Happy Friday! If you expected the Houston Texans to lead the AFC South after week 1, congratulations. Maybe reply to let us know your other picks for the year?
In today's Sprint:
🎾 New rules for bathroom breaks.
🏈 Sports betting's best weekend ever.
⚽ Carli Lloyd scores five in her farewell tour.
Trivia:Which sport typically has the highest average betting volume globally?
*Answer at the bottom
WATER COOLER TALK
⚾ Shohei Ohtani, the LA Angels two-way star, may not pitch again this season due to soreness in his right arm. The arm discomfort won’t stop Shohei from hitting bombs off opposing pitchers as the team’s designated hitter.
“If there’s any lingering soreness, you may not see him pitch,” said manager Joe Maddon.
🎾 The ATP is planning to impose stricter rules for aggressively long bathroom breaks and medical timeouts during key moments. This follows several complaints against Stefanos Tsitsipas for using ‘strategic bathroom breaks.’
His first-round bathroom break at the US Open took eight minutes, resulting in former Major champ Andy Murray calling him out for it.
🏈 While NIL deals are new, college athletes have apparently been making money at school for years (*insert shocked face*). Hall of Fame receiver Cris Carter broke down his time at Ohio State.
As a freshman, Carter says he was given $15k and a car by a booking agency.
ESPN gets 28 games while TNT has 50. ESPN+/Hulu combine for another 100 games.
The Seattle Kraken’s first-ever game will be part of an ESPN doubleheader on October 12.
This Isn't The Real Caesar's Palace, Is It?
For most of us, this past weekend marked the start of the NFL season. For sportsbooks across the US, it felt like Christmas.
By the numbers: US sportsbooks saw their busiest four days ever. And with eight underdogs winning outright, the house won big.
58.2 million online sports betting transactions between last Thursday and Sunday
126% increase compared to the NFL’s week 1 2020
50% increase in college football betting compared to 2020's first two weeks
Though 26 states have legalized sports betting, online sportsbooks were only operating in 18 states (plus DC!) over the weekend.
Nobody told Vegas. Despite seeing more competition in sports betting than ever, the long-time pro-gambling state saw a 20% increase in business compared to last year’s NFL week 1.
Big picture: Between online and in-person sportsbooks, revenue estimates for 2021 sit at $1.5 billion. By 2025? $180 billion.
And the NFL is starting to notice. A league that three years ago refused to work with sportsbooks recently announced partnerships with 7 of them - including massive 5-year deals with Caesar’s, DraftKings, and FanDuel worth a combined $1 billion.
AROUND THE LEAGUES
(1-1) Washington Football Team30vs. (0-2) New York Giants 29
Due to an offsides call, WFT kicker Dustin Hopkins got a second chance to hit the game-winner after his first kick went wide.
Taylor Heinicke (336 yards, 2 TDs) started for an injured Ryan Fitzpatrick and threw the ball to Scary Terry McLaurin (11 rec, 107 yards, 1 TD) all game.
Wild stat: Giants quarterback Daniel Jones led the game with 95 rushing yards.
Wilder stat: The Giants are 0-2 for the 5th year in a row.
(79-67) Oakland Athletics 7vs. (66-80) Kansas City Royals 2
Longtime Royals catcher Salvador Perez tied the all-time home run mark for a catcher in a season with 45. He also tied Vlad Guerrero Jr. for most in the MLB.
(74-72) Philadelphia Phillies 17 vs. (66-81) Chicago Cubs 8
Believe it or not, the Cubs led 7-0 going into the 4th inning before the Phillies started playing.
Bryce Harper hit two doubles, a three-run home run, and got walked twice en route to a monster 4 RBI game.
Stat:With Trevor Lawrence’s loss, each of the last 13 quarterbacks drafted first overall have failed to win their first career start. The last one to win? David Carr (2002).