Washington Nationals Bryce Harper reacts to his winning hit during the Major League Baseball Home Run Derby. (Alex Brandon, File)
Washington Nationals Bryce Harper reacts to his winning hit during the Major League Baseball Home Run Derby. (Alex Brandon, File)|Associated Press

Newsletter: Bettors Insider, Vol. 1, No. 15, 3/1/19

Howard Gensler

Howard Gensler

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Harper addition changes Phils' World Series odds

With the expected signing of Bryce Harper, the Philadelphia Phillies odds to win the World Series improved from +1300 on February 20, to +920 via the World Series Odds Tracker from www.SportsBettingDime.com -- compiled by an average of the odds from multiple odds-makers.

Back in October, before the club signed Jean Segura, JT Realmuto, Andrew McCutcheon and David Robertson, their odds were +2200.

Locally, @edbarkowitz tweeted: "From Evan Davis, VP @WinAtSugarHouse Phils WS odds went from 12-1 to 10-1, NL odds from 6-1 to 5-1, wins from 87 to 88.5"

So at least from an oddsmaker's perspective, the Phillies had a very good off-season.

Nike partners with Chinese eSports league

Global athletic apparel giant Nike has made another push into the esports market. According to the Associated Press, the swoosh company is partnering with China's premier "League of Legends" circuit to become its official provider of apparel and footwear.

What's next, a Chinese Mars Blackmon telling folks that the key to "League of Legends" success has "gotta be the shoes."

The four-year deal announced yesterday gives Nike a presence with one of the most watched eSports leagues in the world. The move comes after Nike tabbed Chinese "League of Legends" player Jian "Uzi" Zihao as its first esports ambassador in October and used him in a marketing campaign alongside LeBron James.

"League of Legends" is produced by Riot Games. It's world championship match last fall was seen by a reported 99.6 million unique viewers, just shy of the 100.7 million that tuned in for this year's Super Bowl.

In other states . . .

KENTUCKY: According to ai.cio.com, a sports betting bill in Kentucky was approved by the state's House Licensing, Occupations and Administrative Regulations Committee. Proponents say it would provide tens of millions of dollars in tax revenue to help fund Kentucky's struggling public pensions, which Gov. Matt Bevin calls the "worst funded in the nation."

How's an unfunded liability of $84 billion sound?

Just curious, what money are Kentucky retirees going to use to gamble when they stop getting their pension checks?

ARIZONA: Native Americans have the exclusive rights to run casinos in Arizona and they overwhelmingly dislike the sports betting bill making its way through the state legislature. They like the idea of sports betting, they just want to be able to negotiate terms directly with Gov. Rob Ducey. The governor agrees. Full story here.

TENNESSEE and NORTH CAROLINA are two more states working on sports betting legislation.

Bettor Bits

  • @OddsShark tweeted: "We're only two races into the 2019 NASCAR circuit, but Kyle Busch is the betting favorite to win the Monster Energy Cup at +500."
  • @barstoolsports tweeted: "If you haven’t thought about faking your own death because you're down so much in gambling, then you can’t consider yourself a real gambler" Story here.

Stat of the night (NFL Combine Edition)

@NextGenStats on Twitter

Today's Schedule

  • 5 am - Boop appeared on Big Daddy Graham's WIP radio show.
  • 6 am - Neal Abrams semifinal picks from Dubai
  • 6 am - Sean Miller's first soccer picks - European matches start early afternoon.
  • 10 am - Mick McMudder's horse racing selections.
  • 10 am - Boop's Single Digits (BoopStats for the digital attention span) (Single Digits will also give you an early peek at Boop's Quickie Quiz, which posts at noon on Twitter @BoopStats.)
  • 1 pm - 5 pm - NHL, NCAA and NBA Basketball picks.
  • 3 pm - Basting's Overwatch League picks.
  • 6 pm - Boop's Philly Props pick.
  • 10 pm - Sean Miller's Saturday morning soccer picks.

New time for newsletter

We're experimenting with sending it out at noon/lunchtime instead of early morning since so much of our action is in the later afternoon and evening. Anyone have any thoughts? Let us know. Thanks!Thursday ResultsCraig Dietel went 2-0 with his NHL picks. Neal Abrams went 5-1 with his quarterfinal tennis picks. After two straight wins,  Boop Vetrone lost his two Philly Prop bets by a combined 3 points.  Greg Frank won another NBA game, continuing a very good run.  Chris Garrity again got shut out at the track so we're expecting big things Saturday. The last time Mick McMudder had a bad run, he had a day where he picked the winner in seven straight races.

We'll try to do better today.

Good luck at the tables, windows, kiosks and apps.

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