Sunday, July 26, 2020

MLS fails to leave a TV mark

Don Garber and MLS rushed back to playing because they wanted to be the first "team sport" to be on TV again since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Except they weren't, and their ignorance created a blind spot that has potentially cost them millions of dollars and exhausted irreplaceable resources.

The first miss was the fact that the NWSL was the first team sport in the United States to get started again. Regardless of interest (their ratings are inching closer to MLS on similar outlets), the shine off "first back" was gone amongst US soccer fans by the time it was first kick down in Orlando for MLS.

The second miss was all the soccering going on in Europe. The Bundesliga was the first to get going, almost a month before MLS. Shortly thereafter, it was the ever-popular Premier League in England. While they were playing games, MLS was wrestling with positive coronavirus tests and sending teams home.

With all this, it shouldn't be a surprise that MLS TV viewership was at, if not slightly lower than, normal. 

Most Viewers:

DATETEAMSNETWORKTIMEViewers (000)
7-8-20ORLANDO/MIAMIESPN8:00 PM464
7-12-20KANSAS CITY/MINNESOTAESPN8:00 PM333
7-10-20SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC/SAN JOSEESPN9:00 PM319
7-18-20LAFC/LA GALAXYESPN10:26 PM296
7-18-20PORTLAND/HOUSTONESPN8:00 PM266


The Bottom (took out TUDN):

DATETEAMSNETWORKTIMEViewers (000)
7-22-20REAL SALT LAKE/KANSAS CITYESPN9:00 AM127
7-11-20CINCINNATI/COLUMBUS CREWFS111:00 PM104
7-20-20MIAMI/NEW YORK CITY FCESPN9:00 AM102
7-23-20LA GALAXY/HOUSTON DYNAMOFS18:00 PM96
7-17-20KANSAS CITY/COLORADO RAPIDSESPN28:00 PM92

If you think back to when ESPN aired the Michael Jordan documentary, you may recall that a frustrated MLS dropped its slow news bleed of layoffs and salary cuts and went into full "PLAY GAMES AT WHATEVER COST" mode.

Now that the results are in we know that there's nothing here. No pent up demand. No curious onlookers. No massive thirst for just any team sport.

MLS has now moved on to the knockout stage of this tournament, but with the NBA, WNBA, MLB, and NHL starting up again, these numbers will only continue to drop.

Almost immediately after the first few TV ratings came rolling in, Don Garber announced that the league was now open to private equity ownership across multiple franchises. The timing wasn't a coincidence. 

To my knowledge, Garber did not give another in-game / on-air interview after the first game.

Friday, July 24, 2020

Group Stage Cash Out, MLS

The MLS is Back group stages wrapped up yesterday and with that, I am going to FAKE cash out from my FAKE betting extravaganza.

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+$189.71
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At the end of the 36 game group stage, I got 13 games right. I reckon that sounds pretty normal, but where I started to hit my groove was after the first round of games. Once I got a look at the teams, I had a compass. In the second half of the group stage, I was 10 of 18.

3/18: First 18 games
10/18: Second 18 games

BetMGM also started getting things more correct. Early games saw favorites dropping like flies, but as thing marched on, betMGM got a good feel for things.

WHAT'S NEXT

Not sure. Knockout games at a neutral site doesn't sound like an easy thing to FAKE bet on. MLS is notoriously wonky. I've been all over this league for over 10 years. MLS also has a problem trying to engineer results. Late penalties, tons of extra time for teams that draw eyeballs. It happens.

Looking forward to getting back to player evaluations, TV ratings, etc.




Thursday, July 23, 2020

YOUR MLS FAKE BET today

Only 3 group stage games left in the MLS is Back tournament of pandemic activities. Two, have heavy favorites.

Chicago Fire-1891.53$15.00
Draw3504.50
Vancouver4755.75
LA Galaxy1502.50
Draw3204.20$5.00
Houston Dynamo1402.40
LAFC-1671.60$20.00
Draw2903.90
Portland Timbers4005.00

Chicago? Fine. Vancouver are in shambles, but the Fire have a nice long history of not being trusted. We'll see. New day perhaps. Galaxy and Houston could go anywhere. Mid table nobodies at this point.

LAFC might be able to find some defensive consistency tonight against Portland. Even if they don't, they have the talent to just outscore you.

I'm 6 of the last 10 games. All my fake bets are small.

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+$203.71
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Wednesday, July 22, 2020

MLS is Moving right along

Good Morning. Three MLS is Back games today to FAKE BET on.

Real Salt Lake2603.60
Draw2703.70
Sporting KC1002.00$10.00
FC Cincinnati2903.90
Draw2253.25
NY Red Bulls1052.05$20.00
Colorado Rapids2003.00
Draw2903.90
Minnesota1152.15$20.00

Not a whole lot interesting here. The Red Bulls need to show they aren't hot garbage and I think they will. Minnesota is likely better than betMGM has them.

Yesterday I was 1/3. My last 10 is stellar with 7 correct.

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+$223.71
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Tuesday, July 21, 2020

3 MLS Games Today

Full slate of MLS games today. All of them are expected to be tight.

