Some Pennsylvania Sportsbooks Are Full Of Data To Help Betting Decisions

Sites vary widely in useful history and information to assist wagering decisions
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All 13 of Pennsylvania’s legal online sports betting sites have one thing in common: They aim to make money from gamblers’ inability to make successful picks more than half the time.

One facet in which the sites differ, however, is how much information they make readily available concerning teams’ and players’ past performances. Sure, they all provide some basic information on how to bet and the difference between a point spread or moneyline bet, but when it comes to background data that can help decide whom to back, there’s a wide variance.

Some of the national sportsbooks operating in Pennsylvania go so far as to supplement their betting options with articles or podcasts from the site’s own in-house “experts” offering their advice and recommendations. Others don’t do that, but they provide plenty of statistical information related to betting — not just a team’s won-lost record, but how it has performed against the spread (ATS) or in hitting the over/under on points totals. They may provide individual statistics as well, and various betting-related trivia about a team.

Some sites, meanwhile, just give you the odds. There’s no shortage, after all, of websites both free and paid, whether mainstream or gambling oriented, that offer useful information for both recreational and hardcore sports bettors.

But some customers might like the idea of scrolling the sportsbook site for handy information to help make a betting decision. If so, here’s a rundown of what you can expect to find, after we looked to see what they provide for the upcoming NFL season as an example:

DraftKings

DraftKings may trail rival FanDuel as the most-used site by sports bettors in Pennsylvania, but there is no comparison when it comes to how much supplemental information they give bettors directly on their sites.

A FanDuel spokesman said it has “sister sites” such as The Duel and oddsFire for that purpose. On DraftKings’ NFL page, meanwhile, if you scroll below the bottom of its long list providing odds for games all the way into January, you find two separate clickable titles: “NFL Betting News” and “2021 NFL Odds and Betting.”

The betting news section provides an array of articles examining particular betting options – i.e., the Week One 49ers-Lions matchup, J.J. Watt’s sacks total over/under, the four NFC East teams’ odds to win their division – with analysis by a DK in-house content contributor, frequently Julian Edlow. He breaks down potential reasons to take one side over the other using DK’s own odds, such as recommending the 49ers -7 in their opener or locking up a season-long investment in a futures bet on Watt under 8.5 sacks.

The 2021 betting overview section summarizes some notable aspects about the upcoming season, such as highlighting odds for awards favorites: Patrick Mahomes for MVP at +500, Trevor Lawrence for Offensive Rookie of the Year at +300, and Dak Prescott for Comeback Player of the Year at +210. It then provides a menu that lets you click on any of the 32 teams for specific information about their odds, stats, schedule, roster, standings, and injuries. Clicking on “stats” will get you information about individual player performances — not just for this preseason or last year’s regular season, but for either of those going back to 2014.

Clicking on “odds” will show the point spread, moneyline and points over/under for a team’s next regular season game, such as the Steelers’ Sept. 12 opener in Buffalo. That specific game also has its own menu options — preview, players, stats, betting trends, standards. Clicking “stats” will show each team’s performance in a given time frame in winning against the spread, winning at home and on the road, going over or under points totals, and more.

On other words, DK provides a lot of clickable, useful information for bettors. It doesn’t mean you’ll make the right pick, but you can’t accuse the sportsbook of shorting you on information that could help.

BetMGM

Rather than filling your head with statistical data, the BetMGM Sportsbook provides an array of articles and podcasts designed to enlighten bettors. On the site’s NFL page, these elements are found by going to a menu below the game lines and, under the Blogs heading, clicking on “sports betting.” From there, click on “NFL” from the sports options, which leads to an array of articles and podcasts.

Andrew Doughty, an in-house content writer, has articles such as a review of past trends in Offensive Rookie of the Year selections and betting options pertaining to the cellar-dwellers in the AFC South. There are also “Daily Tip” articles and podcasts relating to various options, such as discussion by BetMGM’s Chelsa Messinger and Michael Jenkins of the “Most Popular ‘Over’ Bets on NFL Win Totals.”

What BetMGM provides won’t overwhelm you with information, but it could offer ideas on some options worth considering — or lend some guidance to those you’re already thinking about.

Barstool

Given all of the attention surrounding Penn National Gaming’s use of the Barstool Sports digital media company to promote its Barstool Sportsbook, it might be viewed as surprising that the sportsbook makes no effort to provide any of the entertaining content that attracts so many followers to Barstool. It could be that they don’t want to duplicate what folks can find at barstoolsports.com.

On the sportsbook’s NFL page, though, there’s an array of straightforward information that can help bettors. It’s found by clicking on an individual game, such as the Eagles-Falcons opener Sept. 12, and examining “Betting Stats and Trends” down the right side.

It shows an “Implied Win Probability” bar, which gives the Eagles a 38% chance of winning in Atlanta based on their status as a four-point underdog, listed at +155 on the moneyline. Below that it shows each team’s most recent game results, plus the results of the teams’ recent head-to-head encounters, as well as their recent performance against the spread and on point totals.

The site also offers a few “Hot Tips,” such as: “Each of the last five games between the Eagles and Falcons have gone UNDER the total points line.”

So, while leaving any snark to the other site operated by Barstool Sports itself, the sportsbook bearing the brand seems to go right down the middle with a just-the-facts-m’am approach.

BetRivers/PlaySugarHouse

These twin sites of Rush Street Interactive offer a range of information through clicking on the “Stats” and “Tips” headings that accompany each NFL matchup.

For Steelers-Bills, for example, it shows the Steelers were 10-7 against the spread last year, while the Bills were 12-7. Pittsburgh’s games went 9-7-1 in going over the points total, while Buffalo’s contests were 13-6. There are also “tips” here, such as the Bills have won their last seven home games and the Steelers have covered in nine of their last 10 Sunday day games.

On top of it all is what the site calls a “Genius Predictor.” You can rank how different factors matter to you as a bettor — the teams’ records vs. the spread, the extent of their home-road splits, their injury situations, their last meeting with one another — and it is supposed to spit out some guidance on the best bet for the game.

The rest

There’s a definite drop-off from what’s above in what we could find on other sites.

When showing the odds options for each game, Parx and TwinSpires both have a box beside them that says, “View all stats (external link).” Clicking on that leads to information about the teams’ prior games and encounters with one another, though the presentation was harder to follow than the information on other sites.

Betway’s site presents an option to call up “Statistics” on the lower left of its home page, which leads to the chance to click on “football” and “NFL” to get to information surrounding specific teams and games. But, curiously, it does not delve into betting-related information such as performance against the spread, instead sticking to factual information such as team records and standings.

For FOX Bet, Unibet, Caesars, and Betfred, if they are providing any analysis, statistics, or other information beyond betting odds and the simple guidance of how to use their website, it was way too subtle for us to find.

Photo: Shutterstock

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