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January 29, 2019

NFL Betting Season In Review: The Most-Bet Games And Teams At DraftKings Sportsbook

Grant Lucas January 29, 2019
NFL Betting 2018

Super Bowl 53 looms ahead in Atlanta with the New England Patriots taking on the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, Feb. 3.

If it’s not clear, though, this article is not about looking forward to the Big Game. This is about adjusting the rearview mirror and reflecting on the NFL season as a whole, during the first year of legalized sports betting outside of Nevada.

And it seems only appropriate to turn to one of the rising juggernauts in the wagering landscape, DraftKings Sportsbook, whose New Jersey online product has become the envy of competitors, particularly in the NJ sports betting industry.

Most popular games of the season (so far)

No doubt, the Super Bowl will attract the most wagers of the year, as it so often has in years past. History has a way of repeating itself, after all.

Dustin Gouker, lead sports betting analyst for PlayUSA.com, estimated that New Jersey could accept $100 million in legal bets while the nationwide total could near $325 million.

That obviously has yet to be seen. However, to date, the top 10 most bet-on NFL games at DraftKings Sportsbook did occur during the postseason.

Jan. 13Philadelphia Eagles at New OrleansNFC Divisional Round
Jan. 20New England Patriots at Kansas City ChiefsAFC Championship
Jan. 13LA Chargers at New England PatriotsAFC Divisional Round
Jan. 12Dallas Cowboys at LA RamsNFC Divisional Round
Jan. 12Indianapolis Colts at Kansas City ChiefsAFC Divisional Round
Jan. 6Philadelphia Eagles at Chicago BearsNFC Wild Card
Jan. 20LA Rams at New Orleans SaintsNFC Championship
Jan. 6LA Chargers at Baltimore RavensAFC Wild Card
Jan. 5Seattle Seahawks at Dallas CowboysNFC Wild Card
Jan. 5Indianapolis Colts at Houston TexansAFC Wild Card

Most and least popular teams

The correlation between successful seasons and most wagered-on teams truly astounds.

Though it stands to reason: Those great squads are perceived as locks each week.

Of the 10 most bet-on teams of the NFL season at DraftKings, eight reached the playoffs. (Dry your tears, Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers fans.)

On the flip side, nine of the 10 least wagered-on teams finished with sub-.500 records. (Why does everyone hate the Tennessee Titans so much?)

Anyway, to reiterate: The correlation between popularity and success is incredible… and hopefully only a coincidence. Yeah, it’s a coincidence.

RankMost PopularRecordLeast PopularRecord
1New England Patriots11-5 (9-7 ATS)San Francisco 49ers4-12 (5-11 ATS)
2Kansas City Chiefs12-4 (9-6-1 ATS)Arizona Cardinals3-13 (7-8-1 ATS)
3Los Angeles Chargers12-4 (9-7 ATS)Buffalo Bills6-10 (7-9 ATS)
4New Orleans Saints13-3 (10-6 ATS)Oakland Raiders4-12 (6-10 ATS)
5Philadelphia Eagles9-7 (7-9 ATS)Tampa Bay Buccaneers5-11 (7-7-2 ATS)
6Los Angeles Rams13-3 (7-8-1 ATS)Miami Dolphins7-9 (8-8 ATS)
7Green Bay Packers6-9-1 (6-9-1 ATS)Tennessee Titans9-7 (8-8 ATS)
8Indianapolis Colts10-6 (8-7-1 ATS)Detroit Lions6-10 (9-7 ATS)
9Chicago Bears12-4 (11-5 ATS)Washington Redskins7-9 (9-7 ATS)
10Pittsburgh Steelers9-6-1 (8-7-1 ATS)Cincinnati Bengals6-10 (9-7 ATS)

Get $20 Of Free Play at DraftKings!

NFL Futures? Not as popular

First and foremost: Obviously futures bets come into play, big time, with the NFL.

In the grand scheme of sports, however, the pigskin barely came up.

