Shooting Down Sports Betting/TV Conspiracy Theory Narrative

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You heard the cries of disgruntled fans:

“These games are fixed, the leagues are in cahoots with Vegas and want to stick to the average bettor! They want the big teams to win, but not cover the spread.”

Another familiar refrain:

“These games are rigged, the league wants big name teams in the finals for the ratings!”

Can we finally put to bed those ridiculous claims of angry bettors (guys who lost their bets) and conspiracy theorists on TV? Not a chance, but let’s look at some very current evidence to the contrary.

The NBA and NHL are currently in their conference final rounds — the league semifinals, with the winners playing for the championship. Two of the four series combined among those leagues were sweeps and the other two were close to joining them, both reaching a 3-0 lead before the trailing team showed a silver lining by winning.

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But even if those two series end up lasting seven games, the leagues will only have played 71% of the possible semi-final games. If both series end on Saturday, it would only be 68%.

The result of fewer games is less potential money for the bookmakers, as the house always wins in the long run.

So much for conspiracy theory #1.

Moving on to complaint #2: Leagues, to maximize TV ratings (hence revenue), want top teams in the Finals and referee games accordingly.

What was the final NBA Western Conference game? It was Denver, who never made it to the NBA Finals, against the most legendary and high-profile team in the West – the Los Angeles Lakers.

The result? Oh yeah, the Nuggets swept NBA ratings magnet LeBron James and the rest of the Lakers. Swept away – as with no wins for LA, no chance of selling millions more in TV ads for the three games that weren’t played, plus dropped ticket sales and spending in those arenas .

There are bettors who see it another way, saying it was a dirty deal between the league and the bookies to suck a lot of money from those who bet on the Lakers. They better rethink that. Despite losing on the field, LA was the winner at the betting windows for the first two games, as it covered the point spread as the road underdog in those.

What is the NBA Eastern Conference final game? It’s the unknown Miami Heat, the last seed in the conference, leading the mighty Boston Celtics 3-2 after building a 3-0 advantage. But despite entering the game as a heavy favorite, Boston, for all its troubles, is still just one game under .500 ATS in the series.

The Celtics are the eastern version of the Lakers, its most legendary team with a large national following and a star and highly marketed player in St. Louisan Jayson Tatum. So unless the Celtics do something that has never been done in NBA history, a team overcoming a 3-0 playoff deficit to win, the NBA Finals will feature Denver. against Miami. Although the Nuggets have been dominant all season and have arguably the best player in the league, Nikola Jokic, they are well under the radar of casual fans. The same goes for Miami, with Jimmy Butler the biggest name.

Denver-Miami? Let the advertisers have fun promoting that one. At least there might be people in St. Louis logging on to root against the Nuggets — they belong to local baddie Stan Kroenke.

In the NHL, the story is even deeper, as the conference finals are occupied by Sun Belt teams. Only two of the “original six” clubs made the playoffs. The team that set the league record for most points in the regular season, the Boston Bruins, was eliminated in the first round. The other original team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, was eliminated in the second round.

Florida, led by St. Louisan Matthew Tkachuk, has already fought its way into the Stanley Cup Finals by beating Carolina. And Vegas is ahead of Dallas 3-1.

Either way, it will be a Florida final against Vegas or Dallas – not exactly a marketing boon.

What does all this prove? One of the favorite plot rants of sports fans when their bet, or their favorite team, loses is a bunch of nonsense.

But, as with many aspects of American life today, don’t let facts get in the way of an opinion or a good story!

go around

You know there are all kinds of leagues in sports – football, baseball, soccer, basketball, volleyball, cricket, pickleball, etc., etc., etc.

This is what the National Thoroughbred League forms, creating teams that will represent six regions: New York, Los Angeles, New Jersey, Seattle, Nashville and Philadelphia.

The NTL bills itself as “one of the first truly co-ed sports leagues, featuring both fillies and colts (as well as male and female jockeys), competing on the same teams in these multi-race competitions. “.

The format will have horses from all six teams competing against each other, with points being awarded according to order of finish. The teams compete for the season champion’s $1 million grand prize.

Competing every weekend, the league races will be held at the same track, with the debut scheduled for September 2-3 – during the Labor Day holiday period – at Kentucky Downs. This is Nashville’s “home” track, about 50 miles from Franklin, Kentucky. (There are no Thoroughbred tracks in Tennessee.)

The rest of the program:

September 15-16: Seattle (Emerald Downs)

October 13-14: New York and New Jersey (Meadowlands Racecourse)

November 10-11: Los Angeles (Los Alamitos Racetrack)

December 30-31: Tampa, Championship Weekend (Tampa Bay Downs)

The city pays after the fall

City SC, the local MLS expansion team, found their way back to winning ways last weekend and put those who bet $100 on it to win each of their twelve games with almost a thousand dollars.

The city is 7-4-1. But because he was often a substantial underdog in games, he won – especially early in his upstart role – those who backed the team with one hundred dollars and used the three-way line (which includes bets on the game to end in a tie as well as picking either team to win) would now be ahead by $977. This is on condition that bets have been placed using the most favorable odds available from walk-in sportsbooks in the three areas on the day before the match.

Last week, the best number was at DraftKings (in East St. Louis), which had City tied – meaning a $100 risk brought a $100 profit for the team’s 4-0 victory on Sporting Kansas City. It came after a fade in which City had gone 1-4-1 after a 5-0-0 start. Before the crisis, these bettors on the three-line were ahead by $1,247.

The home club (now 7-4-1) is a small underdog from the three-line for its 7:30 p.m. Saturday home game against Minnesota (5-5-3). The most favorable odds on Friday afternoon were +115, at DraftKings and Barstool (Argosy Casino in Alton).

STL Sports

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