bettingroundup062717 Betting roundup

SCOTUS decides to take sports betting case; Book releases updated Lakers playoff odds

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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NOTE: Betting Roundup is going on break and will return July 11, 2017.

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The U. S. Supreme Court announced today that it will take on New Jersey’s case to offer legal sports betting.

A victory for New Jersey would allow the state to offer legal sports betting at its casinos and racetracks and potentially jump-start a state-by-state expansion across the nation. Tuesday’s decision was the first setback for the NCAA, NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB in the lengthy saga. The leagues twice sued New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie after he signed sports betting legislation in 2012 and 2014.

New Jersey had lost every step of the way, and it was considered unlikely that the high court would hear its case. In May, Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall submitted an opinion advising the Supreme Court to pass on the case. The court normally follows Department of Justice recommendations.

The Supreme Court will now take a close look at the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, the federal prohibition on state-sponsored sports betting.

It could hear the case as early as this fall, but experts believe a more likely timetable is sometime this winter, with a decision in late spring or early summer.


An attorney close to the situation listed said the odds for legalization improve as time goes on.

Dennis Drazin says it’s an even-money bet. Drazin is an attorney who serves as an adviser to Darby Development, which operates Monmouth Park, so he has his fingers right on the pulse of this issue.

“To go out and say it’s going to happen in 2018, I would not be that confident,” Drazin told Covers. “If I pegged it for 2018, I’d give it 50/50 odds. I’d say there’s 100 percent certainty that within the next five years, there will be other states, besides Nevada, taking sports bets. I don’t think there’s any question in my mind that that’s 100 percent.

“I think the governor’s theory is that the Supreme Court will take the case and that we’ll win, and we’ll be good to go as far as taking bets at Monmouth Park. I probably agree with the governor that we’ll be taking bets, but maybe not the way he’s describing it.”

Drazin sees a situation where either the Supreme Court doesn’t take the case, or takes it and denies New Jersey’s appeal. In either event, he said the state Legislature would need to step in and go beyond the partial repeal of sports betting laws that it thought would be sufficient to pass judicial muster. In other words, the Legislature would have to pass a full repeal of prohibitions on sports betting in New Jersey.

“If we did a total repeal, they could not stop it and it would not violate PASPA,” Drazin said, citing the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992. That legislation outlawed sports betting in the U.S., with the exception of Nevada’s already well-established legal and regulated betting, and exceptions for sports lotteries in other states. “Things could happen if New Jersey passes a total repeal.”

The Westgate SuperBook didn’t share LaVar Ball’s optimism that the Los Angeles Lakers would make the playoffs in 2017-2018.

“Lonzo Ball is going to take the Lakers to the playoffs in his first year,” the outspoken LaVar told ESPN’s Jeff Goodman.

One Las Vegas sportsbook doesn’t share his confidence.

On Saturday afternoon, the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook posted the Lakers’ odds to make next year’s postseason at plus-500, and minus-700 to miss the postseason. That means a $100 wager on Los Angeles to miss the postseason would win $14.29; a $100 wager on L.A. to make the postseason would win $500.

Golf Digest publishes an extensive feature on how Phil Michelson avoided the insider trading legal case that his cohort Billy Walters is dealing with.

Phil Mickelson has long been known as golf’s consummate escape artist. His signature flop shot has turned innumerable misdirected approaches into tap-in pars. When his drive on the 13th hole at Augusta National in the final round of the 2010 Masters settled on pine straw, Mickelson fired a 6-iron between two trees and onto the green, setting up a birdie that would lead to his third green jacket. Yet all of those salvaged pars and dazzling birdies might pale next to the way Mickelson extricated himself from legal trouble earlier this year. In a trial that unfolded in a Manhattan courthouse, Mickelson was implicated in a three-way insider-trading scandal that ended with the two other principals facing many years in prison. Mickelson’s fate? He just walked away—and he didn’t even have to testify.

The story centered on one of the more extraordinary figures in American sports: Billy Walters. Just as Warren Buffett made billions from doing what untold Americans do every day—picking stocks—Walters made millions from a similarly common activity: betting on games. Walters’ life story reads like a tabloid twist on the Horatio Alger myth. He was born 71 years ago in the impoverished hamlet of Munfordville, Ky. His father died when Billy was a year old, and his mother soon took off for parts unknown. Billy was left to be raised by his grandmother, who instilled in the boy a ferocious work ethic. At 7, Billy was cutting lawns; at 9, he had a paper route. The patterns—and passions—that would recur in his life were established early. When he was just 11, as Billy often told the tale, he saved up his earnings—sometimes said to be $75, sometimes $120—and placed his first bet with a local grocer for his favorite team, the New York Yankees, to win the 1955 World Series. They didn’t. It remained “one of the most hurtful, memorable losses I’ve ever had,” Walters told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest is a week from today and the winning over/under has been set.