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Marco Cerino

Marco Cerino

Marco Cerino is a 2007 graduate from the University of Pennsylvania and a 2017 graduate from the Master's program at Temple University. Marco is a freelance writer based in South Jersey and has worked in sports at the minor and major league levels. He now covers the NJ online gambling industry.

About Marco Cerino

Marco Cerino is a 2007 graduate from the University of Pennsylvania and a 2017 graduate from the Master's program at Temple University. Marco is a freelance writer based in South Jersey and has worked in sports at the minor and major league levels. He now covers the NJ online gambling industry.

Here are my most recent posts

Round 9 In The MLS Tournament – 2020 Betting Odds

Marco Cerino November 30, 2020
mls tournament

The 2020 MLS season continues this weekend with the round of eight in the MLS Cup tournament. Yeah, there’s still soccer going in the U.S. Sorry not sorry.

We thought this round would include the Supporters Shield winner (regular season champs) Philadelphia Union and the star-studded, postseason veteran Toronto FC. Yeah, both those teams lost on Tuesday in their playoff openers.

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MLS Tournament Betting Odds

The Western Conference saw chalk mostly advance. The only higher seed to lose in the first round was the MLS is Back winners the Portland Timbers, eliminated in a shootout by FC Dallas.

We’ll take a look at the remaining quartet of games with the best available prices at the top NJ gambling websites:

Eastern Conference

(4) Orlando FC vs. (8) New England Revolution – The first game of the semifinals features one of the league’s original franchises and one of the budding star franchises. Orlando served as hosts for the MLS is Back Tournament and played very well, making it to the finals before falling to Portland. 

Orlando enters as favorites despite losing the services of starting goalie Pedro Gallese, who was shown a red card during the shootout win over NYCFC for leaving the line early. Brian Rowe will likely get the start on Saturday. He will play his first postseason game since 2016, when he led the LA Galaxy to the semis, only to lose in a shootout to Colorado.

New England has shut out both Montreal in the play-in round and Philadelphia in the conference quarters. Their defense will face another stern test with the stacked and confident Lions offense. Former USMNT boss Bob Bradley has his team playing well at the right time.

The Revs are dangerous on the counter and set pieces. Their depth could be the deciding factor. However, this is their third game in nine days, which coupled with the travel and weather (it’ll be in the 80s in Orlando for game time) could challenge their momentum.

(3) Columbus Crew SC vs. (7) Nashville FC

2020 started Nashville in the West before the shutdown and restart tourney moved them to the Eastern Conference. They’ll look to avenge a 2-0 loss in September in Ohio.

Nashville has seen their offense carry them through two wins so far in the playoffs. Early goals buried Inter Miami in the play-in round, while three goals were waived off for offsides against Toronto.

The Crew’s defense could be the immovable object to Nashville’s irresistible force. They’ve conceded only 21 goals over 23 games, second-best in the league. At home, they’ve earned a 9-1-0 record. 

The only concern I might have with the Crew is if any of the COVID-19 concerns with the other “football” team in town (ya know, the Buckeyes) would cross town to the soccer pitch. If the team is healthy, they control the road to the MLS Cup in the East and will be tough to beat.

  • Best price on Columbus Crew SC: +138 (DK)
  • Best price on Nashville FC: +210 (BetMGM)
  • Best price for tie (after 120 mins – game decided by shootout): +240 (BetMGM)

Western Conference

(2) Seattle Sounders vs. (6) FC Dallas

Seattle hosts the first Western Conference semifinal after winning the last quarterfinal. They’ll give Dallas two extra days of rest but might be happy they avoid their Cascadia derby rivals in Portland.

Seattle has a potent offense and showed their muscle in a 3-1 win over LAFC Tuesday. Combined with some strong defense, the Sounders’ +21 goal differential was the best in the Western Conference.

Dallas advanced in a PK win over Portland on Sunday in which the team converted all eight spot kicks after extending the game with a stoppage-time goal by Pepi. Both goalies saved a PK last week, as Jimmy Maurer ended the game with the stop on Portland’s Jorge Villafana, while Seattle’s Stefan Frei kept the Sounders ahead 1-0 when he denied Carlos Vela in the 30th minute.M

Seattle’s CenturyLink Field is one of the most harrowing atmospheres for opposing teams. Dallas enters with a 1-5-3 record on the road this season, while the Sounders went 7-1-2 at home. 

