Setting The Super Bowl 55 Odds For Brady Versus Mahomes Showdown

Tom Brady and Tampa Bay are hosting the Super Bowl, but NJ online sportsbooks have Patrick Mahomes and defending champion Kansas City as the early favorites.

Super Bowl 55 is on the board for New Jersey online sports bettors, dripping with intrigue for the underdog Tampa Bay Buccaneers and favored Kansas City Chiefs.

William Hill sent out a press release during Sunday night’s AFC Championship Game announcing a Super Bowl betting line of Kansas City -3 and the over-under of 57, which moved early to 56.5.  Other NJ online sportsbooks followed soon after, giving bettors some separation to handicap with.

FanDuel Sportsbook opened its over-under of 57.5 and DraftKings had the line at Kansas City-3.5. Ahh, some line-shopping already. And there will be more to come over the next two weeks.

Here is some of the compelling overview for the big game.

William Hill + notable future bets

Some William Hill customers are on the brink of being awarded for having some major foresight. Even though these wagers were not placed in the Garden State, these bets provide a small sampling of what’s likely to come.

William Hill reported a $40,000 wager made on Jan. 2, with the Bucs at +1200, to win the Super Bowl. That’s a gutsy leap, as the Bucs had to win three road contests and beat the N0. 1 and NO. 2 seeds. The bet would return $480,000.

Another wager was made on Jan. 1 for $115,000 on the Chiefs at +150. It would net $172,500.

How about this one from last June? A bettor put $7,500 on the Bucs and it would net $112,500.

Most of the NJ online sportsbooks report the Bucs as their biggest Super Bowl liability. When Tom Brady left New England for Tampa Bay in March, books took money on Tampa Bay from 50-1 all the way down to 14-1.

Tampa Bay gets wagering love in each game too. FanDuel reported that it paid out more than $1.8 million Sunday as part of an odds boost featuring Mike Evans to score the first TD at +470 with a max bet of $50.

Super Bowl 55: Closer look at Chiefs vs. Bucs

The Bucs will be the first team to play on its home field in a Super Bowl.  Ironically, it’s Tampa Bay’s first home game of the postseason. The Bucs advanced to the Big Game by winning at Washington, at New Orleans and at Green Bay. And now they get to enjoy a home-field Super Bowl.

Kansas City, which bludgeoned a game Buffalo Bills team in the AFC conference final, tries to become the first Super Bowl champion to repeat since the New England Patriots did it in the 2005 game. And that victory canoe against  the Philadelphia Eagles.

Who quarterbacked the last team to do it? Brady, who goes for the Bucs in his record 10th Super Bowl. He has six Super Bowl rings.

Brady and Patrick Mahomes are the last two quarterbacks to win the Big Game. This is a Super Bowl matchup that has never happened before. Brady earned it for the Patriots two years ago, Mahomes won for the Chiefs last year.

Call it the old guard versus the new guard, with 25-year-old Mahomes battling the 43-year-old Brady

Kansas City edged Tampa Bay on this field, 27-24 in late November. It’s the last time the Bucs have lost. They have won seven straight, including the playoffs.

Former Eagles head coach Andy Reid, now running the show in Kansas City, faces his one-time defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, who is Tampa Bay’s defensive coordinator.

Both teams showed championship pedigree to punch their respective Super Bowl tickets.

Chiefs looking for second straight Super Bowl

Mahomes made the big plays superstars are expected to in the win over Buffalo.

Perhaps his best two came back-to-back.

With Kansas City leading 14-9 in the second quarter, he was trapped in the backfield on an important possession.  However, Mahomes avoided what looked like a certain sack, he faked the defender out and completed a long pass.

And the same thing happened one play later.

Two would-be sacks had turned into 44 Kansas City yards.  Instead of punting, the Chiefs scored a touchdown. They went up 21-9 and never looked back.

The Bills played well in the championship game, but faltered inside the Kansas City 10-yard line when they were still in the game.

The Bill were stopped twice, late in the second quarter and midway through the third period, settling for field goals.

And although Bills quarterback Josh Allen played well, he took a pair of  huge sacks. In each case, he would have saved chunks of yards by throwing the ball away.

Uniform changed, but Brady does it again

In Tampa’s 31-26 triumph over the Green Bay Packers, the Bucs were one big play ahead of the Packers the entire game. Yes, the Tampa Bay defense sacked Aaron Rodgers five times and played well.  However,  this game was decided on third-down performance. The Bucs made the big plays, the Packers did not.

Green Bay trailed literally every time its offense took the field. They never even had the ball with the game tied, even though it dominated the time of possession (34:37 to 25:23).

