Five Things To Know Before You Bet On Sixers Vs. Pacers At NJ Sportsbooks

The Philadelphia Sixers face the Indiana Pacers in their first matchup in the NBA restart. Here are five things you should know before you place that bet.

Here come the chameleons.

As the Philadelphia Sixers make their NBA return Saturday against the Indiana Pacers, bettors are backing the homecourt model — a league-best 29-2.

They have ignored Philly’s 10-24 road mark and made them 6-point favorites at FanDuel and DraftKings on the neutral court in Orlando, Fla. 

By Thursday afternoon, the line had dropped to 5.5 at both sportsbooks.

There is Philly Fever in the NJ sports betting world.

DraftKings Sportsbook reports that the Sixers have taken the second-most championship money, 16%, at odds of 20-1. Only the Los Angeles Lakers, the league favorite at +240, have more action, 33%, than the Sixers.

“I see bets come through on a daily basis and recently the Sixers are taking more than any other team,” said Johnny Avello, the director of race and sportsbook operations for DraftKings. “This is the healthiest they have been. The team was not gelling before, but with so many players back, maybe now they have a second chance to win.

“They are very talented.”

So how will the first game of the Sixers restart play out? Here are five things to look at. (Odds as of 7 p.m. ET July 30.)

Aug. 1 Game (Moneyline)DraftKingsFanDuelPointsBet
Philadelphia 76ers-230-235-236
Indiana Pacers+190+205+185

1. No home court advantage + no fans

This is a neutral court, and these teams have the same record, 39-26.

In theory, the line at NJ online sportsbooks should be much closer. There is a premium built into the line that the Sixers are going to advance another level.

2. High moneyline for Sixers vs. Pacers

The Sixers have a high moneyline task, too.

They are -230 at DraftKings and -235 at FanDuel Sportsbook.  That’s a lot for a six-point game.

The Pacers are +190/+205, and there will be bargain hunters.

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3. Watch the totals

The over-under for total points was 211.5 at DraftKings, 212 at FanDuel. That has since shifted to 216 at FanDuel, 211.5 at DraftKings.

The oddsmakers have an uncanny way of being right around the totals number.

Seems a little low if you think the Sixers will hit their outside shots with their tall players. Not unreasonable a total if you believe the players have been off for four months, and they won’t be sharp.

Watch the earlier games to get a barometer of whether the shooters are on.

Guess-timate? It won’t take them long to get comfortable, maybe a couple of games.

4. The Sixers are healthy for NBA restart

Easily the most perplexing team in the league before the shutdown, the Sixers have a chance to start healthy and fresh in Orlando.

And Tobias Harris isn’t shy about trumpeting the Sixers’ championship aspirations or the fact that the chemistry was way off previously. Reconciling those things is critical immediately, especially for Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons.

Simmons pronounced himself healthy after a four-month rehab process from a bad back. A Simmons at 100% does put Philadelphia on another level.

5. Pacers key offense won’t be playing

Damontos Sabonis is the heart of the Indiana offense. But he won’t play.

Sabonis, who leads the Pacers with 18.5 points and 12.5 rebounds, also averages five assists. But a plantar fasciitis flare-up prompted him to leave the team. He may not be back at all.

If you liked that Sixers -6 line, hopefully, you got it. The line moved to 5.5 at DraftKings and will likely shift again before Saturday.

Looking back to previous Sixers-Pacers games

The three previous games between the teams were entertaining.

The best may have been the first. In November, the Sixers nudged the Pacers 119-116 at home. That’s the only time that Simmons, Embiid and Harris were in the lineup for the Sixers in this rivalry.

Embiid had 32 points, Harris notched 22, and Simmons had 15.

In December, the Pacers got even on their home floor, beating the Sixers 115-97. Sabonis had 23 points and T.J. Warren 21 for the Pacers. The Sixers did not have Embiid, who, at 25, is working on his third consecutive 20-point, 10-rebound average for a season.

They did not have him the next time either, a 101-95 setback in January on the road. But Simmons had 24 points, Harris notched 23, and Josh Richardson stepped up with 23.

There are interesting variables to read into all three games. They indicate that a fully healthy Sixers team is a little better than the Pacers. For the first since 1984-86, the 76ers are going for their third consecutive .600-plus season.

The odds of this game reflect that.

PointsBet celebrates the return of NBA

Want to bet the Sixers? Or the Pacers? Or anyone else? PointsBet NJ just stepped up with an enticing promo, available only to New Jersey bettors.

