With the midseason nearing, the true identities of NFL teams now begin to emerge.
Are the Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Rams, the two remaining undefeated teams in the league, for real? Could the Cleveland Browns climb from the depths of despair? Are the New England Patriots re-emerging as Super Bowl favorites?
Is anything left in the recovered throwing shoulder of Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck, who’s thrown a jaw-dropping 121 passes over the past two games? Is the flash of Washington Redskins RB Adrian Peterson over? And — for the love of Mary, please — have we exhausted all overtime ties this season?
Naturally, NJ sports betting takes on a more serious approach rather than banking on a fluke or two. This space provides the help needed. And 888 Sportsbook has the lines to look at. (All point spreads and moneylines are as of Tuesday.)
Add ’em to your NJ sports betting slip
Carolina Panthers (3-1) at Washington Redskins (2-2)
Not much excitement surrounds either of these two NFC teams.
Yeah, Carolina features mold-breaking QB Cam Newton. Sure, the Panthers run out breakout RB Christian McCaffrey, a top-10 running back in the NFL. And, OK, Washington has enjoyed the resurgence of RB Adrian Peterson.
Other than that… eh.
The Panthers ride a two-game winning streak. But only because Graham Gano booted a franchise-record, and the league’s second-longest ever, 63-yard field goal to beat the New York Giants last week. Washington fared not as well, allowing 43 points in a 24-point loss to the New Orleans Saints.
Peterson’s status is questionable after he dislocated his shoulder during Monday’s game. That means QB Alex Smith and RB Chris Thompson will have to shoulder the offensive load for the Redskins.
Carolina has struggled defensively of late, as shown in Week 5 when the Panthers gave up 31 points to the lowly Giants. And with a top-tier defense, Washington has the potential to come out on top.
Simply covering as four-point favorites, Washington pays out +135 at 888 Sport NJ. Not sold on the Skins? Take Carolina outright, a win netting +106.
Los Angeles Chargers (3-2) at Cleveland Browns (2-2-1)
No team in NFL history has played in more overtime games through five weeks than the Browns. That is the arguable longshot-worthy bet of this matchup: another extra period for Cleveland.
Los Angeles has won two straight, including Sunday’s 26-10 win over the Oakland Raiders. The Chargers rank eighth in the NFL with 27.4 points per game and face a Browns defense that has allowed the sixth-most yards per game.
Yet the Browns come off the franchise’s first AFC North win since 2015. They appear rejuvenated with rookie QB Baker Mayfield and feature a top-10 running back in Carlos Hyde while relying on a defense that has logged the most takeaways (15) than any other team in the league.
The Charges sit as one-point favorites, so 888 Sport seems on the fence. Forget who wins, however. Consider something deeper.
Of its five games this season, Cleveland has gone to overtime three times. Feeling daring? Tab this matchup as the fourth OT game for the Browns. Should Cleveland and LA head to an extra period, 888 Sport pays out +850. That’s a lavish dinner right there.
Kansas City Chiefs (5-0) at New England Patriots (3-2)
Finally, it seems the Patriots, after dismantling the Colts 38-24 last Thursday, are back on track. New England’s first true big test, though, comes during Sunday Night Football.
Two of the league’s top offenses result in 888’s largest over/under for total points (59.5). Interestingly, despite Kansas City standing as one of two remaining unbeaten teams, the Chiefs enter as 3.5-point underdogs.
Yet it is KC that should come out on top.
Despite the Patriots putting up back-to-back 38-point games, despite the Chiefs allowing the most yards per game, Kansas City has all the tools to walk away victorious.
Patrick Mahomes leads all QBs with 14 touchdowns while recording a mere two interceptions. Kareem Hunt is a top-10 running back in the NFL, and Kansas City, facing one of the best takeaway teams in the league, has turned the ball over just three times. That leads the NFL.
Other than New England’s home field advantage, there’s no reason to believe the Chiefs have no shot at staying undefeated. And with a +150 payout for a straight-up win, it’s a decent payday for a KC victory.
Long shots of the week
The law of averages indicates that the Rams will slip up at some point. During the past few weeks, this space attempted to predict LA’s trip. Naturally, Week 6 seems like another opportunity to call the Rams’ first loss.
It appears unlikely, frankly. The Rams (5-0) have racked up the most yards per game in the NFL and rank third in points scored. They boast a top-10 defense and scoring threats all over the field.
The Denver Broncos, meanwhile, have lost three straight. They were blown out by the New York Jets last week and have a defense that sits in the lower tier of the league.
But Los Angeles, as much as it can, stumbles a bit into this interconference matchup. The Rams had to erase a seven-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Seattle Seahawks 33-31 last week. And arguably, Denver (2-3) has more weapons to deal with.
Broncos RB Phillip Lindsay has shown explosiveness, averaging nearly six yards per rush, and WRs Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas provide downfield threats. The second-highest moneyline belongs to this game, as a win by Denver, a 6.5-point underdog is listed at +235.
The biggest 888 Sportsbook payout on a straight-up win would come via an Arizona Cardinals victory.
After picking up its first win of the season last week, Arizona (1-4) visits the Minnesota Vikings (2-2-1) as 10-point underdogs. Why? The league’s worst offense belongs to the Cardinals.
Yet Minnesota has disappointed already this season. A 17-point favorite against the Buffalo Bills in Week 3, the Vikings lost. So who’s to say it won’t happen again?
Arizona has versatile RB David Johnson and a still-developing rookie QB in first-round pick Josh Rosen. And at +370 for a Cardinals win, why not bank on the Vikings to flounder once more?
Taking note of NFL promos at NJ sportsbook apps
At 888 Sport, three promotions have money going back to the bettor after placing wagers.
First is the sportsbook’s exclusive signup bonus. “Bet Bet Bet on 888,” the promo says. When users sign up, 888 Sport will reward new members with $10 without the need for a first deposit.
Another welcome bonus worth noting is 888 Sport matching the first deposit/bet made by new users.
A minimum $10 wager is required, made on an event with odds of -200 or higher. Once bets are settled, 888 Sport will match the first deposit, up to $500. One note about this promo, per the sportsbook: “Bonus amount and winnings generated from it must be wagered at least six times.”
An NFL parlay challenge also exists at 888 Sport. Users must wager $20 or more on at least three NFL parlay bets between Thursday and Sunday. A $5 instant bonus will come from the sportsbook the following day. This offer is valid once a week per player.
Lastly, 888 Sport offers daily and weekly challenges. Users who bet $50 or more on any sport with odds -200 or higher will get a $5 bonus the following day.
Completing that daily challenge three times in one week will net users another $10 bonus.
Where else to bet online in New Jersey
As has been widely reported, New Jersey has become the trendsetter in terms of regulated sports betting.
No other state, outside of Nevada, matches the boom, excitement, and headlines generated by the Garden State sports betting industry. In large part, New Jersey has benefited from a strong mobile market.
Eight products are currently available in New Jersey (including the platforms offered):
- DraftKings Sportsbook (browser, Android, iOS)
- PlayMGM Sport (Android)
- SugarHouse Sportsbook (browser, Android, iOS)
- FanDuel Sportsbook (browser, Android, iOS)
- William Hill NJ – now Caesars NJ (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.