Almost On The Clock: Philadelphia Eagles Will Use This Month’s NFL Draft To Address Many Needs

Here is a closer look at this year’s NFL Draft betting picture, including what the Philadelphia Eagles may do with the 12th overall pick. 

Psst. The NFL Draft is rapidly approaching. The first round is April 29, against the backdrop of a sweeping, industry-wide bonus.

Wagering on the draft kicks off a new, expanded season for NJ online sports bettors. The NFL launches a 17-game campaign by removing a preseason week and stretching the Super Bowl hoopla into mid-February. The Big Game will be Feb. 13, making the NFL longer and the winter shorter.

NJ online sportsbooks win and so doo bettors. And it starts soon.

Amid this euphoria, bettors hone their handicapping focus for the April 29 “season opener.”

The three-day event is taking place in Cleveland from April 29-May 1.

Here is a close look at this year’s NFL Draft betting picture, including what the Philadelphia Eagles may do with the 12th overall pick.

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NFL Draft first-round betting

DraftKings Sportsbook numbers suggest the first round will yield at least five quarterback and wide-receiver selections, along with four or five cornerbacks.

But who? And when?

The Philadelphia Eagles have dropped from the sixth spot to No. 12, but what does it mean regarding their first-round selection.

“We’ve been taking money all along, but it’s going to get very serious as we head toward that final week leading up to the draft,” Johnny Avello, the race and sportsbook director for DraftKings told NJ Gambling Sites.

“That’s also when you are going to see those mock drafts tighten up. They can afford to be looser right now, but that will change.”

Philadelphia Eagles already making headlines

The Birds have been re-configured at 6.5 wins on the over-under at DraftKings in the 17-game format.  The over is favored at -134. These numbers suggest a slight uptick from the 4 -11-1 campaign over 16 games last year but project a non-playoff team.

The Eagles also engaged in the biggest swap blockbuster of the draft.  They moved to 12th after waging an administrative flea-flicker with the Miami Dolphins and the San Francisco 49ers.

The play began with San Francisco trading up from 12 to 3 with Miami, feeding the perception that Niners quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has become unwelcome.

The deals profoundly impacted the overall third draft pick selection, making quarterbacks the focus.

Alabama quarterback Mac Jones suddenly shot to -200 as the first player to be taken with the third pick at DraftKings.  Justin Fields (Ohio State) at +250 and Trey Lance (North Dakota State) at +300 are viable, and well-priced.

These quarterbacks emerged on the board because the Dolphins, who had no intention of drafting one due to their commitment to Tua Tagovailoa, opened the door for a team that may want one.

Miami could fill other needs at a lower draft spot and collect more draft picks.  So, they did that with the 49ers deal and then used some excess picks to trade with the Eagles.

That’s where the big play came to involve the Birds.

Here’s the swap:

Analyzing the Eagles-Dolphins deal

The Dolphins remain in a position to draft a star receiver for Tagovailoa. That list includes LSU’s Ja’Marr Chase, Florida tight end Kyle Pitts, Alabama’s DeVonta Smith or Jaylen Waddle.

The Eagles moved down six spots in the first round, moved up 33 spots on Day 3, and picked up Miami’s first-round pick next year.

That could become the best part of the strategy.  Multiple first-round picks are an excellent way to build a team or gain leverage in pursuit of a star.

Getting a first-rounder next year becomes partial compensation for the Eagles failing to pry a first-round pick from the Indianapolis Colts in the recent Carson Wentz trade.

The move down, in exchange for picks, was an excellent one if the Eagles address a core need  — the offensive line.

Rashawn Slater of Northwestern, would plug a big hole at offensive guard or tackle with his 6-foot-4, 304-pound frame. You build a house with infrastructure, and you build an offense around good protection.

The Eagles surrendered the most sacks in the NFL last year, more than four per game, and Wentz threw the most interceptions.

Part of this decision could rest on whether the Eagles want Jalen Hurts to reduce his scrambling and perfect the pocket.

Christian Darrisaw of Virginia Tech is another strong consideration. One or both of these players is going to be available at No. 12.

I think this is the spot they should fill.

The 2020 Tampa Bay Bucs are the perfect example of how this is a great spot. They had the No. 13 pick last year  and selected Tristan Wirfs to protect Tom Brady. They won a Super Bowl and Wirfs played a part

Other NFL Draft prospects  who will be mentioned

Would Heisman Trophy-winning receiver DeVonta Smith fall this far?