The Packers defense could never get off the field when it had to.

Three big second-quarter developments and an early third-quarter turnover decided the game.

With the score tied 7-7, Tampa Bay had third and long and Brady hoisted a bomb. One defender was ready to knock it away. But Chris Godwin leaped up and took it for a 52-yard gain.  One play later, the deflated Packer defense could not halt Leonard Fournette. They had stopped him in the backfield, but he bounced off and rumbled for a 20-yard score.

In two plays, Green Bay had gone from a likely defensive stop to a 14-7 deficit.

Green Bay could not reach the end zone on the following possession after getting inside the Tampa Bay 10.

And it’s hard to forget about the first backbreaker. What could Green Bay have been thinking about on the last play of the first half?

Trailing 14-10, the Packers allowed a 39-yard  scoring  from Brady to Scotty Miller on the final play.  Tampa Bay had no timeouts. No place to go but the sidelines.

Call it an inexplicable defensive lapse.

When it happened to the New York Jets against the Las Vegas Raiders earlier this season, the Jets fired their defensive coordinator. This is on the same level.

And then came the Green Bay turnover to start the second half. That led to another Tampa Bay touchdown and a 28-10 lead.

The Packers clawed back, but missed a two-point conversion on a dropped ball after coming within 28-23.

Trailing 31-23 later, Rodgers passed up a possible open run to the end zone and fired an incomplete pass. The Packers kicked a field goal and never got the ball back.

Green Bay was for a pass interference call on the final Tampa Bay possession. Prior to the penalty,  the referees had let pass-interference infractions go all day.The pass looked uncatchable and the flag came in quite late, essentially closing out the game.

Otherwise, the Packers would have gotten the ball back, with timeouts.

All of that said, Brady was masterful for Tampa Bay on third-down passes, even after the Packers got back into the game.

And now it’s Brady-Mahomes. Let the Super Bowl 55 excitement begin.

AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps




NFL Odds Boosts: Is A Green Bay-Kansas City Rematch of Super Bowl I In The Cards?

Bettors may be thinking about the potential NFL 1967 rematch between the Chiefs and Packers or boosting Tom Brady’s odds of making a return trip to Tampa.

The NFL Conference Championships, presenting NJ sports betting patrons with a potpourri of gambling options. Looking between the lines and at certain angles, bettors can increase payouts on wagers they already like for Sunday’s games.

Some side intrigue surrounds both contests.

The host Green Bay Packers remain a slight favorite over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first game. If Tampa Bay wins, it will become the first team ever to play a home game at the Super Bowl. Tampa hosts Super Bowl 55 on Feb 7.

The Kansas City Chiefs are slight chalk against the visiting Buffalo Bills in the nightcap.

If the Chiefs and Packers win, guess what we will have in two weeks? A rematch of Super Bowl I, captured by the Packers, 35-10, in 1967

Besides the normal betting menu, gamblers can find values in the props and odds boosts.

DraftKings Sportsbook + NFL parlay boost 

DraftKings Sportsbook  awards bettors a bonus for simply being right.

It has a 25% parlay boost for gamblers who can hit both games.

Following opt-in, you’ll be issued a single-use profit boost which you can use to place a 2-leg parlay on both games.

Each leg requires minimum odds of -200 or longer (-100, +250 etc.). That should be easy enough here, as both favorites are under -200.

You must select the boost from your bet slip before placing bet to apply the boosted price of 25%.

Maximum bet is $50, with  maximum $250 additional winnings.

This promo includes live bets and parlays, but excludes free bets, cash out bets, voided bets, and odds boosts.

FanDuel Sportsbook offers expanded menu

FanDuel Sportsbook is offering  another fun way to wager on NFL Playoff games. Played a certain way, on individuals, it can enhance a championship bet on your favorite team.

One example is which quarterback will have the most playoff passing yardage? Here are the odds as of early Friday afternoon:

  • Tom Brady +180
  • Josh Allen +200
  • Aaron Rodgers +350
  • Patrick Mahomes +450.

Does that look a little upside down, with Mahomes and Rodgers as the underdogs?

That’s because Brady and Allen have played two games compared to one for Rodgers and Mahomes.

Brady leads the pack with 580 yards. Allen is second with 530.

Rodgers has 296 and Mahomes comes in with 255.

If you take an average of 300 passing yards per game, a player with three games played will hit 900 yards. Only Brady and Allen can collect four games and either of them would win this if their teams reach a fourth game, the Super Bowl.

Should the Packers and Chiefs prevail as favorites, however, all members in this group will play three games.