Three of the top five most popular futures involved predicting the World Series winner (No. 1, Yankees; No. 4, Red Sox; No. 5, Dodgers). The third-most wagered-on futures market stands as Duke to win the NCAA men’s basketball national championship. In at No. 2, though, the Rams to lift the Lombardi Trophy. (Still alive and well, to boot.)

The final five in the ranking: Alabama to win the College Football Playoff National Championship (oh, well), the Cleveland Indians to win the World Series, the Toronto Raptors to be NBA champs, Notre Dame to win the Cotton Bowl, and the Milwaukee Bucks to reign supreme in the NBA.

The baddest beats of the NFL season

Even sure-things come back to bite you in the keister. (Although, one DraftKings Sportsbook customer turned a 10-cent four-leg parlay in $363 via player props on Oct. 28. For the not-so-math-whizzes: That parlay carried 3,630-1 odds. Good on ya.)

Yet those bad beats are what haunt bettors — and, as Jane Austen once said, “gives us pleasure in the remembrance of the past.”

Here are the baddest of the bad beats — and the sweet to our Caroline.

Week 3: New York Giants at Houston Texans

Houston entered this early-season matchup as a six-point favorite against the visiting G-Men. That’s not the number that comes into question, though.

The over/under at DraftKings closed at 43 points. For under bettors, that total seemed far-fetched.

Until the final eight minutes of the game, during which the two teams combined for three touchdowns, including a meaningless Houston score with ONE SECOND LEFT. Pre-touchdown score: 27-15 (total 42 points). Post-touchdown final: 27-22 (total 49 points).

Week 4: Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts

Oh, good. The Texans are back. Fortunately, though, they are not the villains in this tale.

The Colts, as one-point favorites, needed a touchdown pass from QB Andrew Luck with 45 seconds left to force this game into overtime. Indianapolis then opened the scoring of the extra stanza with a field goal to go up 34-31.

All Indy backers needed was a stop. Indy failed. Houston kicked a game-tying field goal.

A push seemed likely, as, with the game tied and 24 seconds away from a tie, the Colts faced fourth down on their own side of the field. Punt the ball away, a tie is a near-lock.

Instead, Indy went for it. And came up short. One play later, the Texans booted a walk-off field goal to win 37-34.

Week 6: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons

The combination of the high-scoring Buccaneers and a floundering Falcons team added up to a shoo-in for a Tampa Bay upset.

If only DeSean Jackson had surer hands.

3.5-point dog, Tampa scored a TD but failed to convert the ensuing 2-point conversion to trail 31-29 with less than four minutes to go. The Falcons extended their lead with a 57-yard field goal. Yet, somehow, despite trailing by 15 points at one time, the Bucs had a shot.

As time expired, QB Jameis Winston went off on a sprint. As he was wrapped up and brought down to the turf, he lateraled. The ball rolled around on the ground. A Tampa player picked it up. Then dropped it. A teammate picked it up and saw Jackson around the 5-yard line, the end zone in sight and a sure miracle about to be completed.

Then, butterfingers.

Week 8: Green Bay Packers at Los Angeles Rams

Ah, yes. The Gurley Game.

At DraftKings, the Rams came in as 9.5-point favorites. Woof. A late touchdown run by LA RB Todd Gurley would not have made a difference there. (Although, at other NJ sportsbooks, the Rams closed at nine. Bummer.)

The consensus among all online sports betting platforms, though, was the over/under total of 56.5 points.

With just over a minute left, Gurley had an opportunity to send over backers celebrating.

Yet the running back, with nobody in front of him, held up. He went down, inside the 5-yard line, allowing LA to run out the rest of the clock and seal a 29-27 Rams win. That score potentially pushes LA’s lead to 36-27 for a total of 63 points.

Gurley doesn’t care. (Particularly about that point spread.)

Week 12: Seattle Seahawks at Carolina Panthers

Carolina closed as 3-point favorites at home. And the Panthers had the win in the bag.

