New Jersey Sportsbook Operators Support ‘Yes’ Vote On College Betting

New Jersey’s largest online sportsbook operators, FanDuel and DraftKings, support the November referendum to allow in-state college betting.

Voters will decide in November whether New Jersey sportsbooks can accept legal wagers on in-state college teams or collegiate events played in the Garden State.

The state Legislature approved a resolution last month in support of amending NJ’s sports betting law. So the measure now heads to the general election ballot.

Under the 2018 sports betting law, gamblers cannot bet on NJ schools, such as Rutgers, Seton Hall, or Princeton. The law also prevents wagers on collegiate tournaments or events held in New Jersey.

The two largest New Jersey online sportsbook operators, FanDuel and DraftKings, fully support the changes. Both operators told NJ Gambling Sites that the state’s current prohibitions undermine the goal of sports gambling legalization and regulation.

New Jersey sportsbooks can’t offer Rutgers, Seton Hall games … for now

Lawmakers are hoping to change the law before the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament comes to Newark’s Prudential Center in 2025.

Last year’s tournament appearances by the Rutgers Scarlet Knights and Seton Hall Pirates helped move the needle in favor of change.

New Jersey sportsbooks have also missed out on the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference basketball tournament. Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall has hosted it for the last two years.

“Events and tournaments such as March Madness are highly anticipated by sports bettors all over the country,” NJ Assembly members Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey said in a joint statement after the vote. “With a majority vote, we will be able to give the people in New Jersey the opportunity to place wagers on our collegiate teams and continue to enjoy the sporting events in our state.”

FanDuel says changes will benefit NJ, bettors

New Jersey is currently the largest sports betting market in the U.S. Since 2018, more than $15.97 billion has been legally bet with New Jersey sportsbooks. Nevada’s sportsbooks have taken just under $15.5 billion in wagers over the same time.

However, it’s no secret that online sports betting accounts for more than 90% of all wagers in NJ. FanDuel Sportsbook and DraftKings Sportsbook are the largest of NJ’s online operators.

“We are supportive of including college sports in legalized betting states,” FanDuel said in a statement to NJGS.

“Without including it, you leave college sports betting to the illegal, unregulated market, depriving states of revenue both directly from college sports betting and from users who don’t convert to the legal market for other sports because it doesn’t include college.”

DraftKings wants college betting barriers broken down

Similarly, DraftKings — the first NJ online sportsbook — endorses the November amendment.

“New Jersey has been at the forefront of legalized sports betting in the United States and we commend the efforts of lawmakers there for exploring ways to safely enhance the sports betting experience,” said Griffin Finan, vice president of government affairs and associate general counsel for DraftKings.

“We are hopeful that voters in the Garden State vote yes to approve the amendment on all college sport or athletic events.”

The American Gaming Association, the lobbying arm for U.S. gambling, has long advocated for regulated sports betting as a means to eliminate offshore and illegal bookmakers.

“DraftKings believes that creating artificial barriers for customers such as restricting markets on in-state college teams and college events hosted within state lines, deter bettors from moving to the legal market and ultimately minimizes revenue opportunities for the state,” Finan said.

NJ sports betting ballot referendum language

So what exactly is the question that will appear on the November ballot?

Well, you can read the full details here.

Basically, the main question will be: “Do you approve amending the Constitution to permit wagering through casinos and current or former horse racetracks on all college sport or athletic events?”

The interpretive statement reads, in part: “This amendment would allow the Legislature to pass laws permitting wagering on any college sport or athletic event. It would permit wagering even if a New Jersey college team participates in the competition.”

Talk about a meaningful 2021 Election Day. The question will be appearing on the same ballot as the gubernatorial race.

AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

NBA Playoffs: Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets Looking To Take 3-0 Advantage Versus Bucks

The NBA Playoffs continue Thursday night with the Milwaukee Bucks hosting 2021 championship betting favorite Brooklyn Nets in Game 3.

Even a casual fan watching the NBA Playoffs has to be coming to the same conclusion as New Jersey sportsbooks.

The Brooklyn Nets (+110) are winning the 2021 NBA Championship.
The odds-on favorite Nets are toying with Eastern Conference opponents right now, similar to how a cat plays with a dead mouse.

Five of the team’s six playoff wins have been by double-digits.
Monday’s night dismantling of the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 2 at Barclays Center was clear and convincing evidence that this team is nearly unstoppable

The Nets led by as many as 49 points in the fourth quarter and won by 39.
And Brooklyn staged that performance with one of its Big Three in street clothes.

