%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.
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.%.
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.
The Philadelphia Phillies made a splash last offseason when they added Bryce Harper to the roster, along with several other former All-Stars.
While the thinking was that a Phillies team that finished 80-82 in 2018 would be propelled to new heights in 2019, the reality was that the team regressed by one victory in the win column.
As we look ahead to the 2020 season, a lot of people are wondering if Harper can get back to his MVP level and whether other key players on the roster like Aaron Nola can help lead this team back to the playoffs.
FOX Bet has posted odds booster specials on Harper winning the MVP award and Nola winning the Cy Young, so let’s take a closer look at each prop and see if there’s any value.
Harper National League MVP Odds
Harper was among the top competitors to win the 2020 NL MVP award (he was seventh in line, according to the odds) but FOX Bet has given him a boost. Here’s the updated line:
- Original Odds To Win NL MVP: +1600
- Current Odds To Win NL MVP: +2000
To translate what the means, if you were to bet $100 on Harper to win the award and he came through, you’d win $2000. Now the question is does Harper have a good shot?
When you take a look at the race for the MVP, WAR has become a very important number in that category. For five straight seasons, the player that led the National League in WAR was eventually named the MVP, which includes Harper back in 2015.
The challenge for Harper is that his WAR numbers have declined since then. In 2015, he was at 9.9 when he clubbed 42 home runs, had 99 RBI’s and six stolen bases while batting .330. However, his subsequent WAR numbers have looked like this:
- 2016: 1.6
- 2017: 4.7
- 2018: 1.3
- 2019: 4.2
Last year was solid but it wasn’t good enough. To put what a WAR of 4.2 means in perspective, that ranked him 21st last season.
The real question here is what do you think happens with his batting average and what happens with the Phillies? If his batting average can get back over .300 – something that’s only happened once in the last four seasons – then his WAR should start to approach the numbers he’ll need.
Secondly, will the Phillies be in contention? If you believe so, he’ll have a decent shot to win it and at 20/1, the payout is juicy. However, if you don’t think either of these fall his way, you might want to stay away.
2020 NL MVP Odds
- Mookie Betts +550
- Cody Bellinger +650
- Christian Yelich +750
- Ronald Acuna Jr. +900
- Juan Soto +1100
- Fernando Tatis Jr. +1500
- Bryce Harper +2000
Aaron Nola Cy Young Odds
When it comes to Nola, FOX Bet is also handing out a generous boost as they’ll pay out +2800 if Nola comes through, which is a $600 bump over the +2200 he’s priced at.
Original Odds To Win NL Cy Young: +2200
Just like WAR was important for the MVP race, it’s similarly as important for the Cy Young Award. The eventual Cy Young winner has been first in three of the last four years, and first or second in seven straight seasons.
Coincidentally, the last time a player led the league in WAR and didn’t win the award was Nola in 2018.
The question with Nola is will he be able to duplicate his 2018 season. He went 17-6 that season and had a WAR of 10.5. He lost out because Jacob deGrom edged him in WHIP slightly and allowed more than a half-run less in terms of ERA.
While those numbers were good enough for Nola to win the award, the question is if he can do it again. Beyond that, the Phillies also have to play well. If they get to the playoffs and Nola is leading the National League in WAR, he’ll be among the front runners.
If you think he’s got a chance, you can now get him at +2800 with the odds boost, which will put some more money in your pocket if he does come through.
2020 NL Cy Young Odds
- Max Scherzer +400
- Walker Buehler +750
- Jack Flaherty +900
- Stephen Strasburg +1200
- Clayton Kershaw +1600
- Yu Darvish +1800
- Luis Castillo +2000
- Aaron Nola +2800
The NFL free agency (read: tampering) period has been an absolute blast, especially since sports fans don’t exactly have a whole lot else to focus on these days.
From Tom Brady leaving the New England Patriots to the trades of star wideouts DeAndre Hopkins and Stefon Diggs, there was a lot of big news breaking every day at NJ Gambling Websites.
Tom Brady talks Gisele’s famous dig at WRs
Remember what Tom Brady’s wife, Gisele, went nuts on a heckler after the Super Bowl loss versus the Giants?
