Welcome to the Pennsylvania Sports Betting Brief for Wednesday, July 17. In this column, we’ll set the stage for Keystone State sports bettors’ day ahead and spotlight some potentially advantageous betting opportunities.
‘Tis the season for NFL statistical research. That holds true for both fantasy football players and sports bettors. We’ll delve into some individual player props already available at PA sportsbooks for the coming season. Then, with training camps around the corner, we’ll look at a specific NFL futures bet involving a certain quarterback with something to prove this season. Finally, we’ll offer a betting take on Wednesday’s Phillies-Dodgers battle.
Pennsylvania Sports Betting Industry News
As NFL training camps approach, individual player futures props abound at PA sportsbooks
The avalanche of NFL metrics begins its slow, steady rumble in sports-based media around this time each summer. Your social media timeline is likely overwhelmed with granular football statistics. The numerical overload has by and large become associated with one of sports betting’s cousins—fantasy football. Yet sports bettors are arguably the original “stat nerds.”
That’s truer than ever these days. Player props can especially bring out the stat wonk in bettors. When trying to make an informed decision on a player-basted futures prop, a look at some of the same numbers that both season-long and daily fantasy players typically examine is often prudent.
The 2019 NFL season will be the first with online sports betting for Pennsylvanians. But Keystone State residents have plenty of opportunities to place wagers right now on whether a number of star players will hit certainly statistical milestones this coming season.
SugarHouse, Parx, and Rivers casinos all have a full menu of NFL player props up and running. Pennsylvania bettors can plunk some cash down on whether Eagles QB Carson Wentz will exceed or fall short of 3950.5 passing yards and 28.5 passing touchdowns. Steelers signal-caller Ben Roethlisberger sports an over/under of 4300.5 passing yards (a bet we’ll break down in depth below) and 27.5 passing TDs.
There’s also something for Black & Gold fans who can’t resist putting a little skin in the game on departed superstars Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown. You can take a crack at predicting whether Brown will exceed or fall short of 1225.5 receiving yards or 9.5 receiving touchdowns and/or whether Bell eclipses or finishes shy of 1100.5 rushing yards or 7.5 rushing scores.
Wednesday’s Best Bets at PA Sportsbooks
Ben Roethlisberger 2019 Passing Yardage Prop
- SugarHouse Casino Odds: Over 4300.5 yards (-110)/ Under 4300.5 yards (-110)
- Parx Casino Odds: Over 4300.5 yards (-110)/ Under 4300.5 yards (-110)
- Rivers Casino Odds: Over 4300.5 yards (-110)/ Under 4300.5 yards (-110)
Roethlisberger is coming off a 2018 season where he led the league with a career-high 5,129 yards. That’s the third 4,300-yard-plus tally of his long career. This year, he’ll have to make do without Antonio Brown, of course. When the mercurial receiver headed west, he took 104 receptions (on 168 targets) and 1,297 yards with him.
However, that’s not to say Roethlisberger will find himself without viable weaponry this coming season. JuJu Smith-Schuster will lead the new charge. The second-year wideout’s 111-1,426-7 line from last season was positively Brown-esque. Moreover, it was a big part of the reason why the Steelers saw fit to trade Brown to Oakland.
Then, Donte Moncrief arrived this offseason to handle Smith-Schuster’s former No. 2 duties. The veteran can produce when healthy, which admittedly has been a challenge for him. But he did redeem himself to an extent last season by playing all 16 games and generating a serviceable 48-668-3 line with sub-par quarterback play. Promising 2018 second-round pick James Washington has reportedly dropped 15 pounds this off-season in anticipation of a much bigger role. He ought to make a big leap forward as a No.3 receiver. Then, it won’t hurt Ben’s cause that the projected top two running backs—James Conner and Jaylen Samuels—are both excellent receivers out of the backfield.
Then, there’s veteran TE Vance McDonald, who racked up career highs in catches (50) and receiving yards (610) last season while finally staying healthy enough to play in 15 games for the first time since his rookie 2013 campaign. Pittsburgh also passed on an AFC-high 67.39 percent of plays last season. It’s likely there’s an aim for more balance this season, especially with Brown’s departure. But there’s little doubt Pittsburgh will largely live and die on Big Ben’s arm once again.
The Pick: Over 4300.5 yards
Major League Baseball
Los Angeles Dodgers at Philadelphia Phillies, 7:05 p.m. EDT
- SugarHouse Casino Run Total Odds: Over 10 (-114)/ Under 10 (-103)
- Parx Casino Run Total Odds: Over 10 (-117)/ Under 10 (-104)
- Rivers Casino Run Total Odds: Over 10 (-117)/ Under 10 (-104)
Two pitchers that struggle in the home/road conditions that apply to them Wednesday take the hill for the Dodgers and Phillies. To start, Los Angeles’ Kenta Maeda has been a completely different pitcher outside of Dodger Stadium. The veteran right-hander owns a 5.44 ERA, 4.73 xFIP, and mediocre 67.4 percent strand rate in 49.2 away frames. Then, Philadelphia’s Nick Pivetta has found the going difficult at Citizens Bank Park. He sports a 5.86 ERA, .313 BAA, .376 wOBA and 4.83 xFIP over 43.0 home innings.
Neither pitcher has historically had much success against the current opposing bats, either. Phillies hitters own a collective .275/.313/.527 line against Maeda over 91 career at-bats. That sample includes 11 extra-base hits (five doubles, six home runs) out of 25 hits allowed overall. Dodgers bats counter with a collective .280/.321/.540 line against Pivetta that includes seven extra-base hits (four doubles, three home runs) out of 14 hits allowed.
Ironically, one of Pivetta’s best outings of the season (6 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 9 K) came against the Dodgers on the road June 2. However, that was the first installment of what now appears as an outlying, two-start improvement. Since firing a complete-game, one-run effort against the Reds in the following start, Pivetta has generated a 6.99 ERA, .304 BAA, and .392 wOBA in 28.1 innings.
Finally, consider the bullpens: Philadelphia’s relievers have a 5.83 ERA, .293 BAA, and .369 wOBA over the last month at home. Blue Crew relievers have allowed a 5.18 ERA and .321 wOBA on the road over the same period. Meanwhile, Phillies bats own a .327 wOBA against righties at home over the last month. The Dodgers counter with an MLB-high .390 wOBA against righties during that same period on the road.
The Pick: Over 10 runs