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Sportsbooks mostly won big with Tom Brady and Buccaneers

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Sportsbooks mostly won big with Tom Brady and Buccaneers

Sunday’s Super Bowl 2020 result — the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+3) beat the Kansas City Chiefs 31-9 in a game that stayed Under the closing consensus total of 55 — produced a winning day for many sportsbooks but also a handful of big individual winners.

At PointsBet, 90 percent of the spread handle was backing the Chiefs -3 prior to kickoff, and most other sportsbooks reported heavy Kansas City money on the spread, with bettors backing the Tampa Bay moneyline. At William Hill US books, 63 percent of spread bets and 64 percent of the money were on the Chiefs -3. Roughly 70 percent of handle was on the Over at sportsbooks across the country, so a low-scoring game was very much in the bookmakers’ favor.

“The game was really good for us,” Chris Andrews, sportsbook director at The South Point, told VSiN.

With prop bets comprising more than 50 percent of the overall handle at some books, sportsbooks also did well on a few notable props. The Under cashing on Tom Brady passing yards (295.5) and Patrick Mahomes passing yards (325.5) was significant at multiple books, along with Tyreek Hill Under receiving yards (93.5) and Tom Brady Under 0.5 rushing yards.

“We were decent winner for the day,” Scott Shelton, Mirage shift manager, told VSiN. “We had a lot of big Chiefs money show up late and the Under was big as well.”

There were six $1 million wagers:

  • Houston furniture store magnate Jim McIngvale’s $3.46 million on Bucs +3.5 (-127) at DraftKings Sportsbook in Colorado (won).
  • $2.5 million on Chiefs ML (-165) at BetMGM (lost).
  • $2.3 million on Bucs + 3.5 (-115) at BetMGM (won).
  • $1.16 million on Chiefs ML (-155) at William Hill (lost).
  • $1 million on Bucs ML (+ 135) at BetMGM (won).
  • $1 million teaser on Bucs +9 and Over 50 (lost).

The Bucs were the worst-case scenario at several sportsbooks in the Super Bowl futures pool, including BetMGM, which had twice as much liability on Tampa Bay as Kansas City.

“Tampa Bay was the biggest loser for us in the futures in many jurisdictions,” Johnny Avello, DraftKings sportsbook director said on VSiN Sunday night. “Back east, midwest, it seemed like everyone had the Bucs.”

A few other notable bets:

  • One bettor at The Borgata in Atlantic City wagered $275,000 on the Bucs +0.5 (-125) in the first quarter. He won that wager, and then and then rolled his winnings into a $486,000 two-leg parlay of Tampa Bay + 7.5 in the second half and the second-half Under of 28.5. Both legs cashed and the bettor won $1 million.

“We ended in a great position for the full game, but we got crushed on the second half by that parlay that won a million,” Thomas Gable, sportsbook director at The Borgata told VSiN. “People were also pounding Tampa Bay plus the points on the second-half line. All in all, though, it exceeded my expectations and we wrote more business this year than last year despite restricted capacity.”

  • One BetMGM bettor won $8,100 off a $450 bet on Rob Gronkowski to score the game’s first touchdown at 18/1 odds
  • One New Jersey bettor at William Hill wagered $3,000 on Mahomes to throw zero touchdown passes at 15/1 odds. He won $45,000.
  • A bettor at PointsBet wagered $10,000 to profit $200 that the opening kickoff wouldn’t be returned for a TD.
  • One New Jersey bettor at William Hill loaded up on Sammy Watkins props: $6,666 to score first Chiefs touchdown at 15/1; $4,000 to score the game’s first touchdown at 25/1; and $1,000 to win the MVP award at 200/1. Watkins had one catch for 13 yards.
  • Tipico Sportsbook in New Jersey had a booster (69/1) for Gronkowski if he had exactly 69 yards receiving. It offered a $69 max bet. Gronkowski finished with six catches for 67 yards. It would have cost the book over $100K.

