PointsBet Online Casino Soft Launches in Pennsylvania

PointsBet announced approval from the PGCB to start offering their online casino in PA, set to go fully live April 14.

PointsBet Casino announced Wednesday they received approval from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board to start offering their online casino in the Keystone State. They’ll be the 18th online casino in the commonwealth. 

The online casino is now live for testing.

PointsBet online casino gets green light to go live in PA

The news comes after PointsBet established operations in Ontario for both gaming options. Pennsylvania will be the fifth North American state or province to open a PointsBet casino. The company also has sportsbooks in 10 states.

“Just a few short months after launching PointsBet in the state, we’re excited to now be able to introduce the Pennsylvania market to our innovative online casino product,” said Aaron O’Sullivan, Pointsbet’s VP of Online Casino Revenue, in a press release.

“At PointsBet, we pride ourselves with our ability to not only deliver our users with the best-in-class sports betting product but the best-in-class casino content as well – creating a holistic PointsBet user experience.”

PointsBet PA plans to complete its soft-launch testing period Wednesday from 2-10 p.m. The newest Pennsylvania casino app should then go fully live on April 14, pending approval. 

PointsBet is a very visible brand in the commonwealth. The company launched a major partnership with NBC Sports in 2020 that allows them to run PA sportsbook odds through many broadcasts.

What can we expect at PointsBet’s Online Casino in PA?

One thing we all can definitely expect from the PointsBet online casino launch is some great bonus opportunities for new players to enjoy.

Here’s how to claim the best available welcome bonuses at PointsBet’s online casino:

  • Sign up for a new account using one of our exclusive links
  • Use promo code BETBONUS 
  • Enjoy a $25 no-deposit bonus & a 100% deposit match bonus, up to $250.
  • This is in addition to the two risk-free bets on the sportsbook side, up to $2,000.

Players can make deposits and withdrawals through online banking or ACH, along with other options. They can also set daily, weekly, or monthly deposit limits.

Pointsbet PA Online Casino Slots

PointsBet online casino comes with a small library of twelve slots:

  • The 100,000 Pyramid
  • Cleopatra
  • Wheel of Fortune Triple Extreme Spin
  • Triple Diamond
  • DaVinci Diamonds
  • Wheel of Fortune Megaways
  • Siberian Storm
  • Wild Fury
  • The Wild Life
  • Wolf Run
  • Treasures of the Pyramids
  • Fortune Coin

PointsBet Table Games in PA

Here are the table games you can play at PointsBet Casino PA:

  • Multi-hand blackjack with surrender
  • Roulette! Classic
  • American Roulette
  • 3 Card Stud ($1 – $1,000)
  • Baccarat ($1 – $1,0000)
  • Three Card Poker
  • Ultimate Texas Hold ‘Em

The casino also features live dealer games, including roulette, baccarat, and multiple versions of blackjack.

PokerStars PA Rolls Out New Rewards Program With Even More To Offer

New PokerStars Rewards: What stayed the same & what has changed? Players can now earn from 15% to up to 33% back in rewards and more.

Player rewards have been a vital aspect of customer retention and the overall success of online gambling sites in Pennsylvania. While online play is preferred by many, there aren’t buffet coupons usually offered at home. Want a cocktail while at a table? Make it yourself.

PokerStars PA, part of the FOX Bet family, has rolled out a new rewards system for their online customers. The tiered program will allow players to earn from 15 to up to 33 percent back in rewards. This comprehensive plan means these rewards can be earned in all wagers, is trackable, and can be tailored to a player’s preferences. 

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New PokerStars Rewards: Key Takeaways

What stays the same?

What has changed?

  • Fixed rewards go from 15% to 33%: 100 points per $1 in rake
  • Chest values are fixed amounts depending on tier: $0.50 – $250
  • Poker challenges: up to 40% additional rakeback

How To Earn PokerStars Rewards Points

Players will start at the Blue Level for rewards. Points are accrued for each dollar wagered at tables and the sportsbook, along with rake in cash games and fees in tournaments. All games are eligible, including high-stakes games.

Here is the format for earning points:

  • Poker & Casino: 100 points earned per $1 of rake paid
  • Sports Betting: 1.7 points per dollar wagered in single bets (spread, money line, etc.)
    • 4.7 points per dollar in multiple/accumulator bets (parlays, round-robin, etc.)
  • Reward points not awarded for bets cashed out with equal to the initial bet amount.
    • If you bet $10 and cash out for $10 – earn no points.
    • If you bet $10 and cash out for more or less than $10 – earn points.

PokerStars Rewards Chest

These points accumulate and allow players to open “reward chests”. These chests have set value based on the level and offer a percentage back on cash wagered.

