Hitting Paydirt: Behind The 888 Ball For NFL Week 15 In NJ Sports Betting

We are in the home stretch for NFL betting as the playoffs near. For Week 15 in NJ sports betting, we take a look at the odds and best bets at 888 Sport NJ.

Sports bettors had their day. They’ve had an entire month even.

Favorites reigned supreme heading into last week’s slate of NFL games. But in Week 14, the underdogs stepped into the spotlight and rained on bettors’ parades.

On Sunday alone, underdogs went 9-5 against the spread, including seven outright victories. One of the most noteworthy flops came in Oakland, where the heavily favored Pittsburgh Steelers fell flat on their faces against the Raiders.

Then, of course, there was the Miami Miracle, which featured the Miami Dolphins pulling off a 69-yard hook-and-lateral as time expired to upend the New England Patriots.

Funny enough, the Steelers and Patriots face off in Week 15. Another full schedule awaits, featuring games on four different days.

For sports betting in New Jersey, this week we take a look at 888 Sportsbook. (All point spreads and moneylines are as of Tuesday.)

Add ’em to your NJ sports betting slip

Los Angeles Chargers (10-3) at Kansas City Chiefs (11-2)

Certainly, the past few weeks have featured playoff-like matchups. But all pale in comparison to Thursday night’s game.

The Chiefs, already with a postseason spot secured, lead the Chargers by just one game in the AFC West, meaning the division title remains up for grabs. That said, a Kansas City victory clinches the outright crown.

A 10-point winner against LA in the season opener, Kansas City boasts the No. 1 offense in the NFL, guided by a MVP front-runner in QB Patrick Mahomes, who has a game-breaking route-runner in Tyreek Hill.

Yet its defense, one of the worst overall that has allowed the most passing yards per game, has been picked apart.

That bodes well for the Chargers, who have won 9 of their last 10. Los Angeles QB Philip Rivers is quietly having an MVP-caliber season, on pace for a career high in TDs and a career-low in INTs (as a starter). With a weapon like WR Keenan Allen, who has 1,074 yards and six TDs, the Chargers are potent offensively.

The Chargers enter as 3.5-point underdogs with a +148 on the moneyline. Flip the spread, however (as 888 offers alternate lines), and the Chargers, as 3.5-point favorites, pay +230 to cover.

Consider, too, several props offered at 888. With the first scoring play, for example, a home touchdown pays +163, home field goal +370, away touchdown +215, and away field goal +450. Additionally, taking the Chiefs to score first and win pays +148, while the same prop for the Chargers holds a +275 line.

Understand that 10 of Kansas City’s first scores have gone for touchdowns, while the Chargers have nine TDs. To boot, only once in six home games have the Chiefs not scored first; all five were TDs, and all five resulted in victories.

As for the Chargers, on the road, they have scored first just twice in six away games.

Philadelphia Eagles (6-7) at Los Angeles Rams (11-2)

The telecast of this Sunday night game will certainly focus much attention on Philadelphia QB Carson Wentz. Reports indicate he is out with a back injury.

The Rams come off their second loss of the season, a 15-6 setback at the Chicago Bears in which LA recorded a season-low in points.

Additionally, QB Jared Goff was picked off four times, and RB Todd Gurley II rushed for just 28 yards, his lowest output since his rookie season.

Los Angeles comes in as a nine-point favorite, one of the largest spreads at 888. Of its seven losses, Philly has lost by single digits six times. Still, the scene does not seem appealing for the Eagles.

With two MVP dark horses in Goff and Gurley, the Rams feature the third-best offense in the NFL, which will go against a Philly defense that is among the worst in the league. Conversely, the Eagles have lost 10 fumbles (second-most in the NFL), while LA ranks third in takeaways, which includes a second-best 11 fumble recoveries.

While the Rams have won only twice by double digits since Week 3, they still have an 11.9-point average margin of victory. The moneyline (+325 for Philadelphia) could draw risk-takers. But the props are interesting, and more reasonable.

The over/under for this game sits at 53.5 points, but 888 offers alternate totals. Beginning at 55.5 points, the over has positive payouts. In seven games this season, the Rams have been in games that finished with totals over 55 points (though the Eagles have done so only once). In fact, four LA games have gone for 65 or more points. This week, taking the over 64.5 pays +320.

