After all, NFL Week 3 begins with the loss of legacy quarterbacks Drew Brees (Saints) for at least six weeks and Ben Roethlisberger (Steelers) for the season after elbow surgery.
Digging a little deeper, it’s not clear if Cam Newton is completely healthy in Carolina, the Jets lost Sam Darnold last Thursday to mono, then back-up Trevor Siemian went down Monday for the year against the Browns, and now have third-stringer Nick Falk starting this week against the Patriots.
Additionally, the Eli Manning (as a starter) era ended in East Rutherford as Daniel Jones takes over the starting reigns, and there was already Nick Foles going down in Week 1.
And just like that, you have five+ different starting QB’s in Week 3 from opening week. Yikes.
With all of these changes, there’s a lot to sort out for Week 3 in a short amount of time for both oddsmakers and bettors alike. Many teams can’t wait for their bye week to heal up on their injuries, which begin in Week 4 for the Jets and 49ers.
As we look ahead to Week 3, some of the questions I’m considering:
- How lopsided will the Patriots (vs Jets) and Cowboys (vs Dolphins) games be?
- Can the Buffalo Bills win outside of MetLife Stadium?
- Are 2-0 teams like the Ravens, Packers, 49ers, and Seahawks really this good?
- Are 0-2 teams like the Panthers, Broncos, and Jaguars really this bad?
Putting it all together for New Jersey bettors, there are 10 retail sportsbooks and, with the launch of Unibet last week, now 17 sports betting apps to choose from.
Each week, this column highlights up to three New Jersey sportsbooks and will take a deeper dive into the promos, props, and specials that you should be aware of heading into the weekend’s NFL football action.
The new kid on the block: Unibet
Unibet is one of 11 brand names under the umbrella of online casino operator Kindred Group. In addition to its launch in New Jersey last week, the Unibet brand is present in 20 other countries.
Unibet’s sportsbook app is part of an overall NJ online casino gaming offering. So there is only one specific promo related to football called the $100k pigskin parlay:
This is a promotion to pay attention to if you like to play NFL parlays.
Place a minimum $10 and a six-team parlay. If all the teams cover the spread by an additional 9.5 points each, there is a $100,000 payout on top of the base parlay winnings.
This is interesting as it gets one to think if the Patriots (-22.5) can beat the Jets by 33 points or conversely, can the Dolphins (+21.5) stay within 12 points of the Cowboys in Dallas on Sunday? Not a bad way to invest a $10 stake.
There are some future bets listed on Unibet, at current, but it’s standard fare, with listed AFC/NFC champions and pricing for individual division winners:
There are no MVP, defensive player of the year, or rushing leader props, which is odd. The only current player prop is for offensive rookie of the year:
Looking at Week 3 game matchups, the Unibet menu features 80+ wagering options for each game with the player props and the betting options expected to increase as we build toward Sunday:
Unibet has a unique take on the margin of victory point totals, as shown below for the Jets vs Patriots game, with 13-1 odds for the Pats to win by 43 points or more:
There are also props for highest-scoring quarter and half, and for the race to various totals:
Settle in for a short ride at Resorts
The Resorts land-based sportsbook features DraftKings as the brand operator. In its online space, the Resorts sports betting portal is powered by SBTech and is part of an overall casino gaming menu.
They aren’t one of the big dogs on the sportsbook campus, but Resorts still packs a punch in a few areas.
For instance, there’s a football pick ‘em handicapping contest with $40,000 in total prizes:
While there are no specific NFL-related sport betting boosts or promotions, Resorts does offer a healthy bonus (bonus capped at $25k) for multi-leg parlays:
Resorts also has a player prop looking ahead to next year’s NFL Draft:
For this NFL season, there is a prop for NFL MVP, with the current favorite and new State Farm spokesman Patrick Mahomes at +240:
The team future props are sparse, but there is pricing for each division winner:
The Resorts NFL Week 3 menu is pretty basic, with 50+ wagering types available:
Still, here’s a closer look at the Resorts odds for the Eagles vs Lions game at the Link this Sunday:
And a prop related to “overtime” complete with a unique spelling from Resorts:
Of course, there should be more bells and whistles added to the Resorts NFL menu (and Unibet) as we get closer to Sunday afternoon.
