Will The New York Jets Finally Find Their Franchise QB In The 2021 NFL Draft?

The NY Jets are odds-on favorites to take QB Zach Wilson with the No. 2 pick in the NFL Draft, but longshots to win in 2021.

Everything you need to know about the success of New York Jets quarterbacks is this: Mark Sanchez holds the franchise record for playoff wins (4).

The Jets have spent most of the team’s 60-year history in search of a star quarterback. Count 2021 as another season with the same goal.

The NY Jets threw in the towel on QB Sam Darnold after just three seasons, trading him to the Carolina Panthers for three draft picks.

Gang Green is likely to take a quarterback with the No. 2 overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft. Most experts believe the Jets will select QB Zach Wilson on April 29.

Looking at the New York Jets 2021 Draft

The Jets have 10 picks in the 2021 NFL Draft. Five of those picks are in the first three rounds.

Taking Wilson with the No. 2 pick is almost a lock, at this point. NJ online sportsbooks have Wilson going to New York (assuming the Jets stay at No. 2). FOX Bet and BetMGM posted odds Wilson is drafted by the NY Jets at -2500.

The Jets also control the 23rd overall pick in the first round.
DraftKings is offering +120 odds that an offensive player will be taken with the Jets’ second pick and -150 for a defensive player.

Selecting a cornerback with that pick has the shortest odds at DraftKings (+225). Here are DraftKings odds for other positions the Jets could select with the 23rd pick:

  • Running back +350
  • Offensive lineman +400
  • Defensive lineman +500
  • Linebacker +600
  • Wide receiver +800

New season, same ‘ol Jets?

Whoever is under center for the Jets this season will be the 11th different starting QB since 2013.

The NY Jets will also have a new head coach in 2021. Robert Saleh is the team’s fourth HC in the last seven seasons.

It is going to be another tough year for New York. The Jets have not posted a winning record since 2015.

New Jersey sportsbooks have the Jets’ odds of winning Super Bowl 56 at +8000. For comparison purposes, the New York Giants are +6600 at DraftKings while the Philadelphia Eagles are +7000.

And the Jacksonville Jaguars, who have the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft, are +7000.

DraftKings Sportsbook listed the over/under for total NY Jets wins this year at 6.5. The over is +123 while the under is -150.

Even making the postseason is a long shot for New York. BetMGM has the odds of the Jets missing the 2021 NFL Playoffs listed at -650.

So will taking a gamble on another rookie QB help the Jets turn things around?  Based on the current odds, it seems New York Jets fans still have a long wait ahead.

AP/Rick Bowmer

New York Yankees Have 28th World Series Championship In Sight

The New York Yankees are the favorite at New Jersey online sportsbooks to represent the American League in the 2021 World Series.

Opening Day expectations for the New York Yankees are high.

The Bronx Bombers start the 2021 season with one of the most complete rosters in Major League Baseball.

So, it’s no surprise that anything short of a 28th World Series championship would be considered a disappointment in The Bronx.
But, before we start thinking about October baseball, Opening Day is upon us. And, after a season shortened by COVID-19 in 2020, MLB is back to normal with a 162-game schedule.

The Yankees open their season at home Thursday afternoon against the Toronto Blue Jays. First pitch is set for 1:05 p.m.

Retired Yankees center fielder and fan-favorite Bernie Williams will toss out the first pitch for the 119th home opener.

NJ online sportsbooks backing New York Yankees in AL

While not the outright favorite to win the 2021 Fall Classic, New Jersey sportsbooks clearly like the Yankees’ chances to make some noise in the playoffs.

BetMGM, DraftKings, and FanDuel all list the Yanks’ chances at 11-to-2 (+550) to win the World Series. The Los Angeles Dodgers have the best odds (+350) at FanDuel Sportsbook to repeat as champs.

The Yankees are the favorite at all NJ sportsbooks to represent the American League in the World Series. DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel both posted odds of +230 for the Yankees to win the franchise’s 41st AL pennant.

Even with last year’s AL champ, the Tampa Bay Rays, in the same division, the Yankees are the odds-on favorite to win the AL East.
Most NJ online sportsbooks put the over/under for total regular-season wins at 95.5.

11 Years without a World Series ring is a lifetime in The Bronx

After coming up short last season (and every season since 2009, really), the New York Yankees front office put together a formidable team.
The Bronx Bombers have a Cy Young contender, MVP candidates, All-Stars at multiple positions, a bullpen loaded with guys who throw gas, and young players ready to prove themselves worthy of pinstripes.

