Welcome to the Pennsylvania Sports Betting Brief for Tuesday, July 2. In this column, we’ll set the stage for Keystone State sports bettors’ day ahead and spotlight some potentially advantageous betting opportunities.
In the afternoon, the U.S. women make their bid for a third straight appearance in the World Cup Finals when they take on a stingy England team that’s looked better with each match. We’ll take a look at the moneyline odds for both teams. Then, Tuesday night sees the Pirates in action again versus the Cubs on the Major League Baseball front. Following another unexpected offensive explosion by Pittsburgh on Monday, what are the chances of the game exceeding its projected run total for the second consecutive night?
Pennsylvania Sports Betting Industry News
Can Pennsylvania someday join New Jersey in edging out Nevada?
Last week brought the news that New Jersey surpassed Nevada in both sports betting handle and revenue in May. Fittingly, the momentous occasion transpired during the same month in which the U.S. Supreme Court handed the Garden State a victory by declaring the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) unconstitutional last year. That any other jurisdiction dethroned the legacy-laden Silver State for even a 30-day period—the gap was particularly pronounced in revenue, with NJ prevailing by a $15.5 to $11.6 million margin—was very newsworthy.
Pennsylvania’s neighbor to the west accomplished the feat with the help of its robust online sports betting market. It accounts for approximately 80 percent of the wagers placed within the state in any given month. New Jersey boasts a rich menu of 13 online sports betting operators. That includes the likes of DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook. Both are still looking to make their debuts in the nascent Keystone State online market. In fact, as reported Friday, DK still needs to partner with a retail casino in Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania has the edge in residents over New Jersey by nearly four million (12.8 million to 8.9 million) per 2018 numbers. Thus, the customer base that would allow Pennsylvania to enter “New Jersey territory” in terms of sports betting handle and revenue is potentially there. But chances are dim without an exponential increase in mobile sports betting options. The good news is the PA online space is trending in the right direction. SugarHouse Casino‘s late May debut was followed by Parx and Rivers in June. Rumors abound that FanDuel will kick off as early as sometime in July. Up to nine online sports betting apps could eventually be up and running in Pennsylvania.
One key issue blocking PA from maximizing its online market is the current incompatibility with iOS devices. That issue arose due to new Apple policies regarding real-money-based apps.
Tuesday’s Best Bets at PA Sportsbooks
Women’s World Cup
USA vs. England, 3 p.m. EDT
- SugarHouse Casino Moneyline Odds: England +350/ USA -115
- Parx Casino Moneyline Odds: England +350/ USA -115
- Rivers Casino Moneyline Odds: England +350/ USA -115
Although last week’s flyer on a France upset of the U.S. at +245 odds didn’t come through, the Americans were tested. Having successfully conquered that challenge, the U.S. women now face England in what should be another hotly contested battle.
The U.S. squad has been solid and efficient despite battling Spain and France in the last two matches. They’ve mostly played shutdown defense and haven’t trailed in the tournament. Their winning streak now stands at 11. For its part, England overcame an underwhelming start in group play to score three goals in back-to-back matches against Cameroon and Norway. What’s more, they haven’t allowed a goal in three consecutive matches. They also shut out Japan 2-0 prior to the aforementioned pair of wins.
The contest will feature a player on either side that could arguably lay claim to best in the world: Alex Morgan (U.S.) and Lucy Bronze (England). The squads also match up well overall. There’s also actual head-to-head precedent to examine. The two teams met on March 2 and battled to a 2-2 draw in the 2019 SheBelieves Cup.
This game could well be America’s most difficult challenge despite England being a bigger underdog than France was in the quarterfinals. England’s elite ability on defense could be a great equalizer. However, I still lean toward a hard-fought U.S. win that takes them to their third consecutive finals.
The Lean: USA -115
Major League Baseball
Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Chicago Cubs, 7:05 p.m. EDT
- SugarHouse Total Runs Odds: Over 9 runs (-113)/ Under 9 runs (-103)
- Parx Casino Total Runs Odds: Over 9 runs (-115)/ Under 9 runs (-105)
- Rivers Casino Total Runs Odds: Over 9 runs (-115)/ Under 9 runs (-105)
The Pirates once again put on a Coors Field-worthy offensive display Monday night. Pittsburgh scored double-digit runs for the third time in six games. They outdid their 14-run drubbing of the Astros last Wednesday by setting a new high-water mark of 18 at the expense of the Cubs. For its part, Chicago generated a serviceable five runs.
The thought Monday was that both starting pitchers and bullpens were exploitable. It’s deja vu all over again Tuesday, to quote the venerable Yogi Berra. The Cubs bring Kyle Hendricks off the disabled list to start Tuesday’s contest. He’s been a much better pitcher on his home turf this season. Then, the Pirates counter with Joe Musgrove. Interestingly, he’s had more trouble pitching in the confines of PNC Park than on the road.
Hendricks checks in with a 5.49 ERA, .290 BAA and .349 wOBA allowed across 39.1 road frames. Seven of the nine home runs he’s yielded on the season came in away starts. All of his key metrics take a tumble when split out for the road. Plus, his xFIP rises to an unwieldy 5.29 when traveling. Hendricks has given up four or more runs in five of his seven turns outside Wrigley. Musgrove hasn’t been that much better when taking the hill in his home stadium. He sports a 4.97 ERA, .269 BAA and .343 wOBA over 41.2 home innings. Seven of the eight homers he’s allowed have come at PNC as well.
And needless to say, an already suspect Cubs bullpen, which needed 4.1 innings out of relievers Monday, will be in even worse shape come Tuesday. Their weaknesses should certainly help contribute to the Over hitting again.
By the Numbers: The Over is 23-17 (57.5 percent) in the Cubs’ away games, including 11-8 (57.8 percent) as away favorites. The Over is 24-11-2 (NL-high 68.6 percent) in the Pirates’ home games, including 13-3-1 (MLB-high 81.3 percent) as home underdogs.
The Pick: Over 9 runs