Scoring big with FanDuel Sportsbook
FanDuel has its base of retail operations at the Meadowlands in East Rutherford.
While its MetLife neighbors, the Jets and Giants, are winless thus far this year, FanDuel continues to knock it out of the park with multiple NFL wagering options and cool localized props.
Yes, they have the offensive rookie of the year prop bet, including new Giants starting QB Jones at a relatively short price of 7 -1:
With such a distinct difference right now between the “haves and have nots” in the NFL, FanDuel has props for the Patriots to stay undefeated and the Dolphins to remain winless in 2019:
Beyond the obvious Pats and Dolphins extremes, I note the props for two local teams.
For instance, FanDuel asks a good question: When will the Jets win their first game?
FanDuel views the situation with the Giants (0-2) perhaps not as dire as the Jets. As such, there are a prop posting odds for Jones to live up to his #6 overall draft hype in 2019 and resurrect Big Blue’s fortunes:
Outside of these local angles, FD also has a prop bet around when the now Big Ben-less Steelers will register their first victory of 2019:
When it comes to individual game betting FD has an outstanding menu of wagering options including weekly fantasy point totals for select players.
FanDuel has also introduced the “same game parlay,” which is a great feature for those that have wanted to bet more than one prop in a single game.
FanDuel does limit the specific props that can be used, but there are many to choose from. Here is an example of a same game parlay ticket for this Sunday’s Lions vs Eagles game that includes moneyline, over/under, margin of victory, half-time/full-time and a quarter moneyline.
It’s a nice amount of game action:
FanDuel also offers teasers, a unique multi-leg bet that started years ago at Las Vegas sportsbooks offering the bettor the chance to adjust a game’s betting by 6-7 points, with fixed odds payouts based on the number of correct game selections.
Shown below are three examples of a three-team teaser using the Colts, Ravens, and Browns with adjusted pricing based on the 3-point spread options of +6, +6.5 and +7 points:
Well played, FanDuel. Basically, this New Jersey sports betting app continues to push to offer its customers an extensive wagering menu.
The local line: Jets, Giants, Eagles
In looking ahead to the local-regional teams of NY and PA, here are the current Week 3 lines as of Thursday morning (Sept. 19) via FanDuel:
- Giants +6.5 (-110) vs Buccaneers, Total of 48
- Eagles -6.5 (-110) vs Lions, Total of 46
- Jets +22.5 (-120) vs Patriots, Total of 44
Looking ahead to Sunday
After starting Week 1 at 3-0, things derailed a bit for me in Week 2 after Big Ben was lost for the season and the Steelers lost the game.
The Texans were all out to beat the Jags and didn’t come close to covering as a 9-point favorite. I righted the ship Sunday night with a contrarian “under” play cashing in the Eagles vs Falcons game.
Week 2 recap
Record Week 2: 1-2
Season YTD: 4-2
- Eagles at Falcons: Total Points 52.5 – UNDER (Result: Falcons 24-Eagles 20; TOTAL 44)
- Texans -9 over Jaguars (Result: Texans 13-Jaguars 12)
- Steelers -4 over Seahawks (Result: Seahawks 28-Steelers 26)
NFL Week 3 picks
Both the Cowboys and Patriots enter this week as 20+ point favorites. I can’t consider these games, so instead I will sit back and watch other action.
PACKERS -8 vs Broncos
I’m looking for the Packers offense to get untracked and start to click in Week 3. In the Mile High City, I’m concerned with Vic Fangio’s conservative approach and with Joe Flacco’s ability to put Broncos points on the board.
COLTS -2 vs Falcons
The Luck-less Colts have started a gritty 1-1 with their first two games on the road. They draw a Falcons team that is just not the same team away from home and will be challenged to stop the Colts ground game led by Marlon Mack.
BILLS -6 over Bengals
With their season opener in Orchard Park, the Bills Mafia will be out in full force imploring their home team to a win and an unexpected 3-0 start.
As competitive as the Bengals looked in Week 1 in Seattle, they really took a step backward last week at home vs the surging 49ers. I think last week is more indicative of the Bengals fortunes in 2019, with the Bills to roll to victory this Sunday.