Four Your Consideration
Sorry, FSU, but this is interesting; Soto tickles Yankees' Series odds
The selection committee left the four-bedroom College Football Playoff ablaze, but who cares, right?
The 12-room McMansion of a CFP tournament will be built for next year, and no way the politicians from whatever state School Thirteen resides from will divert from partisan bickering to try to burn that down … right?
That’s for fans, anyway.
This hallowed space is for the bettors, and (1) Michigan vs. (4) Alabama and (2) Washington vs. (3) Texas make for some interesting options, said Adam Pullen, assistant director of trading at Caesars Sportsbook:
“We have a little less than a month from when we put up numbers to when the game starts. So you're not going to have huge money either way as of right now. More money is on Alabama. But that can change.
“We opened [Michigan -2] and now down to -1.5, so yeah, a little money there. But the bulk of money obviously is yet to come. I think a lot of people are going to be high on Alabama. They have that clout and they beat the two-time defending champion in Georgia. So a lot of people are going to be looking ‘Bama's way.
“It's almost to a pick ‘em. You're likely to have a lot of balanced action by the time we kick off on January 1st.”
The spread would not have been anywhere as close, Pullen said, if undefeated ACC champion Florida State had earned the fourth spot despite losing quarterback Jordan Travis.
“If it would've been Michigan and Florida State, then you're talking a game that's in the double digits,” he said.
That doesn’t mean bettors would have avoided it.
“So, obviously, from a bookmaking perspective, these games are going to get massive handle no matter what,” Pullen continued. “But having an Alabama-Michigan game, it's likely going to drive a lot more handle. Maybe not a ton more. These are all big games.”
“A lot of people talk about whether this matchup is better for betting than others. Everything's going to draw big money, just because of the nature and the importance of the game.”
Check out our interview with Pullen on the College Football Playoff at Gaming Today next week. In the meantime, read everything else to stay current.
Extra point: Michigan is the only state represented in the CFP with border-to-border legal sports betting. (Washington has retail tribal betting options.) Imagine the bridges and middle schools Alabama and Texas could budget for in 2024.
Photos: AP; Brant James illustration
He Was Awfully Confident …
… for a guy who didn’t make the final Heisman Trophy cut this season.
Archie Griffin endures! Caleb Williams (above) can go start scouting stately manners with helipads in Boston this weekend.
As for Heisman, circa 2023, it’s either a quarterback - Jayden Daniels, LSU; Bo Nix, Oregon; Michael Penix, Jr., Washington - or Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison, Jr.
Not all legal US sportsbooks offer odds on the winner because some states don’t allow wagering on awards. Where it is legal, Daniels has run out to as much as -1400 as the favorite.
How Low Can They Go?
Kris Johnson analyzes a historic under potential in the Patriots-Steelers Thursday Night Football matchup.
The game opened with the lowest OVER/UNDER total of the season at 31.5, which would be the lowest NFL total since the 2006 season. The lowest recorded total in NFL history is 28, which is shared by a pair of games from 1993.
The OVER/UNDER for Patriots vs. Steelers is currently 30.
Juan Soto to the Bronx.
Most will have strong feelings on this either way, especially if their team plays in the American League East.
Whether the 25-year-old can handle New York pressure, or signs an extension quickly, or holds general manager Brian Cashman hostage, or opts for free agency in 2025 is yet to dominate your future ESPN consumption.
But for now, the Yankees are a future bet Polar Express picking up steam.
The Yankees’ odds of winning the American League are +500-ish (third choice) and +950 (fifth choice) at most sportsbooks as of this substacking.
Before the Soto news, the Yankees’ World Series odds were at +1200 at FanDuel.
They’ve not won a World Series since 2009, Babe Ruth’s final season, I believe. Wait. Not true, but remind your neighborhood pinstriper of the 2009 bit when they get a little much over this trade.
Find Those “49ers To Make Playoffs” Slips
San Francisco qualifies for the playoffs in Week 14 thusly:
Win + Packers loss
Win + Vikings loss
Win + Packers tie + Vikings tie
Ohtani Headlines On Deck?
MLB odds this offseason are not limited to the World Series and pennant-winner futures. You can wager on which team 2023 American League Most Valuable Player Shohei Ohtani will sign with as a free agent.
The favorite, according to the MLB experts at DraftKings, is a team that has made making the playoffs an annual ho-hum event of late. But another team you probably wouldn’t expect is also priced as one of the favorites to land the Angels All-Star.
Hey Florida People …
… and Enders
The Belmont Stakes will be run at Saratoga this year and probably in 2025.
Florida might legalize DFS even though all the big apps already do business there. Cunning.
DraftKings CEO Jason Robins said a new “progressive parlay” will debut soon where bettors can hedge against failing legs of traditional parlay wagers.
Meanwhile, DraftKings launched “Pick6” peer-to-peer DFS game in Maryland, Minnesota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. It’s good to see some states without legal sports betting having some fun.
STN Play sports bettors can now buy and sell wagers because of a deal between Sparket and WagerWire. What’s WagerWire?
ESPN BET announced its market access partnership this week with Quail Hollow Club, which hosts the Well Fargo Championship PGA TOUR event.
By Brant James, Gaming Today Senior Writer