In early May, gamblers were starved for live events.

Now there’s a stacked weekend lineup for New Jersey online betting, regardless of what occurs in other sports.

A new niche — NASCAR, UFC and soccer, primarily Bundesliga — has emerged via consistent event scheduling since mid-May.

The English Premier League is back and will spike soccer action, too.

Yes, we know that the PGA Tour is back in action, with the RBC Heritage golf tournament in full swing. But let’s look beyond golf betting to a busy slate of other betting options ahead.

So without further ado, here’s what to bet on this weekend in New Jersey.

NASCAR Geico 500 betting in NJ

NASCAR holds its ninth Cup Series event since returning May 17.

The Geico 500 occurs Sunday at 3 p.m. on Fox from Talladega Speedway in Alabama.

The top drivers have been consistently in the money, with victories spread around.

For this week, at DraftKings Sportsbook (all odds as of June 18):

Chase Elliott, who has been consistent since NASCAR resumed a month ago, is the co-favorite.

Elliott is +900 to win, +275 for a top 3 finish.

Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano have the same numbers.

Denny Hamlin is +1000 to win and +300 for the top 3.

Ryan Blaney is +1200 and +350 for the top 3.

New Jersey native Martin Truex Jr. is 16-1 and +450 for the top 3.

Head-to-head prop matchups are also popular. Kyle Busch vs Kevin Harvick is -115 either way.

Busch, the defending NASCAR Cup Series champ, has been underperforming relative to his odds. He was favored in the first set of NASCAR return races but hasn’t been in the top tier.

He’s becoming more of an underdog, reflecting recent performance.

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Top car manufacturer driver odds

The top manufacturer provides a betting sideshow. It’s a race inside the race, with bettors selecting the best individual Chevy, Ford or Toyota driver.

Elliott is +350 as the top Chevy driver at Talladega.

Keselowski and Logano are both +400 to head the Ford group. Harvick, interestingly, is +650.

Hamlin is +175 and Busch +225 for Toyota. Martin Truex Jr. is + 325.

At FanDuel, backers of Keselowski and Elliott find them at +1000, along with Hamlin and Logano. More wagering possibilities may arrive on that site closer to race time.

The shuffling NASCAR leaderboard

The standings for the top drivers are bunched. The leaders have been dependable for the bettors as Top 10 wagers.

  • Harvick leads the way with 463 points.
  • Elliott holds second with 455.
  • Logano is third with 434.

Keselowski has 412 for fourth. He has been a pleasant surprise for bettors relative to his odds since the circuit returned. Keselowski has been paying well.

Blaney is fifth with 411 points.

Elliott shows the way with five stages led, while Alex Bowman has four. Logano and Hamlin have three apiece.

This wager comes into view at PlaySugarHouse.com. The online book has the prop of any driver to win both stage 1 and 2 as +650 for yes and -1430 for no.

In the eight NASCAR competitions since the return of May 17, this is how the top drivers have fared:

  • Harvick — 2 wins
  • Hamlin — 2 wins
  • Keselowski — 2 wins
  • Elliott —  1 win

Martin Truex Jr. has one win—and New Jersey roots.

He grew up in Stafford Township, graduated from Southern Regional High School in 1998 and is the son of Martin Truex Sr., a former race winner in the Busch North Series.

Truex Jr. began his racing career driving go-karts at the New Egypt Speedway.

UFC: Another week, another card

The UFC has cranked out show after show since May 9. And NJ online gambling sites are pretty pleased with the betting turnout.

The next installment, on Saturday, features heavyweight Curtis Blaydes as a prohibitive favorite (-440 and rising) as he opposes Alexander Volkov (+320 at FanDuel as of Thursday).

The prelims begin at 6 p.m., the main card at 9 p.m., available at ESPN +.

Blaydes is ranked number three in the heavyweight division and Volkov is seventh, yet the odds remain large.

Blaydes also is prohibitive on the win line at -455 at DraftKings.

Bettors will have to survey the angles to find a wager here.

If you like to play off of what the board suggests, the bout is -430 to go the distance at FanDuel.

Combine Blaydes’ big odds and the over-under distance, and the early bettors expect a KO/TKO for Blaydes. He is -140 for that at FanDuel.

But if you want to try to guess the round, he is +280 for round one, +500 for round two and +900 for round three.

Volkov backers will seek the moneyline but may take a prop stab with him being +1300 for round one, +1300 for round 2 and +3600 for round three victories.

Blaydes has been a buzzsaw against anyone not named Francis Ngannou, who has beaten him twice.

Otherwise, Blaydes has won eight of his last nine, including a triumph over world-ranked Alistair Overeem. He comes off a second-round TKO of Junior dos Santos in January.

Volkov is less experienced in the UFC at 5-1. He scored a decision win over Greg Hardy in November.

Other events in UFC on Saturday

The co-main event is a featherweight showdown between No. 8 Josh Emmett and No. 10 Shane Burgos. Despite the lower ranking, Burgos is listed at -143 and Emmett +115 at DraftKings.

Three other fights mark the main card. Raquel Pennington is -170 vs Marion Reneau, +138, at DraftKings.

Belal Muhammad is -144 vs Lyman Good +118, at FanDuel.

Roosevelt Roberts is -240 at both books against Jim Miller, who ranges between +195 and +192.

Soccer betting variety pack

English Premier League is back!

What you need to know is that it’s Liverpool and then everybody else in this 20-team soccer pack. What’s more difficult is finding value at NJ sportsbooks.

When Liverpool plays, it usually lays close to -200, and opponents are often +400 and up.

In Bundesliga, Bayern Munich has won eight straight titles. It takes on Freiburg on Saturday.

RB Leipzig and Dortmund, the second- and third-best teams, are in action Saturday.

All games are at 9:30 a.m. FS1 carries Bayern-Munich, and FS2 has RB Leipzig-Dortmund.

And of course, for all the events listed above (including the PGA Tour), there are no spectators. So don’t expect to hear the roar of the crowd.

Dave Bontempo

About

Dave Bontempo, a multiple national award-winning boxing commentator and writer, authors NFL betting columns for the Press of Atlantic City and IGaming Player, among others.