Yikes.

NBA Playoffs continue Thursday night in Milwaukee

The Nets have a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. Game 3 tips off at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday at Milwaukee’s Fiserv Forum.

Brooklyn will be without James Harden and Jeff Green on Thursday night.
The Bucks are a 3.5 point favorite at BetMGM and DraftKings Sportsbook,  at least as of mid-afternoon Thursday.

Two-time NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo is set at over/under 32.5 points at FanDuel Sportsbook. Milwaukee’s leading scorer averaged 28.1 points per game in the regular season. That number dips to 24.3 PPG in the playoffs.

For a Greek Freak combo points and rebounds, FanDuel set the over/under at 45.5.

Over/under for Game 3 ranges between 233.5 to 243.5 points at most NJ online sportsbooks.

BROOK-LYN, BROOK-LYN

Nets superstars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are both projected to have big games, too. Durant’s over/under is 32.5 points, while Irving’s posted line is 28.5 points at DraftKings. The over is -106 and the under is -121 for both players.

Durant, Harden, and Irving averaged 85.2 points in the first-round series against the Boston Celtics. It is the highest-scoring series for a trio in NBA history, according to Elias Sports Bureau.

With or without Harden, Durant is playing like the guy who won 2017 NBA Finals MVP with the Golden State Warriors.

Through the first seven games of the 2021 postseason, Durant is putting up otherworldly numbers. He is shooting 55% from the field and 50% from 3-point range, both career playoff bests. His 32 points per game are the third-highest of his postseason career.

And if Durant keeps putting up these numbers, the rest of the remaining NBA team will have a tough time stopping his Nets.

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Philadelphia 76ers Are Big Favorite At NJ Sportsbooks To Defeat Wizards In First Round

The Philadelphia 76ers, the No. 1 seed in he Eastern Conference, are opening the NBA Playoffs at home against the Washington Wizards Sunday.

The Philadelphia 76ers opened the regular NBA regular season on Dec. 23 at home against the Washington Wizards. They will host them again, Sunday, May 23, to start the playoffs.

Could this be good karma?

In between, the Sixers earned their first No. 1 Eastern Conference seed in 20 years while Washington scrapped to obtain the last playoff berth.

This best-of-seven matchup sparks a regional betfest for NJ sports betting customers.

Garden state bettors’ three favorite teams, the Sixers, Brooklyn Nets, and New York Knicks, all sport homecourt advantage for the first round.

Bing, the Nets host the Boston Celtics Saturday at 8 p.m. Put the capital P in prohibitive, as they are -1430 at DraftKings Sportsbook to win the series.

Bang, the Sixers host the Wizards, Sunday at 1 p.m. as big series chalk a -1250.

Boom, the Knicks host the Atlanta Hawks, Sunday at 7 p.m. as the +100-small dog in the series. Atlanta took the most recent money, going to -121 at DraftKings in the Eastern Conference’s most evenly-matched first-round fling

NJ online sportsbooks are offering a myriad of NBA betting options.

They include:

  • Individual game odds
  • Individual game props
  • Over-under total
  • Series winner
  • How many games the best-of-7 series goes

Beyond those, NJ bettors can still get futures action

Here are the odds to win the Eastern Conference at William Hill, requiring three playoff-round victories:

Brooklyn -110
Sixers +300 (down from +440 just a few days go)

And here are the odds to win the NBA title:

  • Nets +220
  • Los Angeles Lakers +425
  • Sixers +750
  • Knicks +8000

NBA Playoff betting preview: Sixers-Wizards

The Sixers, 49-23, attained home court throughout the conference finals for the first time since when they had Allen Iverson, Aaron McKie, and Dikembe Mutombo in 2001. That team lost to the Lakers in the NBA Finals.

Washington cemented the final playoff berth with a   142-117 Play-In tourney pasting of the Indiana Pacers.

So now that the first-round schedule is set, let’s examine the matchup.

The teams combined for 220, 228, and 277 in their three regular-season games, swept by the Sixers. This merits serious over-under considerations.

There were two tight games and one blowout.

The Sixers opened the season with a taut 113-107 triumph.

In the most exciting game of the series, the Sixers captured a shootout, 141-136. NBA MVP finalist Joel Embiid had 38 points and Seth Curry notched 28 for Philadelphia.