“My husband cannot f—— throw the ball and catch the ball at the same time. I can’t believe they dropped the ball so many times,” Gisele said after Super Bowl XLVI.
Well, Tom hasn’t forgotten about it either.
“You know, my wife said, ‘He cannot throw the ball and catch it?’ That’s the truth. There (are) a lot of guys who have been on the other end of catching all those passes,” Brady said.
Wait; what?! Oh, OK, Tom. I see what you’re trying to say.
Brady suggested the opposite of how Gisele felt. She felt that her husband’s teammates were holding him back; he feels that he wouldn’t be where he is now if it wasn’t for his WRs.
But who is right and who is wrong? And why would he bring up THAT quote when giving praise to his former WR?
Either way, it’s been over seven years since Welker’s drop, so Brady clearly feels enough time has passed to make light of his wife’s stinging comments.
“Wes is one of my best friends. He always will be,” Brady added. “Wes knows how I feel about him. What an amazing player he was.”
Now that the dust has settled — for the most part — let’s take a look at some of the best NJ sportsbooks and see how the Super Bowl futures have changed from before free agency.
NFL Teams on the Rise
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Pre-Free Agency Super Bowl Odds: +3500
- Current Super Bowl Odds: +1700 at DraftKings
The Bucs were one of the big winners in free agency as they won the Tom Brady sweepstakes. As a result, their Super Bowl futures shortened all the way down from +3500 to +1700. Only the San Francisco 49ers (+900) and the New Orleans Saints (+1300) have shorter odds in the NFC.
The big rumor making the rounds now is that the Bucs will try to add Antonio Brown to the mix. The troubled wideout has been out of the league and dealing with all sorts of legal and family issues.
On the surface, a Brown-Brady-Mike Evans-Chris Godwin offense would be incredible. Of course, Brown might torpedo the team too but expect the Bucs odds to shorten if they do get their hands on Brown.
- Pre-Free Agency Super Bowl Odds: +3300
- Current Super Bowl Odds: +2200 at FanDuel
The Bills were busy in free agency as they acquired a No. 1 wideout in Stefon Diggs and then adding some good pieces to their defense like Mario Addison, Vernon Butler and Quinton Jefferson.
The Bills’ defense was ranked third in the NFL last season, so adding these types of quality pieces is going to make them one of the top units in the NFL once again.
The Bills also benefited greatly from Brady leaving the AFC East. Their path to winning the division or conference has gotten a lot easier as a result.
- Pre-Free Agency Super Bowl Odds: +15000
- Current Super Bowl Odds: +8000 at William Hill
The Dolphins are still extreme longshots to win the Super Bowl, but their odds shortened significantly after free agency. They had a really big haul, including cornerback Byron Jones, offensive lineman Ereck Flowers and running back Jordan Howard – to name a few.
We’ll see what they end up doing in the 2020 NFL Draft in terms of their quarterback of the future. As of now, the Dolphins have boosted the talent on their roster significantly.
NFL Teams on the Decline
New England Patriots
- Pre-Free Agency Super Bowl Odds: +1600
- Current Super Bowl Odds: +2000 at DraftKings
Of course, the Patriots were one of the biggest fallers in terms of the 2020 Super Bowl futures. They were at +1600 beforehand right before free agency, but many people felt that was a good value bet as they might be able to bring Brady back.
Instead, the Patriots didn’t even make an offer to Brady as they watched him sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The bigger issue for the Patriots is that they have no clear option to replace Brady on the roster and the offense is otherwise in shambles. Sure, there’s Julian Edelman, but the receiving corps were several bricks short of a load even with Brady.
They haven’t done much to fix that. With guys like Hunter Henry and AJ Green getting the franchise tag, and the Pats missing out on DeAndre Hopkins and Diggs, they are really in a tight spot to improve their offense.
As far as who is their starting quarterback for Week 1 in 2020? As of right now, it looks like Jarrett Stidham could be the guy. Options like Andy Dalton and Cam Newton are still out there, though.