Toronto1552.55$10.00
Draw2603.60
New England Revs1602.60
Atlanta United1902.90
Draw2603.60
Columbus Crew1352.35$25.00
Montreal Impact1752.75
Draw2403.40$10.00
DC United1352.35
9:00 AM
Toronto FC v. Revs: Top spot is up for grabs. I think Bruce Arena is doing his best with a team that isn't that strong. TFC has talent all over, just a matter of want.

8:00 PM
Atlanta United v. Columbus Crew: Caleb Porter has expressed interest in winning this tournament a couple times. He'll likely rest a couple starters and news on their starting CB is he is out for the remainder of the year. But Atlanta is such a mess right now. Crew should win this one.

10:30 PM
Montreal v. DC United: Nothing on the line here.

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+184.91
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Here's a look at my picks by match:

1. X
2. X
3. X
4. X
5. X
6. Correct
7. X
8. X
9. X
10. X
11. X
12. X
13. X
14. Correct
15. (no pick)
16. X
17. Correct
18. X
19. X
20. Correct
21. Correct
22. X
23. Correct
24. Correct
25. Correct
26. Correct
27. Correct

Monday, July 20, 2020

MLS is Betting in a Hurry

It's 8:30 AM on a Monday morning and MLS has a game kicking off in 30 minutes, so let's make this fake bet quick!

9:00 AM EST
+185 Miami 
+125 NYCFC
Note: My understanding is that one of these teams needs to win by multiple goals just to have a chance to make the knockout round. I'm not even sure either team WANTS to make it. Neither have a win. NYC has been favored in their previous games and lost. Favored here... I'll just ride with them again.

8:00 PM EST
+150 Philly
+170 Orlando
Note: Another game where there isn't really much to play for, just the opposite side of the spectrum. Both are through to the bracket round. Orlando can win the group with a draw. I'll go with that. 

I'm not fake betting much on either game.

Riding a hot streak. Correctly picked 5/6, 6 of the last 10.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Things Lookin' Up, MLS Betting

I'm still sticking with my MLS is Back FAKE betting spree. There are things I need to get too. Namely, how TV ratings are really going stale and that they didn't get the bump they expected. Alas, I shall get to that soon. Maybe when the knockout rounds start. For now, I'm absorbing knowledge on sports and soccer betting. 

ON TOP

I've correctly picked 4 of the last 8 and 5 of the last 10 after starting an astonishingly bad 1 of 13. The early hole I was in has been erased and I'm about +$32 up (all my bets are around $25, save for the $100 I put on the Crew over Cincy).

TODAY'S GAMES

8:00 PM EST
+145 Chicago Fire
+165 San Jose Earthquakes
Note: That's some odd confidence in Chicago. They did seem spirited in their first match. Something strange is going on with San Jose, admittedly. They've been in Orlando the longest, I heard. Even still. I like San Jose. But not overly confident about it.
 
10:30 PM EST
-162 Seattle Sounders
+425 Vancouver
Note: Seattle. That's as heavy a favorite as you'll see in MLS. It'd take a red card or some natural event for Vancouver to win. They are dysfunctional.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Getting Better, Me and Fake Betting

Yesterday I got 2/3 games right (FAKE BETTING) and would have been all three had Ben Olsen started Federico Higuain. This puts me back in the positive, finally. I've correctly picked 4 out of the last 7. Seems good. Is that good?

Two more games today...

8:00 PM EST
Portland Timbers +115
Houston Dynamo +210
Quick Note: Houston was in a wild one with LAFC the last outing. 3 goals? I like that against a dull Timbers side.

10:30 PM EST
LAFC -143
LA Galaxy +350
Quick Note: LAFC needs to work on that backline, but shouldn't be much of an issue with the Galaxy. Wrap up Chicarito and this may be an easy one for LAFC.

Friday, July 17, 2020

Morning MLS Cup of Wrong Advice

Yesterday saw two out of three betMGM favorites win. Finally. After only 2 favorites winning in the first 10 MLS is Back matches, we now have 4 winning the last 7 matches (I missed gathering info on game 15, VAN v. SJ).

It makes sense that favorites are winning a bit more as we now have more info on how teams are emerging from the pandemic black box.

My own personal record (FAKE BETTING) is 3/18 and -$47.38. However, I'm improving like MGM. I'm 2 out of the last 4.

TODAY'S GAMES

For the first time in this tournament, MLS has scheduled 2 games at the same time. Why? Not sure. Probably an ESPN thing. Regardless.

1. DC United v. New England Revs
Favorite: Revs. Line is fairly close right now. I think it's a simple as whether or not Federico Higuain starts for DC. If so, DC probably has a draw or win here?

2. Sporting KC v. Colorado Rapids
Favorite: KC. Clear favorite. MLS has so many teams that just don't matter. It's not surprising that these two are getting shuffled to ESPN2 while DC and New England play.

3. Real Salt Lake v. Minnesota United
Favorite: Minnesota. It's thin. I have no idea on this one. Neither team can be trusted and the line is pretty much a toss up. Since it's late, maybe Salt lake has the advantage.