Light The Olympic Betting Flame: NJ Sportsbooks Offering Variety Of Odds And Props, Some With Garden State Ties

The 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo presents a golden opportunity for NJ online sports bettors to enjoy some widespread wagering.

Assemble national pride with a breakthrough betting platform and what results in the next couple of weeks. The 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo (delayed until now as a result of the global pandemic), offering widespread wagering for the first time ever.

The Olympic Games run until Aug 8. New Jersey online bettors observe numerous options.

Team USA heavy favorite for most Olympic medals

Taking a broad concept, they can slam a wager at lopsided prices for the United States to win the most medals. Not many will opt for -1000 across the major NJ sportsbooks, but some with large bankrolls will take a small return on a near-certain sure thing.

Gamblers can also stab at the U.S. total medal count of 111.5 over-under at William Hill, for example, with odds of -115 either way.

The projected medals total across the sportsbook spectrum is slightly less than in 2016 when the USA earned 121 medals. It included 46 gold, 37 silver, and 38 bronzes.

That nearly doubled the 70 earned by second-place China (26 gold, 18 silver, and 26 bronzes).

Major advancement is expected here from China, with DraftKings Sportsbook putting the medal total at over-under 85.5 for that country.

Besides the medal count, gamblers can direct individual bets on swimming and track and field props, as they become available. Some have a Garden State connection, more on that below.

Either way, the Olympic betting realm has arrived.

DraftKings Sportsbook ‘loaded for the Olympics’ caught up with Johnny Avello, the director of race and sportsbook operations for DraftKings. He summed up the Olympic wagering menu with the words “We are loaded for the Olympics.”

“I think basketball is going to be the No. 1 sport, but soccer is also going to do pretty well. Tennis is going to do well. Golf is going to be good too,” said Avello.

“As a surprise, table-tennis is going to do business too. It did well during the pandemic and then afterward,” he said of a sport that, in the initial stages of COVID-19, was all that people could wager upon.

Avello also revealed a concept bettors will savor. Books have no information edge on a circuit that plays out once every four years.

“We have a ton of sports up there,” he noted. “Surfing, rowing, volleyball, cycling. There is no way you are able to research all of them and have a great feel for it.

“If there is something soft on that board, it’s a guarantee that a sophisticated player will find it and play it.  Gamblers will peruse everything, looking for some hidden value and they are going to find some.

“For us, the idea is to put up a lot of content and see what people like.”

Setting the 2020 Summer Olympic scene

Bettors can take over-under medal counts on numerous countries.

A New Jersey resident emigrating from overseas, especially Europe, may have a sense of the athletic level of his/her native country. Witness the passionate betting on England and Italy by New Jersey gamblers in the recent Euro 2020.

The 2020 Summer Olympics feature five new sports:

  • Surfing
  • Sport climbing
  • Skateboarding
  • 3×3 basketball
  • Karate

Plus, baseball and softball are back as medal sports for the first time since 2008.

While the Rio de Janeiro 2016 games saw 28 sports with 306 medal events, these games advance to 41 sports and 339 events.

DraftKings has introduced a promo for first-time users. Bet $1 on any Olympic event and win $100 in free bets if the U.S.A. wins any medal in any event.

So, it’s $100 in free bets. Go to the promos section on the DraftKings website.

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Olympic odds for high-profile sports at DraftKings

The United States is -320 to win the basketball gold medal, with Australia second at +750.

The first team for the U.S. is Sunday, July 25, as a relatively modest -12 against France.

Here is a betting angle: Watch a particular sport and handicap it, round by round, as if it’s a professional league here. Eventually, some patterns will emerge.

LPGA Rediscovered

We haven’t seen the LPGA Tour, for the most part, because of COVID-19. But it moved to the 2020 Summer Olympics.

Nelly Korda, the 2019 money-winner, is in the Olympics, at +600 to win the women’s golf gold medal.

So is Inbee Park, at +600

Jin Young Ko, another LPGA stalwart, is +900

At +1800 is Lexi Thompson. New Jersey golf fans know her. She captured the LPGA ShopRite Classic at Seaview Country Club in Galloway in 2019.

Thompson, a Florida native, is a transplanted New Jersey favorite.

Olympic betting fun: the Springsteen thread

New Jersey has a stellar group of athletes in Tokyo. Many cannot be represented in bets, but some props emerged just before the Games and can align with tunes from a famed Garden State native.

