Few things in the NFL are predictable.
Take, for instance, the unprecedented downfall of the tight end position. Not because of modernized offensive schemes (quite the opposite; such an air-raid attack necessitates more pass-catchers) but because of an epidemic.
In Week 4 alone, three notable tight ends (New England’s Rob Gronkowski, Cincinnati’s Tyler Eifert, and Tampa Bay’s OJ Howard) exited games early due to injury. All told, 17 tight ends in the NFL are listed as either questionable, out, or on the injured reserve.
Or how about last week’s AFC South showdown, featuring Indianapolis, down eight with three minutes to play, storming back to force overtime against Houston.
The two teams exchanged field goals before Indy faced a fourth down near midfield with 24 seconds left. One-point underdogs, the Colts could have punted, tied and paid bettors. Instead, Indy turned it over on downs, Houston used one play to get into field-goal range and won with a kick through the uprights.
Yes, on the field or in the world of NJ sports betting, the NFL appears mostly unpredictable.
But let’s try to predict anyway, with help from the SugarHouse Sportsbook. (All point spreads and moneylines are as of Tuesday.)
Add ’em to your NJ sports betting slip
Arizona Cardinals (0-4) at San Francisco 49ers (1-3)
Let’s face it. Neither of these two NFC West teams will sniff the postseason. All the more reason to take action now before full tank mode settles in.
Neither team sends out its Week 1 starter: Arizona sitting Sam Bradford in favor of first-round pick Josh Rosen, San Francisco going with C.J. Beathard as Jimmy Garoppolo sits for the year due to a torn left ACL.
The Niners, though, boast the sixth-best rushing attack in the NFL and come off a week in which they nearly topped the Los Angeles Chargers on the road.
Yet an Arizona pick is poised to pay by the Bay. The Cardinals, statistically, feature a stouter defense. And with Rosen and do-it-all running back David Johnson, the Cards could rip apart a San Fran defense that allows nearly 30 points per game.
As 4.5-point underdogs, Arizona, by winning straight up, pays out +188 on the moneyline, which is a reasonable wager in a game with both teams racing toward the top of the 2019 NFL Draft board.
Los Angeles Rams (4-0) at Seattle Seahawks (2-2)
Each week, it seems, the Rams become more popular as Super Bowl picks.
In a seven-point win over Minnesota last week, for example, LA put up a season-high 38 points. Its offense is humming, with QB Jared Goff (second-most passing yards), RB Todd Gurley II (second-most rushing) and WR Brandin Cooks (third-most receiving) ranked high among NFL statistical leaders.
The Rams’ defense, on the season, has been strong, allowing the fifth-fewest points per game in the league.
Against the Vikings, though, that defense softened. Not an ideal situation heading to Seattle.
The Seahawks have not amazed this season, ranking in the bottom tier in a number of offensive categories. Its defense has shown strength, statistically ranking better than LA through four weeks.
That said, safety Earl Thomas fractured his left leg in last week’s 20-17 win at Arizona, and linebacker Mychal Kendricks was suspended indefinitely as a result of his guilty plea for an insider trading charge.
Yet Seattle has won two straight. And since 2012, the Hawks are 44-10 at home. To add to it, over the last five games in which Seattle has stood as a 7-point underdog (as it is vs. the Rams), the Seahawks have won thrice.
With a sizable +245 moneyline (one of the highest at SugarHouse this week), a Seattle win would pay for quite a celebratory meal.
Indianapolis Colts (1-3) at New England Patriots (2-2)
It’s not exactly the Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady Colts-Pats games of old, the ones often circled by networks for primetime airing. And through four weeks, it’s not exactly pitting two Super Bowl favorites head to head.
SugarHouse seems to agree: New England is listed as a 10-point favorite for the Thursday night game.
It stands to reason. The Patriots come off a 38-7 drubbing of Miami on the road. They have won five straight against the Colts. And they feature a defense ranked just outside the top 10 in points and yards allowed per game.
To boot, Indy QB Andrew Luck has a short week of rest after throwing SIXTY TWO TIMES in a three-point loss to Houston. On top of that, top wideout T.Y. Hilton and several defensive backs are sidelined this week due to injury.
So, yes, New England will win. But by how much? Covering the 10-point spread will cost bettors $500 to win $100. With SugarHouse though, patrons can select customized lines. Positive payouts begin at 12 points and pay more incrementally up to 23.5 points.
Fun fact: The last time Vegas had New England as this heavy of a favorite? That would be 2001. Against Indy. Pats covered.
Long shots of the week
One is a pick bettors could talk themselves into. The other banks on sheer hope.
In the bayou, the Washington Redskins (2-1) come off a bye week to visit the New Orleans Saints (3-1). The Skins enter as 6.5-point dogs and pays +225 with a straight-up win. Take it.
Rejuvenated is Washington RB Adrian Peterson, ranking fifth in rushing yards per game and, for him, averaging more yards per attempt (4.2) since 2015.
Sure, New Orleans is prolific offensively. The Saints rank third in points per game, led by a QB, Drew Brees, with the third-best QB rating.
The Redskins, however, boast a defense that ranks second in points allowed per game, third in yards allowed, and second against the pass. Skins to win. Book it.
In Charlotte, there’s not as much rationale surrounding taking the New York Giants. Playing against the Carolina Panthers (2-1), New York (1-3) faces a rush attack led by Christian McCaffrey, ranked third in rushing yards per game.
On top of that, Giants QB Eli Manning has been sacked more times (15) than all but three signal-callers in the league.
That said, the Giants, as 6.5-point underdogs, sit +230 on the moneyline. Anything can happen any given Sunday. Maybe this week is the week for New York to get its act together.
Promos worth noting for NFL sports betting
Well, not really a promotion so much as a cheat sheet.
Sports analyst David Tuchman joined the SugarHouse Online Sportsbook & Casino team to host a weekly segment called “Tuck’s Takes.“ In it, Tuchman breaks down each week’s games, taking lines and choosing the best games on which to wager.
Posted on the SugarHouse website each week, as well as on the company’s social media platforms, Tuck’s Takes will offer tips and insights for the casual bettor.
For those curious of Tuchman’s track record: Over the first three weeks, the longtime analyst went 11-2 in his predictions.
Another promo to keep an eye on comes from FanDuel Sportsbook. With its First Time’s The Charm promotion during Week 5, bettors can select which players will score the first TD of any NFL game.
Should the choice of player not strike first but end up recording a touchdown, bettors will receive up to $100 back.
Where else to bet online in New Jersey
No state with regulated wagering compares to the vast expansion of NJ sports betting, especially in the mobile market.
Currently, eight products are available in the Garden State (including the platforms offered):
- DraftKings Sportsbook (browser, Android, iOS)
- PlayMGM Sport (Android)
- SugarHouse Sportsbook (browser, Android, iOS)
- FanDuel Sportsbook (browser, Android, iOS)
- William Hill US (browser, Android, iOS)
- Caesars Sportsbook (browser, Android, iOS)
- 888 Sportsbook (browser, Android)
- BetStars (Android, iOS via PokerStars NJ app)
The expansive list of mobile sportsbooks in New Jersey includes a deep variety of traditional moneylines, parlays, in-game betting, and futures.