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.