Articles

Ness Notes

by Larry Ness

Thursday, Sep 24, 2020

This column will be available Monday through Friday (posted no later than 1:00 ET), EXCLUSIVELY at BigAl.com. I like to call it my daily 'random thoughts' on the sports betting world, although I'll pass along that my therapist refers to it as "thoughtful commentary."  The Lightning took 2-1 lead in the Stanley Cup Finals with a dominating 5-2 win over the Stars. Wouldn't it be "just desserts" if the Lightning won it all this year, after last season's 'disaster.' Even casual fans may remember that the Lightning went 62-16-4 (128 points) in the 2018-19 season, tying the record for most wins in a single season in NHL history. However, the Lightning then got swept in four games by Columbus in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Game 4 is Saturday (early line has Tampa Bay as a -160 favorite.The Miami Heat have not just been the most surprising team in this year's postseason (Came in as the East's No. 5 seed) but they've also been the NBA's best team this playoff season (so far). The Heat beat the Celtics 112-109 to take a 3-1 lead in the series. All FIVE of Miami's starters are averaging in double digits, while Kentucky rookie Tyler Hero is chipping in 16.5 PPG (he had a 37 points last night!). The Heat are now 11-2 SU and ATS this postseason. The West Finals resume tonight from Orlando, as the top-seeded Lakers take on the third-seeded Nuggets. Each of the Nuggets' four previous playoff series (two last year and two this year) have gone to seven games, with Denver winning THREE of them, The Nuggets rallied from 3-1 deficits in each of their first two series this postseason and after falling in an 0-2 'hole' against the Lakers, bounce back with an impressive 114-106 win in Game 3. Are we headed to another seven-game Denver series? The Lakers are favored by six points in tonight's game. Playoff numbers to-date: Favorites are just 37-35-1 ATS , while under cashed in 44 of the 73 games (60.3 percent. For those following the "Zig-Zag" Theory (that means playing "on" the SU loser of the previous game), they've gone 26-31-1 ATS (45.6%) or minus-.8.1 net units.MLB enters the final four days of its COVID-shortened 60-game schedule and there are still a few playoff spots up for grabs in this season's expanded 16-team field. It's no surprise that the Dodgers own MLB's best record (39-17 or that they won the NL West for the EIGHTH consecutive year. However, the Padres have secured a second-place finish in the NL West (all second-place teams are assured a playoff spot), as San Diego (just 70-92 in 2019) will participate in MLB's postseason for the first time since 2006. The surprising Chicago White Sox, off a 72-89 season in 2019, have clinched a playoff spot for the first time since 2008. The Yankees were the clear favorites to represent the AL in the World Series at the start of the season, as well as strong favorites to win the AL East. However, the 37-20 Tampa Bay Rays have  won their first AL East title since 2010 and are likely to wind up as the AL's top-seed.The 2020 CFB season has started slowly and late due to COVID-19 but the SEC (the nation's top conference) finally opens its season on Saturday. There has been just one game between ranked opponents up until now, as No. 17 Miami-Florida handled No. 18 Louisville last Saturday, 47-34. However, there are three games this Saturday in which ranked opponents square off against each other. No. 8 Auburn (-7.5) is home vs No. 23 Kentucky, No. 14 Cincinnati (-13.5) hosts 2-0 Army (note: Army was just 5-8 in 2019) and No. 21 Pittsburgh (-3) is home against No. 24 Louisville. There are 14 teams playing unranked teams this weekend and note that while ranked teams are 12-2 SU against unranked opponents so far in 2020, they are a 'money-burning' 5-9 ATS. I'll follow this trend all season here at Ness Notes.Be back Friday at 1:00 ET.Good luck...Larry

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Sports Betting Laws: In Which States is it Legal?