- Pre-Free Agency Super Bowl Odds: +3100
- Current Super Bowl Odds: +3300 at PointsBet
It’s interesting to see that the Browns have fallen as they were one of the more active teams in free agency. They inked Austin Hooper to a contract, making him the highest-paid tight end in the NFL.
Then they also filled a big need by signing tackle Jack Conklin. On defense, they added Kevin Johnson and Karl Joseph to their secondary.
Even so, the oddsmakers were nonplussed as the Browns actually dropped from +3100 to +3300. Maybe they’re cautious as the Browns were very busy the last offseason and ended up falling on their face once the regular season started.
Since sports betting became legal in New Jersey over 18 months ago, the question for many in South Jersey was whether a book would come to the former Garden State Park complex in Cherry Hill. A Cherry Hill sportsbook? Sure, why not.
Those visions came closer to fruition earlier this month, as the township’s planning board approved an off-track betting (OTB) facility built on a tract of land that was part of the old racecourse.
Penn National Gaming plans to build a 30,000-square-foot restaurant and betting facility open seven days a week. This would return horse racing action to the site of a former track that drew families and fans for generations along Route 70.
While the OTB “Favorites” could bring jobs and patrons to the massive shopping complex (might be a good escape for those who aren’t big fans of hitting up all those stores or the nearby mall), there’s still one major hurdle to overcome to bring a Cherry Hill sportsbook online. That involves a company known for running OTBs across Delaware.
A decision in the fall maintained that former owner Greenwood Gaming maintains the sole rights to offer sports betting at the facility. The company operates Parx Casino, along with two Turf Club locations that offer horse racing and sports action. They have long opposed efforts to bring live betting to Cherry Hill.
Does New Jersey need another live location?
New Jersey has become a template of legal on-site and NJ online sports betting apps, challenging Nevada for top spot in handle monthly now. This fall, the state saw action eclipse $500 million for multiple consecutive months.
The state has shown legal betting works. However, a lot of it has worked because of the ease of online access, which has now taken up around 90 percent of the market.
Retail locations haven’t been uniformly successful in New Jersey. In fact, multiple casinos in AC often lose money in the winter months at their live books.
Could Penn National do better?
They have seen what it takes to stay afloat, as the books at the Meadowlands and Monmouth Park usually do brisk business. Unlike Atlantic City, there’s a strong local popular from which they can draw, either in South Jersey or coming over from Philadelphia.
We don’t know the timeline of a potential appeal of the decision. However, breaking ground on the OTB could certainly speed up the process and create another element for the new judge to consider.
What a year. Here were some of the 2019 sports betting trends that caught our attention.
FanDuel sportsbook logged an array of milestones, large bets, and phenomenal payouts, taking its place as a premier gambling establishment in 2019.
Here are some facts, figures, oohs and ahs from its version of a championship season.
2019 Year in Review
Mattress Mack’s $1.5 million online wagers on the Astros to win the World Series was 2019’s largest single bet of the year at the FanDuel Sportsbook.
It also generated enormous publicity and, significantly for FanDuel, did not have to be paid out, because the Washington Nationals won their first-ever championship.
11/25 marked the FanDuel Sportsbook’s largest parlay payout of 2019. A Customer placed $200 on a 15-leg parlay across NFL/ NBA and NHL Money Lines, which paid $229,276.50.
2019 Sports Betting Trends
- The New York Yankees were the most popular team in 2019.
- They were the most popular by bet count and handle.
- The New York Yankees had nearly 90,000 more bets than any other team
- The Super Bowl was the most popular single game by bet count and handle in 2019
November 3, December 1 and November 24 are the three largest days of the year by bet count and handle in 2019.
NFL Sundays are extremely popular and as we moved closer to the end of the year, PA, WV and IN opened to online sports betting gave the book more customers to place bets.
