MLS Cup Betting Preview: NJ Online Sportsbooks Set The Odds As MLS Regular Season Begins

The Philadelphia Union and New York Red Bulls are not favored to win the MLS Cup, but here’s how their odds stack up against other top teams.

Major League Soccer’s 26th season kicks off this weekend after a 25th anniversary season which saw upheaval and a midseason tournament thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This season sees a return to normalcy with a regular schedule and fans in the stands, depending on the team. There’s also a new team joining the fray, Austin Football Club, which makes 27 teams now vying for the MLS Cup.

For the three local teams to New Jersey, New York City F.C. (NYCFC), the New York Red Bulls, and the Philadelphia Union, two of the teams are looking at the MLS Cup as a possible goal to attain while one is looking at rebuilding.

Philadelphia Union

The defending Supporters’ Shield winner has brought back the vast majority of their young nucleus, most notably defending Goalkeeper of the Year Andre Blake.

They did sell two of their starters, Brenden Aaronson and Mark McKenzie, to European clubs in the off-season but have the deep roster to continue the team on their upward trend.

New York City Football Club

  • William Hill +1000
  • BetMGM +1000
  • DraftKings +1100

Due to scheduling conflicts with the New York Yankees, NYCFC will play their home games at their cross-river rival Red Bulls’ Red Bull Arena for the second season in a row.

Despite not being able to play at home, NYCFC made the playoffs and is poised to make another run for the MLS Cup. With veteran goalie Sean Johnson and midfielder Maximiliano Moralez and forward Ismael Tajouri-Shradi, NYCFC is looking to make it past the quarterfinals this year.

New York Red Bulls

  • William Hill +2000
  • BetMGM +2200
  • DraftKings +3000

For the past decade or so, the Red Bulls has been one of the East’s top teams but has little to show for it. There has been a decline in the past couple of seasons, which led to the firing of Chris Armas as head coach and the arrival of Gerhard Struber.

Having Aaron Long and Sean Davis to help in the back will be a plus for the Metro, but the youth up front, most notably teenage midfielder Caden Clark, Cristian Casseres Jr., and Tom Barlow, will be needed to score goals for the Red Bulls to have any success this year.

What about other MLS teams?

For New Jersey betters looking to make some money on MLS this year, a couple of West Coast teams are among the favorites. The Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC) and the Seattle Sounders looking to be the leaders in the MLS Cup race.

Los Angeles Football Club

  • DraftKings +500
  • William Hill +400
  • BetMGM +500

Having star striker Carlos Vela back from missing all last season due to injury makes LAFC the odds-on favorite to win their first MLS Cup in just their fifth season.

Vela, along with 2020 Golden Boot winner for top scorer Diego Rossi and Latif Blessing, should be able to make up for the fact that coach Bob Bradley isn’t exactly sure who will be the number one keeper. It’s between Kenneth Vermeer and Pablo Sisniega, neither of whom established themselves yet as the top choice.

Seattle Sounders

  • William Hill +500
  • DraftKings +600
  • BetMGM +800

There was a lot of change for the MLS Cup runners-up over the off-season, most notably the loss of Jordan Morris to a knee injury suffered while on loan at Swansea City. Seattle also saw Gustav Svensson and Kelvin Leerdam leave the team after last year.

Despite that, the Sounders still have Raul Ruidiaz, along with the return of Sounders’ all-time scoring leader Fredy Montero. So this team is poised to defend its Western Conference championship.

However, MLS’ Eastern Conference also has two teams that offer interesting bets for soccer fans: Toronto F.C. and the Columbus Crew.

Columbus Crew

  • William Hill +500
  • DraftKings +550
  • BetMGM +900

The Crew, who are the defending MLS Cup winners, have brought back their core of players. This group. led by Darlington Nagbe and Gyasi Zardes, have designs on the MLS Cup and the CONCACAF Champions League as well.

