One of the interesting things about the momentum the sports betting industry has generated is watching those who spent years standing in front of the train now trying to get their hands in the collection till.

The leagues, who spent millions on legal fees opposing sports betting, now want a piece. Teams now are more than happy to accept advertising dollars from betting companies and, you could see this coming a mile away, Congress wants to help out with oversight.

ESPN reported that outgoing Utah senator Orrin Hatch this week sent a draft of a bill that would, among other things, require states to abide by federal laws in their sports-betting regulations.

Thie states-rights issue was at the crux of the Supreme Court’s decision in May to overturn the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. For years, the feds prevented legalized sports betting outside of Nevada, but New Jersey led the fight that it was up to individual states to make that determination.

Now Hatch wants to regulate it, even if his legislation is unlikely to gain any immediate traction. Hatch, a senator since 1976, did not seek re-election in November.

“Orrin Hatch has long opposed sports wagering in any form,” said Pennsylvania state representative Rob Matzie (D – Beaver/Allegheny), who worked to get a law and regulations passed in the Keystone State in 2017 – well ahead of the SCOTUS ruling in the spring.

“Apparently, he’s trying to sooth his disappointment over the Supreme Court ruling with some good, old-fashioned federal overreach. Pennsylvania is already regulating gaming – in all forms – with great success. We don’t need any assistance from a retiring senator in Utah.”

Subtle humor

Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy personally reimbursed a local radio personality who bet $250 that the Cowboys would win more than eight games this season.

Oklahoma State is 6-6 and playing Missouri in the Liberty Bowl.

In a photo tweeted out by KOCO-TV sports anchor Carson Cunningham, Gundy wrote a letter to Rob Benton apologizing that the Cowboys came up short. Gundy appreciated the support and wrote that stepping up and repaying Benton’s $250 debt was “the manly (51) thing to do."

Gundy, of course, went on an epic rant against reporters 11 years ago for criticizing Oklahoma State’s players. He invited writers to scrutinize him instead by famously proclaiming, “I’m a man. I’m 40.”

Gundy putting 51 in parentheses is hilarious.

Eagles update

The Eagles haven’t hit the over much over the last month and the bookies have noticed.

The over-under for Sunday’s Dallas game opened at 43, which would be the lowest for an Eagles game since Week 4 when the total was 41.5 against Tennessee. Five of the Eagles last six have hit under. Conversely, four of Dallas’s last six have gone over,

The Eagles are 1-3 against the spread on the road, while Dallas is 5-1 ATS at home. Dallas has covered its last four, and the Eagles snapped a three-game losing streak against the spread with Monday’s 28-13 win over Washington.

The Birds rolled the Cowboys in Dallas last season, 37-9 and were beaten by Dallas, 27-20, at Lincoln Financial Field in Week 10. Dallas is favored by 3.5.

Question of the week

Why are the NFL lines not in chronological order? This week, for instance, the Bears-Rams 8:20 p.m. start is listed in the middle of Sunday's lines, ahead of all the 4 o'clock games.


Las Vegas oddsmakers list games soon after the schedule comes out, but before game times are set. It's crucial for them to maintain their original order of these games to keep the wagering numbers associated with each team in sequential order, even if it does look a little odd.

Vic’s Thursday pick handicapper Vegas Vic looks at Thursday’s NFL game:

Double V has an AFC South matchup which probably ain’t gonna affect the division title (Houston should wear the crown), but Tennessee is still in the hunt for the second wild card.

The Titans roll in with a 6-6 record, straight up and against the spread. They are 3-2 against the spread at home, but 0-3 as a favorite. The Jaguars limp in with a 4-8 straight up record, 4-6-2 against the spread. Cody Kessler made his first start for Jacksonville, and while he didn’t make any mistakes, the Jags rang up ONLY six points. Aside from all the other problems, the Jags are horrible on the road, winning only 11 of the last 44.

Not gonna do flips, but do lean to Tennessee. Gimme $55 to win $50 on the Titans -4 points over the Jaguars.

And finally

In a sampling this week of half a dozen New Jersey apps, Temple is a 3- or 3.5-point favorite over Duke in the Independence Bowl, with William Hill at -155 offering the best money line odds on Temple. DraftKings and SugarHouse are -175.

Similarly, Penn State is laying 6 to Kentucky in the Citrus Bowl. SugarHouse and DraftKings have money lines of -235 on the Nittany Lions, while FanDuel and William Hill are at -245.