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Feds sign off on sports betting and online gaming in Connecticut

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Thursday afternoon, Governor Ned Lamont said the federal government has signed off plans for sports betting and online gaming in the state of Connecticut. Gov. Lamont tweeted: “I thank U.S. Indian Affairs for approving these revisions, as well as the efforts of the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot Tribes.”

The first step of legalizing sports betting in the state was obtaining full approval from the Native American tribes. Nowadays, Mohegan Tribal Nation is partnered with FanDuel. Two of the other most popular sportsbooks in the state are MyBookie and Bovada.

Lamont also posted: “This critical step in the process of modernizing our gaming landscape here in Connecticut ensures that our state will have a competitive, nation-leading marketplace for wagering both in-person and online.”

In a legislation bill signed by Lamont, he granted master licenses for sports wagering, casino gambling and lottery betting on May 7, 2021. However, in the minds of some gamblers, this is taking longer than expected for those who want to participate in all types of sports betting.

“Today’s announcement puts CT on the cusp of providing a modern, technologically advanced gaming experience competitive with our neighboring states.” The U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs have given final approval of the gaming compacts, involving the Mohegan Tribe, Mashantucket Pequot Tribe and the state.

Before this news, sports betting and online gaming were already approved via the Connecticut Lottery, Mashantucket Pequot Tribe and Mohegan Tribe. Though, regulations are different. It takes more time.

The Department of Consumer Protection (DCP)

Regulations were first proposed by the Department of Consumer Protection (DCP). Fortunately, the General Assembly has now signed off on these said regulations. Sports betting vendors, such as DraftKings and FanDuel, successfully reached deals with state businesses.

Without the federal sign-off, sports betting would have been less practical and widespread throughout the state. In other words, it would have created awkward experiences for first-time gamblers. As for the good news, regulated sports betting is coming soon.

As of today, the DCP is allowed to pursue licensing. While the state failed to acquire final approval before the start of the 2021 NFL season, Gov. Lamont is foreseeing both sports betting and online gaming will be available next month in October.

Preseason for the 2021-22 NBA season begins on Oct. 3rd. Plus, the regular season will start on Oct. 19th. Last Tuesday, a legislative committee approved state regulations for legalized sports betting and online gambling. This is a step in the right direction.

Mashantucket Tribe and the Foxwoods Resort Casino

Moreover, the Mashantucket Tribe is in the process of implementing their new sportsbook at the Foxwoods Resort Casino in October. The casino is located in the Tanger Outlets Foxwoods, which is in Ledyard, Connecticut. Rodney Butler, chairman of the Mashantucket Tribal Nation, is willing to relocate to another building in the meantime, considering they are ready right now.

Additionally, the Tribe has been partnered with DraftKings for about a year now. On Dec. 13, 2020, DFS contests began in the state. The sportsbook is focusing on Connecticut for now. DFS is also available in Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Maine.

Considering it’s based in Boston, the sportsbook clearly has strong lobbying power in the state. The DraftKings Foxwoods app will be accessible for downloads in a few weeks.

Nevertheless, the Tribe’s main focus right now is obtaining their license from the DCP. Butler announced, “We think we can be live in the next two weeks and my new target is the third week of the NFL season if everything lines up. But it really relies on the licensing process at this point and how fast we can get through that.”

Furthermore, the Connecticut Lottery granted Sportech the ability to utilize 10 of the 15 retail locations in the New England state. Sportech is a licensed operator that offers responsible gaming entertainment in Connecticut. They are also an international betting technology business that was founded in 1979. Their head quarters are located in London, England.





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Luke Kennard Ready For Second Season With Clippers – Basketball Insiders

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Last season, Los Angeles Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue kept imploring Luke Kennard to be more aggressive in looking for his shot.

His sentiments were echoed by Kennard’s teammates throughout the season. A newcomer to the team after spending his first three seasons with the Detroit Pistons, Kennard often looked timid for the majority of the season.

With the Pistons, he had developed a reputation as being a sniper from three-point range. He shot 39 percent or better from distance in each of his three years. But he had also begun to develop a playmaking game. Before he was traded to the Clippers a year ago, Detroit head coach Dwane Casey had been experimenting with Kennard in a facilitator role.