by Big Al Staff

Thursday, Sep 24, 2020

Sports betting is a common practice of people in all countries.  And over the last 25 years, there’s been a huge evolution in the gambling world, as the placement of bets has largely moved online.  Before the internet, gamblers generally placed their bets at legal, brick-and-mortar books, or over the telephone with illegal bookies.  The gambling landscape further changed in the United States, in 2018, when the Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA).  It was through PASPA that sports betting was illegal in most states.  But the Supreme Court lifted the federal ban, so each state now has the opportunity to set its own sports betting laws.We've taken the effort to review the progress of gambling legislation in every single state in the United States to see what their rules are in terms of sports betting.  It should also be noted that there's a difference between physical sportsbooks and online sportsbooks.  It's essential to be aware of all the federal laws and state laws, so scroll through to see whether or not your state allows sports wagering. History of sports betting:  When did sports betting become legal? Before we dive in completely, we'd like to share some history to see what happened before the Supreme Court decided to lift the federal ban in 2018.  We should go back to the early 19th century when horse racing was among the most popular sports in the country.  Bettors would love to go to the racetracks to bet on their favorite horse, and it was, in fact, the only sports which allowed wagering.  However, with the introduction of other professional sports like baseball and football, sports gambling become more common.  It wasn't very much later that legislators started to notice that sports betting started to be common ground for fraudsters.Now throughout the start of the 19th century, sports betting was still illegal.  In 1931, Nevada legalized sports betting, which caused an influx of bettors.  Regulating sports betting still wasn't a big thing, but the moment Congress lowered the 10% tax rate that bookmakers had to pay, suddenly state legislatures started to look to sports gambling as a means to raise revenue.  Delaware began a state lottery, and Montana passed a lottery with fantasy sports options.A turning point in legal sports betting in the United States was the passage of PASPA in 1992.  It banned sports betting throughout the United States, but grandfathered in the four states that had already adopted pro-gambling legislation.  And in only one of the four -- Nevada -- did sports wagering exist in the full form we know it today.  That was the most critical moment in the United States’ sports betting history until 2018, when the Supreme Court overturned PASPA to pave the way for the legalization of gambling.Today, bettors can place their wagers on any sport, ranging from professional sports like the NBA, NFL, or MLB to amateur matches, such as NCAA athletics or even the Olympics.  States are now allowed to set their legislative sessions and choose whether they allow sports betting in general, physical sportsbooks, or online game betting.  Without further ado, let's dive right in to see where each state currently is in terms of its legalization of sports betting! In which states is sports betting legal? Let's start with the states where sports betting is entirely legal, which means both online betting and physical sportsbooks (and anything in between).  Please note that this list will surely become outdated relatively soon after our publication, as new states will come on board. Nevada We have largely arranged this list alphabetically, with one exception.  We’ve placed the state of Nevada first, since it has been the home for sports gambling ever since the early nineteenth century.  It used to be the only state in the United States to allow legal sports betting, but things changed over the years.  Many sports bettors still consider Nevada to be the best place for betting since it's a central hub where all sorts of skilled bettors get together.Whereas Nevada is one of the places where sports betting is a regular thing, mobile sports betting is still in its relative infancy.  Most sportsbooks, for example, still require you to physically register before being able to bet through mobile apps. Arkansas The Arkansas Racing Commission suddenly came into play as the governing party that takes care of the sports betting branches. On the 1st of July, in 2019, sports betting officially became legal. The Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort was the place where the first legal sports bets were placed. Several retail locations opened brick-and-mortar sportsbooks, but mobile betting is not legal as of yet. There has been a sports betting bill concerning mobile betting, but it has yet to pass. ​Colorado It wasn't until the 1st of May, 2020 that sports betting became legal in Colorado.   However, the moment it became legal, it started on the right foot with complete legalization. Residents are now allowed to open accounts online and start wagering both online and with brick-and-mortar sportsbooks, but must be physically be within the state’s borders.  And non-residents can also bet on Colorado’s sportsbooks’ apps, provided they’re physically located within the state.  It turned out to become a very competitive state for sportsbooks, creating a very welcoming climate for bettors.  Some of the major names in the sportsbook industry already brought their operations to Colorado, but more are to follow.Every sportsbook has to comply with a 10% tax rate and a $54,000 operating fee. The revenue the government makes from taxes and operating fees is said to fund various state water projects. Delaware Less than a month after the Supreme Court ruling, Delaware decided it was time to open the gates for sports bettors.  On the 5th of June, 2018, Delaware started to allow single-game betting on numerous sports at three casinos.   Note that only physical sportsbooks are authorized to accept wagers.  Mobile betting is not allowed yet.  Gov. John Carney described the new transformation in the industry as "a full-scale sports gaming operation."  Bettors can now head to the casinos to place their wagers, but online sports betting is only available to residents who cross the state line into Pennsylvania or New Jersey. Washington D.C Washington, D.C has legalized sports betting, but has not been successful with its handle in the early-going. The bill became law in late March 2019, and the first wagers were taken in May 2020.  Unfortunately, the District has had just 1.2 million dollars in handle for the first two months.  Of course, the fact that there were virtually no major American sports due to the coronavirus had a lot to do with that.  The District did do something noteworthy, though.  And that was that it became the first jurisdiction to have a sportsbook installed at an arena or stadium, when William Hill set up shop at Capital One Arena. Illinois Illinois is one of these states that didn't immediately jump the fence when PASPA was overturned.  They took some time to work out a plan thoroughly and, on the 9th of March, 2020, sports betting became legal throughout the state.  As part of the sports betting bill, brick-and-mortar sportsbooks have an advantage over online sportsbooks. The brick-and-mortar sportsbooks may allow mobile betting through their operations 18 months before the online sportsbooks may start accepting bets.  This rule has caused some online entities, like DraftKings, to partner with a land-based entity to expedite offering mobile wagering.However, bettors must physically register first before being able to make their online bets.Another cool factor is that several sports stadiums are now allowed to host their betting kiosks.  The one limitation of the sports betting bill is that wagering on "an Illinois collegiate team" is forbidden.  So, there’s no betting on teams like Northwestern, Illinois, Southern Illinois, DePaul or Illinois State. Indiana The sports betting bill in Indiana was signed on May 8, 2019, but it wasn't until September 1, 2019 that legal sports betting officially went live.  The Indiana Gaming Commission oversees the sports betting practices of both online and brick-and-mortar sportsbooks, and issues the requisite licenses.  Sports leagues and colleges may request to disallow betting on a particular sporting event.  In-person wagering is allowed, but the major part of betting happens online or through mobile apps.  With the arrival of several major names in the betting industry, Indiana had an average handle of $154.6 million per month in the first two months of legal betting. Iowa After the Supreme Court ruling, Iowa required some time to work out its sports betting bill. On August 15, 2019, the state started to officially accept bets with multiple sportsbooks opening their operations to customers on that day.  Operators are required to pay a $45,000 licensing fee and a 6.75 percent tax rate on the revenue made from their sports betting practices.Anyone is allowed to make their bets at brick-and-mortar sportsbooks, but mobile betting isn't widely accepted yet.  When you want to bet using mobile apps or websites with online betting options, you need to register physically with a sportsbook first.  The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission regulates the sports betting environment in the state. Michigan The official sports betting bill for Michigan was introduced on the December 11, 2019.  However, it wasn't until March 11, 2020 that betting became widely available throughout the state.  Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed it into law and thereby allowed in-person wagering at the MGM Grand Detroit.  Mobile betting is permitted under the law, but expectations are that it will take at least until 2021 until it is available. Mississippi Mississippi was one of the first states to legalize sports betting.  On August 1, 2018, two casinos booked their first sports bets.  The regulations are quite strict, though, with the Mississippi Gaming Commission enforcing strong regulation.  One of these regulatory measurements is the fact that all betting should happen in-person. Mobile betting is allowed, but only while being inside a casino. Montana On May 3, 2019, sports betting was officially legalized in Montana.  The goal was to get everything in place for the start of the next NFL season.  But bureaucracy got in the way, and things took longer than expected.  