The value plays, if you like Kansas City and Green Bay on Sunday, are Rodgers and Mahomes.

Those betting on Rodgers are thinking he would trail whomever is leading by roughly 300 yards going into the Super Bowl. And this  includes not falling further behind Brady. Plus, you hope he gets over the top and keeps his slight lead over Mahomes.

That’s an angle because the Packers are only +210 to win the championship. If Green Bay wins it all, Rodgers has an excellent chance to beat the players in front of him. This is a subtle way to improve value on a Green Bay Super Bowl championship, but you must feel that neither Tampa Bay nor Buffalo will win Sunday.

Mahomes is great value too, although his health concerns make it difficult to pull the trigger on him having two monster games to take the lead. But what a price if things fall his way.

However you look at it, this is a great bet to ponder.Plus,  it’s a little different.

NFL odds boosts: Bucs vs. Packers

Fox Bet has made boosts a season-long staple.

The menu has increased substantially, prompting gamblers to narrow their focus. Longshot chances pay well, but require two, three or four players to score.

Best take-a-shot values are first-score touchdowns. Difficult to hit, but they only require one player to score.

In the Tampa Bay-Green Bay game, take a look at the  Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers showdown.

These two veteran passers to  throw for more than 250 yards each is now paying +100, up from -110.  Say goodbye to the vig, this makes the bet slightly more appealing. It has the same return as an against-the-spread pick. Bettors may like this one more.

It would seem like a no-brainer for these future Hall-of-Fame quarterbacks to reach these numbers. But Brady had only 199 yards last week as the running game and the four takeaways from the New Orleans offense provided short fields.

Davante Adams of the Packers to register 100 yards and tally a touchdown is now +200, up from +175. Rodgers loves him and Adams is a prolific threat, so this may come down to whether Todd Bowles wants his Tampa Bay defense to take Adams out of the mix with double, even triple teams.

Adams is always a popular bet to score the first touchdown and he has been boosted to +600. He has scored the first TD in two of the last three Packers games.

On the Tampa Bay side, Chris Godwin to notch a first-quarter score has been hiked to +700.

It’s hard to differentiate between the Tampa Bay receivers. Brady loves Mike Evans, Antonio Brown, Godwin,  and tight end Rob Gronkowski.

Brown, however, is now playing Sunday.

Odds boosts for Bills vs. Chiefs

In the AFC game, bettors will have to decide what kind of Mahomes they will get, provided he passes protocols and plays, as expected.

A healthy Mahomes sets up some enticing scenarios.

Receiver Tyreek Hill to score in the first quarter has been to +500. Under normal circumstances, bettors could be reluctant to limit a bet to one quarter as Tthe team might only have one possession.

But Hill is usually targeted for a deep ball, and in the end zone, on Kansas City’s first possession. Hill sets a tone for the game with the Chiefs.

Travis Kelce, Mahomes’ other premier target, is +700 to score first. Championship teams often have a dominant tight end. Kelce was the recipient of Mahomes’ only touchdown pass last week.

In these two bets, you are hoping primarily for a deep ball to Hill or for Kelce to be targeted around the 10-yard line.

Can Hill and Buffalo superstar Stefon Diggs each score a touchdown? That’s been boosted to +300. Diggs was the lone TD scorer in last week’s 17-3 win over the Ravens.

AP/Jeffrey Phelps

Football Five: NFL Playoff Field Down To Chiefs And Three Strong Contenders

The Packers, Buccaneers, Chiefs,  and Bills head into NFL Conference Championship weekend riding hot streaks, but only two will advance to Super Biowl 55.

There’s hot. There’s sizzlin’. And then there’s the equator, like performance of the NFL’s Final Four class.

The Green Bay Packers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Kansas City Chiefs,  and Buffalo Bills have amassed an enviable, perhaps unprecedented pre-championship winning streak.

Discounting Kansas City’s resting of its regulars in Week 17, the conference championship aspirants have won an incredible 32 straight games.

Thirty-two. That’s the equivalent of two undefeated seasons. No wonder all the major sportsbooks have both games in the vicinity of a field-goal difference.

The teams are that good.

This week’s Football Five takes is a closer look at the two games from a NJ sports betting perspective.

Packers  remains a slight favorite over Bucs

Kansas City holds a tenuous edge over Buffalo. The health of Patrick Mahomes keeps that gambling line in a holding pattern. The Chiefs starting quarterback was knocked out of last Sunday’s division-round victory over the Cleveland Browns.

However, gamblers love the Bucs and Brady.

