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Marc Meltzer

Marc Meltzer

Marc Meltzer grew up on the mean streets of the South Bronx. He's the rare combination of Yankees and Jets fan which explains his often contrarian point of view. Marc is a freelance writer and social media consultant. Writing about steak, booze, gambling and Las Vegas is a tough job but somebody has to do it.

Betting On Minor League Baseball In Vegas Is Back, But Books Aren’t Taking Much Action

Marc Meltzer April 19, 2019
Minor League Betting

Nevada sportsbooks are allowed to take wagers on professional baseball games played in the state for the first time in more than 30 years. Two Las Vegas sportsbook operators are now taking wagers on the minor league team located in Sin City.

Just before the minor league baseball season started, the Nevada Gaming Commission abolished a rule from 1985 that banned sportsbooks from accepting wagers on any professional baseball team or professional baseball game played in Nevada.

Nevada is home to two minor league baseball teams – the Reno Aces and Las Vegas Aviators (formerly Las Vegas 51’s).

Station Casinos and the Westgate jumped at the opportunity to offer wagering on the new Las Vegas baseball team. To date, the sportsbooks in Reno (and Las Vegas) have decided not to put up odds on the Aces.

Betting on the Aviators

Both the Westgate and Station Casinos are offering moneyline and over/under totals for bettors. The Westgate is also offering a runline for the Las Vegas Aviators games. There are no prop bets or in-play wagering for the games with either sportsbook operator.

The Las Vegas Aviators season is just underway. While there’s excitement to see the team play in person (they sold out each of the first seven games), the same can’t be said for gambling on the games. Westgate Vice President of Sports Operations Jay Kornegay told TheLines that they are seeing “very little action on the games so far.”

The Vegas Golden Knights performance on the ice and in the arena could brush off on the Aviators. The passion to see the team play in person might help at the sportsbook. Although there’s a small sample to work with Kornegay says that there have been more wagers on the Aviators when they play at home. The sight of Red Rock Casino behind Las Vegas Ballpark is a good reminder to place a wager before the game begins.

Don’t expect to see additional wagering opportunities opening for the Las Vegas Aviators until more people are betting on the games. However, bettors can expect to see more in-state baseball wagering from games in Nevada.

The Chicago Cubs usually play a weekend series during spring training in Las Vegas. Big League Weekend was canceled this year because the new stadium was still under construction. Big League Weekend should return in 2020.

Even though Las Vegas sportsbooks take wagers on major league baseball Spring Training games, they previously weren’t allowed to take bets on these games because they’re played in Las Vegas.

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Concern about minor league baseball betting

Pat O’Connor, President and CEO of Minor League Baseball, is concerned about the impact sports betting could have on the game. While he’s the boss of the league, minor league baseball players are actually Major League Baseball employees.

In theory, major league players shouldn’t be susceptible to bribery to throw a game because they’re paid well. According to Forbes, the minimum salary for Major League Baseball players is currently $555,000 a year. The Boston Herald says that Single A minor league players make as little as $2,000 per month. That’s $500 per week that’s only paid during baseball season.

The big league and minor league officers have similar opinions about potential integrity issues. Both think that the low pay for minor league baseball players leaves them open to potentially being bribed. That could be a legitimate concern if a sportsbook operator decides to take action on the lowest level of minor league baseball.

There are similar worries in Europe about lower level soccer matches. Less than 10 years ago there were 17 arrests made for fixing of more than 200 soccer matches throughout Europe. Lower levels of all professional sports can be compromised since the players make little money.

Of course, Major League Baseball could increase wages for their players to remove some of the concern. Instead, MLB is upset about the Blue Jays hiking pay for their minor league players.

Legal US sportsbooks tend to keep limits low enough to where bribing a minor league player isn’t worth the hassle. Even if someone wants to pay minor league players to throw a game, they’ll be hard pressed to find enough liquidity in the market to get a fruitful return on investment.

Once again, the real concern should be with illegal bookies and sportsbook operators.

Virginia (5-1) Early Favorite To Win 2020 NCAA Basketball Championship

Marc Meltzer April 9, 2019
Virginia 2020 Odds

Caesars Entertainment is the first sportsbook operator to release 2020 NCAA basketball championship futures odds. Caesars Sportsbook posted the college basketball futures first in Las Vegas shortly before tipoff of the 2019 NCAA Basketball championship game.

