Everything that happens in sports has some additional context when viewed from a sports betting perspective. From season-changing injuries to record-setting moments and so much more, the sports news cycle will constantly and significantly affect the sports betting industry.

Our betting buzz file, with contributions from David Purdum, Doug Greenberg, Ian Parker and others, aims to provide fans with a look at the sports betting stories that are driving the conversation.

Key links: Sports betting home | NBA odds page | NHL odds page

June 20: Alabama’s national championship odds longest since early Saban era

Doug Greenberg: Nick Saban’s retirement from coaching is sure to have profound effects on Alabama and the college football world at large. Sportsbooks are beginning to quantify just how large that effect is.

At ESPN BET, the Crimson Tide are 16-1 to win the 2025 national championship — their longest odds to win college football’s top prize since 2008, Saban’s second season, per ESPN Stats & Information. Alabama is tied with SEC rivals LSU and Ole Miss for the fifth-shortest odds, and trails Georgia (+325), Ohio State (+350), Texas (+750) and Oregon (+900).

Despite an expanded field for the College Football Playoff, the loss of Saban and increased competition in their conference could be to blame for the elevated odds: Alabama and LSU are the first two teams in the field with plus-odds to make the CFP at +115, and they trail eight other programs, including Michigan (-120), which notably lost coach Jim Harbaugh to the NFL after its 2024 national championship.

Still, the public is backing the Tide to some extent, even if the action is somewhat top-heavy. Alabama has attracted 4% of the tickets and 3% of the handle to win the next national championship — fourth and tied for seventh, respectively, in the rankings. Georgia (30%/20%) and Ohio State (27%/33%) make up the overwhelming majority of national championship future action at the moment.

Alabama’s name recognition combined with plus-odds to make the playoff is also enticing bettors, as they’ve attracted 6% of the tickets at BetMGM, the fifth most, though that’s a far cry from Deion Sanders’ Colorado. The Buffs have garnered a leading 12.3% of the bets.

June 19: McDavid now the odds-on betting favorite for the Conn Smythe Trophy

David Purdum: The Edmonton Oilers remain underdogs in the Stanley Cup Final, but their surging superstar Connor McDavid is now the odds-on betting favorite for the Conn Smythe Trophy at sportsbooks around the nation.

Ahead of Saturday’s Game 4, with the Oilers in danger of being swept by the Florida Panthers, McDavid was 18-1 to win the Conn Smythe at ESPN BET. On Wednesday, a day after leading Edmonton to a second straight win, McDavid was a -155 favorite for the award. McDavid has scored three goals with five assists in the past two games.

Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky had emerged as a heavy favorite for the Conn Smythe, as Florida won the first three games. Bobrovsky’s odds got as short as -500 at ESPN BET, but he has allowed nine goals in the past two games and now sits at +500.

As of Wednesday, 47% of the money bet on ESPN BET’s Conn Smythe odds was on McDavid, more than for any other player. Florida, leading the series 3-2, is a -350 favorite to win the series. The Oilers are small favorites, -125, to win Friday’s Game 6 in Edmonton.

June 18: CarJitsu approved for betting in New Jersey

Doug Greenberg: Have you ever wanted to bet on the result of two grown adults fighting each other in a car? Now you can.

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement approved CarJitsu — a sport where fighters contest a Brazilian jiu-jitsu match in the interior of a car, usually a sedan — for sports betting, the first jurisdiction in the country to do so.

The founders of Pro League Network, which acts as the sport’s governing body, said they purposely brought the sport to New Jersey’s betting commission first because it is one of the “most structured” and is looked at as a “preeminent regulatory body.”

“We wanted to stand it up there first, and we felt if we could meet all the expectations and requirements in New Jersey, it gave us a flight path for other parts of the country,” PLN co-founder Bill Yucatonis told ESPN. PLN has relationships with DraftKings, BetMGM and Bet365 to offer its sports in the United States.

CarJitsu is not the first obscure sport PLN has gotten through state betting regulators: The company also runs the World Putting League (mini golf) and SlapFIGHT Championship (slap fighting), which have been approved for sports betting across multiple states. PLN also is beginning to take its 3-on-3 basketball product, STR33T, to state commissions.

“We don’t take things forward to a commission until we know that we have the right rules that have very good integrity; we’ve got the sanctioning in place; our athlete education, anti-wagering, and drug and alcohol policies are in place,” said PLN co-founder Mike Salvaris. “All the stuff that you need that are the basics with any sport before we could take it to a commission.”

