MLB DFS Picks

Welcome to the Pennsylvania Sports Betting Brief for Friday, Aug. 2. In this column, we’ll set the stage for Keystone State sports bettors’ day ahead and spotlight some potentially advantageous betting opportunities.

Wednesday brought the big news about Penn National’s multi-entity agreement, which included DraftKings Sportsbook‘s pathway into the Pennsylvania online sports betting landscape. However, we have a quick update on which retail casino will actually serve as DK’s partner in the state. We’ll also touch on the latest sports betting applicant in PA and offer betting takes on updated Philadelphia Soul Arena Football championship futures and Friday’s White Sox-Phillies showdown.

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Pennsylvania Sports Betting Industry News

Update: DraftKings Sportsbook’s retail partner in Pennsylvania 

Just yesterday, we brought you the details of Penn National‘s game-changing agreement with multiple sports betting entities. One of those involved DraftKings Sportsbook and the operator gaining an online “skin” within Pennsylvania. In the immediate wake of the agreement, the retail partner for DK in the state was assumed to be Penn’s Hollywood Casino. However, PlayPennsylvania‘s Jessica Welman reported Thursday that it will actually be Penn’s other property in the state—Meadows Racetrack and Casino. As Welman notes, Meadows applied for a Sports Wagering Certificate in the state on July 3, and its petition is still being processed/reviewed.

Live! Hotel and Casino applies for sports betting license

There’s also some news on the forthcoming Live! Hotel and Casino property. It won’t be open for business until December 2020, but it’s already submitted paperwork with respect to its plans for both a retail and online sportsbook. It officially became the 10th PA operator to apply for a sports betting license. On July 26, Cordish Gaming, its parent company, turned in the required proposal documentation to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB).

The application acknowledges intentions for an online sportsbook but is devoid of any of the surrounding details (i.e. potential partners). What we do know is that the rollout of that platform can’t occur until sometime in 2021 at the earliest due to PGCB regulations that a retail sportsbook must first be in operation before a licensee can launch a mobile option.

Live!’s physical location will be in Stadium Park. That will place it right in the thick of the action. That area also houses Wells Fargo Arena, Lincoln Financial Field, and Citizens Bank Park. By virtue of its location, it will serve as prime competition for Parx’s South Philadelphia Race and Sportsbook.

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Friday’s Best Bets at PA Sportsbooks

Arena Football

Philadelphia Soul Updated 2019 Championship Futures 

  • SugarHouse Casino Odds: Soul +175
  • Rivers Casino Total Points Odds: Soul +175

Just a week ago, I portrayed the Soul as a team with a nice price on its championship futures but also as one with somewhat dubious chances of winning ArenaBowl 32. Seven days later, I’ve seriously changed my stance. Granted, the price is not as attractive after Philly dismantled the Washington Valor, 69-33, in the first game of their home-and-home playoff series. But it’s still plus-money. And based on the AFL’s playoff system, Philadelphia is essentially a shoo-in to be one of the ArenaBowl participants. Their likely opponent? The Albany Empire, which lambasted the Baltimore Brigade by a similarly impressive 61-26 score last weekend.

The AFL playoff format consists of the four qualifying teams playing a home-and-home series on back-to-back weekends. The two teams with the highest aggregate scores at the end of these series meet in the ArenaBowl. Philly and Albany each have considerable advantages after one week. It would take monumental efforts on both sides of the ball by Washington and Baltimore to overcome their respective massive deficits.

Albany prevailed in two of the three regular-season games with the Soul. However, the third, the regular-season finale, was essentially a throwaway. Philadelphia played quarterback Dan Raudabaugh and other key components for only a half, and the Soul dropped an embarrassing 72-27 decision. The other two contests were much more competitive. The Empire prevailed by a 57-48 score in the first, and Philly countered with a 54-43 win in the second.

We’ll break down ArenaBowl 32 in much more depth next Friday once the teams are official. However, for the time being, I see the future prop on the Soul as a very prudent one to jump on.

The Pick: Soul +175

Major League Baseball 

Chicago White Sox at Philadelphia Phillies, 7:05 p.m. EDT 

  • SugarHouse Casino Run Total Odds: Over 9.5 runs (-112)/ Under 9.5 runs (-104)
  • FanDuel Sportsbook Run Total Odds: Over 10 runs (-110)/ Under 10 runs (-110)
  • Rivers Casino Run Total Odds: Over 9.5 runs (-112)/ Under 9.5 runs (-104)

A pair of volatile veteran arms take the hill at Citizens Bank Park on Friday. Ivan Nova will toe the rubber for the White Sox in the interleague battle, while the newly acquired Jason Vargas will start for the Phillies. Both have had their share of struggles this season. However, Vargas has been surprisingly effective for extended stretches. The southpaw won three straight decisions with the Mets prior to the trade. He also yielded four runs or fewer on 16 occasions overall this season. One of those actually came in CBP. Vargas allowed just two earned runs on three hits over 6.1 innings against the Phillies while striking out 10.

However, Vargas has had issues with current White Sox hitters. Chicago bats own a collective .281/.317/.351 line over 57 career at-bats versus Vargas. But Nova has been much poorer overall. He sports a 5.23 ERA and 1.44 WHIP overall. He’s also allowed a .320 average and .370 wOBA over 70.1 road innings. And current Phillies hitters have gotten the best of him a fair share as well. They own a collective .271/.325/.464 line over 140 career at-bats. That sample includes 16 extra-base hits (10 doubles, one triple, five home runs). Bryce Harper (.462 average) and Cesar Hernandez (.364 average) have particularly enjoyed success.

The Phillies have scored a solid 5.0 runs per game at home. The White Sox have been less potent, averaging just 4.06 per road tilt. But the combination of Nova’s uneven road performances and the bullpens in this game nudge me in the direction of the Over. Chicago relievers have allowed a .295 average and .357 wOBA on the road over the last month. Meanwhile, the Phillies bullpen has been even worse at home. They sport a 6.99 ERA and .372 wOBA at CBP during that stretch.

The Pick: Over 9.5 runs

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