“I could tell you the money was going to be on the Bucs even before they played the Washington Football Team and I could say the same thing before the game against New Orleans,” Johnny Avello, the director of race and sportsbook operations for DraftKings, told NJ Gambling Sites.

“Last week we had a ton of money on the Bucs moneyline and it kept pouring in, even on game day. We have been getting a lot of Bucs money ever since Tom Brady signed with Tampa Bay (back in March).”

The Tampa Bay action was so heated that Draft Kings took a bit of a hit from the New Orleans result.

“This week, I think Green Bay is going to be bet pretty well,” said Avello. “Lay the Packers with the points and take a shot with the Bucs on the moneyline, I think that how this game will be played.”

The Kansas City shuffle

Avello expects significant late money to come in on the Chiefs and Bills because of the Mahomes situation.

If Mahomes is considered fully capable, the prevailing wisdom at mid-week, the Kansas City line could move as high as -4, Avello believes. If Mahomes can’t play, Buffalo may be -4. That’s evidence of the eight-point swing we have previously referred to regarding Mahomes’ perceived value to the line.

Buffalo bettors may toss in a few bucks at this line on the hope Mahames would later be ruled out. They would be giving themselves roughly a touchdown if Mahomes sat.

But they can’t go too heavy. If Mahomes does play, the Bills bettors would gain a better line later, Avello asserts.

“Nobody is whaling in yet,” he said. “If you come in with a large amount of money now, it’s totally a guess. “

It’s important to note the handicapping variable surrounding Mahomes’ status. He ran off the field after being injured and DraftKings posted a line for Buffalo-Kansas City on Sunday night. If there was concern that he could not play, the game would have been taken off the board.

That indicates the expectation that Mahomes will go, but he must clear several protocols required by the NFL.

“If I had to say right now whether he goes or whether he can’t, I believe he will play,” Avello said.

That is the consensus throughout the sports-betting community.

Watch that line, and rumors. Anything indicating uncertainty for Mahomes could be enough to change it.

Kansas City bettors provided enough money to create an early line move. A couple of hours after we spoke with Avello, the Kansas City line went from Kansas City -2.5 to -3 at DraftKings, evidence of confidence that Mahomes will start.

William Hill shakers and movers

Here are the mid-week numbers.

Green Bay is a 3-point favorite (-125) at William Hill, with the total sitting at 51.

The Packers are -175 on the moneyline, whereas the Buccaneers are +155 to take the contest outright. Green Bay opened as a 3.5-point favorite and went up to -4 before dropping down to its current number.

The total in this one has had some movement, too, as it dropped from 52 to 51. One bettor put down $11,000 on Buccaneers at Packers under 51.5 (-110) for a total potential payout of $21,000, which is the largest 2021 Conference Championship wager taken thus far at William Hill.

A closer look  at Chiefs-Bills showdown

This is the third straight year that Arrowhead Stadium has been the home of the AFC Conference Championship. The host Chiefs lost to the New England Patriots two years ago and surged back from an early deficit to topple the Tennessee Titans last year, earning their trip to the Super Bowl.

On the other side, third-year signal-caller Josh Allen has led the Bills to their first Conference Championship appearance since 1994.

The Chiefs are 3-point favorites (-110) at William Hill, and the total has settled at 53. The defending Super Bowl champions are -145 chalk on the moneyline and the Bills are priced at +125,

Kansas City was originally listed as a 3.5-point favorite when William Hill first listed AFC Conference Championship odds this past Sunday. The total has jumped two points from the opener, as it went from 51.5 all the way up to 55 before dropping back down to 53.

Checking out the NFL  early bird value

If you’re looking to get a head start on the Super Bowl odds, William Hill also has moneyline matchups for the Big Game in New Jersey.

The Chiefs are +350 against the Packers and +550 over the Bucs.

The Packers are +400 over the Chiefs and +600 over the Bills.

The Bucs are +750 over the Chiefs and +950 over the Bills.

The Bills are +900 over the Bucs and +550 against the Packers.

These high odds are profitable to bet on early, before official matchups are established.

A few weeks back, for example, Buffalo was +2000 to defeat the Packers in the Super Bowl.

AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

Conference Championships Odds: Betting On The Eagles’ Connections

Will Andy Reid and his Kansas City Chiefs earn an opportunity to defend their Super Bowl crown or will the Buffalo Bills extend their current win streak?

Familiar faces dot the NFL playoff landscape. The Philadelphia Eagles did not make the postseason, but leave a footprint on the sport’s final four playoff teams.

Three of their former coaches headline the four Super Bowl finalists as the NJ sports betting crowd gears up for Sunday’s conference championship games.

