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Athletes are going to ruin sports, aren't they?
Hope not. Inside: 2024 World Series odds, Breeders' Cup, NFL Week 9, Florida gets sportsbooks for Christmas but wants a phone, ESPN Bet coming Nov. 14
It’s almost a weekly ritual at this point.
Sadly, and dangerously, it’s become part of the weekly noise of being a bettor and a sports fan: a pro athlete is caught betting on things they shouldn’t.
Indeed, it stands to reason that high-level jocks have been wagering on themselves - and in some cases against themselves - since the first pankration bout in ancient Greece.
There’s a certain cockiness needed to do what these few do in such a public manner, whether naked in Greek martial arts in a dirt ring or a helmet, pads, and Under Armour on a football field.
Athletes like the juice. They find it in their own individual ways.
Some, despite the exhaustive efforts of professional sports leagues hoping to assure a viewing and merch-buying public that they’re running a square game, still elect to bet on things they shouldn’t. Or in ways they shouldn’t.
There are enough cautionary tales out there now that ignorance is no longer an excuse for players.
Calvin Ridley has long since shed his pariah status as the first high-profile NFL player suspended in the post-2018 legal sports betting era. He’s just a wide receiver again for the general public. But he should remain a neon warning sign for the tiny community of professional athletes.
Ridley said his transgression was borne of being in a rigid mental state and needing an outlet.
Fair enough. We hope he got help and is in a better place.
It’s those who’ve followed him that threaten everything.
In an era when officiating performance - particularly in the NFL - is at an all-time ebb, sports as something we love can’t withstand the notion that lots of players are betting and - the next logical thought extension will go - fixing outcomes to win those bets.
We’ve not seen any evidence of this emerge in the spate of suspensions, mostly recently the Ottawa Senators’ Shane Pinto for 41 games and two minor league golfers no one could name. The NHL said Pinto didn’t bet on hockey.
That doesn’t matter. It’s the stigma. Angry fans or bettors fill in the blanks.
Interestingly, legal sports betting has been a positive force in the fight to save the purity of pro sports when opponents thought it would sully them. Numerous players were nabbed through the integrity efforts of sportsbooks.
The group of large, publicly traded companies hoping to make sports betting a daily dalliance for mainstream America wants and needs this to stop.
Offshore sportsbooks aren’t going to help out because they’d rather the legal gambling companies be gone, and they can have the place to themselves again.
Athletes assume tremendous pressure with great fame and wealth and the opportunity to indulge in all the vices at their disposal. If their situation involves addiction - as was the case with Italian soccer star Sandro Tonali, who was banned 10 months for betting on his team while at AC Milan - that’s rarely been used as a defense.
It’s been a mistake, a lack of information, a stupid slip.
Or maybe that inherent cockiness was engendering a false sense of cleverness.
They won’t catch me.
And so the Golden Goose murder continues.
Players will serve their suspensions and pay their penitence in the public domain. They’ll probably be forgiven when they return because someone did the same thing more recently.
It’s all so normal now, after all. And increasingly cynical and jaded.
The Breeders’ Cup is this weekend. It’s very much the all-star and futures game and skills competition all in one place … like baseball, but, you know, horses.
Gaming Today has you covered as if with a saddle blanket.
Only 103 days until pitchers and catchers report
Fricken’ Rangers, man. 11-0 on the road in the postseason, and they lured Creed out of exile. History will not remember that last part well.
The MLB season is over … so it’s time to bet on baseball.
Shohei Ohtani’s off-season decision-making will certainly tickle these.
Meanwhile, Brewers. Hmmmmmm.
Interesting little Week 8 NFL study here from Tipico, and on a subject that fascinates me: Do fans that become bettors bet the home team emotionally too positively, or get pissed and fade and fade them?
From Tipico: 89% of moneyline bets from Colorado users last week were on the Chiefs and just 11% on the hometown Broncos.
Editor’s note: Broncos won. More bad #LetsRide PR.
From Tipico: Ohio bettors had more faith in their Bengals at San Francisco, with 56% of moneyline bets from Ohio bettors on Cincinnati.
Editor’s note: Cash it, Over-the-Rhine.
Florida gamblers getting craps, roulette, and retail sportsbooks at Seminole Tribe’s six casinos
December 7: Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood, Seminole Classic Casino in Hollywood, and Seminole Casino Coconut Creek
December 8: Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa
December 11: Seminole Casino Immokalee, and Seminole Brighton Casino
What about mobile sports betting, you ask? There’s no news on that.
The Hard Rock BET app was unintentionally funny and informative on Wednesday when I tried to log in from Florida.
So you like the PGA longshots (Not long shots)
We’ll update Monday Night Football and other things here and in the notes function, but you need the app to access it.
… and enders
Attention Barstool Sportsbook customers: ESPN Bet launches Nov. 14. You will at some point be prompted to download ESPN Bet, and your information and digital wallet should automatically transfer. Please let us know how this goes.
Tennessee’s Will Levis is gettable for +3000 in Offensive Rookie of the Year betting at FanDuel.
Then-No. 6 Oklahoma went from +1400 to win the CFB national championship to +4000 at DraftKings after falling 38-22 to then-unranked Kansas on Saturday.
Mississippi regulators are considering the expansion of mobile sports betting beyond casino property. The Playbook has experienced this system at the Scarlet Pearl in D’Iberville once. It was weird.