2020 NCAA futures odds

The Virginia Cavaliers were only a 1.5-point favorite to defeat the Texas Tech Red Raiders in this year’s NCAA Championship game. However, Virginia is listed at 5-1 to cut down the nets next season. Meanwhile, Texas Tech is 30-1 to win it all next year.

The other Final Four participants are in between the two finalists to win March Madness next year. The Auburn Tigers are 20-1 and Michigan State Spartans are 12-1 to win it all in 2020.

Hoops powerhouses Kentucky and Duke are 8-1, not far behind Virginia to win the college basketball national championship in 2020. Here are the rest of the futures odds posted by Caesars Entertainment for the 2020 college basketball title (with odds of 100/1 or lower).

TeamCaesars Odds2018-19 Record
Alabama75/118-16
Arizona25/123-11
Auburn 20/130-10
Cincinnati100/114-4
Connecticut100/116-17
Duke8/132-6
Florida75/120-16
Florida State50/129-8
Gonzaga10/133-4
Houston40/133-4
Indiana100/119-16
Iowa50/123-12
Iowa State60/123-12
Kansas30/126-10
Kentucky8/130-7
Louisville15/120-14
LSU50/128-7
Marquette40/124-10
Maryland50/123-11
Michigan20/130-7
Michigan State12/132-7
Mississippi State100/123-11
NC State100/124-12
North Carolina20/129-7
Ohio State75/120-15
Oklahoma100/120-14
Oregon30/125-13
Purdue100/126-10
Seton Hall100/120-14
Syracuse60/120-14
Tennessee25/131-6
Texas40/121-16
Texas A&M100/114-18
Texas Tech30/131-6
UCLA100/117-16
USC100/116-17
VCU100/125-8
Villanova15/126-10
Virginia5/134-3
Washington100/127-9
Xavier100/119-16

Nevada is noticeably absent

The University of Nevada is noticeably absent from the college basketball futures at Caesars. There’s a couple of logical reasons for this. The Wolfpack’s coach, Eric Musselman, just took a new head coaching job with Arkansas. Additionally, Caesars Manager of Trading, Matt Lindeman, tells TheLines that they’re also “decimated by graduation.”

Nevada residents can still get in on a hometown futures bet. The UNLV Runnin Rebels with their new coach, T.J. Otzelberger, are 1000-1 to the NCAA basketball championship next year.

As usual, the odds were released in other markets Caesars operates shortly after Las Vegas. Caesars operates casinos and sportsbooks in the following states:

Betting limits on NCAA basketball futures will vary by customer. Bettors interested in placing a large 2020 NCAA basketball futures wager should reach out to their local Caesars sportsbook to see how much they’ll be able to wager.

BetStars Is Giving 100-1 Longshot Odds On Tiger Woods To Win The Masters

Marc Meltzer April 8, 2019
Tiger Woods Odds Masters

New Jersey sportsbook operator BetStars is getting ready for The Masters with a promotion offering 100-1 odds on Tiger Woods to win the first major golf tournament of the year. There’s only one catch here. These odds are only available for the first $10 bet on Tiger to win the Masters.

Actual odds for Tiger Woods to win The Masters at BetStars are 16-1. As of the writing of this article, those odds are 20-1 thanks to a BetStars Super Boost. BetStars will pay the 20-1 SuperBoost price on the remainder of all Tiger Woods futures wagers above $10.

A closer look at the return

If someone wagers $100 on Tiger Woods to win the Masters at BetStars they will be paid the following:

  • $10 bet x 100/1 = $1,000
  • $90 bet x 20/1 = $1,800
  • A wager of $100 will return $2,800

In total, the odds for a $100 wager at BetStars on Tiger Woods to win The Masters would return $2,800. That makes this a 28-1 for a $100 bettor wagering on Tiger to win The Masters.

Different amounts of money wagered will have different rates of return. For example, a $20 wager would return $1,200. That would be a 60-1 return for $20 wager on Tiger to win The Masters.

