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Chops

Chops

Steve “Chops” Preiss has 15 years of experience in the gaming industry. Chops began writing and producing content for digital media sites during the early poker-boom years. He has twice been voted by his peers as one of the 20 Most Influential People in Poker. Chops has also written and produced segments for a primetime gaming TV show on Versus (now NBC Sports Network) and distributed a poker program to over 160M global households.

Study: Americans Are Tired Of Greatness And Have Some Shocking Sports Betting Views

Chops February 2, 2019
sport betting

Seton Hall University released a head-scratching sports poll (sponsored by The Sharkey Institute) this week covering topics from who America wants to see win the Super Bowl to opinions on sports betting.

The poll was conducted on 985 adults across the country, using both landlines (people still have landlines?) and cellphones.

Americans say they’re tired of greatness

According to the poll, among serious NFL enthusiasts, 62% are “tired of seeing” New England in the Super Bowl. Only 27% believe their appearance is a good thing.

This will be proven wrong when the Super Bowl TV ratings are through the roof on Sunday. Would you rather watch two high-octane offenses like New England, who are closing out their dynasty against an emerging powerhouse in the Rams, or would you prefer tuning into the Jaguars vs. the Buccaneers?

This is about as good a Super Bowl matchup you could hope for, if not the absolute best.

Americans love dynasties, the ratings always reflect it, and they will again this Sunday.

Oh and did we mention you can bet on this game in legal New Jersey sportsbooks?

Get $20 Of Free Play at DraftKings!

Americans also say they don’t love GOATS

For a country that prides itself on being the best, it sure doesn’t always appreciate GOATs. Tom Brady, inarguably the greatest QB of all-time, has a favorable rating of only 29% (to be fair, he was 61% before Deflategate). Bill Belichick, inarguably the greatest NFL coach and possibly the greatest coach in any sport, only has a favorable rating of 20%.

To put this into perspective, Donald Trump has a 39% approval rating.

Americans also have face-palming views on sports betting

If this Seton Hall poll isn’t maddening enough, it asked if Americans believe “legal betting can lead to cheating or fixing of games by players.” The result? 81% of respondents said “yes.” Never mind the close monitoring of games by casinos and leagues, integrity fees, and the like. Despite athletes getting paid significantly more than refs or umpires (and having that much more to lose), Americans believe it is less likely that officials fix games, coming in at 79% “yes.”

Is there anything positive?

The one takeaway to smile about: 71% of respondents said they’re more likely to watch a game that they’ve bet on.

Maybe there is hope for America after all.

The Super Bowl Line Setting Juggling Act: Which Books Are Offering Patriots -3?

Chops January 29, 2019
Super Bowl Odds

Right after the conclusion of the NFC and AFC championship games, Nevada and New Jersey sportsbooks opened Super Bowl wagering with the Los Angeles Rams at -1 or -1.5 on the point spread.

An avalanche of money poured in on the New England Patriots, and the line quickly moved to Patriots -1, and eventually settled for the past week around -2.5.

Despite approximately 80% of all money at some Vegas books pumping the Patriots, the line hasn’t budged for a week. Only William Hill has planted its Patriots -3 flag into the ground.

It’s not like Vegas isn’t willing to adjust this Super Bowl, either. The initial record-setting Patriots-Rams over/under of 58.5 witnessed 69% of total tickets and 74% dollars wagered on the under. The number has since dropped to 56.5.

How the books are approaching the numbers

Analytics expect this game to be close. FiveThirtyEight has it as a virtual coin-flip, slightly favoring the Patriots as a 53% winner. numberFire has the Pats as 1.5-2.5 points better. Other models (and Madden 19) have the Rams as slightly better.

Regardless of the data, the public and perhaps the sharps all like the Patriots.

The Westgate SuperBook has realized 80% of all straight bets on New England and “moneyline wagers are on the Patriots by a 10-1 margin.” This isn’t just because the Patriots are a beloved public team like the Packers, Steelers, Bills, or Cowboys. Last year, Vegas took a bath as the majority of money was on the Eagles.

The Westgate, though, has held at Patriots -2.5. Boyd and Stations sportsbooks went to -3 before quickly readjusting to -2.5. William Hill has rested at -3, but with some price adjusting.