In March of 2020, sports betting became widely available, and bettors can now place their wagers inside licensed venues.  These venues consist of bars, restaurants, and sportsbooks, with oversight by the Montana Lottery.  You can use mobile apps for betting, but it's not permitted outside of the licensed bet shop. New Hampshire The moment sports betting becomes legal, there's always that lucky person who gets to place the first legal sports bet.  In New Hampshire, it was Governor Chris Sununo who placed the first wager during an opening ceremony on December 30, 2019.  The state lottery regulates all sports betting practices statewide.  Interestingly, New Hampshire has chosen to go the route of offering just one operator, rather than multiple sportsbooks.  Bettors must be at least 18 years old! New Jersey ​Just a couple of days after the Supreme Court lifted its federal ban on sports betting, Governor Phil Murphy of New Jersey signed the sports betting bill which would forever change the state.  For years, the state had been at the forefront of the effort to overturn PASPA.  With the legalization, New Jersey has become a betting paradise.  Sports betting brought in roughly $4.5 billion of wagers in 2019, of which more than 80% was placed through online betting.There are many sportsbooks active in New Jersey, and mobile betting is entirely legal for sports bettors.  If you're up for a fun weekend of betting, head over to Atlantic City and gamble some big bucks! New Mexico New Mexico is the home to many Native Americans who have their tribal casinos.  Ever since the Supreme Court came with its new ruling, New Mexico hasn't introduced new legislation.  Nevertheless, the Native Americans consider their tribal casinos legally able to accept sports bets under a gaming compact.  So, sports betting is quasi-legal, and several tribal casinos take wagers.  But it's still somewhat a grey area how far does the license reach for all parties involved. New York The state of New York has legal sports betting, but it’s limited to just under a dozen upstate land-based casinos.  The state is trying hard to legalize mobile betting, but it hasn't found the right support.  So, New York City gamblers will make the trek across the state line to New Jersey to place wagers.  It's rumored that New York is losing roughly $200 million in revenue a year by not legalizing online betting. Oregon Before PASPA was overturned, Oregon was one of the four states which already allowed sports betting. With the federal ban lifted, many sportsbooks opened up shop in the state, and several casinos started marketing activities to promote their services.  The Oregon Lottery oversees all sports betting operations in the state, which also allows mobile betting.  As of now, there’s only one wagering app available in the state.  Unfortunately, no betting on college athletics is permitted in Oregon. Pennsylvania Just a couple of months after the PASPA act got wiped off the table, the state of Pennsylvania officially legalized sports betting. The first legal sports bet in Pennsylvania took place at the Hollywood Casino. By November 2019, bettors had all the options to start wagering in their state.  The legalization of sports betting in Pennsylvania has brought the state nearly $1.5 billion in bets, which is the third-largest amount in the entire United States.  Bettors can use anything from brick-and-mortar sportsbooks to mobile apps, to online sportsbooks - whatever you prefer. Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo signed a state budget which provided for two physical locations to host sports wagering in Rhode Island.  On November 26, 2018, the Twin River Casino in Lincoln was the first place to allow legal sports betting.  These days, bettors have two locations to go to, but can also use their mobile device for wagering.  In Rhode Island, you have to be just 18 years old to place your bets legally, and can even be a non-resident, provided you’re within the state’s borders.  The Rhode Island Lottery oversees all sports betting practices, and grants licenses to sportsbooks that want to open up shop in the state. West Virginia West Virginia legalized sports betting with the opening of the Hollywood Casino on August 30, 2018.  The West Virginia Lottery Commission oversees all the sports wagering practices that happen across the state.  Within the sports betting bill, both in-person betting and online betting are allowed.  After the legalization, West Virginia brought in roughly $129 million in bets in the last couple of months of 2019. Which states are close to making sports betting legal? Some states just need a little extra push to cross the sports betting goal line.  We'll share an overview of the states that are close to legalization but haven't taken the official steps yet. North Carolina North Carolina legalized sports betting in July 2019, but it hasn’t figured out which form it will take. The law allows the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians to offer sports betting at their two tribal casinos.  The bill does not permit any mobile wagering, only in-person betting.  Now the catch here, the law isn't effective yet.  There still needs to be an amended gaming compact between the Cherokee Indians and the state, so no sports wagering has started.  It’s unclear when an agreement will be reached. Oklahoma Two tribal casinos that are federally-recognized reached an agreement with Governor Kevin Stitt on new gaming compacts, including sports betting.  On June 8, 2020, Stitt announced the approval of the new compacts that are seen as the founding soil for legal sports betting.  However, as there are some influential opposing groups, including the Oklahoma Attorney General, it's unclear when the sports betting bill will be active. Tennessee Tennessee passed the Tennessee Sports Gaming Act on May 25, 2019, and will have sports betting in 2020.  The law permits statewide mobile sports betting, and doesn't require brick-and-mortar sportsbooks.  The state is one of the few that allow just online wagering, no in-person wagering.  Operating licenses are limited, require a $750,000 licensing fee, and have a cap of 85% payout for bettors.  These rules and regulatory difficulties create a challenging climate for bettors and officials to reach an agreement. Virginia On paper, sports betting is entirely legal in Virginia.  In reality, there's no sports betting yet. Governor Ralph Northam signed a sports betting bill in April 2020 to allow in-person and mobile betting, with the Virginia Lottery in charge of approving licenses.  Bettors are allowed to wager on college sports teams, making a pretty welcoming climate for bettors and sportsbooks across the commonwealth.  The earliest that betting could occur would be in December 2020. Which states are moving towards legal sports betting? Quite a long list of states are still figuring out the role for sports betting in their jurisdiction.  It's unclear for some, while others are a step closer to passage of an official bill. Alabama In April 2019, the officials in Alabama proposed a 44-page bill that formed the plans towards the legalization of sports betting.  It would "permit wagering on certain professional or collegiate sports, or athletic events and other events."  The bill would also form the creation of the Alabama Sports Wagering Commission that would then oversee the regulation of sports wagering in Alabama.  The other fact that's evident is a 10% tax rate on sports wagering receipts by all the operators granted a license.  Since Alabama requires the legislature and the voting public's approval, the introduction of an official law could take a while. Alaska ​Governor Mike Dunleavy is open to the legalization of sports betting, and attempted legislation in 2020, but it died in the Alaska legislature.  Dunleavy recently opined that it would be a way to diversify revenue coming into the state’s coffers.  However, Alaska is one of five states still without a lottery, and it also has no major sports teams, so the appetite for sports betting is small. Arizona In early 2019, lawmakers took the effort to introduce another sports betting bill, but it didn’t gain traction.  It would have authorized certain federally recognized Indian tribes to have sports betting at their tribal casinos.  It would also prohibit other parties from offering the means to bettors to place wagers.  It would not allow mobile betting - just in-person sports betting at one of the 24 tribal casinos in Arizona. It's unclear what the next steps are towards legalization, and the last development is another bill introduced by lawmakers in early 2020. California ​The legalization in California is quite difficult.  It would require an amendment in the state's constitution, which isn't the easiest thing to do.  It requires at least a million signatures and a whole lot of hearings, voting processes, and the support of dozens of officials.  The other difficulty is the fact that all gaming is under the control of tribes.  It's unclear when the next steps can be taken towards legalization, but California is working on it, as it especially wants to reduce its $54 billion budget deficit. Connecticut Technically, sports betting is already legal in Connecticut, as a gaming package was passed in 2017 to establish the state’s sports betting industry pending a change in the federal law (which later occured with the elimination of PASPA).  Unfortunately, the conflicts with the state's tribe have proved very hard to overcome.  The lawmakers have tried to make it work and introduced another bill in 2020.  The goal is to allow in-person betting and mobile wagering, but the tribes have shown no willingness to cooperate.  With the belief that the tribes should have the exclusive rights to operate, legal sports betting might be far from happening anytime soon in Connecticut. Florida Florida is another state that conflicts with their tribes. The Seminole tribe would have to grant the state approval before anything can change on the front of legalization. There hasn't been much progress in the past couple of years. But, there's a plan on the table somewhere. The bill should empower the Florida Lottery to oversee sports betting practices in the state, including mobile betting. It will be discussed during the 2020 legislative sessions. Supporters of the bill are aiming for an effective date of the 1st of October. Georgia After doing some polls across the state, it became evident that the Georgians are supporters of the legalization of sports betting, as are the Atlanta professional sports teams.  