NFC: Green Bay Packers versus Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 3:05 p.m. FOX
AFC: Kansas City Chiefs versus the Buffalo Bills, 6:40 p.m. CBS

Both are rematches, won earlier by Tampa Bay and Kansas City, respectively

Andy Reid of the Chiefs, Sean McDermott of the Bills and Todd Bowles from the Bucs are the celebrated Eagles’ alumnus in the post-season spotlight.

And they headline this week’s Odds Five.

Eagles reunion: Reid vs. McDermott

Reid’s defending Super Bowl champs are slightly favored against one his disciples, McDermott, in the AFC Championship Game.

The line indicates the expectation that Chiefs superstar Patrick Mahomes, knocked out of the divisional-round game against the Cleveland Browns, will be cleared to play. Mahomes missed the fourth quarter and Kansas City nearly coughed up the lead before hanging on to a 22-17 triumph.

The fact that there is a line also is important. If the sportsbooks believed Mahomes was not going to play, this game would have been temporarily off the board.

As far as the Eagles connect goes, Reid coached the Eagles from 2003-2012. McDermott was a defensive coordinator under Reid.

Closer look at the Super Bowl champs

Kansas City bettors could call him St. Patrick. With Mahomes, the all-world quarterback, the Chiefs amassed a 19-3 halftime lead against the Browns, scoring on all four first half possessions and accumulating 293 yards.

And then came the play that put the team’s future in peril. Mahomes tried a quarterback rollout with his team nursing a 19-10 third-quarter lead. He already had sustained a foot injury earlier in the game. But Reid called a run-pass option and Mahomes suffered a massive hit. He was knocked out of the game.

Chad Henne came on in relief and guided the Chiefs to a field goal. And he made two late plays to clinch the 22-17 triumph, but the confidence surge for the Browns after Mahomes’ departure was palpable. Kansas City’s defense of its Super Bowl title nearly ended.

The betting line will tell you everything you need to know about Mahomes’ condition. Based on initial post-game tests, one would figure him to be cleared to play against Buffalo. That’s why the line was slightly under a field goal.

No Mahomes?

Then Buffalo would be favored, and maybe by more than a field goal.

Chiefs bettors take a wait-and-see approach to the line. Some Buffalo bettors gambled on the medical report. They make the bet as though Mahomes will play. If he does not, they still get 2.5 points when the Bills would actually be giving points if Mahomes can’t go. If he does play, nothing is lost. The line reflects the belief Mahomes will start.

Buffalo Bills coming up big

There is a different hero every week for the Bills. In the season finale against the Miami Dolphins, it was Isaiah McKenzie notching three second-quarter touchdowns, one on a punt return.

Against the Indianapolis Colts in the first playoff round, it was quarterback Josh Allen overcoming his team’s weak defense, which allowed nearly 500 scrimmage yards.

But in the second playoff round, against the Baltimore Ravens, the defense saved the day.

With Buffalo leading 10-3 and the Ravens about to score the tying TD, Taron Johnson picked Lamar Jackson and went 101 yards for the back-breaking score.

How big is that? Johnson intercepted the ball in his own end zone and rumbled all the way into the Ravens’ end zone.

On the following series, the defense knocked Jackson out of the game.

Who will step up this week?

There has been a magical air of destiny for the Bills, who keep improving to make each required step for advancement. Buffalo has won eight in a row. And look who the Bills are beating: the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Colts and the Ravens, among others.

Can they add the Chiefs to that list?

Mr. Rodgers lifts the Pack

Why is Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers worth roughly nine points to the betting line?

His performance in Green Bay’s 32-18 triumph over the Los Angeles Rams in the division round provides an indication. Rodgers made key plays just as it looked like the Rams could contain him in the divisional victory over LA.

When the Packers snapped a 3-3 tie, Rodgers completed an innovative third-down scoring play. Devante Adams started in motion, came across the field and Rodgers hit him with a quick 1-yard touchdown play. The Rams had appeared poised to stop the drive.

With the score 10-3 Rodgers made another acrobatic third-down play. After being flushed out of the pocket, he faked a defender out of position, scrambled right and ran into the corner of the end zone.

At the end of the half, he made a 33-yard completion after being flushed from the pocket and with a defender draped over him. That led to a field goal on the final play of the half.

Three Rodgers gems. Three plays worth 11 points to the Packers. That accounts for two touchdowns rather than field goals and the field goal they did make.

And thus we have the matchup of Rodgers’ magical qualities versus the Tampa Bay defense, which caused four turnovers in its 30-20 dismantling of the New Orleans Saints.