On Friday, William Hill moved the line 3-flat (-110). This means you could wager $110 on either side to win $100. Bettors hammered the Rams 3-flat, so William Hill adjusted to Patriots -3 (even) and Rams +3 (-120) and have since settled there.

Nick Bogdanovich, sportsbook director at William Hill, explains it:

“Once we went to 3 flat, Rams money just kept coming in. I don’t know if it was sharp. Everyone in the world plays the Super Bowl and we were the only 3 flat in town. At 2.5, it was all Patriots money. At 3 flat, it was all Rams. The Rams at plus 3 (minus) 120 is much more even.”

On the other side of the country, New Jersey sportsbook Super Bowl odds have reached a consensus of Patriots -2 or -2.5 across the board. FanDuel Sportsbook was the only operator offering -2 as of Tuesday morning.

Super Bowl 53 Odds (updated 1/29/19)

NJ Online SportsbooksDraftKingsBetStarsFanDuelCaesars888sportSugarHouse
SpreadNE -2.5
LAR +2.5
NE -2.5
LAR +2.5
NE -2.5
LAR +2.5
NE -2.5
LAR +2.5
NE -2.5
LAR +2.5
NE -2.5
LAR +2.5
Total55.556565655.555.5
MoneylineNE -127
LAR +112
NE -133
LAR +120
NE -127
LAR +117
NE -140
LAR +120
NE -132
LAR +110
NE -132
LAR +110
Sign-Up Offer$600 free bets: $100 (10 x $10 on $5 deposit) + $500 match bet$50
free + $500 free bets
53:1 Moneyline Bet ($5 to win $265)$10 free$10 free$250 match bonus

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Another record-setting Super Bowl?

As far as handle goes, it doesn’t matter if the line goes to Patriots -3 or not. This is shaping up to be another record-setting Super Bowl in Nevada, and in the U.S. (obviously) as well.

It’ll be record-setting for Nevada despite legal domestic competition for the first time. If nothing else, legalized sports betting is providing the old online poker corollary once again. Many in the casino industry once thought online poker would kill card room business. The opposite happened, as access to the game fed public acceptance and activity into brick-and-mortar card rooms. Even with other states allowing sports betting, Nevada is still expected to post record betting totals.

But will it be a Super Bowl of record losses again?

As they say, there wouldn’t be giant casinos in the desert if the public was always right.

However, they were right last year with the Eagles. There’s certainly consensus around the Patriots this year.

Westgate SuperBook manager John Murray told Forbes.com, “We’re going to need the Rams really big on this…”

How this game plays out, and how line movement on this game impacts earnings, will be an interesting case study on Super Bowls for years to come.

ALSO READ: How To Bet On Super Bowl 53 (Everything You Need To Know In 2019)

The Gambling Implications Of LeBron James’ Groin

Chops January 25, 2019
LeBron James Groin

Earlier this week, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst wrote about the rising transparency issues with NBA teams, star players, and their injuries.

The injury report issue specifically has been a challenge for the NBA biggest star and second-best player ever, LeBron James.

During the NBA finals, LeBron maybe-probably-could’ve-potentially broke his hand punching a whiteboard after the Cavs’ Game 1 loss. You might remember what preceded it:

This season, James’ groin has been the issue. From the ongoing theories about how severe the injury is (and who really knew what when), LeBron’s groin has been a source of consternation for gamblers. Writes Windhorst:

Gamblers want more transparency when it comes to injuries. Players, like anyone else, have privacy rights. Teams don’t want to allow a competitive disadvantage — and want to limit possible damage to business — and frequently obfuscate. In short, it’s a challenge.

It’s a delicate mix, for sure. The whole situation though could quickly come to a head as the NBA deepens its ties with legal betting operators.

Injury disclosure standards

Despite being late-to-get-on-board-with-gambling, the NFL historically has had the most wink-wink-nod-nod relationship with bettors. Their required injury reporting process is the most stringent of the major American sports league. As the NFL has partnered with Caesars now, stricter reporting policies may be put into place.