- Biggest day for Customers winning in 2019 was on Sunday, October 27, 2019
- This was the day of the Sports Equinox when all major sports played on the same day
- The Golden State Warriors were the most popular NBA Team by handle in 2019
- The Philadelphia 76ers were the most popular NBA Team by bet count in 2019
- The Boston Bruins were the most popular NHL Team by handle in 2019
- The Philadelphia Flyers were the most popular team by bet count in 2019
- The New England Patriots were the most popular NFL team by handle in 2019
- The Philadelphia Eagles were the most popular NFL team by bet count
- NBA Finals Game 6 (Raptors @ Warriors on 6/13) was the most popular NBA game by handle
- World Series Game 6 (Nationals @ Astros on 10/29) was the most popular MLB Game by handle
- Game 7 of the Stanley Cup (Blues @ Bruins on 6/12) was the most popular NHL Game by handle
Is there an encore for 2020?
For fans looking for something to do this weekend, Monmouth Park Sportsbook by William Hill is hosting an action-packed lineup of special guests, giveaways, events and more.
Meet n Greet With NY Giants Legend
- Sunday, November 24 at 1:00 PM EST
Former Giants RB Rodney Hampton will be at the William Hill Sportsbook at Monmouth Park. For fans of a certain age, that’s a name remembered for some excellent seasons in the 1990s. Hampton was a first-round pick in 1990 and was on the Super Bowl XXV champs.
However, he was injured during the season and his replacement Ottis Anderson won the MVP in that heart-stopping game in Tampa. Hampton came back and rushed for over 1,000 yards in five straight seasons. His 6,897 yards in just eight seasons was a team record until Tiki Barber eclipsed it.
Hampton’s appearance highlights what will be a busy weekend at the Central Jersey book. Yeah, it’s cold and windy this time of year in Monmouth County but the schedule put out by William Hill has some hot action.
NJ Devils Watch Party
- Friday, November 22 at 7:00 PM EST
Friday night is a watch party for the Devils-Penguins game. Former New Jersey Devil Grant Marshall, who won the Stanley Cup with the 2003 team and the 1999 Dallas Stars, will be there to meet fans. There will be giveaways, along with specials on Magic Hat’s “Woo Brew”. Hey anywhere with a burger and beer for $10 and wings with a pitcher for $20 is pretty good, especially a microbrew.
Deontay Wilder vs Luis Ortiz – No-Cover at William Hill
- Saturday, November 23 at 9:00 PM EST
Saturday night, fans can watch the world heavyweight boxing championship rematch between Deontay Wilder and Luis Ortiz for free. Yeah, no cover like most bars and restaurants will have. Plus you can actually bet on the fights from your seat, legally.
Coors Light Giveaways
- Sunday, November 24 from 1:00 – 3:00 PM EST
Sunday will feature Coors Light giveaways from 1 to 3 PM, along with food and drink specials. Hampton will take pictures and autograph items for fans.
Bet and watch NFL games on the 40-plus HDTVs
Giants legend along with his Super Bowl ring will be in the house! That’s pretty cool.
Week 11 brings perhaps the most anticipated match-up for the Philadelphia Eagles home schedule. The defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots come to the Linc in a Super Bowl LII rematch.
Win FREE Club Seats & $250 Cash
PlaySugarHouse.com has a fantastic offer for players who want to see the game live (they can bet at the game now, of course). Introducing, the South Philly Sunday Sweeps.
South Philly Sunday Sweeps – Eagles vs Patriots
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How To Enter & Win – Eagles vs Patriots Tix
- Every $50 real-money sports bet online EARNS ONE FREE ENTRY
- So, a $100 bet on the Steelers-Browns line will earn you two entries
- Add a $50 bet on Temple beating Xavier on the hardwood for another chance.
- More bets, more chances to win.
- ALL BETS MUST BE MADE AT PlaySugarHouse.com.
- (Live bets don’t count)
- All qualifying bets must be made by Friday, November 15th at 4 PM EST
- A winner will be drawn on Friday at 6 PM EST (One hour to claim the prize or another winner is chosen)
- The $250 in cash will be credited to your PlaySugarHouse NJ Sportsbook account
- So if you want to use that cash at the Linc during the game, make sure you withdrawal your winnings
- IMPORTANT: all eligible bets must go to the end of each game to qualify for the contest.
- Any cashed-out bets will void your entry
Don’t know which bets to make?