The return on the $20 wager is significant. This wager would put Tiger Woods’ odds about 25th to win The Masters. That’s currently behind Sergio Garcia and Marc Leishman at 50-1 and slightly better than Patrick Reed at 66-1 to win The Masters.

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Mega Boosts at BetStars

New Jersey sports bettors should be used to odds boost promotions by now. The majority of online sportsbooks in New Jersey offer daily boosts. BetStars takes Odds Boost promotions to another level with Super Boost and even larger Mega Boost (not the official name) opportunities like this promotion on Tiger Woods to win The Masters.

This isn’t the first time that BetStars offers a huge boost for sports bettors in New Jersey. During the 2018/2019 NFL season, BetStars offered 100/1 odds on NFL futures. The maximum bet for this wager was only $5.

After the Super Bowl, BetStars told TheLines that 46 percent of the 100-1 promotion bets were placed on the Rams. Fewer people, 18 percent, had a $5 wager on the New England Patriots to win the Super Bowl. Obviously, the Patriots won and those bettors took home $500 on their $5 wager.

New Jersey sportsbook promotions

New Jersey sports bettors have opportunities that sports bettors in other states don’t have. Sportsbook operators in other states will lower the odds on special occasions. Unfortunately, sportsbooks in states outside of New Jersey don’t offer the myriad of promotions available to residents on a daily basis.

Some of these promotions are a way to earn free advertising for the sportsbook operator. Sports bettors in New Jersey have plenty of low limit wagering opportunities that could offer a nice return.

Will Tiger Woods win The Masters? Possibly. Is it worth taking a stab at a $10 wager that returns $1,000 on the world’s most popular golfer? Also, possibly. That depends on risk tolerance and passion for Tiger Woods.

The Masters Winner

Odds Updated 4/11

Rory McIllroy
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+700
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+650
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+750
Dustin Johnson
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+900
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+1100
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+1200
Justin Rose
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+1200
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+1200
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+1400
Tiger Woods
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+1400
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+1600
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+10000
Jon Rahm
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+1400
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+2000
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+1800
Justin Thomas
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+1600
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+2000
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+2000
Rickie Fowler
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+1600
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+2000
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+2200
Jason Day
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+2000
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+3300
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+3300
Jordan Spieth
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+2200
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+1600
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+2200
Francesco Molinari
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+2200
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+2200
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+2200
Paul Casey
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+2500
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+2800
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+3000
Tommy Fleetwood
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+2500
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+3000
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+3000
Brooks Koepka
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+2500
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+3000
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+2800
Hideki Matsuyama
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+2800
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+3300
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+3300
Bryson DeChambeau
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+3300
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+3000
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+3300
Tony Finau
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+3300
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+4000
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+5000
Matt Kuchar
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+3300
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+4500
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+5000
Sergio Garcia
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+3300
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+6000
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+5000
Bubba Watson
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+3500
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+3300
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+3300
Adam Scott
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+4000
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+4500
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+4000
Phil Mickelson
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+4000
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+3600
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+4000
Xander Schauffele
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+4000
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+4000
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+5000
Patrick Cantlay
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+4000
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+8000
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+8000
Marc Leishman
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+4500
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+4000
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+5000
Louis Oosthuizen
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+5000
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+4000
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+4500
Gary Woodland
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+5000
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+10000
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+8000
Webb Simpson
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+5000
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+7500
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+8000
Patrick Reed
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+6000
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+7000
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+6600
Henrik Stenson
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+6600
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+6000
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+6600
Kevin Kisner
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+6600
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+7000
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+6600
Ian Poulter
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+7000
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+12000
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+10000
Charley Hoffman
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+8000
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+10000
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+10000
Charles Howell
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+8000
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+17000
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+12500
Rafa Cabrera-Bello
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+8000
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+15000
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+10000
Cameron Smith
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+9000
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+12000
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+9000

NBC Sweat: 76ers Game On Wednesday Will Include Gambling-Themed Alternate Telecast

Marc Meltzer April 2, 2019
76ers Betting

NBC Sports continues to expand its sports betting coverage. NBC Sports Philadelphia will feature a second feed of the 76ers game versus the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday. The additional feed on NBC Sports Philadelphia+ will provide a sports-betting telecast that will be presented by NBC Sports Bet.