To add insult to injury, the Crew have added Bradley Wright-Phillips to their already potent attack. And they have the deep bench that will bring them far during the long MLS regular season.

Toronto Football Club

  • William Hill +500
  • DraftKings +900
  • BetMGM +1200

Toronto F.C. has stayed pretty much the same after a season that saw them finish the regular season in second-place but lose to first-year Nashville SC in the first round of the playoffs.

Most teams would make a move or two to build off of the season prior. Still, with a solid base of veteran players like Jozy Altidore, Michael Bradley, and Jonathan Osorio, Toronto feels that they still have the firepower to make another run towards the MLS Cup.

AP Photo/Jay LaPrete

NJ Bettors Will Give Thanks For DraftKings Thanksgiving No-Brainer

The chances of the Ravens or Steelers scoring one TD on Thursday night looks like a lock. This makes the DraftKings odds boost a Thanksgiving no-brainer.

Editor’s Note: Thursday night’s Ravens-Steelers game has been postponed to Sunday. As a result, DraftKings Sportsbook refunded all bets tied into the original promotion. The new promo applies to the Dallas-Washington game taking place on Thanksgiving Day. 

How does turkey and pumpkin pie paired with a Thanksgiving no-brainer sound?

Thanksgiving offers us all the chance to show our gratitude. Not to be left out, DraftKings Sportsbook  is showing its users thanks by offering a no-brainer odds boost.

It involves a Thanksgiving night game between the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers.

So what makes this a no-brainer?

Well, only one thing needs to happen for bettors to cash in a winning ticket. Either the Ravens or Steelers need to score a touchdown. It doesn’t matter which player or team does it.

Call it a can’t-miss NJ sports betting opportunity, as both offenses are averaging more than 26 points per game.

How to get the Thanksgiving no-brainer

The no-brainer odds boost is available to new and existing DraftKings Sportsbook customers. Customers who don’t have an account can sign up using the link below.

Once you sign in or create an account, follow these simple steps:

  • Find the odds boost in the DraftKings promo section.
  • You’ll need to opt in to receive boosted odds of +100.
  • Max bet is $25.
  • Excludes live bets, parlays, free wagers, cash-out bets, voided bets and other odds boosts.
  • Offer applies to one bet per user.

Kickoff isn’t until 8:20 EST on Thursday night, so DraftKings users still have plenty of time to take advantage of what is pretty much guaranteed to be a lock.

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Chances of Ravens and Steelers scoring TDs

The Pittsburgh and Baltimore offenses both currently rank among the NFL’s top teams in terms of points per game.

Basically, this odds boost is a can’t-miss bet, as the Steelers are averaging a tad under 30 points per game, good enough for fourth in the league. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (24 touchdowns) and wide receivers JuJu Smith-Schuster (eight TDs) and Chase Claypool (eight TDs) are a big reason why.

On the other side of the coin, the Ravens, led by reigning MVP Lamar Jackson (15 TDs), are averaging about 27 points a game, so a touchdown is pretty much guaranteed. Tight end Mark Andrews has six touchdowns.

The bigger question here is how many players will miss Thursday night’s game, as the Ravens were forced to shut down their practice facility due to COVID-19. The two teams learned on Wednesday that the contest is being pushed back to Sunday afternoon.

However, it only takes one touchdown to cash in the winning ticket. So it’s pretty much a sure thing bettors will have something else to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

 

 

Atlantic City Casinos Could Get Some Tax Relief, But Will It Be Enough?

The New Jersey General Assembly passed a bill that would provide temporary tax relief for Atlantic City casinos, but how bad is it really in AC?

In light of the negative fiscal impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on Atlantic City casinos, the New Jersey Legislature voted in favor of providing temporary relief to the industry.

In a vote on Thursday, the General Assembly moved the bill (S2400/A4032) to Gov. Phil Murphy’s desk for his signature. The state Senate passed the bill back in June.