But when he arrived in LA, he seemed a little too eager to settle into that playmaking role and he often passed up shots that he probably should have taken. It can be an adjustment for players to figure out their role in a new system, and perhaps that was the case for Kennard. Maybe he just needed a little bit of prodding from his new coach and teammates.

Whatever the case was, however, the playoffs changed all of that. With the Clippers being pushed to the brink by the Dallas Mavericks in the first round, they found themselves in a Game 7. And it was Kennard who stepped up to the plate and helped power them into the second round.

After racking up four DNP’s through the first six games of the series, Kennard scored 11 points on 4-6 shooting, 3-5 from three-point range, in 14 minutes of play as the Clippers ended up winning by 15 to advance. He looked comfortable and confident in his shot.

That momentum carried over throughout the rest of the 2021 playoffs. Against both the Utah Jazz and Phoenix Suns, Kennard made decisive decisions and found a good balance between finding his teammates and finding his shot. That’s the Kennard the Clippers are going to need this season, and it’s the Kennard that has shown up so far in preseason.

While he’s definitely found a comfort level within the Clippers offense, he acknowledges that at times, the team is still on him about looking to shoot.

“I’m still getting some stuff on the sideline for not shooting some shots that I probably should have shot,” Kennard joked after the Clippers preseason win against Dallas on Oct. 8. “They want me to ‘hunt’ it. . .just to hunt shots and be a hunter, that’s what they’ve been saying.”

Overall, Kennard had a pretty solid season last year for the Clippers. He put up 8.3 points per game while shooting 47.6 percent from the field and 44.6 percent from three-point range. In the playoffs, those numbers dipped a little, but as mentioned, he looked far more comfortable.
This season, the Clippers are looking to get up and down a little bit more and to generate more transition scoring opportunities. Kennard figures to be a big part of that with his ability to handle the ball and see the court, and with his lights out shooting. During preseason, he’s seen time in both roles.

“They’re putting me in a lot of different actions, whether it’s for me or different guys, just to move. They want us to move, they want us to play with a little more pace this year,” Kennard said. “We want to play a little faster whether it’s kicking the ball ahead, being a little bit better transition team. It’s coming along.”

Overall, this Clippers team has multiple players who can make plays with the ball in their hands. When Kennard is on the floor with the second unit, he kind of becomes the de-facto ball-handler as he did at times last season. But when his minutes are staggered with the starters a bit, it allows him to really look to move off-ball and to free himself up for jumpers.

“We got guys that can make plays. I can get into the paint and attack well and hit the open guy, but for me they just want me to hunt,” Kennard said. “When teams are kind of chasing me over, it kind of allows me to put the ball on the floor a little bit more and either hit the roll or just find the open guy. That’s something I’ve picked up on over these last few games.”

Kennard actually got off to a bit of a slow start to the preseason. He shot a combined 31.7 percent from the field through the first two games and was 1-9 from three-point range. But he picked it up in the final two games averaging 18.5 points per game and shooting 63.8 percent from long range.

Sure the Clippers ended the preseason with losses, but there were plenty of positives that Kennard saw that he believes the team can take with them into the start of the regular season. It’s the work that they’ve done in training camp, in practice, that they’ll be able to translate to opening night.

“We have sets that we run, but out of those sets, Coach Lue just lets us play the game. That’s something we’ve been focused on,” Kennard said. “It’s still a learning process, we’re still getting better at it. But I think we’ve done a pretty good job of doing the things in games that we’ve worked on in training camp so far.”

For the most part, the Clippers will have a similar rotation to the one that knocked out the Jazz and pushed the Suns to six games. Kawhi Leonard has no timetable for his return, but Serge Ibaka should be close to returning to the lineup.

They will have a pair of newcomers though who figure to play key roles in former Clipper Eric Bledsoe and Justice Winslow. There’s also the new draft picks in Keon Johson and Brandon Boston Jr. who have both shown some flashes in the preseason. Fellow rookie Jason Preston might have been in the mix too but he is currently out with an injury.

As the start of the season draws near, Kennard is pleased with what he’s seen in terms of how everyone is fitting into the system.

“I think everybody is comfortable in the role that they’re in, everybody’s comfortable with where they are right now. We’re confident that our coaches and everybody on the team, they’re going to do what’s best for the team,” Kennard said. “When we’re out there together, we’re one team. . .I think we have a pretty solid foundation with what we’ve been doing right now and it’s just continuing to get comfortable with each other and learning all the new guys. So far it’s been really good.”