Another interesting prop includes first-half action. The spread for Philadelphia in the first half sits at +5.5, which pays +102 to cover. And Philly scoring over 10.5 points goes for +116.

For what it’s worth, on average, the Rams have led by 4.4 points at the break, while the Eagles have trailed by 2.2 points. On the other side, LA has allowed 13.3 points in the first half to visiting teams (five times allowing 10 or more points), and Philly has scored 11.6 points per game on the road (three times scoring 10 r more points).

New Orleans Saints (11-2) at Carolina Panthers (6-7)

The front-runner for Super Bowl LIII returns to NFC South action with its first of two meetings against Carolina over the next three weeks.

Since dropping its season opener, the Saints have reeled off 11 wins in 12 games to earn a ticket as the team to beat to win the Lombardi Trophy.

Though it has posted two of its lowest-scoring games over the past two weeks, a loss to Dallas on Thanksgiving and a come-from-behind win at Tampa Bay last week, New Orleans still boasts offensive potency.

Saints QB Drew Brees, a strong candidate for the MVP, is on pace for a 13th straight 4,000-yards-plus season and potentially his most passing touchdowns since 2012.

The league’s No. 2 team in scoring, New Orleans also features the NFL’s top rushing defense, which will face a team that has struggled offensively in recent weeks.

After all, Carolina has lost five straight, including each of the last four that were decided by single digits. Cam Newton has thrown eight interceptions during that span, upping his season total to 12 picks that ranks fourth-most in the league.

While RB Christian McCaffrey has provided a bright spot (294 rushing yards, 205 receiving, five TDs over the last three games), Carolina’s defense has been pummeled. Opponents have averaged 30.4 points per game over the past five contests.

Lightning could strike, allowing the Panthers, as six-point underdogs, to pay off a +200 moneyline with an outright win. Though it seems unlikely.

For those risk-takers, an interesting prop exists with total touchdowns by Carolina, at 3.5. The over pays +128. A daring take, considering the Panthers have not scored more than three TDs since Week 9 and only twice on the season. New Orleans, meanwhile, has only once allowed more than three TDs since Week 3.

Long shots of the week at 888 Sportsbook

Arizona Cardinals (3-10) at Atlanta Falcons (4-9)

For the first time since 2014, the Falcons are guaranteed a losing season. That comes just two years after being two quarters away from the franchise’s first Super Bowl win.

Still, though, Atlanta remains in the hunt for the wild card. As slim as that hope may be. Every win counts, and the Falcons need help.

As nine-point favorites, Atlanta faces the worst offense in the league. That said, stranger things have happened. (Re: the 17-point underdog Buffalo Bills routing the Minnesota Vikings earlier this season.)

If such a miracle takes place, an Arizona win pays out +325.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-8) at Baltimore Ravens (7-6)

Like essentially the entire NFC not currently in the playoffs, the Buccaneers still have postseason hope. The Ravens, meanwhile, are fighting for not only a spot in the playoffs but also the AFC North title.

The Ravens have come on strong of late, winning three of their last four. (Though they missed a golden opportunity to put away the Chiefs last week).

On the other side, Tampa will be gambling with QB Jameis Winston. Will the first-round pick have more incompletions (20) than converted passes (18) like last week? Or will he perform like the two games prior, when he threw for a combined 561 yards and four TDs with no picks?

As eight-point underdogs, the Buccaneers sit as a risky bet. But a win will certainly make it worth your while with a +285 moneyline.

MVP, Super Bowl predictions at 888

With just three weeks left in the regular season, let’s take a look at the favorites at 888 for postseason hardware.

  • Super Bowl: New Orleans, +325; LA Rams, +375; Kansas City, +500; New England, +700; LA Chargers, +1000
  • AFC Championship: Kansas City, +175; New England, +250; LA Chargers, +400; Houston, +800; Pittsburgh, +900
  • NFC Championship: New Orleans, +135; LA Rams, +160; Chicago, +550; Dallas, +900; Seattle, +1200
  • MVP: Kansas City QB Patrick Mahomes, -155; New Orleans QB Drew Brees, +135; Seattle QB Russell Wilson, +2000; LA Rams RB Todd Gurley II, +2500; LA Chargers QB Philip Rivers, +2500

Where else to bet online in New Jersey

As it has been well-documented, New Jersey features an array of mobile sports betting options.

