NFL Playoff Odds Boosts: Looking at the Brady Versus Smith Showdown

NFL Wild Card Weekend means there will be six, not four, games, and NJ sports betting customers have a full menu of boosts, props and promos.

There are six NFL wild card playoff games this weekend. Many New Jersey sports bettors have already found their edge — or lack of one — regarding the teams and players.

It’s a smaller schedule than the regular season and will push more NJ online sportsbook customers in the direction of boosts, props and promos.

Let’s observe the prolific betting landscape.

Fox Bet boosting Nick Chubb

Can Nick Chubb of the Cleveland Browns rush for more than 100 yards and score a touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers? Fox Bet has boosted it to an eye-opening +400, up from +333. Chubb is certainly capable, and the Browns are a good rushing team.

Chubb accomplished this feat five times during the regular season. The latest was last week, against the Steelers. Pittsburgh, however, rested some key players.

For this realistic possibility to pay that well, the book is saying the public expects the Steelers to dominate and force Cleveland to throw more.

This bet is as much about where one thinks Cleveland will be in the game as whether Chubb can hit the number.

If the bet hits, it pays very well.

How well?

For Derrick Henry to achieve the same totals in the Tennessee Titans-Baltimore Ravens game, the odds are +100 — a staggering difference for the same achievement.

The intangible thrown into the Chubb bet is the absence of Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski, who won’t be behind the bench. He’s out after testing positive for COVID-19.

Will this have an effect on the team’s organization?

The bet offers indirect insight on the game. For Chubb’s prop number to be that large, insiders don’t expect him to be a major factor. It would correlate with Pittsburgh dominating the game.

But will the bettors agree?

Tom Brady vs. Alex Smith

Here’s one from the Washington Football TeamTampa Bay Buccaneers Saturday evening game.

Can Tom Brady of Tampa Bay and Alex Smith of Washington each toss two or more touchdowns? It’s +300 for a reason.

Brady has been on a roll, picking apart defenses with 12 touchdowns against only one interception over recent games. But those performances have come against the Atlanta Falcons and Detroit Lions.

Washington hasn’t allowed two passing touchdowns in a game since Week 13 and will be the best defense Brady has seen in several weeks.

Smith did throw two touchdowns against the Philadelphia Eagles in the team’s last game. Plus, Tampa does have a porous defense, so he will have a chance here. But he looks hobbled and can’t extend plays well.

Nonetheless, two touchdowns apiece is not a ridiculous thing to ask.

Colts-Bills kick off Wild Card Weekend

Here’s a prop to make bettors think about where the Indianapolis Colts-Buffalo Bills game will be during the fourth quarter.

Can each team come up with at least two touchdowns and two field goals?

The yes has been boosted from +225 to +250.

It’s a respectable return, because teams are not locked into scoring in each quarter. The key is believing the game will be close enough for a field goal to matter in the fourth quarter. Both teams are not shy about bypassing field goals and going for touchdowns, even in the red zone.

But with everything on the line, they could be tempted to play more conservatively and grab sure points when possible.

The proliferation of two-point attempts has also changed the number of field goals attempted. In taking this bet, you are hoping for a more conventional style of play.

More NFL betting possibilities

Alvin Kamara of the New Orleans Saints to score twice against the Chicago Bears has been added. It’s gone up to +300.

There are some props for Jared Goff of the Los Angeles Rams, but be wary. His status is uncertain versus the Seattle Seahawks.

Here’s an apples-to-apples comparison to benefit line shoppers

FanDuel Sportsbook has boosted the moneyline payout for Buffalo, Seattle and Tampa Bay to win their games from +160 to +190. This is meaningful because most other books have this one in the +160 range.

Thirty basis points is a substantial edge for the bettor.

Moneyline parlays are a good idea in the first place, especially with clear-cut favorites involved. In most instances, bettors will hit the majority of the wagers and always feel as though there’s a good chance this will hit.

The question is whether they can get that last one, and there usually is one difficult or sweat part of the wager, to make the bet pay.

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DraftKings Sportsbook luring newcomers

If you haven’t joined the parade yet, now is an excellent time.

For Wild Card Weekend, DraftKings Sportsbook is offering an easy score for first-time users.

