On Sunday night, DraftKings had yet to post any Week 3 totals, but by Monday morning, the lines had been posted.
However, the first thing that stood out on the chart on Monday was that DraftKings and William Hill did not have opening odds posted for the Pittsburgh Steelers at San Fransisco 49ers or the New Orleans Saints at Seattle Seahawks games. FanDuel only had the spreads on board.
And there’s a good reason for that.
The Steelers fell to 0-2 Sunday losing 28-26 to the Seahawks. Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger injured his right elbow in the first half and didn’t play in the second. He underwent an MRI to assess the damage.
The Steelers are not the same team without their legendary QB. So, it should be no surprise that the surprising 2-0 49ers are big home favorites.
In the meantime, the Saints dropped to 1-1 and star quarterback Drew Breesinjured his hand in a 27-9 loss to the LA Rams on Sunday. He is expected to miss six weeks of the season.
The Saints were probably always going to be an underdog on the road against a 2-0 Seattle team. Oddsmakers were just waiting to see how much of a dog they’ll be now that Brees is out. The answer to that is only a slight underdog.
Another note in the injury column is QBCam Newton of the Carolina Panthers. His status for the Week 3 game against Arizona is up in the air.
The lines for that game are off the board at DraftKings and William Hill while the operators wait for more information.
The brand is wasting little time trying to magnify its presence.
Today, the company announced via a press release that it has inked a “significant, multi-year sponsorship deal” with the NHL’s New Jersey Devils.
The partnership includes former goalie and hockey Hall of Famer Martin Brodeur serving as Unibet’s brand ambassador.
Besides having a 21-year career, he holds the record for most career wins in the sport.
It seems the former All-Star and Olympian is quickly adjusting to his new role.
“New Jersey Devils fans are some of the most passionate and educated hockey fans in the world,” said Brodeur. “The sportsbook app developed by Unibet offers dedicated Devils fans a really special, new way to engage with the game they love.”
As part of the sponsorship deal, Unibet will receive significant in-arena and digital presence inside of the Prudential Center.
Plus, Unibet customers can expect to enjoy “unmatched experiences and hospitality.”
Unibet + international experience
Unibet partnering with some of the “world’s most renowned” professional sports teams and athletes is far from a new concept.
Operating under the Kindred Group umbrella, Unibet is one of the largest online gambling brands worldwide. And as a well-known international brand, Unibet Sportsbook has other sports partnerships in the books.
So, while the name is new to NJ sports betting customers, Unibet arrives with 20-plus years in the European and Australian markets.
Some of the other athletes and teams include:
Ultimate Fighting Championship
Paris Saint-Germain F.C.
New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist
The partnership with the Devils, however, is Unibet’s “first significant investment” in the US market.
Arnas Janickas, head of US marketing at Unibet, said the company is “incredibly excited over our partnership with New Jersey’s beloved Devils.”
This is FanDuel Sportsbook country; however, there is plenty of NJ sports betting turf to share.
Adam Davis, chief revenue officer for Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment (owner of the Devils), said, “It was natural to partner with a sportsbook with a reputation as a trusted leader in the European and international sports betting ecosystem.”
“We look forward to connecting this esteemed international sportsbook with the passionate fans of New Jersey, providing one more avenue through which Devils fans can engage and with the most exciting team in the NHL this year.”
Plus, selecting Devils’ legend Brodeur as an ambassador for Unibet sportsbook is “an indication of their marketing savvy” and “awareness of the New Jersey sports market.”
For Week 2 of NFL season, we take a closer look at PointsBet, BetMGM and the newcomer theScore Bet and what NJ online sportsbook specials they have on tap.
It was great to see the NFL back and in full force last weekend.
As always, reflecting on the results yields questions that may not be resolved in Week 2 if not much later in the season.
In any case, here are some of my top-line thoughts:
Are the Patriots this good?
Are the Dolphins this bad?
Who are the ClevelandBrowns?
Is ToddGurley 100%?
Why were the Texans playing a “Prevent Defense” up 1 point with 40 seconds left to play?
As we dive into Week 2, it’s always important to not overreact to what happened during Week 1.
