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Friday Four-Pack 9.22.23
Pats must-win game. Mad Dog goes viral. PA Derby Day. NFL Picks!
In Mike Maloney’s excellent handicapping book Betting With an Edge, he writes about a time when certain betting machines at some racetracks would famously stay open AFTER a race went off and you could bet even after they opened the gates.
The #2 horse is all speed and breaks like a rocket? Bet all you can on that horse on that machine! Count your money. Easy game.
That must have been the feeling for some Massachusetts bettors last Sunday when they were able to bet player props AFTER a game was already over.
Penn Sports Interactive (PSI) told the Massachusetts Gaming Commission ahead of its meeting on Thursday that 257 player prop wagers in 10 different markets were placed in Massachusetts on its Barstool Sports app after the conclusion of the Giants vs. Cardinals Week 2 NFL game played on September 17 in Glendale, Arizona. The operator said 59 customers placed $47,759.94 in wagers up to 90 minutes after the Giants 31-28 comeback victory. Similar wagers were reported in at least one other state, but likely occurred elsewhere.
The issue stemmed from the data provider for PSI (formerly Barstool Sportbook and soon-to-be ESPN Bets) not being able to process .5 sack stats. It could only allow for whole numbers. So that, somehow, left some props open for people to bet on even after the game was already over. Or the prop was decided.
There were 59 bettors in Massachusetts who took advantage, and 274 bets made by those 59. They didn’t just grab one winner and close out - they each fired off an average of about five bets. All guaranteed winners.
A couple of thoughts…
How AWESOME must it have been to be firing away at player props you KNEW were already winners? I’m shaking a little bit thinking about it. Would you keep the info to yourself and just hope no one notices? Apparently, this is one of the guys involved. And he was right in the group text telling the crew.
“RED ALERT.” My man. I’d have been that guy, too. Nothing better than giving out a winner on the group text. Nothing.
If you were one of the 59 bettors who fired on these, I want to hear from you.
After hearing from PSI Thursday, the Mass Gaming Commission did the right thing and canceled all the bets. I get it. Stinks if you thought you were a winner, but it was the right call this time. Sounds like if it happens again, the MGC might not be so quick to cancel the “winning” bets.
There are reports of suspended accounts - if that’s the case then bad job by PSI. The bettors involved did nothing wrong. It was on your end, not theirs. If there were accounts suspended for a PSI mistake, those accounts should get some sort of credit.
Can only imagine the mainstream media headlines if Barstool Sports was still actively involved with this app (in more than just name only) and not giving way to ESPN in a month or two. BARSTOOL SPORTS RUNS A RIGGED SPORTS BETTING APP. Or something like that. 🙄🙄🙄
Alas, we’re stuck trying to bet on games before they happen. We’ll try and find some winners as part of today’s Four-Pack.
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On Sunday’s must-win game for the Patriots…
It’s a must-win game. Of course. Not even a question.
There is no coming back from not only 0-3 …but 0-3 with a loss to Mr. Mom Zach Wilson.
You’re facing a bust of a QB and a team you’ve beaten 14 in a row: seven straight season sweeps.
Obviously, the playoffs are out of the picture with an 0-3, 0-2 in the division start.
Since 2002, 99 teams have started 0-3. Just one of those teams (the 2018 Texans) has made it to the playoffs.
But it’s bigger than that.
Start 0-3 you start to lose the team. They know they’re not a playoff team at that point so the buy-in starts to erode.
You start getting those “team sources say” quotes about your team. Never great.
You lose this one and Boston Sports Radio officially turns into Bill Belichick Hot Seat Radio.
It turns into Mac Jones is Not The Guy Radio.
Hell, it even turns into Bill O’Brien is a Disaster Radio.
From Chad Graff and The Athletic.
Two games in, a look at where the Patriots' offense ranks in: EPA/play: 24th Yards/play: 27th Points: 21st Net yards per pass: 25th Yards per rush: 24th
Win or lose - and yes it’s repetitive to keep saying it - but the start of this season is another reminder of how Bill Belichick refuses to get in line with the rest of the NFL in the push for elite offensive playmakers.
Even Bill’s most accomplished assistant Nick Saban admitted a few years ago that offense was king in college football.
“It used to be that good defense beats good offense. Good defense doesn’t beat good offense anymore,” Saban told ESPN on Friday. “It’s just like last week. Georgia has as good a defense as we do an offense, and we scored 41 points on them [in a 41-24 Alabama win]. That’s not the way it used to be. It used to be if you had a good defense, other people weren’t going to score. You were always going to be in the game.
“I’m telling you. It ain’t that way anymore.”
It’s trended that way in the NFL, too. And Bill hasn’t appeared to accept that yet.
Truth is, I think they win on Sunday. It’s the Jets.
I think Mac is still the guy. I don’t think Bob Kraft wants to fire Bill Belichick. And while they might not be a Super Bowl team, this Patriots season will be worth watching as they fight for the playoff spot into the final month of the season.
But a loss to the Jets on Sunday and all of that logic takes a back seat to Bob Lobel’s favorite Sports Final prop.
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On Saturday’s Grade I Pennsylvania Derby…
By the time you’re reading this, I’ll be en route to Pennsylvania for the final Grade I race of the year for three-year-olds. Yes, some of these will take on older in races like the Breeders Cup Classic, but as far as the “Derby Trail” horses all meeting up against each other, this is the end of the line.
I’ll be part of the Parx Racing in-house coverage of Saturday’s card, making picks for each race as well as doing some interviews during the day.
You can watch along on your ADW (I’d suggest NYRA Bets). And if you’re in the building, please come and say hello.
