The Ohio Slate: Cleveland’s Unlucky Bieber, NIL, And The USFL Championship

The Ohio Slate is a weekly look at developments in Ohio's gaming industry -- including betting angles -- as the state prepares to launch legal wagering Jan. 1.

The Ohio Slate is a weekly look at developments in Ohio’s gaming industry – including betting angles – as the state prepares to launch legal sportsbooks on Jan. 1 2023.

Cleveland Guardians ace Shane Bieber has started 14 games for the team currently sitting in second place in the AL Central behind Minnesota. That’s clearly encouraging to see for a veteran pitcher who missed time on the mound last season due to injury.

Yet Bieber owns a disappointing 3-4 record even though he has struck out 88 batters and boasts an impressive 3.04 ERA. His record doesn’t reflect the kind of effort that he’s clearly put forth during the first half of the season, and certainly doesn’t conjure thoughts of someone worthy of being considered a favorite to win the AL Cy Young award. Yet FanDuel has odds of +2500 on Bieber to win the award annually presented to the league’s top pitcher.

FanDuel lists only seven AL pitchers with better odds than Bieber, led by +290 for the Tampa Bay Rays’ Shane McClanahan and Houston Astros’ Justin Verlander. They’re followed by Toronto’s Alek Manoah (+650), the New York Yankees’ Gerritt Cole (+850), the Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani (+1200), Dylan Cease of the Chicago White Sox (+1700), and Toronto’s Kevin Gausman (+1700).

Bieber sticks out among the crowd because he’s the only one who doesn’t own a winning record at this point in the season. Either way, the Guardians will need him to continue to pitch well in the second half of the season if they hope to remain in contention for the AL Central crown.

Back to school

As NCAA schools and athletes across the nation try to navigate the new Name-Image-Likeness landscape, Cincinnati Bengals running back Trayveon Williams will be helping Texas A&M student-athletes — and would-be lawyers — to better understand various NIL opportunities. According to ESPN, Williams — who attended and played football at A&M between 2016-18 — will co-teach a class at A&M’s law school with business consultant Alex Sinatra.

“Having someone who has been in that system, who can relate, and who can bring a certain stamp of actual, real-life engagement in that world, I feel like, can be beneficial,” Williams said on a recent podcast.

— Jill R. Dorson

Go national or stay local?

According to the Action Network, casinos and sportsbooks in Ohio will be allowed to choose between posting the national gambling addiction hotline or a local number.

1-800-GAMBLER and 1-800-522-4700, which are run by the National Council on Problem Gambling, offer callers referrals for services as well as crisis support. The lines are used in advertising by casino and sportsbook entities across the country, though some states have local hotlines as well.

Among the states with a local hotline is West Virginia, where Jennifer Davis-Walton, director of gambling addiction services for First Choice Services, earlier this year said that the advantage of a local hotline is local knowledge and the ability to make referrals that are easily accessible and convenient to callers in need.

In Ohio, gaming companies will be required to post a helpline number in retail sportsbooks and on digital platforms.

— Jill R. Dorson

Twitter has thoughts about USFL championship

Check out the trophy:

And the affordability of tickets:

But some say don’t be fooled, as this ISN’T the inaugural championship:

ICYMI: What happened in Ohio gaming this week

Birmingham favored to claim USFL championship

Fanduel, Caesars say Ohio applications are coming soon as deadline to assure Jan. 1 launch looms




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