream live broadcasts with their credentials using apps, such as ESPN+ and FoxSportsGo.
For local broadcasts, the Cubs operate the Marquee Sports Network. Many cable and satellite companies that operate in Iowa offer that channel, which you can locate here.
As far as radio broadcasts in Iowa go, these are the stations affiliated with the Cubs in the state:
The franchise has won three World Series titles. However, as far as individual World Series games go, the total is 25. The Cubs have appeared in 13 separate World Series (counting appearances as the Chicago White Stockings). Of greater notoriety was the team’s 106-year drought for winning a World Series title.
The Ricketts family, including siblings Thomas, Peter, Laura and Todd, share ownership of the team. Ricketts purchased the team from the Tribune Company in 2009.
Prior to 20019, the Wrigley family owned the cubs for 65 years. The Tribune Company bought the club in 1981.
As with most other legends, it’s difficult to discern what is fact and what is embellishment. However, the story has a simple narrative.
The story goes that the owner of the Billy Goat’s Tavern, Bill Sianis, was kicked out of Game 4 of the 1945 World Series along with his pet goat by stadium staff at Wrigley Field. As an act of vengeance, Sianis cursed the Cubs. In each successive season that the Cubs failed to win a World Series title, the legend of the curse grew.
Regardless of whatever efficacy it had, it ended in 2016 when the Cubs won their first championship in 108 years.
Yes, with certain restrictions. Chicago is in the midst of loosening COVID-19 restrictions. As of late May, Wrigley Field can host fans up to 60% capacity. Fans should expect to be required to wear face masks when inside the stadium and find some amenities unavailable.
Clark the Cub is an anthropomorphic bear that is usually depicted wearing a baseball cap and Cubs jersey, but like most other mascots, never any pants. For most of the Cubs’ history they had no mascot, as Clark was not introduced until January 2014. The mascot is named after the intersection of Clark and Addison where Wrigley Field is located.
Dozens of individuals have been enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame in connection to the Chicago Cubs/White Stockings. Among the most well-known names are Ron Santo, Andre Dawson, Ryne Sandberg, Fergie Jenkins, Lou Brock and Mr. Cub Ernie Banks. Although most are in Cooperstown as players, there are some in the Hall as executives and managers as well.
The Iowa Cubs have been the Cubs Triple-A affiliate since 1981. , They play their home games in Iowa’s capital city of Des Moines, and there is a Betfred Sports Lounge on-site at Principal Park.
Hall-of-famer and Cubs legend Ryne Sandberg served as the club’s manager for a number of years.