Thrilled for my friend and Parx track announcer Jessica Paquette, who will get to call her first two Grade I races on Saturday. And she’ll crush it.
Yes, the weather looks gross at best, but it’s a really nice card. Since I’ve already handicapped every race, I’ll post my picks on Saturday in the StackCapping section, like we did for Saratoga. The guaranteed payout in the Late Pick 5 looks very enticing.
As for the big race, a good group lined up. But unless someone comes with a career race, they’re all running for second.
#3 Saudi Crown (7/2) has done little wrong in his brief career. His two losses have both come by a nose. In his stakes debut in the Dwyer, he got whisker to the super-talented Fort Bragg. In the Jim Dandy last time, he just got nailed at the wire by Forte.
He’s fast. He has a pace advantage early in this race. He’s run well on a wet track. He’s training well. I hate to be so obvious in a big spot, but he’s a stand-out to me.
We’re not getting 7/2 - we’re looking at 2-1 or so. And that’s the knock.
#11 Reincarnate ships in for Bob Baffert. All Baffert has done is win four of the last eight runnings of this race and three of the last five since it became a Grade I.
He’s just nowhere near as fast as Saudi Crown on paper. The reports have this horse working up a storm in California, so it won’t be a surprise when he runs well. But pinned outside and needing a career-best effort, even at 3-1 he’d be an underlay. But he’s one of three I think can win this race.
#4 Magic Tap is my other win candidate. He showed real fight in trying to rally back against Tapit’s Conquest at Ellis Park. Then last time showed that same fight in running down a good older horse in Film Star at Saratoga. Actually lost to Saudi Crown in his debut but since stretching out has been a different horse.
He always takes money, but I’ve never gotten the love for #5 Scottland. Seems a notch below the best of this crop.
I wanted to like #10 Il Miracolo at 8-1 or so, but the wandering in the lane in that Smarty Jones win is not going to play here. His one off-track race was also pretty poor, even with the 426 Tomlinson.
#2 Dreamlike is my other “price.” Was bet like a sure thing before stumbling badly and losing all chance in his last start. He only has one career win and is probably too slow, but if you’re looking at the bottom of tris and supers, I would include.
#3 Saudi Crown
#4 Magic Tap
# 2 Dreamlike
Full picks for the entire Parx card posted tomorrow in StackCapping.
On three things I probably could have just Tweeted but saved for the Stack…
1. It’s great Chris “Mad Dog” Russo is getting this late-career run. It always felt like people proclaimed his former radio partner Mike Francesa the “winner” of their radio breakup. Mike got big ratings at WFAN. He went viral on Twitter, thanks mostly to Funhouse @backafterthis. He seemed more, to use a Mad Dog line, “in the mix.”
Chris made a fortune going to Sirius and MLB Network, but didn’t have that same national relevancy.
But his weekly sports with ESPN have been good. He goes viral every other week. You wonder why ESPN or Fox Sports didn’t try to do this sooner. Either way, it’s been good to see, and the above video is both must-watch and classic Russo.
2. This is obviously a 5. Not a 4. What are we even debating? Only three days in, but the Barstool “Writer Cup” series has been great. And a good reminder that if that content is good you can release it anytime and people will consume it. These have been posted weekdays at 2 PM and at least on my timelines, get immediate reaction. Certainly helped the release to have Kirk and Dave blasting off like this in the first episode. This clip has like 20 million views and has drawn a reaction from Padraig Harrington. Looking forward to more.
3. My old-man take of the week - At this point, it’s clear that attending an NFL game is at the absolute rock bottom of the live sports viewing experience in this country.
You have to invest an entire day in it. The traffic, especially in New England, is brutal. You miss watching all the other games on RedZone. And you probably end up watching grown men (or women) fight in team uniforms.
Google “fan fights nfl” Friday morning and it brings up four new videos from just the last five days, including the fight at Gillette Stadium where a fan died from a medical incident.
I don’t get it. How would anyone choose THAT over staying home and watching in glorious 4K?
/ends old man rant.
On a trifecta of Week 3 NFL Picks….
2-1 Week 1.
A clean sweep, 3-0, in Week 2.
5-1 on the season
All that = A GREAT week to #FadeMut.
RAIDERS -2.5 VS. STEELERS. (-115 FANDUEL) The Steelers’ injuries are too significant to ignore. Diontae Johnson, Cam Heyward, and Anthony McFarland, all out. Raiders likely to get Jakobi Meyers back and their offense is actually pretty talented. That Steelers offense stinks. #analysis
PANTHERS/SEAHAWKS UNDER 42.5 (-108, DK) Perfect storm for an under here. Carolina's defense has been good against the pass - 5th ranked DVOA pass defense. Seattle’s OL is banged up. Through two weeks, Panther games are totaling under 36 points per game - the second lowest in the NFL. And they play slow. Could see Seattle control this game on the ground from start to finish. Ugly game, give me the under.
Update: I wrote this up on Thursday. Andy Dalton is now starting for Carolina.I still very much like the under.
MAC JONES OVER 20.5 COMPLETIONS. (
+100 FanDuel, -108) I get it. There’s rain in the forecast on Sunday in New Jersey. But this number is just too low. The Jets are ranked #7 DVOA in rush defense…the Pats OL has been bad at best…I don't think the Pats will be able to run the ball on the Jets. This reeks of a dink-and-dunk game for Mac where the YPA will be low but there will be attempts and completions. Big spot for Mac and this offense.
Comments are open below for all your hot takes. Thanks for reading and sharing. Good luck with all your bets - back tomorrow with PA Derby Day ideas.