Amid the NFL’s highest-scoring season ever, all you need is a touchdown. It’s what DraftKings likes to refer to as a no-brainer bet. The rules are simple:

  • Sign up for an account using the above link.
  • Deposit at least $5 into your DraftKings Sportsbook account.
  • Bettors will be issued one single-use odds boost (+100) to use for any team to score a touchdown during Wild Card Weekend.
  • The wager must be placed prior to the kickoff of Saturday’s Bills-Colts game.
  • You must select the boost from your betslip before placing the bet.
  • The maximum bet is $50.

There is a similar promo for existing customers, but the maximum wager is $25.

PointsBet says you drink the ‘juice’

PointsBet has an exciting slate of promotions to kick off NFL Wild Card Weekend, including the return of No Juice +100 spread lines. The max bet is $10,000.

This eliminates the vig, or the price of playing the bet, usually 10% of the wager.

The promo has particular significance on large bets. A $10,000 wager will usually result in a vig of about $1,000.

The principle applies for smaller bets, too. A $300 wager, for example, would provide a savings of roughly $30 if the vig vanishes.

William Hill + NFL Saturday playoff bonus

Here’s an if-you-win angle from William Hill. It involves all three Saturday games.

All it takes is wagering at least $50 on a pregame bet, and if you win, bonuses will kick in. Basically, you’ll receive free bet dollars for your team’s top running back’s stats. Here are a few examples:

  • $1 toward a free bet per 10 rushing yards.
  • $6 toward a free bet per rushing touchdown.
  • $6 toward a free bet per receiving touchdown.

Credits will be applied directly to accounts within five business days after the promotion period has expired. The free bet must be used within seven days after it is awarded.

AP Photo/Derik Hamilton

 

 

Road To Indiana: All NCAA Tournament Games Will Take Place In Hoosier State

Now that we know where all 67 games of the 2021 NCAA Tournament will be taking place, here’s a look at March Madness odds.

Count it. The NJ sports betting industry just hit a three-pointer. March Madness, two golden words in the American psyche, is back.

Gamblers, sportsbooks and the nation’s college basketball fans are celebrating the rumors that became fact as the new year began.

The NCAA will bring back the NCAA Tournament for 2021 and conduct the entire tournament in Indiana.

The official announcement came Monday afternoon.

2021 NCAA Tournament plans

According to NCAA.com, the majority of the tournament’s 67 games will occur in Indianapolis.

NCAA Senior Vice President of Basketball Dan Gavitt said, “The 2021 version of March Madness will be one to remember, if for no other reason than the uniqueness of the event.”

“With the direction of the Men’s Basketball Committee, we are making the most of the circumstances the global pandemic has presented. We’re fortunate to have neighbors and partners in Indianapolis and surrounding communities who not only love the game of basketball as much as anyone else in the country but have a storied history when it comes to staging major sporting events,” said Gavitt.

As far as where the games will be played, the NCAA will be using several locations:

  • Two courts inside Lucas Oil Stadium
  • Bankers Life Fieldhouse
  • Hinkle Fieldhouse
  • Indiana Farmers Coliseum
  • Mackey Arena in West Lafayette
  • Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall in Bloomington

Selection Sunday is still scheduled for March 14.

And plans remain to have the Final Four on April 3 and 5.

The dates of preliminary-round games are still to be determined.

Looking at March Madness odds

There is still a long way to go before conference champions are crowned and Selection Sunday takes place. However, it’s never too early to look at the NCAA Tournament futures.

NCAA Tournament, a cultural cornerstone, revived

Monday’s March Madness announcement is welcome news for bettors. Remember, the 2020 NCAA Tournament was canceled. And it coincided with COVID-19 pushing college and pro sports to the sidelines.

Although the NBA’s shutdown last March 11 was the pandemic’s acknowledged reference point, the NCAA had already been canceling conference championships.

That’s why the return of March Madness in any form is a financial and emotional lift.

Many logistics will be called into play here, and the tournament will have a bubble-type structure similar to those used to successfully complete the NBA and NHL 2020 seasons.

As far as the NCAA plans go, the Indiana Convention Center will be used as a practice facility, with multiple courts set up inside the venue.

