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



Evaluating Eagles Odds And Props Following 2021 NFL Schedule Release

Now that the 2021 NFL regular season schedule is out, here are seven wagering observations based on odds available at NJ online sportsbooks.

Flip the NFL betting calendar and start circling dates.

September visits May, as the NFL released its 2021 expanded schedule, prompting raised antennas in New Jersey online sports betting circles.

There is one additional game this year, actual Week 1 spreads for New Jersey online sports bettors paired with some early intrigue.

The NFL regular season begins Sept. 9, with the Dallas Cowboys visiting the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a 6.5-point dog. And then it’s season on.

The Philadelphia Eagles are more than a field-goal underdog at the host Atlanta Falcons on Sept. 12. The Jalen Hurts-DeVonta Smith connection begins.

The New York Giants host the Denver Broncos as a small favorite.  Wouldn’t it be something if Aaron Rodgers was a Bronco? Watch that line move.

The New York Jets visit the Carolina Panthers as a solid dog. Nah, too good to be true. Sam Darnold was the Jets’ future two years ago. Now at 23, he’s their ex. And he’s facing his old team, as chalk.

How about season win totals, team futures, and wacky props?

Get those bets in fast. We’ve only got … four months.

In honor of seven points for a touchdown and extra point, here are seven wagering observations.

1. Key games for Philadelphia Eagles

In the opener, they oppose Philly native Kyle Pitts, a game-changing tight end drafted by the Falcons.

For their home opener on Sept. 19, will Trey Lance be leading the Niners? Lance versus Hurts and Smith is a matchup of young guns.

The first meeting against the Cowboys in Dallas on Sept. 27 is on Monday Night Football.

The October 24 game in Las Vegas is an excuse for a trip.

The Eagles don’t play the Giants until late in the season, at New York Nov. 28 and home Dec. 26.

The extra game this year? At the Jets Dec. 5. That’s one edge for finishing in the basement. Division champion Washington gets the Buffalo Bills.

The Birds bye week is Week 14. The home finale against the Cowboys is Jan. 9.

2. Decisive December for the Birds

Starting in December, the Birds play the Jets and then four division rivals to finish the campaign:

  • Washington, home, TBD
  • Giants, home, Dec. 26
  • Washington, away, Jan. 2
  • Cowboys, home, Jan. 9

What about NFC East betting odds?

DraftKings Sportsbook has the Cowboys +125 to win the division.

Washington, the defending champion, is +260

The Giants are +350 while the Eagles are +500.

The odds already moved with money on the Cowboys and Giants and will be fun to play throughout the season.

The Giants went from +2000 after an 0-5 start to +200 when they led the division. This is the biggest sudden-opportunity team bet on the board throughout the year.

Every game impacts the total. You can make several bets on it at different times.

3. Start handicapping the NFC East

Doesn’t matter if it’s the NFC Least, which produced a 7-9 winner with the Washington Football Team.  Or if it was the NFC Beast in a strong year.

One of these teams will host a playoff game. Washington had the home field against the eventual champion Bucs last year.

What record will host this year’s playoff game?

DraftKings has the Eagles’ over-under at 6.5 games. A small rise expected from the 4-11-1 campaign. The over is -155.

Washington has an over-under of 8, still a losing record, with the over at -134.

The Giants are at 7 with the over at -130.

Only one team is projected for a winning season. The Cowboys are at 9.5 but with a heavily favored under, -130.  Count on the Cowboys being overbet, propping up odds of other teams.

“Look at the NFC East, what an extra week might have meant last year, the way it all came down to the wire,” Johnny Avello, the director of race and sportsbook operations for DraftKings, told NJ Gambling Sites.

Avello linked Dallas’ favored status in the NFC East to the return of quarterback Dak Prescott, who was injured most of last year.

“They would look to be the team at the start,” he said. “Washington certainly played better last year and Chase Young helped them defensively.

“The Giants are going to get Saquon Barkley back, that’s going to be a big boost to them.

“The Eagles? With Jalen Hurts as their starting quarterback, it’s hard to predict what’s going to happen with them.”

4. 2021 NFL schedule includes bonus week

Seventeen games means one less preseason week, one more real week, and the Super Bowl on Feb. 13.

Bettors and books rejoice.

“There’s going to be a significant impact on the betting,” Avello said.