Yet their 27-20 lead late in the fourth quarter could not hold up. Even with Seattle facing a fourth down.

It was then that QB Russell Wilson connected with WR David Moore for a 35-yard touchdown that allowed the Seahawks to even the score.

Carolina had a chance, but its 52-yard field goal try sailed wide. Seattle drove right downfield, and the ageless wonder Sebastian Janikowski booted a 31-yard field goal to give the Hawks a 30-27 win and lead Carolina backers to hurling their TVs out their eighth-story windows.

The Super Bowl Line Setting Juggling Act: Which Books Are Offering Patriots -3?

Chops January 29, 2019
Super Bowl Odds

Right after the conclusion of the NFC and AFC championship games, Nevada and New Jersey sportsbooks opened Super Bowl wagering with the Los Angeles Rams at -1 or -1.5 on the point spread.

An avalanche of money poured in on the New England Patriots, and the line quickly moved to Patriots -1, and eventually settled for the past week around -2.5.

Despite approximately 80% of all money at some Vegas books pumping the Patriots, the line hasn’t budged for a week. Only William Hill has planted its Patriots -3 flag into the ground.

It’s not like Vegas isn’t willing to adjust this Super Bowl, either. The initial record-setting Patriots-Rams over/under of 58.5 witnessed 69% of total tickets and 74% dollars wagered on the under. The number has since dropped to 56.5.

How the books are approaching the numbers

Analytics expect this game to be close. FiveThirtyEight has it as a virtual coin-flip, slightly favoring the Patriots as a 53% winner. numberFire has the Pats as 1.5-2.5 points better. Other models (and Madden 19) have the Rams as slightly better.

Regardless of the data, the public and perhaps the sharps all like the Patriots.

The Westgate SuperBook has realized 80% of all straight bets on New England and “moneyline wagers are on the Patriots by a 10-1 margin.” This isn’t just because the Patriots are a beloved public team like the Packers, Steelers, Bills, or Cowboys. Last year, Vegas took a bath as the majority of money was on the Eagles.

The Westgate, though, has held at Patriots -2.5. Boyd and Stations sportsbooks went to -3 before quickly readjusting to -2.5. William Hill has rested at -3, but with some price adjusting.

On Friday, William Hill moved the line 3-flat (-110). This means you could wager $110 on either side to win $100. Bettors hammered the Rams 3-flat, so William Hill adjusted to Patriots -3 (even) and Rams +3 (-120) and have since settled there.

Nick Bogdanovich, sportsbook director at William Hill, explains it:

“Once we went to 3 flat, Rams money just kept coming in. I don’t know if it was sharp. Everyone in the world plays the Super Bowl and we were the only 3 flat in town. At 2.5, it was all Patriots money. At 3 flat, it was all Rams. The Rams at plus 3 (minus) 120 is much more even.”

On the other side of the country, New Jersey sportsbook Super Bowl odds have reached a consensus of Patriots -2 or -2.5 across the board. FanDuel Sportsbook was the only operator offering -2 as of Tuesday morning.

Super Bowl 53 Odds (updated 1/29/19)

NJ Online SportsbooksDraftKingsBetStarsFanDuelCaesars888sportSugarHouse
SpreadNE -2.5
LAR +2.5
NE -2.5
LAR +2.5
NE -2.5
LAR +2.5
NE -2.5
LAR +2.5
NE -2.5
LAR +2.5
NE -2.5
LAR +2.5
MoneylineNE -127
LAR +112
NE -133
LAR +120
NE -127
LAR +117
NE -140
LAR +120
NE -132
LAR +110
NE -132
LAR +110
Sign-Up Offer$600 free bets: $100 (10 x $10 on $5 deposit) + $500 match bet$50
free + $500 free bets
53:1 Moneyline Bet ($5 to win $265)$10 free$10 free$250 match bonus

Get $20 Of Free Play at DraftKings!