The ultimate goal of the legislation is to help casinos get back on their feet as well as resume hiring.

The bill allows for a reduction in taxes paid on gross gaming revenue. It also includes a monthly deduction against gross gaming revenue equal to the bonus and promo credits used by the casino’s customers.

According to the legislation, the pandemic “has clearly not just reversed the consistent track of economic improvement that the Atlantic City casino industry had worked very hard to achieve over the last several years, but also has set back the economy of an entire region that is greatly dependent on the jobs, tourism spending and purchases that the Atlantic City casinos generate.”

How bad is it at Atlantic City casinos?

2020 has been a frustrating year for many in the entertainment and hospitality industries, especially in Atlantic City.

When the coronavirus pandemic was at its height in New Jersey, Murphy shut down the casinos. Until the scaled-back reopening in July, Atlantic City’s casinos had to rely on just online gambling to bring in any sort of revenue.

Last month was the first full month that all nine Atlantic City casinos were open since mid-March.

All the casinos reopened at reduced capacity with a reduced number of games and machines for customers to play on as well as a ban on indoor dining.

Indoor dining returned with similar restrictions in September.

All of these various factors played a role in a considerable drop in revenue compared to August 2019.

A drop in casino win across the board

According to a press release from the Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE), the total gaming revenue posted in August was $326.3 million. Last year, $352.8 million was earned, a 7.5% decrease.

On its own, that decrease isn’t much. And the reason for that lies in the strength of NJ online gambling sites.

In August, $87.8 million in NJ online casino revenue was brought in compared to $41.1 million last year, an increase of 113.6%.

There was also a year-to-year increase in NJ sports betting revenue at $39.5 million for the month, up from last year’s amount of $25,210,342. The majority of that revenue was also online.

Land-based casinos, however, are another story. Eight casinos saw year-over-year decreases between 14% and 55% in August.

The only outlier was Ocean Casino Resort, which grew by only 1.4% year-over-year.

CasinoTable & OtherSlot MachinesAug 2020 TotalAug 2019 Total% Change
Bally's$ 3,915,944
$ 11,540,973$ 15,456,917$18,756,628-17.60%
Borgata$ 11,671,996$ 28,821,017$ 40,493,013$71,925,945-43.70%
Caesars$ 6,444,970$ 14,766,485$ 21,211,455$30,920,635-31.40%
Golden Nugget$ 1,515,939$ 7,747,523$ 9,263,462$20,684,016-55.20%
Hard Rock$ 12,586,066$ 20,287,550$ 32,873,616$38,456,242-14.50%
Harrah's$ 5,278,263$ 16,234,162$ 21,512,425$31,125,574-30.90%
Ocean Casino$ 6,340,123$ 18,034,934$ 24,375,057$24,050,2961.40%
Resorts$ 3,182,446$ 10,718,845 $ 13,901,291$18,889,794-26.40%
Tropicana$ 4,004,543$ 15,961,030$ 19,965,573$31,671,211-37%
Total$ 54,940,290$ 144,112,519$ 199,052,809 $ 286,480,341-30.50%

Note: Atlantic City poker rooms were open in August 2019, but remain closed as of September 2020. The total gaming revenue in August 2019 includes poker.

AC casinos struggle to maintain growth

The industry’s total gaming revenue last month was only $1.618 billion, compared to last year’s $2.278 billion, a 29% decrease.

These numbers continue the downward revenue trend that Atlantic City’s casinos are on this year. The first-quarter numbers were down 65% compared to the previous year. That included the first two weeks of the casino shutdown.

The second-quarter numbers were much worse, as there was a $112 million, or 85%, decrease compared to last year. This was the quarter that was completed affected by the shutdown.

The back-to-back quarterly losses come on the heels of a period when Atlantic City casinos saw a 21-month streak of growth come to an end.