“During the exhibition season, we have lower limits. During the regular season, you’ll see players wagering six figures a game. There wasn’t even a preseason last year anyway. There’s no comparison about what that means for the handle.

“This extra week, I think, will make everybody happy.”

Even ecstatic.

5. Wanna go AGAINST the Eagles or Jets?

It’s like playing the Don’t Come line at craps. Here’s a worst-season record prop at FanDuel Sportsbook:

  • Houston Texans +250
  • Detroit Lions +350
  • New York Jets +850
  • Cincinnati Bengals +1000
  • Jacksonville Jaguars +1200
  • Philadelphia Eagles +1300

This is when losing big means winning.

6. Will any NFL team go 0-17 or 17-0?

BetMGM posted the first bet for a team to go 0-17 under the new schedule. Yes is +1400.

On the flip side, the odds for a team to go 17-0 is +1800.

7. The power of the NFL No 1 pick

The Jacksonville Jaguars won one game last year. They ride a 15-game losing streak.

In Week 1, They visit the Houston Texans, who were in the AFC semifinals two years ago.

And they are favored.

It means Trevor Lawrence has an immediate impact and that Deshaun Watson is expected to move.

“The game we had the most discussion setting the line for was Jaguars-Texans,” said Adam Pullen, assistant director of trading for William Hill.  “We don’t know whether Deshaun Watson is going to be the quarterback. For now, he’s the guy until news breaks that says otherwise. I’d say that one was the most difficult [Week 1 spread].”

AP Photo/Chris Szagola



Do The New York Giants Finally Have The Talent To Improve On Last Season’s 6-10 Mark?

NJ online sportsbooks have set the New York Giants win total at over-under seven victories for 2021, but which side is the better play?

What does the new 17-game NFL schedule, being announced this week, mean for the New York Giants?

At least one extra win, according to early DraftKings Sportsbook betting odds.

The G-Men, 6-10 last season, have an over-under of seven victories for 2021 in the 17-game format.

The Giants drew quick action, advancing to -130 from -125 for the “over” and +107 rather than +103 for the under.

It’s a bullish sign and an interesting revelation of value.

The 17th game is looking like it will be a hit with fans, bettors, and sportsbooks. It takes a week from the bogus NFL preseason schedule, adds it to the regular season, and produces another full-scale wagering week.

It also moves the Super Bowl back to Feb. 13. That’s psychologically enormous for some, with football lasting into mid-winter and bridging pitchers-and-catchers reporting for MLB spring training.

Will the dead of winter be … dead?

What we know about the 17th game

The 17th game features teams from opposing conferences that finished in the same place within their division the previous season. The AFC will be the home conference for the 17th game in 2021.

That means the Giants’ additional game involves a road matchup against the Miami Dolphins. Both teams finished second in their respective divisions.

The New York Jets, who finished in the AFC basement, obtain a home game against the Philadelphia Eagles under the same arrangement.

Looking at NY Giants betting value

So at first glance, there is value with the Giants at DraftKings.

And some bettors jumped on it.

Big Blue moved from +400 to +350 to win the NFC East and remained +225 to reach the playoffs, -286 not to.

The division title has good betting odds. Win a division and you automatically qualify for the playoffs and host a first-round game.

The playoff wager?

It’s a reach and involves wild cards.

If last season’s 7-9 division-winning mark by the Washington Football Team is a benchmark (even if that becomes 8-9 with the extra game), forget the wild card. Only a division title will do.

Ten, not nine, could be the new floor for NFC wild card teams. Division bets look safer.

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More NFL betting odds at DraftKings

The Dallas Cowboys are +125 to win the NFC East.

They are usually overbet as a result of outsized media attention. NFC East backers delighted in turning the phrase “How ’bout them Cowboys,” the team’s unofficial catchphrase, as they plunged last year.

This is good news for other teams.

The Washington Football Team is second-favored at +260.

The G-Men are third at their new +350 and the Eagles are at +500.

There’s excellent value on the Giants and Eagles, par value on defending-division champion Washington, and a skimpy return on Dallas.

Giants totals at other NJ online sportsbooks

William Hill has the G-Men at -120 for “over” 7 and +100 for under.

BetMGM has a couple of numbers to meet Giants bettors’ eyes.

It has the G-Men at +8000 to win the Super Bowl. That’s the largest prize for the Giants around the books. The Jets and Eagles have the same number.