The Bucs and the bucks

DraftKings Sportsbook has its biggest Super Bowl liability with the Bucs, who soared from 50-1 down to roughly 15-1 in the days after Tom Brady was decided to leave the New England Patriots for them.

Brady did not even have to do the heavy lifting in Tampa Bay’s win over the Saints. Bowles’ defense did with the four takeaways. It was the Bowles’ finest hour as a defensive coordinator.

Brady also led the team to 17 unanswered points on three consecutive possessions after New Orleans failed to put the game away in the second half.

Just as the Tampa Bay-New Orleans line disregarded New Orleans’ two previous trouncing of Tampa Bay, this line ignores an earlier game too. Remember that midseason shocker when these teams met? Bucs 38, Packers 10.

It’s a new day, a new game and snow is expected in the forecast. Either quarterback is comfortable in those circumstances.

As a side not, Super Bowl 55 is being played in Tampa.

NFL final four: When you’re hot, you’re hot

No wonder it’s hard to separate the final four teams. Look at their winning streaks, bridging the regular and postseason. It comes to 32 straight triumphs:

  • Green Bay, seven
  • Tampa Bay, six
  • Kansas City, 11 (if you count not resting their players in the meaningless Week 17 game)
  • Buffalo,  eight

That’s some quality football. The bettors, and the public, should be in for a treat Sunday.

AP Photo/Chris O’Meara



Looking at NFL Boosts And Super Bowl Odds Of Eight Remaining Playoff Teams

With eight NFL teams still in the running to become Super Bowl champs, NJ sports bettors have a full menu of wagering options with NJ online sportsbooks.

The betting public still expects a Green Bay Packers-Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl.

But there is value everywhere, as the second round of the playoffs begin. This weekend’s games will substantially alter the odds, so New Jersey online sportsbook bettors observe the best deal possible right now.

Here is a look at the latest Super Bowl odds:

But come Sunday night, only four of these teams will be left on the board.

 Eagles are out, but FanDuel offering odds on next coach

And in the spirt of futures, what would an NFL coaching change be without speculation?

FanDuel Sportsbook now has odds on the next Philadelphia Eagles coach to replace Doug Pederson.

Robert Saleh (+200), the San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator, was the early favorite but his name is off the board. He is the new head coach of the New York Jets. So who does that leave?

Well, as of Friday afternoon, Duce Staley, the current Eagles assistant head coach and former running back, was leading the field at +200. This is after being +700 earlier this week.

Here are some of the other contenders:

  • Joe Brady +400
  • Mike Kafka +450
  • Brian Daboll +650
  • Eric Bieniemy +700
  • Arthur Smith +800

Any candidate will have to contend with the possibility of meddling from the Eagles front office regarding personnel. It is hard to handicap which candidate can accept that. This scenario changes often, stay tuned.

On to weekend playoff games

Now that the weekend is here, the focus shifts to the four NFL Divisional Playoff games. Here is the schedule:

Significant odds boosts apply to each weekend game. Some may play well into your perception of the game.

Interesting NFL Divisional round options

DraftKings Sportsbook is offering  bettors the option of taking the chalk across the board. The operator has boosted the prospect of all four favorites winning to +365. This shows bettors the premium of the Bucs-Saints and Bills-Ravens as close games.

Lamar Jackson and Josh Allen to secure rushing TDs in the Bills-Ravens game has gone up to +400.

FanDuel Sportsbook is offering  some razzle-dazzle, too.

How do you make money on the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs to win the AFC? They are at +200  at FanDuel. One can succeed by including a Chiefs championship into a previous bet.

The sportsbook posted an interesting elimination special, listing the odds of which teams will eliminate others from the playoffs.

Kansas City to eliminate the Ravens is +260, and  to eliminate the Bills is +195. You are banking on Kansas City beating Cleveland as a lopsided pick and then defeating whomever survives the Bills-Ravens game.  You can even make a few bucks if you play both sides.

This is a neat way to improve your odds on the Chiefs, if you already like them to win the AFC.

Fox Bet + NFL Playoff odds boosts

Here are some boosts available for all four games from Fox Bet.

First up is the Rams-Packers. 

Here’s an even-money shot. Can each team notch two or more touchdowns and one or more field goals? That’s been boosted from -110 to +100, essentially eliminating the vig. This is a statement about whether the Rams can notch two TD’s. They are a ball control offense.

Green Bay QB  Aaron Rodgers to throw two or more touchdowns and 300 or more yards is now paying +300, up from +250. That seems reasonable for him.

The variable is determining how good the Rams defense is. It has been hot lately, but Rodgers is Rodgers. In taking this prop, you are hoping for at least one long completion.

