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Lesean McCoy bets $200K on Warriors; Experts say Warriors would be favored over ’96 Bulls

Twice weekly, we’ll comb through as many articles, tweets and podcasts as we can find related to the world of sports betting and daily fantasy sports, and publish the good stuff here. 

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Buffalo Bills running back Lesean McCoy shared a photo of a betting ticket of a $200,000 bet on the Golden State Warriors to win the NBA Finals.

According to ESPN’s David Purdum, McCoy’s $200,000 bet on the Warriors to win the series was the largest bet that Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas took on the Finals. McCoy stands to win $62,500 if Golden State avenges last year’s loss to the Cavaliers. The $200,000 wager represents about three percent of McCoy’s base salary for the 2017 season. He agreed to a five-year, $40 million contract with Buffalo in 2015.

While the NFL’s gambling policy prohibits players from betting on football and from participating in promotional events at casinos, players are free to bet on other sports. It’s unclear whether McCoy put money on the Warriors in last year’s NBA Finals, but he predicted Golden State would prevail in six games after a Game 1 win at home in 2016. The Warriors won the first two games in that series before famously blowing a 3-1 series lead. This year, Golden State rolled to a 113-91 win in Game 1.

 

A handful of Las Vegas bookmakers said the Golden State Warriors would be favored in a hypothetical game against the 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls.

Four of the five had the Warriors favored, from as high as -8 at the MGM (per Jay Rood, vice president of race and sports at MGM Resorts) to as low as -3 at the Wynn (per Johnny Avello, sportsbook manager at the Wynn).

Chris Andrews, sportsbook director at South Point, wasn’t crazy about the comparison but said “it would have to be pretty close to pick-em, point spread and series. It would depend on [which team] could force its style on the other.”

Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook manager Jeff Sherman set the line at Golden State -6.5 and a series price of Chicago +300 and Golden State -360.

“It’s a different era now, and today’s game is played at a pace unlike in the 1990s,” Sherman told ESPN. “Players are bigger, faster and stronger than back then.”


Sports betting experts don’t think there’s much risk of courtsiding taking place on mobile apps on NFL and NHL games in Las Vegas.

“If that were the case, then it’s going on now, because everybody outside the United States has in-game betting,” said Scott Kaminsky, director of offshore sportsbook TheGreek.com. “Books have been doing live betting on events for like 15 years. It’s not gonna be something that’s going to start if Vegas does it for the Raiders.”

In fact, offshore sportsbooks have successfully dealt with this for years. Scott Cooley, odds consultant for Bookmaker.eu, addressed this example: Someone at the stadium literally has his bet all set up, ready to push the button on his smartphone, just waiting on the outcome of a key play. Then, provided the play has the result he needs, that person immediately submits the bet, before the oddsmaker can adjust. Is that a concern?


Wynn sportsbook director John Avello says Mayweather-McGregor wouldn’t draw the betting handle from Mayweather-Pacquiao.

“First of all, you’d have to lay a bunch of money on Mayweather to even win a little,” said Avello.

Mayweather opened at a 25-1 favorite.

“Second, bettors would have to be tentative on the crossover for both fighters,” Avello said, especially of McGregor straight up boxing. And lastly, it’s just not for any title. That’s important.”

That’s why Avello says betting on the fight will generate a total handle of less than half Mayweather-Pacquiao.