The injury bug has plagued this team for the last couple of years. All three starting outfielders missed significant time in 2020 and two starting pitchers were out most of the year.

The Yanks retooled in the offseason, adding a few new arms to both the starting rotation and the bullpen.

The team is one of the older clubs in MLB, with an average age of 29. But, the Yanks will be banking on a core of younger players, dubbed the Baby Bombers, to carry them in 2021.

If all goes to plan, the Yankees and their fans will be enjoying another ticker-tape parade down the Canyon of Heroes this fall.

And if and when it does happen, NJ bettors who wager on New York to win it all will enjoy a double celebration.

AP Photo/Kathy Willens

Atlantic City Casinos Say NJ’s 50% Capacity ‘Doesn’t Do A Lot’

One year ago, Atlantic City casinos sat empty.

Forced to close because of the coronavirus pandemic, the city’s nine gambling parlors were devoid of guests for nearly four months.
One week ago, the state of New Jersey increased indoor capacity limits to 50%. That is double the occupancy permitted in the fall and 15% more than two weeks ago.

For a struggling industry like brick-and-mortar casinos, the modest increase is a step in the right direction.

But, executives say whether the capacity limit is 25%, 35%, or 50%, the impact on gambling at Atlantic City casinos is relatively small.

“From a casino floor aspect, it doesn’t do a lot for us,” said Steve Callender, president of the Casino Association of New Jersey and regional president of Caesars Entertainment Inc.’s three Atlantic City casinos. “(The capacity increase is) not the biggest thing in the world but every little bit helps.”

Not much will change at Atlantic City casinos

In simplest terms, casino floors in Atlantic City won’t be changing much, even with the eased restrictions

There will still be partitions between seats at table games, with a player cap on every table. A percentage of slot machines will still be turned off to promote social distancing.

To be clear, Atlantic City casinos are not kicking a gift horse in the mouth. They accept the realities of the global pandemic and recognize that things could be worse.

“We just hope to continue to work on (easing) the restrictions and make us more business-friendly,” Callender said.

Keep your distance, please

The real benefit for Atlantic City casinos is the increased business volumes at non-gaming amenities.

“The 50% really (has) an impact in our restaurants, which, on weekends when our restaurants are full and we’ve had long waits, that’s where we weren’t able to accommodate,” said Joe Lupo, president of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City. “Atlantic City guests come down here for a multitude of activities. They come down here for the whole experience.”

The catch, however, is similar to what non-casino restaurants and bars have to contend with. Namely, that an increase in capacity means very little in a finite space where social distancing mandates remain in place.

“The six-foot distancing is really inhibiting or intruding on the occupancy levels,” Lupo added. “Unless you want to put up Plexiglas bubbles everywhere, it’s limiting the number of people in some spaces, like our lounges.”

Dinner with an ocean view, deja vu?

A silver lining to last summer’s total indoor dining ban was the expansion of al fresco options. Atlantic City casinos adapted and came up with some creative alternatives to offset food and beverage profit losses.

Visitors to Atlantic City can expect to see many of those same outdoor dining concepts return this summer, Callender said.

“Obviously, last year we did it out of necessity, but people really liked it,” he said. “We have beautiful views here of the ocean and if we can get guests outside, why not (do it)?”

Atlantic City casinos need conventions, entertainment

The one thing Atlantic City casinos all say they absolutely need is meeting and convention business.

The new capacity rules only apply to certain businesses. New Jersey still has limits on the total number of people for indoor gatherings and on select indoor locations, such as banquet halls or large meeting rooms.

In Atlantic City, meetings and conventions drive midweek and non-summer business, the casino executives said.

The East Coast Gaming Congress, for example, is now taking place Oct. 25-26 instead of late May at Harrah’s Resort.

A revival of headlining live entertainment would help, too.

“It’s truly about entertainment and convention business, which books out months in advance,” Lupo said. “So, until there is a more definitive understanding of when occupancies go up, those are the two areas where we’re handcuffed.”

AP Photo/Wayne Parry

March Madness A Slam Dunk For Atlantic City Casinos, Sportsbooks

The return of March Madness was a welcome sight for Atlantic City casinos and sportsbooks that were packed for opening weekend.

For the first time in Atlantic City’s 42-year gambling history, every casino in town has a sportsbook to host March Madness.

