Not all days work out well for sportsbooks. Week 7 of the NFL season proved that.
Playing at home as 3.5-point underdogs, the New York Jets rolled over in a 20-point loss to the Minnesota Vikings. The Chicago Bears entered as two-point dogs against the visiting New England Patriots, but a Hail Mary fell one-yard shy of potentially sending the game to overtime and instead dealt the Bears a seven-point loss. The Cincinnati Bengals seemed poised to at least cover the 6.5-point spread it faced against the favored Kansas City Chiefs, yet QB Patrick Mahomes bulldozed Cincy in a 35-point blowout.
If that wasn’t enough, the Philadelphia Eagles led 17-0 heading into the fourth quarter. Listed as high as -2,000 to win, the Eagles instead gave up 21 straight points and lost 21-17 to the Carolina Panthers.
How does the NFL follow up a brutal week (for sportsbooks)? For now, we can only speculate using lines from Caesars Sportsbook. (All point spreads and moneylines are as of Tuesday.)
Add ’em to your NJ sports betting slip
Miami Dolphins (4-3) at Houston Texans (4-3)
Two teams with polar opposite streaks square off in this intraconference battle. The Dolphins have lost three of their last four games, while Houston has strung together four straight wins to climb to the top of the AFC South standings.
While the Texans pummeled the Jacksonville Jaguars in a not-that-close 20-7 win last week, Houston could find some trouble on Thursday Night Football.
Of the Dolphins four losses, three were decided by 10 points or more. Basically, if Miami loses, it loses bad. But QB Brock Osweiler appears rejuvenated, completing 66.7 percent of his passes for 619 yards and five TDs in starts over the past two games.
While Houston features a capable QB of its own in Deshaun Watson, he has thrown the seventh-most interceptions in the league. Miami, meanwhile, sits tied for first in the NFL with 11 picks. Considering the Texans have had six games decided by single digits, taking Miami, a 7.5-point underdog to win outright seems reasonable. And it pays +280.
Cleveland Browns (2-4-1) at Pittsburgh Steelers (3-2-1)
Who knows how many more overtime games the Browns can endure this season?
Four times this year Cleveland has played in the extra period, including in a season-opening tie with Pittsburgh.
The Steelers have since found something of a rhythm, winning their last two by a combined 69 points.
The AFC North leader hosts the division’s perennial cellar-dweller here, which could either coax action on the favorite (Pittsburgh at -8) or turn away action altogether.
Consider, though, that Cleveland this year is 5-2 against the spread. Even winning outright is possible. The Browns lead the NFL in takeaways (14) and interceptions (11) and face a Pittsburgh team that is known to baffle and frustrate its fan base with turnovers.
Paying out +310 appears enough of an incentive to take Cleveland outright.
Green Bay Packers (3-2-1) at Los Angeles Rams (7-0)
It is perhaps not surprising that the undefeated Rams are favored by a wide margin. it’s equally shocking that the Packers are listed as nine-point underdogs.
If it stands, this deficit would become the largest faced by Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers in his career.
Perhaps, though, this is the time that the Packers come together and make a push down the homestretch.
Winner in two of its last three games, Green Bay comes off a bye week, which followed a 33-30 escape of the lowly San Francisco 49ers. The Packers are rested and boast Rodgers, a top-10 quarterback in the league statistically and arguably one of the go-to signal-callers in the game.
Yes, the Rams are undefeated. They feature offensive weapons at QB (Jared Goff) and RB (Todd Gurley II) as well as a suffocating defense. Yet three of LA’s last four games were decided by single digits. And all three easily could have been losses.
The Packers rank among the best in the league defensively, which will certainly need to step up against the potent Rams. Los Angeles has to give at some point, experience some misstep, this season. Why not this week? Especially when Green Bay, a perennial contender, pays out +340 for an outright win.
Long shots of the week
As always, this section is for the bold and daring. And in the case of this week, for the even bolder and more daring.
First: the Kansas City Chiefs (7-0) hosting the Denver Broncos (3-4).
The Chiefs have one loss, to the Patriots, by three points. Kansas City, a 10-point favorite this week, is 7-0 ATS, the only team in the league with an unblemished record. QB Patrick Mahomes and RB Kareem Hunt are among the top duos in the NFL, leading the second-best offense in the league.
Denver, meanwhile, has lost four of five, a 45-10 drubbing of the Arizona Cardinals last week snapping the skid. In that game, the Broncos did defensively what it will need to do against the Chiefs. Five takeaways: three interceptions (two for touchdowns) and two recovered fumbles. Stranger things have happened, and at +425, a Broncos outright win pays handsomely.
The boldest of the lines comes out of western New York. Losers of two straight, owners of the second-worst offense in the NFL, the Buffalo Bills (2-5) sit as 14-point dogs against the New England Patriots (5-2).
Buffalo will once again throw out QB Derek Anderson, who was intercepted three times and lost a fumble last week. Only a miracle (or several) can help the Bills come out victorious against a Patriots team riding a four-game winning streak and is 31-4 against Buffalo since 2000. But to paraphrase Al Michaels: Miracles do happen.
And if they do, a hardy +850 payout will go right into your pocket.
Where else to bet online in New Jersey
New Jersey is the sun of the American sports betting universe. Only Nevada can contend with the expanse and excitement generated by the Garden State.
Complementing eight retail sportsbooks (and potentially another two on the way) are eight mobile products currently available in New Jersey:
- DraftKings Sportsbook
- PlayMGM Sport
- SugarHouse Sportsbook
- FanDuel Sportsbook
- William Hill NJ
- Caesars Sportsbook
- 888 Sportsbook
- BetStars NJ(no browser)
The list of NJ sportsbook apps includes a deep variety of traditional moneylines, parlays, in-game betting, and futures.