New Jersey Sportsbooks Suffer (A Little) February Chill With $743 Million In Bets

New Jersey sportsbooks took nearly $743 million in February NJ sports betting handle and reported more than $46 million in revenue.

New Jersey sportsbooks took nearly $743 million in wagers in February and reported more than $46 million in revenue.

Both numbers are significantly higher than those from February 2020 (the last full month before pro and college sports shut down), according to data released Tuesday by the state Division of Gaming Enforcement.

Anchored by $117.4 million in Super Bowl 55 bets, February 2021’s monthly sports betting handle was $248.14 million more than during the same month last year.

And that’s with February 2020 having an extra day because of a Leap Year.

As a result, Garden State sportsbooks reported a year-over-year revenue increase of nearly 244%.

However, February’s total sports betting handle was a drop of nearly $215 million from January’s $958.7 million.

The dip from January is expected. In every year in which New Jersey has offered legal sports betting, February has generated less in total wagers than in January.

Last month’s handle was the state’s lowest total since August.
In December, NJ set a U.S. record with a monthly sports betting handle of $996.3 million.

Online & mobile carries New Jersey sportsbooks, again

Online sports betting accounted for $689.25 million, or nearly 93%, of February’s total handle. That figure is $252.8 million more than the amount online sports gamblers shelled out in February 2020.

The Meadowlands Racetrack (FanDuel Sportsbook/PointsBet NJ) topped the online market again with $24.9 million in gross revenue, down from $41.8 million in January. The license holder reported $27.1 million for the month.

Resorts Digital, led by DraftKings Sportsbook, finished an extremely distant second with $7.7 million, the bulk of which is from online wagering.

“FanDuel and DraftKings have dominated the market since launch, and there really hasn’t been a major change in that dynamic since 2018,” said Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for “BetMGM is making end roads in other states, including Michigan, but it will take a lot for it to significantly eat into the New Jersey market share of the nation’s two largest operators.”

Retail’s struggles getting lost in the shuffle

Conversely, NJ’s retail sportsbooks took less action in February 2021 compared to last year, even with two additional locations. Last month, NJ’s 12 brick-and-mortar sportsbooks reported a total handle of $53.7 million. In February 2020, with just 10 retail shops, New Jersey sportsbooks handled $58.3 million.

A Parx-branded Sportsbook at Freehold Raceway opened in September 2020, but has yet to drum up much business.

A temporary FanDuel Sportsbook opened at Bally’s Atlantic City in December. Bally’s and FanDuel opened the permanent location this week, just in time for March Madness.

New Jersey sportsbooks ready to celebrate  March Madness

The good news for NJ sportsbooks is that Garden State gamblers love basketball betting. Only football garners more bets in NJ than basketball, according to DGE data.

That means a potential $1 billion monthly sports betting handle is not out of the question.  March Madness betting will be leading the way.

“March Madness is the largest sports betting holiday of the year, and in New Jersey, basketball, in general, tends to draw a lot of action,” said analyst Eric Ramsey. “In other words, it’s possible New Jersey could become the nation’s first state to generate more than $1 billion in sports bets in a single month.”

AP Photo/Ashley Landis




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

NJ Sports Betting Starts 2021 With Nearly $960 Million In Bets

Sports betting in New Jersey continued to turn heads in January, as gamblers placed more than $958 million in total wagers.

The  NJ sports betting market started 2021 the same way it closed out 2020: white hot.

For the second straight month, the statewide sports betting handle just missed the $1 billion mark.

According to the state Division of Gaming Enforcement, $958.7 million was wagered on sports in January.

That figure is only $37.6 million less than the all-time U.S. record set in December.

Online sports betting is still king in NJ

Similar to prior reporting periods, a bulk of Garden State sports wagers came from the 19 authorized betting apps. The DGE figures show that $886.7 million, or more than 92% of the total handle, was bet online.

In 2020, more than $5.53 billion, or 92%, of the $6 billion annual sports betting handle was from online wagers.

Meadowlands + FanDuel get biggest slice

January NJ sports betting revenue came in at $82.64 million, an increase of 54% over the same period last year.

Meadowlands Racetrack, the land-based partner of FanDuel Sportsbook and PointsBet NJ, continues to dominate the market.

The Meadowlands reported $46.8 million in sports betting revenue ($41.8 million of which came from online) last month. It is NJ Gambling Sites’ understanding that FanDuel accounts for the bulk of the reported revenue.

By comparison, the nine Atlantic City casino sportsbooks and their online partners accounted for $32 million in combined revenue.

Last year, the Meadowlands and its online partners generated more sports betting revenue ($206.5 million) than every Atlantic City casino and their online operators combined ($166.3 million).

In terms of other license holders, Resorts Digital (DraftKings Sportsbook, Fox Bet, and Resorts) were second with $15.7 million for the month.

Coming in third is Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa with $8.46 million. The Atlantic City market leader’s online sportsbooks include Borgata Sports and BetMGM.

So close, yet so far

NJ barely missed $1 billion in monthly sports wagers for the second consecutive month. With the NFL season complete, the milestone is likely out of reach for the foreseeable future.

However, NJ gamblers aren’t beholden to the betting behemoth that is the NFL. Basketball is a sport that routinely sees a lot of action at NJ sportsbooks.
Last month, more than $320 million was wagered on completed basketball events, compared to $201.77 million on pigskin.

February got off to a strong start with $117 million in Super Bowl 55 bets.

In terms of how the other sports did, we will have to wait until March 16 to find out.

AP Photo/Mike Roemer

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




Super Bowl 55 Bets Top $117 Million At NJ Sportsbooks

Gamblers wagered $117.4 million on Super Bowl 55 with New Jersey sportsbooks, more than doubling last year’s total.

The Garden State sportsbook handle for this year’s NFL championship game was a 116% increase over the $54.3 million bet on Super Bowl 54.

The books paid out $106.1 million to customers resulting in $11.3 million in revenue, according to preliminary data released Monday by the state Division of Gaming Enforcement.

The revenue figures include New Jersey’s 12 retail sportsbooks and 19 online operators. The DGE said $99.8 million of the total handle came via online wagering.

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Third time’s a charm for NJ sportsbooks

Super Bowl 55 was the first time in three years NJ sportsbooks reported any gaming revenue from the Big Game. The books lost $4.2 million in 2020 and $4.5 million the year before.

New Jersey taxes revenue, so the state finally got a cut this year as well.

NJ Sports betting revenue is taxed at 8.5% at retail books and 13% online. While an exact number is not yet available, the state collected anywhere between $960,500 to $1.469 million in taxes from a single sporting event. With better than 90% of all sports wagers in NJ being done online, the state’s take is on the high end of the scale.

NJ Super Bowl betting scene expands

The amount bet on the Super Bowl in NJ has increased each year, as have the number of ways customers can place those wagers.

In 2019, $34.9 million was bet on Super Bowl 53. At the time, the market consisted of 10 retail sportsbooks and 12 online sites.

The number of retail books did not change the next year, but there were seven more online operators in the state.

For this year’s championship game, there were two additional brick-and-mortar books and two more mobile apps.

In 2021, all nine Atlantic City casinos had retail sportsbooks. Bally’s Atlantic City has a temporary shop at the moment while the permanent FanDuel Sportsbook is being constructed.

Freehold Raceway was also a new retail option for this year’s game. It is the third state-licensed racetrack to take legal sports wagers. Freehold has already announced PlayUp will receive one of its three online sports betting skins.

AP Photo/Charlie Riedel