That’s the puzzle within sports betting to determine the myths versus reality. Forming an opinion on a game, a team, or a trend based on doing your homework is essential and placing and cashing a wager on your homework is a great feeling.
For all in NewJersey, there’s plenty of betting hub options.
Several NJ sportsbooks raced to refresh their apps before the start of the NFL season, including BetMGM, Borgata, and WilliamHill.
In fact, there are enough apps for a New Jersey bettor to use a different one each week of the NFL regular season.
As I will do each week, this column will highlight up to three New Jersey sportsbooks and take a closer look at the promos, props, and specials that you should be aware of heading into the weekend’s football action.
For Week 2, I am looking at PointsBet, BetMGM, and theScore Bet.
Plenty of options at PointsBet
PointsBet made headlines Week 1 when a bettor used the points betting option to accrue cash as the BaltimoreRavens crushed the Dolphins, to the tune of $600,000.
I will spare you a long dissertation of explaining howpointsbettingworks here, so we will focus on the “standard” NFL betting opportunities that are available on PointsBet NJ sportsbook.
First off, PointsBet offers a cool promo rewarding bettors whose team scores first in Thursday’s or Monday’s games:
Looking locally, PointsBet is offering local promos for the Jets, Giants, and Eagles games with a $6 bonus for every touchdown scored:
Each week, PointsBet offers customized team parlays with corresponding odds boosts:
In addition to the team parlays offered above, there are also some customized player props available:
Keep in mind that you can also tweet to @PointsBetUSA to suggest ideas for any props that aren’t available.
In addition to the wide range of promos and props, PointsBet offers 70+ bet types on NFL game lines and totals:
In addition to these traditional baseline bets, PointsBet also offers wagers on areas, such as:
Quarterback completion percentage.
Player rushing yards and player receiving yards.
Time of first touchdown (in seconds).
All things considered, there’s a ton of action for you to choose from on PointsBet.
What can BetMGM do for you in Week 2?
Prior to Week 1 of the NFL season, MGM rebranded its app … and gave it a new look and platform upgrade. BetMGM includes “NJ” as part of the branding refresh.
All season long, BetMGM is offering a Bet $10, Get $10promotion in which the bettor will get a $10 free bet for any upcoming game on the schedule:
But I think the real headline with BetMGM NJ is its “Edit My Bet” feature that allows you to change any straight or parlay bet that has the cash-out option available.
For example, if you are hyped about how your team played in the first quarter, this BetMGM feature allows you to increase your bet size during the action.
Here’s more direct from the app:
And speaking of parlays, BetMGM offers some pre-set “geographic” team double parlays for this week:
There are times, however, where BetMGM has a lapse that reminds us that they aren’t always up to 2019 standards.
Case in point: Below is a listed prop for this weekend’s Buffalo Bills–NYGiants game. The sides are inexplicably listed as Team 1 and Team 2.
Overall, there are some nice adds to the MGM offering, specifically the “Edit a Bet” feature. That said, there are always more opportunities to improve and add the scale and depth of props and promos.
How to score with TheScore sportsbook
TheScore Bet app launched just before Week 1 of the NFL kicked off.
It is a Canada-based sports information app that has a sleek, user-friendly design. Its sports betting app in New Jersey is a mirror image in format and design.
TheScore offers subscribers the opportunity to seamlessly switch from the news and information app to the betting app.
For example, let’s say you’ve just read the news on theScore that SamDarnold is out on Monday night versus the Cleveland Browns. So, you could then quickly click on theScore Bet icon embedded in the Browns-Jets game details to make a wager on the game:
In terms of promotions, theScore Bet is offering an NFL promotion this week, awarding a $20 bet for anyone that bets a four-plus leg parlay:
With a news and information hub as a backdrop, theScore sportsbook app delivers up-to-date stats and game information to help further educate the bettor.
An example below as it relates to injuries for Sunday night’s Eagles-Falcons game:
There is also a very handy stat-line statistical comparison of key offensive and defensive match-up categories:
With all this great news and statistical information as a base, theScore Bet does fall a bit flat on its menu of current NFL betting options.
For example, the list of available wagering options for Thursday’s Panthers-Buccaneers is extremely slim.