The bill that got introduced in early 2019, allowing wagering on professional and college sports, is still on the table but hasn't progressed past the committee stage yet.  Since the state doesn't have any operating casinos, there's still a long way to go for Georgia to become a welcoming place for bettors.  And it’s also unclear whether sports gambling would require a constitutional amendment. Hawaii As one of two states without any gambling in any form or shape (Utah is the other), Hawaii does not seem to be in a hurry to authorize sports betting. Still, in early January 2019, a bill was introduced in support of the legalization of sports wagering.  It would have created the Hawaii Sports Wagering Corporation to regulate and operate sports betting on the islands.  We'll keep an eye on the developments, but the odds are small that sports betting will be legal anytime soon in Hawaii. Kansas There have been recent moves by the Kansas legislature to approve sports gambling.  In February 2020, the Senate passed a bill to allow for sports betting at the four state-owned casinos (which are operated by private entities).  But the legislature adjourned early due to the coronavirus.  But the momentum is there for Kansas to legalize sports betting in 2021, if the Senate, House and Governor Laura Kelly can work out the details. Kentucky In early 2020, a 27-page bill went through several committees and officials, but it never went through.  The Republican lawmakers called the issue "divisive," and lobbyists managed to get rid of the bill officially.  The goal was that the Kentucky Racing Commission would be the institution to host a system for sports wagering.  Part of that system would be a $250,000 licensing fee, a hefty tax rate, and a 3 percent share of the handle.  Since the last bill got dismissed, Kentucky has to wait until at least 2021 before sports betting might become legal. Louisiana There will be a referendum this November which will give Louisiana voters the opportunity to legalize sports betting in their individual parish or county.  Specifically, the question before voters will ask, “Shall sports wagering activities and operation be permitted in [your parish or county]?”  Even if just one parish makes the choice to legalize betting, that would be enough for the state to create a regulatory body, and licensing procedures.  So, it’s likely that Louisiana will have legal sports betting by the end of 2021. Maine Maine was very close to legalization.  It would allow mobile belling and in-person betting, even allowing sportsbooks to operate online-only.  The House and the Senate agreed, but Governor Janet Mills decided to use her powers to veto the bill.  On January 10, 2020, it got taken off the table, officially.  The Senate tried to overturn the veto, but the House couldn't follow along.  It won't be until 2021 that there will be another legislative session to discuss the bill. Maryland Maryland is close, very close to legalization.  They're trying hard, and a lot of legislative sessions were dedicated to making a sports betting bill happen, but never did anything pull through.  On this November's ballot, voters will have a referendum before them which would allow the expansion of commercial gaming in Maryland.  The referendum will ask, “Do you favor the expansion of commercial gaming in the State of Maryland to authorize sports and event betting for the primary purpose of raising revenue for education?”  It's unclear though what the exact details would be for the bill.  Should the voters approve the referendum, then Maryland will likely have something in place before the end of the 2021 NFL season. Massachusetts ​In early 2018, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission brought a 31-page whitepaper to the public eye. They thought of a roadmap that would pave the way towards complete legalization.  Governor Charlie Baker has been giving it his all to bring legalized sports betting to Massachusetts, but hasn't found the right support.  His goal is to make in-person betting possible, as well as mobile wagering and online betting.  We'll follow the developments carefully, as there’s a good chance the Massachusetts legislature explores options in the fall of 2020. Missouri Missouri is working hard to allow bettors to place their wagers without worrying about its legality.  In March 2020, there were two separate sports betting bills that the committee in the House cleared - but it still has to pass a couple of rounds.  Both bills would allow in-person wagering and online betting, but the difference lies in the tax rate. With neighboring states Illinois and Iowa already having their sports betting regulations in place, Missouri wants to make things happen, but there's still a far way to go.  The best guess is that Missouri approves it by the end of 2021. Nebraska State senator Justin Wayne introduced a bill that would classify sports betting as an authorized game of skill.  This would remove traditional sports wagering, fantasy sports, and poker from the state's existing ban.  Unfortunately, Wayne’s bills never made it out of committee, so it’s unclear whether there is a path toward the legalization of sports betting in the near term. ​North Dakota The North Dakota Attorney General have would have been given oversight about all sports betting regulations in the House bill introduced in January 2019.  But that bill failed, and it's unclear whether anything will happen in 2020.   Ohio The Ohio House of Representatives passed a sports betting bill on May 28, 2020.  It is hoped that the Ohio House and Senate can reconcile the differences in the bills before their bodies, and agree on a bill before November.  Currently, the biggest divide between the two is over the regulatory body.  The Senate wants the Ohio Casino Control Commission, while the House favors the Ohio Lottery Commission.  If a bill can be agreed upon, it will likely allow bettors to use in-person betting and mobile betting options.  Governor Mike DeWine has expressed his support of legalization many times before, so it will likely happen, it's just unclear when. South Carolina In early 2017, there was a House Bill with a constitutional amendment required to legalize sports betting in South Carolina.  There would be some strong regulations, but sports betting would become legal. This bill got taken off the table, but a new bill was introduced in early 2019.  Nevertheless, during the 2019 legislative session, nothing happened with the bill, so it failed.  And there’s been no recent push in 2020 to revive efforts to legalize sports betting. ​South Dakota Both the House and the Senate passed a sports betting measure in support of legalization.  It would allow a constitutional amendment that would permit sports betting statewide. The voters in the state will be given a referendum in November 2020 to decide the future of legal sports betting in South Dakota.  One downside is that Governor Kristi Noem is opposed to sports betting expansion, plus there are several tribes that would have to support the bill before it is accepted. Texas As part of the bill that got introduced on February 1, 2019, sports betting operators in Texas would have to obtain a permit that costs $250,000 and be subject to a 6.25% tax rate.  The Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation would oversee all sports betting practices under the proposed law.  The current bill didn't go anywhere, and the officials couldn't agree on making it work.  Nevertheless, there are some new bills in the works by Texas lawmakers.  And, since there's such a love for sports in the state, legalization will happen eventually. Vermont When PASPA was overturned by the Supreme Court, it was the Vermont Lottery's executive director who said that not a single person in Vermont wanted sports betting to become legal.  Nevertheless, Senators Michael Sirotkin and Dick Sears introduced a mobile-only sports betting bill in Vermont in early 2020.  Given the skepticism of government officials in Vermont regarding sports betting, there are many hurdles to overcome, but who knows what the future might bring. Wyoming There's not that much happening in terms of legalization in Wyoming. There have been a couple of efforts, but the last effort to authorize sports betting failed by a 32-27-1 margin in early 2020.  With only four licensed casinos in the state, there's not much of a gambling climate in Wyoming.  We're not betting on legalization happening anytime soon in Wyoming.Which states do not have any sports betting legalization? Some states don't want anything to do with sports betting. They're simply not having it. Find out why down here. Idaho & Wisconsin Idaho and Wisconsin both have laws in place that prohibit any form of sports betting. Thus, there are still a ton of hurdles to overcome before legalization might occur.  However, with the local governments' strong stance against gambling, there probably will not be any form of legalization shortly. Minnesota In Minnesota, the big issue is the local tribes. There have been some bills that were introduced to the House and Senate that eventually never went through. The main reason is the firm stance of the 11 federally recognized tribes that do not want to expand gambling beyond their casino games. Utah ​Utah has some strong regulatory measures against gambling baked into the state's constitution.  Any changes to their anti-gambling stance would require a massive shift in leadership after decades of opposition to gambling.  That includes lottery tickets, table games, and sports betting.If your state does not have sports betting at all, or if it’s not convenient, then consider betting at an offshore sportsbook.  Indeed, even if your state does have expansive sports betting, offshore sportsbooks are still a great way to go because of their bonuses, competitive odds, and high wagering limits.  Some sportsbooks -- like our #1-rated BetAnySports -- offer reduced juice (BetAnySports offers -105 odds rather than -110).  And others, like WagerWeb, offer cash back on volume, which is a variant of reduced juice (in effect, WagerWeb's odds are -108 rather than -110).  And, then, our #2-rated sportsbook, BetNow, offers the best sign-up bonus, while our #5-rated sportsbook, BookMaker, takes $50,000 on an NFL side.  Review our Top 10 Sportsbooks list to see which one best suits your needs.

