What’s the first sign of the upcoming NFL week, besides the chatter?
Odds boosts. They arrive in time for the Thursday night games and progress closer to Sunday’s kickoffs. They come in varied forms and reach different betting sectors, from individual to team props.
It’s important to know which ones are simply fun and which may entice a strong wager, perhaps one of the most important bets you’ll make this week.
Let’s assess some for the Miami Dolphins vs. Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday Night Football.
DraftKings has a strong odds boost lineup
We’ll start off with a good pick from DraftKings Sportsbook. Jacksonville quarterback Gardner Minshew to throw for more than 250.5 yards and the Jags to win has been boosted from +130 to +150.
This is a good price.
The yards should be attainable, as Minshew threw for 339 on Sunday when the Jags authored a shootout with the Tennessee Titans, losing 33-30.
Minshew Mania was in full force as he led the Jags back from a big deficit.
Conversely, the Dolphins allowed 417 yards to the Josh Allen-led Buffalo Bills in a 31-28 loss. If you think Minshew’s team can follow with a win, this is the most realistic prop on the board.
What you’ve got for this prop +150 is a moneyline favorite of -157 in the Jags and a yardage total Minshew normally hits.
Worth the attempt.
A moneyline victory for the Dolphins
Go to the flip side of the moneyline. The Dolphins to win outright and the game to stay under 48 points now pays +355, up from +325.
This is an intriguing prop because a moneyline victory by the Dolphins is feasible. They opened as a 1-point underdog and it became +3 on Tuesday.
Still, being an underdog by a field goal or less represents a realistic win chance.
The tricky part will be keeping this game under 48 points. The Jags-Titans scored 63 points, and the Dolphins and Buffalo Bills clicked for 59 points last week.
Do you think this can go 10 points lower and the Dolphins can prevail? Miami doesn’t win many shootouts, so there is a sentiment that if they win, it will be a lower-scoring game.
DJ Chark odds boost
Crapshoot: If you take a stab in the first touchdown department, DJ Chark has been boosted from +900 to +975. A nice payout becomes even nicer.
But how much will he play? Chark is battling a chest injury and will be limited. A chest injury impacts a player’s ability to reach out for the pass.
Will the Dolphins be nursing him on a short week, trying to preserve him for the long haul? First touchdowns are tough calls anyway because they have a limited time frame.
Fox Bet: Money in the TDs
Here’s a good one with a history of coming out.
Fox Bet NJ offers an odds boost if each team scores a touchdown in each half. The odds have been hiked from +125 to +200.
In Week Two, Miami scored touchdowns in each half of a 31-28 setback to the Bills.
Jacksonville tallied touchdowns in both halves in losing one of the week’s most thrilling contests, 33-30, to the Tennessee Titans.
Both teams have freewheeling, talented quarterbacks. Neither team has much of a defense.
PointsBet: Dolphins-Jags boosted to playable
Minshew and Ryan Fitzpatrick combined for 667 passing yards in NFL Week Two. They are presented as a prop of 500 yards between them and reduced from -140 to -110 at PointsBet NJ.
Not attractive at -140, but a play, maybe a strong one, at -110.
This is a sensible number, as you can forecast either quarterback to get hot. If either team falls a few points behind, it’s a must-throw. The odds on the prop indicate there is roughly a 50% chance of the yardage being reached.
And they both cleared the number last week. Can they do it again?
The boost brings this wager into play.
This is a nice companion ticket to the over-under 48 play. You are doubling down on hopes of offense and rooting against freak plays, like a deflection that gets picked off in the end zone.
Why odds boosts are a good bet
Odds boosts are a significant benefit for players because a boost often eliminates the effect of the vig.
That’s the 10% premium gamblers pay the books for the privilege of taking their bets. At one time, it was how books made money. They balanced the books on each side, took their cut and pocketed some revenue.
But the new age of gambling, with high-volume play and quick-betting access, makes book-balancing difficult. Operators now toss out enticements to lure action, especially on isolated Thursday night games.
Players must decide which props and odds boosts have the best value. In budgeting terms, a good feeling on a Thursday night odds-boosted prop may be more beneficial than a Sunday bet you don’t love.
AP Photo/Doug Murray