But what happened on the other side of the ball?

Bradley Beal went off with 60 points for Washington. And Russell Westbrook just missed a triple-double,  20 points, 12 assists, 8 rebounds.

Beal’s 60-point effort was tied with Jayson Tatum of the Celtics for the second, not first,  top-scoring honors (single game) in the NBA this season. The honor went to league scoring leader Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors, with 62.

Looking at the lone rout in which Philadelphia cruised to a 127-101 victory in March. Big difference? Beal only had 19 and Westbrook had 25.

For the Sixers, Embiid notched 23 while Shake Milton and Furkan Korkmaz tallied 18 apiece.

The Sixers are well-rounded, although Embiid is a player they can’t do without.

The Wizards rely on two ultra-stars

Consider Beal and Westbrook for specialized props, triple-doubles, etc.

Beal is the real deal

The talented guard-forward propelled Washington from well off the playoff picture at the All-Star break to the postseason.

Beal tabbed a 31.3 scoring average, second in the league to Curry, 32.

Russell Westbrook led the league in assists with more than 11 per game and is a born playmaker.

Against Indiana Thursday night, his triple-double prop line at William Hill was -400.  Westbrook is a great player to admire, but it’s not easy to cash in on that.

Westbrook averaged a triple-double for the season. That was 21.8 points, 11.3 rebounds, and 11.2 assists.

Westbrook is the all-time king of triple-doubles, at 182. He must be on his game for the Wizards to have any chance.

76ers-Wizards numbers differential

So where is the statistical smoking gun?

Washington averages 116.6 points per game, third in the league, versus the Sixers at 113.6

Washington averages 45.2 rebounds per game, the Sixers 45.1 Call it even.

Some difference shows up with steals. The Sixers led the league along with the Memphis Grizzlies, 9.1.

Washington is down at the pack a little, but still at 7.3.

So where is it? Defense.

The Sixers allowed 109 points per game, Washington 120. That’s significant.

Points differential per game brings it out further.

The Sixers were +5.5 for the season.

Washington was -1.8.

Put them together and the Sixers would be 7.3 points better than the Wizards. And two results, five and six-point wins by the Sixers, were in that range.

Looking at the other NBA Playoff series

DraftKings and FanDuel Sportsbook both zero in on five games for the Brooklyn-Boston series. But it can be bet a couple of different ways.

At DraftKings, under 5.5 games pays -167. The over is +130.

At Fan Duel, the series to go five games exactly is the shortest payout, +196. Going exactly six is +310.

That over 5.5 games bet returns +130 at DraftKings because it doesn’t require the bettor to nail the exact game total.  It can be six or seven and still pay.

The Knicks and Hawks will be entertaining. It would not be surprising to see each team win a road game.

Here’s a really fun one, the Game 1 and series parlay at DraftKings.

Big money if a team loses the first game and then wins the series. It’s possible in this type of matchup.

Knicks win Game One and the series is +165.

Hawks are +210 for the same thing.

Knicks win Game One, Hawks win the series is +330.

Hawks win Game One, Knicks win series is +500.

What about the defending champs?

If you like betting the Western Conference, the defending champion Lakers are -167 against the Phoenix Suns, despite being the seventh seed and a narrow play-in game survivor. The Suns are +130 despite winning nine games more than the Lakers.

The betting odds reflect the Lakers being at full health. Will they be?

Dreamstime Photo

 

History Sets The Stage For Saturday’s 147th Kentucky Derby

The Kentucky Derby history is rich with facts and figures that provide a big-picture perspective on one of America’s oldest sporting events.

The 147th Kentucky Derby is now hours away. The prestige surrounding the event generates so many great anecdotes.

The Kentucky Derby history is rich with facts and figures that provide a big-picture perspective on one of America’s oldest sporting events. This includes some potential side horse betting journeys.

Here is a look back at some of the top Kentucky Derby moments.

Kentucky Derby history and betting highlights

The first Derby took place in 1875.

Today, it has a $3 million purse. Heading into his weekend’s event,  as far as wagering goes,2019 is the year to beat. That year, a record $165.5 million was bet on the Kentucky Derby.

The global pandemic caused a temporary plunge to less than $100 million last year. However, post-pandemic numbers, fueled by legalized online gambling, should set new records in the future.

And here are some other notable betting highlights from the previous 146 Kentucky Derbys.

