Can the Philadelphia Phillies win the World Series in a 60-game season?

Now that the framework for the 2020 MLB season is set, it’s time take closer look at how the Philadelphia Phillies odds shape up against the other 29 teams.

A little less than one month from now, the Philadelphia Phillies will open the 2020 regular season.

Unfortunately, it will not include letting fans inside of Citizens Bank Park. More importantly, the traditional 162-game  format  is reduced to 60.

Hey, it could be much worse.

Major League Baseball made the official announcement earlier this week.

But the pandemic version of MLB is going to be much different.

While the Phillies schedule remains a work in progress (at the time of this writing),forget about the trips to Dodgers Stadium and Wrigley Field.

MLB is keeping things super localized to reduce travel. For the Phillies it means National League East and American League East teams only.

And how does Bryce Harper playing an occasional designated hitter role sound?

It’s possible as there will be a universal DH.

Here is a look at what we know so far, and what the early MLB betting pictures looks like at NJ sportsbooks.

The Phillies schedule remains a mystery

So as of Thursday, there was still no word as to what dates the Phillies will play the Washington Nationals, the defending World Series champions.

Same with the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox.

All three teams will be on the schedule.

The general framework, however, seems to be set. The team will play a total of 40 games against the Atlanta BravesNew York MetsFlorida Marlins, and Nationals.

The other 20 games will be against the Yankees, Red Sox, Baltimore OriolesToronto Blue Jays, and Tampa Bay Rays.

The exact home and away breakdown is still being finalized.

And until the schedule is set, the NJ sports betting market will not include any run lines.

PointsBet NJ is among the operators playing the waiting game.

Phillies + COVID-19 cases

There are several what-if scenarios that could impact scheduling.

For one, with the hot and humid summer conditions, there are going to be rainy days. But scheduling 60 games in a 66-day period leaves very little room for error.

And even with the reduced travel, there are going to be days where the weather will be an issue.

Of course the current pandemic is the much bigger concern.

What if one the Phillies, or any other Major League player gets the coronavirus?

It’s no secret the pandemic is currently an issue with the franchise.

The Phillies have not released the names of which players or staff members tested positive.  Should it happen once the regular season resumes, the story will be much different.

How many games will players be required to sit out?

What will the system be for temporary filling the roster spot?

This will be addressed in MLB’s healthy and safety protocols.  The  league did share some details earlier today via Twitter:

Looking at MLB betting action

So what are the Phillies chances of winning the World Series?

Going from 162 games to 60 means any team that gets off to a fast start and stays healthy could be a contender. Think about it. The entire regular season will be play out over a two-month span.

The last day of the regular season is Sept. 27.

Odds wise, DraftKings Sportsbook has the Phillies are +2000 to win it all. Same for the Mets and St. Louis Cardinals.

Here is the complete list for all 30 teams:

But as far as the MLB betting action goes, the Phillies are not receiving much love from bettors, yet. As of Wednesday, DraftKings said the Phillies were getting just 3% of the World Series handle and 4% of the total bets.

The Yankees, on the other hand, are the hot team on the board. The handle is a whopping 49% with the Mets (10%) being a distant second.

FanDuel Sportsbook offering odds boosts

The MLB betting action will pick up as opening day draws closer.

FanDuel Sportsbook is making wagering on the Phillies, Yankees and Mets a little more enticing by offering odds boosts.

Speaking of the National League, the Phillies will have some stiff competition. It comes as no surprise that the Dodgers are the heavy favorite at +160.

Here are some other teams in the mix:

  • Braves +700
  • Nationals +800
  • Mets +1100
  • Cardinals +1200
  • Phillies +1300
  • Cubs +1400
  • Reds +1400

Now it’s just a matter of waiting for the home plate umpire to say those famous words: “Play Ball!”

NJ Sportsbooks Mull The What-Ifs Of An MLB Season That May Not Happen

MLB players and owners have spent weeks battling over the 2020 season. DraftKings Sportsbook and PointsBet in NJ are patiently waiting for a resolution.

Typically, MLB betting is a hot topic of conversation during the summer months.

But here we are on June 17 and there are no baseball games scheduled… yet.

