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• In response to the mass shooting that occurred in the early hours of August 4, 2019, The Dayton Foundation has established the Dayton Oregon District Tragedy Fund.

• NBC Sports Group and World Rugby today signed a four-year partnership to exclusively present the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series across NBC Sports platforms in the U.S. through 2023. The HSBC Sevens Series was an NBC Sports property from 2010-2016.

• ESPN, X Games and MLB said that four more MLB clubs have joined the Shred Hate initiative, described as a “multi-faceted, innovative bullying prevention program striving to put an end to bullying in schools by encouraging youth to choose kindness.

The Boston Red Sox, New York Mets, New York Yankees and Oakland A’s will “support Shred Hate bullying prevention efforts and have the No Bully methodology implemented within select schools in their markets throughout the 2019-2020 academic year.”

The Los Angeles Dodgers and Pittsburgh Pirates are returning to the initiative for a second consecutive year. Other MLB clubs have also been part of the initiative, which launched in 2017.

• The Museum of Ice Cream — a hands-on destination that serves homemade ice cream and offers such activities as cookie carousel to a slide that leads into a pool filled with rainbow sprinkles — will add to its original (2016) San Francisco location with the opening of a second location, in New York City’s Soho (555 Broadway), spanning almost 25,000 square feet over three floors.

• On the same day that Naomi Osaka was named the No. 1 seed for the upcoming U.S. Open, the two-time Grand Slam winner has signed a deal with Hyperice, a recovery and performance technology brand that specializes in vibration and percussion fitness devices. She joins such athletes as Blake Griffin and Lindsey Vonn on the roster. Full story here.
 

• Kellogg's Frosted Flakes has signed a deal to become title sponsor for the renamed Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl.  The postseason CFB game will feature teams from the ACC and Pac-12 in the Sun Bowl, El Paso, Texas, on Dec. 31, 2019, and will air for the 52nd consecutive year on CBS. The game was known as the Hyundai Bowl from 2010-18.

• The NFL said the Pro Bowl would return to Orlando's Camping Ground Stadium for the fourth successive year, scheduled for Jan. 26, 2020. It will air live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes and be simulcast on ABC (3 PM ET). Full story here.

• Pete Frates and Pat Quinn, co-founders of ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, have launched with The ALS Assn. the 5th anniversary of “Challenge Me” with a “new call to action to reignite the passion and generosity of the millions of people who dumped ice water on their heads in the summer of 2014.”

POLL POSITION

XFL Teams (scheduled to begin play Februty 2020)

• Dallas Renegades
Globe Life Park

• Houston Roughnecks
TDECU Stadium

• Los Angeles Wildcats
Dignity Health Sports Park

• New York Guardians
MetLife Stadium

• St. Louis Battlehawks
The Dome

• Seattle Dragons
CenturyLink Field

• Tampa Bay Vipers
Raymond James Stadium

• Washington DC Defenders
Audi Field

KEEPING SCORE

The 32 men and 32 women who will be seeded in the singles draws at the 2019 U.S. Open (Aug. 26-Sept. 8) have named by the USTA:

U.S. Open Men’s Top Ten Seeds
1. Novak Djokovic, Serbia
2. Rafael Nadal, Spain
3. Roger Federer, Switzerland
4. Dominic Thiem, Austria
5. Daniil Medvedev, Russia
6. Alexander Zverev, Germany
7. Kei Nishikori, Japan
8. Stefanos Tsitsipas, Greece
9. Karen Khachanov, Russia
10. Roberto Bautista Agut, Spain

U.S. Open Women’s Top Ten Seeds
1. Naomi Osaka, Japan
2. Ashleigh Barty, Australia
3. Karolina Pliskova, Czech Republic
4. Simona Halep, Romania
5. Elina Svitolina, Ukraine
6. Petra Kvitova, Czech Republic
7. Kiki Bertens, Netherlands
8. Serena Williams, United States
9. Aryna Sabalenka, Belarus
10. Madison Keys, United States

BUY SELL

Weekend Box Office Aug. 16-18
1. Good Boys $21M
2. Hobbs & Shaw $14.1M
3. The Lion King $11.9M
4. Angry Birds 2 $10.5M
5. Scary Stories $10M
6. 47 Meters Down $9M
7. Dora and the Lost City of Gold $8.5M
8. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood $7.6M
9. Blinded By the Light $4.5M
10.The Art of Racing in the Rain $4.4M
Source: Box Office Mojo

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BodyArmor Into NCAA
No. 1 Colleges Since '92
Notre Dame Builds Brand
Cancer Drives Home
Men's Hoops Are 'Toxic'

Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#46Ul8rBF4XpB4lo0.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#JZxA5jXY4rCwemgZ.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#JZxA5jXY4rCwemgZ.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#46Ul8rBF4XpB4lo0.99
Channel Chasers

NFL UK 2019
• Oct. 6 Chicago Bears v Oakland Raiders Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
• Oct. 13 Carolina Panthers v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
• Oct. 27  Cincinnati Bengals v Los Angeles Rams Wembley Stadium
• Nov. 3 Houston Texans v Jacksonville Jaguars Wembley Stadium

NFL Mexico 2019
• Nov. 18 Kansas City  Chiefs v Los Angeles Chargers Mexico City Estadio Azteca (ESPN Monday Night Football).

Tuesday
May302017

Q&A: How The Matrix, Strat-O-Matic Helped Jim Murphy Be A Top Sports Handicapper

By Barry Janoff

May 30, 2017: While a segment of sports fans devour statistics such as RBIs, game-winning shots and all-time leading scorers, another segment is devoted to other numbers: Over-Under, points against the spread, parlay, even money and taking the points.

Jim Murphy enjoys the former, but focuses more on the latter.

For more than 25 years, Murphy has written extensively on sports betting, handicapping theory and practice. He has been called upon as an odds-making consultant both domestically and globally by the media to give his opinions and advice not just for sports but also "non-sport novelty bets" that focus on categories including entertainment business, politics, technology and financial markets.

This year alone, his odds have been published by more than 200 media outlets, including USA Today, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, Entertainment Weekly and Bloomberg.

He has set numbers for a wide array of nontraditional events, from the Lingerie Football League and commodity prices to such prop bets as how many people would get "whacked" in the season premiere of The Sopranos.

More recently, he contributed odds advice on the 2016 presidential election, the next James Bond actor, such blockbuster movie releases as Star Wars Rogue One and iPhone sales figures.

His Web site, Sports Betting Experts, currently lists betting odds For The Bachelorette and prop betting odds for the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season, among others.

Murphy also dissected an event that is a hot topic of discussion but which may never happen: a bout between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor.

Is McGregor vs. Mayweather really going to happen? "I doubt it," said Murphy. "No disrespect to McGregor but at its essence this is a match-up between one of the 'pound for pound' best boxers in history and a defensive master against a guy who has never had a professional boxing match."

If the match does happen, Murphy said the latest odds to win have Mayweather as an overwhelming favorite at -2500 (fractional odds are 1/25. That's an implied probability of 96.15%).

Will the Mayweather-McGregor fight happen before 11:59 PM ET on Dec. 31, 2017?
Yes: +600 (6/1 — 14.29%)
No: -750 (2/15 — 88.24%)

NYSportsJournalism spoke with Murphy about the lucrative category of sports betting; the impact of the NFL, NHL and other sports setting up shop in Las Vegas. and the future of sports betting in the U.S.

NYSportsJournalism.com: When did you realize you were good at this and it was something you wanted to do as a profession? When you were in school, could you in your mind handicap which kids would pass and fail tests, or what the over/under would be for your friends’ grades?

Jim Murphy: (Laughs.) Honestly, I wasn’t into this as a kid. I was a fan of sports, hockey more than anything. I also was — and still am — a pro wrestling geek. I watch Japanese pro wrestling, streaming it in the middle of the night from Tokyo. As far as the statistical component of sports, I played Strat-O-Matic and APBA as a kid, which is how I became aware of the statistical moving parts. But I really started to get into it a year after I graduated college.

NYSJ: What happened?

JM:  I was in Portland and kind of bored, not knowing what I would be doing and I found out — I didn’t know this before — that you could bet on NBA games. It fascinated me. All we had in Portland at the time was the Trail Blazers. It was during the Clyde Drexler era. I knew a lot about basketball, having grown up in Salt Lake City when Karl Malone and John Stockton were there, and in Portland all they talked about was basketball. So I thought I could apply myself.

For six months, I did nothing but make bets on paper. Figuring out spreads, that sort of thing. This was before the Internet and social media, so you needed to call the Jack Price Score Phone (a national service where you could get handicapping tips on pro games) with Johnny DiMarco and ‘Statman’ Phil Danielson. (Laughs.) I saw that I had some success and that I was pretty good at it. I told my wife (at the time), who was in culinary school, I want to do it full time. And she said, as long as there’s money coming in, do whatever you want. I figured I would do it if money was coming in and I enjoyed it. And here I am, still doing it.

NYSJ: So was it more of a numbers thing that fascinated you?