How about that? Just for Jersey.

One of them is juice-free betting on the NBA for the eight-game regular-season resumption. No vig! Bettors are not laying the customary 10% just to place a bet. This savings adds up and directly impacts the bottom line.

And there are no $50 limits tied to regular promos. These are “normal trading limits.” Attention all “whales,” this is an invitation to make some big wagers. The book has essentially returned its built-in profit on every bet back to the gamblers.

The second is an insurance policy. If your team scores the first point of the game and then loses, PointsBet will refund you up to $50 in free bets.

Eight out of the last 10 games before the NBA suspended its season involved a team scoring first but losing.

This only applies to the first $50 staked on pre-game, moneyline bets. It is available in every single NBA game but applies only to the first moneyline bet on each game.

Clients betting on both moneylines in the same game will not be eligible for the promotion.

MLB Betting Rewind: Phillies Falter, Yankees Triumph, And Dog Cutout Fetches Home Run

It was a ruff day for one Mets cardboard cutout, as a Braves home run hit the “dog’s head.” Meanwhile, the Phillies fell flat, and Marlins bettors won big.

The Philadelphia Phillies, New York Mets and New York Yankees shared a rare distinction this past weekend.

All three teams were favored in every game they played.

How did they do as the anointed chalk? Mixed bag.

The Yankees went 2-1 on the road against the Washington Nationals. The Phillies were 1-2 against the Miami Marlins at home, and the Mets had a significant ninth-inning collapse Saturday followed by a blowout loss Sunday. They went 1-2 at home against the Atlanta Braves.

Phillies roller coaster ride vs. Marlins

The Phillies were victims of the highest split-percentage meltdown of the weekend on Friday. Then they failed as a -225 favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook on Sunday.

On Friday, we mentioned the “just because” money the Phillies could get because of pent-up betting demand on opening day.

Indeed, the Phillies took an astounding 96% of moneyline bets at DraftKings. The Marlins took 4% at +170 for the opening game and a few bettors were handsomely rewarded.

Miami’s 5-2 triumph was by far the best over-achieving result in the league on Friday, considering the odds and the splits. A tip of the hat to Marlins backers, who, realizing Miami had taken 10 of 19 games against the Phillies last year, took the Marlins at a nice price.

In the over 9 runs prop, bettors produced 68% of the DraftKings volume and would have at least gained a push had Scott Kingery’s apparent two-run homer not hooked inches foul in the seventh inning for the Phillies.

The Phillies won in resounding fashion Saturday, 7-1, but unfurled a glaring weakness Sunday. They could not hold a 4-0 first-inning lead Sunday and lost to the Marlins, 11-6.

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Yankees recap: Bronx Bombers eke out 2 of 3

The Yankees, who shared the highest projected win total alongside the Los Angeles Dodgers — 37.5 at FanDuel Sportsbook and DraftKings — dominated one game and got hammered in another versus the host Nationals.

But in the tie-breaker, the Yankees rallied from a 2-0 seventh-inning deficit and triumphed 3-2.  These are the games that make the difference in season over-unders being hit.

Highlights: Gerrit Cole looked good in the opener and Giancarlo Stanton hit two home runs in the series that nearly left the state.

Mets and the carryover sag

Teams slump after the denial of a sure win.

The Mets had beaten the visiting Braves in their opener Friday and were one strike away from going 2-0 on Saturday.

That is, until reliever Edwin Diaz surrendered a game-tying homer and the Mets lost in the 10th. What usually happens the day after? The losing team struggles.

The Mets, -111 at FanDuel on Sunday, did not even show up. They were blown out 14-1. Had there been fans, they would have endured a cascade of boos.

You can’t make this up: a Mets dog and a Braves home run

No precedent, or prop bet, could have covered what happened Saturday at Citi Field.

With no fans allowed in ballparks, some MLB clubs allowed fans to send in pictures of themselves to get blown up on a cardboard cutout. The cutouts are then placed in one of the empty seats.

The Mets’ Michael Conforto and Jeff McNeil added a new twist — their dogs.

Early Saturday, Conforto’s two canine cutouts were placed next to “Willow,” McNeil’s dog, in the second row of the bleachers in right field.

There they were, amid thousands of empty seats, when Atlanta’s Adam Duvall hoisted an opposite-field drive that cleared the wall. Going, going, gone, and then, oh no, “thwack.” The ball nailed Willow right in the cardboard head.