Eight mobile sportsbooks complement the nine retail operations in the Garden State. A ninth NJ online sportsbook, PointsBet, is in a soft launch phase:

The list of NJ sportsbook apps includes a deep variety of traditional moneylines, parlays, in-game betting, and futures.

NJ Sports Betting Revenue Rebounds In November, Handle Hits $330M

As New Jersey closes in on its seventh month of legal sportsbooks, NJ sports betting handle jumped to $330M in November, with revenue hitting $21.2M.

This is the trend New Jersey wanted to see.

After reporting low revenue figures in October, including the lowest retail sportsbook total since the industry’s launch at the beginning of summer, NJ sports betting financials have returned to an upward trend.

According to numbers released by the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement on Wednesday, overall sports betting handle came in at $330,748,563 in November while overall revenue came in at $21,243,865.

Such figures indicate that October, in a way, was more a bettor-friendly month. After all, overall revenue jumped nearly $10 million month to month as handle swelled once again to unprecedented heights.

DraftKings, FanDuel continue to lead

Online sportsbooks accounted for 72 percent of the handle last month and combined for $14,446,570 in revenue. That nearly doubled the October total of $8.84 million.

Leading the way, once again, is DraftKings Sportsbook, which, along with BetStars NJ under the Resorts Atlantic City license, reported $7,172,171 in November. That total reflects a more-than $2 million increase from October, though still shy of the $8.5 million reported in September.

In a statement from DraftKings Senior Director of Digital Sportsbook Operations Jamie Shea:

“DraftKings continues to set the pace in New Jersey sports betting. Since August, DraftKings has taken more than 8 million bets and paid out $250 million to sports fans. … No one understands the American sports fan like DraftKings.”

FanDuel Sportsbook, meanwhile, had its best month since launching in September. Like DraftKings, FanDuel upped its month-to-month revenue by a few million dollars, finishing with $4,437,916 in November.

From FanDuel:

“November was a history making month for the FanDuel Sportsbook. We doubled revenue versus October and we were the first legal sports betting operator in the United States to pay out future wagers early on Alabama winning the college football national championship. With more innovative promotions and payouts than any other sportsbook, we’re thrilled to see more and more consumers choosing to place their wagers with the FanDuel Sportsbook.”

All other mobile licenseholders enjoyed upticks in November. (William Hill NJ splits its reported revenue between partners Ocean Resort Casino and Monmouth Park):

Of note, SugarHouse had its first full month under the Monmouth license after leaving Golden Nugget in October. Its presence certainly made an impact, as Monmouth’s online revenue climbed by $900,000.

In a statement from Richard Schwartz, president of Rush Street Interactive, which operates SugarHouse:

“November was the strongest month ever for PlaySugarHouse.com and the entire New Jersey online sports betting industry. We’re encouraged that month over month we continue to gain online & mobile sportsbook market share as word continues to spread about our innovative products and quality customer service.  Players tell us they enjoy the ease of placing bets on mobile devices, our variety of live in-game bets, and our quick payouts.”

Retail bounces back, still work to do

November was also a pleasant month for brick-and-mortar sportsbooks. After totaling a mere $2.8 million in October, retail operators returned last month to report $6,797,295 in gross revenue.

That total could create some optimism, considering it stands as the second-best month since launching in June. Still, retail sportsbooks have not nearly kept pace with online sports betting.

Regardless, the majority of land-based sportsbooks made positive strides in November. Once again, Meadowlands Racetrack led retail facilities with $2,605,478 in revenue, reflecting a 133 percent increase from October.

The largest leap of the month went to Ocean Resort, however. After reporting $438,552 in October, the casino last month totaled $1.9 million, finishing ahead of Monmouth, which reported nearly $1.2 million.

The rest of the retail market looks like this:

As shown, both Bally’s and Harrah’s finished in the red last month; Bally’s dropped from $303,240 in October, and Harrah’s from $104,448.

NJ sports betting takeaways

While the sports betting industry in New Jersey remains young, December is the six month of operations, a trend has already taken hold.

Of course, seeing both online and retail sports betting bounce back from a brutal October is a positive sign. But it has become clear that mobile has become king.

Since DraftKings became the first online operator in August, the mobile crowd in the Garden State has ballooned to nine operators, with several more on the way.

Retail handle has increased each month, but the mobile market has quickly taken over. In August, mobile books accounted for 22.7 percent of handle, compared with November’s 72 percent.