Marriott properties, an official NCAA corporate partner, will house most of the tournament teams. The hotels are connected to the convention center via skywalks and within a controlled environment. All teams will be housed on dedicated hotel floors, with physically distanced meeting and dining rooms, as well as secure transportation to and from competition venues.

So this may be the move that puts college basketball back on the front burner. The league began its season slowly, with an emphasis on regional games, limited travel and postponements for a couple of weeks when necessary.

March Madness will have a different feel

For operators like DraftKings Sportsbook, the 2020-21 NCAA men’s basketball season continues to be unique.

“College basketball feels different to me right now, but it will get better as we get through this (the pandemic),” Johnny Avello, the director of race and sportsbook operations for DraftKings, told njgamblingsites.com in late December. “I get it, they are looking after the safety of the students, etc., and they are proceeding with caution.

“After the first of the year, especially, if we get everything under control, and if we feel comfortable heading into March, things should be all right.”

On a related matter, Avello said that although Garden State bettors can’t wager on New Jersey teams, it’s a minuscule liability for the books. Besides Seton Hall, there are few teams that would generate wagering interest for New Jersey gamblers.

“There used to be a law that Nevada bettors could not wager on teams in their state, which primarily meant UNLV and Nevada Reno,” said Avello.  “They changed that law a little over 20 years ago, and you were allowed to bet on those teams.”

“We did not get an abundance of money in the state for them. Customers are not looking at betting ‘their’ home team. It’s one thing if you lived in Boston and you bet the New England Patriots because they covered 70% of the time and made you money, but otherwise I don’t think anybody, regardless of the sport, is going to play the home team consistently,” said Avello.

A closer look at NCAA championship odds

Whomever they back, bettors wager into the lessons of past performance. Most teams will lose at least a handful of games and, throughout the season, top rankings will shift.

Some team in the 11-25 slot usually suffers an upset loss each week. This is a fertile area to bet into.

And the dynamic was even more pronounced last year, as teams in the Top 5 were shifted, too.

With no champion crowned last year, here are some numbers reflecting the betting sentiment. Good prices are still available on the national championship front:

DraftKings has Gonzaga at + 350, less of a deal than a month ago, but still good.

Villanova has rocketed up to No. 2 at +700. Baylor stands third at +800, followed by Wisconsin at +900 and both Houston and Texas at +1100.

There is good value in the Big East with Villanova at +225 and Creighton +375.

But, like all futures bets, the value will diminish for good teams over time.

March Madness futures at FanDuel and William Hill

There is variety at other books, including FanDuel Sportsbook.

Gonzaga (+350) is still the big pick, but Villanova improves to +900 here. And if you like Creighton, the team is +2500 at FanDuel.

At William Hill, the same major characters exist, with some slight wrinkles. Villanova, for instance, is +1000 to win the championship.

Gonzaga, Villanova and Baylor sat atop the college rankings as the year began. Eventually, the ranked teams will provide some sense of the circuit for bettors.

Villanova, which postponed its next three games Monday because of COVID-19 issues, remains an enigma. There will be no data to push the futures price either way.  By the time Villanova resumes, it will have gone through a multiweek break.

This is just part of the puzzle. Short term, some teams have issues. Longer term, meaning March, music has begun for the Big Dance.

Dreamstime photo 

Football Five Week 16: Jets And Bengals Capture That Winning Feeling

One of the hot NFL betting topics heading into Week 16 is how the Jets and Bengals pulled off two of the biggest upsets of the 2020 season.

Let’s begin the NFL Week 16 Football Five with a salute to the New York Jets and Cincinnati Bengals, two basement teams who restored faith in the NFL’s competitive balance.

They turned the tables on the week’s two largest imminent blowouts, turning them into the year’s largest upsets.

Bravo to them and the sliver of Week 15 bettors. And that group was an extremely small one at FanDuel Sportsbook.

Only 11% of the money was on the Jets to win straight up against the Los Angeles Rams.

And only 9% of the money was on the Bengals to defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Both teams were in the vicinity of +1000 across the establishments favored by NJ sports betting customers.

Newfound respect for Jets and Bengals

Will the Jets come out with a chip on their shoulder after an only-in-New-York media reaction to their victory?

They were knocked for now not being the league’s worst team and thus not likely to draft quarterback Trevor Lawrence from Clemson as the top pick in the next NFL draft.

