Braves vs Phillies MLB Odds, Picks and Predictions April 1

Updated: March 31, 2021

We’re back, baby. MLB betting kicks off a new season Thursday with all 30 teams scheduled to play on a jam-packed Opening Day. 

One of the marquee matches is a matinee affair between National League East rivals the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies. Atlanta is coming off its third straight division title and took the Dodgers to seven games in the NLCS, while the big-spending Phillies had another disappointing season and finished third in the East.

Here are our best free MLB picks and predictions for Braves vs. Phillies on Thursday, April 1 at 3:05 p.m. ET at Citizens Bank Park. 

Braves vs Phillies odds

The line opened as a pick’em, with the total at 7.5. Early action favored the Braves and the Under, dropping the O/U to 7. Check back later for a full report from Patrick!

Check out the full line movement for this game

Braves vs Phillies betting preview

Starting pitchers

Max Fried (2020: 7-0, 2.25 ERA): The southpaw didn’t miss a beat in Spring Training (1.38 ERA in three outings) after a lights-out 2020 season that saw him finish fifth in Cy Young voting. Fried, who will make his first Opening Day start, is 24-6 with a 3.57 ERA over his last two seasons, a span of 221.2 innings.

Aaron Nola (2020: 5-5, 3.28 ERA): No surprise on the Opening Day nod here, as Philadelphia’s workhorse is simply one of the game’s best. Nola is an innings eater who misses bats, ranking second in innings pitched and sixth in punchouts across all of MLB since 2018.


Be sure to monitor the gametime conditions with our MLB weather info.

Key injuries

Braves: None.
Phillies: Adam Haseley OF (Questionable).
Find our latest MLB injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Over is 5-0 in Fried’s last five starts against NL East opponents. Find more MLB betting trends for Braves vs. Phillies.

Moneyline pick

On a day that features a number of aces and high-end pitchers going at it, this is without question one of the best Opening Day pitching matchups. 

Fried has emerged as another big arm for the Braves after two strong seasons in a row and a solid postseason that saw him make four starts. A starting lefty that can chuck in the upper-90s is a major weapon, and that’s exactly what Fried is. He doesn’t often work deep into games, but Atlanta typically wins when he takes the ball, going 10-1 in his 11 starts last season, including wins both times he faced the Phillies.

Fried met very little resistance in those outings, working five innings in each contest while allowing one run and striking out 11. We expect him to put together a similar performance to kick off the season. 

Nola, on the other hand, is the beast a thinner Phillies rotation needs at the top. He dominated his last two spring starts and has the stuff to keep his team in any game. He does struggle with control, however, sporting the fifth-highest walk rate among qualified starters since 2019. So, if those issues emerge against the Braves, he’s likely looking at a short outing in his first start of the season. That won’t bode well for the Phillies.

Atlanta should be considered the favorite to win the division again, but the NL East is going to be a battle. It’s the one division in baseball that has no punching bag at the bottom and these Phillies have the talent to do better than the .500-level ball they’ve been playing the last three years. For today, though, give us the Braves.

PREDICTION: Atlanta (-110)

Covers MLB betting analysis

Over/Under pick

It would come as no surprise if both starting pitchers put in work, but the bigger question is how long will they last in their first starts of the season? It’s a safe bet that both will be on some sort of cap, so we shouldn’t expect either to go too deep into this game regardless of how well they are rolling. 

That’s great news for both lineups and bettors alike. Once each team gets to the bullpen, the runs are going to start showing up (though it’s worth noting that Atlanta has some great arms to turn to back there after Fried). 

The Braves had the third-best offense in the Majors last season, per FanGraphs’ key offensive statistic Weighted Runs Created Plus, while the Phillies were ninth in wRC+. We know the big boppers in these lineups, like Top-3 NL MVP odds favorite Ronald Acuna and Phillies masher Bryce Harper, but both teams run deep beyond these superstars. 

For starters, Atlanta has the reigning MVP and it isn’t Acuna. That would be Freddie Freeman, who will hit in the middle of a lineup that also has Marcell Ozuna and Dansby Swanson. Atlanta will feature five regulars in the Opening Day lineup that had a wRC+ over 115 last season (league average is 100). 

The Phillies, meanwhile, have the best all-around catcher in the NL and arguably all of baseball in J.T. Realmuto, who adds a strong complementary bat to Harper and slugging first baseman Rhys Hoskins in the middle of the lineup. They will also feature 2020 Rookie of the Year runner-up Alec Bohm, who posted a .338 average and .400 on-base percentage in 44 games.

As good as these starting pitchers are at suppressing runs, a total of 7 is too low for these offenses at the homer-friendly Citizens Bank Park.

PREDICTION: Over 7 (-115)

Braves vs Phillies betting card

  • Atlanta (-110)
  • Over 7 (-115)

MLB parlays

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Use our MLB parlay calculator to create your own parlays and see their potential payouts.

Where can I bet on MLB odds?

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