Largest Upset

This requires going back in time to 1913 when Donerail, at 91-1, won the Kentucky Derby. The $184.90 payout for a $2 ticket remains the biggest in history.

Other notables: Giacomo, 50-1 in 2005 and Mine That Bird, 50-1 in 2009.

Largest superfecta

The 2005 Kentucky Derby still holds the No. 1 spot. Giacomo, Closing Argument, Afleet Alex, and Don’t Get Mad returned a whopping $864,253 for the $ 1 super.

The odds were 50-1, 70-1, 9-2, and 29-1 for the top four horses.

We still don’t know how someone came up with the numbers 10, 18, 12, and 17. Kids ages? Birthdays? Throw out the inside numbers?

Kentucky Derby fun facts

Triple Crown winner Secretariat (1973) still holds the record for the fastest time at 1:59.40.

Three fillies have won the Derby:

  • Winning Colors in 1988
  • Genuine Risk in 1980
  • Regret in 1915

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, who has Medina Spirit in this Derby, guided the last two Triple Crown champions.

Post position 17 has never produced a Kentucky Derby winner. That spot belongs to Highly Motivated this year. And he has a shot with 10-1 odds.

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The first leg of the Triple Crown

The Kentucky Derby is the opening leg of racing’s Triple Crown, which includes the Preakness Stakes (May 15) and the Belmont Stakes (June 5).

There have been 13 Triple Crown winners, including two in recent years. American Pharoah broke a 37-year dry spell in 2015, becoming the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978.

American Pharoah’s Derby appearance prompted the all-time attendance record of 170,513. After the pandemic dropped the total to roughly 22,500 in 2020, 45,000 fans will be allowed in this year.

Post-pandemic, the Derby will eventually reclaim six-figure attendance.

DraftKings free Kentucky Derby pool

DraftKings is offering a nice $100,000 Kentucky Derby free-to-play contest in its pools section. Answer several questions and try for the $5,000 top individual prize. The sportsbook intends to obtain a bigger presence in major races by next year.

While that process with state regulators ensues, it has reached out to the players. More than 50,000 people have already signed up to take a shot.

William Hill will be open at Monmouth Park

The William Hill sportsbook will be open at Monmouth Park, which takes Derby bets at its simulcast facility. The racetrack has planned a big weekend around Churchill Downs’ big Friday and Saturday cards.

The William Hill book is open Friday from 10 a.m. to 1.am and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 a.m. on Saturday. Sportsbook wagers can augment the full simulcast horse-racing card starting at 10:30 a.m. both days.

Even though William Hill is not taking Derby bets, the operator shared some betting analysis. Essential Quality is the favorite, but he is not necessarily a lock to produce the winning ticket.

“Essential Quality is not going to be a 6/5 (+120) or even-money favorite, [that heavy of a favorite] is not going to happen this year,” said Paul Bach, bookmaker for William Hill US. “It’s not a great field from top to bottom, but there are maybe 10 horses, for sure five, that can beat Essential Quality.”

AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

 

 

Philadelphia 76ers Leading Eastern Conference Race, But Nets And Bucks Remain Close

New Jersey online sports bettors still obtain great value on the 76ers’ postseason odds, with Philadelphia trending under the radar.

Welcome to the last hump of the Philadelphia 76ers regular season.

Fifteen games remain in the NBA regular season for the Sixers, who try taking their 39-18, Eastern Conference-leading record all the way to the wire.

New Jersey online bettors still obtain great value on the Sixers’ postseason odds, with Philadelphia trending under the radar.

Before hosting the Phoenix Suns and then visiting the Milwaukee Bucks for two games this week, the Sixers stack up as the sixth favorite team to win the NBA title.

They are an eye-opening +1200 at DraftKings Sportsbook and William Hill.

Looking at the current NBA standings, the Sixers shouldn’t be ignored.  From an NBA betting perspective, however, a strong argument could be made regarding any one of the top-six teams.

A closer look at the DraftKings NBA odds

Heading into Wednesday night’s action, the Sixers still hold a half-game advantage over the Brooklyn Nets in the Eastern Conference standings. However, DraftKings still has the Nets at +240 to win the NBA crown, even with stars James Harden and Kevin Durant nursing injuries.

The Los Angeles Lakers, +350, are being bet as though stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis are still in their lineup. Davis may return this week, but James is not close.