Imagine being Sam Darnold, the Jets’ current quarterback, and hearing that.

The Jets, now with one victory, will be looked at differently when they host the Cleveland Browns this week. And the Bengals have their third win, the first without Joe Burrow, before playing the Houston Texans.

The Jets, a whopping +17 against the Los Angeles Rams, have been awarded a full touchdown more on the opening line against the Browns at DraftKings Sportsbook.

FanDuel’s early line of Cincinnati +8.5 shows some respect for a team that bounced back to life Monday night as a 14.5-point dog.

The Jets and Bengals also stirred the playoff-ramifications pot throughout the league.

Say hello to the new No. 2 seed in the AFC East, the Buffalo Bills. They have additional incentive to defeat the New England Patriots in the next Monday Night Football game.  The sizzling hot 11-3 Bills look more likely to host a first-round playoff game when the postseason begins during the second weekend in January.

The Rams, who have played volleyball with the Seattle Seahawks for the NFC West lead, now trail by one game before this weekend’s critical matchup on the road.

And the Steelers? Look at these offensive numbers in the last four games: 19, 17, 15 and 17.

Since leading the Washington Football Team 14-0 in the second quarter of their Dec. 7 game, they are being outscored 76-35. Shocking numbers for an 11-3 team.

That’s how life changes in the NFL.

Giants’ playoff chances are fizzling

Two dull home losses, 26-7 to the Arizona Cardinals and 20-6 to the Cleveland Browns, snapped a four-game winning streak and laid the New York Giants bare in front of the bettors. They are a slow, deliberate, grind-it-out offense just before the worst matchup possible.

New York plays the high-flying, explosive Baltimore Ravens, who have topped 40 points two weeks in a row.

Falling behind early would be a disaster against the Ravens.

But Big Blue’s defense is stout, evidenced by goal-line stands against the Cardinals and Browns. This included limiting Cleveland to 20 points after the Browns had scored 42 against the Ravens.

The Giants have lost control of their own destiny, however. Much of it now rests in the hands of the four-win Carolina Panthers, who must defeat the Washington Football Team in order for Big Blue to retain realistic playoff games.

Basically, the season is coming down to the IF game. So if:

  • Carolina upsets Washington;
  • The Giants defeat the Ravens as a big dog; and
  • The Philadelphia Eagles defeat the Dallas Cowboys,

then, and only then, the Giants would be in first place heading into the last week of the season.

But there are other ifs that would end the Giants’ postseason hopes.

A Washington win combined with a Giants loss will earn the Football Team the NFC Was crown.

In a similar vein, the Eagles, who trail the Giants, need Carolina to defeat Washington or it’s over for them. It’s the same for second-place Dallas. This is a significant betting consideration.

The Eagles-Cowboys will have huge NFC implications, or none, based on the Washington game, which is played earlier.

 Vikings, Saints under the Christmas tree

Whether it’s COVID-19 necessitated or a future consideration, the NFL has a Friday game, the New Orleans Saints hosting the Minnesota Vikings.

And it happens to fall on Christmas Day.

There is a unique undercurrent to this game. The Vikings are going nowhere, and in fact propelled the Chicago Bears into the fringes of the NFC playoff picture with Sunday’s loss, but they knocked the Saints out of the playoffs last year — in New Orleans, where this game will be played.

And there was that Minneapolis Miracle a couple of years earlier when the Vikings eliminated the Saints from the playoffs with a long TD on the final play.

Are the Saints jinxed against the Vikings, or is this the game in which they remove the hex?

Minnesota has an excellent offense with Kirk Cousins and running back Dalvin Cook, whereas New Orleans has a revenge motive from last year.

The Saints are resting injured star Michael Thomas until the playoffs, and their offense improved after a sputtering start with the return of Drew Brees against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Week 16 Saturday games matter

The sportsbooks love isolated opportunities like Friday’s one-gamer and the Saturday trio of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Detroit Lions, the Miami Dolphins visiting the Las Vegas Raiders and the Arizona Cardinals sharing a home game with the San Francisco 49ers. Betting action pours in on these games and, fortunately for the NFL, Tampa Bay, Miami and Arizona need the games.

The league never knows how much these games will matter when it draws up the schedule well before the season.