  • Best price on Seattle Sounders: -154 (BetMGM)
  • Best price on Dallas FC: +400 (everyone)
  • Best price for tie (after 120 mins – game decided by shootout): +310 (BetMGM)

(1) Sporting Kansas City vs. (4) Minnesota United FC

Sporting KC proved the class of the Western Conference in the regular season with 12 wins in 21 games. Their points-per-game broke the deadlock with Seattle (who also earned 39 points in one more game).

The quarterfinal win over eighth-seeded San Jose proved a test of mettle. KC came back from a halftime deficit and seemed ahead on an early goal in extra time. Chris Wondolowski, MLS’ most prolific scorer, forced the shootout, in which Tim Melia stopped all three spot kicks to help his team advance.

Minnesota is one of the most intriguing sides in MLS. They play strong team ball and bring a strong work rate to games. Their quarterfinal win over Colorado, who upset teams down the stretch, was a 3-0 master class in North American soccer.

This game will be a major bellwether for Sporting KC and their playoff dreams. Since they missed the playoffs last year, they’re facing more experienced squads and their home field advantage will be tested. Their shootout win was a good proving ground so can they build on that momentum?

  • Best price on Sporting KC: -155 (PointsBet)
  • Best price on Minnesota United: +425 (BetMGM)
  • Best price for tie (after 120 mins – game decided by shootout): +320 (BetMGM)

DraftKings Reports 3rd Quarter Results… What Does This Mean For NJ Sportsbooks?

Marco Cerino November 17, 2020
draftkings q3 reports

Gaming operator DraftKings reported $133 million in third-quarter 2020 revenue Friday. Their quarterly earnings report also increased revenue guidance for the current fiscal year and 2021.

This is the first full quarter that the company has spent as publicly traded, following the April IPO. 

DraftKings Q3 Reports

DraftKings Sportsbook capitalized on the return of major North American sports in July, nearly doubling their revenue from Q3 2019 of $67 million. The company revised the 2020 revenue projections, previously at $500 to $540 million, to $540 to $600 million. They also introduced 2021 revenue projections of $750 to $850 million. 

“The resumption of major sports such as the NBA, MLB and the NHL in the third quarter, as well as the start of the NFL season, generated tremendous customer engagement,” said Jason Robins, DraftKings’ co-founder, CEO and Chairman of the Board, in a statement.

“In addition to our year-over-year pro forma revenue growth of 42%, DraftKings recorded an increase in monthly unique payers of 64% to over 1 million, demonstrating the effectiveness of our data-driven sales and marketing approach. Our product offerings and scalable platform provide a distinctive and personalized experience for customers across the ten states where we operate mobile sports betting today, and we look forward to entering additional jurisdictions at the earliest opportunity.”

While DraftKings has built their brand on daily fantasy and sports betting in NJ, more of the revenue comes from online casinos.

On top of the sports betting world… for now

The company took the top spot in gross gaming revenue for iGaming in the very competitive New Jersey market, while placing second in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. They are planning to expand the DraftKings casino to Michigan when that market launches in early 2021.

DraftKings is now available in 10 states with 20 percent of the US population in the footprint, with three more states approving sports betting via referendum earlier this month. During the presentation, the company mentioned the possibility to join a newly privatized market in the province of Ontario for iGaming and sports betting.

While the company has shown revenue growth, there is one notable concern. In the report, the company listed $203 million in sales and marketing expenses for the quarter, nearly four times higher than last year’s $58 million for Q3.

DraftKings has spent significant money to create partnerships with major league franchises, athletes, and organizations to draw business. The company also ran major promotions for the opening weekends of the NFL season. 

Q4 will be very interesting for DraftKings and other sports betting companies. The prolonged NBA and NHL seasons in the summer will prevent most games from happening this fall. College football has seen multiple games moved and teams opt-out of playing, while the NFL has largely avoided major disruptions from the coronavirus.

The Ivy League’s announcement Thursday to not play a winter schedule might not be the only one from mid-majors in college basketball. Despite the lack of a regular schedule, New Jersey announced a record in October with over $800 million in handle Friday. 