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NFL Stock Rising and Falling: Week 3

by Sean Murphy

Thursday, Sep 24, 2020

We’re onto Week 3 of the NFL season with 11 teams still undefeated through two games. Here’s a quick look around the league in our latest edition of ‘Stock Rising and Falling’.Stock Rising:Baltimore RavensWhile a perfect 2-0 start was expected, perhaps the Ravens have looked even better than most anticipated through the first two weeks of the season. As I noted at the start of the season, the Ravens are absolutely loaded on both sides of the football – no team brings more roster continuity to this unique 2020 campaign. Now comes Baltimore’s first real test in the form of the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday Night Football. Pittsburgh SteelersThe Steelers are back…or at least that’s how it appears through two games. Give Pittsburgh plenty of credit; its defense has come up big in consecutive games against the Giants and Broncos and another favorable matchup awaits this Sunday as it hosts the reeling Houston Texans. Keep in mind, the Steelers offense is still rounding back into form after missing Big Ben for much of last season. There’s still plenty of upside in the Steel City as we head toward October. Dallas CowboysThe Cowboys doubters were coming out of the woodwork in droves before Dallas pulled off its incredible comeback victory against Atlanta last Sunday. Now the Cowboys look poised to go on a run but only if they can keep the momentum building in a road date with the Seahawks this week. After the trip to Seattle, the ‘Boys get a three-game homestand against the Browns, Giants and Cardinals so with a win on Sunday they could be staring down the pipe at a potential 5-1 start. Stock Falling:Denver BroncosBelieve it or not, the Broncos are actually off to a perfect 2-0 ATS start. That ATS success could be short-lived, however, as they deal with a number of key injuries and absences on both sides of the football. QB Jeff Driskel takes the reins under center after holding his own in relief of Drew Lock last week but draws a stiff challenge this Sunday as Denver hosts an underrated Tampa Bay defense. Vic Fangio will need to scheme up the Broncos defense in order to hang tough in this one. New York JetsThe Jets are a mess and perhaps their only saving grace at this point is the fact that they get to host the Broncos next week. Head coach Adam Gase appears to be on borrowed time with this group, which simply hasn’t been able to get it together offensively during his time in the Big Apple. New York heads to Indy this week to face a Colts squad that made quick work of the Vikings last Sunday. Atlanta FalconsHow in the world will the Falcons pick themselves up off the mat following that demoralizing loss in Dallas last Sunday? Atlanta’s pass-funnel defense just isn’t getting it done in spite of its very capable offense. This Sunday’s home game against the 2-0 Bears could be the last stand for head coach Dan Quinn. After Chicago comes a tough trip to Lambeau Field to face the red hot Packers. It’s put up or shut up time in the ATL this week. 

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NFL Thursday Night Football: Dolphins/Jaguars Preview

by Big Al Staff

Wednesday, Sep 23, 2020

Week 3 of the NFL season kicks off on Thursday between two teams looking to rebound from losses on Sunday. Miami fell to 0-2 this season after losing at home to Buffalo by a 31-28 score. The Dolphins did cover the +5.5 point spread as the underdog in that game. They were let down by their defense that gave up 524 yards to the Bills with 413 yards of those yards in the air. After losing in the opening week to the New England Patriots by a 21-11 score, not only is second-year Brian Flores’ team 0-2 to start the season but both of those losses are to AFC East rivals. The pressure will be amping up for Flores to give the keys to the Dolphins’ offense over to Tua Tagovailoa sooner rather than later. Joe Burrow looks like a veteran already for the Cincinnati Bengals and Justin Herbert appears more than ready to take the starting quarterback job for the Los Angeles Chargers. Ryan Fitzpatrick has been inconsistent this season as the Miami quarterback. He threw for only 191 yards against the Patriots with three interceptions. However, the veteran responded on Sunday by completing 31 of his 47 passes for 328 yards with two touchdown passes and no interceptions. It is hard to decipher which version of Fitzmagic will show up on Thursday night. Tagovailoa will be waiting in the wings.Jacksonville comes off a narrow 33-30 loss at Tennessee where they were 7-point underdogs on Sunday. The Jaguars outgained the Titans by +126 yards but were held back by a -2 turnover margin due to two Gardner Minshew interceptions. Minshew has been one of the surprises of the league this season after his masterfully efficient 19 of 20 passing effort in Week 1 to lead the Jaguars to a 27-20 victory at Indianapolis. Through the first two games of the season, Minshew has completed 49 of 65 passes for a 75.3% completion percentage. He has thrown for 512 yards with six touchdown passes and just those two interceptions last week. The other surprise is in the Jacksonville backfield where it has become apparent why the team released Leonard Fournette with the emergence of undrafted rookie James Robinson. The former Illinois State running back rushed for 102 yards in 16 carries last week. Robinson has tallied 164 rushing yards so far this season on 32 carries. Not many people would have expected the Jaguars to be tied with the Kansas City Chiefs after two weeks with a 28.5 points per game scoring average. Hosting the Dolphins is enticing for them this week considering that the Miami defense is giving up 164 rushing yards per game this season. They are also allowing 10.24 yards per pass attempt which is the highest in the league. However, the Jags may be without Minshew’s favorite target in wide receiver D.J. Chark who is listed as questionable with a chest injury.  BookMaker has Jacksonville as a 3-point home favorite with the total set at 48.  The Jaguars are allowed to seat fans up to 25% of stadium capacity given the state regulations in Florida. This should result in a crowd of 15,000 to 20,000 for this game. This game will broadcast on the NFL Network with kickoff slated for 8:20 PM ET on Thursday. 