Visit our NFL BETTING TIPS page on NJBetting.com for the most up to date odds, lines, and expert tips.
Eagles vs Patriots Club Seat Giveaway
For those who have not sat in the club level at Lincoln Financial Field for an Eagles game or another event, these are some of the best seats in the house. Along with great views along the sidelines, the club level has the BEST food and beverage options.
Yeah, you can get a hot dog and some tallboys. But you can also get some gourmet snacks from some of Philadelphia’s best restaurateurs, and premium cocktails expertly poured.
It’s a different level of luxury, and it’s a great option on what should be a frigid Sunday afternoon late kickoff.
(Disclaimer: I used to sell club seats for the Eagles.)
NFL Game Of The Week
Fall is the biggest season for all NJ sportsbooks, and both of these teams drive significant business. The Pats have dominated the AFC and have a strong ATS record.
Historically, they’re outstanding coming out of the bye and after a loss. The Eagles get a lot of action as the home team. While their performance has been inconsistent this year, fans are starting to see signs of life as the team contends for the NFC East.
A win in the Super Bowl rematch would convince many skeptics this team could go on another magical run.
This will not be a game to miss. In the last regular-season meeting, the Eagles had three return TDs, and Jordan Matthews 4th quarter score proved the difference in a 35-28 upset at Foxboro.
Bill Belichek will look to exact some retribution on the team and coach who scored the most points in a postseason game in the three-plus decades he’s been either a head coach or defensive coordinator. Want to be there in person?
Jump on PlaySugarHouse.com and make your picks.
Welcome to what might be the most fun time of year for handicappers, when the top NJ sports betting trends are forever changing. All Big 4 sports are in play, in some capacity. Baseball’s in the postseason, basketball is in the preseason, while football and hockey are just getting started in the regular season.
October is a busy month for the books, shifting back to team sports following a summer full of events like golf and tennis. For players, it’s time to work systems and scrutinize the stats.
There’s a lot going on so let’s see if we can help you sort through all the info and prices. Here are some of this week’s biggest sports betting trends.
Playoff baseball is back!
Sorry to everyone in Minnesota but there are still seven teams in contention for the World Series. The divisional round will have two – possibly three – deciding game 5s.
According to vegasinsider.com, six of the top 10 betting trends currently are around Game 4 of the Astros-Rays series. Tampa staved off elimination on Monday night, can they win another and force a winner-take-all in Houston?
A lot of the money was flowing towards the Astros and the over. They are favored, have the best record in baseball, and are looking for their second world title in three years.
For players who grind through baseball’s marathon of a regular season, this is time to make money. Sharps can find pricing advantages or go against the public who might look more at seeds than matchups.
It’s hockey night tonight!
The NHL season is in the first full week. One team drawing a lot of bets Tuesday night is Pittsburgh, who face Winnipeg at home.
The Pens will miss one of their big guns in Evgeni Malkin for a good stretch at the start. The Russian power forward is nursing an injury.
Pittsburgh might be a team to bet against as the team finds their identity without Geno. Yeah they still got Crosby, but they’ve lost some people from their consecutive Stanley Cup runs.
The season start can be tricky as teams bring in new players and coaches. Those who follow the offseason closely could benefit.
New team atop the NFC East
DraftKings changed one major future pricing after Week 5 action with local import. The NJ powerhouse flipped the favorite to win the NFC East.
Dallas entered Week 5 as the division leader and lowest price at -132. Their loss at home to Green Bay dropped them to +110 and second choice.
Who’s the new leader? The Eagles, of course. Philly went from +135 to -110. So make sure you check out the top NJ sports betting bonuses before making your bets.
The two teams will meet in Week 7 at Jerryworld and again in Week 16 at the Linc. By then, the positions should flip-flop and the prices will change a few times. Keep an eye on this race.
Prices Shorten for Niners, Colts
DraftKings only swapped one division leader on their price board. However, a few teams saw their odds drop while they maintained second choice status.
The Colts win in KC restored a lot of confidence in the team that may have gone away when Andrew Luck suddenly retired. Their futures price dropped from +275 to +175, getting some space from the Titans and Jaguars while inching closer to the Texans.