  • As players bet more, they can fill progress bars and unlock these chests.
  • Players can move up tiers as they continue to wager, which increases payout percentages and amount.
  • Higher levels also mean more chests to open to continue ascending.
  • The highest tier available will pay out 33 percent, or $330, for every $1,000 in wagers, rake, or tournament fees.
  • Chests and the corresponding rewards can expire.
  • PokerStars will personalize the rewards based on games played and players can continue to redeem for StarsCoins.
CHEST VALUE REWARD VALUE TOTAL REWARDS REWARD POINTS REQUIRED RAKE REQUIRED # OF CHESTS
Blue $0.50 15.0% 15.0% 333 $ 3.33 5
Bronze $1.50 16.0% 16.0% 935 $ 9.35 5
Silver $5.00 17.5% 17.5% 2850 $ 28.50 7
Gold $25.00 20.0% 20.0% 12500 $ 125.00 7
Diamond $100.00 25.0% 25.0% 40000 $ 400.00 10
Black $330.00 33.0% 33.0% 100000 $ 1,000.00

SCOOP 2022 Starting in March

PokerStars is launching the new rewards program just days before the start of their Spring Championships of Online Poker (SCOOP). Guess there wasn’t enough madness in March.

  • Instead of waiting until May, the action starts March 25th in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and New Jersey.
  • The Keystone State saw the most prize money awarded last year with $2.6 million.
  • The events will start with smaller buy-in events, like Sit and Go’s.
  • Main Event kicks off April 10th with a $1,000,000 prize up for grabs.

Remembering Villanova’s Historic 1985 Title Run – Underdogs to Cinderella Cats

Villanova Wildcats will try and win the school’s 4th national title. First, let’s look back to 1985 when an 8-seed Villanova team made history.

The calendar has turned to March and that only means one thing for college basketball fans: time for the Madness. In case anyone forgets, Jon Rothstein will tweet it about 14,500 times after every exciting finish. 

As we head towards conference championship season, the only team from the Philadelphia area projected in the field of 68 is the Villanova Wildcats. They’ll be going for the school’s fourth national title. Before the brackets are announced, let’s take a look at the first title run in 1985. 

This was the first tournament to feature 64 teams in the Madness, along with the first time three teams from the same conference made the Final Four. It was also the last time we’ve seen four teams that didn’t represent major football conferences (what has been consolidated into the Power 5 currently) in the last weekend of the season. 

Regular Season

Unlike the two title seasons under Jay Wright, the 1984-85 Villanova Wildcats team never achieved a #1 ranking during the regular season. They managed to get to #4 in early January after a 9-1 start, including beating #5 Syracuse at the Palestra. Things got tougher as they lost to St. John’s and Georgetown in consecutive games. 

Villanova finished 9-7 in the Big East, finishing fourth in the conference, ended with an 85-62 loss at Pittsburgh. The Cats got revenge on the Panthers in the Big East quarterfinals before dropping an 89-74 semifinal to St. John’s. 

Villanova Wildcats Cinderella Run

The tournament committee did Rollie Massimino and his team a favor by putting them on the other side of the bracket as the Big East’s powerhouses. The Cats drew the 8 seed in the Southeast Division (yeah, it was that long ago) and would start against the Dayton Flyers. Of course, they weren’t the only Big 5 team in the tournament. Temple would also get an 8 seed, in the East region, while Penn got the 15 seed in the Midwest.

After knocking off Dayton 51-49, the weekend game at South Bend was against Michigan, the top seed and #2 ranked team in the country. The Cats won 59-55 and advanced to the Sweet 16 in Birmingham, Alabama. 

Villanova Wildcats faced Maryland, the 5 seed, a team that they lost to during the regular season at College Park. 1985 was an odd second weekend of the tournament. They weren’t the lowest seed in the Southeast to make the Sweet 16 – that was Auburn as an 11 seed. That year featured THREE double-digit teams, including Big East rival Boston College (11) and Kentucky (12). 

Nova exacted revenge on the Terps with a 46-43 win (this was the second-to-last season with no three-point line in the game) and faced 2 seed, North Carolina. Surely the bluebloods from Tobacco Road could stop this Cinderella story. Nope. That was Villanova’s biggest win of the tournament, vanquishing the Tar Heels 56-44.

1985 Final Four

Three Big East teams made it to the Final Four in Lexington, Kentucky. Villanova was lucky enough to face the only team that wasn’t in Memphis State. The teams went to halftime tied at 23 but the Wildcats got the better of the Tigers in the second half, winning 52-45

The semifinal on Saturday night was the warm-up act for one of the most anticipated match-ups in tournament history. St. John’s met Georgetown again. The teams split the regular-season games before the Hoyas won the Big East final at MSG. This was the biggest margin of victory between the rivals that year as the defending national champs won 77-59 to face Villanova on April Fools’ Day.

1985 National Championship

Every now and then a network airs the CBS broadcast of the 1985 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship. The game is a study in contrasting styles and a masterpiece of efficient play. Georgetown entered the game overwhelming favorites against a team they beat twice in the regular season. Vegas had the line at 9.5 in favor of the Hoyas. Patrick Ewing was an unstoppable force at center.

Two things stood out in the game. One was Harold Pressley playing most of the game after starter Dwight Wilbur suffered an injury. The other is how well the Wildcats shot the ball. They went 22-28 from the floor, for a shooting percentage of 78.6. However, they also attempted 27 free throws, making 22 as well, compared to Georgetown going just 6 for 8 from the line. 

The game was at times streetfight ugly but high art of basketball. Massimino dueled with John Thompson, a small Italian ball of nerves with wild hair against America’s most prominent African-American coach, tall and collected with a towel over his shoulder. 

