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.
Ohio is one of six states that is home to at least two NFL franchises.
Of those states — New York, Florida, Pennsylvania, Texas, California, Ohio — there’s only one that hasn’t had a champion to speak of during the 56 years of the NFL’s Super Bowl era. That state would be Ohio.
With NFL training camps underway this week, the Cincinnati Bengals and the Cleveland Browns head into the 2022-23 season seeking their first Super Bowl championship. The Bengals, who have played three times in the Super Bowl, came up just shy when they fell 23-20 to the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LVI on Feb. 13. The Browns have never advanced past the AFC championship game. Pre-Super Bowl era, Cleveland blanked the Baltimore Colts 27-0 to win the 1964 NFL championship.
The Bengals and Browns are considered two of the more talented teams in the NFL. Could this be the year to end the Super Bowl drought for the state of Ohio?
Browns, Bengals seeking to be No. 1
Caesars Sportsbook has odds of +2000 on the Bengals winning the Super Bowl, while FanDuel has posted +2100 and DraftKings has +2200. Caesars gives odds of +2500 on the Browns, with FanDuel at +2800 and DraftKings at +3000.
The sportsbooks have the Buffalo Bills as the preseason Super Bowl favorites, with Caesars offering the best odds of +575 on the Bills, who also have never won a Super Bowl in four trips.
The Bengals and Browns are NFL franchises that appear to have their long-term quarterbacks in place, even if their immediate availability is in question during the first week of training camp. Burrow, who led the Bengals to the Super Bowl in only his second season in the NFL, underwent an appendectomy on Tuesday, and his return to activity is to be determined. He could be sidelined for the entire preseason.
QB Standing Preview: Joe Burrow gives the Cincinnati Bengals hope in pursuit of the Super Bowl https://t.co/Vdxb9zzXzk
— koni toni (@konitoni2) July 28, 2022
LIVE NOW: @AKinkhabwala on the start of #Browns camp & whether or not the team can make the playoffs without Deshaun Watson.https://t.co/nN8I9uIH09
— Ultimate Cleveland Sports Show (@ultCLEsports) July 28, 2022
The Browns are going through training camp as if Deshaun Watson will be behind center this season. The 26-year-old quarterback, who was traded by Houston to Cleveland in March and reportedly signed a five-year, $230 million contract, has been practicing with the Browns’ starting offensive unit. Yet, Watson could miss an extended amount of time during the regular season if the NFL hands him a suspension tied to accusations of sexual misconduct from more than two dozen massage therapists.
Clearly, both quarterbacks need to be on the field during the regular season for their respective teams if either expects to have a chance at winning the Lombardi Trophy. Otherwise, the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton will almost certainly remain the only place in Ohio where you’ll be able to see a Super Bowl trophy.
Underdog raises funds with $485M valuation
Recognized as the fastest-growing paid fantasy sports company, Underdog announced on Tuesday a Series B round of fundraising totaling $35 million and values the company at $485 million, according to a report by the Underdog Network.
Underdog’s recent business transactions include submitting applications to the Ohio Casino Control Commission for a sports betting license. The company applied for a mobile management services provider license and has a partnership agreement with the Cincinnati Reds.
Underdog Network reports that Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, NBA All-Stars Kevin Durant and Trae Young, NFL wideout Odell Beckham Jr., and Rapper Nas are among the notable existing investors.
Dayton ripe for a TBT title game
Summer’s sports betting options in late July typically center around Major League Baseball contests, perhaps a UFC title fight or two, and WNBA games. Then there’s The Basketball Tournament – the summer basketball tournament involving 64 teams made up of former NBA journeymen and some ex-college players vying for a winner-take-all prize of $1 million.
The University of Dayton’s home court is where the championship game is scheduled to take place next Tuesday. The Red Scare, a team made up of former University of Dayton players, is making a surprising push toward advancing to the title game. Red Scare upset The Money Team (TMT), 83-81, Wednesday evening before a raucous crowd that clearly supported the team of former Flyers, who will face Best Virginia in Friday’s quarterfinals.
Caesars has odds of +550 on the Red Scare finishing out the tournament and winning it all. Caesars has odds of +225 on the AfterShocks — a team made up of former Wichita State players — and odds of +325 on Florida TNT staking claim to the $1 million prize.
Red Scare with the upset last night to advance to @thetournament championship round in Dayton. Floyd Mayweather Jr. is undefeated no more! https://t.co/wlPPatGVKG
— Mike Seely (@mdseely) July 28, 2022
Sticking to the timeline
The next major date of the Ohio Casino Control Commission’s Sports Gaming Implementation Timeline is coming up Aug. 1, or Monday. At that time, the Compliance Document Window opens for applicants to submit responsible gaming plans, facility plans, equipment testing, geolocation procedures, house rules, and required procedures.
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