JM: The funny thing is that I wasn’t good at math as a kid. I was good at everything else. (Laughs.) I use math on a need-to-know basis. I’m very good at statistical analysis. The way I see sports now is like the scene in The Matrix when Neo gets his butt kicked by Agent Smith, stands up and sees everything in binary code. (Laughs.) So I can’t watch sports like a normal person. But no dark glasses or long leather coat (like Neo wore).

NYSJ: So when you look at games, teams, players and coaches, are you able to see strengths and weaknesses?

JM: I’m good at figuring out the best sources and where to get the best information. I gave lines on Dancing with the Stars. And obviously I’m not an expert on ballroom dancing. But I can look at all the sources of information and gravitate to the knowledgeable ones. It’s the same way in sports. If I’m getting 40 pieces of competing information, I know almost intuitively which ones are the best.

NYSJ: For the NFL, when do you start to get your information?

JM: With any sport, I wait until it gets close to the season. If you start too early, there are too many factors that can change. From a handicapping perspective, you don’t want to put too much extraneous information in your head. The NFL Draft, for example, won’t have an impact for me until they are ready to kick off in September as far as strengths and weaknesses of teams. Right now I’m looking at the NBA Finals, the NHL Stanley Cup. Baseball. Some political odds.

NYSJ: When you are looking at Dancing with the Stars or the Academy Awards, is any of it based on your personal favorites and preferences?

JM: It actually is not based on what I personally like. I look more at the opinion of the marketplace than my own opinion. With the presidential election, if you went by what we, meaning the media, liked, you would have been wrong. I was able to see as far back as September that the polls were not accurate. For me, it was simple. I did a little bit of math as far as the betting odds in individual states, and compare them to the odds I was coming up with. And they didn’t correlate to the polls as far as implied probability. I did some articles talking not that Trump was going to win but that there were enough inaccuracies that there would be things happening that you won’t expect. I saw the election as being closer than everybody else predicted. When I looked state by state, I saw that the slam-dunk predicted for Hillary didn’t add up. So I had to discount my personal opinion when I presented my numbers.

"It’s no secret that the NFL is a control freak, and I feel that their opposition to sports betting is that it’s something they can’t control. They are not getting cut in."

NYSJ: Do you see that being a fault with other people who do what you do, that they put their personal opinions into the equation?

JM: I see that in many cases they pay too much attention to their own opinions. So if they like Movie X, they’ll pick that movie to win an Academy Award. But that makes you a film critic, not an odds-maker. So I take my opinions out of the equation in terms of what I like and don’t like. But I put my instincts into it.

NYSJ: You mentioned The Matrix, but my Hollywood image of what people who are sports handicappers or odds-makers is The Sting with Robert Redford and Paul Newman: That smoke-filled back room with dozens of phones ringing, lots of controlled chaos and a ton of money changing hands. Anything close to the environment in which you work?

JM: (Laughs.) That was real at one point. It’s not real anymore. Today it’s all computers. Algorithms. One of the fascinating components of international sports betting is how much technology there is. Less so in the U.S, because of the legal situation. But there is a lot of action in Europe on the off-shore books on virtual sports, which basically is watching two teams play a video game. Sports people bet on it. But they have their own statistical framework. They say certain players are better than others. Certain teams are better than others. From an intellectual standpoint it’s not much different from handicapping the NBA. Except the league doesn’t really exist.

NYSJ: Do you see eSports as the next big category in handicapping and betting?

JM: A lot of people believe that it will be the place that the next generation of sports bettors will be into. Personally, right now, I see it as a minor sport and don’t pay much attention to it as far as handicapping and placing odds. But watching professionals play it at a high level of competition is very entertaining. It is growing, much in the way the UFC did when people first started to bet on it. It was a niche sport that has now become a strong betting sport.

NYSJ: Las Vegas is still seen by many as the center of betting, even though people can do it any time and any where thanks to computers. What is your opinion about the NFL and NHL establishing franchises there?

JM: Any kind of game-fixing or illegality is less likely to happen in Las Vegas because there are so many people there who watch for that and who really know what’s happening. In Europe, the bookmakers work with the security people in the Premier League, and if they see strange betting patterns, they tip them off. So they have a good working relationship, The NBA, NHL and NFL have seen the writing on the wall and see it’s going to happen whether they want it to or not. Commissioner Adam Silver in the NBA realizes that even if they are not getting cut in, there are a lot of ancillary benefits. Getting more people interested in the NBA, which will help the bottom line. It’s no secret that the NFL is a control freak, and I feel that their opposition to sports betting is that it’s something they can’t control. The NFL knows they are not getting cut in.

Las Vegas Stadium Photo: Manica Architecture

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