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Saving Sacramento: Luke Walton Has Roster to Compete – Basketball Insiders

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The last two decades have not been kind to the Sacramento Kings, who have not had a taste of the playoffs since the 2005-06 season. The Kings won 44 games that season and they have not won more than 39 games in a single season ever since. They have gone through ten head coaches since they last made the postseason with Rick Adelman.

Luke Walton enters his third season at the helm in Sacramento. He finished with identical 31-41 records in his first two years but is aiming for much better results this time around with a much-improved roster. The Kings are young, but also have some serious talent that is still developing.

Everything in Sacramento starts with their electrifying point guard, De’Aaron Fox. The former Kentucky product signed a five-year, $163 million contract extension with the Kings during the 2020 offseason. He is the face of the franchise but the guard position is oozing with even more star potential. Buddy Hield remains one of their best offensive weapons and was a prime target of many trade talks in the offseason.

Tyrese Haliburton shined in his rookie season last year and has given the Kings a dynamic backcourt that can fuel their offense on any given night. The concerns early in the season about the fit next to Fox were quickly dispelled as they formed an incredible one-two punch.

Sacramento added to their already loaded guard position this summer when they drafted Davion Mitchell with the ninth pick in the NBA Draft. The Baylor standout comes in ready to make an immediate impact on both ends of the floor. His “off-night” nickname eloquently describes his tenacity on defense, and he showcased his offensive prowess in Summer League, and now the preseason.

The key for Walton this season will be to utilize his lineup to maximize the potential out of each player. They all have their own strengths and weaknesses, and it is up to him to study their chemistry and find the right combination to put on the floor. The Kings are about more than just their sensational crop of guards though.

Harrison Barnes continues to be the unheralded star for this team, carrying them during late-game situations as the veteran player on the roster. The real challenge for Walton will be to finally unlock the potential of Marvin Bagley III. The former second-overall pick in the 2018 draft has been a disappointment, to put it mildly. He has publicly tried to force his way out of Sacramento, but the Kings have been reluctant to move the big man.

Bagley is clearly behind Richaun Holmes on the depth chart, who the Kings rewarded with a multi-year contract this summer. The second-round pick has been playing with a chip on his shoulder since he came into the league, and it has worked well for him.

The Kings made a head-scratching move this summer when they acquired veteran center Tristan Thompson in a three-team trade. Perhaps the thought is that the team will ultimately move Bagley this season. The other scenario is that Walton wants to challenge Bagley, hoping that some competition for those minutes motivates Bagley to break out.

Walton will have to improve the defense this season if Sacramento is going to have any chance at success. Their 117.2 defensive rating last season was the worst in the league. It was historically bad, as they gave up 116.5 points per 100 possessions on that end of the floor. They also ranked 30th in opponent’s field goal percentage, 29th in points allowed in the paint, and were bottom-five in terms of defensive three-point percentage and second-chance points allowed.

The addition of Mitchell will certainly help in that area, and Thompson will help them on the glass. The Kings ranked dead last in rebounding last season, despite the solid play of Holmes. With some fresh faces, more competition, and new philosophies, Walton may be able to get this group to take the next step in their development. It might take some time, but ownership has shown that they can be patient. The young core is special and has been putting in the work.

Walton has two years remaining on his contract worth $11.5 million. He was hired by former Lakers teammate Vlade Divac, who was replaced in his role by Monte McNair last offseason. McNair believes that another year of continuity can get the franchise back into the playoffs. The team may be improved, but so is the rest of the division.

The Pacific Division is full of title contenders, and the Kings. The Lakers, Suns, Warriors, and Clippers all have legitimate hopes of winning a championship this season. Sacramento simply doesn’t have the weapons to match the All-NBA rosters of those other teams.

The last time the Kings made the playoffs, Fox was just eight years old. Bagley was only seven. For Sacramento, a return to the playoffs would be a euphoric experience, and would finally get Walton off of the hot seat.





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Washington Wizards vs New York Knicks NBA Preseason Preview, Predictions and Picks

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On Friday, Oct. 15, 2021, the Washington Wizards (0-3) are playing the New York Knicks (2-0)  at Madison Square Garden. This is the final preseason contest of the 2021-22 NBA season for both Eastern Conference contenders. BetOnline odds are listed below.