If the NBA had a 15-day disabled list like MLB, James surely would’ve been on it this season, clearing some levels of his day-to-day ambiguity. Currently, the NBA only requires teams to list a player as probable, questionable or doubtful by 5 p.m. on game day. Professional gamblers are used to working on those types of tight timelines, but it does make it more difficult for mainstream gamblers to gauge a player’s availability on short notice.

How do integrity fees fit into this?

Professional sports leagues want gambling operators to use their data feeds and charge them a fee for it. These integrity fees are intended to keep the games legit and ensure the quality of data being used.

But what about the integrity of injury information? Isn’t that just as important? And should gambling operators demand more transparency from professional sports leagues regarding player injuries?

The easy answer to that is, “yes.”

If professional sports leagues want to charge integrity fees, great. All day long. The operators though should push back and get standard reporting and standards from all leagues regarding player injuries.

New Jersey is showing the enormous appetite for legal sports betting in the U.S., pulling in $1.2M in handle since June. Degens are always gonna degen, they’re not going anywhere. But the real revenue growth will come from more casual mainstream bettors. Making sure they have the most accurate information is vital.

Expect this topic to gain steam this year.

Refunding Sports Bets From Controversial Calls: Short-Term Gain, Long-Term Pain

Chops January 22, 2019
Refund Bet

You’ve surely seen it by now. As the New Orleans Saints vs. Los Angeles Rams NFC Championship game was coming to a frenetic close, Drew Brees threw a pass down the sideline intended for receiver Tommylee Lewis. Lewis was basically assaulted while the ball was in the air by Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman. It was as clear of a pass interference infraction as you’ll see—except the refs didn’t see it. The non-call likely cost the Saints the game and a trip to the Super Bowl.

It also cost many bettors a win and payout.

Unless you wagered on PointsBet.

PointsBet announced a “Good Karma Payout” program after the blown call. The company “will refund all wagers as bonus bets on New Orleans Saints spreads and money lines due to the highly controversial pass interference inside the final two minutes of the game.”

The announcement has been met with equal parts enthusiasm and skepticism. The skeptics will note that the new market entrant likely had minimal handle and exposure, so they stood more to gain off the free press than what little they lost in refunds (fair point by the way, we’re covering it).

From a broader business standpoint, this opens a can of worms not just for PointsBet (and FanDuel, which already refunded Bears bettors after a missed field goal), but other operators. It’s a slippery slope. What qualifies for or are the parameters of a game-altering call? What happens to PointsBet the next time a “bad” call happens and they don’t want to refund wagers? Will they get as much backlash from that as goodwill from this?

The bottom line is this: part of the contract between a bettor and operator is the general understanding that shit happens. Refs will miss calls. Players will get hurt. It’s why they call it sports gambling. There’s risk. We all know that.

New Jersey is a cut-throat and competitive sports betting market. Pennsylvania will soon be as well. Just wait until New York and California launch. Anything to cut through the clutter could be seen as a positive, sure. But cutting through the clutter at the expense of the integrity of a wager or the poor precedence of resetting public expectation is not a good thing.

These types of publicity stunts seldom work long-term and set a poor expectation for the public. Whatever short-term positive bump PointsBet gets, they’ll lose the next time they decide something wasn’t worthy of a refund.

But hey, they got a Darren Rovell tweet out of it, so high-fives all around.

Super Bowl Line Settles: Patriots Now Favored After Opening +1 Against Rams

Chops January 21, 2019
Patriots Super Bowl

Going into the AFC Championship game, Julian Edelman used the Patriots underdog status as a rallying cry, making #betagainstus a thing.

He almost got the opportunity to do it again, but this time, the betting public was like, “Nah, we got you.”

Rams open as Super Bowl favorites

Immediately after the conclusion of those two thrilling overtime championship games, the Rams opened as a slight favorite to win the Super Bowl at sportsbooks in New Jersey.

That lasted for three minutes.

Patriots are now favorites…

The line quickly moved to the Patriots at -1 to -2.5 in Vegas and NJ. Books are still moving it between those numbers, but it seems to have settled at under three.

Both teams are healthy. Both teams have mastermind head coaches. And the Patriots historically play close Super Bowls. Expect the line to stay firmly settled now at under -3 for the Patriots.

