Florida bettors get their juice back; Michigan gets squeezed for being shady; a RB makes pulp out of kickers' existences; picks, odds. Let's make some (vitamin) C-notes
AP: Ogunbowale, Harbaugh; Brant James illustration
Allegations and investigations are causing agitation in the Big Ten, where Michigan’s football program is accused of benefiting from an elaborate sign-stealing racket and the Wolverines have countered with claims that other conference members have done the same. The lawyers will eventually work it out - maybe years from now - and everyone will move on to the next bad thing after sufficient hand-wringing.
If the allegations are proven true, add the Wolverines to the cheaty bastard list (busted version) with the Astros and Red Sox and whoever you can remember.
Fans will determine their levels of outrage. But how’s a sports bettor to feel?
Pro and college leagues have lamented for five years the integrity catastrophe that gambling could unleash on their brands, which rely on public trust. These concerns are merited when well-reasoned. But the leagues still cash the checks. And now it seems like these leagues - even the so, so sanctimonious Big Ten - should look within for their integrity problems.
If Michigan cheated, we’ll give the Wolverines the benefit of the doubt that they just wanted to elevate the program's stature and maximize their economic advantage.
But what about the economic benefit of the bettors who’d bought into a rigged deal?
Florida isn’t caught between Hard Rock and a (bad) place anymore as mobile betting returns
Days after issuing a press release to announce the December launch of retail sports betting in their six Florida casinos in December, the Seminole Tribe of Florida flipped the switch on the Hard Rock Bet app on Tuesday morning.
Users who’d made bets during the 33-day run of mobile sports betting in Florida two years ago, or who had already registered for a loyalty program, became the first to place legal sports bets in Florida since December of 2021.
What’s the mood, Florida?
NOTE: The side losing court fights - West Flagler Associates - against the Seminoles, via the Department of the Interior, asked the Florida Supreme Court to shut down mobile betting until its current case plays out legally. If something breaks, we’ll send a note, but you’ll need the Substack app to see it.
Meanwhile, in Maine
Maine launched sports betting last week with mobile from Caribou to Kittery.
Sadly for Mainers, they can’t bet on in-state college teams, even ones with bad-ass nicknames like the Black Bears. Check out our swank chart for college betting rules by state.
Kicked to the curb
My future-of-football theory goes like this: punters will continue to evolve into weapons with a definite place in the game because the rules and their skills have made them weapons.
Place-kickers will fade away because of analytics and their own evolving ineptitude. (Excuses within)
The latest historical marker along the road to kicker ruin was placed in Week 9 by Houston Texans running back Dare Ogunbowale, who kicked a go-ahead 29-yard field goal on Sunday. After Ka’imi Fairbairn went out at halftime with a quad injury, he was the designated placekicker.
This was like the old days when the ball coach found somebody, anybody playing another position, who could kick the damned thing through the uprights most of the time. If a kicking specialist is going to miss extra points and the offensive coordinator is going for it on fourth down anyway, keep another dude who can tackle or shoot the gap.
This could make for some inventive player props.
NFL Week 9 recap
The sportsbooks had a mixed bag. The negative news was they had no prohibitive moneyline favorite go down and bring multi-legged parlays with them. Most of the favored chalk had well north of 50% support.
The positive news was that the books were rarely committed too heavily on one side. There were seven games with a spread of three points or less and the public didn’t back anyone in the 80 or 90% range that they often do.
The parity coaxed bettors to wager confidently on either side.
Here are our NFL Week 9 betting results, a quick look at the Jets vs. Chargers, and betting takeaways on several games.
Saw it all the way
Do you have a friend in New York who was sort of jittery in the ALCS and NLCS even though they have no allegiances to the Rangers, Astros, Diamondbacks, or Phillies?
Have they been kind of quiet on the text string lately?
From Caesars Sportsbook:
“Caesars Sportsbook in New York saw one of its biggest futures winners of 2023 with a bettor cashing in $460,681 on two different two-leg Major League Baseball World Series Exacta parlays placed back on April 30 and May 7 via the Caesars Sportsbook app.”
The first parlay was a $285 bet on the Arizona Diamondbacks to win the National League at +6500 combined with the Texas Rangers to win the American League at +1800.
The second bet was a double-down on the same parlay with a $107 bet on the D-backs to win the NL (+5000) and the Rangers to win the AL (+1800).
The winner celebrated by taking his fiancé and son to Game 3 of the World Series in Arizona. He said he’ll use some of his winnings to fund his business and wedding and plans to fill the bucket with cash again when the Ducks win the Stanley Cup.
BREAKING NEWS: In the damnedest of coincidences, the guy’s name is “Big Winner.”
Michigan-Penn State CFB odds, if you dare
Butterfield Bermuda Championship Odds and Picks
… and enders
ESPN Bet launches on Nov. 14. Let us know how it goes.
NCAA president Charlie Baker worries prop bets are bad for student-athletes.
At Tipico, the percentage increase in prop bets this week placed on Titans QB Will Levis and Texans counterpart CJ Stroud: Levis: +5675%; Stroud: +4%.
At FanDuel, Jayson Tatum has the most significant share of NBA MVP future bets (14%). Nikola Jokic has the greatest share of handle (21%). … Victor Wembanyama has the third-highest number of bets for MVP and is the favorite for Rookie of the Year at -370.
By Brant James, Gaming Today Senior Writer