No injuries were reported. We don’t know if Willow tried to catch the souvenir in her teeth and misjudged it, or what. We also don’t know if Willow was given a bone or if McNeil has one to pick with Duvall.

Willow is perhaps the most famous of the Mets’ dogs. McNeil met her on the field — one year ago Sunday — during a North Shore Animal League America promotion before a game. He Facetimed his wife, Tatiana, during batting practice to ask if they could adopt her.

Neither expected things to get this “ruff.”

Coming up: Phillies-Yankees postponed Monday

The Phillies-Yankees rivalry hasn’t been this good since the 2009 World Series, won by the Bronx Bombers. A number of factors concern the upcoming series. Stay tuned.

The Yankees were scheduled to meet the Phillies on Monday and Tuesday. The teams meet again Wednesday and Thursday at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees then host the Boston Red Sox over the weekend.

Breaking news: The Phillies-Yankees game was postponed for Monday after several members of the Miami Marlins tested positive for COVID-19.

Presumably, Phillies members will be tested and the league will go from there.

As for bets, check with your NJ online sportsbook of choice. A canceled game is one thing and usually means bets are refunded, but a postponed game is another thing entirely.

Philadelphia then faces the Toronto Blue Jays in that team’s adopted home, Buffalo. The Yankees then host the Red Sox for three games. What a week.

The Mets have a four-game setup with Boston. That’s Monday and Tuesday in Boston, Wednesday and Thursday at home, and then off to Atlanta for three games.

The scheduling is convenient for the Red Sox regarding travel. They will play a five-game stretch, Wed-Sun, in New York.

Let’s Play Ball! Marlins Vs. Phillies Odds Shift As Excitement Builds For Season Opener

The Phillies are favorites heading into their matchup against the Miami Marlins. Late money is shifting the props and Phillies odds at NJ sportsbooks.

The Philadelphia Phillies’ season-opening tilt with the visiting Miami Marlins on Friday may have significant late money riding in.

Because of the moneyline, Philadelphia -210 at DraftKings Sportsbook as of midday Thursday, there is no rush for a Phillies backer to get this bet down.

Miami, at +175, will be attractive whenever a Marlins backer pulls the trigger. That’s a good number for a team that won’t contend with home-field disadvantage.

A Marlin bettor receives a good payout for going against “just because” money. There will be a lot of Phillies action just because it’s opening day, and just because baseball is finally back.

Contrarians often do well in situations like this.

Listed starting pitchers are Aaron Nola for the Phillies against Sandy Alcantara of the Marlins.

Let’s dig a bit deeper into the opening day odds at New Jersey online sportsbooks for the Phillies-Marlins on Friday.

What the Marlins vs. Phillies odds say

The best odds of the game may ride on the over-under of 8.5 runs, which was -102 for the over and -124 for the under at DraftKings.

Here’s a look at the Phillies vs Marlins odds from DraftKings, FanDuel and PointsBet:

Bettors may wait for some clues after the first night of action — with the New York Yankees visiting the Washington Nationals and the San Francisco Giants invading the Los Angeles Dodgers — to get a feel for the offenses.

Pitchers are supposed to dominate those matchups — Gerrit Cole and Max Scherzer in the opener and Johnny Cueto vs Clayton Kershaw in the second game. But if they didn’t, bettors may feel the Phillies and Marlins will have strong run production and hit the over market hard on Friday.

New rules about the permanent DH and extra-innings beginning with a runner on second base could fuel offensive optimism. There are four or five gimme outs in a game that just vanished.

Yet the Yankees-Nationals over-under dipped by a full run early this week, indicating that the adage of pitchers being ahead of the hitters early is in vogue.

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Best bets ahead of Friday’s game

The Phillies are taking a strong percentage of money in the prop area for opening day, moving the lines down.

If the Phillies bettor wants to give more than a run, the -1.5 line is +104, down from +110 on Wednesday. A Marlins backer will lay -122 to take a +1.5 on the run line.

Do you think the Phillies can win in a slugfest? If the Phillies win by at least two runs and the game total hits at least nine runs, the payoff is +195.

That came down significantly from +270 on Wednesday. If that bet hits and you made it on Wednesday, you will feel like a genius.

And then there are educated crapshoots.

Picking the Phillies to win by 1-3 runs is +130 and a margin of four or more runs is +250.

The Marlins would return +270 to win by 1-3 runs and +650 to prevail by four or more.

