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Saturday, March 28, 2020

Sports Betting

CBS announcers told not to make gambling reference during NFL broadcasts

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It can be a bit awkward when sports announcers make gambling references about a particular game during national broadcasts, and CBS does not want its NFL crews taking part in any such commentary during the 2018 season.

On Tuesday, CBS Sports President Sean McManus told Jimmy Traina of SI.com that play-by-play announcers and analysts will not be mentioning point spreads, totals or anything else gambling related when calling NFL games.

Fans tend to like when announcers make references to gambling, as many viewers have money on the games or are taking part in pools involving spreads and other Las Vegas odds. Al Michaels has always had a penchant for mentioning point spreads and betting odds while calling games, and Joe Buck alluded to that while providing some gambling commentary of his own during an NFL game last year — even if his reference didn’t make much sense.

As you might expect, fans expressed their displeasure in CBS’s decision.

The NFL has already expressed concerns about how to handle the legalization of sports gambling, so it would not be a surprise if the league has pressured networks to stop announcers from making betting references.

Joe Buck botched Browns’ Super Bowl odds

Joe Buck

Joe Buck left many viewers scratching their heads when he shared an inaccurate statement about the Browns’ Super Bowl odds.

While calling Thursday’s preseason game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Cleveland, Buck said that the Browns had better Super Bowl odds than Atlanta, Jacksonville and Kansas City.

That is factually incorrect. All three of those teams have better odds than the Browns.

The likely explanation for Buck’s error is probably what Will Brinson shared on Twitter, which is that the announcer saw the story about the Browns getting more money bet on them to win the Super Bowl than the Falcons, Jags and Chiefs. He then made a mistake when discussing that story on air.

Even if at 60:1 they’re still long shots to win it all, it’s safe to say that many people are expecting a big turnaround from the Browns this season.

MGM becomes official NBA gaming partner

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Sports betting can now be legal in states, and the NBA and WNBA are taking advantage of that change.

The leagues have struck a deal with MGM to become their official gaming partner. ESPN’s Darren Rovell says the deal is worth $25 million over three years.

The league has been incrementally making these sorts of changes to bring in extra revenue. They’ve allowed small sponsor logos on jerseys, and now they have a gaming partner.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver has not shied away from the sports betting issue since heading up the league, so this sort of deal is not a big surprise. He also has his eye on making some other big changes.

Vegas title odds for Cavs, Lakers shift big after latest LeBron news

LeBron James

The decision LeBron James made to not opt into his contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers for next season is viewed by most as a mere technicality, but Las Vegas oddsmakers clearly think it is an indication of where he will end up this summer.

On Friday morning, LeBron informed the Cavs that he will not be picking up the $35.6 million player option on his deal. NBA reporters were quick to note that Cleveland is still in the mix to sign LeBron and opting in probably would have meant a trade is in place, but Vegas wasted no time shifting championship odds for the 2018-19 season.

Before LeBron decided not to opt in, the Cavs were at 12/1 odds to win the NBA Finals next year. That quickly plummeted to 40/1 at one sportsbook and 50/1 at another. The Los Angeles Lakers were 7/1 to win it all as of Friday afternoon.

If you’re a believer in Vegas insiders always having the answers, the LeBron sweepstakes are already over. Oddsmakers have made it clear which team they think King James is going to sign with.

Delaware takes in over $300K in sports bets on first day

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The state of Delaware is already learning just how popular and lucrative sports betting can be now that it’s legalized in the state.

Three Delaware casinos began offering full options on sports betting Tuesday and took in over $322,000 in wagers, according to a report from ESPN.

The US Supreme Court ruled in May that states would be allowed to determine whether to legalize sports betting. Delaware is the second after Nevada to offer full-scale sports betting options.

Delaware governor John Carney was the first person to place a legal single-game bet — a $10 wager on the Phillies Tuesday.

Naturally, the governor won his best and said he was spending the money on a haircut.

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LeBron James sets up unprecedented Game 7 prop bet for Vegas sportsbooks

LeBron James

Las Vegas is so certain LeBron James is going to go off in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, they’re setting an unprecedented line in an over-under prop bet.

A combination of factors have led to the prop bet point total for James’s Game 7 to be set at 38, which is the highest-ever mark.

Between James playing in an elimination game, the remarkable numbers he’s been putting up all playoff, and the fact that Kevin Love’s absence will more or less make James option A, B, and C, it’s hard to argue with the figure. We might recommend taking the over — there’s plenty of precedent for it this postseason.

Sportsbooks stand to lose big if Golden Knights win Stanley Cup

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The Vegas Golden Knights have been great for the city of Las Vegas, but they might not be so great for the local sportsbooks.

Several fans got behind the Golden Knights early in the season, expressing confidence in them by placing bets on the team. Because the Golden Knights are an expansion team, they had extremely long odds to win the Stanley Cup.

In fact, the Westgate LV SportsBook manager says they have 13 tickets for the Golden Knights to win it all at 500:1 odds.

The LA Times wrote about the subject last month. In that article, Boyd Gaming said they had a few $30,000 tickets outstanding if the Golden Knights win it all. They also offered the Golden Knights at 150:1 odds because they figured they would be a popular bet among locals. As the Golden Knights began winning, sportsbooks made adjustments to their odds, but those who jumped on them early got them at fantastic odds. Those people can hedge if they want to ensure a payout.

Overall, despite the amount of outstanding tickets on the Golden Knights, the potential losses were described as being comparable to a bad NFL Sunday if the local team wins it all. Given how much the team has positively impacted the community, the sportsbooks probably don’t mind the losses at stake.