Packer’s receiver Davante Adams to notch more than 100 yards and a touchdown has gone from +250 to +300, which is excellent value.

Looking at Lamar Jackson vs. Josh Allen

Each team to score two touchdowns and notch two field goals is worth +250, boosted from +200. The Bill and Ravens  both accomplished the feat last week.

Can Bills receiver Stefan Diggs tally 100 yards and notch a TD? The yes is +200.

Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson rushed for 146 yards last week. He’s part of a prop this week that plays into that. If Jackson and Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen combine for 125 yards, it will pay +150, up from  +120.

Bets on players to score first or in the first quarter are good complements to anytime scoring, but they come with time risk. With that in mind, Jackson has been boosted from+500 to +600 to score a rushing TD in the first quarter.

Super Bowl champion Chiefs versus Browns

Kansas City QB Patrick Mahomes to notch 300 or more passing yards and three or more passing TDs has been boosted from +150 to +200.

Tyreek Hill, raw Chiefs star wide receiver,  is worth +215 if he is able to notch a touchdown and attain 100 yards. These two categories often go together for him as Hill is targeted on many deep balls.

The vig has disappeared for Cleveland quarterback Baker Mayfield. His prop to throw for at least 200 yards and two passing touchdowns has improved from -133 to +100.

There’s a big difference between two touchdowns thrown and three. Just ask the bettors who had Tom Brady to notch three passing scores against the Washington Football Team last week.  Brady’s third TD pass was reversed on replay and the next play was a running score.

The props for Mahomes and Mayfield also indicate the expectation of a high-scoring game.

Speaking of Brady, NFL Divisional Weekend wraps up with Tampa Bay at New Orleans.

Brady is in another touchdown-tossing prop this week. If Brady and Saints quarterback Drew Brees each throw two touchdowns, it pays +150, up from +100.

You can usually count on Brady, but Brees is a mystery. There’s the chance of running back Alvin Kamara or back-up QB Taysom Hill pirating at least one of his scores.

Brees himself nearly collected one last week. He did the flying leap to place the ball over the goal line and quickly pull it back on a QB sneak. However, he pulled the ball back too early. No score.

Then there is Kamara to score a first-quarter touchdown, which is now  paying +400, up from +300.

Michael Thomas of the Saints and Antonio Brown of the Bucs have a yardage prop of 150 combined. Seems like an easy one right?  It is now at +100 after being -125.

On the Tampa Bay end, Rob Gronkowski and Mike Evans to both score touchdowns has been boosted to +700. You wre weighing the New Orleans defense and Brady’s recent resurgence with Brown into that prop.

AP Photo/Brad Penner


Football Five: Doug Pederson’s Odds On Becoming Jets Next Coach

Since being fired as head coach of the Eagles earlier this week, Doug Pederson has become part of a futures wager at FanDuel Sportsbook.

Former Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson is a now prop bet.

Only in the NJ sports betting world can a fired head coach spark betting. Pederson, canned by the Eagles one day and a futures wager  the next, headlines our weekly Football Five.

New Jersey online sports bettors love the rumor mill, especially when it is actionable.

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Who will coach the Eagles? Look at the Jets first

Where the Jets go will influence where the Eagles direct their efforts.

Following his firing, Pederson became the frontrunner (+300) for the Jets job at FanDuel Sportsbook. As of early Wednesday morning, his odds shifted to +650 as San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh moved into the top spot (+100).

Here is a look at the FanDuel odds on the next Jets head coach as of Tuesday.

If Pederson gains that position, Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll (+850) and Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy (+850) become available for Philadelphia. Both were the early favorites for the Jets job.

Other notable rumors for the Eagles include Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith, Tampa Bay Bucs defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, and  Saleh, a name worth a long look.

Saleh, a defensive coordinator, has already become a finalist for the Jets job. It’s only been a question of when, not if, he becomes a head coach. The Jets may be a more natural fit for him, but the Eagles could use someone to light a fire under the entire team.

Bieniemy, the offensive coordinator for the Chiefs, is another assistant likely to land a head-coaching position. Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie likes Andy Reid’s input, that’s how he got Pederson in the first place, so Bieniemy makes sense. But other teams want him as well.

Then there is Bowles. Remember him?

He had three straight losing seasons with the Jets. How crazy would it be for the Eagles to select the former Jets coach and the Jets to recycle Pederson? Can’t find a prop for that.

Bowles also was the secondary coach for the Birds in 2012.

Eagles will likely interview Duce Staley, too

There’s a common denominator with the candidates. Philadelphia’s long-term contract with quarterback Carson Wentz is a lasso around the neck of whomever takes the job. The Eagles are committed to Wentz and the new coach will experience friction if he wants to bench Wentz at some point.