There may be some reluctance for teams to grab Smith, who could be considered frail at 170 pounds. If you like the explosiveness angle, he could be reminiscent of a Tyreek Hill.

Jaycee Horn, a cornerback from South Carolina, would fill yet another hole in the defense.

New York Jets follow Eagles path

Just as the Eagles peddled Wentz, the Jets recently sent Sam Darnold, their first pick and third overall selection in 2018, to the Carolina Panthers for picks, picks, picks.

The move officially anointed the Zach Wilson era. The Jets will take him with the second selection.

Darnold yielded the Jets three picks: a sixth-rounder this year, and a second-rounder and fourth-rounder in 2022.

The Jets’ makeover included allowing Darnold’s backup Joe Flacco to sign with the Eagles as a backup to Hurts.

NFL Draft wagering nugget

It’s hard to find value with obvious picks. But a borderline consideration is Penei Sewell, the top offensive lineman who will be drafted.

DraftKings lists him at -143 for a Top 5 selection. Iffy on the odds, but he is practically cemented to No. 5 for the Cincinnati Bengals, who must protect their future, quarterback Joe Burrow. The top pick in last year’s draft played as advertised until being injured while sacked and he missed the last six games.

Some bettors will take the -150 and slam it. Others will shop for a better price. In either case, keep it on your radar.

AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

NJ Bettors Can Still Wager On Carson Wentz Even Though He Is Playing For The Colts

Following his trade to the Indianapolis Colts, Carson Wentz is one of the biggest movers on the NFL MVP board at New Jersey sportsbooks.

Smile, Philadelphia Eagles fans. Carson Wentz is gone from the team but he is not forgotten in financial circles.

Here are some ways to stay linked with him.

You could bid on his $1.7 million home for sale in Woodstown.

Of course, even though he left town, there are still several NJ sports betting angles in play, including Wentz futures.

DraftKings Sportsbook recently posted team futures and individual MVP odds for the 2021 season, tossing some excitement into the period between now and the April 29  NFL Draft.

After the trade that brought him from the Eagles to the Indianapolis Colts, Wentz was one of the biggest movers on the MVP board. He went from +4000 to +3300 at DraftKings, a significant change.

Oddsmakers expect him to enjoy the new scenery. Numbers predict Wentz and the Colts will outperform Jalen Hurts, whom he was benched for late in the Eagles’ 4-11-1 campaign, at a reasonable price.

Wentz lands with an 11-5 team that made the playoffs last season and lost quarterback Phillip Rivers to retirement.

Here is a closer look at ways to wager on Wentz.

Team futures: Colts odds to win AFC South

FanDuel Sportsbook has an attractive price on the Colts, at +110, to win the AFC South.

This is really a bet on Indianapolis versus the Tennessee Titans (+115), at fair odds. The Jacksonville Jaguars (+1000) and Houston Texans (+1300) will likely just fill out the division field.

Indy being the early favorite confirms the oddsmakers’ faith in Wentz.

While the Colts are expected to win their division, the Eagles are not. They’re projected +500, last place in the NFC East, according to FanDuel.

The Colts are also +2300 to win the Super Bowl. The Eagles are +8000, the same number as the New York Jets.

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Looking at Carson Wentz MVP odds

Wentz’ +3300 at DraftKings is not bad. Wentz has a good team around him now. While he threw an NFL worst 15 picks last season (along with Drew Lock of the Denver Broncos) that’s apparently water under the sports betting bridge.

Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs is tops on the DraftKings’ board at +600. And Aaron Rodgers, the 2020 winner,  from the Green Bay Packers, is a close second at +800.

Here are some of the second-tier names:

  • Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills at +1300
  • Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, +1600
  • Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens, +1600
  • Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys, +1600
  • Matthew Stafford,  Los Angeles Rams, +1600.

Keep in mind that Prescott will be returning from a serious ankle injury.

And Stafford has issues staying healthy, too.

Carson Wentz vs. Baker Mayfield

Sure, Wentz is further down the list, but also consider that he is ahead of some quarterbacks coming off much better seasons.

Baker Mayfield is coming off an excellent season with the Cleveland Browns. He led them to the playoffs and within a heartbeat of the AFC title game.

Mayfield (+4000) threw 26 touchdowns against only eight interceptions. His numbers would be higher, but Cleveland had the league’s best rushing tandem of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt.

Wentz finished the season on the bench, yet he has a higher MVP chance than Mayfield, on a playoff team.

This is an excellent value if nothing else.