A good idea here is to select what you consider the final score first and then see what props adhere.

Marlins vs. Phillies: more props action at FanDuel

On Thursday, FanDuel Sportsbook added a prop that will almost be impossible not to try: picking the correct score after one inning.

The options are all over the place, but some pay really well.

If the Phillies lead 2-1 after the first frame, it’s +5000 or 50-1. A 2-2 tie after one inning? We’ve seen it before. Try +10000 or 100-1. Heck, for a couple of bucks?

It’s important to budget and be disciplined with money because the props board is a wagering festival.

But hitting a high-price prop is where the fun is. That’s where bragging rights begin and this is why saving some of the budget for the props is smart.

Don’t ignore the Marlins’ might

Although the Marlins are dogs on Friday, they were problematic for the Phillies last year.

Even while the Philles won 81 games and the Marlins 57, Miami won 10 of the 19 games against Philadelphia last year. The Marlins even swept three games in Philadelphia in June.

Miami has won eight of the last 12 meetings.

Offense? We can talk about offense. In one game last season, the teams combined for 30 runs. In the next, it was 12.

Phillies’ Citizens Bank Park favors offense

Only one betting year has been tabulated, but Citizens Bank Park’s reputation for high-scoring games is borne out.

The average runs per game scored at the Philadelphia baseball stadium is 9.9, if you are thinking about the over-under of 8.5 at DraftKings.

Oddsmakers have adjusted to that number, pushing the bar pretty high. The over-under record here is 36-42-3.

Think about striking early. The over on the 0.5 first-inning runs prop has hit in five consecutive games here between the two teams. The Phillies do have a strong lineup at the top with Andrew McCutchen, Bryce Harper, and Rhys Hoskins.

The Marlins, on the other hand, have lost each of their last six Friday road games.

Phillies take late prop money

At William Hill, Philadelphia Phillies bettors might be “over” joyed.

The bookmaker reported Wednesday that the Phillies comprise a book-leading total of 90% on their season win total of 31.5 in total dollars wagered.

In total tickets, the Phillies have a solid 88%, among the top three.

The Phillies are one of three teams whose over has gotten at least 80% in both categories, with the Mets (31.5) and Phillies (31) being the others.

Philadelphia’s over actually is No. 1 among all National League teams with 90% of the total dollars wagered, and only trails the Rays’ over at 95% for all of baseball.

The Phillies’ over has also captured 88% of the total number of tickets, which matches the Diamondbacks’ (31.5) over for the highest percentage in the NL. Only the Athletics’ over with 93% of the total number of tickets surpasses the Phillies and Diamondbacks.

Betting tip: FanDuel odds boost for Phillies playoff chances

FanDuel just boosted the Phillies’ odds of making the playoffs.

They were +220 until mid-week. Now the Phillies are a robust +320 to make the playoffs, with a maximum $50 bet. This is a big move — almost 50% — in the odds boost world.

There is no telling how long this bet will be offered at that price.

At the very least, probabilities will change after opening day. The prop was likely designed to entice action before Friday’s first pitch.

DraftKings Kicks Off NFL Betting With Season-Long Pick’em National Championship

The Pro Football Pick’em National Championship at DraftKings Sportsbook is underway. And this NFL pick’em contest features a grand prize of $1 million.

Are you ready for some football, New Jersey? Then you are in luck. DraftKings launched a new NFL pick’em contest featuring a $1 million grand prize.

And NJ sports betting fans will be getting first dibs on the newest, biggest contest being offered.

What is the DraftKings NFL Pick’Em contest?

The Pro Football Pick’em National Championship is a season-long contest in which players pick five games against the spread each week.

The contest will last from Week 1 all the way through Week 16. Players choose games during 14 of those weeks, with two bye weeks of their choice.

All picks will have to be made by 10 a.m. EST on the Sunday of that particular week.

If a player gets all five of their picks right in a given week, they will get a free $100 bet on DraftKings Sportsbook.

The contest costs $1,500 to enter with three total entries allowed.

Now, at the time of this writing, New Jersey was the only state taking part. But DraftKings hopes to add more states before the season begins.

Cash prizes for 50 winners

The top 50 players at the end of the season will all get a cash prize, with the winner getting that coveted $1 million.