1985 Villanova Wildcats Win It All

There were no singular plays that dazzled the fans at Rupp Arena. The visual legacy may be time running out as senior Dwayne McClain pinned the ball against his chest and the hardwood.

The Cinderella Cats got their happy ending. The Big East got a second straight champion and a famous volume in the sport’s lore. Fans in the Delaware Valley could argue for decades how that 85 teams would’ve fared against the likes of Johnny Rogers, Tom Gola, and other Big 5 teams from bygone eras. 

Massimino became the small school on the Main Line’s iconic coach until the designer-suit model cut down the nets in 2016 and 2018. That may have ended the argument over the greatest Big 5 team ever (Nova beat 5 teams that were ranked in the top 5 on their way to the 2016 crown, including three straight #1s).

However, could McClain, Ed Pickney, and that team lock down the very athletic group of Josh Hart, Jalen Brunson, et al, like they did that amazing Georgetown side in April 1985?


Featured image credit: John Swart & Gary Landers – AP

Top 10 Slots You Can Play From Home Thanks To Pennsylvania Online Casinos

Can’t decide which top online slot to play? Here’s a guide to some of the best slots to play at online casinos in the Keystone State.

Online gaming has taken Pennsylvania by storm. While many players do enjoy visiting the commonwealth’s casinos (so much that more will be added), there’s a good segment of the population who prefer playing on computers or mobile devices. Most online casinos do offer some form of comps like traditional venues (and some include opportunities to redeem at resorts across the country).

So where to start? There are SO many different games, with a huge variety of online slots. Go to any page and it can be intimidating to pick from all the various themed games with different payouts, jackpots, etc. Here’s a guide to some of the top-rated options to play in the Keystone State.

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Top Online Slots of 2022

88 Fortunes: This PA online casino game brings the excitement and good luck of the Chinese New Year every month. The game features nine symbols spinning on five reels. Three or more gongs offer free games, while a wild symbol will trigger a series of gold symbols. Get enough gold symbols for a chance to win one of four progressive jackpots. There are 243 different ways to win on the game, with a return to player (RTP) rate of 96 percent.

Play 88 Fortunes now at DraftKings.


Bloodsuckers: For those who like scary movies and True Blood, this is a great option and easily made our list of top online slots. Five reels spin eight symbols with 25 win lines. Vampires appear on Wild symbols and can mean extra payouts, up to 7500x the bet. Three or more bonus symbols trigger the Bonus Game. A possessed bride on Scatter can provide extra winnings and 10 bonus spins. This slots game has a 98 percent RTP.

Try Bloodsuckers at BetRivers PA.


Conan: This NetENT game appears on many of the top online gambling sites in PA. The famous fantasy barbarian once played by Arnold Schwarzenegger includes six reels and four lines of symbols. Explore his homeland of Hyboria with Tower Wilds, Battle Wilds and Mystery Symbols. Face off with Thoth-Amon when all three bonus features activate at once. Scatter Symbols can net up to 50 free spins and let players choose one of three options for the bonus play. The game has an RTP of 96.3 percent.

Play Conan at Unibet Casino.


Dead or Alive: This game brings players back to the Old West. Five reels and three rows with nine paylines to win. Three or more Gun Symbols triggers free spins, which can payout up to 2500x the original bet. Land a few Wanted Posters and get Sticky Wilds that can multiply wins and even earn extra free spins. Those Sticky Wilds can add up to 3000x the original bet. Dead or Alive make our list of top online slots with a 98.6 percent RTP.

Check out Dead or Alive at Borgata Online Casino PA.


Divine Fortune: Head back to ancient Greece and win riches. Divine Fortune features three rows of symbols on five reels that offer 20 paylines. Players can land Falling Wilds to boost payouts. Scatter Symbols offer free spins, up to 12 can be earned on a single spin. Overlay Wilds will add to bonuses already earned. However, the headliner is the Jackpot Bonus. Three different payouts are available, including the Mega Jackpot when all 15 spots are filled with Bonus symbols. Divine Fortune has a 96.6 percent RTP.

Divine Fortune is available at Caesars Online Casino.


Medusa Megaways:  The famed snake-haired monster could turn men to stone, but here she can turn bets into monster payouts. The game features six reels with symbols ranging from standard card values to rings, winged shoes, and even Pegasus. Medusa serves as the symbol in a game with thousands of ways to win (literally over 117,000). Scatter symbols can trigger the extra reel and a bonus spin. Use the Buy Pass to access the Snake Strike for payouts that would make King Midas envious. The game features a main RTP of 96.5, which goes up to 97.6 with the Buy Pass.

Find your treasure at FanDuel Online Casino.


Monopoly Megaways: Of course, who wouldn’t want to play a slot game based on the board game that made the streets of Atlantic City famous decades before casinos arrived in the seaside resort? The game features many elements of the classic Parker Brothers game, from the signature player tokens, to the buildings in Art Deco design that lock in the feel of yesteryear. Featuring six reels and over 100,000 ways to win, players can collect properties, earn bonus spins with Chance, and multipliers on railroads. This might be even more fun than the board game – and doesn’t take nearly as long! Monopoly Megaways features an RTP of 96.5.