What about these quarterbacks?

So who else is behind Wentz?

Derek Carr of the Las Vegas Raiders, who is brittle and getting long in the tooth, is +5000.

Same odds for Kirk Cousins of the Minnesota Vikings. He could be classified as a  perennial underachiever.

Then there is Joe Burrow (also +5000). The Cincinnati Bengals rookie phenom and 2020 No. 1 overall pick missed the final six games of last season.

And how unusual is the Wentz-Jalen Hurts symmetry?

Wentz was traded because the Eagles believe Hurts has more value. But the oddsmakers have not seen that memo. They list Hurts at +6600, exactly double the odds of Wentz winning an MVP.

Much of it has to do with the supporting cast, of course.  However,  the player the Eagles benched and traded has higher 2021 expectations than the quarterback who stayed.

Toward the bottom of the pack is Matt Ryan of the Atlanta Falcons, +8000.

Pittsburgh Steeler Ben Roethlisberger, the subject of retirement rumors, is +10000. So is Jimmy Garoppolo, the QB of the San Francisco 49ers, and Daniel Jones, the quarterback for the New York Giants team that finished ahead of the Eagles last year.

Drew Brees has retired.

All told, there are some pretty good quarterbacks with longer betting odds than Wentz.

You can’t expect him to win this, but the odds project optimism on some other Wentz bets.

More Carson Wentz odds to come

Later on, the books will post Indianapolis’ projected total and passing statistics for Wentz.

Indianapolis head coach Frank Reich worked magic with the interception-prone Phillip Rivers last year. Given a solid running game and good protection, Rivers threw for 4,169 yards and hurled 24 touchdowns versus only 11 interceptions.

Wentz can hit those numbers and maybe more.  But his yardage prop, slightly more than 3,600 yards last year, could settle at less than Rivers’ total because Wentz had a statistically down year.

If Wentz throws two touchdown passes a game, he’s at 32 for the season.  But that prop might be listed in the mid-20s, given what Rivers did. See if that edge materializes when odds get posted.

Of course, there is an intangible to consider here as Wentz is reuniting with Reich, the head coach of the Colts.

Reich was the Eagles’ offensive coordinator when Wentz enjoyed his best season, 2017. But an injury late in the year curtailed his budding MVP season. His mobility took a big hit but Wentz can scramble a little better than Rivers now.

Reich reiterated this week that Wentz retains top-level tools. He also cites 2019, in which Wentz led the Eagles to four-straight wins and a playoff berth, as proof of the quarterback’s leadership skills.

The Colts will help by asking him to manage games, not try to win them himself.

It’s not easy for many Eagles fans to see Wentz in a new place.

But bettors don’t have to say goodbye. They can simply say “Hello” to the next wager.

AP Photo/Derik Hamilton

NFL Draft Betting Question: Who Will The Eagles Select With The No. 6 Pick?

The Philadelphia Eagles could use their first pick in the NFL Draft on a quarterback. You can bet on who it will be at NJ online sportsbooks

The 2021 NFL Draft is fast approaching.

NFL Draft odds are already up across major New Jersey online sportsbooks, including DraftKings and William Hill, for the April 29 event.

And expect the rumors of what the Philadelphia Eagles will do with the sixth pick are going to swirl between now and the draft. Will they select a quarterback, receiver, or tight end?

This is one of countless NJ sports betting scenarios that will be available for wagering.

Here is a closer look at ways to bet on this year’s NFL Draft.

NFL Draft 2021: First-round quarterbacks

As of now, DraftKings Sportsbook expects at least five quarterbacks to be taken in the first round.  The over 4.5 number is -670 while the under is +450.

And there is little doubt whose name will be called first. Clemenson’s Trevor Lawrence is expected to be the first quarterback taken off the board as the overwhelming odds are at -10000. In terms of going No. 1 overall to the Jacksonville Jaguars goes, those odds are -5000.

BYU quarterback  Zach Wilson has the next best odds at +1100.

Basically, the Jets’ odds of drafting Lawrence with the second pick are not looking very good.

Like other NFL Drafts, the wheeling and dealing will decide when other top QBs will go. Besides Wilson, here are some of the other big names available:

  • Justin Fields, Ohio State
  • Trey Lance, North Dakota State
  • Mac Jones,  Alabama (the defending national champion)

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Is there value with running backs and wide receivers?