The rest of the payouts are as follows:

2nd Place
3rd Place$125,000
4th Place$100,000
5th Place$75,000
6th Place$60,000
7th Place$50,000
8th Place$40,000
9th Place$30,000
10th Place$20,000
11th-15th Place$15,000
16th-20th Place$10,000
21st-25th Place$7,500
26th-35th Place$5,000
36th-50th Place$2,500

What if the 2020 NFL season is delayed or canceled?

Like the other US pro sports leagues, the NFL’s 2020 schedule has been affected by the COVID-19 global pandemic. For instance, the NFL Draft was to take place back in April in Las Vegas but was switched to a virtual draft instead.

As the NFL betting season draws near to football’s official start in September, the country is still dealing with the pandemic. This makes it a possibility that the regular season could be affected as well.

In that case, DraftKings does have a contingency plan in case of any delays or changes to the season. Here’s the gist:

  • If the season starts after Sept. 10, DraftKings will simply shift the contest’s start to coincide with the new start of the season.
  • If the season gets canceled after Week 12, DraftKings will still honor payouts for all of the winners. If the season is canceled before Week 12, DraftKings will refund players.
  • If the season is canceled between Weeks 12 and 16, the winners will be determined based on the player’s percentage of correct picks rather than total correct picks. This rule is in place because some players will have used one or both of their bye weeks by then.

How to enter the DraftKings Pro Football Pick’em National Championship

If you are looking to enter the Pro Football Pick’em National Championship, log in to DraftKings Sportsbook and click on the “Pools” tab.

If you are signing up for the first time, you will need to register and deposit funds.

If not, you simply have to opt into the contest, pay the entry fee, and wait ever-so-patiently for the NFL season to kick off.

NJ Sportsbooks Heat Up With MLB Opening Day Odds, Player Props And Free Bets

The MLB is back and NJ sports betting odds favor the Phillies and Yankees. Plus, get a $10+ in free bets for opening day at NJ sportsbooks.

Sixty games in 66 days for every MLB team, here we come. MLB is finally here, with the season opener no longer a remote-looking date of July 23, but a day.


THIS Thursday.

The New York Yankees open as favorites against the host and defending World Series champions Washington Nationals at 7:05 p.m. The Los Angeles Dodgers host the San Francisco Giants as big chalk in Thursday’s second game, just after 10 p.m.

Then the full schedule kicks in on Friday.

Among teams followed most closely by New Jersey sports betting fans, the New York Mets are favored against the Atlanta Braves and the Philadelphia Phillies are the solidly-installed choice against the Miami Marlins.

The bettors, and the fans, are ready.

“I have to go inside,” a New Jersey gambler told me one afternoon late last week. “The Phillies are playing an intrasquad game. I’m going to catch it.”

The bettors can’t wait and now we’re here. Let’s look at some of the numbers entering opening week of baseball.

Yankees vs. Nationals: DraftKings’ lines favor the Bronx Bombers

On the moneyline for Thursday, DraftKings Sportsbook likes the Yankees.

The Bronx Bombers are -139 and Washington is +120.

Here’s how the odds shakeup at DraftKings, FanDuel Sportsbook, and PointsBet NJ:

MLB MatchupDraftKingsFanDuelPointsBet
NY Yankees-139-130-140
Washington Nationals+120+114+120

The expected starting pitchers matchup presents a must-see barnburner. Newly acquired Gerrit Cole goes for the Yankees. Mighty Max Scherzer opens the defense of the Washington Nationals’ World Series championship.

The over-under for the game is about a run lower than an average baseball game, perhaps par with what you’d see from a matchup of pitching giants. The over-under is 7.5 runs with the over at -105 and the under at -117.

Feel creative? Think the Yankees can win by more than one run? The 1.5 run line is +128 for the Yankees. For Washington to get 1.5 runs, the line is -148.

Pitching in the summer heat

Premier pitching matchups often fail to deliver the low-scoring games expected during April.

But what about in the summer? This is an interesting scenario because most starting pitchers won’t go past six innings in their initial start.

Pitchers are normally ahead of the hitters early, but the hot summer temperatures favor hitters. These factors may cancel each other out.

Phillies vs. Marlins: Can Philadelphia prove the oddsmakers right?

The Phillies, for their season opener against the visiting Miami Marlins on Friday, are -205. That’s intriguing because the Phillies struggled against the Marlins last year at home, even being swept in a three-game series.

Here’s a closer look at the Phillies vs. Marlins game odds. (FanDuel and PointsBet have yet to post opening odds on this matchup.)