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Another way to interpret the lines

The Tennessee Titans and Green Bay Packers have the week’s highest over-under projection of 56 at DraftKings. The Tampa Bay-Detroit contest, 53.5, and the Atlanta Falcons-Kansas City Chiefs matchup, 54, are close behind.

Point totals convey a secondary angle, prop mania.

Watch the yardage and touchdown-tossing props in all of these games as they approach, and if you want to take a stab, consider some of the following payouts reported from Week 15 by DraftKings:

Austin Hooper of the Cleveland Browns returned +1600 as the first touchdown scorer in the Giants-Browns game.

Derrick Henry of the Titans paid +350, hitting paydirt against the Detroit Lions.

Tyreek Hill of the Kansas City Chiefs returned +510, scoring against the Saints.

But how about Russell Gage of the Atlanta Falcons? He returned a hefty +3500 as the first to hit paydirt in the game against Tampa Bay.

Like most props, these contain the intellectual component of selecting likely recipients and the good fortune of hitting the right individual. Hooper is a tight end. Bettors had to survive two goal-to-goal runs before he was found on a TD toss. Hill and Henry are usually good anytime scorers, but for them to be first scorer in the entire game limits the player to a couple of possessions.

These bets are proving to be more popular because they can provide a lot of bang for a little buck.

Photo by Associated Press

 

Week 15 Odds Boosts: Will NJ Bettors Hit The Over Thursday Night In Vegas?

NFL Week 15 includes Eagles at Cardinals, but the NJ sports betting acttion gets underway with a big AFC West showdown that could generate 50-plus points.

Odds Boosts remain a popular NFL betting tool heading into Week 15.

At the least, they eliminate the vig, providing wagering value.

The boosts get an early start this week, with one Thursday game and two on Saturday.

Although the list will increase closer to kickoff, including Sunday games, here are some early NJ sports betting considerations.

High scoring Thursday night affair

Fox Bet NJ jumps out of the gate, boosting both teams to score in each quarter from +400 to +500 for the Las Vegas Raiders and Los Angeles Chargers game.

This prop just hit on Monday Night Football, when the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens delivered 89 points.

What makes the prop worth pondering, besides the price, is the Raiders’ style of play. They have an excellent offense and a swiss-cheese defense full of holes. Derek Carr for Las Vegas and Justin Herbert of Los Angeles have a chance to light it up in this one.

This is always one of the most intriguing, yet lucrative props. The game needs to remain close, field goals need to be relevant, and you have to catch a break in a quarter in which a team may only touch the ball once.

The perception is that these teams will march up and down the field. The over-under is 53 at Fox Bet, the highest total this week.

There is an interesting cross-reference on this angle. In its custom bet section, Fox Bet lists the prop of each team getting two touchdowns and one field goal for the game as -188. That prop was more than +400 for the Philadelphia Eagles last week against the New Orleans Saints, indicating NJ online sportsbooks expect a shootout here.

Josh Jacobs to score in the first quarter has been boosted to +500.The Raiders running back is an excellent choice as an anytime touchdown threat wherever you play, and it often pays even money or a little higher. First touchdown and first-quarter bets are always risky because they unfold in a limited time frame, but that’s why they pay well.

More on Chargers-Raiders showdown

FanDuel Sportsbook has an aggressive perspective regarding the Thursday Night game.: Keep it comin with the points.

It is offering an  enhanced a payout from +190 to +240 for the Raiders to win the game outright and for the total to hit 55 or more. That’s slightly more than the over-under number of 53.5.

If you like this prop, it seems logical to separately play the over in this game, a regular bet not connected with the boosts. If the offenses hit big but the Raiders don’t win, you are at least covered.

Hard to ignore Davante Adams in Week 15

On Saturday, the best opportunity in the Carolina PanthersGreen Bay Packers  game involves Packers receiver Davante Adams. For him to score a touchdown and the Packers to win has been boosted from -120 to +100 a Fox Bet. Not a big payoff, but it wipes out the vig and then some, changing odds from laying 6-5 to getting even money.

Some players will jump on this for a large bet, depending on what they can get for Adams as an anytime scorer. Bettors can’t touch the moneyline, -400.

This is one wager in which the size of one’s bet may determine its appeal. The larger the bankroll, the better.