BetMGM has a prop on the receiving yards of Kadarius Toney, New York’s first-round draft pick, as over-under 524.5. It’s -110 either way.

Why NJ bettors will back the Giants

For one, the G-Men are moving in the right direction.

The Giants fought back from 0-5, winning six of their final 11 games last year.  They nearly won the NFC East despite losing star back Saquon Barkley for the season in Week 2.

Projecting Barkley for a full season even at 80% of his abilities would improve the offense.

He was sorely missed last season. Barkley had more than 2,000 all-purpose yards in 2018. He had more than 1,400 in 2019.

His absence was colossal. The Giants lost his ability to flare out, catch a dump-off pass in space and create substantial yards after the catch.

Barkley near his peak takes the pressure off quarterback Daniel Jones. It also loosens coverage against a suddenly strong, new-look receiving corps.

The Giants obtained Kyle Rudolph, a proven all-pro tight end, from the Minnesota Vikings.

Wide receiver Darius Slayton is a legitimate deep threat. Kenny Golladay, an off-season pickup from the Detroit Lions, complements him.

Toney, a speed merchant, provides a third strong receiver.  Some depth charts have Golladay and Toney as the top two receivers, with Slayton third.

Either way, Toney adds punch to the Giants, who scored the NFC’s lowest point total, 280, last year.

And his selection may produce a draft coup.

The Giants traded back from 11 to 20 when receivers Jaylen Waddle and DeVonta Smith were taken off the board.

New York acquired a 2022 first-round pick, a 2022 fourth-round pick, and a 2021 fifth-round pick from the Chicago Bears for the 11th selection.

Moving down nine spots in the draft and bringing three more players? Superb.

The Giants are comin’.

On defense Azeez Ojulari, a good edge rusher, was the second overall pick by the Giants, at selection 50. The Giants had a respectable defense last year and focused most of their draft on defensive selections.

Why NJ bettors won’t back the Giants

It starts with Daniel Jones.

This is the Giants’ year of decision regarding “Danny Dimes.”

Some of his big plays have been great. He rumbled for a 34-yard touchdown against the Eagles in a victory last season. He took off on an 80-yard scamper, the longest QB run in Giants history, in a loss to the Eagles.

Jones remains a strong running threat, but fumbles and interceptions have plagued him. He holds the ball too long, having it swiped from his hands while preparing to throw a pass, or tosses costly interceptions. Jones’ turnovers became Pick 6’s or directly led to game-changing touchdowns too often.

Jones also missed three games because of injury.

This is the year he becomes a leader or a backup.

Did you know?

A dime is a perfect football toss, in modern jargon. Jones reluctantly accepted the “Danny Dimes” nickname originally and now he’s all in. Jones filed to obtain a trademark for the name. Think merchandise. Think Danny Dollars.

AP Photo/Chris Szagola




What Are The Odds Of Eagles’ DeVonta Smith Winning NFL Offensive Rookie Of The Year?

With the NFL Draft out of the way, rookies DeVonta Smith, Zach Wilson, and Kadarius Toney have enticing 2021 props at NJ online sportsbooks.

The NFL Draft is already invigorating the NFL betting prop season.

The Philadelphia Eagles, New York Giants, and New York Jets each have an interesting betting consideration from their top selections.

Their first-round picks, DeVonta Smith for the Eagles, Zach Wilson for the Jets, and Kadarius Toney for the Giants,  all enticed season-long prop bets.

Besides their longshot odds to win offensive rookie of the year, all three players are generating realistic props on yardage totals and touchdowns.

It’s no longer just each player against the field, but each against his projected total.

Let’s analyze each pick.

Heisman winner Smith has high NFL expectations

BetMGM pegs the speedy Heisman Trophy-winning receiver at 749.5 receiving yards. The over and under are both -110. Fair shot, a straight play.

The book also has over-under touchdown totals at 5.5. It leans under the total at -125 and over at +105, playable from either side.

It’s good to see those props because winning the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year is an uphill battle for a wide receiver. High-profile quarterbacks gain more categories to impress awards committees beyond yardage and touchdowns. Quarterback rating, completion percentage, and fourth-quarter comebacks also factor into the equation.

