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Friday Four-Pack 3.17.23
Pats need to "get to work." MGC vs Barstool. MutStack.com!
HOW’S YOUR BRACKET?????
Won’t rate well on TV here in Boston but the NCAA Tournament is a great event. Awesome TV show. Terrific for gambling on.
The New England Sporty Elites will scoff but come on….Princeton over Arizona? That kid chucking the ball over his head for Virginia, looking like any Saturday morning town basketball game near you?
Games were fun (well the day games) and yeah the brackets are fun. I’m not going to Bracket Shame you. Hope you win all your games. I don’t really care and please don’t tell me about every upset you pick, but good for you!
Unless you picked against UConn. If so, you can go to hell.
On the start to the Patriots offseason…
There’s a lot to unpack here. So much so let’s talk through it together.
More below on Massachusetts vs. Penn/Barstool and a Kentucky Derby bet I made this weekend…but let’s start with the Pats
I’ll add to the above - the answer can’t just be WELL WE HAVE A REAL OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR NOW. You had to upgrade there. You don’t get extra credit for that.
Update - right after this was recorded the Patriots indeed started to get to work.
Athletic, pass-catching TE. Top of the market. Love it. STILL need a No. 1 receiver.
As always comments open below for your thoughts on this and everything else.
On the Massachusetts Gaming Commission nitpicking Barstool Sports…
Full disclosure - If you’re reading this early Friday I’ll be on KMS later this morning.
I’m a Barstool fan.
All that out of the way…it sure as hell seems like the Mass Gaming Commission is going out of their way to bust the balls of Penn Gaming & Barstool Sports.
This was clear a few months back when Commissioner Eileen O’Brien grilled Penn CEO Jay Snowden during the licensing process for Penn/Barstool in Massachusetts. I have no life (or real job currently) - so I watched those hearings online and my reaction was the same as others I talked to who also watched - O’Brien was making it crystal clear to Snowden that Penn/Barstool were going to be under a watchful eye from the jump if they got a license.
They did of course - and we got a taste of just how closely the MGC is watching Penn/Barstool this week.
With the Massachusetts mobile launch last Friday, Barstool celebrated with one of Big Cat’s “Can’t Lose Parlays.”
He’s done this for years. Anyone with a brain knows it’s a joke.
Yes, the Can’t Lose Parlay (CLP) does lose.
I do not think it’s predatory advertising. Just like I don’t think The Office is meant to represent an actual American office. Big Cat loses - like all gamblers - and he talks about it. And unlike a lot of people in “sports media” now pretending to bet, you get a real sense he does. And cares about it.
But right away Twitter pointed out how that language might look to Massachusetts regulators.
In the days after Portnoy’s tweet, Penn/Barstool self-reported the incident to the MGC. “Hands up, our bad.” Said they would stop using the “Can’t Lose Parlay” language. Not just in Massachusetts - everywhere.
I actually had someone tell me the only reason this got on the radar of the MGC was because reporters reached out to O’Brien and others for comment.
So the MGC had a choice here. They could acknowledge the mistake, say thanks for letting us know, don’t do that again and move on - as suggested by Mike Mazzeo on Twitter.
Or they could take the opportunity to rake Penn/Barstool over the coals some more after the contentious approval process.
Guess which path they chose?
As a result of the “Can’t Lose Parlay” tweet, there will now be a separate hearing (not scheduled as of yet) in which this will now be discussed further to see what kind of penalty (if any) Penn/Barstool face.
I don’t think the MGC would do this with Encore, MGM, etc. From where I sit, Commissioner O’Brien has a real issue with Barstool. More so than Penn. We’ll see over the next few months. Will other sportsbooks face this same time of scrutiny?
Lawmakers seems awfully concerned with the messages being sent by sportsbooks in Massachusetts…when will they comment on the MA State Lottery ads telling you how great it is to buy a scratch ticket?
The answer - they won’t.
This whole thing does seem to show why Barstool was pretty tame in terms of promotion for mobile launch here in Massachusetts vs other states previously.
I have thoughts on the first week of mobile betting but I’ll save that for next week. Meanwhile the numbers are in from February in Massachusetts. Guess what - people like to bet on sports. Wait til’ the March numbers that include mobile come out.
On the Kentucky Derby Trail…
No preps this weekend. Three 100-point preps next weekend, headlined by the Louisiana Derby. We’ll focus on on that one next week. Hopefully our guy Tapit’s Conquest returns there and runs a race that gets him into the Derby field.
The fifth of six Kentucky Derby futures pools closed on Sunday night with Todd Pletcher’s Forte getting hammered late by bettors, closing at 3-1 and the clear favorite in the pool. The reigning two-year-old champion and recent Fountain of Youth winner was 4-1 mid-afternoon, 7-2 about an hour before the pool closed and ended up taking even more money late.
Yes he looked good in his FOY win - but it feels like he took all that money because at this point…who else do you really want from this crop? The group has looked average at best. Another member of Team Pletcher Tapit Trice made a nice closing move against what I believe my kids would call a “mid” group in winning the Tampa Bay Derby last Saturday. His 88 Beyer is fine but not great…and he got bet down to 8-1 in the pool! Second choice!
Bettors are so uninspired by this crop that they’re willing to take 3-1 odds on March 12th that on May 6th, Forte is going to win the Derby.
Two months out from the Derby at 3-1 (25% chance on implied odds) might be too short a price he even makes the starting gate.
So the group looks meh. The fifth futures pool offered an ALL OTHERS option in addition to the 20+ individual horses you could have bet on. Basically any other horse not listed you get if you bet on ALL OTHERS.
And since this group looks so weak behind Forte … we made a small investment there on Sunday at what ended up being 10-1. So we get any horse not listed here. Forte might be a superstar but in this case we’re rooting for a little bit of chaos.
We also grabbed a slice of Tapit’s Conquest at 90-1. Which is the type of price you want when you’re betting a horse race two months out.
We’ll preview the final Future’s Pool before it drops in April.
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Thanks for reading. Go UConn. Good weekend.