Imagine a betting-world foray for rock legend Bruce Springsteen, skipping the worn Born to Run parody.

How about: “Sha-La-La-La, I bet chalk with a Jer-sey girl …”

Even if that can’t be done with his own family.

You can’t bet Jessica Springsteen’s equestrian event, but the 29-year-old daughter of Springsteen and wife Pattie Scialfa did make the United States Olympic team. The Colts Neck native competes in a sport that hasn’t developed a full betting platform.

More Jersey-girl chalk

Gamblers can wager collectively on Carli Lloyd and Tobin Heath, two stalwarts on the U.S. women’s soccer team.  Lloyd, from Delran, also plays for Gotham FC in the National Women’s Soccer League. Heath is from Morristown.

The U.S. Women’s soccer team is the +120 favorite to win the gold.

Yes, they were just stunned 3-0 by Sweden in an opening-round game that wasn’t even that close. But gamblers can watch the women try and rebound.

And if you think they can’t?  Sweden is +350 at DraftKings.

Blinded by the Olympic light

Sydney McLaughlin of Dunellen does have blinding speed.  She already has set a 400-meter world record for the hurdles and is the first woman to clock in under 52 seconds (51.9).

By the time McLaughlin graduated from Union Catholic High School in Scotch Plains in 2017, she had already visited Rio as part of her first Team USA experience in 2016.

Now she’s an Olympian and major chalk.

She’s -250 at DraftKings for the 400-meter hurdles gold medal. McLaughlin is the class of this field.

You won’t like the odds, but a small bet to cash an Olympic ticket on another Jersey superstar?

Why not?

At the very least, a must-watch if you can find the telecast.

Glory Days, the male side

Toms River native Todd Frazier finds himself in the Olympic fervor. The former New York Mets and Yankees star is part of the American team that’s a live dog at +350 in the baseball competition.

Japan is +160 followed by South Korea at +310.

Team USA is comprised of many former MLB players, who may want one crack at their glory days.

For bettors, the Olympics have a new purpose. And for television networks concerned about the odd hours some events are shown, there’s at least one more reason for people to watch.

AP Photo/Lee Jin-man



How The Eagles, Giants, And Jets Props Look Heading Into NFL Training Camps

As teams report to NFL training camps, here is a look at the Eagles, Giants, and Jets, all likely to attract NJ spots betting attention.

Bring out the spreadsheet. Summon the hunches. NFL training camps opened this week, prompting NJ sports betting customers to seize some futures values and move the lines.

Here’s a brief look at the league-wide betting picture. We are putting a heavier focus on the Philadelphia Eagles, New York Giants, and New York Jets – New Jersey’s most heavily wagered-upon teams

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Eagles are a long shot in BetMGM totals

Kansas City, here they come.

The Chiefs are the Super Bowl favorites. BetMGM has the Andy Reid-coached team down to +450 from +600, despite being drubbed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last February.

The Bucs also made a strong move, from +1200 to +700.

The Cleveland Browns jumped from +2500 to +1400.

These three teams earned the bulk of the early money. The Eagles garnered less than 1% of the handle, but one bettor put $4,000 on them to win $500,000 at + 12500 (125-1).

How deep is that wagering hoist?

It’s Ron Jaworski to Mike Quick deep, for NJ gamblers recalling that 99-yard scoring strike, longest in Eagles history. Of if you prefer, Randall Cunningham to Fred Barnett, 95 yards and a truly deep throw.

It’s a long shot, but a wager like this hits every year, at some book.

Long odds as NFL training camps open

DraftKings Sportsbook, meanwhile, reflects the notion that Rodney Dangerfield got more respect than the Eagles, Giants, and Jets. Combined, the teams are +33000 (330-1):

  • Jets at +15000
  • Eagles at +10000
  • Giants representing the “chalk” of this group at + 8000 (80-1)

But money can be made on all three teams. Let’s examine them through the lens of a significant prop that could impact their chances.

DraftKings capsule on the Eagles

The Eagles’ odds to win the NFC East are +550 (currently trailing their other three division rivals).

Win total over-under of 6.5.  Over is -130, Under is +110

Remember, this team finished 4-11-1 last season.

