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Red Sox, Astros open as 2019 co-favorites; NHL, MGM announce betting data agreement

The Boston Red Sox and Houston Astros opened as co-favorites to win the World Series in 2019.

The Boston Red Sox and Houston Astros have been installed as co-favorites to win the 2019 World Series heading into an offseason that could see impactful free agents change teams and shake up the odds.

The Red Sox and Astros, the past two World Series champions, are each listed at 6-1 at the SuperBook at Westgate Las Vegas. The New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers, two potential landing spots for prized free agent Bryce Harper, are each 7-1.

The NHL and MGM announced an agreement for sports betting data.

The NHL announced a multiyear agreement Monday to provide MGM Resorts International with data for use in betting, the second major U.S. professional sports league to strike a deal with the casino giant since the Supreme Court opened the way for expanded gambling last spring.

Las Vegas-based MGM is the league’s first official sports betting partner, just as it is with the NBA and WNBA. That deal was reached in July.

As part of the agreement, MGM gains access to proprietary NHL data that could eventually include puck and player tracking information once that goes through a testing phase. Access to that data will allow MGM to provide customized game details along with betting opportunities for U.S. customers where gambling is legally available.

The data will not be exclusive to MGM. The NHL is not getting a cut of gambling profits, but other terms were not disclosed.

“The new sports betting landscape presents a unique opportunity for fan engagement utilizing technology and data that are exclusive to our league,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. “Fan engagement, technological advancement and innovation are paramount to our progressive approach and will be at the forefront of everything we do.”

A bookie in Mississippi said he’s made more profits since sports betting was legalized in the state.

Overall he said he hasn’t lost any profit since sports betting became legal — and he’s actually gained.

The Bookie said he has 200 clients in Biloxi and across South Mississippi, most of whom have been with him for years. He picks up another 25 percent each year by word of mouth, he said.

“Ninety percent of your money is made on football,” he said. His business goes from 200-300 bets a week during football season, he said, down to 50 a week after the Super Bowl.

Most of the bets are on the Saints, he said, along with Mississippi college teams and LSU, Alabama, Auburn, Florida and Florida State.

The minimum bet is about $25, he said. People can bet on the outcome of the game, a proposition bet on an event like who will score first, on horse races and occasionally on a political race, which is something not allowed under Mississippi law.

“(At) the casinos you have to put your money up front,” he said.

That’s not the case with him. Betters work on a line of credit. The money can roll over from week to week, he said, or he will meet the client at a local spot on the Coast and settle up on Tuesday.

A feature article published by ESPN Chalk checks in with the state of legalized sports betting in America.

“A lot has changed,” said Scott Butera, president of interactive gaming for MGM Resorts, which owns the Borgata. “What’s really changed is the fan base and the way they’re changing how they consume sports.”

Some would argue that the bigger agent of change has been the evolving attitudes of the professional leagues, which have been able to quickly pivot off their long-held, staunch opposition to sports betting.

For six years, the NBA, along with the NCAA, NFL, Major League Baseball and the NHL, fought New Jersey’s efforts to allow sports betting. The leagues claimed they would suffer “irreparable harm” if sportsbooks opened in Atlantic City. Now, the leagues and their teams are partnering with those same sportsbooks.



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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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