Monday marked another huge step forward in the push to legalize sports betting in America. First, we saw Maryland pass a sports betting bill that will allow 30 retail licenses and up to 60 online betting licenses, becoming one of the most "bettor friendly" states to legalize wagering since PASPA was overturned in 2018. Maryland voters originally passed a ballot initiative to legalize sports betting in 2020. Yesterday, the Maryland Senate voted 47-0 in favor of an amended bill, which was then approved overwhelmingly by the House 112-16-1. The bill now heads to Gov. Larry Hogan's desk, who is expected to sign it in the coming days.
If that wasn't enough, Arizona lawmakers also passed a legal sports betting bill on Monday. The bill allows both retail and online betting, including 20 licenses overall. The bill passed 23-6 in the Senate after previously passing 48-12 in the House. Governor Doug Ducey is expected to sign the bill into law by the end of the week. The bill also legalized daily fantasy sports.
In both Maryland and Arizona, the goal is to have legalized sports betting up and running in time for Week 1 of the NFL season this Fall. Both states are also expected to allow in-person retail sportsbooks inside or next to professional sports stadiums. Maryland is the 19th most populous state in the country (6.1 million people) while Arizona ranks 14th (7.4 million).
Now it's on to Tuesday, where we have 15 MLB games, 6 NBA games and 6 NHL games to choose from. For an updated breakdown of Wednesday's betting action, be sure to tune in to the VSiN Market Insights Podcast with Josh Appelbaum. It will be posted at 1 p.m. ET. I'll also be co-hosting Betting Across America with Mike Pritchard from 3 p.m. ET to 5 p.m. ET to go over all of today's action in greater depth.
In the meantime, let's discuss a pair of MLB games today receiving notable sharp action...
7:07 p.m. ET: New York Yankees (5-5) at Toronto Blue Jays (4-6)
The Yankees took Monday's series opener 3-1, cashing as hefty -190 road favorites. In tonight's rematch, New York sends out Jameson Taillon (0-0, 3.86 ERA) and the Jays give the ball to lefty Hyun Jin Ryu (0-1, 2.92 ERA). This line opened with Toronto listed as a -120 home favorite. The public is split and doesn't know which way to go. Yet we've seen the Jays drop slightly from -120 to -115. This signals some respected money grabbing the Yankees in a rare plus money spot (+ 110 to + 105). New York has value as a dog off a win (9% ROI this season), a dog with a line move in their favor (14% ROI) and a road divisional dog with a high total. There also seems to be some liability on a higher scoring game as the total is 9 with heavy over juice (-120). This game, and all Jays home games, will be played at their "new" home: TD Ballpark in Dunedin, Florida. The forecast calls for mid 70s and 5-10 MPH winds blowing out to dead center.
9:45 p.m. ET: Cincinnati Reds (7-3) at San Francisco Giants (6-4)
The Reds stole Monday's series opener 3-0, cashing as a virtual pick'em. Sharps were all over Cincinnati, dropping the Reds from + 115 to -105. In tonight's rematch, the Reds send out righty Luis Castillo (1-1, 6.97 ERA) while the Giants counter with ace Kevin Gausman (0-0, 1.32 ERA). This line opened with San Francisco listed as a slight -115 home favorite. Right off the bat, this opening line speaks volumes. Why is it so short with the Giants at home and their ace on the mound? Pros smell a rat. They've gotten down on Cincinnati once again, forcing oddsmakers to adjust the Reds from + 105 to -102. The Reds have value as a dog off a win and a dog with a line move in their favor. Cincinnati ranks first in batting average in MLB (.289). Meanwhile, the Giants rank 26th at .204. Smart money also seems to be leaning on a lower-scoring game. The total opened at 7.5 and there is heavy juice to the under (-120). Some shops are even down to 7. The under is 8-2 in Giants games this season. The over is 7-3 in Reds games.