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MGM’s League Partnerships Will Open Up a Brave New World of Prop Bets

Dec 05, 2018 10:05 PM EST
  • In the past four months, the MGM Resorts International has partnered with the NBA, MLB and NHL.
  • At the heart of the deals is a treasure trove of data.
  • Here are some never-before-offered props that the sportsbook could create as a result of its partnerships with the leagues.

In the world of sports betting, July 31, 2018, will be remembered as the day that changed everything…

“MGM Resorts International becomes official gaming partner of the NBA.”

It’s a very simple phrase, but that deal between the MGM and NBA started an avalanche in the sports betting industry.

In less than four months, three of the four major American sports leagues have partnered with one of the largest global entertainment and gaming companies, in the hope to bring this industry to the masses and create an enhanced product for their fans and customers.

But what’s the real impact of these deals for the average sports bettor?

In a word: options. Tons and tons of different betting options we’ve never seen, or even thought of before.

Built into each one of these partnerships is the league’s proprietary data. Armed with that data, MGM can create a brave new world of betting.

Let’s take a look at what the future may bring:

MLB

The MGM’s deal with Major League Baseball gives the casino the ability to create props around Statcast data (even during live betting).

Some sample props that could come of that:

  • In tonight’s MLB slate of games, which outfielder will have the fastest outfield assist?

  • Will Aroldis Chapman throw a pitch below 100 mph for the Yankees against the Red Sox tonight?
  • During this at-bat, will Joey Gallo’s launch angle be higher or lower than 25 degrees?
  • Will any player in the Cardinals-Braves game make a 5-star catch (0-25% chance of making the catch) according to “Catch Probability”?

NBA

Sportsradar and Genius Sport currently distribute the NBA’s data internationally and domestically, and MGM’s deal with the league will give it access to everything under the hood.

The league has been hush-hush as to whether MGM can utilize the league’s data provided by Second Spectrum, which installed a player-tracking system in every NBA arena to produce hyper-accurate speed and distance data.

Here are a few examples of the props that MGM could offer with the NBA’s player tracking:

  • Who will have more total drives tonight: James Harden or the Golden State Warriors in the first half?
  • Will Blake Griffin touch the ball over/under 90.5 times tonight?

  • Will Joel Embiid allow a defensive field goal percentage over/under 50% at the rim vs. Pelicans?
  • Which player will travel the most distance on the court in the Lakers-Wizards game tonight: LeBron James or Bradley Beal?

NHL

According to the NHL’s press release on their partnership with MGM, the gaming company “will have access to real-time advanced game data that currently is being developed by the league.”

That includes player tracking data “that it should be ready for prime time next season,” per commissioner Gary Bettman.

According to the AP story on the NHL’s partnership with MGM, the data “could eventually include puck and player tracking information” and “will allow MGM to provide customized betting opportunities for U.S. customers where gambling is legally available.”

Here are a few examples of how MGM could use all of this data to spice up its betting offerings:

  • Which member of the Capitals’ first line will skate the most distance vs. the Penguins tonight?
  • Will Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne allow a goal over his glove hand vs. the Sharks?
  • Which player will skate at a higher average speed tonight: Conor McDavid or Auston Matthews?

Here is an example of the technology in-use at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey:

Credit:

Suchat Pederson/The News Journal via USA TODAY NETWORK, Pictured: Delaware sportsbook

Follow Evan Abrams on Twitter
@EvanHAbrams

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