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Unlikely Chiefs TD swayed side, total results; Poll: Majority of Americans favor legal betting

Each Friday, 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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An unlikely sequence of events at the end of the Washington-Kansas City Monday Night Football game resulted in a front door cover and for the over to hit.

In a back-and-forth game, the Chiefs took a 23-20 lead with 4 seconds left on a 43-yard field goal by Harrison Butker.

After a touchback on the ensuing kickoff, Washington took over on its own 25-yard line. Quarterback Kirk Cousins completed a short pass to Jamison Crowder, who threw the ball back to Cousins in an attempt to start a multi-lateral play. After a scramble, the ball ended up the ground. Houston scooped it up and raced into the end zone, prompting ESPN play-by-play man Sean McDonough to say, “This might be meaningful to some.”

It certainly was.

The last-play defensive touchdown caused an approximately $350,000 swing against the house at Las Vegas sportsbook operator CG Technology, according to vice president of risk Jason Simbal, who added that $100,000 of that loss came from one big bet on the Chiefs -7.

A recent poll showed that a majority of Americans approve of legalizing sports betting.

With the U.S. Supreme Court expected to hear arguments soon on a case that could upend the country’s sports gambling laws, for the first time most Americans support making wagering on professional sports legal, according to new poll conducted by The Washington Post and the University of Massachusetts Lowell.

A 55-percent majority approve of legalizing betting on pro sporting events, a flip from almost a quarter century ago, when a federal law went into effect banning the practice in most of the country and 56 percent of Americans disapproved of legalization in a Gallup/CNN/USA Today poll.


As many as 32 states could have legalized sports betting within 5 years (and 12 more possible states within 7 years) according to a new report.

Assuming the high court rules in New Jersey’s favor, Grove’s firm predicted 14 states would offer sports betting within two years: Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; Indiana; Massachusetts; Michigan; Mississippi; Montana; New Jersey; Ohio; Nevada; Pennsylvania; Virginia; and West Virginia.

Within five years, it predicted 18 more would join: Arizona; California; Idaho; Illinois; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Missouri; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Oklahoma; Vermont; Washington and Wyoming.

And within seven years, another dozen could offer it as well: Alabama; Arkansas; Florida; Georgia; Minnesota; Nebraska; New Hampshire; New Mexico; Oregon; Rhode Island; South Dakota and Wisconsin. The remaining states might never offer sports betting, the Eilers & Krejcik Gaming report predicted.

Proponents of legalizing sports betting have been having discussions with professional athletes.

“You hear a lot of good questions [from players],” Freeman told ESPN. “There’s definitely an age variable. There is an older perspective, and there is a younger perspective. The younger perspective is more progressive on this particular issue.

“Maybe we need a group of players who we work with, who become spokespeople for the benefits of a regulated market. … We’ve certainly already identified a handful that would be great spokespeople on this topic.”

ESPN Chalk’s David Purdum spent a Sunday with a sports betting syndicate in Las Vegas.

There’s a former Chicago financial trader, a former high school basketball coach from Illinois and a poker pro who doesn’t even watch the games. They’re regular, easy-going guys in their 30s, who make a living gambling. And they’re preparing for the busiest 30 minutes of their NFL Sunday.

It’s an open, informal setting, with two desks, a couch and four TVs tuned into the early slate of NFL games and the final day of the Presidents Cup. There’s an oversized cutout of Tiger Woods on the wall, along with St. Louis Cardinals and Boston Celtics memorabilia. It’s not really a man cave, though, not a place to chill out, drink beer and watch football with buddies. The only food out is a bucket of ice with some Red Bulls and a box of donuts. This is very much a high-stakes grind.