On the DraftKings board, there is value in the first running back taken:

  • Travis Etienne, Clemson -121
  • Najee Harris, Alabama  +100
  • Javonte Williams, North Carolina +700

Same deal with the first wide receiver taken,

Ja’Marr Chase of LSU, who sat out the 2020 season, currently leads the pack at -167.

Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith of national champion Alabama is +140.

Jaylen Waddle of Alabama is +700

William Hill + individual matchups

William Hill has similar draft numbers and has put up some of the razzle-dazzle bettors love with individual matchups. Basically, this is a chance to wager on which player will be selected first.

Fields is coming off a season in which he led Ohio State to the national championship game, but ended up losing to Alabama. He is +360 to be taken ahead of Wilson, -440.

Fields (-600) is the favorite to get selected ahead of Lance (+450), too.

As the draft approaches, look for more of these wagers, including over/under on which rounds players are taken.

Who the Eagles will draft at No. 6?

It’s no secret the Philadelphia Eagles, coming off a 4-11-1 season, have a lot of needs to address. And if you look at any of the mock drafts out there, the selection varies.

One option is addressing the quarterback position, again, and taking Fields. With Carson Wentz recently being traded to Indianapolis, there are questions about whether or not Jalen Hurts is the Eagles quarterback of the future.

Wide receiver is even a bigger need, especially after cutting ties with veterans DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery. So going with Chase or Smith could make sense. But will the Eagles be willing to use a high first-round pick on a wide receiver? Last season they selected Jalen Reagor with the 21st overall pick.

Another option is tight end Kyle Pitts of Florida.

Looking at NFL Draft bets with value

For bettors, the value may lay near the bottom of the first round and in subsequent rounds, which are more difficult to handicap.

But to understand it all, here’s the first-round draft order:

The early consensus is the Jags will take Lawrence and the Jets will select Wilson with the first two picks.

What the Miami Dolphins will do with the No. 3 pick is more of a question mark at the moment. They could take Chase, Waddell, or trade down to No. 8 with the Carolina Panthers if the price is right. This would enable Carolina to take a QB, and that could mean Fields.

That would leave the Falcons with Lance, perhaps.

Cincinnati is projected to take top lineman Penei Sewell of Oregon to protect star quarterback Joe Burrow, who was injured last season after a sack. DraftKings has Powell at -1000 to be the first offensive linemen taken.

The Eagles could be selecting between Jones, Lance, or going a different way.

Either way, it will be a head-scratcher if they take a young QB in two successive drafts. Hurts was their second-round pick last year and the trade of Wentz is supposed to solidify him as the starter.

Eagles NFL Draft needs overview

The Eagles need to bolster their offensive line dramatically to protect whoever is under center.  They were the most-sacked team in the NFL last year, at 4.1 per game.

Trading a QB and then drafting one will hurt team chemistry.

When the Eagles recently dealt Wentz to the Indianapolis Colts, it was also announced as a fait accompli that the Eagles would select a QB with the first pick.

There’s no room for two young stars here.

And guess what happens when even top quarterbacks get pressured? They look average. Both Lawrence and Fields were outplayed by opposing quarterbacks in their final games

Fields was also hurt in his breakout game against Clemson because of a hit to his ribs. He did not look sharp in the national final against Alabama.

This is why you need a strong line.

As an NFL rookie, Burrow was the imminent savior he was projected to be for the Bengals through nine-and-a-half games. The top pick in the 2020 draft performed like a franchise player until being sacked, injured, and lost for the season with a torn ACL.

Burrow threw for more yards than Wentz and he missed nearly half the season. But the Bengals did not protect their investment, and Burrow’s career could be in jeopardy if he gets another serious injury.

Maybe go wide receiver or tight end?

If the Eagles don’t see a lineman they like, putting Smith or Chase alongside  Reagor in the lineup with Hurts would add an explosive speed element to the Eagles offense.

Smith’s 2019 teammates Henry Ruggs (Raiders) and Jerry Jeudy (Broncos) became immediate NFL impact players. Why wouldn’t he?

What about Pitts? Besides having hometown roots, he is a tight end with wideout speed. Four tight ends have been picked in the first round in the last 20 years.

Will Pitts be number five?

Previous number one draftees in this spot were good, but none panned out to first-round value. Think about Rob Gronkowski, Tony Gonzalez, Travis Kelce, and other elite tight ends. They were not taken in the opening round. And the Eagles already have a good tight end in Dallas Goedert.

But Pitts has both strength and deceptive speed. He’s viewed as the top tight end in college football.  And GM Howie Roseman graduated from Florida.  Lobbying, gentle or not,  plays into who gets picked.