Casinos and hiring during a pandemic

While AC’s casinos are up and running at a limited capacity now, the impact of the months-long shutdown will be felt into 2021. That’s something that is not lost on Assemblymen John Armato (D-Atlantic City) and Vince Mazzeo (D-Atlantic City).

“We all know that the casino industry is vital to the success of the local finances and to the over 30,000 individuals it employs,” Mazzeo said in a Press of Atlantic City article.

“Atlantic City will be feeling the downturn in the economy like the rest of the state and country. Ensuring that we do not intentionally worsen that or place any extra burden on the taxpayers is our top priority,” Armato added.

That being said, the new bill does require something of casinos in return for tax relief. Casinos in Atlantic City must make a “good faith effort” to hire as many former and new employees as possible.

In the last few months, casino management had to get creative in order to make the most of the restricted opening in July. Hard Rock Atlantic City, for example, moved its VIP high-roller lounge from indoors to an outdoor ocean view tent.

“We’ve been able to bring back about 60% of our employee base, so not everyone,” said Joe Lupo, president of Hard Rock AC.

“We can’t fill our hotels because we can’t put as many people in our hotel elevators, nor do we have enough seating outside to supplement all those guests if we did fill our hotel rooms.”

The local effect of an Atlantic City casino downturn

The fiscal impact that the city itself will experience due to the casino shutdown is already being felt by the city and its businesses. But it will also be felt in next year’s municipal budget.

According to the PILOT bill, which was enacted in 2016, Atlantic City’s nine casinos pay a portion of their annual earnings to the city instead of taxes for 10 years.

The casinos paid the city $150 million last year, a number that will not be achieved this year due to the pandemic, according to the state’s Department of Community Affairs (DCA).

“DCA projects that 2020 gross gaming revenues will be lower, which will result in lower PILOT payments to the City of Atlantic City in 2021,” Lisa Ryan, a DCA spokesperson, told the Press of Atlantic City.

Despite the expected lower PILOT payment for 2020, the DCA still feels that there will not be any real impacts on Atlantic City’s budget for next year.

However, Michael Busler, a public policy analyst and finance professor at Stockton University, has a less than optimistic view.

“I think (the casinos) are going to have a tough time even meeting the amount that they have to pay (for 2021),” Busler said.

DraftKings 100-1 Odds Boost Returns For Another Weekend Of NFL Action

For any NFL game on Sunday and Monday, you can win $100 just by betting $1 on the moneyline of the winning team thanks to DraftKings’ 100-1 odds boost.

DraftKings Sportsbook fans, rejoice. The 100-1 odds boost is back for another NFL weekend.

Despite having both no preseason and no fans in the stands thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 NFL season kicked off last week. NJ sportsbooks like DraftKings were quick to celebrate with odds boosts and promos.

One of the biggest and most tempting odds boosts was the 100-1 odds boost. Well, this particular odds boost was so popular that DraftKings decided to bring it back for NFL Week Two, which is good news for players in New Jersey.

The DraftKings 100-1 odds boost promo is only for new DraftKings Sportsbook players and is only playable on the Sunday and Monday NFL Week Two games.

That’s right. Any NFL game on Sunday and Monday is once again up for grabs for this odds boost.

DraftKings 100-1 odds boost

How to get the 100-1 odds boost at DraftKings

If you are signing up for DraftKings and want to use the 100-1 odds boost on a Week Two game, there are a couple of steps to follow, but it’s simple to do.

First, you have to deposit a minimum of $5 into your newly created DraftKings Sportsbook account. After making your initial deposit, head over to the Promos/Rewards page and pick the game that you’d like to use the odds boost for by clicking the “Boost This Game.”

Be careful, though, because once you make your pick, you can’t go back and change it.

After picking the game that you’d like to boost, you will be issued a single-use odds boost to choose for +10000 (100-1) odds for a team to win that game.

From there, you can apply your boost to any Sunday or Monday (Sept. 20-21) football game by adding that team’s moneyline to the bet slip and applying the boost.

