Mountain State bettors are being offered a rich post-Super Bowl gambling menu.
Say hello to NASCAR, the UFC and the PGA, all loading up their early February schedules. Look for this pattern for the rest of the winter.
Saturday’s UFC 258 has inspired a DraftKings West Virginia promo awarding four free $25 bets to new users.
The Daytona 500 on Sunday highlights the first-week return of the NASCAR circuit.
PGA enthusiasts can take a crack at long shots in the Pebble Beach Pro Am, running Thursday-Sunday. Betting action exists all four days, including head-to-head matchups and selected results by hole.
Let’s take a look.
UFC 258 at WV sportsbooks
Main Card: DraftKings’ odds as of Wednesday morning:
- Kamaru Usman -278 vs. Gilbert Burns +220, welterweight title bout
- Alexa Grasso -137 vs. Maycee Barber +110
- Kevin Gastelum -225 vs. Ian Henisch +175
- Jimmie Rivera -150 vs. Pedro Munoz +120
- Julian Marquez -177 vs. Maki Pitolo +140
How to watch:
Prelims: 8 p.m. on ESPN+
Main Event: 10 p.m. purchase on ESPN+
First-time users: The first bet is a no-brainer.
Make a deposit of $5 or more and place a $1 wager on either fighter to win the main event. By doing so, you’ll obtain a $100 bonus, paid as four free $25 bets to be used in the next week, if the fighter you select lands at least one punch.
The offer excludes live bets, parlays, free bets, cash out and voided bets. This promotion is available in select DraftKings markets, and WV is one of them.
The free bets are not redeemable for cash, are nontransferable and are nonrefundable, of course.
What they represent is a chance to build a stash on promotional money. Four free bets? Hit one or two of them, and the promo leads to a bankroll.
Usman has been bouncing in the -225 to -285 range across the major WV sportsbooks.
At the lower end rests a moneyline invitation for his bettors. The upper range entices Burns action and drives Usman backers toward the props.
This pattern looks eerily familiar to UFC bettors. Usman’s path resembles that of Conor McGregor before his Jan. 23 matchup against Dustin Poirier. Burns’ numbers Poirier’s path.
And we know that happened there. Poirier delivered a shocking second-round stoppage, rewarding his backers handsomely.
The lines at FanDuel are remarkably similar to DraftKings’.
There’s a slight difference in the Usman odds hitting -290, as he approaches a point where he’s difficult to bet on the moneyline. Burns is +225.
Method of victory presents other considerations.
- KO/TKO +210
- Points +130
- Submission +1700
- KO/TKO +600
- Points +800
- Submission +800
Prop betting considerations
One interesting tactic is to protect the moneyline bet by wagering on the fight outcome itself.
The KO/TKO is +130, the submission is +600 and the points victory is -115.
This payout is smaller, but the chance of victory increases. Poirier’s triumph over McGregor illustrated the wisdom of this path. McGregor bettors backed up their moneyline bet by selecting which round he’d prevail in. Only he didn’t win.
Poirier backers cashed a substantial ticket with the victory but were not necessarily enticed by homing in on a specific KO/TKO round.
That’s why, in selecting the right victory method, the bettor shares in the performance of both fighters. It’s a betting mutual fund: smaller reward with more manageable risk.
NASCAR: It’s back, so start your betting engines
NASCAR got underway this week, and bettors have significant areas in which to place wagers.
For the NASCAR Cup Championship, decided in November, here’s the first look at the futures market at DraftKings:
- Chase Elliott +550
- Kevin Harvick +550
- Denny Hamlin +650
- Kyle Busch +700
- Brad Keselowski +700
- Joey Logano +700
- Martin Truex Jr. +700
Elliott is the defending Cup Series champion.
Other betting options
Outright victory for individual races will usually pay well, normally above +600.
Throughout most of the season, it’s difficult for a driver to notch a repeat victory. A winner one week might become a good candidate for the top 3 or top 5 in the following week.
Elliott, Harvick, Hamlin and Keselowski were remarkably consistent last year and can be looked to in betting angles most weeks.
Besides winner, top 5 and top 10 finishes, bettors can choose individual matchups between two or more drivers. This will create battles between Ford, Toyota and Chevrolet, and the top driver for each manufacturer.
New this year is the championship points and victories matchups. These are head-to-head battles featuring evenly matched drivers in season-long competitions.
Want to take action on Elliott vs. Harvick every week? Take a season-long bet, both at -115, for championship points. Every race impacts the bet until it is decided in the fall.
The DraftKings board has several of them and a similar matchup in the Most Wins section.
“People really like this form of betting,” Johnny Avello, the director of race and sportsbook operations for DraftKings, told Play WV. “This is something that will be up all year. We may add other names to it as time goes on and see how this does.
“Not everybody likes a futures bet (in which a team or individual must win a championship). For some people, futures have too many choices. Bettors don’t always want to play into that unless they see great value.
“They like the A versus B betting style more. It’s head-to-head; your driver only has to beat one opponent and then you win.”
William Hill tabs Hamlin Daytona 500 chalk
Hamlin, the reigning two-time winner, opened at +800 and has stayed at that number for Sunday’s race, airing on Fox at 2:30 p.m.
Hamlin has captured the checkered flag three times at a Daytona 500 (2016, 2019 and 2020).
Elliott has the second-lowest odds at +900, as his price slightly shifted from when it was first released at +1000. Logano, who won at Daytona in 2015, is currently listed at +1000.
Ryan Blaney and Keselowski are next at +1100.
Harvick, William Byron and Kyle Larson are all close behind at +1200.
Larson has seen a big jump from his opening number, going from +2000 to +1200. Kyle Busch and Aric Almirola are each at +1500, followed by Alex Bowman and Martin Truex Jr., who are both at +1700.
“Daytona 500 is our biggest handle for any NASCAR race by far,” said Nick Bogdanovich, director of trading for William Hill US. “Looks like Larson has the most tickets right now, then Elliott. Dollar-wise, Truex has the most and then Hamlin.”
A few notable wagers have already come in. A $3,000 bet has been placed on Byron at +1700 ($54,000 total potential payout), Truex Jr. at +1800 ($57,000 total potential payout) and Almirola at +1800 ($57,000 total potential payout).
PGA Tour: Cantlay becomes new favorite
With Dustin Johnson withdrawing from the PGA Pro Am, Patrick Cantlay became the choice of DraftKings’ oddsmakers to capture the tournament.
Bettors have varied routes into the action.
Cantlay to win is +750. He is +175 for top 5 and +100 for top 3.
Daniel Berger and Paul Casey are +1400 to win, +300 for top 5 and +150 for top 3.
Will Zalatoris has been getting some respect in pre-tournament discussions.
Zalatoris is +1800 to win, +400 for the top 5 and +225 for the top 3.
Individual matchups and individual hole scores for some players will be up for Friday-Sunday.
This is a great watch-and-wager invitation. Golfers will develop form cycles. Bettors playing every week will see patterns and know which players are consistent.
- Thursday-Friday, 3 p.m.-6 p.m. EST (Golf Channel)
- Saturday-Sunday, 1 p.m.-3 p.m. (Golf Channel)
- Saturday, 3 p.m.-6 p.m. (CBS)
- Sunday, 3 p.m.-6:30 p.m. (CBS)