Since activation, online sports betting has reported $38,976,798. During that same time, retail sportsbooks have totaled $27,081,853.

All signs point to this trend continuing in New Jersey.

Report: Freehold Raceway Lines Up Deals To Enter NJ Sports Betting Landscape

According to Fantini Research, Penn National confirmed that it and Greenwood Gaming will have NJ online sports betting skins via Freehold Raceway.

A recent confirmation from Penn National Gaming indicates that Northern New Jersey will be part of the next expansion of NJ sports betting.

According to Fantini Research, composed of gaming industry analysts and researchers, Penn National confirmed Tuesday morning that it and Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment are in line to obtain online sports betting skins from Freehold Raceway.

The two companies co-own the state’s oldest racetrack.

Penn, Greenwood extend into NJ sports betting

Located a short drive from Monmouth Park, Freehold becomes the third racetrack in the Garden State to have ties to the state’s ever-growing sports betting industry.

As noted by Fantini, negotiations for a retail sportsbook and online operations are underway and should conclude before the new year.

Such a resolution would expand the sports betting footprint of both Penn National and Greenwood.

Last month, just before Thanksgiving, Penn opened the first Pennsylvania sportsbook at Hollywood Casino near Harrisburg.

In the near future, Greenwood is expected to activate its Parx Casino sportsbook in Bensalem, a mere hour’s drive from Freehold just outside of Trenton.

Penn National, which also operates a sportsbook in West Virginia, has partnered with William Hill US, while Greenwood, at least with Parx, has Kambi Group in its corner.

William Hill NJ already runs the retail sportsbook at Monmouth and has a mobile operation in New Jersey. Kambi, meanwhile, powers three NJ online sportsbooks:

PA operators stepping into NJ online gambling

In a way, Greenwood’s entry into New Jersey was foreseen.

Stated in a press release officially announcing the Parx-Kambi partnership last month, one piece of the agreement hinted at such a move.

“The contract … includes a provision for Kambi to support Greenwood Gaming with a potential sports betting operation in the neighbouring state of New Jersey.”

One Pennsylvania-based sports betting operator has already extended its reach into New Jersey.

SugarHouse, based out of Philadelphia and with a retail sportsbook on the way, launched its NJ mobile operation in August. Through October, SugarHouse generated $873,800, the third-most among eight mobile sportsbooks.

Freehold finally comes forward

Since winter 2017, Penn National has expressed interest in introducing sports betting to Freehold Raceway.

In December 2017, Penn National Vice President of Racing Chris McErlean noted that the industry could be quite beneficial for the track.

“Certainly, given the state of the industry in New Jersey, any opportunities for increasing potential revenue and foot traffic within the building is a good thing. … This is an opportunity we’ve been restricted from up to this point and we would certainly welcome this opportunity that will help keep Freehold viable going into the future.”

Freehold already could be in line to reap the rewards of NJ sports betting.

Earlier this month, Meadowlands and the Standardbred Breeders and Owners of New Jersey urged state lawmakers to pass legislation to provide $100 million in purse supplements over the next five years to the racing industry.

Under the bill, introduced in October, Freehold would receive $1.6 million in purse money.

Now it appears the racetrack has another stake in the NJ sports betting world.

Image credit: Jonathan Weiss / Shutterstock.com

Report: NJ Online Sports Betting Grows To Nine With PointsBet Soft Launch

NJ sports betting sites are sitting on cloud nine with the recent news that PointsBet got NJ regulatory OK to soft launch in the state.

New Jersey is getting another mobile sportsbook.

As first reported Tuesday by the Associated Press, the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement gave preliminary approval for PointsBet to offer NJ sports betting.

A partner with Meadowlands Racetrack, the Australia-based sportsbook is beginning with what the DGE called “soft play” and only operates online in the Garden State.

While not fully launched, that makes PointsBet the ninth mobile operator in New Jersey, coming three months after the last online sportsbook went live.

At the start, it appears the functionality and betting markets will be limited. When at full strength, PointsBet, with its signature Points Betting product, will offer what no other sportsbook in the state does.

PointsBet offers a unique market

In a skin deal with both Meadowlands and Tioga Downs in New York (both owned by Jeff Gural), PointsBet in July announced its intention to enter the US legal sports betting market.

In early October, the bookmaker made it public that it would soon debut in New Jersey, at the time anticipating a November launch of its product.

