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Texans are biggest playoff ‘dogs in decades; Florida lawmaker introduces daily fantasy bill

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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The Houston Texans will be the biggest playoff underdogs in almost 20 years.

The Patriots opened as 14.5-point favorites against the Houston Texans in Saturday’s AFC divisional playoff game at Gillette Stadium.

The line quickly grew to New England -16 shortly after being posted Sunday afternoon at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, making it one of the four largest playoff point spreads in the past 40 seasons.

The dynamic 1998 Minnesota Vikings were 16-point favorites over the Arizona Cardinals in the divisional round of the playoffs. In the 1994 postseason, Steve Young’s San Francisco 49ers were 17.5-point favorites over the Chicago Bears in the divisional round and then 18-point favorites over the San Diego Chargers in Super Bowl XXIX.

Going back further, the Baltimore Colts lost to Joe Namath’s New York Jets as 18-point favorites in Super Bowl III.

A Florida lawmaker has filed a bill that would make daily fantasy sports legal in the state.

Once again, a lawmaker has filed a bill to make daily fantasy sports sites – in which people bet real money on real athletes in real time – fully exempt from state gambling regulations. Sanford Rep. Jason Brodeur filed the bill Wednesday, but no companion bill has been filed so far in the Florida Senate.

The state’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation, which oversees racetrack gambling, poker, slots, and other gambling, would not regulate the websites, according to the proposed bill.

New Jersey has spent about $6 million to law firms since 2012 in its effort to legalize sports betting.

According to the state Division of Law officials, Gibson Dunn’s bills are not paid with direct taxpayer money, but rather from fees and assessments to the racing and casino industries in collections made by the Division of Gaming Enforcement and the Racing Commission.

Las Vegas sportsbooks say they’ve lost on the NFL six weeks in a row.

“I’ve never seen it run this bad against the house for this many weeks in my entire career. This is uncharted territory, for sure,” MGM Mirage sports book director Jay Rood said. “Sometimes players win for three weeks in a row, but this is six weeks now. The whole month of December was a rough month for the NFL.

“It’s a struggle to be profitable.”