76ers sports betting broadcast

The sports betting broadcast of this NBA game will be led by NBC Sports Philadelphia and 97.5 The Fanatic host Marc Farzetta. He will host the show alongside Brad Feinberg from NBC Sports Philadelphia’s The Daily Line. The show will also include Anthony Gargano from 97.5 the Fanatic. The trio previously hosted a weekly sports gambling show during the NFL playoffs.

Commentary and analysis from the hosts will include discussion about the odds, point spreads, and totals. This will be complemented with unobtrusive on-screen graphics featuring betting information. One unique feature of the graphics will be the quarterly points total being updated each time a team scores.

The special gambling broadcast will feature hosts inside a broadcast studio commenting on the live game feed. The traditional broadcast with announcers inside Wells Fargo Arena featuring Marc Zumoff, Alaa Abdelnaby, and Serena Winters will still be available on regular NBC Sports Philadelphia feed.

Initially, NBC Sports is only committing to one game featuring this secondary sports betting feed.

Sports betting in and around Philadelphia

The actual market of Philadelphia is larger than the city in Pennsylvania. There Philadelphia sports fans in Delaware and south New Jersey. Coincidentally NBC Sports Philadelphia reaches all three of these states that happen to offer legal sports betting.

This will be the first NBA broadcast in the area that is specifically focused around sports betting. Since this is a new topic for many mainstream sports fans, NBC Sports Philadelphia will also include a glossary of gambling terminology.

More sports betting coverage from NBC Sports

Philadelphia is the second city where NBC Sports will deploy a sports betting feed for an NBA game. Earlier this year NBC Sports Washington (DC) debuted a sports betting broadcast of select Washington Wizards games.

NBC Sports’ first sports betting broadcast featured a prediction game with a graphics-heavy screen wrap with stats, prediction questions, and a sponsor. The “Predict The Game“ feed will air for the eighth and final time of the season on April 5.

NBC Sports Radio also produces “The Daily Line.” This is a weekday afternoon drive radio show from 3-7 p.m. ET that airs in partnership with Westwood One Radio. There are 400 NBC Sports Radio affiliates around the country. The show can also be listened to live online at NBC Sports Radio or downloaded as a podcast.

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MLB Win Totals 2019: How Sportsbooks Compare To The Top Projections Systems

Marc Meltzer March 28, 2019
MLB Win Totals

The regular Major League Baseball (MLB) season started last week in Japan with a couple of games between the Oakland A’s and Seattle Mariners. Wagering on the season win totals for those two teams are no longer available.

The season really begins Thursday in America and there’s still a few hours to place wagers over or under season win totals for MLB teams.

Where to wager on MLB season win totals

Win totals are available for betting earlier every year. Caesars Sportsbooks was the first to release MLB season win totals in February. Now that all free agents are signed and the season is about to begin, MLB win totals are available at all legal US sportsbooks.

Researching MLB season win totals

Analytically inclined baseball websites are a great resource for sports bettors. One of the many useful tools to look at before the season is MLB win total projections. PECOTA from Baseball Prospectus and Fangraphs projections are two of the most popular win total resources before and during the season.

Both resources offer useful team and player information throughout the season for both bettors and daily fantasy players. An interesting way to look at wagering on MLB season win totals is to compare the projection sites to the sportsbooks.

TeamDraftKingsFanDuelFangraphsPECOTA
Arizona75.575.57781
Atlanta84.585.58485
Baltimore59.558.56258
Boston95.594.59490
Chicago Cubs87.587.58880
Chicago WS72.573.57069
Cincinnati7978.58180
Cleveland90.590.59297
Colorado8484.58184
Detroit6868.56866
Houston9696.59698
Kansas City67.569.57073
LA Angels83.582.58280
LA Dodgers9493.59393
Miami63.563.56567
Milwaukee85.586.58387
Minnesota83.584.58282
NY Mets85.585.58587
NY Yankees9796.59796
Philadelphia8988.58689
Pittsburgh78.577.57980
San Diego7877.57980
San Francisco72.573.57573
St. Louis88.588.58686
Tampa Bay8484.58486
Texas70.570.57170
Toronto7474.57674
Washington8988.59088

Comparing projections and sportsbooks

Many of the MLB win totals are close enough that there isn’t too much to take away. However, there are a few teams that have a decent difference that it could cause a bettor to pause before placing a wager. Likewise, the information might appear strong enough to place a wager.