How about Bad Beat boosts?

FanDuel and DraftKings Sportsbook have both addressed the final-play fiasco of the Baltimore Ravens’ 42-37 triumph over the Cleveland Browns Monday Night. Both involved priming the pump with refunds, keeping bettors from that game engaged rather than possibly enraged.

For tortured Browns bettors, their team was looking like an imminent moneyline win. Cleveland was  leading 35-34 and Baltimore down to its final offensive play. However, the final result ended up being  a 47-42 Bad Beat at +3. The daggers were a field goal allowed with two seconds left and a crazy lateral-fest resulting in a safety on the final play. And it radically changed betting fortunes.

FanDuel refunded all pre-live, straight spread bets placed on the Browns +3, +3.5 and +4.5 from the game. The total refund was $750k and appeared in customer’s accounts in site credit.

DraftKings has a promotion good through Thursday evening, for anyone having played Cleveland + 3, +3.5, +4, and +4.5.

The Bad Beat promo is available via  the promotions page. Here ae some of the potential rewards:

  • $50 free bet
  • $100 free bet
  • $1,000 free bet
  • $25,000 DK dollars.

Some New Jersey DraftKings customes have reported getting $100 on a free bet after wagering only $15 on the game.

A case like this becomes a no-brainer. If that subsequent free bet hits, a bad break will have turned into good fortune. Some gamblers may try to ensure this by taking the Pittsburgh Steelers on the moneyline against the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Monday Night Football game closes out the Week 15 schedule. Pittsburgh  (11-2) won the first meeting against Cincinnati (2-10-1) convincingly, 36-10.

But no matter which game you play, the refund or promo turns losing bets into pushes. Plus, it enables the money to be placed into other wagers while validating the key psychological component of “I was robbed.”

Do we hear more Week 15 free bets?

PointsBet NJ bookends the Week 15 schedule with a pair of free-bet enticements.

Tonight’s Chargers-Raiders and Monday’s Steelers- Bengals contests are part of what’s termed a risk-free offer.

Make an in-play moneyline wager on the underdog in each game.If that team loses, the bettor will be refunded up to $50 in free bets. So Chargers and Bengals bettors, this applies to you.

Bettors will wager $50 on the dogs and receive either an upset win or the $50 free bet. Check the PointsBet app for complete details.  Be sure to play the freebie within the time frame, usually one week.

The free bet refund must be used on another in-play event.

This promotion particularly entices money from Cincinnati Bengals bettors, who bet a prohibitive dog, +550. A key for Bengals backers is to have an idea what free bet you’d like to use next week before making this play.

Photo by ASSOCIATED PRESS

 

 

New Jersey Sports Betting Sets All-Time High With $5 Billion In Bets For 2020

November’s NJ sports betting handle of $931.6 million pushes the Garden State past the $5 billion mark in a year impacted by a global pandemic.

Who guessed $931.6 million? This would be the NJ sports betting handle for the month of November.

Here’s an even bigger number: $5 billion.

That would be the year to date amount wagered from NJ bettors. What makes this number stand out even more is the fact that there were no major pro sports during the months of April, May, and June as a result of the global pandemic.

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement released the November figures earlier today. And in the process, that Garden State shattered yet another record in total amount wagered for any legal U.S. sports betting jurisdiction.

Call it the new normal in 202o.

For those keeping tabs, it shatters the previous mark of $803 million set in October. If we are talking percentages, the increase from October to November is a whopping $86.2%.

NJ sports betting revenue came in at $50.5 million, which is a 53.7% increase from the same period last year.

Here is a closer look at some of the highlights from the latest report.

How high will NJ sports betting handle go?

One would think when the Major League Baseball, NBA, and NHL crowned their respective champions earlier this fall, the industry would’ve slowed down.

Yes, NFL betting is by far the most popular among bettors, but the variety of pro sports offerings would spread the money around. November is prime NFL season, but there was college football and basketball along with The Masters.

Yet, if we do a month-to-month comparison since the return of sports, the current offering are clearly generating the biggest numbers by a wide margin. Here’s a look back at the recent monthly amounts wagered:

  • July handle: $315.1 million
  • August handle: $667.9 million
  • September handle: $748.5 million
  • October handle: $803 million

And getting back to the $5 billion number, 2020 is already ahead of the $4.58 billion in wagers made in 2019. And the current number doesn’t even factor in December totals.

