Outside the Lines sports betting

ESPN’s Outside the Lines is returning this week with a four-part special about sports betting.

Per a release, the four-part series (called ALL IN – Sports Betting in the U.S.) begins on Thursday, February 1, running through Sunday, February 4. Each episode will air during SportsCenter in the morning and be available on YouTube. Jeremy Schaap hosts the OTL special.

Here are the full synopses and airdates of all four episodes.

Part 1: The State of Sports Betting in the U.S.

Airs Thursday, Feb. 1, in 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. ET editions of SportsCenter 

  • As the Super Bowl comes to Las Vegas, what is the state of sports betting in the United States? How has the industry been transformed?
  • Bettors now carry sportsbooks in their pocket. How are people, especially younger ones, betting on the apps?
  • How social media has impacted the growth of sports betting.
  • How the sports wagering industry continues to break down the barriers that once separated it from the sports establishment.

Part 2: Isaiah Rodgers Sr.

Airs Friday, Feb. 2, in 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. ET editions of SportsCenter 

  • Exclusive interview with former Indianapolis Colts defensive back Isaiah Rodgers Sr. On June 29, 2023, the NFL suspended Rodgers indefinitely for violating the league’s gambling policy. Rodgers signed with the Eagles in August and will apply for reinstatement in the off-season.

 Part 3: What Happens in Vegas…

Debuts Saturday, Feb. 3, in 9 a.m. ET edition of SportsCenter 

  • In 2003, the NFL blocked a “What Happens in Vegas” ad from airing during the Super Bowl. Now, 21 years later, the Super Bowl is in Las Vegas.
  • How did the sports industry go from strong aversion to gambling to where things stand today?
  • Since the landmark 2018 Supreme Court decision, legal sports betting in the U.S. has rapidly expanded into 38 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. In that timeframe, Americans have legally wagered more than $300 billion on sports.
  • Leagues (including the NFL) now go “all-in” allowing the marketing blitz during games, having sports books inside sport venues, and more.

Part 4: The Risks of Sports Gambling

Debuts Sunday, Feb. 4, in 9 a.m. ET edition of SportsCenter 

  • Viewers will meet a financial advisor from New Jersey who recently won nearly a half a million dollars from a $5 bet. The odds were one in 9.8 million.
  • It is estimated that 7 million American adults suffer from gambling addiction. There are currently no federal funds designated for problem gambling treatment or research.
  • Schaap interviews “Randy,” a 23-year-old man who sought treatment for his gambling addiction interviewed is his counselor, who has his own story of getting in too deep.
  • Examining the mind of a gambler – interview with Dr. Timonthy Fong, a UCLA Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, and co-director of the school’s Gambling Studies Program.

And here’s a trailer for the series.

A piece on ESPN.com, written by David Purdum and Elizabeth Merrill, will also run, detailing “the NFL’s relationship with America’s gambling capital” after the league didn’t allow a Las Vegas ad to air during Super Bowl XXXVII in 2002.

The NFL’s attitude shift towards gambling somewhat mirrors that of ESPN. After keeping sports betting at arms reach for years, ESPN finally decided to license its name to an existing betting company in 2021. The company eventually struck a deal with Penn Entertainment in 2023 to rebrand the Barstool Sportsbook app as ESPN Bet, which launched in November.


About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.