The Lakers, currently the No. 5 seed in the West, look overbet and this enhances the values of other teams, like the Sixers.

The Los Angeles Clippers, whom the Sixers nudged last week in an exciting contest, are +650.

The Western-conference leading Utah Jazz are +700.

The Milwaukee Bucks, whom the Sixers lead by four games, are +750.

And then, only then, come the Sixers, at +1200.

Does anybody notice the 76ers?

ESPN does.

It put the Sixers atop their power rankings for the entire league at the beginning of the week.

Ahead of the Jazz in second, the Suns in third. and the Nets in fourth.

Philadelphia squandered some prestige by losing to the Golden State Warriors on Monday night, without ailing defensive stalwart Ben Simmons. Starting forward Tobias Harris also missed the game.

The Sixers also will have a hard time staying No. 1 after this week, but at least they began there. If they can match ESPN’s optimism, + 1200 is a steal.

Lining Up Bucks-76ers bets

Returnees Giannis Antetokounmpo (left knee), Donte DiVincenzo (right big toe), and key reserve P.J. Tucker (left calf) all played Monday, but could not prevent a 128-127 overtime loss by the Bucks to the Suns.

The Bucks, who lost their entire starting five at one point and suffered a 6-8 stretch, are getting key people back.

Just in time for the Sixers.

For Philadelphia, Simmons isn’t being rushed back but should return this week. Check his status before each game.

Milwaukee must sweep the Sixers Thursday and Saturday in order to maintain contention.

Betting odds will be fun to watch for these contests.

Will they anticipate the Bucks playing with desperation? What happens to the second-game line if the Sixers win the opener.?

It’s not easy to defeat the same team twice in a row with just one day off between games. How the betting line looks before the second game will be interesting. If the Bucks win Thursday night, do they pour everything into a sweep?

If the Sixers take the first game, do they rest some players for what would be their third game in four nights?

Philadelphia will put the Bucks away for the regular season with a split, or better.

Johnny Avello, the director of race and sportsbook operations for DraftKings, noticed the Eastern Conference juggling. But the money, right now, is out West.

“There is certainly some value out there to get once you look past the Nets and Lakers,” Avello, told NJ Gambling Sites. “The West is really loaded. Teams like the Suns are playing great. The Denver Nuggets are having a tremendous season, too.

“Right now, you’d have the Lakers as a fifth seed. Every game is a tough game for the teams in the West. Whoever wins that would probably end up playing the Memphis Grizzlies in the opening playoff round.

“That would be a bargain.

“When the playoffs begin, the betting atmosphere is going to be phenomenal,” he added. “Once that happens, these guys have to play every game. No more of the players resting.”

Why finishing first in the East matters

Few talk about the prize for winning the Eastern Conference regular season because teams want to be rested for the playoffs. And there is still some time left in it.

But this is a unique situation.

The top seed in the East could have major significance in the second round of the playoffs.

Should the Sixers win the conference, say with the Nets second, the Bucks third, and any number of teams fourth, here’s what happens if they all advance on cue through the first round.

The Sixers avoid the Nets and Bucks in round two and play the worst-seeded remaining team. The Nets and Bucks then go head-to-head and one of them is eliminated for the conference finals.

Winning the conference is a free trip around the Nets or Bucks.

But if the Sixers don’t win the conference, they will likely have to defeat both teams in a postseason series.

You will hear more of this as the season winds down.

Sixers, Nets, have different plans

The top seed is attainable for the Sixers because the Nets are coasting into the postseason, strategically resting players.

With a capital “R.”

Brooklyn has nursed Harden, Durant, and Kyrie Irving, who are the league’s highest paid players, intensely.  Combined, they played 99 of the first possible 171 games. When the season ends, the three stars will have the minutes of a player and a half.

But Durant and Irving are injury prone and the trio averages 80 points a game when healthy.

That’s the Brooklyn strategy. Get to the finish line and roll it all on the playoffs.

The Sixers, Nets, and Bucks run the Eastern Conference show. But tip your hat to the New York Knicks.

Find the person, if one exists, to have predicted that the longest NBA winning streak right now belongs to them.

Yes, the Knicks have won seven straight, are going to the playoffs, and surged all the way to +25000 (250-1) at DraftKings futures. They are half a game out of fourth.

Julius Randle, the runaway choice for the league’s most improved player, sparks the resurgence.

Dreamstime Photo