Another record-setting Super Bowl?

As far as handle goes, it doesn’t matter if the line goes to Patriots -3 or not. This is shaping up to be another record-setting Super Bowl in Nevada, and in the U.S. (obviously) as well.

It’ll be record-setting for Nevada despite legal domestic competition for the first time. If nothing else, legalized sports betting is providing the old online poker corollary once again. Many in the casino industry once thought online poker would kill card room business. The opposite happened, as access to the game fed public acceptance and activity into brick-and-mortar card rooms. Even with other states allowing sports betting, Nevada is still expected to post record betting totals.

But will it be a Super Bowl of record losses again?

As they say, there wouldn’t be giant casinos in the desert if the public was always right.

However, they were right last year with the Eagles. There’s certainly consensus around the Patriots this year.

Westgate SuperBook manager John Murray told Forbes.com, “We’re going to need the Rams really big on this…”

How this game plays out, and how line movement on this game impacts earnings, will be an interesting case study on Super Bowls for years to come.

ALSO READ: How To Bet On Super Bowl 53 (Everything You Need To Know In 2019)

How To Bet On Super Bowl 53 (Everything You Need To Know In 2019)

Chris Imperiale January 29, 2019
Super Bowl 2019

Super Bowl week is finally here. Both casual fans and diehards are just days away from witnessing one of the most watched events every year to see who gets crowned the champion of pro football.

This year is especially exciting thanks to legal sports betting taking off in recent months. For the first year ever, millions of American bettors outside of Nevada can legally place wagers on the Super Bowl.

Legal states outside of Nevada now include New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, West Virginia, and Mississippi.

Let’s take a more in-depth look at this year’s Super Bowl and break down all the crucial betting information leading up to  Sunday.

Super Bowl 53 game information

Game: New England Patriots vs. Los Angeles Rams
Date: Sunday, Feb. 3
Location: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta
Kickoff Time: 6:30 pm EST
TV Network: CBS

How to bet on the Super Bowl

There are a number of different ways to place bets for the Super Bowl. Here are your options:

Point SpreadBetting against the spread is the most common way to bet an NFL game. Sportsbooks set a line and you can either take the favorite laying the points, or the underdog receiving them.

If you take the Patriots -2.5, they must win by 3 points or more for your bet to win.

MoneylineAnother popular way to bet a football game is to take the moneyline. Similar to betting the spread, you pick one of the teams to win the game. However this time there are no points involved.

Currently, at DraftKings Sportsbook, the Patriots money line sits at -139 while the Rams is +115. This means you would need to wager $139 on the Pats to win $100, whereas a $100 bet on the Rams would net $115.

Totals (over/under)If picking a side isn’t necessarily your thing, you could always opt to bet on one of the game’s totals. The most common total to take would be the game’s over/under.

The Super Bowl’s total is set at 56.5 as of Monday morning. If there are 57 or more combined points scored in the game, over bettors would win.

There are also team totals offered. In this form of the wager, you’re once again betting on if there will be more or fewer points than the set number, but this time just for one team. New England’s team total is set at 29, while Los Angeles’ is 27.5.

Super Bowl 53 odds

NJ Online SportsbooksDraftKingsBetStarsFanDuelCaesars888sportSugarHouse
SpreadNE -2.5
LAR +2.5
NE -2.5
LAR +2.5
NE -2.5
LAR +2.5
NE -2.5
LAR +2.5
NE -2.5
LAR +2.5
NE -2.5
LAR +2.5
MoneylineNE -127
LAR +112
NE -133
LAR +120
NE -127
LAR +117
NE -140
LAR +120
NE -132
LAR +110
NE -132
LAR +110
Sign-Up Offer$600 free bets: $100 (10 x $10 on $5 deposit) + $500 match bet$50
free + $500 free bets
53:1 Moneyline Bet ($5 to win $265)$10 free$10 free$250 match bonus

Other ways to bet on Super Bowl 53

Alternate lines: Beyond the regular game lines, most sportsbooks offer alternate lines for both the spread and totals. This simply means that instead of betting on the normal spread and total numbers, you bet on adjusted lines where the odds are then different to reflect these changes.