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Athletics’ Sergio Romo pulls down pants during substance check

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Athletics' Sergio Romo pulls down pants during substance check

MLB pitchers aren’t taking kindly to the league’s new foreign substance rules.

Athletics pitcher Sergio Romo seemed particularly annoyed that the umpires performed a substance check on him Tuesday night.

After working a one-run seventh inning for Oakland, the umpire beckoned for Romo to come over for the check. Romo responded to the moment by tossing his hat and glove to the ground and whipping his belt off.

MORE: Rays’ Wander Franco homers in first MLB game

Then came Romo’s final act. He pulled his pants halfway down to prove that he wasn’t harboring any illegal substances.

Romo certainly made his point, but Dan Iassogna, the umpire checking him, didn’t seem too bothered by his high jinks. In fact, the umpire flashed a smile at Romo, who the broadcast described as “heated.”

Romo wasn’t alone in being bothered by the substance check on Tuesday. Max Scherzer was checked for foreign substances three times in the first four innings of the Nationals-Phillies game and became increasingly irritable with each examination. He directed his rage at Phillies manager Joe Girardi, who was later ejected for jawing at Scherzer. The checks didn’t seem to faze the three-time Cy Young winner too much; he earned the win, pitching five innings while giving up just a run and striking out eight.

Needless to say, these antics will be fairly common as MLB attempts to implement these rule changes on the fly.

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Nationals’ Max Scherzer feuds with Phillies’ Joe Girardi over substance checks

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Nationals' Max Scherzer feuds with Phillies' Joe Girardi over substance checks

MLB’s new sticky substance rules are already causing havoc, and resulted in a feud between Nationals ace Max Scherzer and Phillies manager Joe Girardi on just their second day since being implemented.

Scherzer was checked for foreign substances three times in his first four innings against Philadelphia. He came up clean each time. The Washington starter didn’t look happy about his first check of the game after the opening frame.

That said, all starters will be checked for foreign substances under MLB’s new protocols, so that was expected.

MORE: Wander Franco cranks three-run homer in first career game

What wasn’t expected was that Scherzer would be checked after the third inning as well. He finally drew the line when Girardi requested that Scherzer be checked in the middle of the fourth inning.

The feud between Scherzer and Girardi reached its boiling point in the fifth inning. Scherzer stared at Girardi on his walk back to the dugout after retiring the Phillies in order, and Girardi took exception to it. He came running out of the dugout yelling at Scherzer and was ejected while the pitcher mocked him from a distance.

Be prepared to see more of these mini squabbles and frequent substance checks. Managers have the right to have the opposing pitchers checked, so they will likely take advantage of this as baseball implements this major rule change on the fly.

Though the Scherzer-Girardi feud was amusing, it’s certainly not a feather in MLB’s cap. If anything, it’s a bad omen that the league’s hastily made protocol changes could result in more conflicts, slowdowns and controversies as umpires figure out how to properly deal with them.

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Rays’ Wander Franco hit game-tying homer in first MLB game, and Twitter loved it

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Rays' Wander Franco hit game-tying homer in first MLB game, and Twitter loved it

Welcome to Major League Baseball, Wander Franco.

The top prospect in baseball made his long-awaited Rays debut on Tuesday night in an effort to help the team snap a six-game losing streak. Almost immediately, the move paid dividends.

Franco walked in his first plate appearance, but made a lot of noise in the fifth inning. With the Rays trailing 5-2, Franco hit a three-run homer off Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez to tie the game.

Franco drove the slightly low slider 362 feet and helped Tampa Bay come from behind in a critical game against Boston. The Rays owned a half-game lead over the Red Sox atop the AL East entering play on Tuesday.

MORE: Four things to know about Rays prospect Wander Franco

The 20-year-old became the youngest player to homer in his first game since Jurickson Profar did so on Sept 2, 2012, with the Rangers.

He also is the youngest member of the Rays to homer since B.J. Upton in 2004.

The blast inspired many reactions from MLB Twitter, as fans and analysts alike were excited to see Franco deliver on the hype immediately.

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