…With the highest total in Super Bowl history

Vegas does expect a high-scoring game, with the over/under set at 58. This makes it the highest total in Super Bowl history, eclipsing the 57-point total placed on Patriots vs. Falcons in 2017.

NJ Online SportsbooksDraftKingsBetStarsFanDuelCaesars888sportSugarHouse
SpreadNE -2.5
LAR +2.5
NE -2.5
LAR +2.5
NE -2.5
LAR +2.5
NE -2.5
LAR +2.5
NE -2.5
LAR +2.5
NE -2.5
LAR +2.5
Total55.556565655.555.5
MoneylineNE -127
LAR +112
NE -133
LAR +120
NE -127
LAR +117
NE -140
LAR +120
NE -132
LAR +110
NE -132
LAR +110
Sign-Up Offer$600 free bets: $100 (10 x $10 on $5 deposit) + $500 match bet$50
free + $500 free bets
53:1 Moneyline Bet ($5 to win $265)$10 free$10 free$250 match bonus

(Odds updated 1/22/19)

Jalen Hurts Transfer To Oklahoma Moves College Football Betting Futures

Chops January 17, 2019
College Football Betting Oklahoma

Two college football powerhouses picked up quarterback transfers from two even bigger (SEC) powerhouses.

One shifted betting futures markets; one didn’t.

Justin Fields bailed on Georgia for Ohio State. Fields was the No. 1 QB prospect in the 2018 class but opted to avoid the grind of SEC defenses for the friendlier confines of the Big 10.

Ohio State remained at +1,400 odds to the win the 2019-20 National Championship at FanDuel Sportsbook.

Jalen Hurts, who won a national championship for Alabama as a starter and a second — well, technically as a starter before being benched for Tua Tagovailoa — has now transferred to Oklahoma.

Upon news of the Hurts’ transfer, FanDuel moved Oklahoma’s futures from +2,000 to +1,400. The number dropped back to +1,600 as of Thursday morning.

That’s a sizable jump considering it’s still not 100 percent certain that Hurts will be eligible to start this coming year.

Hurts’ former team, Alabama, remains the national title favorite at +200. Defending champ Clemson sits at +250. Fields’ former team, Georgia, is the third favorite at +750.

Two interesting value plays going into the season include Michigan (+2,000) and Florida (+3,500). If you enjoy lighting money on fire, bet on any PAC-12 team.

College Football National Championship Odds 2019-20

(Odds updated 1/17/19)

TeamFanDuelDraftKingsWestgate
Clemson+250+200+180
Alabama+200+200+250
Ohio State+1400+700+1200
Michigan+2000+1600+1400
Georgia+750+800+1200
Oklahoma+1600+1600+1500
Texas+3400+5000+2000
Nebraska+8000+20000+2500
Washington+6500+5000+2500
Florida+3500+2500+2500
Notre Dame+5000+3300+2500
Oregon+5000+5000+3000
Wisconsin+5000+8000+5000
LSU+5000+2500+5000
Mississippi State+10000+5000+5000
Auburn+6500+2800+5000
Miami (FL)+5000+15000+8000
Utah+16000+10000+8000
USC+12000+10000+8000
Texas A&M+16000+5000+8000
Virginia Tech+16000+12500+10000
Penn State+5000+4000+10000
Iowa+16000+15000+10000
Florida State+8000+10000+10000
Iowa State+16000+15000+20000
Oklahoma State+10000+8000+20000
Michigan State+6500+5000+20000
Purdue+10000+20000+20000
Washington State+12000+8000+20000
Stanford+6500+10000+20000
Arizona+23000+25000+20000
UCLA+23000+15000+20000
TCU+16000+10000+20000
Baylor+23000+15000+20000
Syracuse+23000+10000+20000
Northwestern+10000+15000+20000
Arizona State+23000+25000+30000
South Carolina+16000+15000+30000
Missouri+23000+25000+30000
Tennessee+12000+10000+30000
West Virginia+5000+10000+30000
Texas Tech+25000+15000+30000
California+25000+15000+30000
Central Florida+25000+5000+50000
Houston+25000+50000+50000
Virginia+16000+15000+50000
Fresno State+23000+50000+50000
Boise State+25000+15000+50000
Utah State+25000+10000+50000
BYU+25000+25000+50000
Kansas State+25000+50000+50000
Kansas+25000+50000+50000
North Carolina State+16000+8000+50000
Boston College+23000+15000+50000
Louisville+25000+25000+50000
Pittsburgh+25000+20000+100000
Georgia Tech+23000+15000+100000
Duke+25000+50000+100000
Maryland+25000+15000+100000
Minnesota+23000+50000+100000
Colorado+25000+50000+100000
Kentucky+19000+20000+100000
Ole Miss+25000+15000+100000
Arkansas+25000+100000+100000
Wake Forest+25000+15000+200000
North Carolina+25000+15000+200000
Indiana+25000+100000+200000
Vanderbilt+25000+25000+500000
San Diego State+25000+50000+500000
Illinois+25000+100000+1000000
Oregon State+25000+100000+1000000
Nevada+25000+50000+1000000
UNLV+25000+25000+1000000

