Welcome to the Pennsylvania Sports Betting Brief for Friday, July 26. In this column, we’ll set the stage for Keystone State sports bettors’ day ahead and spotlight some potentially advantageous betting opportunities.

International gaming operator William Hill has a Pennsylvania presence in the form of Hollywood Casino and Sportsbook. We’ll look at how that property, along with others they have in the US, are of increased importance in the wake of a UK-based setback for the company. Then, we’ll offer betting takes on Saturday night’s Montreal ImpactPhiladelphia Union matchup and Friday’s Braves-Phillies tilt.

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Pennsylvania Sports Betting Industry News

William Hill’s American strides mean more than ever 

Legal Sports Report‘s Julian Rogers recently offered an informative overview of international gaming juggernaut William Hill’s issues in its UK home. In short, the company is shutting down approximately 700 of its betting parlors in the country. That’s primarily due to the government’s onerous new rules reducing the allowable stakes per spin on fixed-odds betting terminals. As Rogers explains, the new provisions put a significant dent in William Hill’s revenue for the gaming machine segment.

These difficulties make the company’s US entities even more important than before. Hollywood Casino represents William Hill’s one partner in the Keystone State at the moment. The Grantville location has lagged in its numbers, however. The recently released June report reveals Hollywood’s retail sportsbook checked in fifth in retail handle ($2,410,357) and seventh in land-based revenue ($83,520) in an eight-sportsbook field.

However, the future isn’t necessarily bleak. Online sports betting, which has proven time and again to positively impact revenue, is expected to eventually be part of Hollywood’s offering. William Hill is also doing well overall in terms of US-based sports betting. Total net revenue from stateside sports betting was up 48 percent over last year during the first 17 weeks of 2019.

Friday’s Best Bets at PA Sportsbooks

MLS Soccer

 Philadelphia Union at Montreal Impact – Saturday, 7/27, 8 p.m. EDT

  • SugarHouse Casino Moneyline Odds: Impact (+150)/Tie (+250)/ Union (+175)
  • Parx Casino Moneyline Odds: Impact (+145)/Tie (+240)/ Union (+170)
  • Rivers Casino Moneyline Odds: Impact (+145)/Tie (+240)/ Union (+170)

The Eastern Conference-leading Philadelphia Union (11-6-6) do battle with a mediocre Montreal Impact (9-11-3) squad Saturday night. The Union have been an offensive force, notching the second-most goals (41) in the league. In turn, the Impact have a comparatively meager 27 on the season. That ranks in the bottom 10 of the league. Philly also easily disposed of Montreal in one prior meeting this season. They notched a 3-0 victory on April 20 in their home field of Talen Energy Park.

The Impact hold a series advantage over the years on their home field of Stade Saputo. They’ve forged a 6-2-1 mark and outscored the Union 18-10 in their nine meetings there. However, this season’s edition doesn’t have the firepower or the defense to keep up with the Union. Montreal’s -11 goal differential is the third worst in MLS. The 38 goals they’ve allowed overall tie for the second-highest figure in the Eastern Conference and fourth highest in the league.

Given the disparity across the board between the two clubs, I’ll take the more favorable price on the Union.

The Pick: Union moneyline

Major League Baseball

Atlanta Braves at Philadelphia Phillies, 7:05 p.m. EDT

  • SugarHouse Casino Run Total Odds: Over 10 (-104)/ Under 10 (-113)
  • Parx Casino Run Total Odds: Over 10 (-106)/ Under 10 (-115)
  • Rivers Casino Run Total Odds: Over 10 (-104)/Under 10 (-113)

The Braves and Phillies meet in Citizens Bank Park on Friday for the start of a three-game weekend set. It’s an intriguing pitching matchup pitting hotshot rookie against grizzled veteran. The Braves will roll with Mike Soroka, while the Phillies will send Jake Arrieta to the hill. Both hurlers have been in good form. Soroka is sporting a 10-2 record, 2.46 ERA, and 1.09 WHIP. He’s been especially effective on the road. Soroka sports a 1.13 ERA, .179 BAA and .212 wOBA allowed across 56 frames outside of SunTrust Park. Then, Arrieta is reportedly dealing with a bone spur in his elbow. However, you wouldn’t you know it by his first two second-half performances. The veteran has allowed two earned runs across the 10.2 innings of his last two starts.

The recent performances of both starters call my attention to the projected double-digit run total. Soroka hasn’t allowed more than two runs in any road start this season. While the Phillies did tag him for four runs in their one prior encounter, that came at SunTrust. Arrieta has been a bit more up and down at home. He carries a 4.25 ERA and 4.99 xFIP across 55 frames at CBP. Yet he’s surrendered a mediocre .311 wOBA and allowed just six home runs there. Arrieta also shut down the Braves at CBP over six innings in his first start of the season, allowing just an earned run on three hits.

I would also consider each team’s uninspired numbers against right-handers. The Braves have a middling .306 wOBA, .231 average and -4.7 wRAA against righties on the road over the last month. Meanwhile, Philly has a mediocre 1.2 wRAA against right-handers at home over the same period. The fact the Over also has a losing mark in both teams’ home/road split scenarios this season serves to further confirm my conviction on the Under.

The Pick: Under 10

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