If you're a sports bettor in Washington D.C., you received some good news and bad news on Thursday.
The good news: Legal online sports betting went live in our nation's capital yesterday through the Gambet DC platform, which is powered by the DC Lottery.
The bad news: The lines are absolutely terrible.
For example, half of Gambet DC's Week 1 NFL lines feature -118 juice on both sides. Other games are juiced up to -111 on one side and -125 on the other. Even worse, the Colts are listed -6.5 (-133) vs the Jaguars and the Bengals are + 3.5 (-139) vs the Chargers. The prices are beyond outrageous. Instead of hanging standard -110 juice, the DC Lottery is forcing bettors to pay double or triple that amount.
As you'd expect, social media lit up with screenshots from bettors excoriating the greedy and shameful prices.
The DC Lottery fiasco comes on the heels of a similar situation in Montana. Online provider Sport Bet Montana, run by the Montana Lottery, posted the same exorbitant prices. With Ohio poised to legalize betting by the fall, Buckeye State bettors have their fingers crossed that the Casino Control Commission regulates the industry, not the lottery.
The worst part about these awful prices is that they fleece new bettors and make it that much harder to succeed long term. The solution to this problem is offering more sportsbook options for bettors, which creates competition and allows the free market to take over.
Hopefully the residents of DC won't have to wait too long. William Hill is awaiting authorization to open a sportsbook at Capital One Arena, home of the Wizards and Capitals.
Speaking of Washington, what can bettors expect from the Redskins in 2020?
The Skins went a putrid 3-13 last season, finishing with the 2nd-worst record in the NFL. Only the 2-14 Bengals were worse. In 2019, Washington fired head coach Jay Gruden after an 0-5 start and then went 3-8 under interim coach Bill Callahan. The coaching carousel continued this offseason when the Redskins hired former Panthers great Ron Rivera to take over the sidelines.
Rivera inherits a young team with a lot of talent but also a lot of inexperience. Last year's first-round pick, quarterback Dwayne Haskins, threw for 7 touchdowns, 7 interceptions and posted a QB rating 76.1. Washington traded for former Carolina QB Kyle Allen as insurance. If the Skins can lean on anything, it's their dynamic defensive front. Washington took Ohio State edge rusher Chase Young with the 2nd overall pick in the draft and can now pair him with Montez Sweat, Jonathan Allen, Da'Ron Payne and Ryan Kerrigan.
The Redskins' win total is set at 5.5 across the market, which represents an improvement over last year's 3-13 record. However, oddsmakers are really juicing up the under 5.5, signaling smart money and house liability on a 5-11 or worse season for the young Skins.
Circa Sports is hanging the under 5.5 at -130 (over + 110). DraftKings is listing the under 5.5 at -139 (over + 115). PointsBet is under 5.5 at -136 (over + 110). FanDuel is actually a half-win below the market, hanging a win total of 5 with the over -120 and under + 100.
Washington's 5.5 win total is tied with the Bengals and Panthers for the 2nd lowest in the NFL. Only the Jaguars have a lower win total (4.5).
One small glimmer of hope for Washington: They have the 5th-easiest schedule this season. Their 2020 opponents went a combined 118-136-2 in 2019.
Here is the full Skins schedule
Week 1: vs Eagles
Week 2: at Cardinals
Week 3: at Browns
Week 4: vs Ravens
Week 5: vs Rams
Week 6: at Giants
Week 7: vs Cowboys
Week 8: Bye
Week 9: vs Giants
Week 10: at Lions
Week 11: vs Bengals
Week 12: at Cowboys
Week 13: at Steelers
Week 14: at 49ers
Week 15: vs Seahawks
Week 16: vs Panthers
Week 17: at Eagles
The Redskins haven't made the playoff since 2015. Don't expect that to change in 2020. Washington is -835 to make the postseason at DraftKings and + 550 to make the postseason.
Washington is a + 1300 longshot to win the NFC East. The Cowboys are the favorite at -106, followed by the Eagles + 140 and the Giants + 900. If you believe in miracles the 'Skins are + 5000 to win the NFC and + 10000 to win the Super Bowl.
Chase Young is a + 200 favorite to win Defensive Rookie of the Year. His over/under sack total is 8.5 with the over -134 and the under + 110.