Quarterback Justin Herbert of the Los Angeles Chargers ran away with this award in 2020, notching 41 votes.  Second-highest was Minnesota Vikings’ wideout Justin Jefferson, who had 1,400 yards, with nine votes.

Breaking down NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year odds

Wondering who to play this time around? Here is the opening offensive top rookie betting board.

DraftKings Sportsbook has Trevor Lawrence, the top overall pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars, as the +300 favorite.

Here are some other names to watch:

  • Justin Fields, Chicago Bears QB, +600
  • Trey Lance, San Francisco 49ers QB, +600
  • Zack Wilson, New York Jets QB, +700
  • Najee Harris, Pittsburgh Steelers, +1000
  • Ja’Marr Chase, Cincinnati Bengals WR, +1100

There was some early May movement on Smith, up to +1400 from +1600.

 Jaylen Waddle, his Alabama teammate, is +1600. He is now a wide receiver for the Miami Dolphins.

William Hill has Smith at +1800 and reported that the fastest-rising ticket recipient is actually Harris, who was the Steelers first-round pick. Harris has gone from +2000 to +1000 and taken a third of the tickets.

“Looks like the early money is for Najee Harris,” said Nick Bogdanovich, director of trading for William Hill US. “There’s twice as many tickets on him compared to anyone else early on. [James] Conner is no longer in Pittsburgh, so looks like it’s going to be Harris’ show there. He’s going to get plenty of opportunities, so I can see why they’re betting Harris.”

FanDuel Sportsbook has +1700 for Smith and Waddle.

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Will DeVonta Smith click with the Eagles offense?

 Johnny Avello, the director of race and sportsbook operations for Draft Kings, believes Smith will hit stride quickly, regardless of his betting odds.

“Some guys get to the NFL right away and look ready to go; DeVonta Smith looks like one of those guys,” Avello told NJ Gambling Sites. “He’s a high confidence player and it looks like Jalen Hurts is where all their eggs are going at quarterback, although that’s a little surprising to me.

“Smith is a little guy and he’s fast. Cornerbacks will tell you that receivers like this are going to be really tough to cover. Going across the middle, however, could be a problem.”

This is a good time to savor just how good Smith is. He is only the fourth receiver to win the Heisman.

The previous recipients are:

  • Michigan’s Desmond Howard in 1991
  • Notre Dame’s Tim Brown in 1987
  • Nebraska’s Johnny Rodgers in 1972.

Avello initially thought Smith would get drafted either at No. 11 or 12, and he wasn’t surprised that the Eagles, who had the 12th pick, vaulted the New York Giants at number 11 to get him. That also had a ripple effect throughout the draft.

Modest forecast for Wilson as Jets new QB

Wilson’s individual prop numbers convey caution

As PointsBet, he has an over-under of 22.5 passing touchdowns, a low number for the 17-game season. The under is -125, the over -105.

His yardage is over-under 3,800 at -115 on both sides.

How to compare?

Herbert, the top rookie last season, had a terrific opening season for the Los Angeles Chargers. He threw for 4,336 yards and 31 touchdowns, despite not being the opening-day starter.

Expectations are low for Wilson’s touchdown total, too.  It projects the Jets being patient with him, letting Wilson grow into the job and not have the same meteoric pressure that accompanied Sam Darnold, who is now with the Carolina Panthers.

But this being New York, hype is in the genes.

Bet MGM pegs Wilson’s yardage total at 3,874.5 with the over and under at -110.

It lists him for 20.5 touchdowns with the over -125 and under +105.

Here’s a great shopping opportunity. Go with BetMGM if you like the over and PointsBet for the under regarding touchdown totals.

 Giants rookie WR Toney has no pressure

BetMGM projects Toney with an over-under of 524.5 yards for the season. It’s -110 on either side.

Toney has an over-under of 3.5 touchdowns with the over -130 and the under +110.

This is an interesting prop. The Giants should have playmaker Saquon Barkley back from injury and will build its offense around him. The G-Men picked up Kenny Golladay from the Detroit Lions, a sharp move,  and they already have Darius Slayton, a breakaway threat.

Toney, who represents excellent value at No. 20, fills out a new-look Giants offense that looks capable of spreading the field. There won’t be much early pressure on Toney, but he may grow into the job.

Nick Foles: Birds bettors still see him in green

Of course, Nick Foles, the former Eagle and the MVP of the franchise’s lone Super Bowl championship, caught the effect of the Smith draft-night move. It caused the Giants to move down from 11 to 20 and the Bears to move up to 11 and draft Fields.