Hit the boards & win big bucks at Betway Online Casino.


Raging Rhino: Over a dozen symbols will appear on four rows across six reels, allowing players over 4,000 ways to win. An idyllic tree makes for a captivating wild, while diamonds can trigger up to 50 free spins and major payouts. Raging Rhino offers a 96.2 RTP rate.

Take a safari without leaving home at BetMGM Casino.


Siberian Storm: Yeah, there are likely no conditions that would make one want to visit Siberia, especially in winter. However, this slot offering might be the best look for the tundra since Call of Duty: Black Ops. The staggered reels (3-4-5-4-3 symbols) give players a unique look and offer 720 paylines. Spin for symbols and look for the white tiger as the wild symbol. Watch for the eye of the tiger. Five of these on one spin can trigger bonus rounds, which can accumulate up to 200 free spins. Siberian Storm features an RTP rate of 95 percent. 

Bundle up and play Siberian Storm at FOX Bet Casino PA.


Wheel of Fortune Slots – The long-running game show has created a successful series of slot games (having a big wheel over the reels always helps). This option is the Triple Extreme Spin version. This is another staggered reels game with 19 slots of symbols and 720 ways to win. Of course, the game features fruit, yachts, cars, and other fancy symbols spinning. However, most players just want to get the bonus wheels on paylines, to access the bonus rounds which can mean anywhere from 2x to 5000x of payout from the bonus envelopes. The game offers players an RTP rate of 96.5 percent.

Spin to win at Hollywood Casino PA.

BetMGM PA Offering Points For Casino & Sportsbook Play, Both Online & In-Person

New MGM Rewards program available to BetMGM players in PA. Offers points based on casino & sportsbook play online and in-person.

One of the best rewards programs available to players in Pennsylvania is at BetMGM, and now they are bringing together both worlds, online & on-site casino experiences.

The newly renamed MGM Rewards offers points based on the play of online casino games and PA sportsbook action on top of the points you can also earn at any MGM brick and mortar location. The rewards can then be redeemed at MGM’s locations, like Borgata (for those looking to get out of the house for a change of pace).

Online gaming in PA offers players all the excitement of their favorite games with the convenience of playing at home. However, most people don’t have roving cocktail waitresses or sumptuous buffets at their domiciles. Luckily, the new MGM Rewards program serves as the digital equivalent of comps earned at brick and mortar locations

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Welcome to MGM Rewards

For the first time, non-gaming members will join their gaming counterparts and earn a currency – MGM Rewards Points – connecting BetMGM’s loyalty program throughout the country and providing all members earn perks at resorts from Bellagio, ARIA, MGM Grand, and Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas; to Borgata in Atlantic City; Beau Rivage in Mississippi; and MGM National Harbor in Maryland, amongst many others.

“The enhancements we’ve introduced with MGM Rewards are rooted in feedback shared by our members and allow us to invest in providing members progressively more valuable benefits at each tier. Our unique rewards offer significant incentives for guests to achieve at every level from Sapphire to NOIR,” said Anil Mansukhani, MGM Resorts’ Vice President of Loyalty Marketing.

“With our unparalleled collection of resorts and premier partnerships, MGM Rewards is a superior loyalty rewards program that enhances our members’ experiences nationwide.”

Enhancements make MGM Rewards one of the gaming and entertainment industry’s most competitive loyalty rewards programs. Highlights include:

How to Earn Credits & Enjoy New Rewardsmgm rewards betmgm casino pa

  • MGM Rewards offers greater earning potential with the PA BetMGM online casino and at any MGM Resorts’ brick and mortar locations.
  • Slot players will enjoy more ways to earn as they receive both MGM Rewards Points and Slot Dollars for slot play
  • Table games players can celebrate because they now earn MGM Rewards Points at all MGM Rewards destinations

NEW Superior Benefits:

    • Waived resort fees with direct bookings
    • Late check-out until 4 p.m. 
    • Tier Achievement Travel Credit to Las Vegas
    • Complimentary MGM Rewards concerts in Las Vegas with top-name artists
    • Unmatched perks, including the tier-match benefits with Hyatt Hotels & Resorts as well as free cruises with onboard loyalty benefits when cruising on Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises
    • Streamlined earning rates across the company

Traditional games offer the most straightforward option. Player receive one credit per:

Sports Fans Rejoice

PA Sports bettors can turn their mobile and online wagers into real-world experiences by earning Tier Credits and BetMGM Rewards Points for every wager placed on the  BetMGM sports betting app in PA.

The amount rewarded is based on the type of bet, amount bet, and odds. BetMGM has not released the formula used to determine the payouts. However, here are a few examples we’ve seen in the past:

Bet Type Wager Amount Single/Parlay Odds Base iRPs Earned Tier Credits
Straight Bets $50 Single -100 9.5 9.5
Parlay Bet $25 Parlay +300 20 20
Futures Bet $100 Single +1100 30 30

The points last for 180 days after acquisition. Make sure to check frequently to see if thresholds for various reward opportunities have been reached

The Tiers

BetMGM offers five levels of rewards for players. The placing is based on the number of credits earned over 12 months. Players can redeem their MGM Rewards at any MGM location.