Game Information

Start time: 7:30 p.m. ET

Location: Madison Square Garden; New York, New York

TV channels: MSG, NBA League Pass, NBC Sports Washington

Radio broadcast: WTEM

Live stream: NBC Sports Washington

Washington Wizards vs. New York Knicks news

Additionally, in the previous three head-to-head meetings, the Knicks are 3-0 versus the Wizards. On Mar. 25, 2021, New York won 106-102 over Washington. That was the last time these teams played one another in the regular season. Of course, it also does not include last Saturday’s Wizards-Knicks exhibition game.

Leading into this final exhibition matchup for both teams, the top story for the Wizards pertains to the organization waiving Jay Huff and Jordan Schakel. This happened on Wednesday. Now, their roster is now at 18 players. On the other side, the Knicks signed Brandon Goodwin and waived Dwayne Bacon, Myles Powell and Tyler Hall.

Injury Report

For tonight’s matchup, the Wizards will be without Thomas Bryant, Rui Hachimura and Cassius Winston. Hachimura is out because of personal reasons, while Bryant is still recovering from his ACL injury. Plus, Winston is resting after sustaining a left hamstring strain.

As for the Knicks, they are missing Nerlens Noel and Mitchell Robinson against Washington. Nerlens is dealing with soreness in his left knee. And, Robinson is out due to soreness in his right foot as well.

Washington Wizards vs. New York Knicks betting lines

Over/Under: 216

Point spread: Knicks -4.5 (-110)

Best moneyline: Wizards +165, Knicks -190

Washington Wizards vs. New York Knicks preview

Moreover, in the Wizards’ 113-108 home loss against the Raptors on Tuesday, forward Kyle Kuzma led the team in scoring, putting up 24 points in 29 minutes played. Montrezl Harrell ended his performance with 17 points and 2.0 rebounds in 21 minutes spent on the court. Washington’s poor shooting in the fourth quarter led to their five-point loss.

While being held to 19 points in the fourth quarter, they allowed Toronto to score 32 points. Shooting-wise, the Wizards shot 38-for-88 (43.2%) from the field and 17-for-43 (39.5%) from behind the arc. Their struggles to finish strong in the second half is why the team is 0-3 in the preseason.

Meanwhile, in the Knicks’ 117-99 away victory over Washington last Saturday, forward RJ Barrett scored a team-high 18 points in 31 minutes played. Derrick Rose, who is now officially engaged to Alaina Anderson, finished his performance with 15 points, 4.0 rebounds and 8.0 assists in 19 minutes on the court.

In the team’s 18-point win, they shot 38-for-84 (45.2%) from the floor and 24-for-52 (46.2%) from three-point range. To open the second half, on top of holding Washington to 21 points, New York generated 36 points. This is exactly why they are the favorites to win on Friday.

Finally, the Wizards’ projected starting lineup for Friday night’s contest is PG Spencer Dinwiddie, SG Bradley Beal, SF Corey Kispert, PF Kyle Kuzma and C Daniel Gafford. As for the Knicks, their projected starting lineup is PG Derrick Rose, SG Evan Fournier, SF RJ Barrett, PF Julius Randle and C Taj Gibson.

Washington Wizards vs. New York Knicks prediction

Furthermore, the Wizards scored 113 points versus the Raptors, whereas the Knicks won their second exhibition matchup with 117 points. This is a combined total of 230 points. The total for today’s game is set at 216. Picking the over for today’s game is the most logical choice. Even with starters resting, the bench players for both Eastern Conference teams can put up dozens of points.

For betting trends, the Wizards are 1-4 straight up in their last five games played. The total has gone over in five of the team’s past six contests. Not to mention, the total has gone over in five of Washington’s previous six games played versus Eastern Conference opponents. And, they are 4-1 ATS in their last five games played in October.

As for the Knicks, they are 1-5 ATS in their past six games. Also, the total has gone under in five of the team’s last six contests. To add to these betting statistics, the total has gone under in five of New York’s previous six home games. And, they are 2-10 SU in their last 12 games played in October. For a reminder, these trends do not include preseason matches.

Washington Wizards vs. New York Knicks betting pick

Pick the Knicks to win at home; the total will go over 216. The Knicks are 4.5-point favorites with BetOnline.





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