The first game of the 114th World Series between the Boston Red Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers was last night. The team that took home the first win was the Red Sox. It’s the same team Las Vegas oddsmakers have marked as favorites to win the World Series.
This is the first World Series since the Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in May 2018. That makes it the first World Series where sports bettors in New Jersey, Mississippi, Delaware, New Mexico and West Virginia can legally bet on the outcome.
Nevada was always exempted from PASPA, so traditionally, commentators have looked to the Silver State to find out what odds bookmakers are offering. This year is different, as Nevada no longer sets the line alone.
“Oddsmakers at the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook set the Red Sox as minus-135 favorites in early betting, with the Dodgers made plus-115 to win the series. That means a $135 bet on the Red Sox will pay $100, while a $100 bet on the Dodgers pays $115.”
But what do the oddsmakers in other states think? Are better bets available outside of Las Vegas?
New Jersey online sportsbooks offer variation
Current odds from New Jersey’s state-regulated online sports books show more variety than you might expect in a competitive market. Here is a look at World Series futures:
Odds for each match will vary even more, but in the big picture, they don’t matter as much as it appears.
The lessons from Nevada’s experience and from other countries are that most bets will be placed in-game.
In-game betting will be where most bets are placed
New sports betting technology allows for an incredible extension of sports betting. No longer will most bettors place bets just on the winning team.
For the World Series, it is highly likely that most of the money wagered will go on in-game bets. That is bets where the wager is laid after the game has started.
Each of the new sportsbooks is offering a vast array of options for in-game betting. Who will hit the next home run is just the most basic example of the options on offer.
Odds for in-game bets are calculated on the fly and change rapidly as the game progresses. Some online sites offer the option to walk away from a bet that looks like it’s going wrong or take a portion of winnings early to avoid a last-second upset.
The sportsbooks calculate how the odds have changed. They allow bettors to cash out a losing bet or a winning bet based on the odds that the bet will succeed.
All of these new options make the whole environment of sports betting much more entertaining. Of course, that means the bookies make more money. But it also means that sports betting can increase fan engagement, and that’s something that’s making the sports leagues sit up and take notice.
Sports leagues will make billions from sports betting
The American Gaming Association (AGA) has released a survey estimating that major league baseball can expect to make an extra billion dollars from sports betting.
This breaks down to $957 million from extra fan engagement and $154 million from gaming-related revenue.
The extra fan engagement revenues will come from:
- Increased ticket sales
- Extra merchandise sales
- and an extra 11.1 percent in media rights
Everyone’s a winner baby
The answer to whether sports bettors or oddsmakers will win is both and more.
- Under legalized sports betting, sports bettors can increase their enjoyment of sports while making bets in a safe, regulated environment.
- The oddsmakers make money, build their businesses and create more jobs.
- States with legalized sports betting will pull in millions in extra taxes. Therefore, they will be able to fund effective problem gambling programs.
- Sports leagues will see game attendance rise and find additional revenue streams to rejuvenate their own entertainment offer.
As soon as the mid-term elections are over, we can expect more states to legalize sports betting. If nothing else, the recent state revenue figures from sports betting in New Jersey, West Virginia and the rest make a powerful argument.
And “baby?” No article on the possibility of the Red Sox winning the World Series can pass up the chance to remember Babe Ruth–of course the Red Sox will win!