Welcome to the Pennsylvania Sports Betting Brief for Wednesday, July 10. In this column, we’ll set the stage for Keystone State sports bettors’ day ahead and spotlight some potentially advantageous betting opportunities.
Futures are our focus today with Major League Baseball on its annual All-Star break. We’ll look further at the 76ers‘ +900 odds across the board for the 2019-20 NBA title. Philadelphia has gained some popularity with bettors now that they won’t have to overcome Kawhi Leonard to get out of the Eastern Conference. And in the wake of delving a bit into the Phillies’ NL pennant odds yesterday, we’ll now examine their chances of prevailing in an NL East where they’re currently 6.5 games back of first place.
Pennsylvania Sports Betting Industry News
FanDuel Sportsbook could have the upper hand when it finally launches
It’s widely expected FanDuel Sportsbook—in conjunction with its retail partner Valley Forge Casino Resort—will be the next domino to drop in the Pennsylvania online sports betting space. A recent report in the Philly Voice hints at a potential immediate advantage for FD. This, despite the operator likely being fourth to launch in the Keystone State when they finally debut sometime this month. The report cites sources that say the PA version of FD Sportsbook will be available for iOS-powered devices “at launch or shortly thereafter.”
This would give FD a significant upper hand. A new Apple App Store policy states that any gambling-based apps must be coded specifically for their system as opposed to sporting HTML-based “wraps.” The requirement has served as a roadblock for the three online operators already up and running in Pennsylvania: SugarHouse Casino, Parx Casino, and Rivers Casino.
Instant or near-instant availability on iOS devices upon launch will naturally open up a significant and completely untapped (for the moment) market for FD. Then, other online offerings in the state could potentially remain non-iOS compatible/compliant by the time NFL season rolls around Sept. 4. That would leave FD poised to take firm control of the online marketplace during the most profitable portion of the sports betting calendar.
Wednesday’s Best Bets at PA Sportsbooks
Philadelphia Phillies NL East Division Championship Odds
- SugarHouse Casino Odds: +850
- Parx Casino Odds: +850
- Rivers Casino Odds: +850
Per yesterday’s column, the Phillies sport +1100 odds for the NL pennant at the three Pennsylvania online sportsbooks. That places them in a distant fourth behind the three NL division leaders. Yet in their own NL East, Philadelphia is third at +850 behind the Nationals and division-leading Braves. Philadelphia has actually held its own against Atlanta this season at 5-4.
The Nats have proven tougher. Philly is just 4-7 against Washington, beaten alternately by both their arms and bats. For one, the Phillies have yielded three double-digit run tallies to the Nats. They’ve also scored between zero and two runs in three other contests. As for their general road struggles (20-26), they must improve away from home to have any chance at a division title. They’re averaging 4.6 runs per road game compared to 5.2 at home.
Starting pitching is also a huge concern. Veteran right-hander Jake Arrieta entered the All-Star break reportedly dealing with bone spurs in his throwing elbow that could ultimately require surgery. Any extended absence on his part would dent Philly’s hopes of catching and surpassing the Nationals and Braves.
Meanwhile, Atlanta shows no signs of slowing down. Their loaded lineup includes two All-Stars in Freddie Freeman and Ronald Acuna, Jr. Also formidable is a starting nine featuring Ozzie Albies, Josh Donaldson, Nick Markakis, Dansby Swanson, Austin Riley, and the veteran catcher duo of Tyler Flowers and Brian McCann. While Atlanta’s starting pitching has its holes, those bats should hold the division lead. That’s especially true when factoring in their six-game-plus cushion.
Their price isn’t bad, but Philly’s chances at a divisional win remain low.
Philadelphia 76ers 2019-20 NBA Championship Odds
- SugarHouse Casino Odds: +900
- Parx Casino Odds: +900
- Rivers Casino Run Line Odds: +900
No one team may have been happier to see Kawhi Leonard exit the Eastern Conference than the 76ers. His infamous will-it-or-won’t-it desperation heave in Game 7 of the semifinal round famously ousted the 76ers from the postseason.
Bettors have warmed a bit more to Philadelphia’s chances of a 2019-20 championship win since Leonard’s surprising decision in the late hours of July 5. As we previously reported, the Sixers’ odds bumped up slightly to reach their current +900 figure. That movement isn’t surprising, and their numbers could continue shrinking.
Yes, Milwaukee remains a major obstacle in Philadelphia’s path to even emerge from the Eastern Conference. The Boston Celtics could also be a more cohesive, offensively potent unit with Kemba Walker manning the point and Gordon Hayward further removed from his catastrophic ankle injury. Indiana and Brooklyn also loom in the background but are slightly lesser roadblocks. Finally, the defending champion Raptors may be at a loss without Leonard.
A 76ers squad newly reloaded with Josh Richardson and Al Horford is highly viable. Tobias Harris could also be more effective at small forward than the four spot. Then, 2018 first-round pick Zhaire Smith could well be ready to take a Fred VanVleet-like step up in his second season coming off the bench.
In the end, Philadelphia would likely have to go through either Kawhi and Paul George, LeBron James and Anthony Davis, or James Harden and Chris Paul to make this ticket a winning one. But this isn’t a bad price for a team that should still be in the thick of things and could very well represent the East next June.