Get hyped, Philly fans: Bryce Harper is heading to the City of Brotherly Love.
As reported by Jon Heyman of the MLB Network, the former National League MVP signed a massive 13-year, $330 million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday. As a result, the MLB sports betting landscape has shifted drastically in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
And now, the NJ and PA sports betting industries have tabbed Philadelphia as one of the teams to beat en route to the World Series.
Phillies now a World Series contender
It has been quite some time since the Phillies garnered such respect.
The franchise’s last winning season came in 2011, when Philly won an MLB-best 102 games, only to lose to eventual champion St. Louis in the National League Division Series.
Last season, the Phillies improved by 14 wins yet fell short in reaching the postseason. With Harper, the 2015 MVP, Philadelphia has a chance at returning to the glory from a decade ago. Back when it went to back-to-back World Series in 2008 and 2009 (winning the former) and the National League Championship Series a year later.
Before Harper’s signing, Kambi Group, which powers the majority of PA sportsbooks and several of the top NJ products, listed Philadelphia’s over/under win total at 87. Once Harper agreed to terms, that total jumped to 88.5 wins.
How will Phillies fare per NJ sports betting?
In New Jersey, FanDuel Sportsbook lists the Phillies at +1,300 to win the World Series and +185 to win the NL East. These lines come 24 hours after the sportsbook had Philadelphia at +1,800 and +250, respectively.
DraftKings Sportsbook had already priced in Harper’s signing beforehand. Even before the MVP agreed to a contract, DraftKings gave Philadelphia +1,200 odds to win the Commissioner’s Trophy. Interestingly, the online sports betting product had the Phillies at +240 to win their division. That ties them with Harper’s former team, the Washington Nationals.
Even after the signing, however, DraftKings’ lines moved: +1,000 to win the league title and +185 to win the division.
SugarHouse NJ, a Philadelphia-based group operating in New Jersey, also lists at +1,000 to win it all. The Phillies, though, hold a +185 line to win the division, tops in the NL East.
What about PA sports betting?
At the heart of the state’s industry sits Philadelphia sports betting. And what a time to operate there.
Parx Sportsbook, for example, laid a +1,000 line on the Phillies to win the World Series and +185 to claim the division crown.
As ESPN’s David Purdum noted, SugarHouse Sportsbook in Philadelphia has quite a bit riding on this MLB season. The Phillies winning the World Series stands as the second-largest futures liability at the property, only behind the 76ers winning the NBA Championship.
At SugarHouse, the Phillies went from +1,200 to +1,000 to claim the World Series and from +240 to +185 to win the NL East. Additionally, the team’s projected win total shifted from an over/under of 87 victories to 88.5 following the Harper signing.
American League still favored…
Despite the Phillies’ quick rise to World Series contention, sportsbooks still believe the road to a championship runs through the American League.
|Sportsbook||New York Yankees||Boston Red Sox||Houston Astros||Los Angeles Dodgers||Philadelphia Phillies|
|*Behind Indians (+1100) and Cubs (+1200)|
… but Philly in National League hunt
While the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, and Houston Astros continue to remain atop the favorites list for the World Series, Philadelphia has certainly climbed into NL championship contention.
Most properties and online sports betting products still tab the Los Angeles Dodgers as the team to beat in the National League. Just behind, though, are the Phillies, who, depending on the sportsbook, sit between +500 and +550 to win the pennant.
Philadelphia’s quest begins March 28 with a season- and home-opener against the division rival Atlanta Braves. Why wait to see how Harper does? FanDuel, after all, has a season kick-off prop:
- Will Bryce Harper hit a home run on opening day? Yes: +320