FanDuel Sportsbook in New Jersey has the Arizona Diamondbacks with a season win total at 75.5. PECOTA has them winning 81 games while Fangraphs projects they’ll win 77 games.

One of the biggest surprises with PECOTA this year is how much their projection does not like the Chicago Cubs. FanDuel has their season win total at 87.5 and Fangraphs projects the win total at 88. PECOTA projects that the Cubs will only win 80 games and finish last in the NL West.

The PECOTA projection for the Cleveland Indians stands out in the opposite way of the Cubs. FanDuel has the win total set at 90.5. Fangraphs projection is a little higher at 92 wins. Baseball Prospectus’ PECOTA projects the Indians will win 97 games in the weak AL Central.

Everyone seems aligned with the Philadelphia Phillies after the signing of Bryce Harper. The projection systems have the season win total close to 88.5 wins posted on FanDuel. The projection systems seem to like the offseason moves by the San Diego Padres.

Fangraphs projects the Padres to win 79 games. PECOTA has the Padres win total projected at 81 after the signing of free agent Manny Machado. The latter hasn’t been updated with the announcement that Fernando Tatis Jr. will start the season with the Padres. For comparison, FanDuel has their season win total at 77.5.

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Almost game time

Even though the season is technically underway, the MLB season starts in the US on Thursday. Bettors will have until the first pitch of each team to place season win total wagers. First pitch for the Yankees, Orioles, Mets, and Nationals is as 1 pm east coast/10 am Pacific for bettors that want to get wagers in before season win total betting closes.

MLB.com has pitching matchups and game times posted for the first few days of the season.

PointsBet Introduces New In-Play Baseball Product And Promos In Time For MLB Opening Day

Marc Meltzer March 28, 2019
PointsBet MLB

Major League Baseball (MLB) season is here and there are more ways to wager on America’s Pastime than ever before. This year PointsBet Sportsbook in New Jersey will have at least 55 wagering options that can be made before each game. They’ll also offer a new level of in-play wagering for MLB and a variety of promotions.

PointsBet “Let It Fly” MLB promotion

PointsBet is offering a variety of promotions as the MLB season gets underway. The most unique promotion for MLB bettors is the “Let It Fly” home run bonus. Simply make a moneyline wager of $50 or more on a single game and PointsBet will give the player a $10 bonus bet for every homerun the team wagered on hits.

This promotion is available for every game being played but is only good for the first MLB moneyline wager placed. If a bettor wants to make sure a specific wager qualifies for the promotion, they should place that bet first. Moneyline parlays do not qualify for this promotion.

This promotion is only available until April 8, but PointsBet also has plenty of promotions and special odds boosts. It pays to check the promotions page before placing a wager to get the most bang for the buck.

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Unique PointsBet MLB betting markets

PointsBet is offering more MLB betting options than most sports bettors have ever seen. Not only are there fun promotions and odds boosts, but the book offers more pre-game betting markets for individual games than many other sportsbooks:

  • 1st inning
  • First 3 innings (moneyline and totals)
  • First 7 innings (moneyline and totals)
  • Alternate run lines (full and partial game)
  • Runs scored

PointsBet Batter’s Box

PointsBet will also offer a unique in-play betting feature called Batter’s Box. This is a new level of in-play wagering. Seth Young, PointsBet’s chief innovation officer, told PlayNJ.com: “Batter’s Box will create micro-markets in every inning of a baseball game, allowing our clients to bet on what’s going to happen in any individual at-bat to result in one of three outcomes – hit, out, or walk/hit-by-pitch.”

Batter’s Box is a fun way to inject a little more life into the slow pace of play during a baseball game. For a change, the pace of play for baseball is an advantage. Bettors can wager on each plate appearance during a half inning. If a player on deck doesn’t bat during the inning the wager is placed, the wager will be voided.

According to PointsBet, there’s an average of 75 plate appearances during each MLB game. With traditional pre-game, in-play, prop bets, and a variety of promotions New Jersey baseball bettors will have a full plate this season at PointsBet alone.