What are the Birds’ chances of doing a dramatic 360, as in making the playoffs?

Yes  is+275, No is-350

The key props involve Heisman trophy winner DeVonta Smith, their top draft pick, and Jalen Hurts, set to open at quarterback.

Smith is considered an immediate impact player.

DraftKings has the yardage prop at 777 yards, with the over and under both at -115.

Based on last year’s numbers, Smith would lead the Eagles with this total.  Travis Fulgham had the most, 539 last season. That projects to 572 over the full season. Fulgham was a head-scratcher, going from stud to dud throughout the campaign.

Will Smith step up?

Smith would need 45.1 yards a game to reach this prop. Reasonable.

Some success will be determined by Hurts, who has a low prop bar. This could inspire serious thoughts of betting the over on his season totals.

The DraftKings prop has Hurts at 3,650 yards. That’s below Zach Wilson’s 3,800.5 yards, and Wilson hasn’t even played a down for the Jets.

Hurts is a scrambler, which could reduce his passing total. But he also had two 300-yard plus games for the Eagles last year. The sample size of four games is small, although he produced 896 yards, good for 224 per game and one was in January.

Project that total onto 17 games and he comes out at 3,808. You’ve got some desirable weather in September and October to consider.

But if we break the prop down by NFL weeks, Hurts would only need 215 yards per game to clear this over. So this looks reachable.

He’s also slated for 20.5 over-under for passing touchdowns. His rushing scores could diminish this total, but it’s still less than two per game.

If Hurts and Smith both hit their “overs.” it could enable the Eagles to surpass their modest expectations

A closer look at the New York Giants odds

DraftKings has the Giants’ odds of winning the NFC East at +450 (third behind Dallas and Washington).

New York is coming off a 6-10 season.

Their win total over-under is 7. Over is -130, under is +110

William Hill sportsbook has boosted the Giants from +250 to make the playoffs to +300. Do you believe a second-place team in this division can make the postseason?

It may take 10 wins. But if you think the G-Men have 10 in them, this bet has been boosted.

This could be the year of decision regarding quarterback Daniel Jones and star running back Saquon Barkley.

Jones has a low-bar prop of 3,800.5 yards and 24 touchdowns.

Can “Danny Dimes” rise beyond the stature of wooden nickels for the Giants? The prop requirement, 223  passing yards per game, is not steep. But there’s no perceived edge.

Jones averaged 210 yards per game in 2020 and 232 in 2019.

This projection is part crap-shoot, part anticipation of improvement. Jones has a good arm for a deep ball and has nice new receivers in Kenny Golladay, Kelvin Benjamin, and Kyle Rudolph. If he stops holding the ball too long and spreads the ball well, he hits the over.

A major success factor lies in the next piece of the puzzle: Saquon Barkley.

Glass half-full perspective on Barkley

Barkley returns after missing the last 15 games last season. After Dak Prescott of the Dallas Cowboys (+210), he’s   +700 at DraftKings for Comeback Player of the Year along with Joe Burrow of the Cincinnati Bengals.

Remember Barkley’s 2,028 passing and receiving yards in 2018 and 1,441 in 2019? He was sorely missed.

The Giants were 6-10 without him last year and almost made the postseason. He could get them over the top.

Glass half-empty perspective on Barkley

He’s back but inspires only mild confidence.

Barkley suffered a torn ACL on a seemingly routine running play against the Chicago Bears in Week 2. He was wrestled out of bounds. That’s it, and was lost for the season.

It wasn’t a crunching hit.

He’s valuable but vulnerable. Maybe even brittle. Barkley is being coy on returning for Week 1. You also can’t trust him with an individual yardage prop, because his total is divided among passing and rushing.

It may be best to incorporate him into team expectations rather than bet as an individual play.

Jets outlook from DraftKings

The New York Jets are facing the biggest uphill battle as their AFC East division odds  are+2500.

The win total over-under is 6. Under is -120, Over is +100

This franchise is looking to turn things around from last season’s 2-14 mark

The Jets odds of not making the NFL Playoffs is -800. Yes is +550.

Zach Wilson factor heading into first NFL training camp

So how much will the Zach Wilson attack come into play?

Well, heading into his first NFL training camp, Wilson’s team resembles the Eagles.