The DraftKings $2.5M Sports Betting Championship Controversy: Where It Goes From Here

Chops January 14, 2019
DraftKings Sportsbook controversy

Things were going so well for DraftKings’ first-ever $2.5 million Sports Betting National Championship.

It was exciting. It brought fun and competition to sports betting.

Unfortunately, DraftKings couldn’t stick the landing.

Controversy ensued.

Now what?

So what happened at DraftKings was…

Held in New Jersey from Friday through Sunday, the DraftKings Sportsbook event had participants vying for $2.5M in total prizes. Whoever ran their starting bankroll up the highest by the final eligible game (Eagles vs. Saints) would take home $1 million for first.

Read The Lines live blogging of the event here.

Everything was going without a hitch until the very end.

Thanks to some garbage-time scoring, the Chargers vs. Patriots game ran late, ending a few minutes before the start of Eagles vs. Saints.

Bettors who had all or a significant chunk of their bankroll in Chargers vs. Patriots needed those wagers to be settled / graded out in order to get in on the Eagles vs. Saints game.

Some bettors were settled in time.

Buuuuut some weren’t.

And therein lies the rub.

Had Chargers vs. Patriots just gone on a few minutes longer, or had all bets on that game not been settled in time for Eagles vs. Saints, no problem. That’s not what happened.

One particularly high-profile competitor, former ESPN writer Rufus Peabody, was potentially impacted the most. Peabody, who was in first place, had his entire bankroll (save .01) tied up at the start of Eagles vs. Saints.

He ended up finishing third for $250,000.

Others surely were impacted to lesser degrees.

For more details, read Legal Sports Report here.

DraftKings handled this well, right?

Weeeeellll…

DraftKings did quickly put out a statement regarding the controversy:

“The first ever Sports Betting National Championship was an incredibly thrilling event. We recognize that in the rules the scheduled end of betting coincided very closely to the finish of the of Patriots-Chargers game.

While we must follow our contest rules, we sincerely apologize for the experience several customers had where their bets were not graded in time to allow wagering on the Saints-Eagles game. We will learn from this experience and improve upon the rules and experience for future events.”

This is a perfectly fine first-step response. It’s factually accurate. Leading with “incredibly thrilling event” is a little tacky considering how payout timing impacted some participants and the general “come on, DraftKings” public perception building over this miscue. And the reality is they likely have a team of lawyers massaging every word of what the next statement will be. Understandable.

The contest itself was obviously flubbed at the end, and the first response was adequate though not great. DraftKings could have been more emphatic in their remorse and forceful in fixing the situation, but the reality is they quickly had to shift celebratory shilling to disaster mode.

This all sets up an interesting few weeks ahead.

What should DraftKings do now?

This is a difficult situation. First, let’s be clear: the overall concept of the contest was great. It’s a creative and fun way to generate excitement for sports betting, content and publicity for DraftKings, and could have been used as a template in other states.

When you hold events with gaming authority oversight, the very first things you must ask yourself is: “OK, what could go wrong here? And if something do goes wrong, what’s the fix?”

DraftKings might have asked themselves those questions, but they certainly didn’t have any implementable answers.

They’re stuck in impossible situation because of it.