Per a release at the time, PointsBet “separates themselves by rewarding accuracy; the more accurate your bet, the more you can win.”

With wagering available around the clock on sports all over the world (including the four major leagues in the US), PointsBet offers traditional wagering as well as its signature product, Points Betting.

In this market, bettors face high-risk, high-reward stakes.

The amount won or lost depends on how close the final number is in relation to the line. As an example, customers wagering $10 on the over, and with the total finishing 10 points over, they pocket $100. Conversely, 10 points under results in a $100 loss.

Such a unique offering could certainly bode well for PointsBet, considering the other eight NJ online sportsbooks have had at least a three-month head start.

Finally reaching America

PointsBet launched in 2017, using Australia as a steppingstone to the US, according to a November interview with the company’s US CEO Johnny Aitken.

“Our founders … they always had a dotted line into America,” Aitken said at the time. “The Australian business was always sort of set up as a proof of concept for the American market.”

Now with offices in Jersey City, PointsBet has neared closer to its American launch. And points betting, Aitken said, provides a leg up for the incoming sportsbook.

“In a crowded market, where you have potentially up to 15 to 20 competitors in year one, that (points betting) is a huge asset for us. We do see it having extreme cut-through here in the US market.”

Meadowlands NJ sports betting family grows

PointsBet will become the second skin used by Meadowlands.

The East Rutherford racetrack has already established itself as a go-to retail sportsbook in the Garden State, and its partnership with FanDuel Sportsbook has undoubtedly helped.

Since launching in July, the brick-and-mortar operation has generated $9,925,916 in revenue through October, the most among nine sportsbooks in the state.

On top of that, the mobile FanDuel Sportsbook, which went live in September, has reported $5,280,476, second only to DraftKings Sportsbook.

Former NJ Regulator Says Sports Betting Integrity Group Is All About Communication

The chief integrity officer for the new Sports Wagering Integrity Monitoring Association says it’s purpose is to share information not hinder regulations.

To be clear, George Rover is not looking to step on the toes of individual state regulators. Quite the opposite, in fact.

Rover envisions a world in which sports betting operators across the nation share information to better protect the integrity of the industry and sports.

And that world is almost reality.

Last week, a national alliance, the Sports Wagering Integrity Monitoring Association (SWIMA), announced its formation.

Featuring executives from Caesars and MGM as founding members, SWIMA is “designed as a collaborative entity to partner with state and tribal gaming regulators; federal, state and tribal law enforcement; and other various stakeholders to detect and discourage fraud and other illegal or unethical activity related to betting on sporting events.”

Modeled after ESSA in Europe, SWIMA, a nonprofit organization, becomes the first of its kind in the US as state-sanctioned sports betting continues to expand. The group plans to launch in 90 days.

As the industry grows — eight states have regulated markets, including sports betting in New Jersey — SWIMA enters as a helping hand.

And Rover, the association’s chief integrity officer who will oversee day-to-day operations, assured that his group would be there for just that.

“It doesn’t get any clearer to you that we’re all in bed together on this,” Rover said in a phone interview Tuesday. “I am committed to making sure that I deliver or act in a way that delivers the product that (regulators) would like to have.”

SWIMA to monitor sports betting integrity

The reasoning behind forming SWIMA is not complicated, said Rover, the former deputy director of New Jersey’s Division of Gaming Enforcement.

“I think the simple reason is they have one in Europe that works fairly effectively, so why wouldn’t we need to have one in the United States.”

After US stakeholders expressed a desire to form a similar association to ESSA, SWIMA stepped into the spotlight.

The association’s principal goal, from a release, “is to protect customers, operators and other stakeholders from potential fraud caused by the unfair manipulation of events on which betting is offered.”

“Reaching this goal requires a multi-jurisdictional approach with operators in different states and tribal jurisdictions sharing information related to unusual or suspicious activity in their sports betting operations within and between different markets and, when appropriate, with gaming regulators and law enforcement.”

Part of SWIMA’s mission includes providing “a safe and secure betting environment” for customers taking part in legalized wagering.

Additionally, the association aims “to protect the integrity of sports betting and its related activity.” This includes identifying “bad actors” while discouraging “activities that profit from unfair betting markets.”

Per Rover in the release, SWIMA will partner with gaming regulators and law enforcement in states with legalized sports betting. In so doing, a crackdown can begin to “undermine fraud and manipulation and protect the integrity of sports betting.”