MLB MatchupDraftKingsFanDuelPointsBet
Philadelphia Phillies-205----
Miami Marlins+175----

Sandy Alcantara is Miami’s opening day pitcher.

Aaron Nola is expected to be the Phillies’ opening-day starter. But there is still enough time for all of that to change.

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FanDuel props worth a look for MLB betting

Here are some popular fun bets, tying in with gamblers following both their favorite teams and players.

On the board at FanDuel Sportsbook is a doozy: the first player to hit a home run this season.

Bear in mind that the first game of the year is the Yankees-Nationals. If that game goes dinger-free, the Dodgers and Giants become a high-paying target.

MLB Player Prop: First Home Run In 2020FanDuel Odds
Aaron Judge+550
Giancarlo Stanton+550
Juan Soto+650
Gleyber Torres+700
Eric Thames+1100
Gary Sanchez+1100
Trea Turner+1100
DJ LeMahieu+1300
Adam Eaton+1800

The last of the top 10 involve Aaron Hicks, Brett Gardner, Howie Kendrick and Luke Voit at 20-1.

You also may want to think outside the box a little.

Cole and Scherzer are lights-out pitchers. Is that really the game that produces the first homer?

If you think not, Dodgers Max Muncy and Cody Bellinger are both +5000. Bellinger had 47 homers last year, and he’s a generous 50-1 odds. Justin Turner is +6000 or 60-1.

The beauty of this type of bet is you can select from different ranges and take a stab. Some will place one wager on the favorites, another on a mid-line player and one of the heavy-priced odds.

There may not be data to support this, but a big-name, free-agent hitter often finds a way to connect with a homer in his first game.

See if that fits into your overall MLB betting menu.

Yankees, Met, Phillies: Betting the first dinger

New Jersey gamblers have another venue regarding who’s going deep first. You can take the first player on each of these teams to touch em all at FanDuel.

For the Yankees, Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton are +300.

Gleyber Torres is +500, Gary Sanchez is +800 and Voit is +1000.

For the Mets, Pete Alonso is the likely suspect, at +250. Heck, he led the majors in homers last year at 53. But can he be first?

If not, Michael Conforto is +350, Yoenis Cespedes is +650 and Jeff McNeil stands at +700.

There’s a tie rounding out the top five, at +800. They include Brandon Nimmo, Wilson Ramos, and Robinson Cano. Yes, THAT Robinson Cano. The longtime Yankee dons a Mets uniform for the second year. He is 37 years old now.

As for the Phillies, Bryce Harper is the favorite at +250. Rhys Hoskins is next at +350. Then comes Andrew McCutchen and J.T. Realmuto at +500. Didi Gregorious, the new acquisition from the Yankees, is +650.

Free money for MLB opening day? You bet!

And here’s a slice of good news from NJ sportsbook apps.

The return of the MLB has sportsbooks posting free bet offers for those who are savvy enough to take advantage.

Fox Bet, for example, has an “MLB is Back!” promo for all customers that features $5 in free cash for each run your team scores in the opening game.

You can get up to $50 free in this offer when you bet just $5 on your favorite single MLB team opening game (point spread or moneyline). Odds must be -200 minimum. It must be one cumulative bet to qualify, and the first placed bet qualifies your team.

Over at DraftKings, there are several offers ready to go for opening day.

  • Scoring Special: Bet $25 on DraftKings’ featured games and get $5 per home run your team hits.
  • Odds boost: Bet on any 2019 MLB All-Star player to hit a home run on opening day. The boost is +100.
  • World Series $25 bet: Place a $25 bet on any team to win the World Series and get a $25 free bet to use on any opening day MLB game.

FanDuel features a World Series promo as well. A $50-plus futures bet on any team to win the World Series will earn you $5 in bonus cash for each game that team wins.

It includes only the first 10 games, but if your team is on a hot streak early, that’s a max of $50 in free bets.

PointsBet features a doozy of an offer with $10 in free bets for every home run in July. All it requires is a minimum $50 pre-game moneyline or runline bet. If the team you pick hits a home run, you get $10 free.

This is, of course, just a sampling of free bets and odds boosts available at NJ online sportsbooks. Most of them won’t last long either.

The clock is ticking on these FanDuel bets

Speaking of bets that won’t be around forever, you have to get these in at FanDuel before Thursday’s season opener.

Season-long home run leaders. Alonso is +1000, the favorite. Right there are Joey Gallo and Mike Trout at +1100.