They simply can’t issue Rufus Peabody a “make-good” settlement as that opens up a huge can-of-worms. First, you must trust that Rufus, or anyone else, is telling the truth over whatever wager was going to be placed. It’s possible not entering wagers in the final game was the best thing that could have happened to Rufus or others.

Here’s one suggested route for DraftKings to follow:

  • Apologize profusely. Their initial statement, while all true and accurate, lacked a level of contrition for those negatively impacted or understanding of how this situation could snowball.
  • Fix the contest rules. This is a given and was already hit upon by DraftKings, but if DraftKings is ever going to be allowed to hold such an event in New Jersey (or elsewhere) again, they must have contest rules that consider all worst-case scenarios and “emergency, break-glass” solutions. There’s a reason why people are playing BetStars and not BetTilt in New Jersey today. It’s because PokerStars had (among other things) an emergency plan it case things hit the fan. Hard lesson learned. DraftKings will hopefully issue their “how we’ll keep this from happening again” in short order.
  • Be proactive with NJ Department of Gaming Enforcement. While maybe not this flippantly, DraftKings needs to have their Otter moment with New Jersey gaming. Reasonable people understand we’re all traveling into new frontiers with sports betting in America. In a situation like this, how you handle it usually determines the eventual outcome. Fess up, be proactive, offer solutions, collaborate, move on.
  • Wait on NJ for answers. Unfortunately for those impacted, this is the safest route for DraftKings to take. You fall on the sword of New Jersey Gaming. Yes, still be proactive regulators, but ultimately let them dictate the solution. They’re the boss. As long as they’re working with regulators, DraftKings will likely have a say in the final outcome anyway. This is the safest and smartest path to follow.

While a mess, everything preceding the settlement issue was a positive showcase for sports betting. Hopefully, DraftKings gets the next steps right and is afforded a second chance.

2020 College Football Futures: Clemson, Alabama Early Favorites

Chops January 8, 2019
Clemson Alabama

After Clemson’s throttling of Alabama in the national championship game, the Tigers find themselves as early favorites to repeat in 2020.

Early futures at DraftKings Sportsbook have Clemson and Alabama at +200 to win the 2020 college football national championship. FanDuel Sportsbook lists Alabama at +170 and Clemson +250. At the Westgate Superbook in Las Vegas, Clemson is +180 and Alabama is +250.

Interestingly, before Monday’s national title game, Alabama was the listed favorite at the Westgate. However, given Clemson’s domination, the Tigers went from +350 to +180 by game’s end.

Ohio State (+700 at DraftKings, +850 at FanDuel) and Georgia (+800 at both) are next on the list of 2019-20 title contenders. Michigan and Oklahoma round out the rest of the favorites. All of the odds can be found below.

Notre Dame, which made this year’s playoffs but was embarrassed in the semifinals by Clemson, starts at +3300.

The odds somewhat line up with ESPN’s take on a way-too-early top 25.

Given their recent recruiting classes, Clemson QB  Trevor Lawrence ascension to likely Heisman favorite, and weak overall division, Clemson seem well-positioned to at least make another CFB playoff. And don’t kid yourself that last night’s national championship game is the end of Alabama’s dynasty. While the SEC will be stronger overall next year, Bama is still the team to beat.

Our #1 Sportsbook Choice.

College Football Futures Odds 2019-20

(Odds updated 1/17/19)