Here is a “First Score Will Be” prop:
Also, if you are looking ahead to Sunday’s games and specifically the Giants-Bills game, as of midday Thursday, no props had yet to be posted.
TheScore needs to do better than this:
Right now, theScore sportsbook is an excellent resource for pregamenews, stats and information.
The options on the betting side of the equation right now are the equivalent of a “3 and Out” in NFL offensive parlance.
Other NJ sports betting promos of note
One other notable NFL promotion available this week is from DraftKings called the “Overreaction Redo” where DraftKings will provide up to a $25 free bet for any futures bet placed this week.
It requires an “opt-in” with details below:
In looking ahead to the local NY and PA teams, here are the current Week 2 lines as of Thursday via PointsBet:
Giants +1.5 (-105) vs. Bills, a total of 43.5
Eagles -1.5 (-110) vs. Falcons, a total of 52.5
Jets (with Darnold out) +6.5 (-110) vs. Browns, a total of 43.
To wrap up each column, I will be making three NFL picks.
Last week, after making my first three picks, I was quite content to finish at 2-1 as the Ravens and Vikings games were essentially over by halftime.
My third pick, the Redskins, were getting 10 points in Philly. The ‘skins raced to a 20-7 lead at halftime, only to be outscored 25-0 by the Eagles in the second half.
Cue a CaseKeenum touchdown pass with 0:12 left in the fourth quarter that delivered the classic “back-door cover” for me:
Last week: 3-0; season year to date: 3-0
Redskins: +10 over Eagles (Eagles 32-Redskins 27)
Viking: -4 over Falcons (Viking 28-Falcons 12)
Raven: -6.5 over Dolphins (Ravens 59-Dolphins 10)
NFL Week 2 picks
Eagles at Falcons total points 52.5, under
Over the last five head-to-head meetings, the Eagles-Falcons have combined to score 50 points only once: a 26-24 Falcons win in Atlanta in 2015, with the previous three meetings yielding totals of 30, 25, and 39.
Texans -9 over Jaguars
The Texans play their home opener after suffering an excruciating last-second loss in NewOrleans on Monday night.
They need to bounce back quickly and avoid an 0-2 start by beating the Jaguars who will now have to start rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew II with Philly legend NickFoles out indefinitely with a broken collarbone.
Steelers -4 over Seahawks
The Steelers offense could not have looked any more inept last Sunday night, putting up a measly 3 points at NewEngland.
The play is that they will rebound in this spot versus a Seahawk team that’s not as formidable away from their home field of screaming “12s.”
TheScore Bet, via Monmouth Park, also went live two days before the first NFL game of the regular season.
Plus, the rebranded Fox Bet (formerly BetStars NJ) and BetMGM apps are technically new to the market if only by name.
September may provide the first glimpse of whether or not these apps will take a bite out of the FanDuel/DraftKings pie. But we also may not see any true change in the status quo until further into the football season.
On the retail side, The Book at Bally’s had its grand-opening celebrationon Sunday. At more than 15,000 square feet, it’s by far the biggest in AC.
Combine all these factors together, and New Jersey is showing it has what it takes to keep up with Nevada.
Unibet Sportsbook started taking bets on Tuesday, Sept. 10. With Hard Rock Atlantic City as its land-based partner and Kambi as its sportsbook supplier, Unibet joins the market as the 17th online sports betting site in New Jersey.
The NJ online sportsbook launch comes three months after Kindred Group launched its Unibet online casino offering in NJ.
The two are now part of an integrated online casino and sportsbook site available exclusively in New Jersey.
First of all, if you already have a Unibet Casino account, you don’t have to re-register for the sportsbook. Since the two share a wallet, you can easily jump from slots to sports without switching user names.
The launch of Unibet sports betting also comes just in time for the start of the NFL season. Week 2 NFL markets are already open on the site.
The NJ sports betting product is the first US online sports betting offering being launched under the Unibet brand.
Kindred Group says its launch will trigger the start of a significant marketing push.
Wait, is there an app for that?
Yes and yes.
Whether you use Apple or Android mobile devices, Unibet has you covered. To download the iOS app, you only need to visit the App Store.
The marketing push will focus on the busiest time of the year in sports betting. The NFL just kicked off and the MLB playoffs start next month.