Uh-Oh, that’s one crowded area behind center and the subject of a DraftKings prop.

Who will be the Bears’ opening day quarterback?

Fields joins Foles and Andy Dalton, who was acquired in the off-season by the Bears.

Foles is the +900 longshot. Dalton, who moved over from the Dallas Cowboys is -167. But Fields enters the field as the +160, signaling an intense training camp.

The numbers say Dalton had the job and Foles would be the backup. A quarterback controversy involves two players. Now it’s three

Maybe the real prop is who gets disgruntled first, or whether all three will start a game next year.  Either way, it’s interesting.

The situation further underscores how Eagles GM Howie Roseman became the maestro of the draft.

With the 2021 NFL regular season still several months away, there is plenty of time to ponder the odds.

AP Photo/Jeff Haynes

NFL Draft Betting Season Is On The Clock

The first round of the 2021 NFL Draft is taking place in Cleveland and there are several ways NJ online sports bettors can place wagers.

Why wait to bet late on the 2021 NFL Draft taking place this week?

New Jersey online sports bettors may spread some bread earlier in the draft than where their favorite teams select players.

And the countdown to the April 29 event has now reached its final hours, and with the Philadelphia Eagles, New York Giants, and New York Jets not relevant from an early betting standpoint, Garden State gamblers may gamble deep into the first round.

It makes sense.

How does one bet on the Eagles picking at No. 12, the Giants at No. 11, and the Jets not yielding a real first-round wager? Their selection of quarterback Zach Wilson as the second pick is a foregone conclusion at major sportsbooks.

You already know the late-round scenario: after quarterbacks vanish early, the Eagles, Giants, and Dallas Cowboys, who own the 10th pick, will jockey for people like Patrick Surtain II, Micah Parsons, Rashawn Slater, or Christian Darrisaw.

Maybe celebrated receivers DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle fall this far. Maybe they don’t.

That’s the general overview.

From an NJ sports betting perspective, an updated look at the shifting DraftKings betting board may reveal an early and late-rounds betting strategy. That approach keeps the whole round interesting, and NJ online sportsbooks like DraftKings are putting more plays into the betting “offense” every day.

So now that we are days away from when the first pick is announced, there is an important question to ponder:

How will you wager on $100 on the 2021 NFL Draft?

Betting on who Jets take No. 2 overall will equal pocket change

Facetious, but how would Jets backers like to make $2?

Pop the whole hundred on Wilson of BYU to become a Jet and that’s the amount you can make.

Wilson is -50000 or 500-1 to be the second player taken according to Draft Kings, the biggest no-brainer besides the Jacksonville Jaguars taking Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence (-10000) at No. 1.

Take Wilson and pocket an early edge, if that can be said with a straight face.

Will top-three NFL Draft picks all be QBs?

Picks three through five will be where the money swirls. This is where it becomes gambling.

The San Francisco 49ers traded up to No. 3 with the Miami Dolphins. Conventional wisdom suggests they will select a quarterback.

Just two years after Jimmy Garoppolo was their Super Bowl quarterback, the Niners may look to replace him.

Mac Jones from Alabama fits the drop-back style the Niners like. The team’s run-first style will take the pressure off a rookie QB.

Here are some of the Monday morning favorites on DraftKings board as to who the Niners will take at No. 3:

  • Jones -225
  • Trey Lance  +175
  • Justin Fields +550
  • Kyle Pitts +3300

So besides Jones, Lance (North Dakota State) and Fields (Ohio State) are both QBs. Pitts is the talented tight end out of Florida.

The board says quarterback, no doubt about it. But which one?

There is no money in Jones. However, other NFL Draft prognosticators see Lance going third overall. If you agree, that’s a worthwhile pop, and best made before public attention drives odds down.

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Atlanta Falcons are on the clock

The Atlanta Falcons own the fourth pick, and this is where the real NFL Draft betting debate begins. It will require serious handicapping for the bettors.

Will the Falcons take a young quarterback or stick with veteran Matt Ryan?

If they go quarterback, Fields or Lance could still be there. Neither is better than Ryan now. But are the Falcons rebuilding?

This brings the first non-quarterback bet into play.