TeamFanDuelDraftKingsWestgate
Clemson+250+200+180
Alabama+200+200+250
Ohio State+1400+700+1200
Michigan+2000+1600+1400
Georgia+750+800+1200
Oklahoma+1600+1600+1500
Texas+3400+5000+2000
Nebraska+8000+20000+2500
Washington+6500+5000+2500
Florida+3500+2500+2500
Notre Dame+5000+3300+2500
Oregon+5000+5000+3000
Wisconsin+5000+8000+5000
LSU+5000+2500+5000
Mississippi State+10000+5000+5000
Auburn+6500+2800+5000
Miami (FL)+5000+15000+8000
Utah+16000+10000+8000
USC+12000+10000+8000
Texas A&M+16000+5000+8000
Virginia Tech+16000+12500+10000
Penn State+5000+4000+10000
Iowa+16000+15000+10000
Florida State+8000+10000+10000
Iowa State+16000+15000+20000
Oklahoma State+10000+8000+20000
Michigan State+6500+5000+20000
Purdue+10000+20000+20000
Washington State+12000+8000+20000
Stanford+6500+10000+20000
Arizona+23000+25000+20000
UCLA+23000+15000+20000
TCU+16000+10000+20000
Baylor+23000+15000+20000
Syracuse+23000+10000+20000
Northwestern+10000+15000+20000
Arizona State+23000+25000+30000
South Carolina+16000+15000+30000
Missouri+23000+25000+30000
Tennessee+12000+10000+30000
West Virginia+5000+10000+30000
Texas Tech+25000+15000+30000
California+25000+15000+30000
Central Florida+25000+5000+50000
Houston+25000+50000+50000
Virginia+16000+15000+50000
Fresno State+23000+50000+50000
Boise State+25000+15000+50000
Utah State+25000+10000+50000
BYU+25000+25000+50000
Kansas State+25000+50000+50000
Kansas+25000+50000+50000
North Carolina State+16000+8000+50000
Boston College+23000+15000+50000
Louisville+25000+25000+50000
Pittsburgh+25000+20000+100000
Georgia Tech+23000+15000+100000
Duke+25000+50000+100000
Maryland+25000+15000+100000
Minnesota+23000+50000+100000
Colorado+25000+50000+100000
Kentucky+19000+20000+100000
Ole Miss+25000+15000+100000
Arkansas+25000+100000+100000
Wake Forest+25000+15000+200000
North Carolina+25000+15000+200000
Indiana+25000+100000+200000
Vanderbilt+25000+25000+500000
San Diego State+25000+50000+500000
Illinois+25000+100000+1000000
Oregon State+25000+100000+1000000
Nevada+25000+50000+1000000
UNLV+25000+25000+1000000

Get $20 Free at FanDuel!

What Caesars’ Deal With The NFL Could Mean For Gamblers

Chops January 3, 2019
Caesars NFL

Of all the major sports leagues, the National Football League always had taken the most draconian public stance against gambling, and more specifically, sports betting.

That all changed in a significant way on Thursday, as the NFL selected Caesars Entertainment as its “official casino sponsor.”

The NFL has come a long way, baby.

Aside from the issuing of injury reports as its wink-wink, nudge-nudge recognition of sports betting, the NFL hasn’t been kind to those with an affinity toward gambling. This is the same organization which lobbied for and supported the UIGEA, and just a few years ago put the kibosh on Tony Romo’s fantasy sports fan expo in Las Vegas.

With the repeal of PASPA, it was only a matter of time before the NFL got into the sports gambling action. That it got in so aggressively and quickly is somewhat a surprise for the NFL, but it also makes sense.

And after watching its rival MGM ink deals with the NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball, Caesars going all-in with the NFL seemed like a given. With familiarities between their respective management teams, the road to a smooth and speedy integration exists, as does significant financial upside for both.

What’s the potential impact for consumers?

This deal is wide-reaching for Caesars. Along with their 10 Vegas properties, Caesars operates in 13 states. This provides the NFL with regional properties for fan-based events and promotions, something in Caesars best interest as well as it can drive new, likely younger, customers into properties.

On that note, the likely biggest benefit for Caesars’ customers begins and ends with loyalty programs and points. Caesars Total Rewards could be used for NFL game-specific promotions and contests. Providing incentivized tier credits around NFL promotions would benefit Caesars customers (rewards) and Caesars corporate (building the database).

Further, as stated in the NFL release:

Beginning with the upcoming 2019 NFL playoffs, this multiyear sponsorship is focused on Caesars providing unique experiences for NFL fans by using its casino properties, celebrity chefs, premier music artists and a wide range of entertainment elements.

This creates some interesting potential content plays. Think Gordon Ramsey during a FOX broadcast releasing exclusive recipes, interactive property-centric deals for show tickets, or game/team specific bets all pushed through the Caesars app.

The ability for the NFL to leverage Caesars properties for fan events during an opening weekend, the playoffs and Super Bowl opens the door for interesting fan experiences as well. The Strip (or at least Caesars properties on the Strip) could turn into immediate fan hubs, with music acts and a New Year’s Eve-like feel, with exclusive access for certain events driven through rewards points.