And, after missing out on last year’s tournament because of the coronavirus pandemic, the nine casino sportsbooks were ready for the 2021 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. Through the first two rounds of action, the tourney delivered for Atlantic City’s casinos and sportsbooks.

March Madness tipoff packs AC

Steve Callender, regional president of Caesars Entertainment Inc.’s three Atlantic City casinos and president of the Casino Association of New Jersey, said operators “were encouraged,” by the first four days of tournament play.

“We made revenue from it because people were buying seats. Our food and beverage numbers were huge. We were sold out at all of our books,” Callender said. “We were very happy with (the) volume of both people and non-sports revenue.”

Joe Lupo, president of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City, said the property’s “bars, lounges, and casino were full all weekend.”

“We had an extremely busy weekend and the property was filled with a lot of NCAA Tournament fans who were ready to get out,” Lupo said. “Between the weather, COVID, and the tournament coming back after a year off, there was a lot of excitement (and) a lot of buzz.”

Breaking news: people like betting on sports

The pent-up demand for tournament action is only heightened by the Tri-State area’s love of sports. With “local” teams, such as Villanova, Rutgers,  and Syracuse, in the tournament, the weekend’s big turnout was no surprise.

“Sports are big, especially in this area,” Callender said. “People love their sports and they love betting on it. It feels real good and brings back some normalcy.”

‘Nice to be back,’ for March Madness

The casino sportsbooks were, in fact, packed all weekend.
Even with a state-imposed 50% indoor capacity limit and pandemic restrictions, Atlantic City sportsbooks were energized.

“The constant refrain you heard from people was, ‘It’s so nice to be back,’ because they really missed it last year and they missed having that traditional March Madness experience,” said Thomas Gable, director of race and sports betting at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa. “It was certainly a good weekend for us.”

Gable said the BetMGM Sportsbook at Borgata wrote more tickets Friday than it did over the first two days of the 2019 NCAA Tournament.

“We’ve already eclipsed what we did through the Elite Eight in 2019,” he said Monday morning.

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New kids on the (Boardwalk) block

The FanDuel Sportsbook at Bally’s Atlantic City is the ninth, and final, retail shop in town. The book opened last week, debuting just in time for the Big Dance.

Andrew Kleiman, senior director of operations for FanDuel, said opening the doors for March Madness was always the goal.

“It was perfect to be opening on March Madness, just because we wanted to get as many people as possible to see what we were able to do (in Atlantic City) in creating that immersive environment,” Kleiman said. “It was a great weekend.”

‘Electric atmosphere,’ in Atlantic City

The FanDuel and Bally’s AC teams benefitted by seeing what worked at other books in town and listening to customers, Kleiman said. The result is a prime location, an inviting environment, and an overall experience that the New Jersey sportsbook market leader is proud of, he said.

“You’re still part of the casino, but you feel like you’re in the sports bar where you can just sit and watch the games all day like you’re in your living room. And that’s what we are trying to achieve. I think that was recognized by all the customers,” Kleiman said. “There was an electric atmosphere in (Atlantic City) this weekend … we’re so excited to be there.”

AP Photo/Wayne Parry





Bally’s Corp., MLB Strike Sports Betting Deal

Bally’s Corp., has sports betting deals in place with three of the four major North American leagues after reaching an agreement with MLB.

Bally’s Corp., is swinging for the fences with its latest play to join the sports betting big leagues.

Bally’s and Major League Baseball have reached a multi-year deal, according to a news release. As an authorized gaming operator, Bally’s gains access to official MLB league and team marks, logos, and data.

More on the MLB deal

The Rhode Island-based gaming operator will use the league information and team logos across its portfolio of sports betting products. Bally’s Corp., plans to integrate additional content into live games across Sinclair Broadcast Group’s 19 regional sports networks covering more than half of the U.S. MLB teams.

And those networks will soon be rebranded Bally Sports.

“The agreement between Bally’s and MLB offers exciting benefits for baseball fans nationwide,” said George Papanier, president and CEO of Bally’s. “We are honored to have the opportunity to put the Bally’s stamp on America’s national pastime and look forward to providing an innovative and engaging sports betting experience.”

Bally’s Corp. ready to play ball

As part of the agreement, Bally’s and MLB will collaborate on best-in-class practices to protect the integrity of league games., according to the news release.

“As we prepare for the start of the 2021 season, working with Bally’s will present our fans with yet another unique avenue to engage with baseball,” said Kenny Gersh, MLB executive VP of gaming and new business ventures. “Bally’s knows how to provide added entertainment for sports fans across the country, so we look forward to collaborating on new ways of engaging fans around our games.”