Trading Sam Darnold to the Carolina Panthers mirrors the Birds dispatching Carson Wentz to the Indianapolis Colts. Replacing Darnold, who the Jets No. 3 overall in the 2018 NFL Draft, with Wilson resembles the Birds turning to Hurts, a second-round pick in 2020.

Can Wilson get you 223 yards per game to reach the 3,800.5 yards and the over? (Both sides are -115).

The Jets took a lineman, Alijah Vera-Tucker, and receiver, Elijah Moore, to help him.

The Jets took offensive players with the first three picks for the first time since 2009.

If nothing else, the J-E-T-S are going to be aggressive.

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh



New Jersey Sports Betting Cools Down Slightly In June With $767 Million In Bets, $5 Billion Year Well Within Reach

NJ sports gamblers legally wagered $766.9 million in June while the 19 sports betting operators reported a combined $71.3 million in revenue

The New Jersey sports betting market cooled down a bit in June but the action was still plenty hot.

NJ sports gamblers legally wagered $766.9 million last month,  according to data released Friday by the state Division of Gaming Enforcement. However, it’s hard to ignore the  $71.3 million in revenue from NJ online and retail sportsbooks.

While the monthly handle dropped 5.8% from May’s $814.3 million – fifth best month all-time in NJ sports betting history – the total amount wagered is still strong for what is typically a slower month. 

Year to date, NJ bettors have wagered nearly $5 billion while total revenue exceeds $368.3 million.

And this is before the 2021 NFL betting season even kicks off. It’s pretty much a sure bet that the first $1 billion month in NJ sports betting history will take place this fall.

Dustin Gouker, analyst for the Network, which includes says overall New Jersey continues to perform far better than every other sports betting market in the U.S.” 

 “No market can completely overcome a lack of betting inventory, but New Jersey’s sportsbooks continue to find ways to capitalize on what the sports world is offering, most notably the NBA Playoffs and baseball,” said Gouker. 

Online, mobile still rule New Jersey sports betting

New Jersey sports betting continues to be dominated by online sportsbooks. NJ’s 19 online/mobile options consistently outperform retail sportsbooks at Atlantic City casinos and NJ’s three licensed racetracks.

Based on the NJDGE figures, $683 million (89.1%) of the monthly handle were bets placed online or via mobile sports betting app. More than $62 million (87.2%) of New Jersey sports betting revenue came from online or mobile apps.

The online partners of the Meadowlands Racetrack, which includes FanDuel Sportsbook and PointsBet, generated more than $44.5 million in June. That’s more than the $24.1 million generated by all nine Atlantic City casinos combined.

Meanwhile, Resorts Digital, which includes DraftKings Sportsbook, reported nearly $13 million to finish a very distant second.

Borgata rounds out the top three with just shy of $6.85 million in sports betting revenue. This is a combination of the BetMGM and the Borgata Sports apps.

New Jersey sports betting is…unpredictable

June’s results are on par with expectations. Sports betting numbers typically start trending down after March Madness until football starts in September.

But, New Jersey sports betting has been defying the odds as of late. Even April’s $750 million handle was more than double Nevada’s average for the month.

Sports, sports, and more sports in June

Several factors likely bolstered June’s New Jersey sports betting figures.

For one, two of the three regional pro basketball teams played in intriguing playoff matchups. Ultimately, the Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets were both bounced in the second round.

The NHL Playoffs also ran through June, providing another bump for sportsbooks.

Likewise, the UEFA Euro 2020, the U.S Open golf tournament, and two tennis majors gave gamblers even more options in June.

And finally, Major League Baseball is in full swing. With two of the three regional teams underperforming, futures bettors have likely been looking for value elsewhere.

“While the sportsbooks in most states have been scouring the sports landscape for opportunities to drive interest, New Jersey’s books have successfully capitalized on the NBA playoffs and baseball,” said Eric Ramsey, analyst for

AP Photo/Laurence Kesterson

Get Ready To Hit The Open Golf Betting Tees With Early Morning Start From Royal St. George Course

The Open, the last of the four PGA majors, unfolds Thursday-Sunday in England and New Jersey gamblers will find an extensive props menu.

Don’t blink, New Jersey online golf bettors. Here comes the Open Championship, formerly known as the British Open, at an unusual time.

The last of the four annual PGA Tour Majors unfolds Thursday-Sunday from Royal St. George’s course in England, creating viewing and betting time differences.

