Sports Betting Could Influence NFL’s Officiating Tactics

When the Supreme Court overturned PASPA two years again, states began to flock to legalized betting one-by-one. First, Delaware, then New Jersey, and the many others in an effort to bring in revenue.

Many questions emerged in the wake of the decision to legalize it, as I previously wrote for CNBC.com. Policing the integrity of the game is an evergreen issue that was just as much of a concern then as it is now.

“The NFL’s long-standing and unwavering commitment to protecting the integrity of our game remains absolute,” NFL Spokesman Brian McCarthy told me.

Policing the integrity of the sport will always be a top concern for the NFL and other leagues. As more states flock to legalize betting in the post-COVID-19 sports world, the stakes are even higher and scrutiny of missed calls will even louder.

Bringing in New Tactics to Get Calls Right

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk wonders whether the NFL will embrace the “sky judge” concept as result of the wide-spread adoption of sports betting.

“Whatever they call it and however they do it, the gap must be bridged between the inherently flawed full-speed, naked-eye judgments of boomers trying not to get blown up by the gladiators and the high-def images we all see on TV, from umpteen angles and in super-slow motion.

“An eighth official who knows the rules and sees what we see is the easiest and best way to bridge that divide — and in turn to keep legislators and/or prosecutors out of the NFL’s rectal cavity by reducing the kind of errors that would create the kind of reactions that eventually but inevitably invite external oversight.”

Giving someone sitting in a press box (or potentially the league office) the ability to stop the game and look at every TV angle of a play in order to get it right sounds tedious and time-consuming. However, with more eyes and more at stake for the average viewer, perhaps it’s the perfect time for the league to innovate.

Joe Flacco Provides Insurance for Jets, Bettors

Joe Flacco
Joe Flacco has signed with the New York Jets

The Jets are bringing Joe Flacco via a one-year deal, as his agency announces.

Flacco is currently recovering from neck surgery, though his status for the 2020 season doesn’t appear to be in jeopardy. The former Super Bowl MVP is expected to be the primary backup to Sam Darnold.


Flacco Provides Major Insurance For Jets and Bettors Alike

Darnold has missed three games in both of his seasons in the NFL. In 2018, it was a foot sprain. In 2019, it was a string of bizarre injuries. He missed three games with mono and was banged up on other occasions, nursing a removed toenail and a sprained thumb after returning to the field.

Darnold was 7-6 in his 13 starts last season but the club lost each of the three games he didn’t suit up for. In the event that the Jets need a competent arm, Flacco should serve better than Trevor Siemian and Luke Falk, both of whom were not brought back. Behind Darnold and Flacco, the team has David Fales and rookie James Morgan.

The team entered last season with a consensus O/U of 7.5 but failed to reach the over by just one game. Perhaps a better backup QB would have snagged one of the there contests Darnold missed. New York currently has an Over/Under of 6.5 wins (-115 on the over via Fan Duel).


New York Jets Stats

2019 Record: 7-9
2019 ATS: 7-9
2019 ATS Margin: -0.4
2019 O/U: 7-9

2020 Strength of Schedule: 2nd-toughest (opponents went 136-199-1 last year)

Woods-Manning Vs. Mickelson-Brady Betting Breakdown

In a world without many sports, we are going to get a special matchup on Sunday. “The Match: Champions for Charity” is a golf event that will raise over $10 million for COVID-19 relief and provide sports fans and bettors alike with some real-life opportunity for action.

The Las Vegas Gaming Commission is not involved in the match, meaning the rules and regulations for side bets are as relaxed as Phil Mickelson swinging a nine iron. One of the side events will be former NBA star Charles Barkley (who will also be an analyst for the match) playing a one-hole challenge for $200,000. As for the main event, let’s break it down:

Date: Sunday, May 24. | Time: 3 p.m. ET
Course: Medalist Golf Club — Hobe Sound, Florida
TV: TNT, TBS, truTV, HLN
Stream: FuboTV
Pre-Match Live Stream: Bleacher Report
TV Broadcast team: Brian Anderson, Charles Barkley, Trevor Immelman, Justin Thomas, Amanda Balionis

Teams

Tiger Woods & Phil Mickelson

Tiger Woods

  • Age: 44
  • World Rank: No. 11
  • Career PGA Tour wins: 82

Peyton Manning

    • Age: 44
    • Handicap: 6.4
    • Wins over Brady: 6

Phil Mickelson

  • Age: 49
  • World Rank: No. 61
  • Career PGA Tour wins: 44

Tom Brady

  • Age: 42
  • Handicap: 8.1
  • Wins over Manning: 11

Betting Odds

Provider Tiger-Peyton Phil-Brady
DraftKings -182 +155
Fan Duel -210 +160
BetMGM -223 +172
Parx -186 +160
PointsBet -182 +160
PropSwap -185 +167

Unique Format

The two sides will square off against each other for 18 holes.

Front Nine

Teams will play best ball where each team’s low score will determine which side wins the hole.

Manning and Brady will each receive three strokes on the front nine due to their handicaps (one to be used on a par-3, par-4, and par-5; the exact holes are TBD).