MLB Opening Day is April 1 with all 30 teams scheduled to play.
“We can’t wait for the season to begin,” Papanier added.

Three out of four ain’t bad

By adding MLB to its roster, Bally’s now has deals in place with three of the big four North American sports leagues.
The company announced deals with the National Basketball Association and National Hockey League earlier this year.

Another day, another deal for Bally’s Corp.

The MLB deal is the latest move by the company formerly known as Twin River Worldwide Holdings.

The company purchased Bally’s Atlantic City for $25 million last year. Shortly after, it purchased the iconic Bally’s name and will soon operate 15 casinos in 11 states.

But, like most gaming operators, Bally’s Corp., is looking to capitalize on the growth of online gambling and sports betting.

The FanDuel Sportsbook is now open at Bally’s Atlantic City casino.
Bally Bets is expected to be available later this year. Bally’s also inked the previously mentioned media partnership with the Sinclair Broadcast Group, a national leader in regional sports media.

Other deals include:

  • Bet.Works, sports betting platform provider
  • Monkey Knife Fight, daily fantasy sports operator
  • SportsCaller, a free-to-play sports game provider

So it should come as no surprise that Bally’s stepped up to the plate with MLB.

Dreamstime Photo 

New Jersey Sportsbooks Suffer (A Little) February Chill With $743 Million In Bets

New Jersey sportsbooks took nearly $743 million in February NJ sports betting handle and reported more than $46 million in revenue.

New Jersey sportsbooks took nearly $743 million in wagers in February and reported more than $46 million in revenue.

Both numbers are significantly higher than those from February 2020 (the last full month before pro and college sports shut down), according to data released Tuesday by the state Division of Gaming Enforcement.

Anchored by $117.4 million in Super Bowl 55 bets, February 2021’s monthly sports betting handle was $248.14 million more than during the same month last year.

And that’s with February 2020 having an extra day because of a Leap Year.

As a result, Garden State sportsbooks reported a year-over-year revenue increase of nearly 244%.

However, February’s total sports betting handle was a drop of nearly $215 million from January’s $958.7 million.

The dip from January is expected. In every year in which New Jersey has offered legal sports betting, February has generated less in total wagers than in January.

Last month’s handle was the state’s lowest total since August.
In December, NJ set a U.S. record with a monthly sports betting handle of $996.3 million.

Online & mobile carries New Jersey sportsbooks, again

Online sports betting accounted for $689.25 million, or nearly 93%, of February’s total handle. That figure is $252.8 million more than the amount online sports gamblers shelled out in February 2020.

The Meadowlands Racetrack (FanDuel Sportsbook/PointsBet NJ) topped the online market again with $24.9 million in gross revenue, down from $41.8 million in January. The license holder reported $27.1 million for the month.

Resorts Digital, led by DraftKings Sportsbook, finished an extremely distant second with $7.7 million, the bulk of which is from online wagering.

“FanDuel and DraftKings have dominated the market since launch, and there really hasn’t been a major change in that dynamic since 2018,” said Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for PlayNJ.com. “BetMGM is making end roads in other states, including Michigan, but it will take a lot for it to significantly eat into the New Jersey market share of the nation’s two largest operators.”

Retail’s struggles getting lost in the shuffle

Conversely, NJ’s retail sportsbooks took less action in February 2021 compared to last year, even with two additional locations. Last month, NJ’s 12 brick-and-mortar sportsbooks reported a total handle of $53.7 million. In February 2020, with just 10 retail shops, New Jersey sportsbooks handled $58.3 million.

A Parx-branded Sportsbook at Freehold Raceway opened in September 2020, but has yet to drum up much business.

A temporary FanDuel Sportsbook opened at Bally’s Atlantic City in December. Bally’s and FanDuel opened the permanent location this week, just in time for March Madness.

New Jersey sportsbooks ready to celebrate  March Madness

The good news for NJ sportsbooks is that Garden State gamblers love basketball betting. Only football garners more bets in NJ than basketball, according to DGE data.

That means a potential $1 billion monthly sports betting handle is not out of the question.  March Madness betting will be leading the way.

“March Madness is the largest sports betting holiday of the year, and in New Jersey, basketball, in general, tends to draw a lot of action,” said PlayNJ.com analyst Eric Ramsey. “In other words, it’s possible New Jersey could become the nation’s first state to generate more than $1 billion in sports bets in a single month.”

AP Photo/Ashley Landis