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Chicago Cubs the clear Vegas favorite to win 2016 World Series

The Cubs are looking for their first championship since 1908.

By Doug G. Ware
Chicago Cubs the clear Vegas favorite to win 2016 World Series
The Chicago Cubs, led by slugger Kris Bryant (pictured), are listed as the Las Vegas favorites to win the 2016 World Series. The Cubs, who haven't won a championship since 1908, are 9-to-5 favorites at the Westgate SuperBook -- followed by Boston, Texas, Los Angeles, Washington and Toronto, and San Francisco and Cleveland. Photo by David Banks/UPI | License Photo

LAS VEGAS, Oct. 6 (UPI) -- Although they haven't won a world championship in more than 100 years -- and are well-known for disappointing fans in the playoffs -- the Chicago Cubs are the favorites in Las Vegas to win the 2016 World Series.

Sportsbooks released World Series odds on Thursday. Of the eight remaining teams, Chicago is a 9-to-5 favorite to win the title at the Westgate SuperBook.

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The Cubs, though, have been favorites all year -- meaning Las Vegas could lose a substantial sum if the North Side club makes good in a few weeks.

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"The Cubs are a pretty substantial loss for us," Wynn executive director Johnny Avello said. "But I'm working on it. I've got about three weeks to play around and see what I can do."

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The Cubs entered the season as Las Vegas favorites to win the World Series. The Westgate book had them as 4-to-1 favorites in February.

Chicago boasted the best record in baseball this season, 103-58, and won the National League's notoriously challenging Central Division by 17 and-a-half games. That's a full eight games better than any other team in either league.

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The Boston Red Sox have the next best odds (9-2), followed by the Texas Rangers (5-1), Los Angeles Dodgers (7-1), Toronto Blue Jays and Washington Nationals (each 8-1) and San Francisco Giants and Cleveland Indians (each 12-1).

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The Cubs advanced to the National League Championship Series last season before falling in four games to the New York Mets, who went on to lose the World Series to the Kansas City Royals.

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Chicago hasn't even appeared in a World Series since 1945, and has suffered from the so-called Curse of the Billy Goat ever since. The curse has been blamed for a number of particularly painful playoff losses for Cubs fans in the decades that followed the team's last N.L. pennant -- leading even hometown fans to frequently acknowledge their perpetual status as Major League Baseball's "lovable losers."

In 1984, the Cubs took a 2-games-to-none NLCS series lead over the San Diego Padres -- whetting fans' appetites for a World Series appearance -- before losing three straight contests, and the pennant in five games.

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In 2003, the Cubs were five defensive outs away from a trip to the World Series when a bizarre turn of events resulted in them coughing up a 3-games-to-1 series lead and losing in seven games to the then-Florida Marlins.

The difference this time around, though, might be Cubs General Manager Theo Epstein, the same executive who presided over the Red Sox when that franchise broke its infamous Curse of the Bambino by winning the 2004 World Series -- Boston's first in 86 years.

Epstein was given a $50 million contract extension last week to remain as the Cubs GM for an additional five years.

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