Yucatonis says that with such strict requirements for approval, PLN didn’t seek betting commission approval for CarJitsu until about a year into its existence, deciding to do so only once clips of the sport did excellent numbers on social media. He also believes that not all sports are meant to be wagered on.

“There’s just a lot of work that goes into getting a sport ready for wagering,” Salvaris said. “We’ve learned that because we’ve been through it several times now, sometimes the hard way, sometimes the easy way. But I think it is just important to emphasize that it’s not something that I think a lot of sports can do. And to be frank, it’s worth our while to do this because we have the scale of multiple sports leagues. I think if you have just one sports league that’s middling in terms of popularity, I think it’s hard to make the case that it’s worth your while in terms of resources to do that, but it’s worth it for us because this is our business we’re banking on.”

June 12: Florida bettor wins big on 15-leg MLB long shot parlay

A bettor in Florida at Hard Rock Bet picked all 15 winners from Tuesday’s Major League Baseball slate in a $32 parlay that paid over $245,000. Three underdogs — the Colorado Rockies, Miami Marlins and Baltimore Orioles — pulled upsets and the rest of the favored teams playing that night prevailed, including the Tampa Bay Rays in a comeback victory over the Chicago Cubs. The Rockies (+165), who beat the Minnesota Twins on the road, were the biggest underdogs to win.

The parlay had +766386 odds and paid $245,275.64.

The 15 legs of the parlay and odds, according to Hard Rock Bet were:

June 10: Wagers flying in on Panthers’ Bobrovsky for Conn Smythe

Greenberg: Sergei Bobrovsky is already a finalist to take home his third career Vezina Trophy, which, if he won, would put him among elite company in the annals of NHL history. After a brilliant shutout performance in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, he’s now the favorite to win another of the league’s most prestigious awards.

Immediately following the series’ first game, Bobrovsky moved to +225 on ESPN BET to win the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoffs MVP. Heavy action moved him even shorter to +210, where he remains as of Monday afternoon. He’s the favorite ahead of teammate Aleksander Barkov and opponent Connor McDavid, both at +275.

Per ESPN BET odds, Bobrovsky entered the Stanley Cup playoffs at 20-1 to win the award and got as long as 25-1 ahead of the Florida Panthers’ Eastern Conference finals matchup with the New York Rangers; DraftKings reports that he was as long as 28-1 on May 17. Entering the Stanley Cup Final, the 35-year-old was +400, tied with Barkov for second behind McDavid (+200), a curious betting line given the Oilers are underdogs for the series.

Bobrovsky has been dominant all postseason with a 2.08 GAA, but his performance Saturday night was arguably his finest yet. According to Stathletes, Bobrovsky’s 2.90 goals saved above expected in Game 1 was the best for any goalie in a single game all playoffs. The 35-year-old netminder also became the oldest goalie to record a shutout in the Stanley Cup Final since Tim Thomas in 2011, per ESPN Stats & Information.

As such, a huge influx of wagers came in on Bobrovsky. At ESPN BET, Bobrovsky went from having 8.5% of all Conn Smythe Trophy future tickets before Game 1, to 17.8% currently, trailing only McDavid at 27%. DraftKings says that 63% of tickets and 84% of handle for Conn Smythe Trophy bets have been on Bobrovsky since Saturday night, tying him with McDavid for overall handle to win the award (17%).

Bobrovsky also has the second-most bets at FanDuel and BetMGM, where he’s noted as the book’s biggest liability. BetMGM’s most-bet prop for Game 2 is Bobrovsky over 24.5 saves (-130), which is also a very popular wager at ESPN BET.

The Oilers can possibly both torpedo Bobrovsky’s Conn Smythe Trophy gains and get back into the series by simply shooting high. Per ESPN Stats & Info, Edmonton did not attempt any shots on goal to the top of the net in Game 1 despite the fact that Bobrovsky has allowed a league-high 19 goals to that area this postseason.

June 4: 3-leg parlay needs Oilers Stanley Cup to win $584K

Greenberg: A three-leg parlay shared by @BR_Betting with 584-1 odds is down to its final leg — the Edmonton Oilers to win the Stanley Cup.

The bet was placed in January, ahead of the NFL Wild Card weekend, by a BetMGM customer in Colorado, according to a sportsbook spokesperson. The customer used a $1,000 bonus bet — a promotional credit BetMGM gives to new customers — to make the parlay that featured:

The Chiefs beat the San Francisco 49ers to win the Super Bowl in February and Real Madrid defeated Borussia Dortmund last Saturday in the Champions League final, leaving only the Oilers to complete the parlay and putting the bettor in position to hedge the wager, if they choose to.

Edmonton is listed at +110 to win the Stanley Cup Final at ESPN BET.