Fully funded by its members, which features “most of the major sports betting operators,” SWIMA does not require outside help from sports leagues, governments, or taxpayers.

SWIMA a step forward

With SWIMA, sports betting operators in various states will have the ability to communicate with each other. That interstate communication, Rover noted, is significant.

“It’s very important,” he said. “Operators in New Jersey need to be aware of what operators in Mississippi are saying. If you’re going to effectively police the integrity of sporting events, you need to know what’s going on in all the various jurisdictions. To have them siloed independently without them communicating with each other is not a way to address integrity nationally.”

The American Gaming Association seems to agree, as indicated in a statement from AGA executive Sara Slane.

“The formation of [SWIMA] serves as another important milestone toward realizing the benefits of a legal, regulated sports betting market in the United States, which provides robust consumer protection, increased transparency and additional tax revenues for state and local governments.”

Complementing state regulators

Before coming to light, SWIMA representatives spoke with regulators in states that have already implemented and launched legalized sports betting.

All of them, Rover said, favor the existence and purpose of SWIMA.

“It’s designed to pull in information from the operators and assess it in a certain degree,” Rover said, describing his association, “and then provide and communicate with regulators in certain instances where they might be some unusual circumstances regarding betting patterns.”

In no way, Rover emphasized, will SWIMA “infringe on or supplant” the jurisdictions of state regulators. As opposed to taking the place of regulators, SWIMA stands as “complementary to anything that regulators do.”

Rover said SWIMA welcomes input from state regulators on how they would like the association to operate. That includes how and when information is communicated by SWIMA.

SWIMA expects to become operational within 90 days. Rover, however, expressed a desire for an earlier timeline.

“I’m very much hoping,” he said, “that it will be shorter than that.”

Hitting Paydirt: FanDuel It Out For NFL Week 14 In NJ Sports Betting

With NFL teams contending for playoff spots, Week 14 features a host of interesting games, we’ve got the FanDuel lines to go with them.

Time to make the final turn and head down the homestretch toward the NFL playoffs.

With Week 14 approaching, only one team has secured a spot in the postseason, the league-leading Los Angeles Rams. It will certainly be a wild Wild Card race over these final four weeks of the regular season, not to mention the battles for division titles.

With such excitement almost guaranteed, sports betting in New Jersey also picks up. For Week 14, we take a look at offerings from FanDuel Sportsbook. (All point spreads and moneylines are as of Tuesday.)

Add ’em to your NJ sports betting slip

Jacksonville Jaguars (4-8) at Tennessee Titans (6-6)

This week’s Thursday Night Football game features an AFC South rematch from Week 3, in which the Titans won 9-6 on the road.

Now, with Tennessee still battling for a postseason spot, two of the lowest-scoring teams in the league square off.

The Titans enter as four-point favorites and have won three of their last five. It would have been three straight losses had QB Marcus Mariota not completed a TD pass with 36 seconds remaining to help Tennessee overcome a 16-point deficit to beat the New York Jets 26-22 last week.

Conversely, Jacksonville bucked a seven-game losing streak by shutting out the Indianapolis Colts in Week 13. That 6-0 result tied the NFL’s lowest-scoring shutout since 2007 and was just the fifth shutout in Jaguars history.

The Jags rely on QB Cody Kessler, who won for the first time in nine starts. Their offense continues to flummox. Jacksonville’s defense, in terms of scoring and yards, still ranks among the league’s best.

That makes the Jaguars, against a Tennessee offense that is fifth-worst in the NFL, a reasonable pick with a +162 moneyline.

An intriguing prop surrounds the first team to score and the game result. In seven games this season, Tennessee opened the scoring, winning four times. Jacksonville, meanwhile, has gone 4-2 when scoring first.

On the flip side, the Jaguars enter Thursday’s game 0-6 when allowing the opponent to strike first. Consider this when mulling the following from FanDuel:

  • Team to score first and win: Jacksonville +260, Tennessee +122
  • Team to score first and lose: Jacksonville +290, Tennessee +450

Los Angeles Rams (11-1) at Chicago Bears (8-4)

The flexed-to Sunday Night Football game gives the world a taste of the NFC playoffs.

Last week, the Rams became the first team in the NFL to clinch a spot in the postseason. The Bears, meanwhile, lead the NFC North.