Here’s a rundown of how to earn credits and the various tiers for players:

  • Sapphire: Everyone starts at this level and it offers players some discounts and exclusive opportunities at MGM locations. Points can be used for bonuses, like cash rewards, express comps, and free wagers at the online casino. 
  • Pearl: Earn 25,000 tier credits to reach the next level. This gives players a 10 percent credit bonus on all wagers made online. It also grants free self-parking and premium access lines at the buffets at MGM properties. All active military service members, National Guards, Reservists, and veterans are welcome to join at this tier.
  • Gold: 75,000 credits bump players up to this level. This offers 20 percent bonuses on credits from online wagers. It also means extra benefits at MGM resorts, like complimentary valet parking, priority check-in, and access to special dining reservations. 
  • Platinum: This is rarefied air. Players must earn 200,000 credits to gain this level, which grants 30 percent bonuses to points from online play. This also includes priority access to taxi and valet services, 15 percent off at retail locations on BetMGM properties, late check-outs, one annual suite upgrade for Las Vegas resort stays, and even a free annual cruise for players! (COVID-related restrictions may impact that). Platinum and below players can redeem their points for up to $5,000 in cash rewards.
  • Noir: Invite-only. This is the top-level and means more than 40 percent bonuses on wager-based credits. Players can redeem up to $10,000 in cash rewards. Limo transports between airports and properties, guaranteed hotel and dining reservations, free stays, VIP lounges, all available. We might even see some Noir-level players with Jamie Foxx in ads soon. 

Mastercard Money

Players can also earn rewards with the MGM Rewards Mastercard. Get triple points and tier credits for spending at MGM properties, and double for gas and grocery purchases.

We understand there are a lot of online gaming options in PA. Pennsylvania has become a very competitive marketplace. M Life Rewards certainly offers interesting opportunities for players, along with the chances to redeem rewards at some of the best casinos on the East Coast.


Image credit: Wayne Parry – AP

Em-V-Biid? Odds Continue To Move For 76ers Star

76ers Embiid, best in the NBA: At BetMGM, the Joel Embiid MVP odds line have gone from +3000 to +225 or better in less than 2 weeks

We are witnessing what could be one of the best single-season performances in the history of Philadelphia pro sports. Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid has been playing at a historic level over the past two months, almost single-handedly keeping the Sixers in playoff contention.

People have taken notice. For example, at BetMGM Sportsbook, Joel Embiid’s MVP odds have gone from +3000 on the 15th to +225 or better as of the 31st. 

  • Jan 15: +3000
  • Jan 19: +1200
  • Jan 20: +900
  • Jan 24: +500
  • Jan 26: +325
  • Jan 28: +260
  • Jan 31: +225

Joel Embiid MVP Odds – Look Who’s On Top

Here are the current numbers on Embiid at the leading sports betting apps in PA:

The team has seen injuries and COVID has decimated the lineup, while #1 overall pick Ben Simmons continues to sit out in hopes of a trade. Embiid has somehow managed to elevate his game and help develop the team’s young talent. 

Watching him night after night is like a highly-skilled artist on the highest stage. If there was some way to combine the tear-inducing beauty of Pavarotti’s voice with the physical aspect of Bret Hart in his WWF run, that might be the closest analogy we can make to what #21 does night in, night out.

Joel Embiid is the Best Player in the NBAjoel embiid nba mvp odds

Shaquille O’Neal and former 76ers legend and current NBA Hall of Famer, Charles Barkley, both agree:

“That man right there is playing better basketball than anybody in the world.” – Charles Barkley

“The baddest guy in the league right now is Joel Embiid.” – Shaq

This season, he has averaged 28.9 points per game, along with 4.3 assists, both career highs. The play goes beyond the quantitative. He is a big man who can bang inside, shoot the mid-range, and fire from outside. 

The biggest knock against Embiid has been his availability. Last year he finished second to Nikola Jokic in Denver.

Voters penalized him for the injuries and “load management” games he skipped. This season, without Simmons, Embiid has been in 37 of 49 games, with his longest absence linked to COVID-19 in November.

Of course, it helps when LeBron James sits out a game and doesn’t run the risk of undercutting Embiid on a dunk like he did last year in Philly, which cost the center some games in 2021.

Embiid got that receipt, don’t worry fam.

Against the Los Angeles Lakers, Embiid had a poor shooting night (9-20) and even missed five free throw attempts. However, he finished with seven assists, the most since he had seven against San Antonio. He’s become a facilitator, which has helped the development of second-year guard Tyrese Maxey, along with other role players.

What happens to Embiid’s MVP odds now that we’re in the era in NBA when every superstar i practicing load management?

Only time will tell.

What’s Next for Embiid and the Sixers?

While the Sixers are fifth in the East, they’ve tied with the Brooklyn Nets for tops in the Atlantic and only two games behind the Miami Heat for first in the conference. This is going to be a wild finish after the All-Star Break. If Embiid stays healthy, the Sixers can easily gain ground, win a second division crown, and certainly make a run. If he stays healthy, he will certainly earn the MVP award. 