Of course, ideas are one thing, execution is another. There are a lot of moving parts here, but it is in both the NFL’s and Caesars’ best interest to get it right and deliver a little something extra for fans and consumers.

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10 Bold Predictions For US Sports Betting In 2019

Chops January 2, 2019
10 Bold Predictions

It’s safe to say that 2018 was about as good of a year for sports betting in the U.S. as it could get (Assuming you like sports betting, which if you’re reading this site, it is a safe assumption.).

Can 2019 be better?

Here are 10 bold predictions for the new year. In short, expect more of what made 2018 great.

10. No less than nine states pass sports betting legislation

Why not start with one of the biggest ones?

Of all the states that have introduced sports betting bills, no less than nine will pass legislation in 2019. New York, Massachusetts, and Kentucky (via a Churchill Downs push) will lead the way, and these states should follow.

9. But California won’t be one of them

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me 147 times, shame on me.

Whoever can finally get the competing California gaming interests to get on the same page needs to work on Palestinian-Israeli relations. The online poker push in California had many starts and stops thanks to card rooms, tribes, tracks and operators never getting on the same page.

The sports betting revenue pie exceeds online poker’s revenue greatly, and there’s real progress being made in the state legislature, but don’t expect California to pass a bill until 2020.

8. The next non-golf, made-for-betting event will be esports

The Match provided the template. Where can it go from there?

All sorts of fun and exciting places, but we predict there will be a smart casino in Nevada or Pennsylvania looking to attract younger customers who will create an esports betting event.

They’ll partner with an esports team, draw large viewing from a live stream and draw bettors in-house for real-time wagering on their mobile device.

7. ‘In-stadia’ betting gains momentum

On that note, “in-stadia” betting will gain steam. It won’t just be from whatever smart casino employs in-stadia betting for their esports event.

Las Vegas has shown the way, with the Knights and Lights bringing mobile betting into the arena/pitch.

As other states pass sports betting bills, teams will recognize the enormous potential for fan engagement with in-stadia betting. This won’t be a revenue mover for teams, necessarily, but will provide fans with new content and ways to interact during games.

6. Fiat-to-crypto onboarding solved

The single biggest impediment to crypto adoption on gambling platforms is the fiat-to-crypto onboarding process. There’s a bridge needed for the gap between gambling and crypto enthusiasts.

This issue will be solved in 2019, paving the way for holders to fund gaming accounts with cryptocurrency on a broader scale and more extensive adoption.

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5. The NCAA takes a hardline stance

If there’s one potential glaring monkey wrench to trip up sports betting in the U.S., it’s in the college ranks.

The NCAA is rightfully concerned. While professional athletes have too much at stake, in most cases, to be persuaded in bribes or providing confidential information, that’s not the case with unpaid student-athletes.

Expect the NCAA to draw a line in the sand on this issue…

4. … and propose some form of revenue sharing

The model to use gambling as a means of subsidizing education isn’t new. The state of Georgia has used lottery proceeds to fund college scholarships going back to the early ’90s. While the NCAA should take a hardline stance, expect discussions around positive use of sports betting proceeds to further educational opportunities (via scholarships) this year.

3. But don’t expect athlete compensation to be discussed

OK; this isn’t very bold. But that’s not happening.

2. The NFL gets on the integrity fee wagon

The NFL is consistently progressive in making changes and adapting. That has not been the case when it comes to sports betting, as the NBA and Adam Silver have been real advocates and drivers there.

However, that will begin to change in 2019.

The NFL is ruthless in its efficiency in squeezing a dollar out of any and every opportunity, and it’s not going to let the sports betting rocket ship go into orbit without taking a seat in the cockpit with the other leagues. Look for the NFL to push for the most apparent monetization play, integrity fees, in 2019.

1. New Jersey eclipses Nevada in total wagers

We’re going super bold on the last one, as New Jersey has a ways to go still, but hear this out.

New Jersey has a unique pocket of singularly owning the northeast. The northeast is a sports fanatic hotbed, and the total population around New Jersey (when including just New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Maryland and Delaware) is approximately 39.5 million. That equals the approximate 39 million visitors to Las Vegas a year.