Here’s how to watch The Open

The NJ golf betting customers may want to consider adjusting the wake-up time on the alarm clock as coverage starts at 4 a.m. on the Golf Channel.

Once again, The Open is being split between sister networks NBC and the
Golf Channel. Here is a closer look at how and when to watch live each day:

Thursday, July 15: 4 a.m-3 p.m. ET (Golf Channel)
Friday, July 16: 4 a.m-3 p.m. ET (Golf Channel)
Saturday, July 17: 5-7 a.m. ET (Golf Channel); 7 a.m.-3 p.m. ET (NBC)
Sunday, July 18: 4-7 a.m. ET (Golf Channel); 7 a.m.-2 p.m. ET (NBC)

The new times can become a boon for early-bird bettors or gamblers with insomnia.

The tournament will entice both Garden State bettors who make pre-tournament wagers and others who place bets throughout the four-day event.

Many gamblers wager into both areas. The beauty of PGA betting is that gamblers can find an abundant lineup, even if they miss the initial action.

Tough Royal St. George course impacts prop strategy

Weekend betting warriors can eye the birdie and bogey possibilities on the “next” hole bets all weekend.

Most holes for the pros end in par, but the winning score in this event at this layout 10 years ago was 5-under-par by Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland. Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson were second at -2. One other player was -1.

The rest of the field, more than 100 players, did not break par. That means bogeys could be paramount this weekend.

Don’t be afraid to bet “bogey” on a number of these holes.

Some top candidates:

The third hole, a long, difficult par-3, plays 239 yards and had a scoring average above 3 in the 2011 Open.

The fourth hole is a tough par 4 at 491 yards. It usually averages above 4 strokes.

The 15th, a 496-yard par 4, has bunkers in play along the right side and in front of the green. It is considered the hardest hole on the course.

There’s a real good birdie opportunity too.

The seventh is a big birdie hole. It is a par-5, 566-yard layout most of the pros will reach the green in two. Mickelson delivered an eagle on this hole 10 years ago. Betting a golfer to make at least a birdie is a worthwhile consideration.

It’s good to watch how certain players fare on the potential birdie and bogey holes.  It will give gamblers some data to wager into in the final two rounds.

Intrigue may follow the seventh, for example. A par will feel like a bogey on that hole. A player might be deflated by under-achieving on a potential scoring hole and that could carry over.

Pre-tournament wagers for The Open

The early DraftKings Sportsbook board has Jon Rahm is favored at +700. He’s +180 for the Top 5 and -120 for the Top 10. He should play well but doesn’t have great value.

Jordan Spieth is +1400 to win, +270 for Top 5, and +135 for Top 10.

Brooks Koepka is +1600 to win, +350 for Top 5, +160 for Top 10.

Rory McIlroy, the Irishman, may be comfortable in this type of setting. McIlroy is +1800 to win, +350 for Top 5, and +160 for Top 10.

So is Dustin Johnson.

European golfers will merit a closer look in this tournament. Will this be when Tyrrell Hatton of England, +3500 to win, +550 for Top 5, and +300 for Top 10, comes alive?

The Open could offer longshot values and sleepers

Johnny Avello, the director of race and sportsbook operations for DraftKings, said he loves this tournament because it offers something different.

“When you think about the courses in England, and this one in particular, these guys are not going to be able to just hit it and spin the ball onto the green,” Avello told NJ Gambling Sites. “There will be a lot more hitting the ball to land in  front of the green and  letting it run up.”

The old-school bump-and-run style rewards shot-making from around the green. It may also impact putting. If the course takes rain, the greens will become slower.  Some players like that because it enables a firm putting stroke, making the shot more about the stroke rather than the break.

“Some guys may be attuned to this, like McIlroy,” Avello says. “One thing you have to love, though, is the talent of the field. A lot of these players will have the ability to adjust to the conditions.”

Avello always touts longshot values and prefers to look well down the board to find sleepers.  Rahm is a short price for this level of competition.

“But nobody was ever shorter than Tiger Woods,” he laughed about the golf legend. “You see well over 100 players and here he is 7-5. And then he’d go out and win the tournament!”

Avello said that although the start time could impact business on the East Coast, DraftKings would have its best Open handle ever.

William Hill and the Rory McIlroy story

Odds at William Hill are similar to DraftKings, in most respects.