New Players Can Get 100-1 Odds for Week 2 on DraftKings

Marco Cerino September 16, 2020
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DraftKings gave out millions in player credits and cash before the NFL season started and a cool million to someone in their NFL Survivor pool just for playing.

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We’re still not sure how much players cashed on the Chiefs +101 promotion from the season opener. Believe it or not, they’re still not done. Introducing the DraftKings bet 1$ win 100$.

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For new NJ sports betting accounts still waiting to get in the action, DK has a great intro deal for Week 2 of the NFL season.

Sign up for an account, deposit $5 or more, and get 100-1 odds at DraftKings on any pre-game moneyline for Sunday or Monday. It’s that simple.

Like the 49ers to bounce back against the Jets? Take the boost.

Think the Titans can bring the Jaguars back to Earth? Pick the boost.

Believe the Steelers can go 2-0 at home against Denver? Go for it. 

Use the boost once, and use it wisely. Once selected, it can’t be undone. It’s a dollar risk with a chance to turn that into $100 on one of the best books for promos, boosts, and options.

The site also has a variety of exciting NJ gambling website casino games, from slots to live dealer table games. 

DraftKings DFS Millionaire Contest

If daily fantasy is more of your bag, DraftKings DFS has a special millionaire contest for new players.

  • Click this link to set up a new account, make a qualifying deposit, and get in the exclusive game.
  • This may be the best odds for anyone to become a DFS millionaire so don’t pass this up. 

It’s a great opportunity to get familiar with one of the top daily fantasy sites in the world, with contests available everyday in major leagues nationally and internationally, racing, MMA, and other unique offerings. 

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SugarHouse Announces NJ Pick’em Challenge

Marco Cerino September 9, 2020
sugarhouse sportsbook nfl

The NFL season is almost here (finally) and for experts in the Garden State, that means time for pick’em contests. One great option is the PlaySugarHouse.com Pick’em Challenge, which will offer at least $100,000 in cash prizes.

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The contest offers a grand prize of $30,000 to the top performer after the competition ends. The entry fee is $150 but players can get in at $125 if signed up by Monday, September 7th.

Players will pick straight-up winners each week for the length of the season, starting at 5 PM Tuesday up to Sunday afternoon early kickoff. There doesn’t appear to be a minimum or maximum of picks to be made. Top performers each week will receive $1,000. Also, players will be allowed to make picks every week, unlike others that offer “bye weeks”.

Sugarhouse Sportsbook NFL Contest

In the age of coronavirus, PlaySugarHouse Sportsbook has accounted for a potential gap in games or shortening of the 2020 season. The contest becomes official after the halfway point of the season. If the NFL plays eight weeks or less, all entry fees will be refunded. Players can enter a maximum of 25 teams. 

Should the contest gross over $100,000 in entry fees, the pool will grow accordingly. At least 100 players will payout with the current format. Also, the worst-performing player will get $500 as the Biggest Loser for the most missed picks. That’s not a bad booby prize.

Signing up is a breeze. Log in to PlaySugarHouse.com or create an account and click on the Pick’em link. Then get ready for 17 weeks (fingers crossed) of exciting NFL action!  

This is a major opportunity for New Jersey players as this is exclusive to the Garden State. Other sites are looking to multi-state pools for bigger contests. However, these also mean fewer entries finish “in the money” and could limit interest. PlaySugarHouse.com is offering a deal for NJ residents which means more of your friends are going against you and less national pros.

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DraftKings Expanding Pro Football Pick’Em to Multiple States

Marco Cerino August 14, 2020
draftkings pick em

While speculation grows over if and when we’ll have college football, the king of American sports seems ready to start on schedule. When the NFL season begins, DraftKings will also be ready to make history.

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The sports gaming powerhouse will be the first to offer a paid pick’em pool in multiple states. This year, the million-dollar top prize is up for grabs for residents in New Hampshire and New Jersey, with more states possibly joining by September.

How DraftKings Pick’ Ems Work

Players can buy-in for $1,500 to participate, which involves making 5 picks against the spread in 14 of the first 16 weeks of the season. The season must be at least 12 weeks long to lock in players for the prize pool, which starts at $2 million.

If the season is shortened to 11 weeks or more, all entrant fees will be refunded. While most gamblers know pick’ ems held at casinos or through lotteries, this is a major move towards a truly national contest through the internet and the expansion of sports betting.