When (or if)  he does win, it will be the third time a Philly basketball player has won MVP in the same twelve-month span as another athlete in town did as well. In 1960, Wilt Chamberlain won as a Warrior, followed by Eagles QB Norm Van Brocklin sweeping the NFL MVP rankings (there were multiple awards given out by various groups at that time) following the team’s third league championship. Mike Schmidt won consecutive National League MVP honors in 1980 and 1981, bookending Julius Erving’s award in 1981. Could Joel join his buddy Bryce Harper in that rare pantheon?


Featured image credit: Adam Hunger – AP

The 5 Craziest Things We Heard at the Eagles End-of-Season Press Conference

Nick Sirianni and GM Howie Roseman met with the press after Eagles were eliminated from the playoffs. And it was… entertaining?

The Eagles 2021 season is over, thanks to an underwhelming performance Sunday afternoon in Tampa in the Wild Card round. Wednesday morning, head coach Nick Sirianni and general manager Howie Roseman met with the press to discuss the campaign and the future of the Philadelphia Eagles.

As far as how an Eagles presser in Philadelphia goes, this one was overall fairly tame. No proclamations of impressive accomplishments, no shocking admissions, no unorthodox analogies we can turn into social media fodder to fill the offseason. Great job guys.

However, there were some things that we found hard to believe/swallow in the 35-minute duration between the two and reporters.

Here are the five that stood out most:

Trading Assets for an “Elite QB”

Jimmy Kempski offered this scenario with the second question out the gate of this Eagles presser after Roseman stated the franchise was committed to starting QB Jalen Hurts for next season.

Kempski asked, “because you have extreme draft capital for this year, you will be in a better position than other teams to trade for an elite-level QB should one become available” and if “one became available at the right position at the right cost, would you make that move?”

As I pondered the scenario where the Eagles go for a third different starting QB in as many seasons, one image keeps coming to mind: a falling knife. This is a term my father taught me in the 90s when discussing stock prices and trying to buy one in freefall at or near the bottom.

I’m not a stock trader but I’ve kept the analogy in mind and used it in other situations, like trying to assess people and various situations. 

The Eagles will select 15th, 16th, and 19th in April. The idea of moving those picks to get a former Super Bowl MVP seemed tempting before we saw what Hurts could do. He has so far convinced his bosses to keep him another season.

If an “elite QB” becomes available, is that a depreciating asset, like Russell Wilson who struggled against the Washington defense on a Monday night, scoring just 15 points in a loss, less than the Eagles tallied in both victories? 

Maybe one of the top PA sports betting apps will write up some odds on the Eagles QB…

This question had a second part that warrants further consideration. The cost of the QB move is more than picks. It also would probably come with a heavy cap cost. Sportrac has the Eagles with about $12 million currently in cap space for next season. Each of those three picks comes with a cap cost of about $3 million. A new QB would add tens of millions to the roster salary, something we know from experience Roseman doesn’t do. 

Roseman spoke about the continuing rebuild and how the draft assets will go towards the process of hosting playoff games and making another deep run. They’ll probably need to replace Brandon Brooks, the All-Pro guard who might retire, Derek Barnett, a first-round pick who will likely walk, and have other positions of need that merit more consideration than taking a flier on an aging gunslinger.

Are They Actually Keeping Reagor?

During this Eagles presser, Dave Zangaro brought up second-year wide receiver Jalen Reagor, who struggled through the year and muffed a punt early in the second half in Tampa that all but sealed the team’s fate.

Roseman claimed the team sat down with him and mentioned “things [Reagor] needs to develop, things we can help him develop, continue his growth…” while also discussing the decision-making process that led the team to select another small wide receiver they considered fast, over Justin Jefferson, who is making pass-catching in this league look a lot easier than Reagor does and would be really, really nice to have as a big target for Hurts.

Former players have mixed results as personnel leaders. However, here is a situation where the team needs someone in the room who has done this before. Some wideouts struggle early then blossom into stars.

Many people have not seen the potential in the first-round pick from TCU. His confidence doesn’t look great on the field. The team has some legendary WRs still close to the NovaCare Complex. Would it help to add another in Terrell Owens to mentor Reagor?

Reagor enters 2022 with a $3.6 million cap number and over double that in dead cap space. Cutting him would be costly but it might be best for both parties. Honestly, the team needs to find Hurts a taller receiver that can occupy secondary players and offer a second long reach besides Dallas Goedert, especially in the red zone.

“I really, really like this staff”

Nick Sirianni gave us this gem in the Eagles presser when Jeff McLane asked him about his coaching staff. McLane asked if the first-year head coach wants to retain all his underlings, notably defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon, who is under consideration for head coaching jobs.

Yes, people want the guy who gave multiple weeks of 80 percent-plus completion percentages to run a team. Are there better candidates out there? Certainly. Would this be addition by subtraction for the Eagles? Likely.

The Eagles finished 11th in yards allowed per game but were second to last with just 29 sacks. They collected just 16 takeaways in 17 games. They struggled against veteran QBs, especially in the first half of the season. 

