As we pass the quarter pole of the NFL betting season, the win-loss scorecard features:
- Three undefeated teams (49ers, Patriots, Chiefs)
- Six winless teams (Cardinals, Bengals, Broncos, Redskins, Jets, and Dolphins)
- 13 teams sitting right in the middle at 2-2.
Last year, heading into NFL Week 5, there were two undefeated teams (Rams, Chiefs) and only one winless team (Cardinals).
The eventual Super Bowl champion Patriots were of the seven teams sitting at 2-2. So, while the haves and (especially) have nots have been established for 2019, who will emerge from their 2-2 start to make their mark in the division and then the playoffs?
Looking at Week 5 also brings newly added factors into the handicapping and NFL betting mix, namely the impact of bye weeks and London games.
Looking at bye weeks, the Jets and 49ers were idle last week, and this week’s schedule gives the Lions and (mercifully) Dolphins the week off.
The Bills, Bears, Colts, and Raiders are in action on Sunday and are heading into a bye week next weekend.
Each week, this column highlights up to three New Jersey sportsbook apps and takes a deeper dive into their promos, props, and specials that you should be aware of heading into the weekend’s NFL football action.
A decent NFL Week 5 menu at 888 Sport
888 Sport (correctly pronounced “Triple 8 Sport”) is a European bookmaker that launched in New Jersey last year.
They have a few NFL-related promotions on offer, though there is not currently anything with a local look and feel:
888 sportsbook does have a decent menu of NFL futures wagers currently available. Here’s a glimpse at the top contenders for the AP NFL Defensive Player of Year:
Less subjective than the season-ending awards are futures markets for regular season yardage leaders in passing, rushing, and receiving yards.
Here are 888 Sport’s top contenders for receiving yards led by the LA Chargers Keenan Allen at +550:
When looking at this week’s NFL game wagering slate, the 888 betting menu is simple and straightforward.
There is a unique parlay option related to the first-half winner and first-half total points:
There’s a serviceable menu of alternative point spread options.
Shown below are prices for Rams at Seahawks this Thursday, with a total of a +/- 27-point ranges for each team:
One other in-game prop to highlight on 888 Sport is around the highest-scoring quarter and half:
Borgata keeps things simple and generic
The Borgata sports betting app joined the New Jersey fray in May of this year, followed shortly thereafter by the opening of the casino’s Moneyline Bar & Book in June.
Then in September, MGM upgraded its betting apps in New Jersey with a new platform. So it’s been a busy year for this MGM-owned enterprise.
However, looking at the NFL app offering, it’s surprisingly generic for a property that has been part of the Atlantic City casino landscape since 2003.
Here’s the lone NFL promotion, a $20 money-back wager on college or pro football:
There are a handful of NFL futures wagers posted on Borgata for regular-season MVP:
Here is a look at pricing for the offensive rookie of the year, currently favoring the NY Giants upstart QB Daniel Jones:
For individual game wagers, there are posted “price boosts” around selected props.
Here are some select props for the Thursday Night Football Rams versus Seahawks game:
It’s interesting to see a Todd Gurley rushing prop to gain 100+ yards. This would have been a no-brainer play in the first half of last year.
But the Rams usage of Gurley (and his health) continues to be a mystery, as he’s averaging 12 carries/54 yards per game.
The in-game NFL betting offerings on Borgata online sportsbook are basic and straightforward. Just to illustrate the different approaches in pricing, here is the current Borgata pricing:
Borgata does offer a small menu of special prop bets including:
- How many yards will the shortest TD be?
- Will the game go into overtime?
- Will there be a safety in the game?
Additionally, there are individual player totals for passing, rushing, and receiving yards.
Kudos to PointsBet NJ
PointsBet continued its local promo with a $6 bonus for TDs by the Jets, Giants, and Eagles. A $50 spread bet unlocks the promotion:
Also, every Thursday and Monday night, a $100 wager will qualify as a winner if your team scores the first TD of the game:
I won’t go into specifics on the futures markets, but suffice it to say that PointsBet NJ has it covered with division winners, AFC, NFC, and Super Bowl winners.
They also have individual player futures ranging from MVP to offensive and defensive rookies of the year.
The individual game offerings are copious, to say the least. Noting that there are 210 different markets (wow!) posted for Thursday’s Rams versus Seahawks game.
Here’s a snapshot of the PointsBet “Name a Bet” prop categories, with individual props listed in a drop-down menu under each category:
A further peek behind the curtain on these props shows some innovative and unique props that PointsBet is offering:
Will there be a fourth-quarter comeback?
How many touchdowns will be scored?
How many interceptions will Russell Wilson or Jared Goff throw?
After sifting through all the available bet and prop options, if you don’t see something that you have a wagering angle on, you can tweet to @PointsBetUSA to suggest ideas for any props that you don’t see currently offered.
Well done, PointsBet.
The NFL local line
All three local teams are back in action this weekend. Here are the current lines as of Thursday via PointsBet:
- Giants +5 (-105) vs Vikings, Total of 43.5
- Eagles -13.5 (-105) vs Jets +13.5 (-105), Total of 44
NFL betting picks from the Jersey side
I certainly wasn’t on the sharp side last week as both the Falcons and Colts lost straight up at home. Ugly.
Speaking of ugly, it was a brutal Monday night game, but the Steelers did win to cover the 4-point spread to allow me to post a 1-2 mark.
My Week 4 recap
Last week 1-2, Season YTD 7-5
- STEELERS -4 over Bengals (STEELERS 27, Bengals 3)
- FALCONS -4 over Titans (Titans 24, FALCONS 10)
- COLTS -7 over Raiders (Raiders 31, COLTS 24)
NFL Week 5 picks
Sifting through pre and post-bye week games and a game in London adds a little extra layer of thought to this weekend’s games.
Here’s what I like:
Raiders vs Bears (Under 40.5)
The Bears’ defense is fierce. You can bet that Khalil Mack is fired up to meet his former team. Chase Daniel takes over from Mitchell Trubisky at QB for the Bears.
While this isn’t necessarily a downgrade at QB, Daniel is more of a game manager than a big-play threat. All of this adds up to the Raiders and Bears playing an UNDER the total from jolly old England.
CHARGERS -6.5 over Broncos
The Broncos defense finally registered their first sack of the season last Sunday. Joe Flacco has been ineffective, to say the least.
It’s tough times in the Mile High City right now.
Unless new Broncos coach Vic Fangio can pull some miracles out of his fanny-pack, this could be another challenging Sunday for the Orange Crush as they travel to LA.
The Chargers come off a “free square” win in Miami last Sunday and now welcome Melvin Gordon into their offensive schemes. I see a controlling win for the resurgent Chargers.
TITANS -3 over Bills
It’s a challenge to figure out which Titans team will show up week-in and week-out.
While the T’s have been all over the place, they should have enough in the tank to handle a Bills team coming off a physical home loss to the Patriots last week.
I grabbed this at Titans -3 while the status of Bills QB Josh Allen is still in doubt (concussion protocol) for this Sunday in Nashville. The Bills alternative at QB is Matt Barkley if Allen can’t go.
I will take my chances here on the Titans laying the points.