“As we move into new jurisdictions, we want those jurisdictions to be able to play in a nationwide contest, that’s our goal” said Johnny Avello, director of DraftKings race and sportsbook operation Monday. “We’re starting with New Jersey and New Hampshire, the first two states on board, and we hope to add more as we move forward.”

That might involve a couple NFL home states like Indiana and Colorado. 

Avello believes excluding Week 17 and giving players two “bye” weeks maintains fairness. Also, any player who goes 5-0 in a week gets a free $100 bet. That creates an incentive to stay in even if the first few weeks go poorly. 

Payouts will be based on the number of applicants. The top prize and other placings can grow if the pool draws in more players. Last year’s contest had a top prize of $250,000 for the Super Pool Pick’Em with the winner going 51-19. 

If successful, DraftKings Sportsbook might start a new trend in the industry. Competitors like FanDuel, PointsBet, and BetMGM is spreading to other states as well and would likely consider starting their own national pools.

That would create more options for players, which means likely bigger pots and possibly lower entrance fees. 

Is FOX Bet’s Philadelphia 76ers Free Bet Offer Too Good To Be True?

Marco Cerino August 7, 2020
foxbet 76ers offer

Still getting used to watching the NBA play on an empty, neutral court in the summer? Yeah, it’s kinda odd. Well, FOX Bet is willing to offer something almost never seen by a sportsbook: payout for losing bets.

Bet $1 on any Philadelphia 76ers market as the first bet on FoxBet and your account will get $76 in free bets, even if the bet loses. Yeah, seriously.

Sign up, deposit, and place a $1 bet on any Sixers bet (moneyline, spread, total, or players’ props) and $76 in free bets will appear 48 hours after the bet clears.

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Fox Bet 76ers Offer is the Real Deal

The Sixers have been a more inconsistent team to watch in the bubble. Ok, that’s being nice. The one game they needed the most against Indiana they blew a late lead and may have cemented themselves in the sixth seed. They almost blew another lead to San Antonio and lost Ben Simmons against the Wizards. It’s been painful and might get worse. 

The FOX Bet Sportsbook deal takes away the need to sweat out any bet to earn the cashout. You can still watch the games, we won’t judge. Once the money hits the account, players have seven days to place the free bets, on any sport. Play that 6-leg parlay, take some futures action, bet more consistent teams. FoxBet offers a lot of same-day bet boosts and promotions that deserve consideration.

The promotion runs through August and is only for new accounts that registered after the start of the month. The Sixers regular season ends on August 14th with no dates set for the first round of the playoffs.

While that does mean the free bets may not last into the start of football, it will allow players to get acclimated to the FoxBet offerings and take advantage of in-game betting. Sign up, make a deposit, and see what happens.

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DraftKings Survey Shows Fans Ready for Sports to Return

Marco Cerino July 24, 2020
draftkings survey

Sports gaming company DraftKings released a study earlier this month polling citizens on the upcoming return of sports. Unsurprisingly, a majority said they were ready to welcome back the major pro leagues.

Top NJ Gambling Websites & Apps

With the NHL and NBA returning to action in neutral-site “bubbles” and baseball starting in fanless stadium, 78 percent of over 1,000 respondents to the survey said they were ok with spectator sports coming back without some of the traditional aspects of attendance.

A greater number said that they missed sports during the coronavirus-forced shutdowns a lot (56 percent) or a little (28 percent).

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The Boston-based company released the findings last week. 1,000 self-identifying NJ sports betting fans, among other cities, were polled, along 250 who didn’t consider themselves sports fans. The survey focused on consumption habits from viewing and attending and did not ask about any wagering.

“With over half of respondents having reported missing sports during the resultant hiatus, fans across the country are inarguably eager for the return of their favorite leagues and teams, albeit with largely adjusted expectations as exemplified by our latest findings,” said Matt Kalish, co-founder and president, DraftKings North America, in a statement. “By deepening our understanding of the American fan through data and leveraging the technology of our platform, we are better able to adjust and serve the new experience of sports fans throughout the U.S.”

While 84 percent of respondents claimed they were concerned about COVID-19 before the leagues starting to shut down in mid-March, 56 percent said these stoppages led them to take the outbreak “more seriously”.