As a result, NJ online sportsbooks are sitting on the sidelines awaiting a solution with only the futures market open for betting.

PointsBet NJ is taking the patient approach.

Andrew Mannino, senior sports content analyst at PointsBet, said, like the fans, there isn’t much we can do but “wait and see.”

“Like everyone, we want to see baseball, and we’re hoping they will come to an agreement and get the season underway,” said Mannino.

Until then, sports betting continues on without baseball games to bet on, run lines to handicap, or a World Series to watch.

And for NJ sportsbooks, the season’s delay boils down to two questions: what to do if there is no baseball and what to do if there is baseball.

New developments in the MLB restart saga

The answer to the first part is simple: If (and it’s a big if) there is no 2020 MLB season, all futures bets will be voided and the money refunded.

But that’s not necessarily going to happen. After several weeks, the waiting game may finally be winding down.

Here is what Jon Heyman of the MLB Network had to say earlier today:

But the Major League Baseball Players Association responded with a Tweet of their own:

Funnily enough, those two tweets posted while this story was being written. And the back-n-forth is likely to continue.

So we will call it a work in progress as the two sides at least seem to be talking again.

The drama behind the MLB’s 2020 season

If indeed a deal is finalized this week, it will be a complete 360 from Monday.

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred appeared on ESPN’s Return of Sports on Monday night.

His outlook on the 2020 season happening wasn’t exactly optimistic:

The reaction came following a weekend statement released by the MLB Players Association:

Now, we could write a story just about the battle (for lack of a better word) to bring back professional baseball. There are still a lot of what-ifs in the works and challenges ahead.

But for sportsbooks, the real challenge lies in the planning.

DraftKings Sportsbook + limited baseball offerings

Johnny Avello, director of sportsbook operations for DraftKings, described the current situation as challenging compared to a normal season. And for one simple reason.

“I think what makes it challenging is that Major League Baseball comes out with a schedule for each team and we get a pretty good look at that for a couple of months before we have to deal with the first games,” said Avello.

“… They may decide they’re going to play and we have like two weeks lead time to prepare. I think that’s where the challenge is.”

Until all the details are released, DraftKings Sportsbook customers will find limited MLB betting options.

Here are some of the available wagers:

  • World Series winner
  • League winner
  • MVP
  • Cy Young

So total wins for the Philadelphia Phillies or New York Yankees are among the markets impacted.

And the fact that teams will not be playing the normal 162-game schedule throws a whole other wrinkle into the equation. At the same time, it doesn’t necessarily mean oddsmakers will bypass offering win totals.

Avello said DraftKings is sitting tight and letting the players and owners sort things out. But he is not ruling out putting win totals back up.

“There is a good chance we will if we have enough time once they announce the season, if they announce the season,” Avello said of offering total wins. “We will base those win totals on how many games they’re going to play.”

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What to bet on while you wait for the MLB’s return

Mid-June is the time of year when, in a normal season, baseball fans would be counting down to the All-Star break.

This year’s game was scheduled to take place July 14 at Dodgers StadiumEven if the MLB schedule is set next week, a 2020 All-Star Game seems highly unlikely.

July and August are usually a time when baseball is front and center with the NJ sports betting crowd. By then, the NBA and the NHL have finished their seasons.

That certainly will not be the case this summer.

The NHL has restart plans in place. And the NBA is going to Walt Disney World. Both will kick off in July.

And PGA Tour betting is more popular than ever, with the RBC Heritage starting on Thursday.

And for the horse betting fan, Saturday’s Belmont Stakes adds to the busy weekend.

Bottom line: It will be a busy time for sportsbooks with so many events happening across so many sports — and all within a short span of time.

However, if and when MLB does return, the PointsBet team will be ready to step up to the betting plate.

“I think people are still interested,” said Mannino. “They’re just waiting to see the league come to an agreement and announce a format for the season. When they do, we will react accordingly and have bets up to adjust to whatever the situation is.”

NJ Sports Betting Shows Signs Of Life With $117 Million May Handle

May will go down as another quiet month in the NJ sports betting world. Major pro sports were mostly shut down due to coronavirus pandemic, but Garden State bettors were not completely abandoned.