The draft board tells you why the Eagles held out unsuccessfully for a first-round pick for Wentz. Picks help make teams avoid looking bad when they have to sell low. But the tactic can be expensive.

Indianapolis did not want to part with its 21st pick in exchange for Wentz. It meant that the Colts would not have gotten one of the top 50 players coming out of college, in exchange for an average quarterback. The Eagles, meanwhile, would have gotten three of the first 38.

The Colts refused to budge and lower-level picks were used to move Wentz.

It will be interesting to watch the board between now and the draft. NJ online sportsbooks are just getting warmed up with ways to bet on the 2021 NFL Draft.

AP Photo/Mark Humphrey


How Will Carson Wentz Trade Impact Eagles Odds Next Season?

The Philadelphia Eagles-Carson Wentz divorce became finalized Thursday, as they sent him to the Indianapolis Colts for two draft picks.

The Carson Wentz saga is over. It’s time to move on.

The Philadelphia Eagles-Carson Wentz divorce became finalized Thursday, when the Birds traded him to the Indianapolis Colts for a third-round pick in 2021 and a conditional second-rounder in 2022.

This gives Philadelphia a gracious exit from Wentz and gives Indy a hedge against Wentz flopping.

But what impact will this move have on he Eagles odds heading into the 2021 NFL regular season?

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Quiet reaction from NJ sportsbooks

There was a flicker, rather than a tremor across the major sportsbooks after the trade because it did not involve a big name.

But the deal at least caused some movement.

According to DraftKings Sportsbook, the Eagles  remained +6600 to win Super Bowl 56, +2800 to win the NFC. They did move from +350 to +400 to win the NFC East.

Interestingly, one could call the New York Giants, Washington Football Team and the Eagles Route 66. All are +6600 to win the big game. How close to the bottom rung are all these teams? The J-E-T-S are +8000.

With the trade, the Colts advanced to + 2200, a reasonable projection for a team that made the playoffs and nearly won its first game before losing to the Buffalo Bills 27-24. The Colts had nearly 500 yards of offense.

Wentz advanced from + 4000 to +3000 to take the MVP. Jalen Hurts, the Eagles’ official No.1 quarterback, for now, went from +10000 to +8000.

Translation: The Colts are a little better with Wentz than with nobody, in the wake of Phillip Rivers’ retirement.

Big Picture for Eagles and Carson Wentz

Like most failed marriages, this wasn’t a matter of who won or lost. It was a relief for both parties, Wentz and the Eagles,  to simply get out. More time together would have been mutually destructive.

The Wentz-Hurts quarterback controversy, along with the Eagles’ 1-7 home-stretch sputter, already cost Doug Pederson his coaching job.

Would next year be spoiled too? A fresh start was needed.

Colts waited the Eagles out

The Wentz negotiations became a poker game when reports surfaced of an imminent trade over the last couple of weeks. Even the books chimed in, placing the Chicago Bears as the top choice and Indianapolis a strong second. No other team was considered serious.

Indianapolis wisely avoided public comment when the Eagles sought a first-round draft pick for Wentz, much like ignoring a Texas Hold ‘Em player trying to buy the pot with pair of 3s.

The Colts had a better hand and quietly played this out to a fair conclusion. Wentz had a league-high 15 interceptions last year and a $10 million salary bonus due him in March. The Colts also figured the other possible suitor, the Bears, would drop out. And they did.

Advantage Indy.

Eagles and Colts get something

This trade created peace on one team, the Eagles, and enabled the Colts to take a shot on a one-time gem.

For Indy, the roll of the dice is getting Wentz back to his 2017 form, when he looked like an MVP.

That was before his spate of injuries from which he hasn’t recovered. Wentz has also been snakebit, suffering an injury against the Seattle Seahawks early in the 2020 playoff game.

Wentz is a shell of his top form now, but his dramatic 2020 regression can also be traced to a weak offensive line. If he responds to Indy head coach Frank Reich’s run-oriented structure that protects pocket passers, the trade could blossom for Indianapolis.

If it doesn’t, well, the Colts need a quarterback anyway because of Rivers’ retirement. They gambled on the retread they know rather than the NFL Draft class they don’t.

Rivers, like Wentz, had declined, but Reich coached a respectable season from him. And Wentz is much younger.

Another potential upside for Indy centers around the psyche of Wentz. He went from imminent MVP in 2017 to losing the job to Hurts late in the 2020 season. He can’t accept backup status. The change of scenery benefits him.

