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Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Sports Betting

Gambling site offering a very unique prop bet for Patriots-Bills game

Buffalo Bills logo

Buffalo Bills fans have a lot of traditions, but one of the most unusual pops up every year when the New England Patriots come to town. And if you want to bet on whether or not it will happen again during Sunday’s game, there is an avenue to do so.

For the third year in a row last year, a Bills fan threw a sex toy onto the field during the team’s game against the Pats. Online gambling website Odds Shark has set some odds for it happening again, and “YES” is a pretty significant favorite.

We wouldn’t bet against it.

The tradition seemed to start back in 2016, and Bills fans are certainly crazy enough to continue it. Bill Belichick recently had high praise for Bills Mafia, though it’s unclear if their object-throwing antics are also something he respects. Either way, feel free to fire in some bets prior to Sunday’s kickoff.

Vegas oddsmakers see minimal difference between Eli Manning, Daniel Jones

Daniel Jones

The New York Giants made a huge decision this week when they benched Eli Manning in favor of rookie quarterback Daniel Jones, but oddsmakers in Las Vegas do not seem to think the change will have a major impact on the team’s overall performance.

Prior to Jones being named the Week 3 starter, the Giants were a 6.5-point underdog for their upcoming game on the road game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The line was briefly taken down following the announcement, and the Giants were +7 when it came back on the board.

That means oddsmakers don’t have high hopes for Jones in his first NFL start, and they probably think his superior physical ability will be offset by his lack of experience. The Giants may even agree, but Manning’s uninspiring play has put them in a position where they feel like it is time to introduce the rookie to life as a starting quarterback in the NFL.

Jones looked incredibly sharp in the preseason and drew serious praise from his head coach, but there are going to be growing pains. Vegas sees no need to adjust its rating of the Giants until Jones proves he can replicate his preseason performance in meaningful games.

Legalized sports betting appeared to have major impact on ratings for NFL opener

sportsbook

Thursday night’s NFL season opener between the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears was a sloppy affair that featured just 13 total points, but that did not stop an impressive number of football fans from tuning in. It would appear the league can thank the legalization of sports gambling for at least some of that.

Ratings for Thursday night’s game were about 15 percent higher than last year’s season opener, according to data obtained by John Ourand of Sports Business Journal. Some of that can be attributed to the Packers and Bears having one of the most famed rivalries in all of sports, but ratings were also way up in markets where sports gambling has been legalized.

That isn’t exactly a surprise, but it is sure to excite NFL executives and team owners. On the surface, the NFL has tried to create the impression that there is grave concern over how legalized sports betting could potentially impact the integrity of the game. But when you see some of the estimates for how much money the league could make from legalized gambling, you know execs must be jumping for joy behind the scenes.

People have always gambled on games, but the legalization of betting opens up endless new possibilities. Whether you agree with it or not, there’s no question it has the potential to make the NFL — and other sports leagues — more popular than ever.

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NBC exec says there will be some gambling references during NFL broadcasts

sportsbook

The NFL and its television partner networks have tried to take a cautious approach since the Supreme Court overturned the federal ban on sports betting, but one major network is going to allow some gambling talk on the air during the 2019 season.

On Tuesday, an NBC executive said there will continue to be some “somewhat isolated” gambling references during NFL broadcasts this season.

If you remember, CBS told its announcers to avoid gambling references last year just before the NFL season got underway. However, they seem to find a way to trickle out at times on NBC, usually courtesy of Al Michaels.

Fans tend to enjoy 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. 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 two years ago — even if his reference didn’t make much sense.

While the NFL has called on Congress to regular sports betting, league officials know how important gambling is for ratings and interest. NBC executives know, too.

Orioles’ comeback win over Astros one of MLB’s biggest betting upsets

Baltimore Orioles logo

The Baltimore Orioles’ win over the Houston Astros Sunday was certainly unexpected, but the scale of the surprise only becomes apparent when you look at the odds.

According to ESPN, some sportsbooks listed Baltimore as high as +420 underdogs before Sunday’s game, with the runaway Astros putting Justin Verlander on the mound against the hapless Orioles. That would be the largest upset dating back to 2005, according to archived odds from BetLabSports.com.

The Astros, meanwhile, became only the second favorite of -400 or greater to lose in Major League Baseball over the same span. The Minnesota Twins lost to the Washington Nationals in 2007 in a game in which the Nationals were +390 underdogs.

No matter how you look at it, the odds indicate this was one of the biggest upsets in baseball in the last decade and a half. It required a walkoff home run in a three-run bottom of the ninth to happen, and that came after a massive blunder that justified Baltimore’s underdog status.

Blues fan Scott Berry turned $400 Stanley Cup bet into $100K

The happiest non-member of the St. Louis Blues over the team’s first Stanley Cup championship in franchise history might very well be Scott Berry.

Berry is a Blues fan who wagered $400 on the Blues to win the Stanley Cup back in January when the team had 250:1 odds to win it all. Thanks to the long odds, that $400 turned into $100,000 when the Blues beat the Boston Bruins in Game 7.

Berry could have guaranteed himself a profit by selling his betting ticket and hedging by also wagering on the Bruins to win it all. Instead, he refused to hedge because he was more concerned with sticking behind his Blues.

“I feel like I’m in this with the team, and I don’t want to lay any of it off,” Berry told ESPN this week. “I put the bet down in January for $400 to win $100,000. That was the bet. … I’m very superstitious and don’t want to ruin any juju.”

Berry’s faith in his team paid off. They took a 3-2 series lead, lost at home in Game 6, and then won on the road in Game 7.

Here’s how his celebration looked.

Tiger Woods’ win at Masters leads to worst golf loss ever for sportsbook

There were plenty of people who thought Tiger Woods would never win another major championship, but the 43-year-old had no shortage of confident supporters heading into the Masters this year. For evidence of that, all you have to do is follow the money.

Nick Bogdanovich, the director of trading at the William Hill US, said after Tiger won the Masters that Sunday was the “biggest golf loss ever” for the sportsbook. One bettor won $1.19 million after betting $85,000 on Woods, and there were plenty of others who took home bundles of cash.

At 14-to-1, Woods was tied for the third-best odds to win the Masters before the tournament began. Rory McIlroy was the favorite at 8-to-1, and Dustin Johnson was slightly better than Tiger at 13-to-1. Barring an injury or some unforeseen circumstance, that is not going to happen again.

Based on what Johnson and others said about the support Tiger got at Augusta National, it’s no surprise he had plenty of financial backers as well.