In the NFC, the 49ers dominance dropped their odds to win the NFC West from +225 to +165. This coupled with the Rams loss, which sent their three-peat price leaping from -150 to +140.
The Niners could be a harder sell. They got the early bye which means 13 straight games for them to play. That’s a tough division and a lot more travel to go to bring home the title.
Public leaning on two “superteams” to win NBA title
Sick of hearing about all this NBA kowtowing to the Chinese nonsense? I got you covered.
DraftKings posted the NBA title futures two weeks before the regular season starts. They have the Clippers as the favorites at +325. However, they’re only fifth choice for the public, at 6 percent of money bet.
Who’s number one? Why it’s the Lakers. LeBron has a big man he can trust (hopefully) and a good supporting cast. The King’s men are second choice in price at +425 and have 26 percent of the handle.
Most sports betting trends have the 76ers at the top of the East. The Sixers are second choice of the Eastern Conference teams (at +700) behind the Bucks (+650) but have 24 percent of the handle.
This will be really interesting to watch, as DK expands to Pennsylvania. Look for those prices to change.
Just days after the NCAA lost a crucial legal battle, it may need to pony up some more funds for another one. Governor Gavin Newsom signed the California athletes pay bill and in doing so, set himself up for a possible legal challenge from the NCAA.
The new law, the California Fair Pay to Play Act, doesn’t take effect until 2023. The NCAA likely won’t wait that long to take Newsom to court over it, however.
Why the NCAA urged Newsom not to sign the California athletes pay bill
Before Newsom put pen to paper, the NCAA made its position on the bill clear. In the NCAA’s opinion, it would give its members in the Golden State an unfair advantage.
Because of that, the NCAA stated, it would rule California colleges and universities ineligible for championship events. There are differing opinions on whether the NCAA could do so, however. That could be grounds for the affected institutions to bring an antitrust claim against the NCAA.
The NCAA might be the first to the courthouse, however. This isn’t the first time that state governments have attempted to regulate the NCAA.
In the early 1990s, several states including Nevada tried to force the NCAA to change its policies involving its internal investigations into rules infractions. The NCAA sued then-Nevada governor Bill Miller, arguing the state had no authority to enforce its law because the NCAA was active in multiple states. Federal courts agreed with the NCAA’s interpretation of the dormant commerce clause.
That’s precedent the NCAA is likely to use in a similar argument against Newsom. It may not prove as successful this time around, however, because the circumstances are quite different.
What’s in the new California law regarding college athletes
It’s important to note that the new law does not require California colleges and universities to pay their athletes directly. It also does not apply to community/junior colleges in the state.
The law does, starting in 2023, ban any of the state’s colleges or universities punishing an athlete for receiving compensation for the use of her/his image, name and/or likeness. The NCAA and any athletic conference the colleges/universities belong to would similarly not be able to do the same.
The law does bar athletes from signing endorsement deals that would conflict with similar deals in place with the athletic departments. For instance, an athlete at UCLA would be unable to sign a deal with Nike, as UCLA has an existing contract with Under Armour.
Other than that, athletes in California will be able to profit off their NIL rights. It’s something the NCAA will fight. Their recent track record doesn’t bode well, however.
Recent court losses for the NCAA in multiple states
In a California courtroom earlier this year, the NCAA “lost” Alston v. NCAA. The presiding federal judge ruled that the NCAA is in violation of federal antitrust laws by capping athletes compensation.
Her ruling didn’t actually impact the NCAA’s status quo much, however. That softened the blow for the NCAA but the NCAA appealed the ruling nonetheless.
Another ruling against the NCAA could actually have a bite worse than its bark, however. A group of appellate judges reversed a lower court decision that puts the NCAA and professional leagues like the NFL on the hook for millions of dollars.
If the ruling stands upon possible further appeal, the NCAA is one party that will have to reimburse gaming operators in New Jersey for losses suffered while the NCAA and the leagues fought to enforce the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. That likely decreases the NCAA’s enthusiasm about the Garden State.
The new law in California could represent another loss for the NCAA. The list of states that the NCAA is at odds with seems to be growing.