Phillies' outburst means cash for some sports bettors

Andrew Knapp scores on a seventh-inning passed ball as teammate Rhys Hoskins watches. The Phillies had four runs in the inning, which made the score 7-2 and clinched the over, which was 8.5 runs.

It was a good day at the ballyard for the Phillies and an even better day at the sportsbook for fans.

It won’t always be like this, of course.

The first day of legalized sports betting in New Jersey was Thursday, which coincided nicely with an afternoon Phillies-Rockies game. Johannes Jenkins, a 50-year-old mega sports fan from Atlantic City, was among those ready to pounce.

His $220 bet was that the teams would combine to score over 8.5 runs. The Phillies won, 9-3, which meant that Jenkins collected $451. His smile lit up the sportsbook at the Borgata.

“My friend gave me the pick [Wednesday] and he told me he liked the under,” Jenkins said without identifying his pal. “So I figured he was going to be wrong — because the consumer is almost always wrong. I’ve bet enough money to know the consumers are mostly wrong, because I’m a consumer.”

Camera icon Ed Barkowitz / Staff
Sports bettor Johannes Jenkins, of Atlantic City, had a winning wager at the Borgata sports book with over in the Phillies-Rockies game.

The over has hit in five of the Phillies’ last six games.

[NJ governor opens the madness with wagers on the Devils and the Germans]

Jenkins’ play looked shaky as starter Vince Velasquez had a no-hitter through six innings as the Phillies held just a 3-0 lead. But the teams combined to score nine runs in the seventh and eighth innings and all Jenkins needed to do was wait for the game to go final before he could cash his ticket.

John Burke, 71, wasn’t so lucky earlier in the day.

He was among the first to arrive at Monmouth Park on Thursday, where New Jersey officially became the third state to offer sports betting after Nevada and Delaware.

Monmouth’s betting windows opened a little after 10:30 a.m. and he was there to bet on Russia against Saudi Arabia in the World Cup opener. Problem was the line he was in did not move quickly enough and the 11 a.m. game started before he could make his play. All he could do was shrug.

Russia won, 5-0. Ouch.

There was the father-son from North Jersey who had the A’s against the Astros while they were hitting horses. There was the guy at Monmouth yelling into his phone, “No. We got $200 on Argentina. I got a hundred and Jake’s got a hundred.” And there was the guy who called himself BlackJack, who was dressed like an Elvis cowboy, taking in the entire scene.

Just wait’ll football season.

Soccer fan Jesse Tully, 23, made the 90-minute drive from West Chester, N.Y. to Monmouth Park

“I came here to put my World Cup bets in,” he said, sipping a Corona a little after 11 a.m. “I like Brazil (3-1) and Portugal (14-1). Sports betting just brings people together. There’s just an excitement in the air.”

Meanwhile, Jenkins, our friend who had over-Phillies, contemplated his next move.

“I think I like under San Diego,” he said.