It was great to see the NFL back and in full force last weekend.
As always, reflecting on the results yields questions that may not be resolved in Week 2 if not much later in the season.
In any case, here are some of my top-line thoughts:
- Are the Patriots this good?
- Are the Dolphins this bad?
- Who are the Cleveland Browns?
- Is Todd Gurley 100%?
- Why were the Texans playing a “Prevent Defense” up 1 point with 40 seconds left to play?
As we dive into Week 2, it’s always important to not overreact to what happened during Week 1.
That’s the puzzle within sports betting to determine the myths versus reality. Forming an opinion on a game, a team, or a trend based on doing your homework is essential and placing and cashing a wager on your homework is a great feeling.
For all in New Jersey, there’s plenty of betting hub options.
In fact, there are enough apps for a New Jersey bettor to use a different one each week of the NFL regular season.
As I will do each week, this column will highlight up to three New Jersey sportsbooks and take a closer look at the promos, props, and specials that you should be aware of heading into the weekend’s football action.
For Week 2, I am looking at PointsBet, BetMGM, and theScore Bet.
Plenty of options at PointsBet
PointsBet made headlines Week 1 when a bettor used the points betting option to accrue cash as the Baltimore Ravens crushed the Dolphins, to the tune of $600,000.
I will spare you a long dissertation of explaining how points betting works here, so we will focus on the “standard” NFL betting opportunities that are available on PointsBet NJ sportsbook.
First off, PointsBet offers a cool promo rewarding bettors whose team scores first in Thursday’s or Monday’s games:
Looking locally, PointsBet is offering local promos for the Jets, Giants, and Eagles games with a $6 bonus for every touchdown scored:
Each week, PointsBet offers customized team parlays with corresponding odds boosts:
In addition to the team parlays offered above, there are also some customized player props available:
Keep in mind that you can also tweet to @PointsBetUSA to suggest ideas for any props that aren’t available.
In addition to the wide range of promos and props, PointsBet offers 70+ bet types on NFL game lines and totals:
In addition to these traditional baseline bets, PointsBet also offers wagers on areas, such as:
- Quarterback completion percentage.
- Player rushing yards and player receiving yards.
- Time of first touchdown (in seconds).
All things considered, there’s a ton of action for you to choose from on PointsBet.
What can BetMGM do for you in Week 2?
Prior to Week 1 of the NFL season, MGM rebranded its app … and gave it a new look and platform upgrade. BetMGM includes “NJ” as part of the branding refresh.
All season long, BetMGM is offering a Bet $10, Get $10 promotion in which the bettor will get a $10 free bet for any upcoming game on the schedule:
But I think the real headline with BetMGM NJ is its “Edit My Bet” feature that allows you to change any straight or parlay bet that has the cash-out option available.
For example, if you are hyped about how your team played in the first quarter, this BetMGM feature allows you to increase your bet size during the action.
Here’s more direct from the app:
And speaking of parlays, BetMGM offers some pre-set “geographic” team double parlays for this week:
There are times, however, where BetMGM has a lapse that reminds us that they aren’t always up to 2019 standards.
Case in point: Below is a listed prop for this weekend’s Buffalo Bills–NY Giants game. The sides are inexplicably listed as Team 1 and Team 2.
Overall, there are some nice adds to the MGM offering, specifically the “Edit a Bet” feature. That said, there are always more opportunities to improve and add the scale and depth of props and promos.
How to score with TheScore sportsbook
TheScore Bet app launched just before Week 1 of the NFL kicked off.
It is a Canada-based sports information app that has a sleek, user-friendly design. Its sports betting app in New Jersey is a mirror image in format and design.
TheScore offers subscribers the opportunity to seamlessly switch from the news and information app to the betting app.
For example, let’s say you’ve just read the news on theScore that Sam Darnold is out on Monday night versus the Cleveland Browns. So, you could then quickly click on theScore Bet icon embedded in the Browns-Jets game details to make a wager on the game:
In terms of promotions, theScore Bet is offering an NFL promotion this week, awarding a $20 bet for anyone that bets a four-plus leg parlay:
With a news and information hub as a backdrop, theScore sportsbook app delivers up-to-date stats and game information to help further educate the bettor.
An example below as it relates to injuries for Sunday night’s Eagles-Falcons game:
There is also a very handy stat-line statistical comparison of key offensive and defensive match-up categories:
With all this great news and statistical information as a base, theScore Bet does fall a bit flat on its menu of current NFL betting options.
For example, the list of available wagering options for Thursday’s Panthers-Buccaneers is extremely slim.
Here is a “First Score Will Be” prop:
Also, if you are looking ahead to Sunday’s games and specifically the Giants-Bills game, as of midday Thursday, no props had yet to be posted.
TheScore needs to do better than this:
Right now, theScore sportsbook is an excellent resource for pregame news, stats and information.
The options on the betting side of the equation right now are the equivalent of a “3 and Out” in NFL offensive parlance.
Other NJ sports betting promos of note
One other notable NFL promotion available this week is from DraftKings called the “Overreaction Redo” where DraftKings will provide up to a $25 free bet for any futures bet placed this week.
It requires an “opt-in” with details below:
In looking ahead to the local NY and PA teams, here are the current Week 2 lines as of Thursday via PointsBet:
- Giants +1.5 (-105) vs. Bills, a total of 43.5
- Eagles -1.5 (-110) vs. Falcons, a total of 52.5
- Jets (with Darnold out) +6.5 (-110) vs. Browns, a total of 43.
Looking ahead to Sunday
To wrap up each column, I will be making three NFL picks.
Last week, after making my first three picks, I was quite content to finish at 2-1 as the Ravens and Vikings games were essentially over by halftime.
My third pick, the Redskins, were getting 10 points in Philly. The ‘skins raced to a 20-7 lead at halftime, only to be outscored 25-0 by the Eagles in the second half.
Cue a Case Keenum touchdown pass with 0:12 left in the fourth quarter that delivered the classic “back-door cover” for me:
Last week: 3-0; season year to date: 3-0
- Redskins: +10 over Eagles (Eagles 32-Redskins 27)
- Viking: -4 over Falcons (Viking 28-Falcons 12)
- Raven: -6.5 over Dolphins (Ravens 59-Dolphins 10)
NFL Week 2 picks
Eagles at Falcons total points 52.5, under
Over the last five head-to-head meetings, the Eagles-Falcons have combined to score 50 points only once: a 26-24 Falcons win in Atlanta in 2015, with the previous three meetings yielding totals of 30, 25, and 39.
Texans -9 over Jaguars
The Texans play their home opener after suffering an excruciating last-second loss in New Orleans on Monday night.
They need to bounce back quickly and avoid an 0-2 start by beating the Jaguars who will now have to start rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew II with Philly legend Nick Foles out indefinitely with a broken collarbone.
Steelers -4 over Seahawks
The Steelers offense could not have looked any more inept last Sunday night, putting up a measly 3 points at New England.
The play is that they will rebound in this spot versus a Seahawk team that’s not as formidable away from their home field of screaming “12s.”