Moving forward without Carson Wentz

The Eagles will have to take the hit and move on from the league-record dead-cap hit of $33.8 million. There’s a lesson for the Eagles about over paying in long-term contracts.

Will they even learn it? Rumors have already surfaced that they may use  the  No.  6 overall draft pick to obtain another quarterback, as they lick their wounds from this fiasco.

Beefing up the offensive line is paramount, especially because the Eagles can’t protect who’s back there now.

Note that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers protected Tom Brady by selecting offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs as the 13th overall pick. The Bucs just won the Super Bowl.

The Cincinnati Bengals drafted Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Joe Burrow, but he didn’t have enough line help and was lost for the season with a mid-season injury after a sack.

The lack of line support jeopardized all the money paid to the rookie quarterback.

If the Eagles don’t learn from the Wentz saga, you’ll be hearing about the Justin Fields, Mac Jones, and Zach Wilson possibilities. Jones threw 5 touchdowns to lead Alabama over Fields’ Ohio State team in the national championship game.

Fields is a product of one great game, the championship semifinal against Clemson. He also resembles Hurts stylistically.

But if the New York Jets don’t take him with the second pick … you can hear those talk shows now. Remember, Fields took a big hit to the ribs in that Clemson game and was ineffective in the championship-game loss.

Will the Eagles chase a QB or protect what they have?

We can’t post odds on that, but stay tuned.

The next chapter for the Eagles begins now.

AP Photo/Derik Hamilton

What Are The Odds Of The Eagles Trading Carson Wentz?

NJ online sportsbooks are not offering odds yet regarding where Carson Wentz will play next season. For now, we look at the possibilities.

Watch, wait, and wager soon. The alliteration summarizes the Carson Wentz trade rumors for Philadelphia Eagles fans.

Media scribes rushed to announce they had exclusive news regarding Wentz’ next team. It’s coming any moment now.

So far, these rumors have yet to pan out.

Or one of the teams isn’t quite ready to pull the trigger.

Next NFL team Carson Wentz will take a snap

NJ online sportsboooks have been known to offer odds regarding players switching teams. This included being to bet on which team Tom Brady would sign with prior to the 2020 season.

New Jersey bettors are eager to tee off on this wager, but the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement has yet to authorized the bet’s posting as of early Thursday afternoon.

PointsBet Colorado, however, is offering odds regarding a potential Wentz trade. PointsBet told Play NJ they are awaiting feedback from regulators.

For reference, we’ll look at the PointsBet Colorado odds. It gives bettors a chance to handicap and possibly place a wager before the move or non-move becomes official.

Should the bet go on the board, it may not last long.  So be ready.

Here are the favorites:

But there are some interesting long shots on the board, too:

  • Carolina Panthers +1300
  • New England Patriots + 1800
  • New York Jets +2500

We all know how fun this is. Doug Pederson was the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles one day. The next day, he was a prop.

And he stayed that way, in the wager on the Jets’ coaching job, until Robert Saleh got it.

As the odds swirl, let ‘s examine some potential fits for Wentz.

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Why Wentz to Chicago makes sense

The Bears recently made John DeFilippo their “passing game coordinator.”

DeFilippo had earned a job as the Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator after spending two years molding Wentz into the MVP candidate he was in 2017.

Can DeFilippo re-connect with Wentz?

The announcement of DeFilippo triggered the betting odds, like a stock-market rumor that drives the price up.

Bettors can relate. This resembled a big bettor plunking a big wager on Chicago.

Score one for the Bears.

And maybe the only one.

Why Chicago doesn’t make sense

The Bears have Mitchell Trubisky and Nick Foles in the quarterback spot. Trubisky is a looming free agent, and that situation must be addressed before a decision on Wentz can be finalized.

It’s hard to see Wentz as an upgrade from the Bears.  The 2017 Wentz would be. But the 2020 version would not.

Look at these 2020 numbers:

  • Trubisky, 16 touchdowns and eight  interceptions
  • Foles, 10 touchdowns versus eight interceptions.
  • Combined,  that’s 26 touchdowns and 16 interceptions

Pretty good.

Wentz had 16 touchdowns and 15 picks. Not awful, but not Trubisky and Foles. Wentz was also near the bottom of the league in quarterback rating.

Wentz had 2,620 passing yards. Joe Burrow, the rookie phenom of the Cincinnati Bengals, had 2,688 yards. He got more yardage than Wentz, and missed six games.