The  $117.8 million handle (all of which came via mobile/online) may not be eye-opening, but could have been much worse considering the current situation.

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And this figure more than doubles April’s handle of $54.6 million.

However, the latest figures from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement are way off what they would normally be.

Sports wagering gross revenue came in at $9.9 million, which is off 36.2% year over year.

Wagering Gross Revenue was $9.9 million for the month.

Factoring in Atlantic City casinos still being closed (eliminating retail operations), the results are not surprising.

And while live horse racing is back at the Meadowlands Racetrack, fans are still not permitted .

A little NJ sports betting is better than none

The reality is, the NJ sports betting industry could be in much worse shape than it is.

Think about it. Land-based casino revenue came in at $0 for the second month in a row. And as a result, total gaming revenue came in a $91.2 million. And that is off 65.8% from the same period last year.

The majority of the credit belongs to the NJ online casino industry that is hot off another record month of $85.9 million.

So without the MLB regular season or NBA and NHL playoffs, NJ bettors found alternatives such as the return of the UFC and NASCAR.

Year-to-date handle sits at $1,4 million. And this is slightly off from the $1.7 million reported from the same period last year.

FanDuel Sportsbook still leads the field

While the FanDuel Sportsbook at the Meadowlands is silent, the mobile action is not. Meadowlands Racetrack, it’s land-based partner, reported a NJ sports betting best $4.2 million in revenue. PointsBet NJ accounts for a portion of it.

Resorts Digital continues to hold down the No. 2 spot with $3.8 million. DraftKings Sportsbook and Fox Bet NJ are included in this total, along with the self-branded app.

As far as the overall performance goes, here is a breakdown by license holder:

Property (Online)Online RevenueRetail RevenueMay Total
Bally's (Caesars, 888)$107,171($74,367)$32,804
Borgata (BetMGM, Borgata Sports)$701,283($6,957)$694,326
Golden Nugget (BetAmerica, GN Online)$54,433---$54,433
Hard Rock (Hard Rock online, Bet365 NJ, Unibet)$230,004---$230,004
Meadowlands (FanDuel, PointsBet)$4,288,003($56,620)$4,231,383
Monmouth (William Hill, SugarHouse, TheScore Bet)$466,142($5,669)$460,473
Ocean Resort (William Hill)$439,967($2,149)$437,818
Resorts (DraftKings, Fox Bet, Resorts Online)$3,766,305---$3,766,305
Tropicana (William Hill)$23,476($2,759)$20,717

Quiet celebration: NJ sports betting 2nd anniversary

Ironically, if it wasn’t for the coronavirus pandemic, the upcoming week would be a pretty big deal for NJ sports betting.

June 14 marks the second anniversary of the first legal sports bet placed in the Garden State. And some might remember Gov. Phil Murphy did the honors at Monmouth Park.

The sports wagering options may still be limited, as the NBA, NHL and MLB still working toward their respective post-pandemic restarts.

The good news is the PGA Tour season resumed yesterday with the Charles Schwab Challenge.

But with  the lights still out, celebrations will need to wait.

Hot summer days ahead

June will likely be another fairly quiet one for NJ sports betting.

NBA and NHL teams are returning to practice this month. The actual games, however,  are not scheduled to start until July.

And in the meantime, maybe just maybe, Major League Baseball will announce a restart plan.

Either way, late summer will include many more wagering options than normal. Call it the pre-cursor to NFL betting season.

Combine it with the pent-up demand for live events, and NJ sportsbooks could be looking at their best summer yet.

The Puck Has Yet To Drop But NHL Betting Is Already On The Rise At DraftKings

NHL betting may be in its infancy after the pandemic shutdown in March, but DraftKings Sportsbook is showing early trends on the top teams including the Flyers.

The NJ sports betting market is slowly building toward its summer relaunch.

And by relaunch, we mean the NHL and NBA will be back. It also seems highly likely Major League Baseball will return to the fold at some point.

DraftKings Sportsbook customers are so excited about the return, that NHL betting action is picking up before the schedule is even released.

Stanley Cup odds shift at DraftKings

If we go back to March 10, just days prior to the COVID-19 shutdown, the Philadelphia Flyers odds of winning the Stanley Cup were at +1400.