Plus, last year wasn’t impacted by a global pandemic.

And for those states still on the fence regarding whether or not to approve mobile sports betting, just look at New Jersey.

In November alone, 93.6% of bets were placed via NJ online sportsbooks. In-person registration isn’t required.

FanDuel + Meadowlands = winning ticket, again

Meadowlands Racetrack, the land-based partner of FanDuel Sportsbook and PointsBet NJ, continues to be the biggest winner when it comes NJ sports betting revenue.

The other 11 license holders didn’t even come close.

The Meadowlands reported $24.8 billion for November, and it’s NJ Gambling Sites understanding that FanDuel account for the bulk of it.

Resorts Digital (considering of DraftKings SportsboookFox Bet, and Resorts online sportsbook) finished an extremely distant second with $14.6 million.

If we break it down by market share, Meadowlands accounts for 48.9% while Resorts comes in at 27.4%. It leaves less than 25% of the pie for the rest of the market which currently consists of 19 operators.

Is $1 billion in monthly handle a reality?

So if somebody predicted at the beginning of the year that New Jersey would take in more than $900 million in monthly bets would you have believed it?

Forget about the pandemic.

Here’s the reality. Some may have thought October’s $803 million would be the NJ sports betting plateau. It clearly wasn’t. Now that Garden State bettors have shattered the $900 million mark, $1 billion suddenly doesn’t seem so unrealistic.

Eventually, New Jersey will reach the top of the mountain, but at this point, who knows what number that will be.

Suddenly New Jersey, not Las Vegas, has established itself as the unstoppable US sports betting leader.

Photo by ASSOCIATED PRESS 

Football Five: It’s Week 14 And 0-12 Jets Can’t Catch A Break

The 0-12 New York Jets came within seconds of winning their first win against the Raiders. The team closes out the season against four playoff contenders.

‘As NFL Week 14 dawns, Week 13 was a classic week for the dogs.

While NJ sportsbooks lit a figurative bonfire – prohibitive favorites the Seattle Seahawks and Pittsburgh Steelers losing outright to burn reams of parlay tickets – bettors were reminded about the laws of averages.

Even great teams have limits, and no team is a horror show, except one.

Welcome to the intrigue of NJ sports betting.

Football Five examines the implications of “Why they play the games.”, or, in the case of the New York Jets, “Why you can’t be five seconds short”

 Week 14 means Jets short on time

Will the New York Jets finish the 2020 season 0-16?

Call it the last of the extreme season wagers available via the books. The other was the Steelers finishing the season 16-0, but hey were toppled by the Washington Football Team on Monday.

DraftKings Sportsbook has reduced the 0-12 Jets to a virtual even-money pick to go 0-16. It’s -110 either way, meaning it’s no longer unlikely for the Jets to reach perfect imperfection.

Only the 2017 Cleveland Browns and 2008 Detroit Lions have ever had the season’s table run on them.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers went 0-14 in 1976, stretching the futility to a modern-day mark of 26 before winning a game in 1977.

How do you handicap it? The Jets, unfortunately, have a strong chance of hitting the mark as three of their four remaining opponents have winning records.

Here is he remaining schedule:

  • Seahawks (8-4) away
  • Rams (8-4) away
  • Browns (9-3) home
  • Patriots (6-6) away

What’s amazing about this drought is that it isn’t happening to a horrible team.

DraftKings tabbed the Jets for 6.5 wins before the season started. This was the best second-half team in the entire AFC East last year, 6-2. But the Jets plummeted.

It takes a few cruel-and-unusual developments to create a winless season.

The Jets feature two. They had the Patriots practically beaten but their offense made two critical ball-control errors and they lost on the final play last month.

But the biggest dagger of all was Sunday against the Las Vegas Raiders.

They came within five seconds of a victory.  So close that they fired defensive coordinator Gregg Williams over an all-out defensive blitz enabling the touchdown pass from Derek Carr to Henry Ruggs III on the Raiders’ final offensive play.

The Jets are showing up but finding ways to lose close home games. All season long, the sentiment has been they’d win a game sooner or later. Now the books call it 50-50.