Plus, the start of the NBA and NHL seasons are right around the corner.
Kindred US SVP Manuel Stan said it is an exciting time for the company in NJ:
“We are very excited to launch our first sportsbook in the US and being able to give our customers in New Jersey a first-class sports betting experience. To be able to do this in partnership with a brand as strong as Hard Rock Hotel & Casino who share our vision to be a leader in the US market is a great feeling.”
Stan also said the company is pleased to extend its 22-year partnership with Kambi:
“We have been preparing very thoroughly for this moment for a long time and are ready and excited to become a part of what most likely will become the largest betting market in the world.”
Use our links to sign up for a Unibet Sportsbook account and claim your free $20
What’s next for Unibet? Pennsylvania
Next up for the company is a move into neighboring Pennsylvania in the coming months. There, it has plans to operate various online gambling products through a partnership with the Mohegan Sun Pocono land-based casino.
The exact timeline for that launch is an unknown, so for now, the place to play at Unibet Sportsbook is in New Jersey.
Kindred Group was once known solely as Unibet. But shareholders agreed to change the company name to Kindred Group in December 2016.
The company has since reserved the Unibet name for some of its more popular online gambling products.
The Unibet brand now runs integrated online casinos, poker sites, sportsbooks, and bingo sites in the UK, Europe, Australia, and now the US for more than 100 million customers around the world.
But this gathering of several hundredNFL betting fans was not interested in a ribbon-cutting ceremony or speeches.
Kickoff for the Eagles-Washington Redskins game was fast approaching.
The line for the betting windows extended to the center of the Wild Wild Wild West Casino floor. That’s where the former temporary space was set up.
While all the betting action was taking place, there was a small ceremony nearby. Former Eagles’ Chris Long, Hollis Thomas and Fred Barnett came running through a giant banner as confetti was fired off.
Inside Bally’s sportsbook in Atlantic City
There was no need for someone famous to step up to one of the betting windows to place $100 bet on the Dallas Cowboys to cover against the New York Giants.
Long, who wonSuper Bowl rings with the New England Patriots and Eagles, did pose for pics with fans.
Celebrities aside, the management team at Bally’s is “super excited” about the finished product.
The previously unused and vacant space located toward the back of the casino floor is now a gathering spot for thousands of football betting fans several days a week.
Besides having the massive space, the main attraction is the 98 foot by 18 foot, high-resolution LED television wall with surround sound.
And it can show up to 16 games at once. Sunday’s early viewing experience included:
Atlanta Falcons and Minnesota Vikings
Jacksonville Jaguars and Kansas City Chiefs
New York Jets and Buffalo Bills
Baltimore Ravens and Miami Dolphins
Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets
But more importantly, the massive sportsbook is an added attraction for the slower months.
Karie Hall, general manager at Bally’s AC, is looking forward to seeing what the new space does for the property.
“We get extra business in. People get an experience they didn’t get before. We are excited to see how well that translates throughout the fall and winter.”
The NJ sports betting space services sister properties Bally’s and Caesars customers, too.
Barnett says Eagles have tools to go far
While the other properties around town held their respective opening NFL weekend festivities, fans at Bally’s enjoyed some added perks.
Long, Barnett and Thomas were on property signing autographs and mingling with fans.
During Barnett’s playing days, which included 1990-95 with the Eagles, sports betting was restricted to Nevada. At least legally.
Things have changed just a tad since.
Barnett said he is not the betting type. However, he is not one to shy away from talking about his former team.
Many of the NJ futuresmarkets had the Eagles regular-season win total at 9.5.
Barnett did not take the wager, but he did offer this analysis:
“It’s really about everybody staying healthy because I really think they have the tools to go far.”
Will it be easy? Not necessarily.
“I tend to look at everybody else that they’re going to play against,” Barnett said. “So when I look at the league, in general, I think in order for them to be successful they’re going to have to play very hard this year because there are some pretty good teams out there that are stacked up.”
One of the big ifs is whether or not starting quarterback Carson Wentz can make it through the season healthy.
His career to date has included being sidelined with a torn ACL and fractured vertebrae.
Second-string quarterback Nate Sudfeld is out with a broken wrist. Current backup Josh McCown came out of retirement to sign with the Birds.