☕️ Happy Monday! Let's sports.
☕️ Happy Monday! Let's sports.
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
Six states have legalized sports betting since the Supreme Court's monumental decision last May, but New Jersey is the only one exceeding revenue expectations.
Why it matters: These disappointing results are part of a "growing consensus that legal sports betting may not bring the windfall that economic forecasters predicted only a few months ago," the NY Times' Timothy Williams reports.
By the numbers: West Virginia has collected only a quarter of the monthly tax revenue it projected, and Pennsylvania and Mississippi have collected only half.
Be smart: The real story here is New Jersey, which has brought in more than $2 billion in the last 10 months thanks to one simple fact: New Jersey allows bettors to place online bets from their smartphones.
The big picture:
"Right now, I'd say the [casino-only] camp has more momentum simply because many policymakers aren't comfortable with online gambling. Fast-forward a couple years, and I think we'll see a lot of [casino-only] states adding online as they see that online is where the customer — and therefore, the tax revenue — predominantly resides."— Chris Grove, managing director of sports and emerging verticals at Eilers & Krejcik Gaming
The bottom line: In 2019, people want to bet through an app from the comfort of their couch instead of getting in their car and driving to a run-down casino. Who knew?!
The NHL playoffs began 12 days ago, and they have already delivered — or at least promise to deliver — more upsets than we typically see in an entire postseason.
By the numbers: Four series have already concluded, and the lower seed has won three of them. That includes the top-seeded Lightning and Flames losing 4-0 and 4-1, respectively, to the Blue Jackets and Avalanche, both wild-card teams.
The big picture: The NHL has enjoyed the kind of parity that other leagues can only dream about for a while now. But even by its own lofty standards, this is an unusually unpredictable postseason.
The bottom line: It's safe to say we've reached peak parity in the NHL this season, making it nearly impossible to predict who will win each series, let alone who will win the Stanley Cup. Sit back and enjoy the show.
📺 Tonight on NBCSN/CNBC: Capitals (up 3-2) vs. Hurricanes, 7pm ET; Predators vs. Stars (up 3-2), 8:30
Photo: Andy Lyons/Getty Images
The NBA certainly lacks the parity of the NHL (not a single lower seed is currently leading a playoff series), but that doesn't mean things can't still get weird.
What's happening: There were eight playoff games this weekend, and all eight were won by the road team — the first time in NBA history that road teams won that many games in a two-day span.
The big picture: Through 30 games, road teams are 16-14. If this trend continues, it will be the first time that road teams won more games than home teams in the first round since the NBA expanded to a 16-team playoff format in 1984.
More NBA playoffs:
Tampa Bay's Tyler Glasnow leads the AL in ERA (1.13) and is tied for the lead in wins (4). Photo: Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
1. Tampa Bay Rays (14-8): The Rays have a surprising AL East lead thanks to lights-out pitching, but how long will it last? They've lost four straight and the rest of the division is getting hotter.
2. New York Yankees (11-10): The Yankees have won six of their last 10 games, but health continues to be a serious issue. The latest casualty? Aaron Judge (strained oblique).
3. Toronto Blue Jays (11-12): The Blue Jays have won seven of their last 10, but their season took a huge hit yesterday when Matt Shoemaker (3-0, 1.57 ERA) tore his ACL. Ugh.
4. Boston Red Sox (9-13): The defending champs have been beyond disappointing so far. But they did just sweep the Rays, so there's that.
5. Baltimore Orioles (8-15): There isn't much hope for the Orioles this season, but hey — they're better than last year. And Chris Davis has a few hits. Yay.
LIVERPOOL, England: Manchester United reached a new low in their 4-0 loss to Everton yesterday. It was the club's sixth loss in eight games and arguably its worst defeat since Sir Alex Ferguson retired six years ago.
LOS ANGELES, California: Carlos Vela, who leads MLS in goals (10) and is tied for the lead in assist (5), scored two goals to steer LAFC past Seattle 4-1, handing the Sounders their first loss of the season.
PARIS, France: Paris St. Germain paid tribute to the Notre Dame Cathedral on the same day the club clinched its eighth Ligue 1 title behind Kylian Mbappe's hat trick.
Photo: Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images
65 years ago today, the NBA added the 24-second shot clock to speed up the game and prevent teams from holding the ball for multiple minutes per possession, which they often did.
The backdrop: Four years earlier, the Fort Wayne Pistons defeated the Minneapolis Lakers by the final score of 19-18 — still the lowest-scoring NBA game ever.
Answer at the bottom.
Kenyan runners during a late afternoon training session in the Rift Valley. Photo: Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images
In Kenya's Rift Valley, the high-altitude region that has produced some of the best distance runners the world has ever seen, "the belief in running as an escape from poverty remains prevalent," but it rarely works out that way, according to the NY Times' Jonathan W. Rosen.
What's happening: Just 25% of Kenya's former top-level athletes are living in a "sustainable" manner and more than half are "really struggling" according to one former world champion.
Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
🎾 Tennis: Rafael Nadal lost to Fabio Fognini, 6-4, 6-2, in the semis of the Monte Carlo Masters, a tournament where he once won 46 straight matches from 2005 to 2013. ... Nadal's record on clay remains an absurd 418-36 (92% winning percentage).
🥊 Boxing: Terence Crawford defeated Amir Khan to retain his belt in a controversial fight that was stopped in the sixth round after an accidental low blow. Trainer and commentator Teddy Atlas questioned Khan's toughness and said "the fans got robbed."
🏈 NFL: Did you realize how little success the Patriots have had drafting and developing wide receivers? So many busts, man. ... Arguably their biggest need in this year's draft? Receiver, of course.
⛳️ PGA: This flipbook animation of Tiger Woods' Masters win is so awesome.
⚾️ MLB: Craziest double play of the year.
Pro tip: Download The Action Network app to master the art of sports betting.
1. Who will win the Capitals vs. Hurricanes game?
2. Will Predators vs. Stars go over or under 5.5 goals?
3. Which NBA player will score the most points tonight?
🎰 Play now: Make your picks (cutoff time: 7pm ET)
Kendall "Who knew?!" Baker
Trivia answer: Austin, Texas