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NBA Celtics/Heat Game 4 Preview

by Big Al Staff

Wednesday, Sep 23, 2020

The NBA Eastern Conference finals get back to business on Wednesday after a three-day break that afforded time for the Western Conference finals to get caught up with two games played since the Celtics and Heat last played on Saturday. Boston avoided a disastrous 0-3 start in this series on Saturday by defeating Miami by a 117-106 score as a 3.5-point favorite. That victory gave them the opportunity to even this series at 2-2 in Game 4. There were two developments in that game that gives Boston hope that they can rally to win this series. First, head coach Brad Stevens made the defensive adjustment to play Marcus Smart against the primary Miami ball handler. Smart’s previous primary responsibility on defense was guarding the Heat’s 3-point specialist Duncan Robinson. That assignment may not be the best use of Smart’s elite defensive skills. By instead having Smart defend the Miami primary ball-handler, his ball-hawking skills are better able to disrupt the flow of the Heat offense. Miami shot only 38.8% from the field on Saturday while making only 27% of their 3-pointers. The Celtics also saw the return of Gordon Hayward in Game 3 who made an immediate impact for the team after recovering from an ankle injury. Hayward was able to play more than 30 minutes on Saturday which helped Stevens to shorten his bench that had been getting outplayed by the Miami second unit. With Hayward playing significant minutes, Stevens felt comfortable playing his big three of Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Kemba Walker over 40 minutes in Game 3.Hayward is also a zone buster with his outside shooting threat. After scoring only 19 points on 32 possessions against a Miami zone defense in Game 2, the Celtics scored 18 points in the 20 possessions against a zone defense with Hayward on the court. With the happenstance of three days after Hayward’s first appearance in the postseason, he should be able to play significant minutes again tonight. Miami has still won ten of their last twelve games in the playoffs. Jimmy Butler has taken a step back in this series by averaging only 17.0 points per game which is behind the 22.0 points per game that Bam Adebayo is averaging along with Goran Dragic with his 21.7 PPG average in this series. After suffering their first loss in the Eastern Conference finals, this could be the game that Butler attempts to put his team on his shoulders. Boston has won eight of the twelve quarters in this series with +3 net points scored yet are trailing by a 2-1 margin. Despite the Celtics holding double-digit leads in all three games, the Heat have used three dominant quarters in the first two games to give them this opportunity to take a 3-1 series lead. BookMaker lists the Celtics as a 3-point favorite with the over/under set at 210. ESPN has the broadcast for this game with the tip occurring just after 8:30 PM ET.

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Big Al's Daily Angle: NBA, MLB, and NHL Preview

by Big Al Staff

Wednesday, Sep 23, 2020

The NBA Eastern Conference finals get back to business on Wednesday after a three-day break that afforded time for the Western Conference finals to get caught up with two games played since the Celtics and Heat last played. Boston avoided a disastrous 0-3 start in this series on Saturday by defeating Miami by a 117-106 score as a 3.5-point favorite. That victory gave them the opportunity to even this series at 2-2 in Game 4.The Celtics saw the return of Gordon Hayward in Game 3 and he made an immediate impact for the team after recovering from an ankle injury. Hayward was able to play more than 30 minutes on Saturday which helped Stevens to shorten his bench that had been getting outplayed by the Miami second unit. Miami has still won ten of their last twelve games in the playoffs. Jimmy Butler has taken a step back in this series by averaging only 17.0 points per game which is behind the 22.0 points per game that Bam Adebayo is averaging along with Goran Dragic with his 21.7 PPG average in this series. After suffering their first loss in the Eastern Conference finals, this could be the game that Butler attempts to put his team on his shoulders. BookMaker lists the Celtics as a 3-point favorite with the over/under set at 210. ESPN has the broadcast for this game with the tip occurring just after 8:30 PM ET. The Stanley Cup finals return to the ice on Wednesday with Game 3 of the Tampa Bay/Dallas series. The Lightning responded to their upset loss on Saturday by defeating the Stars by a 3-2 score on Monday. Tampa Bay scored two power-play goals in the first period and held a 3–0 lead going into the second period before Dallas started chipping away at the lead but could not score a tying-third goal.The Lightning hopes this will be the game where Steven Stamkos makes his postseason debut. Stamkos has not played since suffering a lower-body injury on February 25th. Tampa Bay was hoping he would be able to take the ice on Monday but he was deemed not quite ready. Dallas has a significant injury of their own with Blake Comeau questionable after absorbing a hard hit in Game 3. Comeau plays an important role in the Stars’ checking line as well as their power play kill unit. With forward Radek Faksa already out, rising Comeau in Game 4 would deplete Dallas’ forechecking game. BookMaker has Tampa Bay installed as a money-line favorite priced at -155 with the total set at 5. The NBC Sports Network has the broadcast starting at 8 PM ET.MLB has a full slate of fifteen games scheduled for Wednesday. The lone afternoon game starts at 4:10 PM ET with the Los Angeles Angels traveling to San Diego to play the Padres. ESPN2 has a national broadcast of the St. Louis Cardinals traveling to Kansas City to play the Kansas City Royals. Carlos Martinez takes the mound for the Cardinals with the Royals countering with Danny Duffy. BookMaker has St. Louis as the money-line favorite at a -124 price with the over/under set at 8.5.

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Big Al's Daily Angle: MLB and NBA Preview

by Big Al Staff

Tuesday, Sep 22, 2020

After a rare day off on Monday, the NBA playoffs return to action in the Orlando bubble on Tuesday for Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Denver Nuggets. The Lakers took a 2-0 lead in this series Sunday night with their dramatic 105-103 victory over the Nuggets when Anthony Davis connected on a buzzer-beating 3-point shot to win that game. All is not lost for Denver who has already rallied from 3-1 deficits twice in this postseason to defeat the Utah Jazz and then the Los Angeles Clippers to reach the conference finals. The core of Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray has played in four playoff series over the last two seasons. They went into Game 4 of each of those series with a 2-1 deficit so they should be confident that they can do the same in the third game of this series. After losing Game 1 by 12 points, the Nuggets demonstrated in Game 2 that they were not overmatched against the top seed in the Western Conference. Denver lost the free-throw battle by a 38 to 27 margin in Game 1 but they corrected this imbalance on Sunday by getting to the free-throw line 33 times giving them a 14 attempt edge at the charity stripe to the Lakers’ 19 free throw attempts. The Nuggets also forced 24 turnovers on Sunday while holding Los Angeles to only 45 points in the second half. Murray scored 15 of his 25 points in the second half to offer more scoring punch to complement Jokic who is averaging 25.5 PPG in this series on 17 of 34 shooting from the field and a 16 of 19 mark from the charity stripe.The Lakers have won six games in a row in the playoffs after losing the opening game of their Western Conference semifinals series with Houston. Sunday night’s game was the first time during this hot streak that they did not pay off winning tickets by covering the point spread along with the winning the game as the favorite. BookMaker lists Los Angeles as a 6.5-point favorite with the total set at 214.5. Tipoff is set for just after 9 PM ET on TNT.MLB has sixteen games on tap for Tuesday starting with the first game of the Philadelphia/Washington double-header at 3:05 PM ET. The Phillies send out Aaron Nola while the Nationals counter with Austin Voth.There are three games on national television on Tuesday. ESPN has the New York Yankees playing in Buffalo at the temporary residence for the Toronto Blue Jays. Their ace, Gerrit Cole, takes the ball while the Blue Jays send out the journeyman Tanner Roark. BookMaker has the Yankees as the favorite at -290 price behind Cole with the over/under set at 9.5 with the first pitch scheduled for 6:37 PM ET.FS1 televises the Texas Rangers playing at Chase Field against the Arizona Diamondbacks at 9:10 PM ET. Jordan Lyles takes the hill for the Rangers while the Diamondbacks will start Caleb Smith. Arizona is the favorite priced at -131 with the over/under installed at 9.5 according to BookMaker.The ESPN doubleheader concludes at 9:35 PM ET with the Oakland A’s traveling to Los Angeles to play the Dodgers. Frankie Montas is tonight’s starting pitcher for the A’s with Los Angeles turning to Dustin May. BookMaker has Los Angeles as the favorite at a -171 price with a total of 9.