The maximum amount that can be bet on this odds boost is $1, which would pay out $100, and it can’t be used as part of any live bets, parlays, cash-out bets, free bets or voided bets.

Note that the Thursday Night Football game is excluded, but there are other odds boosts available for the Bengals-Browns game.

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Bet $1, win $100 … but on which game?

Ideally, you should use this odds boost in one of these two situations: either on a favorite that you are 1,000% certain on winning or on a slight underdog that has a spread that can be easily covered.

Based on DraftKings’ lines, there are four potential options that would be good plays for the 100-1 odds boost.

Unfortunately for DraftKings players in the Garden State, none of the three local teams are one of those four plays. In fact, two of the three are on the opposite end.

The New York Jets are hosting the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, and the Niners are favored by a touchdown. As a fan of Gang Green, it pains me to say this, but based off of Week One and Le’Veon Bell now being on injured reserve, I see the Niners covering the seven points with ease.

The Philadelphia Eagles are only one-point underdogs to the Los Angeles Rams, making this a borderline toss-up. But I feel the Rams are a better team than the Eagles, especially after Philly’s collapse against Washington.

Other good bets for NFL Week 2

Week One saw the Baltimore Ravens completely run through the Cleveland Browns. In NFL Week Two, the Ravens are favored by a touchdown over the Houston Texans.

While Houston is a good team, they fell apart in their loss to the defending Super Bowl champs Kansas City. The Texans couldn’t keep up against a high-powered offense. I expect another double-digit win for the Ravens on Sunday.

The final potential play is the Sunday night game between the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks. The Pats are four-point underdogs at DraftKings against the Seahawks. But the team showed no real slowing down, even with the loss of Tom Brady and the addition of Cam Newton.

Your DraftKings 100-1 odds boost is a good bet for this game, too.

BetMGM’s Casino Super Series Features $1.5 Million In Online Prizes

The Casino Super Series features BetMGM, Borgata and PartyCasino apps in a tournament that’s billed as the biggest online networked prize pool ever.

Players on three NJ online casinos now have something new to try to win: the Casino Super Series.

BetMGM’s Casino Super Series takes place now through Sept. 27 and will feature different games over the seven-week tournament, including slot, table and live dealer table games.

More than $1.5 million in prizes will be given out during the Casino Super Series. In a press release, BetMGM calls it New Jersey’s biggest online networked prize pool ever.

The three sites are BetMGM Casino, Borgata online casino and PartyCasino NJ.

“We’re excited to bring these three well-known gaming brands together to offer the biggest online gaming tournament New Jersey has ever seen,” said Matthew Sunderland, vice president of gaming for BetMGM.

“There really is something for every type of casino player in the Casino Super Series.”

How to play BetMGM’s Casino Super Series

The seven-week tournament will feature multiple leaderboards. A $500,000 overall leaderboard will keep tabs on the entire series along with awarding the $250,000 championship prize.

Players who opt into the tournament move up the leaderboard by playing the featured games of the week. Contestants earn a leaderboard point for every dollar wagered.

At the end of the week, the top players will earn a share of the $250,000 bonus cash and 50,000 free spins on the Starburst slot game.

All of the Casino Super Series prizes will be given out in unrestricted bonus cash. That means it comes with no wagering requirement.

There will also be $125,000 leaderboards each week of the tournament, which will award the top player of the week $50,000.

Casino Super Series players will have access to 250,000 free spins and a weekly “Slot in the Spotlight” highlighting featured games from the top online casino game makers in the country.

Play At BETMGM Casino Now With Free $25 On Sign Up

Week 1 games feature jackpot slots

Week one of the series will feature the following online slot games:

  • Loot ‘En Khamun
  • Dead Sea Scrolls
  • MGM Grand Millions
  • Luck O’ The Jackpot
  • Book of Myths
  • Melon Madness Deluxe

The potential is there for players to win big on one of these games this week.