DraftKings nation has Pitts at +125 and taking 63% of the handle. He’s shot up several places in recent pre-draft thinking.

Penei Sewell of Oregon is about where he’s always been.  He’s +250, taking 20% of the handle.

A cross-reference of the DraftKings board provides another clue.  Pitts is -150 to go in the Top 5. Others in this category are:

  • LSU WR Ja’Marr Chase, -125
  • Sewell, +110
  • Lance, -167

The board suggests Pitts could go fourth, especially if one believes that the Cincinnati Bengals, picking fifth, won’t take a tight end.  The best value for Pitts, then, would be in the first non-quarterback category.

Bengals mostly likely going offensive line

Jets’ bettors, are you parlaying that $2 from Wilson?

The Bengals’ choice reflects the draft’s pragmatic seduction of NFL executives.

Sewell, a highly-acclaimed offensive lineman from Oregon, logically fits the Bengals. Their failure to protect quarterback Joe Burrow with a good line led to him missing the last six games of 2020.

Take Sewell, right?

But what if an explosive wide receiver like Chase of LSU, +220 at DraftKings for the first non-quarterback, is available?

This decision resembles placing a state-of-the-art heater in your home or buying a shiny new luxury car for your driveway. Nobody raves about infrastructure.

Sewell makes sense for Cincy, but making sense won’t make headlines.

You’re spending the fifth pick on a lineman? Really?

The DraftKings board underscores this debate. It shows the Bengals would make a stark decision between what they need and what they may want.

Sewell, Pitts, and Chase, priced relatively in the same even-money neighborhood for Top 4, present an interesting decision.

Giants’ bettors remember this scene.

The G-Men picked offensive lineman Andrew Thomas as the fourth pick in 2020. His performance was decent, but not worthy of that billing.

Picks 4 and 5 are the fulcrum of this draft regarding late rounds. Any surprises up top will impact who falls to the Cowboys, Giants, and Eagles.

Pulling the NFL Draft wagering trigger

The Dolphins may want a receiver to complement quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. Florida’s Pitts would be sensible, but the board suggests he won’t last until they pick.

The Detroit Lions, Carolina Panthers, and Denver Broncos follow. Hard to assess their needs.

And then comes the NFC East, boom, boom, boom with 10-12.

That is if the Cowboys, Giants, and Eagles bypass the trade scenario.

Save some for the end

Here’s one bet tailored toward the Giants and Eagles by DraftKings.

Who goes first, DeVonta Smith or Jaylen Waddle, both of Alabama?

Waddle is -137 and Smith +110, that’s an interesting twist. Smith is the Heisman Trophy winner. Isn’t he the goods? Maybe so, but right now he’s the underdog in this individual matchup.

Here’s another:

How many Alabama players will be taken in the first round? The over-under is 5.5 with the over at -200 and the under at +155 at DraftKings.

The board says that Jones, Waddle, Smith, and Surtain II are first-round locks. Najee Harris, who obtained significant 2021 media attention, is likely. That means center Landon Dickerson will likely decide the prop.

Some bets may not be visible at certain times as the book updates the lineup. Keep checking back.

AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King




What Will The New York Giants Do With The No. 11 Pick In The NFL Draft?

The NFL Draft is two weeks away, but from an NJ sports betting perspective, figuring out what the Giants will do is no easy task.

“What are you thinking G-Men? ”

This is what New York Giants faithful in the New Jersey online sportsbook community ask about the NFL Draft.

The Giants have the 11th pick, or, from a betting perspective, crapshoot heaven for the April 29 event.

Big Blue is one spot in front of the Philadelphia Eagles, keeping the NFC battles raging in the offseason. But neither team will select the big names and draft handicapping becomes complex.

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So is there a consensus with Giants’ pick?

DraftKings Sportsbook projects five quarterbacks to go in the first round and most of them early. This points the Giants in the direction of receiving threats Jaylen Waddle or Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith of Alabama.

Sprinkle in structural due diligence for tackle/guard Rashawn Slater of Northwestern and Christian Darrisaw of Virginia Tech on offense.

Consider cornerback Patrick Surtain of Alabama or linebacker Micah Parsons of Penn State on defense. That should cover it … maybe.