Trubisky and Foles combined for nearly 4,000 yards.

The Bears may like Wentz, but they don’t need him.

This is the problem teams eventually come to with Wentz.  He has not been the same since the horrific 2017 knee injury. Take a flier on him sure, but give up draft picks, as the Eagles want?

Proponents of the trade see Wentz as he was.

Teams who might trade for him must see Wentz as he is.

A negative for the Eagles in a Bears deal is the possibility that Foles winds up back in Philadelphia, replacing the Wentz-Jalen Hurts QB controversy with Foles-Hurts.

Sure, it’s fine to think that Foles would accept the role of mentor, but he left Philadelphia because this was Wentz’ team.

Foles led the Birds to their only Super Bowl title. He’s Philly Philly. Does he want to be a backup?

Finally, the Bears have little salary cap room left. They would have to cut players to accommodate Wentz. That’s a big ask.

Why the Indianapolis Colts are a fit for Wentz

This one is stronger.

The Colts really do need a quarterback, given the Phillip Rivers retirement.

Coach Frank Reich did a marvelous job with the Eagles offense during the Super Bowl year. He’s an excellent innovator, a calming influence and, like Wentz, has played the position.

The Colts have more salary cap space and, unlike the Eagles, have a good offensive line and a commitment to the running game. Indy secured nearly 500 yards in its just-miss playoff setback to the Buffalo Bills.

Indianapolis is a sound offensive team, an AFC team with an NFC run-first structure.

Reich got the most out of Rivers. His running attack would take pressure off Wentz and this team uses its receivers on pass routes pretty effectively.

Wentz fits here, but Indy does not have to buy high

Long shots to land the Eagles QB

The bet went up in Colorado.

Does that mean insiders think the Denver Broncos are in this party?

They have Drew Lock.  Wentz is redundant for them. Literally. Both QBs had 16 touchdowns and 15 picks last year.

The Carolina Panthers. They are not listed in likely trade destinations, but this fits better than what meets the eye. The Panthers really have been decimated at quarterback and Wentz would be a step up.

What about the New England Patriots?

They should have done better with Cam Newton. Wentz would be a step up from that, but no running backs, no receivers? No fit.

Then there is the Las Vegas Raiders.

Wentz and his pocket-first tendencies match the Raiders’ style of play. This is a team with explosive backfield and receiving talent. Current QB Derek Carr is looking brittle. Wentz could be a younger model on a team that’s exciting to watch.

There has been little talk of this, but Wentz would do well here.

Other wild cards

We hear of the San Francisco 49ers, the Houston Texans are among the  other team that called the Eagles, but here’s a poignant reality.

The Eagles are not in a strong position. Wentz has an abundant contract teams will not be eager to absorb. And Wentz, right now, is a mediocre quarterback.

Summing up the Wentz trade picture

What will make the trade happen?

One of the NFL teams will say “this is all you’re getting.”And the Eagles will stop pretending they have a Bentley and trade with the team who views him as a Lexus.

Some teams, notably the Bears, have reported being impatient over the state of the talks. This could mean they think the Eagles are shopping the Bears’ offer. That could take them out of the mix or force quick progress.

Don’t be surprised if the Eagles took a trial balloon on the market to appease Wentz in case they keep him. Don’t be surprised wherever he goes, or whether he stays.

Just be ready with your hunch.

AP Photo/Laurence Kesterson


How Super Bowl Wagering Kept Bettors Tuned In Until The End

Thanks to NJ sports betting, gamblers stayed interested in a Super Bowl that the TV audience would have otherwise fled in the second half.

NJ Sports betting rescued a non-compelling Super Bowl 55.

Gamblers preserved interest in a game the national television audience would have otherwise fled midway through the third period. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 31-9 drubbing of the Kansas City Chiefs had drama until the final snap, for bettors only.

New Jersey sports bettors wagered a whopping $117.4 million on the game according to the Division of Gaming Enforcement.

No riveting game, no problem.

Here’s a recap of the eye-openers.

William Hill, Chiefs struggle, bettors rejoice

The Chiefs to score exactly nine points was +15000 or 150 to 1 at William Hill NJ.

The bet survived two fourth quarter red-zone trips. Fortunately for this bettor, Kansas City had to decline easy field goals and pursue touchdowns.

An end zone pick with under two minutes remaining sealed the deal. An astonishingly gutsy, and effective selection. The Chiefs had 38 points in the AFC championship game.

Nine here?

What a call.