But McIlroy shoppers can find some value before the tournament. He is +188 for the Top 10 compared to +160 at DraftKings. That may not look like much, but it’s a difference of $28 for a $100 wager.

Here’s a fun, interesting, yet difficult prop, the margin of victory.

A one-stroke difference is +250

A two-stroke edge is +350

A three-shot margin? It’s +450

A win of four shots or higher is +333

Playoff is +300

This is a great side ticket, especially if one’s favorite golfer fails to contend.

Here’s a little history: the last Open at this site produced a three-stroke margin.

BetMGM has a creative Open menu, too

BetMGM is offering value for McIlroy shoppers at + 220 for a Top-10 finish.

Other wagers include top lefties, golfers by nationalities, and a four-pack: Spieth, Xander Schauffele, Rahm, and Koepka to make the cut. It’s -110.

A hole-in-one by any golfer in the first round is +400.

Keep checking the boards. Some wagers are taken off for newer ones and reappear later.

AP Photo/Peter Morrison


Before NFL Training Camps Open, Star QBs Tom Brady And Aaron Rodgers Hitting The Links For The Match IV

The Match IV, which takes place on Tuesday, provides New Jersey online gamblers with a potpourri of golf betting options.

When it comes to The Match IV, it doesn’t matter who throws a better aerial between Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau.

But it does matter to New Jersey online sports bettors which NFL star – Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers – can get closer to the pin from 175 yards out. Or if either can drain a putt in the Match IV, a celebrity golf event unfolding July 6 at 5 p.m. ET from the breathtaking Moonlight Basin course in Big Sky, Mt.

Brady is teamed with Mickelson and Rodgers with DeChambeau. It will be televised by TNT.

More importantly, New Jersey online gamblers have a potpourri of betting options from DraftKings Sportsboook. New betting odds and choices will emerge closer to the first tee shot, but there’s already a strong menu.

NJ sports betting props for The Match

Unlike a typical PGA golf betting event such as The Open taking place later this month, The Match is a one-day prop wagering smorgasbord. Here is a small sampling of what’s on the DraftKings menu (odds are as of late Friday afternoon):

To win The Match:

  • DeChambeau and Rodgers -167
  • Mickelson and Brady  +125

First-hole winner (tie equals no bet):

  • DeChambeau-Rodgers, -125
  • Mickelson-Brady -106

First team to go 1 up:

  • DeChambeau-Rodgers -137
  • Mickelson-Brady +105

First team to go 2 up:

  • DeChambeau-Rodgers -159
  • Mickelson-Brady +115

Serious chalk players, who are comfortable laying major juice on outcomes they feel strongly about. will closely consider the leader after 3 holes. DeChambeau and Rodgers are -134 while Mickelson and Brady are +100.

If we look at the leader after six holes, the odds remain relatively the same. DeChambeau and Rodgers are– 137 while Mickelson and Brady come in at+105.

Bettors also have the option of wagering on which pairing will be leading after nine, 12, or 15 holes.

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Ways to improve betting odds with The Match

A chalk player will gain more favorable betting odds taking DeChambeau and Rodgers at six and nine-hole junctures, as opposed to laying -182 for the whole match.

If DeChambeau and Rodgers are indeed the better team, that factor will likely emerge by the end of nine holes.

At least that’s the angle going in.

The players have enhanced the promotion with tongue-in-cheek chiding. Rodgers may start cracking jokes about  Brady’s golf game. However, don’t be surprised if Brady starts remarking on Green Bay passing up of a potential game-tying touchdown in last year’s NFL Playoffs.

Remember, Green Bay elected to kick a field goal late in their respective teams’ NFC Championship Game last season.

Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers won that one, and later the Super Bowl.

The odds say the golf summit will be different.

Basic rules for The Match IV

Pros will tee off from the rear tees and the NFL stars will hit from the forward tees.

Each player will tee off and then the players will swap balls for the second shot. After those second shots, each team will determine the best ball and alternate shots from there on out until the hole is finished.

The best score wins the hole and tied holes are halved with no carryover. Play goes on until one team leads by more holes than are remaining.

For example, if one team goes up by four holes with three to play, The Match is over.

The course was designed by golf legend Jack Nicklaus and has several unique characteristics including a par-5, 777-yard 17th hole.