The successful candidate must be on board with Wentz, who regressed badly this past season but was also left vulnerable by a weak offensive line. What the odds can’t tell you is what candidate will accept this stipulation.

Expect Duce Staley’s name to be included on the list of interview candidates. The former Eagles player served as assistant head coach and running backs coach under Pederson.

Stay tuned. Rumors, and odds, change often.

What about the NFL Divisional Playoff odds?

The NFL Playoffs resume Saturday and Sunday with the final eight teams competing in the divisional round. Here is the weekend slate:

Early splits from DraftKings Sportsbook show the public loves all four “overs,” with the Cleveland-Kansas City game getting the highest endorsement 89%, even at the highest total, 56.5.

Early betting saw the public loving Green Bay the most. Here’s the support level:

  • Green Bay 84%
  • Buffalo 61%
  • Kansas City 60%
  • Tampa Bay 59%

Rams are the NFL chameleons

They do the unexpected.

The Los Angeles Rams flopped as a 17-point favorite and became the first team the Jets beat this year. And then they toppled the Seattle Seahawks, who had beaten the Jets by 37 points, in the Wild Card round.

Just to reach the postseason they defeated the Arizona Cardinals behind backup quarterback John Wolford.

The Rams defense turned that game around with a late first-half defensive score.

And they repeated the feat against the Seahawks. A Pick 6 put Seattle up 13-3 and Jared Goff, who had to replace the injured Wolford, gutted out an efficient performance.

Can the Rams do it again?

They face Aaron Rodgers, enjoying the best year of his life with 48 touchdowns versus five interceptions. The Rams want ball control, the Packers a track meet.

Weather is always a big variable in cold-weather cities. The forecast for this game is under 30 degrees, with winds at less than 10 mph. May feel like 20 degrees. For the Rams, it could have been worse.

Bills and Ravens look good on either side

The Bills opened at -1.5 across the major NJ online sportsbooks and early Buffalo wagering pushed the line up to -2.5. This is still a nice place to bet either team. Ravens bettors may click their heels if the line hits -3. Even the move from -1.5 to -2.5 might make it worth their while to buy the extra point, taking a +3 line.

Lamar Jackson is one key to the game.

The Ravens quarterback rushed for 136 yards in the team’s opening-round triumph over the Tennessee Titans. He also helped rally the team from a 10-0 early deficit.

In avenging the playoff loss to the Titans from last year, the Ravens continued to look formidable.

Buffalo’s defense gave up 472 yards in a narrow victory over the Indianapolis Colts, who crossed the 50-yard line on nine of their 10 possessions and averaged more than six yards per play.

Baltimore’s defense, on the other hand,  has stepped up dramatically and is the biggest wild card in this matchup. How about holding the Cincinnati Bengals to three points and then putting a handcuff on Derrick Henry and the Titans? Henry was coming off a 200-plus yard game and the Ravens kept him to 40.

In this game, Buffalo’s offensive line looks to protect Josh Allen enough for him to launch downfield throws to Stefon Diggs and to scramble. Buffalo does not rely on its running game the way Tennessee did.

All ‘Bs’: Brady + Brees = bets

You have to love the marquee. Tom Brady’s best work of the season has come in the last five games, in which the Tampa Bay offensive line has given him tremendous time to throw.  Brady has more receiving targets than Drew Brees does for the New Orleans Saints.

It’s been the same pregame script every time these teams met this year.  Brady was supposed to lead the Bucs over the Saints, and New Orleans beat him in the opener. Brady was rolling before the rematch and the Bucs, at -5, were never in it.

And here we go again.

Can the Saints beat the Bucs three times in one year? They will need a big game from Alvin Kamara and Brees will have to throw deep once in a while to keep  the defense honest.

Will Super Bowl champs stop the Cleveland Browns party?

It’s been great for Cleveland Browns fans, who watched their team topple the Pittsburgh Steelers twice in eight days. But now they visit the defending Super Bowl champions, who lost only one game this year.

The Browns optimist believes the team’s momentum from the Pittsburgh triumph snowballs into another upset. Cleveland backers bank on the usual stellar effort from Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. The subplot will be whether Kansas City should have kept Hunt, who broke in with them.

The Chiefs backer believes they won’t commit the mistakes that brought Cleveland that early 28-0 lead against the Steelers and that the Chiefs won’t be rusty despite the offense resting in the last regular season game.

A shootout is expected and the Chiefs, on paper, have a little more ammunition in their gun.

AP Photo/Michael Perez