Back Nine

The teams will switch format on the back nine, as all four players will hit a tee shot and each team chooses one drive to play from (likely the better of the two). The teams will then alternate strokes based on who’s tee shot was selected (ex, if Brady’s tee shot if selected, then Mickelson is up for the team and they alternate until the hole is over).

In the Event of a Tie

If the two teams are tied after 18 holes, there will be a playoff. That will take place approximately 100-125 yards away from the 18th hole. They will continue to use the back nine rules (alternate shots) until a winner arises.


Quarterback Might Be The Most Important Position…On The Green

The quarterbacks will be the determining factor, Jason Sobel of the Action Network contends. While it’s assumed that Manning is the better golfer of the two, Brady is not to be underestimated.

“After speaking with a handful of PGA Tour pros who have played with each of them – including Luke Donald– I’m now led to believe that it’s the active QB who might own the better golf game,” Sobel explains.

From everything I’ve heard, Brady hits it longer than Manning and owns a better short game, all of which has me making an outright bet and several props that give the edge to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers signal-caller – oh, and his partner, Phil Mickelson.

Pro golfer Ricky Barnes is among the believers in Brady’s game.

“I would say he’s more like a 4-6 [handicap] once he gets going,” said Barnes. “You know when you play with a guy and think, if they were able to put all their focus in, they could grind down and get to a 1-2 handicap? That’s him – a really athletic guy with an athletic swing. You point to a spot to hit it and he just trusts you.”


Some Props:

Will Charles Barkley get a bogey or better on his challenge hole?

Yes: +200         No: -240       (DraftKings)

Will There Be Extra Holes?

Yes: +280        No: -340      (William Hill)

While there were extra holes in the Woods-Mickelson matchup, Kyle Porter of CBS Sports believes that taking the “no” is the right betting move. Porter cites the statistical probability of the tie after 18 as well as the volatility of the two QB’s back nine in the alternate format.

First Team to go up by 1

Woods/Manning: -125         Mickelson/Brady: +105

Porter has Mickelson/Brady as the play, citing Woods propensity to take some time warming up. “It’s easy to envision Mickelson starting hot, talking buckets of trash and fading late. For whatever it’s worth, Mickelson was the first to go 1 up in their match back in November 2018,” Porter writes.

Will “Omaha” be said by any player?

Yes: +225       No: -350

Peyton’s used the word “Omaha” to change up his offense’s plays and trick defenses for years while playing in the NFL. But will he utter it on the golf course? Ryan Sura of Sports Betting Dime can envision Peyton saying it in a joking-manner, possibly to try and throw Brady off his game. Regardless, it’s one of the more fun prop bets of the day.


More to Consider:

  • There’s a rumor circulating that Mickelson has been obsessed with this matchup, Sobel relays. Mickelson was more motivated in his previous one-v-one money matchup and word is that he is playing 36 holes per day in an effort to be sharp on Sunday. There are no concrete rumors of what exactly Woods is doing to prepare or how healthy he is.

AFC Odds & Ends: Adams’ Trade, Patriots’ Starters

New York Jets
The New York Jets have a chance to win the division with Tom Brady out of New England.

Frank Gore believes the AFC East is “wide open” now that Tom Brady is gone, as Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News tweets. Gore joined the Jets this offseason and while he may not provide much value to fantasy owners, he could be a solid contributor to the Jets.

New York is +750 to win the division (Fan Duel), which is behind the Pats (+120) and Bills (+130).

Here’s more from the AFC East:

  • The Jets and Jamal Adams have reached a statement in their extension negotiations and the two sides have discussed the idea of a trade, as Rich Cimini of ESPN.com reports. The team made major strides on the defensive side of the ball in 2019 and Adams’ play was a major reason why. New York ranked 10th in the league in defensive DVOA.
  • Patriots WR Mohamed Sanu, who the team traded for last season, had the cast/boot off his surgically repaired ankle, Michael Giardi of NFL Network reports. Sanu is expected to start for the Pats in the post-Brady era.
  • It seems increasingly more likely that Jarrett Stidham begins the season as the Patriots’ QB. Fan Duel has Stidham’s odds at -500 with Brian Hoyer‘s at +400.

Melvin Gordon Discusses Fit in Broncos’ Backfield

Denver Broncos running back Melvin Gordon
Melvin Gordon discusses his fit in the Broncos' backfield

Melvin Gordon had highs and lows during his time with the Chargers. The former first-round pick believes he can produce better numbers with his new team, the Broncos.

“It really didn’t play out to my strengths, especially the first couple years there,” Gordon said. “I kind of just had to adjust and make it work. It kind of wasn’t a system built for me. But I feel like Denver kinda runs my style of football, and I think it’s a great fit.”

Gordon was reportedly looking for a contract in the range of $10 million per season, though he had to settle for a two-year $16 million pact with the Broncos.

“They run a lot of inside zones, and that’s what I did a lot at Wisconsin,” Gordon said. “It’s going to really help me get back in the feel of what I do best. I’m an inside-zone runner.”


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Melvin Gordan Projected to Start in Denver’s Backfield

Phillip Lindsay had two straight 1,000-yard seasons to begin his career in Denver, though that didn’t stop the team from signing Gordon. The Broncos’ newest running back is projected to start over Lindsay, according to Pro Football Focus. Here’s what they expect the entire starting lineup to look like:

Offense

Defense