The current DraftKings odds are +900.

The New York Islanders, on the other hand, went from +3500 to +4000. The line on the New York Rangers remains at +4000.

The Toronto Maple Leafs are the biggest longshot of the 10 teams with odds of +2700. Back in March, the line was at +2000.

Being ranked among the top four teams in the East, the Flyers are playing in a round-robin with three other teams to determine seeding. This explains the lower odds.

The other three franchises mentioned, on the other hand, must first advance out of the qualifying round.

So there is a chance all three of these teams could be eliminated before the traditional Stanley Cup bracket begins.

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NHL betting trends at DraftKings

NHL betting doesn’t come close to generating the interest that the NFL and NBA does.

Then again, we are entering unfamiliar territory in the NJ sports betting world.

Seriously, when 2020 started, who would’ve predicted that a global pandemic would lead to a four-month shutdown of professional sports?

With that being said, there is a chance that once NHL teams open training camps, the wagering action could pick up.

But looking at the current DraftKings trends, none of the teams are attracting a significant amount of handle or bets. Take a look:

nhl betting

The Flyers and Washington Capitals, for instance, are drawing 14% of handle. The Colorado Avalanche are next at 12%.

Again, not eye-opening numbers. And no clear betting favorite.

But the team from the Centennial State currently has 15% of the bets.

The Boston Bruins are second at 14%, while the Flyers’ action is at 12%.

Now it’s just a matter of waiting for the NHL to drop the puck.

NHL Hopes To Press The Restart Button In July With 24-Team Playoff Plan

Commissioner Gary Bettman said Tuesday that the NHL’s return to play plan will include a 24-team playoff starting in July. Hub cities are still TBD.

The NHL is getting ready to drop the puck again this summer.

Commissioner Gary Bettman held a formal press conference Tuesday afternoon.

After weeks of speculation, the details of a return to play plan are now public. 

Forget about resuming the regular season; the Stanley Cup Playoffs are now front and center.

And this time around, 24 teams (12 in each conference) are making the cut.

Here are the basics:

The Stanley Cup Playoffs typically consists of 16 franchises (eight per conference).

The move opens the door for bubble teams to make the cut.

“At the pause, we committed to resuming play only when appropriate and prudent,” said Bettman.

“We are hopeful the Return To Play Plan will allow us to complete the season and award the Stanley Cup in a manner in which the health and safety of our players, on-ice officials, team staff and associated individuals involved are paramount. Accordingly, an essential component of the Plan is a rigorous, regular schedule of testing.”

More on NHL return to play plan

Keep in mind, March 11 is the last time NHL teams took the ice.

Remember that week when NJ sports betting markets were pushed to the sidelines?

The coronavirus pandemic even forced the cancellation of March Madness betting.

And in the NHL’s case, 189 regular-season games were wiped off the calendar.

For now, the league is sharing a basic timeline via a press release.:

Timing and sites will be determined at a future date and will be dependent on COVID-19 conditions, testing ability and government regulations.

The key step is reaching Phase 4.

Here is the general guide:

  • Early June for Phase 2: It is expected teams will be permitted to return to home facilities. This will be for small group, voluntary, and on-and off-ice training.
  • No earlier than first half of July for Phase 3: Formal training camps will begin after guidance from medical and civil authorities.
  • TBD for Phase 4: Four teams in two hub cities will compete in seeding round robins, a qualifying round, and conference-based Stanley Cup Playoffs.

On the upside, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy granted the go-ahead pro sports teams returning to training.

And that’s good news for the Philadelphia Flyers. Their practice facility is located in South Jersey.

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What are the odds on Las Vegas as an NHL hub city?

Here is one thing we do know: Games will not take place in Newark (home of the New Jersey Devils) or Philadelphia.

Neither town is among the 10 hub finalists. These are the NHL cities still under consideration:

  • Chicago 
  • Columbus
  • Dallas 
  • Edmonton 
  • Las Vegas 
  • Los Angeles 
  • Minneapolis/St. Paul 
  • Pittsburgh 
  • Toronto 
  • Vancouver 

The Eastern Conference teams will be assigned to one location, while the Western Conference squads will relocate to another.