ALSO READ: PointsBet CEO Relishes New Competition In Crowded New Jersey Market

Here’s Why Sportsbooks Shouldn’t Take Spring Training Games Off The Board

Marc Meltzer February 27, 2019
MLB Spring Training

Major League Baseball (MLB) recently sent letters to state gaming regulators asking them to stop taking wagers on Spring Training games. The league says it is concerned is that Spring Training games are “more vulnerable to manipulation,” and therefore easier to fix for betting purposes.

Three states currently offering legal wagering on Spring Training games reacted to the letter in different ways this week:

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What’s the big deal? Nevada understands the market

Believe it or not, there is a small market to bet on sporting events that don’t count toward regular season or postseason records. Preseason NFL games can have as much money wagered as a regular season MLB game. MLB Spring Training games see a fraction of what’s bet on the regular season and playoff games.

Nevada sportsbooks have somehow managed to avoid controversy for years. ESPN reports that the Nevada Gaming Control Board sent the following response to Major League Baseball:

“Based on our history and experience in regulating sports wagering, we are not inclined to prohibit our licensed sports books from taking wagers on MLB Spring Training games. We have a common goal to combat sports bribery and maintain the integrity of your sport, and are available to discuss ways we can work together in this effort.”

Sportsbooks already protect the integrity of sports betting

Nevada sportsbooks have more experience than other states on issues like this. It’s easy to use their regulations as a template for other states. Regular season and postseason games can have extraordinary betting limits above a million dollars. Maximum betting limits for Spring Training games are as low as $500-$1,000 per side or total.

Sportsbook operators in Nevada protect themselves by keeping the maximum bet limits for Spring Training games lower than most games. Making it difficult to get down big money bets is one way to keep away people looking to gain on illegal activities.

MLB wasn’t concerned when Nevada was the only state taking wagers on these games. The concern of the league now is that the repeal of PASPA means there will be more locations to wager on the games. In their eyes, more locations to wager increases the potential of unscrupulous behavior by gamblers.

Baseball is difficult to fix and Spring Training is even more difficult

Baseball is a difficult game to fix. Each team has 9 or 10 starting players. Each player in MLB this year will have a minimum salary of $555,000, according to Forbes. It’s going to take a hefty bribe to get any of these players to risk the minimum salary that might turn out to become $30 million per year like Manny Machado.

A single everyday position player won’t be able to unnoticeably change the fate in multiple games. There aren’t too many starting pitchers making the league minimum salary so that’s going to be a tough nut to crack. The lesser quality starting pitchers will be demoted if they’re not performing well so there won’t be many opportunities for the person trying to manipulate the game to win back their money.

The most mediocre relief pitchers today make more than $5 million a year. These players aren’t guaranteed to pitch during specific days. The league minimum relief pitchers might not see a game for days. Even if they’re susceptible to bribes, it’s difficult to know when to bet on their games.

Spring Training games are even more difficult to fix. Managers shuffle even more players in and out of the lineup. Even with more legal sportsbooks taking wagers, it’s going to take a lot of $500-$1,000 bets to make back whatever money is gambled.

MLB opening the door to the black market

Sports bettors have always had options on where to gamble — legal and illegal. For years, many sports bettors have used illegal and offshore sportsbooks. Some bettors will return to those bookies if MLB Spring Training games are taken off the board with legal U.S. sportsbooks.

Further, let’s say it’s possible to bribe a player, manager or umpire. Where is someone going to bet enough to make the illegal endeavor worthwhile? They’ll take the action to an illegal bookie or offshore sportsbook that might offer bigger limits without questioning their wager as U.S. sportsbooks will.

Why is MLB taking this stance?

MLB is barking up a strange tree with its stance on Spring Training games. Maybe they’re trying to “protect” the integrity so they can make more money selling data rights.

Sports fans might say MLB is dying but that’s not close to being true for the owners. According to Forbes, the only team valued under $1 billion is the Tampa Bay Rays. Thanks to TV rights and other deals the Rays still saw $23 million in operating income. The franchise is valued at $900,000,000 so let’s not shed a tear.