Bettors have another perspective, of course. The Jets are 4-2 recently against the spread.

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Are Pittsburgh Steelers showing cracks in  foundation?

So why did it happen?

How did the Pittsburgh Steelers  lose to Washington when they had a 14-point lead? How did they squander a 14-0 first-half lead and lose their first game of the year, 23-17 to the Washington Football Team at Heinz Field?

The Steelers were 6-0 at home this season prior to Monday night’s game.

Besides Washington’s excellent defensive line, and the team coming together, here are the factors:

  • Focus: The Steelers, inexplicably, dropped a multitude of short passes for the second straight week. Their offense is geared around the short timing pass, setting up receivers to break a tackle and hit a long gain. The drops were not forced.
  • Lack of a running game: FanDuel Sportsbook bettors playing the in-game Ben Roethlisberger passing attempts prop of 44 like the fact he threw 53 Monday, but defenses will catch up to that in big games. Good teams will eventually chase Big Ben from the pocket, even if they don’t sack him, if they don’t worry about the run.
  • Big plays went the wrong way:When Pittsburgh led 7-0, it had first-and-goal from the Washington 1, and got stuffed.  Getting no points there hurt.
  • Lack of trust: The Steelers could have tried a long field goal with the game tied 17-17 late. But they went for it on 4th down rather than put rather than try a field goal with their new kicker.  The pass was dropped, and Washington promptly came down the field and kicked the go-ahead field goal.
  • Defense can’t do it all: The Steelers gave up a 3rd-and-16 for a first down, leading to a second-half Washington TD. Plus the Pittsburgh defense allowed a long drive to tie the game late.

The Buffalo Bills are up next on Sunday, Pittsburgh will look to retool. No longer chasing destiny, they will try to find offensive balance the rests of the season.  They may even rest Roethlisberger, who has been playing through an injured left knee.

Washington win impacts NFC East odds

The NFC East race looks like a stock market ticker. One unexpected result drives volatility through the odds board. DraftKings Sportsbook updated it Wednesday to read:

The cream has risen to the top. A month ago, the Eagles had prohibitive odds. Now +1400 looks generous.

Upcoming games: The Giants host the Arizona Cardinals as a slight dog.

Washington visits the San Francisco 49ers in their adopted home of Glendale, Az. Washington is a medium-size dog.

This was a big week for the NFC East, with Washington and the New York Giants defeating playoff teams on the road. And this will be an interesting division fight to the wire.

Pats vs. Chargers and the lopsided under

Here’s a head scratcher involving the league’s largest season blowout and a bizarre over-under.

Would the league’s largest margin of victory come from  the high-powered Kansas City Chiefs or Green Bay Packers?

Nope. How about a middle-of-the-road team in one of the year’s strangest games?

New England’s 45-0 blitz of the host Los Angeles Chargers was unusual for many reasons. The Patriots were +2 and still unleashed this 45-point whooping.

Forty-five points were supplied by one team. The over was 47, and it somehow lost.

That frustrated PointsBet gamblers, who had ridden the over total to the tune of 69%. And this bet would look pocketed given these developments:

  • New England helped the total with a 70-yard punt return for a touchdown.
  • The Pats helped further with a blocked field goal, resulting in a touchdown on the final play of the first half.
  • The Chargers have exceeded 30 points four times this season. All they needed was one score. One.

Instead, the Chargers become the first home team to suffer a shutout this season (two other road teams did) and, like the Jets, look to have serious coaching problems. The team featuring likely rookie-of-the-year quarterback Justin Herbert broke down in all phases.

That’s why they play the games.

Crazy post-script to this oddity: even after the blowout, the Chargers have scored more points than the Patriots this season.

Was this an aberration or can New England continue its magic? The Patriots return to the same stadium Thursday night, opening Week 14 against the Los Angeles Rams.

What Eagles are facing in Week 14

A tip of the hat to New Orleans coach Sean Payton, who has worked wonders even with Drew Brees hurt. Brees is tentatively slated to return against the Eagles Sunday and the Saints have the league’s longest winning streak, nine games.

Even without Brees, the Saints are 8-0. And in the three games he has missed this year, New Orleans is 3-0 with three covers. The offense has been good enough and the defense has been stellar.

photo by ASSOCIATED PRESS