59 percent said the lack of games allowed them to focus on non-sports related television and movies, while 53 percent said they were able to spend more time with family and friends.

Without traditional North American fare, fans didn’t completely go hungry. Over one in four surveyed found new forms of competition to follow like esports (40 percent), international soccer (32 percent), and MMA (30 percent). 67 percent said they’ll continue to follow those new sports after the Big 4 return. 

Most fans are ready for the return of sports but most think it’s too soon (39 percent) versus the right time (34 percent). The rise in cases in many states has been cause for alarm, with some athletes suggesting the timing is not right and a few opting not to play their respective seasons out of concerns for the chance of catching coronavirus. 

As of now, games will be played in empty arenas and stadiums. As for the NFL, the league is allowing franchises to follow local guidance. Respondents were mixed about when they’d be comfortable attending games live.

Of the six options offered in the survey, the most popular was 4-6 months from now (24 percent), followed by until there’s a “cure” for COVID-19 (20 percent), and 0-3 months (19 percent). A majority of correspondents did agree that live attendance created concerns, like social distancing and other fans not wearing masks.

Atlantic City Casinos Will Reopen July 2nd!

Marco Cerino June 22, 2020
atlantic city casinos

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy (D) announced Monday that the state will allow NJ casinos, NJ sportsbooks, and horse race tracks to re-open… but at 25 percent capacity on July 2nd, and that’s not all.

Garden State gaming facilities have been shuttered since mid-March, following the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. The go-ahead to re-open comes as part of Stage 2 in the state’s recovery process.

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Update: 6/23 at 2:28 PM EST

Monmouth Park will welcome back players for simulcast wagering and re-open the William Hill sportsbook on July 2nd, one day before live racing begins in Central Jersey. 

The track will celebrate its 75th season of racing with three days a week of events, including the marquee Haskell race, slated for Saturday, July 18th. 

“We’re grateful for Gov. Murphy’s leadership throughout this pandemic and look forward to getting back to some semblance of business as usual in these new times of a new normal,” Dennis Drazin, CEO of track operator Darby Development LLC, said in a statement released Tuesday afternoon. “We know our fans are as eager to return to Monmouth as we are to have them back.”

The park’s announcement comes hours after a big name in AC says they’ll wait until after the holiday weekend to reopen to the public. Borgata Casino will reopen on July 6th, according to a statement released Tuesday morning.

A “hosted, invitation-only event” will occur before welcoming back the public. 

The company will work off health guidelines established in May by parent company MGM. Some of the changes include screening employees and guests on entry, social distancing guidelines, including some physical barriers where needed, and digital menus for eateries.

The casino also plans to limit “amenity offerings” at first, with plans to restart some as restrictions are loosened.

“We are proud to be part of this resilient community that has remained strong and caring during these challenging months. When we reopen our doors, we do so with excitement to welcome back our employees and guests, and with an unwavering commitment to their health and safety,” said Melonie Johnson, President of Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa. “Summer is a special time in Atlantic City, and we look forward to playing a part in offering some much-needed entertainment.” 

Atlantic City Casinos Open With Stipulations

Atlantic City Casinos have been preparing to re-open for weeks, with more protection for employees and encouraging social distancing by closing some slot machines. Murphy’s announcement will expand the threshold for indoor crowds from 50 to 100.

He didn’t make clear if the 100 maximum applies to expansive facilities like casinos. 

“While this guidance is not complete, you should fully expect that they will include mandatory face coverings, and masks, and health screenings for all visitors and staff,” Murphy said during his briefing. “You should also expect density limits or capacity limits to ensure social distancing while inside the casino, among other measures.” 

Murphy pledged to offer more details on public safety and health guidelines in the days to come, before the scheduled re-launch. Some casinos will offer “soft openings” to preview the changes for certain customers.

The timing allows them to welcome guests for the July 4th weekend, traditionally a major holiday for the Jersey Shore.

NJ Casinos Will Open With Rules In Place

In addition to Atlantic City, the state will reopen the horse racing facilities across the state, along with the sportsbooks operating on the premises.

This will return action to the state’s predominant retail facility run by FanDuel at the Meadowlands, along with William Hill’s windows at Monmouth Park in Oceanport.

