Welcome to the Pennsylvania Sports Betting Brief for Tuesday, July 9. In this column, we’ll set the stage for Keystone State sports bettors’ day ahead and spotlight some potentially advantageous betting opportunities.
With Major League Baseball celebrating its All-Star break, we’ll examine the Phillies‘ odds for an NL pennant at the halfway point of the season. Then, we’ll take a look at the odds for the Midsummer Classic with the All-Star Game unfolding Tuesday night. Prior to that, we’ll circle back to another interesting NFL futures bet involving Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz.
Pennsylvania Sports Betting Industry News
Phillies still arguably underachieving, but holding their own in NL pennant futures
The Phillies looked ready to contend with NL powerhouses like the Dodgers and Cubs upon acquiring Bryce Harper, JT Realmuto, and Jean Segura this offseason. And that trio of stars was joining forces with Rhys Hoskins and Cesar Hernandez. The starting pitching, spearheaded by Aaron Nola, also projected as a strength. Closer Hector Neris hoped for a bounce-back season as well.
Yet Philadelphia has hit many bumps in the road since the games began counting. Harper is slashing .253/.370/.470 with 16 homers at the All-Star break. That’s just OK by his lofty standards (and contract). Segura’s .278 average at the break is solid but underwhelming compared his .300 and better figures of the last three seasons.
But Scott Kingery, who considerably disappointed as a rookie in 2018, has made significant strides. He entered the ASB with a .292/.344/.545 line that included 28 extra-base hits (16 doubles, one triple, 11 home runs). And Neris has rounded back into form with a 17-for-19 success rate in save chances.
The Phillies own a 47-43 record at the break. They check in 6.5 games behind the Braves in the National League East and are tied with the Nationals, Brewers, and Cubs for third-most wins in the NL. Philadelphia remains relatively high on the NL pennant futures odds board despite the somewhat underwhelming mark. The Phillies currently sport +1100 odds at SugarHouse, Parx, and Rivers casinos. That places them fourth behind the three division leaders: the Braves, Cubs, and Dodgers.
The number is interesting considering Philly’s middling 7-9 record against the current division leaders thus far this season. They also have a 7-11 mark against the Nationals and Brewers but check in with higher NL pennant odds than both. It remains to be seen how sustainable their current odds will be in the second half, especially considering Jake Arrieta’s troublesome throwing elbow.
Tuesday’s Best Bets at PA Sportsbooks
Most Passing Yards for the 2019 Season
Carson Wentz, Eagles
- SugarHouse Casino Run Line Odds: +2200
- Parx Casino Run Line Odds: +1400
- Rivers Casino Run Line Odds: +2200
Health issues held back Carson Wentz over his first three seasons. Specifically, serious knee and back injuries felled him over the last two campaigns, costing the Eagles star eight of a possible 32 regular-season contests. Yet we’ve seen the upside simmering at the surface and ready to boil over if he only could hang in for all 16 games as in his rookie campaign. Wentz put up a whopping 607 pass attempts that year. There’s certainly a chance he pushes into the 550-attempt range at minimum if he remains upright the whole way in 2019.
For one, the pass-catching cupboard is overflowing in Philly. Alshon Jeffery, the returning DeSean Jackson, and Nelson Agholor form a formidable top trio at receiver. Second-round pick J.J. Arcega-Whiteside comes off a 1,000-yard, 14-touchdown campaign at Stanford and arrives in the NFL with a well-earned reputation for excellent route running and ball skills. And we haven’t even gotten to the tight ends. Zach Ertz‘s resume is naturally elite, especially coming off a career-best 116-catch, 1,163-yard, eight-touchdown season. But an x-factor this season could well be Dallas Goedert. The second-year pro enjoyed a solid second half in 2018 and finished with a respectable 33-334-4 line. Finally, a presumptive top running back trio of Jordan Howard, rookie Miles Sanders and either Corey Clement or Wendell Smallwood has something to contribute as well.
Wentz was on pace for 4,553 passing yards last season going by the 284.6 per game he averaged over his 10 full contests. When he made his Week 3 season debut he was just over nine months removed from tearing an ACL. Zooming out, last season saw the passing game take center stage in the NFL. Both league leader Ben Roethlisberger (5,129 yards) and Patrick Mahomes (5,097 yards) putting up eye-popping numbers. But in 2017, pace-setter Tom Brady‘s 4,577 yards is a figure that would certainly be in Wentz’s wheelhouse this season.
Given the presence of Mahomes, Drew Brees, Andrew Luck, and Matt Ryan, among others, Wentz will have to up his game and likely get into the 4,800-4,900-yard range at minimum to have a chance at the league passing title. But with a price of +2200 at two PA sportsbooks and Philly passing on 61.8 percent of plays last season, he is an intriguing prop to consider.
Major League Baseball
All-Star Game, 7:30 p.m. EDT
- SugarHouse Casino Run Line Odds: National League +1 (-150)/ American League -1 (+130)
- Parx Casino Run Line Odds: National League +1 (-155)/ American League -1 (+125)
- Rivers Casino Run Line Odds: National League +1 (-155)/ American League -1 (+125)
The Midsummer Classic features the usual star-laden rosters on both sides. The National League actually has the power edge in terms of the starting lineups. They’ll feature two 30-homer sluggers in Cody Bellinger and Christian Yelich. They also boast six 20-homer hitters. The American League counters with six .300 hitters. And the AL also comes in with a six-game winning streak in the ASG, plus victories in 18 of the last 22 overall.
The outstanding pitching staffs on both sides should make this a lower-scoring contest. However, AL starter Justin Verlander does have a rocky ASG history (career 18.00 ERA in three appearances). The Astros’ ace also gives up plenty of home runs despite his impressive body of work overall (26 homers allowed in 19 starts this season). He comes into the ASG having given up multiple round-trippers in four of his last five starts.
The NL is loaded with power throughout its entire roster. I can see them getting to Verlander early and then keeping pace the rest of the way.
The Lean: National League +1