Like many of the coaches, Gannon made some adjustments and a weaker back half yielded more success. Yes, Sirianni is a new head coach and was complimentary of the crew he assembled.

Would keeping the same group helps him acclimate through the offseason? Probably. However, if the team wants to grow, they need to consider all options, including improving at coaching positions.

JJ Arcega-Whiteside, the “Enforcer”

Part of Philadelphia’s sports personality comes from our fondness for tough guys. Play hard and defend your teammates, you’re revered. The Flyers had Dave Schultz (among dozens), the Sixers had Rick Mahorn, the Phillies had Shane Victorino (yeah, no one wanted to mess with that hothead). The Eagles have… a guy from Stanford they drafted in the second round who blocks well?

In going through the wide receiver corps, a group Sirianni said he “really likes” and “is very pleased with this group”, he cited Arcega-Whiteside as a “guy that would go out and get blocks when we needed him to, pave the way for the #1 rushing offense in the NFL.”

That’s great. He does block well on the edge. Receiver blocking is key to running game success at any level. Doing so with the guy we took instead of DK Metcalf is waving a white flag.

Sirianni didn’t rule out “adding a playmaker”, which the offense could probably use. I’m not sure if he’ll stand pat but the group is cap-friendly for now.

GM Compliments HC

I didn’t get to watch the press conference live, since I’m not a full-time reporter anymore. I got to watch the YouTube archived video at night. A reporter asked Roseman to evaluate Sirianni, and we got this freeze frame, which belongs in the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

https://twitter.com/CerinoRoyale/status/1483981303649390601

Roseman was, obviously, effusive in praising the first-year head coach. Sirianni deserves credit for the midseason adjustments that led to further success. I thought the Week 1 win against Atlanta actually worked against him, as the Eagles carved up the Falcons with short passing plays, instead of running more as they did later in the year. 

Of course, Roseman somewhat credited his own intuitions in the pick by saying “some of those things that you think you know when you’re interviewing someone but you don’t really get until you’re part of it were incredible,” citing Sirianni’s communication skills.

Roseman also asserted that the coach is still developing and “he’s going to get better and better as he sees more things and more experience.” Following Roseman expressing his desire to help Sirianni continue to develop, the two shared a fist bump and smile. As much as we love chaos in this town, it was nice to see, it after a turbulent January last year.

NFL Divisional Round Betting Odds

Looking at the Eagles Postseason Odds After Week 16

On the first day of Christmas, the Eagles gave to me…Control of their playoff destiny.

On the first day of Christmas, the Eagles gave to me… Control of their playoff destiny!

It was ugly at times, depressing at others, but overall enjoyable and got the job done. No, not Christmas with in-laws. But what are the Eagles playoff chances?

The Philadelphia Eagles took a major step forward towards the 2021 postseason Sunday with a 34-10 pasting of a dysfunctional New York Giants team.

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Eagles Playoff Chances

Currently, the Eagles have a 72 percent chance to make the playoffs entering Week 17 on sportclubstats.com and a 68 percent likelihood on ESPN.

  • The Birds now sit at 8-7 and are in the lead for the final wildcard spot with two weeks to play.
  • For a team that sat 3-6 just seven weeks ago, clinching a playoff spot a week before the season ends appeared implausible.
  • However, if the Eagles win next week in Washington, the Vikings lose in Green Bay, and either the Saints drop to Carolina or the 49ers win over the Texans next Sunday, that will complete the NFC side of the postseason bracket. 

Surprisingly, only one of the major PA sports betting apps have “To Make the Playoffs” markets open on Monday, the 27th. Mind you, there are only six spots of the 14 currently clinched, with five on the NFC side.

No one has been eliminated from contention in the AFC North. Even had the Dolphins lost on Monday, there would still be 12 teams in contention for the final six AFC spots.

  • DraftKings has priced the Eagles at Yes: -250 and No: +200.

Yes, the Eagles have feasted on inferior competition during their current three-game win streak. Yes, it probably should be six straight but for that disastrous outing against the Giants that appeared to be happening again during Sunday’s lackluster first half. They don’t count style points for postseason qualification. Just win the games.

Is Jalen Hurts Ready For This?

One thing has stood out to me with quarterback Jalen Hurts’ play in the two games he won in five days. For a first-year starter to come back from missing time due to injury, it’s key to look for adjustments in play. It appears he has taken a step forward with making throws to the sidelines, or at least outside the numbers.

Hurts made some impressive throws to tight windows against Washington and added a few more against New York. Of course, the highlight catches came from his college teammate Devonta Smith, first in the early stages against Washington, then the second-half score that seemed to seal the Giants’ fate on Sunday.

It helps to have a receiver with incredible body control, which obviously boosts confidence. 

Throws outside the numbers to Dallas Goedert, Jalen Reagor, and others are a necessary step to the evolution of the Eagles offense. For a run-heavy team like Philly, having that ability to spread the field and challenge boundary defenders gives the Eagles balance and more options.

Is that safety creeping towards the box to stop the run? Maybe he thinks twice if two or more receivers are stacked on a side. 

Getting to the playoffs would be a huge gratification for Hurts and rookie head coach Nick Sirianni. However, for the team to do ANYTHING in the playoffs, they must execute. No more drops. Limit the penalties and missed tackles.