For instance, instead of betting on the Patriots -2.5, you can take them with a point spread of +5, but with odds of -275 as opposed to -115. That means you’d have to pay $275 to win $100, but your chances of winning the bet are much greater since the spreads is now 7.5 points in your favor.

The same goes for game and team totals. As opposed to taking the over at 56.5, you can bet the alternate line of over 47, with odds of -345. You only win $100 on a $345 bet, but again, your odds of winning the bet are significantly greater.

In-game wagering: Although nothing is listed right now, most sportsbooks will provide in-game betting for the Super Bowl, too. Most of the listed bet types will be available live during the game, with updated lines and odds.

Super Bowl prop bets: One of the best parts of betting the Super Bowl is all of the crazy prop bets available that are not usually offered in other games. Depending on the book, these can get pretty ridiculous.

A lot of prop bets for the Super Bowl have little to do with the actual game. These can create an incredible amount of excitement about things that would typically be insignificant like the halftime performance or the first commercial aired.

Here are some of the props offered on NJ sportsbooks:

  • Coin toss outcome
  • Coin toss winning team
  • First team to score
  • Last team to score
  • Will the game go to OT
  • Winning margin
  • Longest/shortest field goal
  • Longest/shortest touchdown
  • First scoring play
  • Team to score first and last touchdown
  • Will there be a safety
  • TD scorer jersey numbers
  • Total touchdowns
  • Total field goals
  • Total sacks
  • MVP

This list is just a small sample of props available for the Super Bowl. There are also a variety of team-specific props and player props. The most popular player props are typically which player will score the first touchdown of the game, the last touchdown of the game or just in general at any point in the game.

Can I bet on the Super Bowl legally in my state?

As mentioned, legal sports gambling is now offered in some capacity in:

  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • Delaware
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • West Virginia
  • Mississippi
  • New Mexico (only at a tribal casino)

All of these states have at least one land-based sportsbook for you to place a sports bet. Nevada, New Jersey and West Virginia are the only locations with online apps at the moment, though.

If this isn’t exciting enough, the Super Bowl in 2020 could have plenty more states on this list. Here are all of the states that have considered or have already started passing laws to legalize sports gambling:

ALSO READ: Five States Expected To Make Big Sports Betting Moves In 2019

Best online sportsbooks in the US

Luckily, residents of New Jersey have an abundance of options when it comes to betting the Super Bowl. There are several retail sportsbooks in Atlantic City casinos and other areas of the state; mobile betting is available at your fingertips anywhere in NJ.

Here are some of the best online sportsbooks:

Each of these online and mobile apps is very convenient and user-friendly. They all offer some form of a sign-up promotion along with a variety of betting options.

These sportsbooks are well respected and many have been earning a lot of money since their debut in NJ.

How much money is wagered on the Super Bowl?

Last year, Nevada sportsbooks accepted more money in wagers on the Super Bowl than ever before. The total figure bet on the big game was $158,586,934. This amount has increased every year since 2016.

With there now being many more options and availability for sports betting, expect this number to go way up.

According to the American Gaming Association, $4.6 billion was bet illegally for last year’s Super Bowl. Of course, there will still be illegal bets made across the country, but it’s almost a certainty that legal sportsbooks will see a substantial uptick in revenue from a year ago.

Dustin Gouker, the lead sports betting analyst for PlayNJ.com, has said he believes there will be $100 million legally bet on the Super Bowl just in New Jersey. He expects this figure to be around $325 million for the entire United States.

Super Bowl Betting picks and advice

We don’t offer betting advice here at TheLines. We leave that to our friends at PlayPicks.com. Be sure to check out all of their Super Bowl preview content leading up to the big game, including daily videos at the PlayPicks YouTube channel.

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