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NBA Lakers/Nuggets Game 3 Preview

by Big Al Staff

Tuesday, Sep 22, 2020

After a rare day off on Monday, the NBA playoffs return to action in the Orlando bubble on Tuesday for Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Denver Nuggets. The Lakers took a 2-0 lead in this series Sunday night with their dramatic 105-103 victory over the Nuggets when Anthony Davis connected on a buzzer-beating 3-point shot to win that game. All is not lost for Denver who has already rallied from 3-1 deficits twice in this postseason to defeat the Utah Jazz and then the Los Angeles Clippers to reach the conference finals. The core of Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray has played in four playoff series over the last two seasons. They went into Game 4 of each time with a 2-1 deficit so they should be confident that they can do the same in the third game of this series. Bettors should also note that the Nuggets have covered the point spread in ten of their last eleven playoff games when trailing in the series. After losing Game 1 by 12 points, the Nuggets demonstrated in Game 2 that they were not overmatched against the top seed in the Western Conference. Denver lost the free-throw battle by a 38 to 27 margin in Game 1 but they corrected this imbalance on Sunday by getting to the free-throw line 33 times giving them a 14 attempt edge at the charity stripe to the Lakers’ 19 free throw attempts. The Nuggets also forced 24 turnovers on Sunday while holding Los Angeles to only 45 points in the second half. Murray scored 15 of his 25 points in the second half to offer more scoring punch to complement Jokic who is averaging 25.5 PPG in this series on 17 of 34 shooting from the field and a 16 of 19 mark from the charity stripe.The Lakers have won six games in a row in the playoffs after losing the opening game of their Western Conference semifinals series with Houston. Sunday night’s game was the first time during this hot streak that they did not pay off winning tickets by covering the point spread along with the winning the game as the favorite. Denver received plenty of criticism for allowing Davis open to making that game-winning 3-point shot. However, while Davis is making 39% of his 3-pointers in the postseason, he was only a 33% shooter from 3-point land in the regular season. The Lakers escaped with a victory on Sunday despite a significant decline in their shooting efficiency. Los Angeles shot 53.0% from the field in Game 1 of this series which included them making 44.6% of their 3-pointers. In Game 2, the Lakers made only 44.6% of their shots with a 36.1% clip from 3-point land. While their shooting marks on Sunday was going to be difficult to repeat, it will be interesting to observe if Los Angeles’ decline on Tuesday can be blamed on a bad shooting night or credited to improved defensive play from the Nuggets. BookMaker lists Los Angeles as a 6.5-point favorite with the total set at 214.5. Tipoff is set for just after 9 PM ET on TNT.

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NFL Monday Night Football: Raiders/Saints Preview

by Big Al Staff

Monday, Sep 21, 2020

NFL Monday Night Football Preview: New Orleans Saints at the Las Vegas RaidersThe second week of Monday Night Football features the debut of professional football in Las Vegas with the first-ever game to be played in the Raiders' new Allegiant Stadium. Located a block west of the Mandalay Bay and Delano hotels on Dean Martin Boulevard, the site ensures plenty of spectacular views of the Vegas strip for the televised audience.Las Vegas won their opening game of the season last week when they defeated Carolina on the road by a 34-30 score. The Raiders may be without their star wide receiver as well with rookie Henry Ruggs III questionable with the knee injury he incurred moments before the end of the first half last week.The Raiders will be one of the teams without any fans in the crowd with Governor Steve Sisolak decreeing that their home games will not allow attendees for the entire season. Head coach Jon Gruden has added that his team has only stepped in Allegiant Stadium twice so playing this game will be a new experience for them. With the absence a cheering home crowd, it will be interesting to see if the new representatives of Las Vegas will establish any home advantage this season. Gruden has commented on the need for his team to represent their new fans in Las Vegas in a building that has already been nicknamed the Death Star for its black exterior.New Orleans is the visiting team for this inaugural game with the Saints coming off a 34-23 victory at home against Tampa Bay last week. The Saints will be without Michael Thomas for this game with him being out a few weeks with a high ankle injury. The star wide receiver caught 149 passes last season for 1725 yards with nine touchdowns.  Despite these teams coming off victories last week, they were both outgained by their opponents. The Saints used three takeaways to overcome being outgained by 39 yards to the Buccaneers. The Panthers gained 388 yards against the Raiders' defense which was 16 yards fewer than the 372 yards Las Vegas gained on offense.Prior to the season, NFL teams were 8-8 straight-up when playing their first game in a new stadium. This record for home NFL teams debuting a new home stadium is now 9-9 after the two games played at the SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles in the last two weeks. The Rams defeated Dallas for the Sunday night game in Week 1 by a 20-17 score in their of their new digs. The Chargers lost in overtime to Kansas City on Sunday this week by a 23-20 score in their first opportunity to call SoFi Stadium their shared home.Raiders’ backers can point to the winning record of NFL teams playing their first home game after relocating from another city. These teams in the modern NFL era have a 6-3 winning record straight-up. Those six winners did have the advantage of a home crowd so playing in front of empty seats may detract from the possible edge Las Vegas would have in this game.BookMaker has New Orleans as a 5.5-point favorite with the total set at 48.5. Kickoff is set for 8:15 PM ET on ESPN.

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Big Al's Daily Angle: MLB, NHL and NFL Preview

by Big Al Staff

Monday, Sep 21, 2020

The Monday card features the debut of professional football in Las Vegas with the first-ever game to be played in the Raiders' new Allegiant Stadium. Located a block west of the Mandalay Bay and Delano hotels on Dean Martin Boulevard, the site ensures plenty of spectacular views of the Vegas strip for televised audiences. New Orleans is the visiting team for this inaugural game with the Saints coming off a 34-23 victory at home against Tampa Bay last week. The Saints will be without Michael Thomas for this game with him likely out a few weeks with a high ankle injury. The star wide receiver caught 149 passes last season for 1725 yards with nine touchdowns. Las Vegas won their opening game of the season last week when they defeated Carolina on the road by a 34-30 score. The Raiders may be without their star wide receiver as well with rookie Henry Ruggs III who is questionable with the knee injury he incurred moments before the end of the first half last week. Despite these teams coming off victories last week, they were both outgained in yardage by their opponents. The Saints used three takeaways to overcome them being outgained by 39 yards to the Buccaneers. The Panthers gained 388 yards against the Raiders' defense which was 16 more yards than Las Vegas’ 372 yards of offense in that game.BookMaker has New Orleans as a 5.5-point favorite with the total set at 48.5. Kickoff is set for 8:15 PM ET on ESPN.Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals in the NHL resumes on Monday. Dallas upset Tampa Bay in the opening game of this best-of-seven series on Saturday with their 4-1 victory. After an even first period, the Stars scored two unanswered goals in the second period to give them a 3-1 leading going into the final 20 minutes of regulation time. The Lightning dominated the final period with a 22 to 2 edge in shots but they could not get another goal past Dallas’ hot goaltender, Anton Khudobin. The Stars scored a late empty netter to cement the final score. Tampa Bay looks to even this series at a game apiece with BookMaker pricing them as a -153 favorite with a total of 5. The Lightning could be receiving good news for this game with the return of Steven Stamkos to the ice. Their star forward has not played since the restart with a lower-body injury. The puck drops at 8:05 PM ET on the NBC Sports Network. Major League Baseball begins its final week of the regular season with eleven games on the schedule. The Texas Rangers travel to Los Angeles to face the Angels with a 4:10 PM ET start for the only afternoon game on the card. The San Francisco Giants host the Colorado Rockies at 9:45 PM ET to close out the schedule