Hurts must protect the ball when scrambling (he may still be favoring that ankle with his decisions to stay in the pocket). If they make it, it’s likely a trip to Dallas in a 2-7 match-up. The Cowboys are balanced and seem to have their defensive issues from last year solved.

A postseason win in Big D would help solidify Hurts’ incumbency and perhaps convince the team to build around him, instead of bringing in an aging, more established name under center. 

Bet Building: FanDuel Continues to Add To Features With Same-Game Parlay Plus (SGP+)

With FanDuel sportsbook Same Game Parlay Plus (SGP+) can add bets from other games and multiple sports into your single game parlay.

FanDuel has built their sportsbook to the highest-grossing option in many states, including Pennsylvania. They did so with excellent technology, attention to customer service, and intriguing promotions.

With the holidays and stretch run on the NFL season in sight, FanDuel Sportsbook has rolled out the next option to give players a chance to build unique wagers for even bigger payouts – Same Game Parlay+.

FanDuel was the first American sportsbook to allow players to build parlays with the spreads, totals, and props of one game. Now the bets can go across different leagues, sports, and continents.

What is a parlay?

A parlay is a wager placed on two or more events. Every “leg” of the parlay must win for the parlay to hit.

FanDuel Same Game Parlay Plus

The Same Game Parlay+ lets players add legs across the board, including elements from the same games. With the builder on the book, odds add up and can mean big payoffs.

How does Same Game Parlay+ work?

  • Go to the “same game parlay ” tab of the first game you want to wager on
  • Select multiple bets from the first game
  • Add more bets from other games with the “SGP” label.
  • After each leg has been selected, decide how much you want to bet.

Same Game Parlay+ example

Jets +1: -112
1st Half Total – Under 20.5: -110

So far, the total is +245.

Now let’s add some NBA action.

Pacers -7: -106
Denver -3.5: -108

Now we’re up to +1193.

Arsenal Moneyline at Norwich: -240
Under 2.5 goals: +106

We’re now up to +4113. So a $10 bet would cash for over $410.

This is just a sampling of what is available. When going through the games and offerings, look for the SGP icon on a prop. The wagers can be added to the betslip and the site will calculate the prices. Remember, the more legs added to the parlay, the more unlikely it is to cash. Always bet responsibly.

Lead image Reed Hoffmann/AP

Top Progressive Jackpots Currently at PA Online Casinos

The holiday season is coming to a close, but Pennsylvania casinos are still providing players with amazing jackpot opportunities. Some of the best progressive slots have built major payouts that’ll make any season feel special.

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Here are five of the best available in the Keystone State, and their current available top jackpots:

Jackpot Shores at Unibet PA

Jackpot Shores at Unibet PA provides a little vacation to the beaches of yesteryear (sounds nice at the start of winter) with retro-design graphics and the hits of the past. The jackpot starts at $100,000 and keeps growing. The slots offer five reels with three rows of action, offering 27 lines to get winning symbols.

Players can earn free spins, Wild Symbols, and Bonus Rounds. However, the big action comes with the Wheel Round. Three jackpots are up for grabs, including the six-figure Mega Jackpot.

Current Jackpot: $344,000+

Divine Fortune at FanDuel Casino

Like Greek mythology or history? Divine Fortune at FanDuel Casino takes players to the land of Zeus, columns, and Socrates. The game features five reels and three rows with 20 paylines of action. Spin the reels and see the symbols, from the letters of face cards to fearsome creatures like Medusa and minotaurs.

However, like the famous Herakles (yes, we use the traditional spelling here), the sight of Pegasus will save the day. This game includes three jackpots, including the mega progressive that will make winners feel like King Midas.

Current jackpot: $75,000+

Mercy Of The Gods at Caesars Casino

Prefer the pyramids and deserts of Egypt to the islands and Parthenon of Greece? Check out Mercy of the Gods with Caesars Casino. Three rows on five reels offer players 20 paylines to win. Symbols vary from playing cards to falcons and even King Tut himself.

Wild symbols can boost payouts, while the Eye of Horus can offer free spins. However, three golden hearts will allow players a chance to win one of three jackpots, including the mega progressive that can offer a fortune even a pharaoh would covet.

Current jackpot: $79,000+

Cash Machine at DraftKings Casino

Cash Machine at DraftKings Casino is a great game for fans of simpler, more straightforward slot machines. It’s three reels, one line, that’s all. Bet one, two, or all three reels on the bank note-looking graphics. Spin the reels and if numbers land, collect the amount.

If those numbers hit, that can mean thousands for players. “Sticky Zeroes” can score big win after big win in succession. Players on DraftKings can wager $5 or more right now and qualify for a 100,000 DK Dollars jackpot.

Current Jackpot: $100,000

China Shores at BetRivers Casino PA

We’re only a few weeks away from the Lunar New Year so why not take a trip to China? China Shores at BetRivers PA gives players a chance to ride the reels and win with pandas and symbols.

Five reels and three rows mean 30 paylines for lanterns, letters, and opportunities for free spins. The game also features a progressive jackpot that can bring many riches.

Current jackpot: $50,000+