Key NJ sports betting strategy

Can the NFL stars drive the ball well enough to bring second-shot management into play?

If one player flubs a tee shot or hits it in the water, the team will take the tee shot from the pro.

But if Brady or Rodgers hit the tee shot well enough, the pro can be hitting the approach shot into the green. This would set up the birdie chance.

Or, if either NFL player is considered a good bet to put the ball on the green from a distance of say, 150-175 yards out, then the pro can take the putt to look for the birdie.

Brady’s record seven Super Bowl rings will not help him here.

Nor will Rodgers’ three NFL MVP awards and one Super Bowl title. Both need to apply their fine touch pinpoint accuracy around the green.

Weighing the PGA pros versus NFL QBs

Johnny Avello, the director of race and sportsbook operations for DraftKings, told NJ Gambling Sites “This boils down to how good the athlete is because the pros are the pros.”

“I don’t care who Phil is playing, if he is 150 yards out, I would not bet the other guy to get closer to the pin,” said Avello. “You know what the pros will give you. You are not sure with the athletes.”

Mickelson has been the constant in this competition, as this is his fourth time competing in The Match. It has been a unique venue for “Lefty,” who energized a golf generation by becoming the oldest player to win a major, 50, at the PGA Championship in May.

The victory added more luster to The Match.

The first was a head-to-head battle between Mickelson and Tiger Woods in 2018. Mickelson prevailed after four playoff holes, taking home the $9 million prize purse, and bettors salivated about the coming age of golf wagering.

In The Match 2, “Lefty” partnered with Brady in 2020, losing by one hole to Woods and Peyton Manning.

Then there is last fall’s The Match 3 in which Mickelson and Charles Barkley prevailed over Manning and Stephen Curry. That was considered an upset.

“Charles Barkley is not a good golfer, but he was able to keep his shots in play.” Avello indicated.  “Therefore, they were able to use a couple of those shots and that’s how they won the tournament.

“In the matchup before that, Peyton Manning totally outshot Tom Brady, who was all over the place.

“This is why Aaron Rodgers is a favorite coming into this. He has a lower handicap right now than Brady.

“But Brady likes being the dog. There will be some good money bet on Brady, I’ll tell you that right now.”

Why competitions like The Match work

The novelty golf realm began a few decades ago with the Skins game, in which top golfers sought major prizes awarded on each individual hole. The concept expanded to male-female teams and ultimately celebrities.

Most people can’t play golf well and will simply admire the pros. But many can play well enough to envision shooting rounds in the 80s, about where some professional athletes play if they had a little work.

Besides that, the event is altruistic. The Match 2, for example, raised $20 million for COVID-19 relief.

AP Photo/John Locher


NJ Sports Bettors Can Get A Taste Of The Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest Excitement, Minus The Food

Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest odds are live on the DraftKings Sportsbook app, including an over/under for defending champ, Joey Chestnut.

Hey, Garden State bettors, now you can bet the favorite and the dog, together. Possibly with mustard.

Joey Chestnut, the Babe Ruth, Floyd Mayweather, and Michael Jordan of the hot-dog eating world, is in the NJ sports betting spotlight this week. That’s right,  New Jersey online sportsbooks are permitted to take wagers on the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest taking place July 4 from Coney Island, NY.

Yes, New Jersey online sports bettors, you can wager on this epic 10-minute chow down at DraftKings Sportsbook.  The event routinely draws 30,000 screaming spectators.

Live crowds return this year, although the focus may be one man versus himself.

No doubt about it, Joey Chestnut is the chalk

Chestnut is the prohibitive moneyline chalk at -5000 compared to +1000 for the field, but his personal best quest will entice betting.

Chestnut is the world record-holder of this event, consuming 75 dogs with buns in the 10-minute competition window last year.

Can he employ a different version of “dogging it” to add one more?

The over-under for hot dogs eaten is 73.5, with the over at – 230 and the under at +165. And … hold the laughter, that line has moved, from -120 on both sides to a clear direction.

Here’s an important betting nugget: a hot dog that’s in the contestant’s mouth as time expires counts.

That helped Chestnut reach 75 last year. By the way, if you like Chestnut’s chances of breaking the mark, DraftKings is offering an odds boost.

Bettors in NJ, Colorado, and Indiana can get boosted odds of +125 with a max wager of $25.