Sleepers include Bellinger at +1700 and Nolan Arenado at +1800. Bellinger hit 47 homers last year, six behind Alonso. For someone able to lead the league in homers, he’s an excellent price.

Arenado is +1200 to lead in hits, along with Whit Merrifield. Jose Altuve is +1400.

On the pitching side, Cole is +230 to attain the most strikeouts. Scherzer is second at +550. And we get to see them go head-to-head this week. Jacob deGrom of the Mets is +850.

MLB line shopping at NJ sportsbooks

Let it begin.

On opening night, DraftKings has the over-under for the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants at 8.5. PointsBet has it at 8.

That’s a significant half of a number. If you like the under, you would like the DraftKings prop. That makes eight a victory.

If you like the over, PointsBet has a better line. At the very least, 8 is a push.

Multiply the small details of these lines by the potential of hundreds of bets over the course of a season and one can see the value of shopping to your profit-loss portfolio.

Good luck, New Jersey online betters, wherever your hunches, and wagers, lead.

How Sportsbooks Navigate The Betting Variables Of A Topsy-Turvy Sports World

With sports askew in 2020, DraftKings Sportsbook’s Johnny Avello says there will be adjustments, but odds making isn’t “down to a science” yet.

Sportsbooks, like gamblers, are entering a new age.

As the MLB and NBA plan July returns, and with the NFL staring at both a new August preseason and September regular-season start, betting variables are everywhere.

Case in point: There will be no fans at MLB or NBA games. The NFL has more time to decide on that front.

Johnny Avello, the 35-year sportsbook veteran and head of operations for DraftKings Sportsbook, shared his insights on this unprecedented era with NJGamblingSites.

In a wide-ranging interview, Avello said operators are making tweaks rather than wholesale changes to their odds-making models. But tweaks, gamblers know, make a difference.

What are those tweaks, which may decide bets? Let’s take them in order of when sports return.

A world of unknowns in MLB betting

Baseball, returning July 23 with a regional schedule, presents a realm of handicapping challenges.

The 60-game season means that teams such as the defending champion Washington Nationals, who began last year 19-31, won’t recover from a slow gate break.

Win totals may become the trickiest wager of all.

“Rarely during the season will you see somebody jump out to 10-1,” Avello said. “A team like the Yankees might be 5-5 and catch a lot of momentum later. A fast start is more important this year than ever before.”

Avello said middle-inning relief will be significant this year, too. So will the way managers use starting pitchers, especially early in the season. Yankee Gerrit Cole has a 100-strikeout prop at DraftKings.

Avello said a staff ace might get 13-14 starts. Cole would need at least a couple of breakout games, probably in the 12-strikeout range, to hit this prop.

One other consideration involves how long managers let pitchers go, especially early in the season. Some early-season stints will be short and, with the Yankees, there’s one more variable.

Few starting pitchers go past seven innings.

“Cy Young would not have gotten more than seven innings with the Yankees,” Avello quipped, referencing baseball’s all-time winningest pitcher.

New extra-inning rule and over-under game totals

A new rule prompting each extra half-inning to start with a runner on second base will impact over-under game totals. It’s an over bettor’s reprieve, an under bettor’s nightmare.

One might believe this could prompt more bets related to nine innings or special props for extra innings only. But it’s too early to know, said Avello.

“You have to figure there’s a good chance that teams will score there, either with a hit or doing the right things like bunting him over and getting him home with a sacrifice fly. We will have to adjust to that after the season starts, but it is important.”

Rainouts and refunds

What if some games don’t occur because of rainouts?

Avello said DraftKings is approaching an incomplete schedule differently than many other books. There is no minimum number of games required for a bet to be considered fully actioned if the result is known.

If a bettor took the over and it has covered, the bet will count, regardless of how many games the team fails to finish.

Conversely, if the bet was a mathematical loser, it won’t be rescued by the shortened season (e.g., a team is four wins short of the over and only plays 57 of the 60 games. The ticket loses).

Whenever a bet is still “in play,” meaning it could have been decided by the games that were not played, it will be refunded.

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NBA betting and the eight-game warmup

A couple of playoff spots will be determined by an eight-game, season-ending stretch for the NBA.

All the games will be played in Orlando starting July 30.

But for most teams and players, the campaign is designed for them only to hit the playoffs ground running.

“The power ratings for each team stays intact,” Avello said.

“Some teams have injured players, and they will get those players back. We know they will improve, but we don’t know by how much. There is no home-court advantage, from what we see.”