Anything goes at No. 11. Or No. 12 for that matter

“We believe a boatload of quarterbacks are going to go very early, but it’s not easy to line yourself up after that,” Johnny Avello, the director of race and sportsbook operations for DraftKings, told NJ Gambling Sites. “You still have to be concerned about a team changing draft positions and making some type of late deal so you never can be quite sure.

“Nailing that pick exactly? It’s really hard to narrow down. It’s like trying to hit a trifecta in a horse race, it’s very difficult.”

NFL Draft betting strategies

Bettors can address that difficulty with a two-prong approach regarding the Giants. One is specific player draft positions at William Hill close to the Giants’ draft position.

Surtain’s over-under spot is 10.5. He’s -125 for the over and -105 for the under. The Giants would be his first landing spot on the “over”.

Smith has been rumored to be all over the top 12 for the last month. William Hill gives him an over-under of 11.5, with the over at  +115 and the under at -145.

Parsons has an over-under of 11.5 with the over at -130 and the under at +100.

The board says the Giants will look closely at this group.

The second prong is a wide-net bet at DraftKings, concerning odds for which position the Giants will draft first. This is a good deal because a wager covers multiple possibilities for one position.

Here are the latest numbers:

  • Wide receiver +250
  • Offensive line +300
  • Linebacker +325
  • Defensive line +350
  • Cornerback +550
  • Quarterback +3300
  • Running back +6600

That brings fun to the handicapping process.

And here’s another: the total number of offensive players taken in the first round. The over-under is 18.5. Each side is -112. There is action, therefore, on every selection in the first round.

How do you navigate the big picture?

Let’s analyze the Giants and then connect that to draft hype.

Assessing the Giants team

The Giants won six games last year, after an 0-5 start.

They were the best team in the NFC East over the last 11 games and narrowly missed the playoffs. Their culture changed with new coach Joe Judge and they made noteworthy off-season strides.

The Giants added Kenny Golladay at receiver, providing another downfield threat alongside Darius Slayton.

They added two-time Pro Bowl tight end Kyle Rudolph.

The Giants look determined not to remain part of perhaps an unprecedented NFL statistic.

The Giants scored the fewest points in the NFC last year, 280.  The New York Jets tallied the fewest in the AFC, 243.  The teams share MetLife Stadium and thus one arena hosted the lowest-scoring team in each conference, the two lowest in all of football.

That’s practically impossible to do.

Where to improve?

The Giants averaged three sacks per game against them last year, second only to the Eagles, 4.1, as the worst performance. That gives the Slater or the Darrisaw argument more credence.

But the classic Super Bowl-winning teams Giants a defense-first presence. A nod for Surtain or Parsons. Maybe EDGE performers like Jaelen Phillips or Gregory Rousseau of Miami.

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Who will be there for Big Blue?

One William Hill bet indicates the range of opinions on picks anywhere from three on down.

Here’s what gamblers know: For the first time since 1999, quarterbacks are expected to be named as the first three picks.

Trever Lawrence of Clemson going to the Jacksonville Jaguars, boom. Zach Wilson of BYU to the Jets at number two, check please. (Unless bettors follow some New York tabloids, which makes a case for Justin Fields of Ohio State.)

Mac Jones of Alabama or perhaps Fields to the San Francisco 49ers, who traded up from 12 to three? Jones is -167 at DraftKings to be the third player taken.

Somewhere in this mix is quarterback Trey Lance of North Dakota State.

Quarterbacks will flood the board. But when will that stop?

This leads to the William Hill bet for the first non-quarterback taken.

Conventional wisdom indicates Oregon tackle Penei Sewell.  The Bengals with pick 5 need him as security for Joe Burrow, who tore an ACL in the midst of being sacked and was lost for the last six games of last season.

The Bengals were crucified by their fan base for not protecting Burrow, its new franchise player. The team must put muscle in front of him.

So, Sewell is the first non-QB right? Not according to the board. He’s +180 and Kyle Pitts, a heralded tight end from Florida Pitts zoomed to +140, the favorite in this bet

Don’t forget about Ja’ Marr Chase of LSU,  perhaps the best wide receiver in the group, at +250.

Somewhere in this process, a star player will unexpectedly fall a few spots and influence who the Giants look at.

If you think you are guessing, you’re not alone.

“We’re very happy when people make wagers now,” Avello said. “This is a tough proposition for the books to beat. As the draft gets closer, the information out there is going to get sharper.”

AP Photo/Jeff Haynes