By extension, the explosive Chiefs were +6000, or 60-1, to obtain zero touchdowns. This game had an over-under of 56.5. Yes, some end-zone tosses in the fourth quarter had to be sweated out, but this also was wagering genius

Patrick Mahomes not to throw a touchdown was +1500. This was an extraordinarily bold bet, considering Mahomes still had minus numbers to throw three touchdown passes.


A great wager. And some New Jersey bettors, according to the books, plunked $1,000 on this long shot.

The exact margin of victory for the Bucs, in the 19 to 24-point range, paid a handsome +2500.This is an extremely difficult margin to hit, even in a high-scoring affair. Accomplishing it with the winning team collecting 31 points was remarkable.

The Bucs to score exactly 31 points returned +1400. A little more realistic in that the Bucs have been coming in right around the 30 number for the last several weeks:

  • 31 against the Washington Football team
  • 30 versus the Orleans Saints,
  • 31 against the Green Bay Packers

And now this. Nonetheless, hitting an exact point total should pay well and it did

Tampa Bay tight end Rob Gronkowski’s first touchdown paid out $3.1 million to customers that selected the Tight End in the First TD Scorer market and another $650k for his second score.

Gronk, the human cash register.

DraftKings and Mattress Mack

When it comes to major sporting events, Mattress Mack is usually there to make the highest profile wager.

And Super Bowl 55 was no exception. The bet was $3.46 million on the Bucs at +3.5 after. He flew from Houston to Colorado this time around to place his bet with DraftKings Sportsbook

But New Jersey gamblers bet their own millions at DraftKings.

And they didn’t have to travel like Mack. (By the way, this is the same Mattress Mack who placed $1.5 million at FanDuel Sportsbook  in NJ for the Houston Astros to win the 2019 World Series.)

All the bettors had to do was use their apps. And they cashed in here, like he did.

Gronkowski to be the first TD scorer was as high as +1800 during the week and he corralled 5% of the market.

Did anyone anticipate a scoreless quarter from these offensive juggernauts? The fourth-quarter goosegg paid +500.

The underdog “no” prevailed on the prop of any team obtaining three uninterrupted scores. It paid + 170.

And how about some of the props showing great handicapping by the handicappers?

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Check these whisker-close Super Bowl props

DraftKings listed 10:14:59 p.m.  as the over-under for the final play. The game was scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m. It started late.

And like any NFL game, these factors seem to favor the over.

  • A booth review on a potential touchdown,
  • A long halftime show
  • Several clock stoppages in the last three minutes

However, over bettors did not cash out.

Super Bowl 55 ended just after 10:13 p.m., a narrow win for the under.

Did the “over” choke?

“Over” bettors can find 90 seconds somewhere that would have made the difference. Just one skirmish, another booth review.

And on a side note, The DraftKings’ Fat Man prop for an offensive lineman to score at + 2000 had a chance, but for an incomplete second-quarter pass into the end zone.

Overlooked Super Bowl betting implications

Forgotten Fact 1:  The Chiefs outgained the Bucs 350-340 in total yards despite being outplayed. If you took that bet, you remember it.

Forgotten Fact 2: Big effect from one play.

Kansas City stuffing Leonard Fournette on 4th-and-goal denied more than a 5-1 prop from around the books for a score on fourth down.

It changed Super Bowl squares for the second quarter and the game, Tampa Bay’s final total and the bucket of bucks for any prop involving two Fournette scores.

FanDuel paid out millions

FanDuel Sportsbook sent out a Super Bowl betting recap following the game.

The night started with $1.7 million paid to bettors of heads for the coin toss.

New customers also earned $17 million via the book’s 55-1 offer.  The Tampa win and cover of +3- paid more than $27 million in pre-match betting on the core spread and moneyline markets.

Some gamblers didn’t rely on props. They went big with the classic wagers.

One New Jersey bettor took $115,000 on the Bucs at +3.5 and at -125.

As for Prop Mania, one customer bet $892.80 on Gronkowski to score two touchdowns. The odds were +1400. The payout was $13,392.

Here’s a rarity.

We mentioned the bet of the Chiefs scoring no touchdowns. Some people hit, but it seemed crazy to take. So crazy that FanDuel reported nobody (as in any of the 12  markets it operates in) bet the under on Kansas City total touchdowns. Never mind zero.

This means every bettor in FanDuel’s 12 states expected Kansas City to at least score a couple of TDs.

Hey, you can fool all of the people some of the time.

AP Photo/Ashley Landis