While the sport is no longer “America’s Pastime,” it’s still a money maker. Everything MLB does is to make more money for its owners. Whenever MLB does something that seems silly, it just makes sense to think about how they might be positioning the league to make more money for its owners.

DraftKings Expands Sportsbook Access To 13 Potential States With Caesars’ Deal

Marc Meltzer February 25, 2019
DraftKings Caesars

Caesars Entertainment and DraftKings announced a multi-state partnership on Monday that will allow the DraftKings Sportsbook access to states where Caesars Entertainment already has existing land-based casinos.

In return, Caesars Entertainment will receive an ownership stake in DraftKings and access to its customer database.

DraftKings has access to operate in 12 states

DraftKings will now have the ability to offer online gaming products like sports betting and casino games in states that have legalized those games and products. The company currently operates an online sportsbook and casino in just one state — New Jersey — while also running a retail sportsbook in Mississippi. Meanwhile, Caesars Entertainment operates casinos in the following 13 states across the U.S. Unfortunately for DraftKings, they’ll only have accee to 12 states.

DraftKings already operates in New Jersey with Resorts Casino. The deal with Caesars is very new, so there’s no word if it will change affiliation in the Garden State.

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New states for DraftKings

DraftKings will have to apply for an online gaming license in states that Caesars operates and where sports betting and online gaming are legal. Caesars operates a casino in Chester, PA, which would have given DraftKings access to the 12 million residents in the Keystone State. Unfortunately, this deal doesn’t include access to Pennsylvania. That’s most likely because casinos may only be allowed a single skin when mobile betting becomes legal in PA.

DraftKings has a sordid past with Nevada. They’re part of the reason that Nevada residents can’t play traditional daily fantasy sports (DFS) contests. The Nevada Gaming Control Board requires DFS operators to have a gaming license.

The future in Nevada for DraftKings is currently unclear since the state doesn’t allow new customers to sign up for sports wagering accounts unless they do so in person at a casino sportsbook.

Iowa and Illinois are currently discussing plans to legalize sports betting. Depending on the legislation, those could be the next states to see DraftKings’ online sportsbook and casino games.

The Caesars side of the deal

While DraftKings will gain access to new markets, there’s another side to this deal. Caesars Entertainment now has an equity stake in DraftKings. Caesars Entertainment will earn a piece of DraftKings’ gaming revenue in states where the partnership is active.

Additionally, DraftKings will promote Caesars Entertainment as its official casino resort partner in the states where the companies work together. This will provide marketing opportunities for Caesars Entertainment to potential new customers that might not be in the existing Caesars Rewards database of more than 50 million people.

Caesars Entertainment will continue to offer their own branded sports betting and online casino apps in each of the states where they have casinos. This will continue to maintain their primary access in each state.

On an earnings call last week, Caesars Entertainment’s CEO Mark Frissora said they are upgrading their New Jersey retain sportsbooks. They will be taking The Book concept that debuted at The Linq in Las Vegas to New Jersey later this year.

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Coming To New Jersey: Topgolf And Sports Betting Are A Perfect Pairing

Marc Meltzer February 21, 2019
TopGolf

The Topgolf concept is fantastic. Golf games mixed with food and drink service take a visit to a golf driving range to another level.

Topgolf took it even further when it opened its flagship location in Las Vegas (pictured). There you’ll find multiple performance stages, massive TVs, pools with cabanas, a sportsbook window, and more.

Topgolf Las Vegas is unique among its US locations in many ways. Maybe mostly because of the sports betting window inside the facility, which has drawn praise since the opening in 2016. And a twist on this small addition to Topgolf could be coming to a venue near you.

The company sees itself as a great venue for sports fans and possibly sports bettors. PointsBet sportsbook in New Jersey recently announced a partnership to bring Topgolf fans on the east coast a little closer to sports betting.

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PointsBet and Topgolf

The New Jersey Topgolf locations won’t have a dedicated window for sports betting. Rather, this partnership will be focused around PointsBet-branded bar areas at Topgolf venues. The partnership will be most active around major sporting events.

The next planned event will take place at both Topgolf Edison and Topgolf Mt. Laurel. This will be a March Madness Hole in One competition. The winner will take home a grand prize of $25,000 on March 23. Other Premium prizes and promotions will be available to participating guests at the various Topgolf-PointsBet events.