The sentiment here is that “Jaws” (no, not former Philadelphia Eagles great Ron Jaworski) will seek to break his own record and annex a 14th Mustard Belt victory.

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A closer look at Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest

Chestnut’s quest is the hot dog eating world version of Ruth stalking 60 homers. Add Mayweather becoming 50-0 as a boxer and Jordan securing a double three-peat with the Chicago Bulls to the list.

Food for thought: Chestnut has an estimated net worth of $1.5 million, all from eating competitions and endorsements.

The event has been conducted since 1916 but gained added acclaim with ESPN televising it and sportsbooks posting it. See what PASPA denied us?

A novelty approach to NJ sports betting

Wagers for this event are in the Novelty section at DraftKings and provide a chuckle. But they still must be handicapped.

If bettors didn’t have to lay $100 to win $2, they might swallow the spreadsheet whole, mustard and all.

“We do get some pretty good money on this,” said a grinning  Johnny Avello, the director of race and sportsbook operations for DraftKings. “You get five hundred here, five hundred there and it adds up for you.

“But even if this is light-hearted and a novelty, people put up their money expecting to win. Nobody is giving away their money.

Avello said as far as setting the eating contest odds goes, there is history and the fact that Joey Chestnut has been competing for years.

“We think he’s probably going to go after the record. But he doesn’t have the competition pushing him,” said Avello. “That’s why it might be tougher for him to break that record, but he’s going to try.

Factors for NJ bettors to consider

There are two wild cards that could affect those Nathan’s hot dog totals.

Chestnut said he missed the live crowd last year, which might have propelled him to another level.

He may have, literally, fed off their enthusiasm once he backed off a blistering 46 dogs in the first five minutes (probably the greatest five-minute hot-dog eating stretch ever. Seriously).

But he mentioned something else in the post-match interview. With no spectators and fewer competitors, there were fewer dogs cooked and they all came out hot. A temperature-hot dog may go down faster than a room-temperature wiener.

Will the dogs be as hot as he likes them? Can that change the total a little on either side?

Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest is serious business

In some cases, it defines stature.

Takeru Kobayashi of Japan won this contest six straight times and has been called the “godfather of competitive eating.” He had a signature shimmy and reigned as the world’s Top Dog until the American gunslinger took his place.

Chestnut dethroned him in a 2007 competition so close that ESPN commentators screamed about Chestnut being up “a fraction of a dog” in the waning seconds. He prevailed with 66 dogs eaten.

Since winning there, Chestnut’s gone on to amass 13 Mustard Belts and added nine more franks to his record-setting totals.

All-around chow hounds

To maintain stature, a hot-dog eating legend must display versatility. Here are some of Chestnut’s world records, according to the website

  • 2011 – 23 Philly Cheesesteaks consumed in 10 minutes.
  • 2013 – 141 hard-boiled eggs in eight minutes
  • 2017 –  55 glazed donuts in eight minutes
  • 2019 – 81 waffles (Eggo-style) in eight minutes

Other bets are materializing in this event

Darron Breeden, who finished second last year, will be in a matchup with Geoffrey Esper.

Nick Wehry, who was third, will be isolated in a head-to-head battle with Gideon Oji

One senses the serious approach handicappers must give a fun event.

“Esper eats in the 50s and Breeden eats in the low 60s,” Avello said of their hot-dog consumption. “We’re looking to pair together guys who are equivalent in eating.

“On the women’s side, we don’t have the girls who can kill it,” he added, regarding the pregnant and seven-time champion Miki Sudo bypassing this event.

“Michelle Lesco comes in around 32 dogs. It will probably be her against the field.”

Lesco is the favorite on the DraftKings board at -1000 while the field odds are +500.

However, there is no bet posted on the Tums but take the “over” if you see it.

Same for heartburn and indigestion props.

Admire Chestnut from a distance but don’t treat him to hot dogs. It would run close to $200.

DraftKings bettors will see more of this in the pools section with free entry and a $25,000 pot.

Here are some of the questions:

  • Who wins the women’s championship.?
  • Will Chestnut break his own record?
  • Will the women’s record of 48.5 be broken?
  • How many men will eclipse 50 dogs?
  • Where will Esper finish?

There’s a new definition of All You Can Eat, And bet.

AP Photo/Evan Agostini