Welcome to the Pennsylvania Sports Betting Overview for Monday, July 1. In this column, we’ll set the stage for Keystone State sports bettors’ day ahead and spotlight some potentially advantageous betting opportunities.
Monday night brings a light slate for Major League Baseball. The Phillies will be off, but the Pirates are in action. We’ll take a look at their outlook versus impressive Cubs rookie Adalberto Alzolay. We’ll also continue examining Pennsylvania-centered NFL futures by taking a deeper dive on the Eagles‘ odds of winning the NFC East.
Pennsylvania Sports Betting Industry News
As Butler prepares to fly south, Sixers’ futures odds begin their drop
As the NBA embarks on its annual free agency frenzy—one that promises to be even more explosive than recent in years due to the sheer number of big names in play—Jimmy Butler already has one foot out the door in Philadelphia. Among the avalanche of news breaking throughout the day Sunday, Butler’s imminent sign-and-trade deal that will see him ultimately land with the Miami Heat was one of the biggest stories. It’s already starting to reflect in the Sixers’ 2019-20 futures odds at both SugarHouse Casino and Parx Casino.
Just six days ago, we reported Sixers NBA Championship odds for next season to be at +1000 at both SugarHouse and Parx. We also figured that number would move up once free agency unfolded. Accordingly, both sportsbooks had the 76ers listed at +1400 as of Monday morning. That’s even factoring in the arrival of Al Horford from the Celtics, the retaining of Tobias Harris on a five-year, $180 million deal and the imminent addition of Josh Richardson in the Butler deal.
That division-rival Brooklyn Nets are apparently set to ink Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, and DeAndre Jordan also figures to make the Sixers’ lives more difficult next season (even with Durant out). Then, although the Celtics were initially hurt by the exits of Irving and Horford, the Kemba Walker signing essentially negates the loss of the former. The possibility of an eventual Clint Capela acquisition, heavily rumored at the end of last week, would arguably leave Boston in a better position down low than with Horford.
Monday’s Best Bets at PA Sportsbooks
Philadelphia Eagles- 2019 NFC East Division Winners
- SugarHouse Casino Odds: -106
- Parx Casino Odds: -106
As we discussed last week, the Eagles are a solid bet at +500 as potential 2019 NFC champions. Of course, Philadelphia would likely prevail in its own division in that instance. The oddsmakers clearly concur. They’ve made Philly the only team in the NFC East with minus money to claim the divisional title. Their next closest competitor at both SugarHouse and Parx casinos, the Dallas Cowboys (+140), are their biggest on-field threat as well.
Carson Wentz is the most pivotal piece in this entire puzzle. The Nick Foles security blanket is now in Jacksonville. That means it’s Nate Sudfeld at the controls if Wentz succumbs to another significant injury. However, if the 2016 first-round pick can remain upright for all 16 games for the first time since his rookie season, Philadelphia is a cut above. The offense should have excellent balance with Jordan Howard, Miles Sanders, Corey Clement, and Wendell Smallwood as the top four running backs. Then, a pass-catching corps helmed by Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson, Nelson Agholor, Zach Ertz, and Dallas Goedert will be virtually impossible to contain.
The Cowboys counter with impressive pieces such as Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, Amari Cooper, and Michael Gallup. Yet the depth compared to the Eagles is nowhere close when both teams are at full strength. Just look at the tight ends. Philadelphia will roll out the explosive duo of Ertz and Goedert. Dallas has Blake Jarwin and a fresh-out-of-the-broadcast-booth Jason Witten.
It’s no accident we haven’t mentioned the Giants or Washington here. Neither team can currently match the Eagles, especially now that Odell Beckham, Jr. is in Cleveland.
Major League Baseball
Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Chicago Cubs, 7:05 p.m. EDT
- SugarHouse Run Line Odds: Over 9.5 runs (-108)/ Under 9.5 runs (-108)
- Parx Casino Run Line Odds: Over 9.5 runs (-108)/ Under 9.5 runs (-108)
After an ambush of the Astros for 24 runs last Wednesday and Thursday, Pittsburgh was quieted to eight total runs during a three-game weekend set in Milwaukee. But the Pirates have proven they can go off for some hefty totals on occasion. In addition to the aforementioned two-game explosion last week, Pittsburgh also had a pair of 11-run tallies in June.
Their matchup against Alzolay isn’t exactly a recipe for a breakout if the rookie’s first two big-league appearances are any indication. Alzolay has held the Mets and Braves to an earned run apiece over 8.2 innings across his first two starts. However, he’s also had some control issues (six total walks). He went no more than 4.2 innings in either start. That’s partly the result of elevated pitch counts. A Pittsburgh squad that owns a .316 average, .362 wOBA and impressively modest 16.2 percent strikeout rate against right-handed pitching at home over the last month could be the first team to bounce him around a bit.
Then, the Cubs aren’t exactly in a bad matchup. The Pirates’ Trevor Williams gets the call Monday. He’s been a markedly worse pitcher at PNC Park this season: a 6.00 ERA, .283 BAA and .328 wOBA across 24.0 home frames. He also sports an abysmal 50.4 percent strand rate there. And the Pirates bullpen doesn’t shape up as much of a deterrent to offense, either. Pittsburgh relievers own a 6.13 ERA and .331 wOBA allowed across the last month at home. The Cubs bullpen isn’t in much better shape. It’s yielded a 5.40 ERA, .290 BAA, and .366 wOBA on the road in the last month.
By the Numbers: The Over is 22-17 (56.4 percent) in the Cubs’ away games, including 10-8 (55.6 percent) as away favorites. The Over is 23-11-2 (NL-high 67.7 percent) in the Pirates’ home games, including 12-3-1 (MLB-high 80.0 percent) as home underdogs.
The Pick: Over 9.5 runs