With the No. 2 offense in the league, Los Angeles enters the primetime Sunday game as three-point favorites at Soldier Field, boasting the league’s top rusher in Todd Gurley II.

For an 11-win team that has been dominant offensively, the spread may appear slim. Consider, though, that LA’s defense has not stood as stout as early in the season.

Last week’s 30-16 win at the Detroit Lions was a tad promising. In the previous four games, the Rams allowed an average of 38.5 points.

Meanwhile, Chicago, featuring RB Tarik Cohen coming off a 156-yard-receivingone-TD-passing game against the New York Giants, features the league’s fifth-highest-scoring offense and a defense that ranks in the top five.

Last week’s 30-27 OT loss to the Giants was the Bears’ fourth setback of the season, with all four begin decided by single digits.

That said, Chicago has recorded the most takeaways in the league this season and could have QB Mitchell Trubisky (shoulder) return to action this week. Perhaps that is enough for the Bears to get the victory, paying +148 on the moneyline.

Minnesota Vikings (6-5-1) at Seattle Seahawks (7-5)

Wild Card spots in the NFC playoffs are on the line in Washington on Monday Night Football.

Seattle has firm control of second place in the NFC West (the Rams already clinched the division title). Minnesota trails the Bears in the NFC North, but with the Green Bay Packers falling apart of late, the Vikings remain in postseason contention.

The Seahawks have been red-hot recently, their 43-16 blowout win at the San Francisco 49ers being their third straight win and fifth in seven games.

On the other side, the Vikings have dropped two of three, including last week’s 24-10 loss at the New England Patriots. In that game, Minnesota scored its fewest points in a game since Week 3.

How much longer can Seattle remain this successful? QB Russell Wilson has been steady, with 29 TDs against just five interceptions this season. But the Seahawks’ rushing game has been inconsistent and plagued with injuries.

Despite QB Kirk Cousins getting picked off six times over the past five games, he has tremendous downfield weapons in WRs Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs. Additionally, Minnesota boasts a top-10 defense that could give Seattle fits.

The Vikings enter as three-point dogs, a +100 payout attached for covering the spread, and sit at +150 on the moneyline.

Long shots of the week

Four games at FanDuel feature spreads of a touchdown or more. As always, take risks at your own risk.

New England Patriots (9-3) at Miami Dolphins (6-6)

The top two teams in the AFC East get together here. It’s the Patriots’ to lose. New England is getting into postseason form, as it always does at this time, and heads in as a 7.5-point favorite, paying +100 to cover. The moneyline for a Miami win, however, sits at +270.

New Orleans Saints (10-2) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-7)

Throw out last week’s low-scoring loss to the Dallas Cowboys. In this NFC South showdown, two of the highest-scoring teams in the league go head to head. The Saints, with MVP candidate QB Drew Brees, stand as eight-point favorites, while Tampa pays +330 with an outright win. Interestingly, the over/under for this game is listed at 56 points, with the overpaying +100.

Two biggest spreads

For those feeling most bold, consider two AFC North-AFC West games.

The Cincinnati Bengals (5-7) are 14-point underdogs against the Los Angeles Chargers (9-3). The moneyline for the upset: +570. Hitting the over, set at 48 points, is  +100.

In California, the lowly Oakland Raiders (2-10), with one win in eight games, host the Pittsburgh Steelers (7-4-1). An 11.5-point dog, Oakland sits at +530 on the moneyline.

MVP, Super Bowl predictions at FanDuel

Super Bowl LIII:

  • LA Rams, +300
  • New Orleans, +350
  • Kansas City, +430
  • New England, +500

NFC champion:

  • LA Rams, +130
  • New Orleans, +150
  • Chicago, +1,000

AFC champion:

  • Kansas City, +175
  • New England, +195
  • LA Chargers, +500

MVP race:

  • New Orleans QB Drew Brees, +105
  • Kansas City QB Patrick Mahomes, +105
  • LA Chargers QB Phillip Rivers, +1,400
  • Indianapolis QB Andrew Luck, +2,300

Where else to bet online in New Jersey

As it has been well-documented, New Jersey features an array of mobile sports betting options.

Eight mobile sportsbooks complement the nine retail operations in the Garden State:

The list of NJ sportsbook apps includes a deep variety of traditional moneylines, parlays, in-game betting, and futures.