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Keeler: Jerry Jeudy and the Broncos are huge hits with Colorado sports gamblers, too
4th May, 12:25Once he looked at Sunday's numbers, a half-dozen things from Colorado's first weekend of legal sports gambling stood out to Johnny Avello:
"One of the things I did find interesting was the Lakers were one of the higher team bets (in Colorado) as far as handle," Avello, director of race and sportsbook operations at DraftKings, told the Post. "Obviously, you have some Lakers fans in that area."
Hey, the cardinal rule of sports wagering, which became legal here last Friday, is to bet with your head and not your heart. Then again, what fun is that?
When it came to futures bets, the No. 1 teams in terms of betting handles -- as in, total money wagered -- and number of bets taken in Colorado via Draft Kings were pretty much local across the board:
To win the Super Bowl -- Broncos on handle, Broncos on most bets;
To win the Stanley Cup -- Avs on handle, Avs on most bets;
To win the World Series -- Rockies on handle, Rockies on most bets;
To win the NBA Finals -- Lakers on handle; Nuggets on most bets;
To win the NFL MVP -- Lamar Jackson on handle; Lock on most bets;
To win the NFL Offensive ROY -- Jeudy on handle; Jeudy on most bets.
The North American teams with the most handle among Coloradoans over the weekend? The Broncos (again) at No. 1, followed by the Avalanche and the Dallas Cowboys.
"You can't even compare it to (when) you had all these other major sports going," Avello said. "But just to be able to take wagers, any kind of wagers on those things, is good news.
"We all know that everything's going to resume here. Whether it's in the next month or the next four months, it's going to happen. And when it does, you guys are on board and full speed ahead."
Until then, like a lot of things, sports betting here is going to get weird. Table tennis. Soccer in Belarus. Darts. The Chinese Professional Baseball League. When we reached out to three online services -- DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetRivers.com -- to inquire about the first weekend of Colorado sports bets, this is what they shot back:
* Chauncey Billups placed the first legal wager on BetRivers.com Friday morning, dropping $100 on Jeudy to win NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year at +2000.
* The largest FanDuel bet was $882 on the Cowboys to win the Super Bowl at +1700, with a payout of $15,000.
* The largest FanDuel payout to a single customer was $1400, on a $500 bet in the Torpedo Belaz vs FC Minsk soccer match in Belarus.
* The largest BetRivers.com wager was $1,310 on the under -- 14.5 runs! -- in the Chinese Professional Baseball League in Taiwan clash between the Rakuten Monkeys and the Chinastrust Brothers. The Monkeys prevailed, 9-3, cashing out at $2,397.96.
* The first-ever beat on the FanDuel app in Colorado was $11 for a 10-leg parlay on table tennis. Only seven of the 10 bets won.
In Colorado, table tennis rules right now, even if it doesn't always pay. Those bets accounted for almost 53% of the first 52 hours of in-state wagering on BetRivers.com, followed by action on darts (10.7) and baseball (8.2).
"Of course, we don't have the content that we'd like to have," Avello said. "But what we're doing is pretty good. We're happy with what we have because there's nothing else out there. In that context, it's not perfect. It's not bad.
"And in light of what we're able to offer right now, yeah, I think it was good. It shows me that the people from there are willing to look at other alternative sports."
Just don't expect them abandon an old friend. When FanDuel asked, Will the Broncos Make the Playoffs?, 97% of the weekend handle was on "Yes." These days, if you can't trust your heart, trust your gut.