Topgolf Media President Yu Chiang Cheng says that “Partnering with PointsBet aligns our shared purpose of connecting people in meaningful ways to provide year-round sports entertainment to the local community.”

This kind of year-round branding and special event marketing will help label PointsBet as the sportsbook of choice for Topgolf customers. It’s also potentially the beginning of making Topgolf one of the best “sportsbooks” in the country.

Topgolf and sports betting

Sportsbooks and sports betting no longer have to be inside of a physical casino. Nearly 80 percent of all sports wagers in New Jersey were made online or with a mobile device. While Buffalo Wild Wings is still talking about how to get in the sports betting game, Topgolf already is.

Topgolf isn’t a sportsbook operator. Their location in Las Vegas is at MGM Grand and MGM Resorts International operates the sportsbook. The sports betting window is only open for major events and football. The window is a way for MGM Resorts to promote mobile signups as much as it’s open to take physical wagers.

Topgolf locations in New Jersey won’t have a sportsbook at all. However, sports bettors in New Jersey will be reminded that they can sign up and wager online with PointsBet. The major difference in New Jersey and Las Vegas is the physical sportsbook window for guests to place sports bets.

The majority of guests at Topgolf are sports fans even though they don’t necessarily have to play sports or be golf fans to enjoy the Topgolf games. The low-pressure and upbeat environment helps make Topgolf games approachable for non-golfers. This same environment is an excellent way to recruit new sports bettors.

Topgolf has 59 physical locations in 27 states across the country. The only other state currently with legal sports betting and a Topgolf location is Pennsylvania. Topgolf Pittsburgh is currently without a sports betting partner. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see another similar sportsbook deal when Pennsylvania legalizes mobile sports betting.

MLB Betting: Padres World Series Odds Cut In Half After Manny Machado Deal Announced

Marc Meltzer February 19, 2019
Manny Machado Padres

The Hot Stove was quiet most of the winter. It was only a matter of time that one of the big free agents in Major League Baseball would sign a deal. The first really big name free agent, Manny Machado, is off the board. He’s now a member of the San Diego Padres.

The deal Manny Machado signed with the Padres is reportedly worth $300 million over 10 years. This contract is the largest in the history of the San Diego Padres. The largest contract in the team’s history was previously Eric Hosmer’s deal for $144 million.

San Diego Padres odds on the move

It took less than 15 minutes for Padres futures odds to be cut in half at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook. Padres World Series futures odds went from +10000 (100-1) to +5000 (50-1) shortly after Manny Machado’s deal was announced.

The signing also changed the odds on the east coast. FanDuel Sportsbook in New Jersey quickly updated their division, league, and championship odds.

The season win total at Caesars Entertainment sportsbooks for the San Diego Padres jumped by two wins on the news of the Machado signing. Prior to the deal, the Padres total was 77.5. Their win total is now 79.5. Caesars‘ odds are available in MississippiNevada, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

For reference, MLB.com projects Manny Machado to have a WAR (Wins Above Replacement) for 2019 that’s around 2.9, 4.7, or 6.6.

BetStars in New Jersey has a couple different Manny Machado Home Run prop bets that might make sense to wager on now that he has a deal with the Padres:

  • Home Runs: Over/Under 36.5
  • Odds to win the Home Run title: 40-1

Up Next: Bryce Harper

Bryce Harper, formerly of the Washington Nationals, is still a free agent. His new deal is expected to eclipse Machado’s deal and might even surpass Giancarlo Stanton’s $325 million contract.

Harper has long been tied to the Philadelphia Phillies even though he’s currently “unsure” about signing with the team. Unlike the Machado signing, Harper to the Phillies shouldn’t move their odds too much.

The potential of Harper signing with the Phillies can be seen in their odds already. The Phillies are 14-1 to win the World Series at Caesars and 13-1 to win the World Series at FanDuel.

The odds of him hitting the most Home Runs in Major League Baseball this season are already 22-1 at BetStars. That’s seventh of all players in the league.

Bet on Manny Machado props and other MLB futures at BetStars and receive up to $500 in free bets

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