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Key Numbers in NFL Betting: Expert Handicapping Tips

by Doc's Sports

Monday, Sep 21, 2020

We are at the stage of the sports betting calendar where you constantly hear the phrase “good teamswin, but great teams cover”. For those of you new to sports betting -- and in particular betting onfootball -- that phrase may seem like an oxymoron, but it holds truer than ever. If you ask anyhandicapper who attempts to be successful while betting on the National Football League, you willquickly learn that it’s simply not the team that they believe will get them in the money; it’s the number(spread) they bet into. If you’re asking yourself why or how that’s even possible, you must firstunderstand the concept of key numbers in sports, specifically NFL spreads.Since the NFL scoring format is different than every other sport (two points, three points and six points +an extra point), the final results are bound to have some sort of relevant patter to them. Which brings inthe importance of “key numbers”. The most important key number in the NFL is three. What this meansis that the final result is a difference of three more often than any other number; whether it be 50-47,31-28, 17-14 or 24-21, etc. So many football games end on a game-winning field goal, which makesthree the most important number. The next “key” number in the NFL is seven, since that is thedifference in games decided by a touchdown and extra point. How Often Do Key Numbers Hit?Because the NFL is among the most popular betting sports in the world, the data available for it datesback quite some time, and thankfully there are people out there who have tracked the most commonmargin of victories in the NFL. Here is a quick look at the Top 10 NFL key numbers:3 points: 15.81 %7 points: 8.80 % 10 points: 6.06 % 4 points: 5.41 % 6 points: 5.41 % 14 points: 4.77 % 1 point: 3.93 % 17 points: 3.85 % 2 points: 3.58 % 5 points: 3.15 %As you can see, after the first trio of key numbers (three, seven, and 10), there is a huge drop off inoccurrence. However, that doesn’t mean that you should throw those numbers out the windowaltogether. You should be wary about these numbers and understand how line movement can affect –both positively and negatively – the line you are trying to wager on.Why It’s Important to Bet Key NumbersNothing in this life is free. That’s especially true when talking about sports betting as there are no “locks,guarantees or sure things”. If there was, we’d all be rich, and Vegas wouldn’t be the place it is today.Sportsbooks are 100% in the business of making money and putting out key numbers for you to bet onvery rarely (if ever) happens – without a price. In order to get off a key number, sportsbooks will chargeyou a premium for it.For starters, most sportsbooks offer their point spread lines at -110 each way. If you are in the market tobuy points and turn that -3 favorite into -2.5 or the underdog to +3.5, you’re going to have to payupwards of 20 cents just to turn a would-be push into a possible win. If you know even the slightest bitof bankroll management, it’s imperative that you understand the extra 10 cents here, or the extra 20cents there, will add up over time and a losing sport bettor (which 97 percent are) will burn theirbankroll quicker than ever. So, what does this mean? Well, for starters, it means you should be shoppingaround for lines and finding the best possible line to bet into. Some books will offer key numbers ofthree or seven without the option of buying points. Remember, the main goal of the sportsbook is tocreate equal action on both sides so that they mitigate their risk. With that said, it’s sometimes best topass on a game and save your bankroll if you are thinking about paying a premium for a point spreadthat may or may not even factor into the equation at the end of the game.

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Big Al's Daily Angle: NFL, MLB, and NBA Preview

by Big Al Staff

Sunday, Sep 20, 2020

The second week of the NFL season offers fourteen games on the Sunday schedule. Ten games kick things off at 1 PM ET. The national game on CBS in the first window of games showcases the New York Giants traveling Soldier Field in Chicago to play the Bears. The Giants look to rebound from their 26-14 loss on Monday Night Football while Chicago hopes to build off their 27-23 upset win at Detroit last Sunday. The Bears are 5.5-point favorites with the total set of 42.5 at (all odds are courtesy of BookMaker).The national game on Fox for the 1 PM ET slate of games sees the Atlanta Falcons travel to Dallas to play the Cowboys. Both of these teams will be desperate to avoid starting the season with an 0-2 record after Atlanta lost at home to Seattle by a 38-25 score while Dallas lost in Los Angeles to the Rams last Sunday night by a 20-17 score. The Cowboys are 3.5-point favorites with the total set at 54.The second window has three games on the schedule starting with Washington traveling to Arizona for a 4:05 PM ET kickoff. The Houston Texans host the Baltimore Ravens at 4:25 PM ET. The nationally televised game for this slate of games is on CBS with Kansas City traveling to Los Angeles to play the Chargers making their debut in their new SoFi Stadium home. The Chiefs opened the new NFL season two Thursdays ago when they defeated the Texans by a 34-20 score. The Chargers eked out a 16-13 win at Cincinnati by a 16-13 margin. Kansas City is a 6.5-point favorite with an over/under of 50.5. The matchup for Sunday Night Football on NBC sees the New England Patriots travel to Seattle in a prime-time showdown with the Seahawks. New England won their first game in the post-Tom Brady era with a 21-11 victory at home over Miami. Seattle comes off their 38-25 win on the road against the Falcons. The Seahawks are 3.5-point favorites with an over/under of 44.The Western Conference Finals continue in the NBA playoffs on Sunday with the Los Angeles Lakers taking the first game of this best-of-seven series on Friday with their 126-114 victory over the Denver Nuggets. The Lakers are -7.5-point favorites for Game 2 with the total set 215.5. TNT has the broadcast with the tipoff taking place just after 7:30 PM ET.MLB has sixteen games on the Sunday card with one doubleheader between Washington and Miami. TBS televises the final game of the Yankees/Red Sox series at Fenway Park at 1:07 PM ET with Deivi Garcia getting the start for New York against Boston’s former 1st round draft pick Tanner Houck. The Bronx Bombers are priced as a -180 money-line favorite with the over/under set at 9.5. ESPN has the San Francisco Giants on the road in Oakland against the A’s at 4:10 PM ET. The Giants give the ball to Tyler Anderson with the A’s countering with Mike Minor. Oakland is priced as a -155 favorite with a total of 8.5. The Sunday Night Baseball game on ESPN sees Minnesota Twins play the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field at 7:08 PM ET. Jose Berrios goes for the Twins with Yu Darvish on the mound for the Cubs in this pitching duel. Chicago is a -150 favorite with an over/under of 7.5.

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