The tracks will be allowed only 250 customers at once, the current outdoor facility maximum.

Murphy took a positive perspective as the state’s new cases and hospitalization numbers continue to fall. He noted should the downward trends continue, New Jersey will move into Phase 3, which will increase indoor and outdoor gathering sizes.

He did warn that any “knuckleheads” who blatantly ignored health guidelines, like wearing masks indoors, would be escorted off the premises.

Atlantic City and the gaming industry has suffered significantly during the shutdown, as the facilities that employ around 27,000 workers from dealers and pit bosses to wait for staff and housekeepers have gone dormant during a normally brisk period of the spring and early summer.

NJ Online Casinos During Pandemic

NJ Online casinos have managed to retain some business for their companies but the lack of traditional sporting options has hurt many with sportsbooks and clientele who like to bet live.

The state Senate has passed a relief plan for these companies, including tax breaks, interest-free loans, and grants to boost funds. Many unemployed have waited for food distributions organized by labor unions.

#WhenandWhere: Should Bettors Wait on MLB Futures Markets?

Marco Cerino June 19, 2020
mlb schedule 2020 news

It’s mid-June and we still have no Major League Baseball. While there was some progress this week on a new deal, we still have no idea when the game will return and what it will look like when play resumes.

MLB Schedule 2020 – “Tell us when & where”

Players have been vocal in demanding they return to work while maintaining solidarity, including two of league’s biggest stars Bryce Harper and Mike Trout.

mlb 2020 season mlb 2020 season

Owners have hesitated to return as they’ll lose a lot of money without fans at games. While understandable, the fiscal drawbacks should be severely outweighed by the civic and societal boost America needs that the pastime’s return would provide. There are tremendous pressures to get baseball started at some point this summer.

However, what should NJ sports bettors consider before making futures bets at NJ gambling websites?

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Length of MLB 2020 Season

The biggest question facing negotiators is how many games will be played in the 2020 regular season. Currently, the number appears to be 60 or more.

Most of the major books have created minimum game thresholds to their player prop futures. While no one has over/unders for totals, the focus has shifted on who will lead baseball in certain stats, from home runs to saves.

For those considering these markets, pay attention to the parameters set out by the sites. There aren’t uniform guidelines being offered in NJ.

Usually, if a condition tied to a bet isn’t made, the wagers are voided and handle returned to players. Given the massive drop in business from the loss of live sports (especially during the non-football months of the spring and summer), this puts the books in a tight spot.

A spokesperson for PointsBet Sportsbook has said the company will provide new prices if a season is announced for less than the original length they offered. 

If the season goes shorter and the futures markets get re-priced, that could mean lower odds on favorites.

For instance, Mets slugger Pete Alonso is listed at +850 to +1100 across the boards to win the home run following his record-breaking rookie season.

With a shorter season, that price may come down significantly, along with other favorites like Mike Trout and Aaron Judge.

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MLB Schedule 2020 & Rules

The MLB 2020 season will look drastically different. How many games will be played and how the schedules shake out, along with the playoff format, will inform how odds and prices on teams may change.

If the league maintains the six-division structure, that likely means no interleague play until the World Series. Teams will likely limit travel with more intradivisional games. There’s still a chance the two leagues are merged and 10-team divisions become the norm.

As of now, the major NJ sportsbooks are not putting out any divisional markets. Most of them weren’t terribly competitive when the prices dropped. Team win totals have been replaced by winning percentages, which of course will be affected by season length and schedule format. 

The league’s most recent proposal includes a universal DH for this and next season. While some consider the removal of a pitcher from the batting order an abomination and limiting of strategy that makes National League games intriguing, it does lean towards keeping pitchers safe during a season that may include scheduled doubleheaders.

It also takes some pressure off new managers who may not know everyone so well to juggle replacements in their heads.

Along with a minimum batter rule for relievers, this should keep games from taking longer (which will certainly make bookmakers with closing times at their retail locations happier). 

Without certainty on scheduling and how many times teams will play, this makes the futures market an even greater gamble.

  • The proposal to switch Pittsburgh and Atlanta in the 10-team divisions obviously changes scenarios for their opponents.
  • Also, given the extension of border closures with Canada, what will the Blue Jays do?
  • A 16-team playoff with a best-of-three format for the first round could produce some upsets in the bracket.

