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Where Is The Sporting Heartbeat Of America: Tampa Bay Or L.A?

There are many places that will lay claim to being the sporting home of the United States. For example, New York has more than its fair share of top professional sports teams, plus venues like Flushing Meadow and Madison Square Gardens.

However, when it comes to the one key ingredient that matters to most Americans, success, there are only two cities that can enter the argument at present. One is the west coast metropolis of Los Angeles and the other, the sunny Gulf coast city of Tampa Bay in Florida.

Which one is currently the home of sport in the US? Well, the answer to that may depend on what sports find favor with you.

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Los Angeles’ Claim

Los Angeles can lay claim to being the most important city in the U.S. in terms of success thanks to its two champion teams in recent times. The Los Angeles Dodgers are the current MLB World Series Champions, the first time that they have won the title since 1988 and their seventh title in total.

That success came after two unsuccessful recent attempts to land the World Series in 2017 and 2018 when they were beaten by the Houston Astros (4-3) and Boston Red Sox (4-1) respectively.

We already know that the NBA season is well underway and Los Angeles other claim to sporting greatness is that the L.A Lakers are the current NBA Champions. Frank Vogel’s team have followed that victory up this season to sit second in the Western Conference, a game behind the current leaders the Utah Jazz and two ahead of their city rivals, the L.A Clippers.

It is a strong claim indeed, but it is one that can at least be matched, if not bettered, by the sunny city from Florida on the west coast.

Tampa Bay’s Claim

A much smaller city than Los Angeles, Tampa Bay’s claim to greatness in sports does not stem solely from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers victory in Super Bowl LV this past weekend. In fact, that victory for Tom Brady and Bruce Arians team was the exclamation point on what has been an incredible year for sport in the city.

In the NHL, the Tampa Bay Lightning are the current holders of the Stanley Cup. Jon Cooper’s team defeated Dallas Stars 4-2 in the series to claim the win and they have followed that performance up with a very solid start in the NHL Central division, winning nine of their opening 11 games to sit comfortably top of the table.

Of course, there is also the Bucs Super Bowl win to consider here, which was a landmark one for being the first to be won on home soil, but also when you consider the quality of the opponent.

However, unlike L.A. Tampa’s claim to being the US capital of sport goes further. The Los Angeles Dodgers may have won the World Series last summer, but to do so they had to beat the Tampa Bay Rays to win the title.

Spread out the demographic to include all of Florida and you can also add that the Lakers were successful in their NBA Championship game against the Miami Heat.

There’s clearly something special going on in Tampa sports at the moment, but having achieved success, a real measure of quality is how well the bookmakers think your teams will perform over the forthcoming or net season.

What Do The Bookies Think Of L.A And Tampa Bay Teams Chances?

Looking at the odds suggested by PlaySugarHouse Sportsbook, Los Angeles claims are enhanced by the fact that both the Lakers (+250 favourites) and the Clippers (+550) are rated as two of the top three shortest priced teams to win the NBA this season. Floridian duo, the Miami Heat (+2500) and Orlando Magic (+25000) are well down the list.

Similarly, when it comes to baseball’s 2021 World Series, the Los Angeles Dodgers are the +350 favourites to hang on to the title they won last year. In contrast, the Tampa Bay Rays are rated at +2000 to go one game better in the forthcoming season.

When it comes to the NFL though, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are +900 second favourites to retain the title they won last week behind the Kansas City Chiefs. The L.A Rams are rated as +1300 chances to lift the Super Bowl while the L.A Chargers are rated at +3000 chances.

It’s also a close-run thing in the NHL, with the Tampa Bay Lightning a close +800 second favourite with PlaySugarHouse behind the Golden Knights and Avalanche who are both +750. The LA Kings are a rank outsider here rated at +10,000 to win the Stanley Cup.

So we could well be set up for another battle between west and east for the sporting heart of America over the coming seasons. At the moment, we think the Floridian coastal town just about has the edge over the sprawling west coast metropolis.

However, it is going to be fun to see how the best of their teams perform across all major U.S. sports over the coming weeks and months to see which city claims the crown of the sporting capital of the United States in 2021.

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