A New Jersey resident recently won $3.2 million on a single $2 spin on the Luck O’ The Jackpot progressive slot game. It was an NJ online casino record.

Be sure to win a Lucky Spot

Each week will also feature 20 Lucky Spot winners. And yes, if you’re lucky, there’s bonus cash here, too — $1,000 bonus cash, to be exact.

The Lucky Spots prizes will be awarded to players who end the week in the following spots on the Week One leaderboard: 7, 17, 27, 37, 47, 57, 67, 77, 87, 97, 107, 177, 277, 377, 477, 577, 677, 777, 877, and 977.

Below is a payout breakdown for Week 1 of the Casino Super Series:

RankBonus Cash
1$100,000
2$25,000
3$15,000
4$10,000
5$6,000
6$5,000
7$4,000
8$3,000
9$2,000
10$950
11-15$750
16-20$500
21-25$400
26-30$300
31-40$250
41-50$200
51-100$160
101-150$140
151-200$120
201-250$100
251-300$70
301-350$50
351-400$40
401-500$30
501-600$24
601-700$20
701-800$14
801-1000$10

Each week has a new payout breakdown with new games to play. To opt in and join the tournament, log in to BetMGM Casino or create an account at any of the three sites.

Let the games begin.

How One NJ Woman Turned A $2 Online Bet Into $3.2 Million At BetMGM

A record progressive jackpot was hit in New Jersey at BetMGM online casino to the tune of $3.2 million. The slot in question? Luck O’ The Jackpot.

A New Jersey resident recently had Lady Luck on her side. A single $2 bet netted her more than $3 million and a place in the history books.

Sherri W. was playing BetMGM online casino’s Luck O’ The Jackpot progressive slot when she won $3,266,476.20, a new record for the state of New Jersey.

The previous record was $1.52 million, which was won in 2015 on Betfair’s Let It Ride.

“I’m so happy and still in shock. I called my husband first thing, and he didn’t think it was real. I had only been playing on BetMGM Casino for three days before hitting the jackpot,” Sherri said in a press release.

“I had some bad experiences on other NJ casino apps and found BetMGM and just really liked the games so kept playing. We’re just so happy, and I can’t wait to get back on there to play some more.”

Online jackpot win a record for NJ

BetMGM and ROAR Digital shared Sherri’s enthusiasm.

“It’s extremely exciting to see our casino progressive jackpot prize being won,” said Matthew Sunderland, VP of gaming at ROAR Digital.

“We’re proud to bring such monumental wins to players through our in-house networked progressive jackpot games in New Jersey and hope to continue raising the bar with even bigger jackpots in the future.”

The progressive jackpot Sherri won could also have been won on a few other BetMGM progressive slot games. The slots are only available in New Jersey and are:

  • Melon Madness
  • Biker Pigs
  • Going Nuts
  • Loot’EnKhamun
  • MGM Grand Millions

Sherri is actually the second online casino player from the Garden State to become a millionaire this year playing slots.

Back in May, Scotty W. won $1 million on a single spin on Golden Nugget’s Pillars of Asgard online slot game, the biggest single-spin win since New Jersey introduced online gambling in 2013.

Luck O’ The Jackpot has five jackpots in one

The key factor in the Luck O’ The Jackpot online slot is the jackpot itself. In this case, the game refers to it as The Big One.

The Big One jackpot actually consists of five jackpots at different levels:

  • Blitz Cash Jackpot
  • Quick Cash Jackpot
  • Super Cash Jackpot
  • Mega Cash Jackpot
  • Colossal Cash Jackpot

Now, all five jackpots grow progressively as the game is played. For each spin, BetMGM adds a small credit to each. The jackpot is triggered randomly, and all five levels can be hit no matter the winning combination.

It just so happened that Sherri’s $2 bet eventually hit The Big One to the tune of $3.2 million. That’s Lady Luck for you.