Mid-price teams with strong pitchers atop their rotations (like most of the NL East) could get a boost with the new structure. 

There’s a lot to go over before they yell “Play Ball!” this season.

Yes, it will likely happen. Yes, I will be sad I can’t go get Bull’s BBQ and an expensive beer and enjoy a day at Citizens Bank Park to watch my beloved Phillies.

Yes, it won’t feel the same. However, any shred of normalcy becomes elevated and magnified today.

This one will do us a lot of good. Just tell us, the fans and the bettors, when and where.

Breaking Down New NHL Stanley Cup Futures With Playoff Plan In Place

Marco Cerino May 27, 2020
nhl 2020

%After weeks of waiting and dormancy through what’s usually the most exciting time of the calendar year, the NHL agreed Tuesday to an expanded playoff format when hockey resumes this summer.

Yes, it’s complicated and a bit convoluted. However, a 24-team playoff means we get even more of the most thrilling postseason. Yeah, that’s a good thing, especially for NJ online sports betting.

NHL 2020 Playoff Plan

The top four teams in each conference will “finish regular-season play” with a group stage round-robin, based on regular-season rules and format. That will determine the top four seeds after the play-in round.

Those teams will face the four survivors of teams ranked fifth through 12th, who will play a best-of-five series to make the round of 16. No word if the league will do the traditional reseeding after the first round. 

There are a lot of questions to yet be answered in terms of format, who plays where, etc. Of course, fans know that the season creeping into warmer months means ice quality becomes a factor. Add in the “hub cities” concept, and there’s no guarantee the fourth game in Las Vegas, Chicago, or even Edmonton will have the same sheet as the first game hours prior.

With the confirmation of the playoff format and the end of the regular season, the books brought back the Stanley Cup futures that have gone missing.

  • Of course, the oddsmakers wanted to confirm the season would return before posting prices.
  • If you’re holding a regular season prop bet, like team or player point totals, check with your book as some might void these plays.

NHL Stanley Cup Odds

  • Most major books have re-established conference and Stanley Cup champion odds.
  • Most of the prices, of course, are based on current seedings and regular-season finish.

For much of the year, the best team in hockey was the Boston Bruins. While the B’s couldn’t get it done last season at home against St. Louis, this is perhaps a stronger team and has earned the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference round-robin.

Most books have them as the top choice, ranging from +500 to +700.

With a 23.2 chance to win the cup, according to SportsClubStats.com projections, that favorite moniker seems fitting. 

The only other team who’s top on some boards is Tampa Bay, Boston’s division rival. In the format, they could be the top seed and control the bracket with their deep lineup and excellent goaltending from Andrei Vasilevsky.

They’re favored at DraftKings and PlaySugarHouse at +650, which is a comparable price to elsewhere.

The Blues returned most of their Stanley Cup team and finished with the most points out West. However, most oddsmakers don’t have them as favorites to make the finals.

They’re available from +750 to +1100 at the major books.

Most books have put the shortest price on the Las Vegas Golden Knights, who will likely get a lot of action from their local supporters.

  • Vegas is the favorite out of the West at three of the four major books, ranging from +700 to +850.
  • They are also the Western Conference franchise with the best odds to raise the Cup, according to MoneyPuck.com, at 12%.

Sportsclubstats’s favorite out of the West is Colorado.

  • The Avalanche have 15.5 odds to raise a third Cup in franchise history and edged out Vegas on Fanduel, earning the best price at +800.
  • Expect the Avs to draw some handle, now that sports betting is legal in Colorado.

If any team benefited the most from the format change, it was the Philadelphia Flyers. A late surge, coupled with a poor road trip by cross-state rival Pittsburgh, pushed the Flyers into the top 4, and they could easily improve their seeding in the round-robin.

Moneypuck has Philly with the best odds to win the cup at 13.%.

The books like them at +850 to +1100

Of the four major sports, this could be the toughest to forecast. Whoever advances out of the play-in series could dictate more about favorites’ odds than how the top four seeds fare in the round-robin.

This is a long, grueling playoff run where anything can happen. Ten years ago, the top four seeds lost in the first round in the East, and the conference was won by the seventh-seeding Flyers who staved off being down 3-0 in the semis. Watch the markets as things progress.

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