Philadephia 76ers and the lack of a home-court edge

In fact, the absence of the NBA home court is difficult to assess regarding handicapping.

“Without the crowd, I don’t know exactly what that is going to mean for the totals,” Avello said regarding the total points teams combine to score. “We don’t know how each team will react to the environment. That can mean player-wise, shooting-wise or team-wise.

“To me, in this environment, players have total concentration. These players zone out a crowd. Now, the crowd can mean momentum at times. Within the midst of any game, the crowd is going to be a factor at some point. There are also going to be a lot of times when that does not affect anything.”

“Let’s put it this way,” he added, chuckling, “there are a lot of adjustments we are going to make along the way. We don’t have it down to a science right now.”

One interesting team in this mix: the Philadelphia 76ers.

They were a league-best 29-2 at home and an awful 10-24 on the road. Does that even out for them? They are neither home nor truly away. They are perpetually neutral.

Keeping an eye on NBA futures betting

The eight-game season has two important segments.

Players, like championship runners, will want to pattern their stride to hit the postseason at full tilt. They have missed the game so much that they will be eager to perform.

On some bubble teams, such as the Portland TrailBlazers and Memphis Grizzlies, full tilt starts right away.

“There will be some teams out of it after a couple of games, and you figure they take that down a couple notches,” Avello said. “Some teams will have to go all out right away.

“On the futures side, we keep a close eye on anybody testing positive for the virus. They might be out for a minimum of two weeks. The (Milwaukee) Bucks may be able to survive two weeks,” he said of the team with the league’s best regular-season mark of 53-12, “but I don’t know how many other teams can.”

NFL betting: Homefield ‘half’ advantage?

The NFL preseason starts just after basketball’s resumption, but the date circled in NJ sports betting quarters is Sept. 10.

That’s when the NFL resumes, with the Houston Texans visiting the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs in a rematch of their memorable AFC postseason shootout.

Remember that 51-31 shootout? When you had the over bagged by halftime? Or when you took the Chiefs in-game when they trailed 24-0?

Football thus has had more time to prepare and incorporate its attendance variables into NFL odds making. Estimates have ranged from no spectators to a 75%-of-capacity crowd.

What does that mean now?

The 12th man could be gone. Domed teams will suffer more. Think about the Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints, Atlanta Falcons, Seattle Seahawks and Dallas Cowboys.

Dome is home. Loud stadiums force opposing teams offside, disrupt their signals.

The domes could be empty or partially filled. Avello noted that this changes the odds on two levels.

“Any fans will certainly add to the excitement level of it. If there are no fans, I feel that the home-field advantage is cut in half, but it doesn’t go away.

“With the home field, you are still using your own locker rooms. You are still sleeping in your own home. You are a 10-minute drive away from the stadium, and you are still comfortable with the feel of that stadium. The opposing team still has to travel to get there.”

Applying the philosophy that the home field is worth three points, it now may be 1.5. That would be significant.

A betting brainteaser for DraftKings Sportsbook

The sports world’s overall variables present an unprecedented challenge and some brainteasing fun for DraftKings and NJ sportsbooks.

You won’t see a crowd unraveling a visiting team’s closer. There won’t be an electrifying dunk that, figuratively, tears the roof off of a building. No walk-off grand slam in a packed house. No Lambeau Leap.

But there will still be sports betting, and that’s a big victory, a warm-weather win.

“Usually in the summer you are talking just about baseball,” Avello said.

“This time you have basketball, football, soccer, golf, UFC, etc., all happening at the same time. We are happy about that. There is a lot going on for us and for the bettors.”

As for the business, which was decimated by an estimated 80% back in March, Avello said DraftKings is well on its way back.

He could not release figures but considered an estimate of DraftKings doing 65%–75% of its normal business in the ballpark.

Horse racing odds at DraftKings? It’s a possibility

On a side note, Avello said DraftKings is looking at a horse-racing platform. After all, the app did have fixed odds on the Haskell Invitational Stakes last year.

The idea of fixed-odds horse betting, which gives bettors fixed odds on a horse race bet made in advance (probably the day of the event), is something that could occur this summer.

In the wagering world, gamblers have learned there’s nothing wrong with the word “could.”

“Maybe” is also fine. So is “possibility.” They indicate the potential of something coming.

Situations are changing constantly, but the sportsbook wheels always turn.

There has never been this level of uncertainty — yet relief — in the sports betting community.