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Much to their chagrin, the Los Angeles Dodgers are becoming very familiar with having their backs against the wall in the postseason. Fortunately for them, they've overcome the unenviable situation of late, winning each of their last six playoff elimination games. The Dodgers hope to extend that streak on Thursday as they enter Game 5 of the 2021 National League Championship Series against the visiting Atlanta Braves trailing 3-1 in the best-of-seven series. Los Angeles overcame an identical deficit against Atlanta in last year's NLCS and defeated St. Louis in this year's NL Wild Card Game before winning the last two contests of the best-of-five 2021 NL Division Series against San Francisco.

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 Los Angeles is expected to have a bullpen game with Joe Kelly getting the start. 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 +124
  • Dodgers vs. Braves run line: Los Angeles -1.5
  • Dodgers vs. Braves over-under: 8 runs
  • LA: The Dodgers have won 18 of their last 20 home games
  • ATL: The Braves have scored at least five runs in four of their last five contests
Featured Game | Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Atlanta Braves

Why you should back the Dodgers

Los Angeles has not performed anywhere near its capability at the plate, but that can change with just one swing of the bat. Corey Seager is just 8-for-39 this postseason after hitting .328 with eight home runs and 20 RBIs during the Dodgers' run to the World Series championship last year. The 27-year-old shortstop, who batted .309 during the 2021 regular season, has had five of his eight hits this postseason go for extra bases, however, with two being homers.

Another member of the Dodgers who is a candidate to break out of a slump is Trea Turner, who is 8-for-44 with one RBI. The 28-year-old, who has been playing second base but would be the team's shortstop next year if pending free agent Seager leaves, won the batting title this year with a .328 average and also led the NL with 32 stolen bases. Los Angeles' bullpen has been extremely effective this postseason as, with the exception of Tony Gonsolin's poor outing in Game 4 and Corey Knebel's pair of one-inning starts, the relief corps has posted a 1.66 ERA.

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 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.