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That's why they call it gambling
Sure-thing Eagles, 49ers falter and the last NFL undefeated teams are no more
Photos: Associated Press; Brant James illustration
Eagles (-7) at New York, 49ers (-10) at Cleveland… this was going to be easy.
Sure the Jets and Browns have good defenses, but these Week 6 games, with some of the biggest points spreads of the slate, were fixtures in parlays, money line bets, and eliminators.
Then Jalen Hurts throws that interception and that kicker (they don’t get to have names anymore) missed that potential game-winner. Now no one is unbeaten and we’ve all learned a valuable lesson … whatever it turns out to be.
Right now some quant is researching big home underdogs vs. unbeaten teams.
If you still love the big favorites entering Week 7 … it’s the Bills (-8.5) at the Patriots or the Seahawks (-8) hosting Arizona.
What to make of the Eagles and Niners now, though?
Sportsbooks remain bullish on both, with the Eagles generally being pegged at 11.5 wins and the Niners at 12.5.
Philadelphia has a fascinating Sunday night date with Miami in a battle of 5-1s.
Could LeBron influence your sportsbook choice?
Active NBA players endorsing sportsbooks as paid ambassadors – with specific caveats – became a reality with the new collective bargaining agreement that took effect on July 1. The regular season begins next week.
ESPN Bet app coming into focus
OK, first things first. I know a logo isn’t going to determine where you bet, but this is low-effort, right? I mean, Disney employs talented animators and graphic artists from Cinderella’s Castle to the moons of Endor and this is what we get?
Anyway, some details have begun to bubble out regarding what the new PENN Entertainment product will look like after its expected November launch.
Like theScore Bet, which PENN also owns, ESPN Bet will lean on functionality between its media and betting apps. Users will be able to integrate betting content on the media app - also like theScore - while not actually placing bets on it.
PENN’s inclination to follow theScore model is likely because 72% of its users and 73% of its handle came from its media app in its first six months in the United States. (It’s now only available in Canada as a betting app).
PENN’s goal is 200 million users a month. That would be a quantum improvement over Barstool Sportsbook, which ESPN Bet is replacing.
PENN will aggressively promote ESPN Bet, which is good news for bettors.
This is a public service announcement
Not to get all heavy, but give me a minute.
The chance to talk to a kid about responsible gambling is as valuable as a chance to talk about alcohol or drugs.
My 19-year-old, a college sophomore who plays poker, fantasy, DFS, and I’m pretty sure has friends that patronize offshore sports betting sites, was angered to learn that Sandro Tonali, a player for our favorite soccer club - Newcastle United - was caught up in an Italian gambling scandal and likely to be suspended for betting on games while playing for his former team, AC Milan.
My kid’s reaction was vexation that a 23-year-old star would bet on games even though he’d earn much more in a week than any bet would recoup.
Tonali’s agent - whether as a pre-emptive sympathy-seeking measure or as fact - proclaimed that Tonali has a gambling addiction.
This led to a text conversation with my kid - and one in person if he ever comes home! - about mental health, compulsion, and healing. It’s not about money, I said, it’s about feeding the need. And learning to overcome.
These are tough talks to have sometimes. Kids don’t get it and that’s where we come in.
You got this.
North Carolina, get loose
State-wide retail and mobile sports betting is coming in 2024
A first round of North Carolina sports betting rules is being fast-tracked to help the state speed toward launch under a 2023 law.
On Tuesday, the North Carolina Lottery Commission’s Sports Betting Committee unanimously approved a notice of proposed sports wagering rules outlined by staff. The 48 draft rules – “heavily focused on general provisions and licensing provisions,” according to comments made at the meeting by NC Education Lottery Gaming Compliance and Sports Betting Deputy Executive Director Sterl Carpenter – are now available for public comment through Nov. 1 on the Commission website, with final approval pending.
Florida sports betting update:
Lawyers filed paperwork. Anti-gambling groups said anti-gambling things.
The State of Florida asked for an extension into December to file its response in the state Supreme Court proceedings. Then more paperwork.
As of this posting, the US Supreme Court hadn’t decided whether to extend its temporary stay of Florida sports betting, which would likely signal its intent to take up the case and drag this out for months.
If it doesn’t, you could in theory be betting on sports while finishing off those last nasty pieces of Halloween candy.
MONDAY STUFF (UPDATED):
From teammate Kris Johnson doing the good work with Sporting News:
Injuries play an integral part in every NFL season, but the carnage among starting quarterbacks has been even more dramatic this year.
NFL Week 7 kicks off on Thursday Night Football with the Jaguars vs. Saints. Jacksonville might be without the services of QB Trevor Lawrence, who suffered a sprained knee in Sunday's win against the Colts.
There are several interesting longshots to consider if you’re interested in a long-term play on the Hart Trophy.
Jack Hughes scored 99 points (43 goals, 56 assists) for the Devils. Hughes is a dynamic offensive player on a rising team. New Jersey is a contender for the Eastern Conference championship. If Hughes leads the Devils’ charge, the forward will attract major interest for the Hart Trophy. Hughes has the seventh-best odds at +1700 (Best Live Odds: +1600).
Dallas Stars forward Jason Robertson was seventh in goal scoring last season with 46. He also had 63 assists for 109 points. His Hart Trophy odds are +4000 (Best Live Odds: +2800). Robertson’s situation is similar to Hughes and the Devils.
… and enders
From Dan Holmes, there’s going to be some new events to bet on in the 2028 Olympics
Five sporting events have been approved for the 2028 Olympic Games, and most or all of them could be available for wagering by sportsbooks in the United States.
Earlier this week, the 141st Session of the International Olympic Committee approved the addition of baseball/softball, Twenty20 cricket, flag football, six-person lacrosse, and squash for the 30th Summer Olympic Games, which return to Los Angeles for the first time since 1984.
Pre-entered fields for the 2023 Breeders’ Cup World Championships will be announced live on FanDuel TV and on the Breeders’ Cup website, official Mobile App, and Facebook, X, and YouTube channels on Wednesday, Oct. 25 at 9:00 a.m. PT/12:00 p.m. ET.
Between Oct. 19-26, new FanDuel Sportsbook customers who place a $5 bet will receive three complimentary months of NBA League Pass and $200 in Bonus Bets. Existing customers who bet $5 on the NBA will also receive three complimentary months of NBA League Pass.
By Brant James, Gaming Today Senior Writer