And for the latter, Las Vegas stands out as an ideal location. For one, T-Mobile Arena, home of the Vegas Golden Knights, sits on The Strip.

The fact that there are 150,000 hotel rooms, several of which are within walking distance, certainly helps.

In terms of which people will be allowed in the arenas, the NHL will set a cap.

Teams will be limited to 50 personnel in the “hub” city with only a small number of support staff permitted to enter the event areas.

So what about the fans? The press release does not mention fans, but it’s likely you won’t be able to see the games live.

Flyers are in, Devils are out

So what does all this mean for the Philadelphia Flyers? And for the NJ Devils for that matter?

The orange and black are ranked fourth in the Eastern Conference. This means Philly will participate in a round-robin format with three other squads:

  • Boston Bruins 
  • Washington Capitals 
  • Tampa Bay Lightning 

Eight teams will compete in a best-of-five qualifying round. Here are the matchups:

  • Pittsburgh Penguins (5) vs.  Montreal Canadiens (12)
  • Carolina Hurricanes (6)  vs. New York Rangers (11) 
  • New York Islanders (7) vs, Florida Panthers (10) 
  • Toronto Maple Leafs  (8) vs. Columbus Blue Jackets (9)

The Devils (28-29-12) are eliminated along with six other franchises.

There are still some points to be ironed out for the NHL’s return to play plan and a definitive schedule has yet to be released.

But there’s hope, NJ sports betting fans. Even if the Devils won’t be dancing until next year.

Betting On The Match: DraftKings Sportsbook Has A Freebie Waiting For You

The Match will see Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning team up against Phil Mickleson and Tom Brady. As a bonus, DraftKings Sportsbook has a free live bet offer.

The Match: Champions for Charity is taking place on Sunday at 3 p.m.

So is the pick Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning or Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady?

Call it this weekend’s hot NJ sports betting debate.

To make it even more enticing, if it isn’t already, DraftKings Sportsbook has a free bet offer available for the event.

The Match and a DraftKings free bet

New and existing customers can take advantage of the promotion. So if you don’t have the DK Sportsbook app, download it and complete the registration process.
A small deposit is required to cover this promotional offer. Existing players already know the routine.
Now that the basics are out of the way, the rules are simple.
Wager $20 on any market for The Match and earn a $20 free live bet to use during the event.
Here are some other general guidelines:
  • Users have the option of placing multiple bets to reach their qualifying total.
  • Wagers require minimum odds of -250 or longer (e.g. -200, +150, etc.).
  • Once a customer places $20 or more in qualifying bets, they will receive a $20 free offer to use live during The Match.
  • Live bets and parlays are included.
  • Free bets, cash outs, voided wagers, and odds boosts are excluded from the initial $20 wager.
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NJ betting options for The Match

The NJ sports betting crowd will see several pages of potential wagers. Match line, or moneyline, is as basic as it gets.

The line on Woods and Manning is -225 while Mickelson and Brady is +180. Bettors who place a $20 wager on one of these pairings will earn the free live bet.

There are props and hole specials, too.

Here is a small sampling of what DraftKings has on the board:

  • Leader after 15 holes
  • First to go 2 up
  • Hole in one in the tournament (yes +5000 is the only option)
  • Hole on which The Match will be won

And here are the odds for  which team will win the first hole:

  • Tie -137
  • Woods/Manning +250
  • Mickelson/Brady +335

Breaking down The Match betting so far

DraftKings is tracking the betting action leading up to the match.

As of Tuesday, Woods and Manning had 53% of the handle while Mickelson and Brady were getting 54% of the bets.

Switching gears to the longest tee shot, Brady is generating 61% of the handle, but only 27% of the wagers. Woods is getting 34% of the bets.

Manning/Woods are attracting 89% of the handle for the back nine winner versus 9% for Mickelson/Brady. The other 2% has money down on a tie.

But no matter what the final tally is, Woods, Manning, Mickelson, and Brady are playing for COVID-19 charities.

So as the pro sports calendar slowly starts to fill up, The Match is an occasion where everyone involved will come out a winner.

This includes DraftKings Sportsbook customers taking advantage of a free bet.