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The Book Report: Volume 1

by August 25, 2020

Welcome to the first edition of The Book Report with Matt Perrault. Some of you have been listening to The Daily Juice Podcast presented by BetMGM that I host every morning on this website, but I hope that this weekly column will be a good introduction to what I do in case you haven’t tuned in yet.

Every Tuesday, I will release this column on the major bets and storylines from the sportsbooks around the country. I will recap the betting weekend, and we will often have quotes from the oddsmakers themselves. We will drop on Tuesdays in order to have a full recap of the NFL games (including Monday Night Football, obviously). We are less than three weeks from the start of the NFL season and the massive handle that comes with it.

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We start in Pennsylvania, where BetRivers and Sugarhouse report that over 40 percent of their overall handle for the weekend was on the NBA playoffs. As expected, the Lakers and the Blazers Game 3 was the most heavily bet game of the weekend, with 19 percent of the total bets on that one game. The Lakes won and covered the -7.5 line. Utah versus Denver was the second most heavily bet game of the weekend at 15 percent of the overall handle.

Underdog bettors hit when Luca Doncic nailed a last-second shot to propel Dallas to two-point outright win over the LA Clippers in Game 4 of their best-of-7 series. A total of 13 percent of all bets of the weekend were placed on that game.

Being on the East Coast, BetRivers had a lot of action on the NHL playoff games on Saturday and Sunday. However, only one favorite cashed, as the Vegas Golden Knights skated to a 5-0 victory in Game 1 over Vancouver. Boston and Dallas both went off as underdogs in their series-opening victories. Given the close proximity of Flyers fans, it’s no surprise that Philly at +675 continues to be the biggest liability for the book to win the Stanley Cup.

In Las Vegas, Circa Sports reported history at UFC on ESPN 15, as a +1150 underdog in Shana Dobson defeated -1900 favorite Mariya Agapova. While the book didn’t have much action on the dog in that fight, it still goes down as the most amazing betting upset in UFC history.

Also, at Circa, the book is desperately trying to sign up as many contestants as they can for their Circa Million 2 and Circa Survivor Pro Football Pick Contests this fall. There was a nice uptick in entries over the weekend, as Circa hosted a special weekend of events for participants in the two events. However, Circa has guaranteed $4 million in prizes and need a combined 4,000 entries in order to cover the money they have put on the table. At the time of release, Circa has less than 600 entries in the Million and 200 in the Survivor.

At BetMGM, Director of Public Relations Elisa Richardson reported to multiple media outlets that the Vegas Golden Knights continue to be the betting favorite to win their first Stanley Cup at +250, with the Boston Bruins right behind them at +400. BetMGM operates several casinos and sportsbooks in Nevada, and Golden Knights fans have been hammering their team at the window ever since they started playing in the NHL.

Speaking of Boston, Dustin Johnson’s runaway victory at the PGA Tour event just outside of Boston proved to be very profitable to bettors who backed DJ.

The worst beat of the weekend was easily this shot by Jamal Murray. I was on the wrong side of this, so I literally fell to the floor after this moment.

The easiest cover of the weekend was LeBron James and the Lakers on “Kobe Day” as seven-point favorites — they walked to a blowout victory of the Portland Trail Blazers. When LeBron is pulling up from the logo and hitting, you know you are in trouble if you bet against his team.

With the Flyers in action in Game 1 of their series against the New York Islanders, the betting public came in heavy on Philadelphia. Erin Kate Dolan of PointsBet in New Jersey and Pennsylvania reported that 51 percent of the bets and 72% of the money came in on Flyers in that game.

It was a good night for the book, as the Islanders blasted Philly 4-0 to take the first game of the series. I’ve bet New York to win the series at +110. However, the Flyers were bet up to -135 to take the series before Game 1 at PointsBet.

The countdown to the NFL season has begun, and the sportsbooks and the public can’t wait to do battle!

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Matt Perrault is a featured writer at BettingPros and the host of the Daily Juice podcast. For more from Matt, check out his archive and follow him @sportstalkmatt.

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