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Grant Lucas

Grant Lucas

Grant Lucas is a longtime sports writer who has covered the high school, collegiate and professional levels. A graduate of Linfield College in McMinnville, Grant has covered games and written features and columns surrounding prep sports, Linfield and Oregon State athletics, the Portland Trail Blazers and golf.

BetStars NJ Sports Betting App: How To Get Started

Grant Lucas December 10, 2018
BetStars

Since DraftKings Sportsbook became the state’s first online product at the beginning of August, the NJ sports betting mobile crowd has swelled to eight products — the latest of which fully activated on Sept. 13.

Welcome, BetStars

Through a partnership with Resorts Atlantic CityThe Stars Group, which operates the PokerStars NJ, introduced its BetStars sports betting platform.

Based out of the Isle of Man, The Stars Group joins the wave of European gaming companies expanding or making their first footprints on American soil.

With nearly a dozen sports betting licenses worldwide, BetStars has become a fixture in the wagering industry. At the time of the company’s partnership with Resorts, Matt Primeaux, SVP Strategy & Operations, USA at The Stars Group, noted how that experience will translate to the US.

“Working with our longstanding partner, Resorts, we are really excited to introduce a brand-new consumer experience by bringing New Jersey fans closer to the sports and the teams that they love,” Primeaux said. He then added: “We believe The Stars Group is uniquely qualified with the experience and insight needed to make sports betting a success in New Jersey.”

How to get started

Gaining access to the BetStars mobile sportsbook is simple.

For Android, users visit the BetStars NJ website and are faced with oversized font that is impossible to miss. A quick scroll down brings to the screen the “Get Our Android App” button. Upon selection, the app will begin downloading on the mobile device. Once complete, open the app, see the options, sign up and get cracking.

For iOS users, the BetStars product is similar. Download the app, sign up, see the games, get to betting.

BetStars at a glance

Courtesy of its overseas experience and success, BetStars features a clean interface with smooth navigation.

Upon opening the app on Android, users are taken to the home page that features “Highlights” of the day. In Friday’s case, that included the Odds Boost feature, which according to the BetStars website, boosts “the payouts of certain favorite bets each day to give you a bigger and better return.”

Also on the home page are two tabs that display a pair of features ideal for first users. The Popular tab includes the top games on which to wager, such as the weekend’s popular college football games or the top events from baseball, soccer, tennis, boxing/UFC and hockey. Neighboring the tab is In-Game, which offers in-play betting in contests currently underway. Near the bottom of the page are the Trending Bets, a self-explanatory section that features the contests drawing the most action from bettors.

For those not willing to scroll too much, or those who know exactly what sport and what games on which to wager, the top of the page will draw the most attention. Spread across the page beneath the BetStars banner are the wide selection of sports the app offers:

  • NFL
  • NCAA football
  • MLB
  • English Premier League
  • Football (in general, which includes NFL, NCAA and the CFL)
  • Basketball
  • Soccer
  • Tennis
  • Golf
  • Boxing/UFC
  • Hockey
  • Cycling
  • Motorsports

The app caters to the frugal bettors in the audience, offering minimum bets of just $0.01 for some events, the lowest in the NJ market. To boot, those penny wagers are vig-free.

Helping the app stand out from the crowd is the “Spin & Bet” feature that is a spinoff of the PokerStars’ “Spin & Go.” With this feature, users take a portion of their wagers and spin a wheel to possibly win up to a 10-time multiplier on potential winnings. Users select a bet type in the drop-down Spin & Bet section of the app, add it to their betting clips, enter the wager amount and click ‘Spin & place bet.’ Odds on the bet will then be multiplied by the spin’s outcome. In order to fund the “enhanced odds jackpot,” according to BetStars, “we deduct 10% from every Spin & Bet amount.

Primeaux has noted that one of the app’s features will be live streaming, which by initial launch had not been activated. With this feature, bettors can follow the action of their events without physically watching gameplay.

Additionally, A cashout option allows users to earn winnings before the end of a given event. Take Super Bowl LI, during which the Atlanta Falcons blew a 28-3 lead against the New England Patriots. If bettors feared such a comeback was in store, they can cash out before the rally even begins.

BetStars also offers several betting and deposit promotions. After signing up, users can wager $25 on any event on any day and received $5 in free bets. New players also have the opportunity to receive $500 in wagers. Bettors place a bet, up to $50, and have it matched by BetStars. On top of that, for every $150 wagered thereafter, another $50 in free bets come in, up to $450.

NBA Betting Round-Up: Rockets Still Among Title Favorites Despite Dreadful Start

Grant Lucas December 3, 2018
NBA Betting

Well, this is going to be a strange year.

The Los Angeles Clippers (15-7) are the best team in the Western Conference? And the Houston Rockets, after winning a franchise-record 65 games last season, sit outside the playoff line in the West?

The Boston Celtics are mediocre-at-best? And Kawhi Leonard is an MVP candidate/actually enjoying himself in Toronto?

Don’t worry, Tom Smykowski. No need to break out your “Jump to Conclusions” mat. It’s still early, so I’m told. Things can turn around.

What does not seem to be changing, however, is the rising popularity of sports betting in New Jersey. Other than a bit of a revenue dip in October (bettors aren’t complaining; it was a friendly month for them), overall handle continued to rise, up to an unprecedented $260 million.

Of course, the NFL can take credit for much of that trend. Certainly, though, the NBA has begun carrying its fair share of the load.

With November gone, as are two months of the basketball season. Which means it’s time for everyone’s favorite game show: Are You Smarter Than A Bookmaker? (Hint: no.)

A quick recap of NJ sports betting

Of the top 10 games most wagered on in New Jersey last month, at least at DraftKings Sportsbooksix involved the Golden State Warriors. Interestingly, though, two of the top three did not.

Actually, DraftKings’ top two NJ sports betting games featured the Trail Blazers: at home against the New Orleans Pelicans on Nov. 1, then at the Lakers nearly two weeks later.

Behind Golden State, the most bet-on teams at DraftKings in November included the Philadelphia 76ersBoston Celtics, Raptors, and, surprisingly, the Brooklyn Nets. Conversely, the Cleveland CavaliersDallas Mavericks and Phoenix Suns saw the least amount of action.

DraftKings was also home to a pair of monster parlays. On Nov. 4, one bettor wagered $10 on a 12-leg NBA/NHL parlay, one that held 896.27/1 odds and paid nearly $9,000. And on Thanksgiving, a $50 bet on a six-leg parlay paid out almost $6,800 thanks, in part, to the New York Knicks taking down the Celtics (a +1000 moneyline) and the Sacramento Kings upending the Utah Jazz (at +330).

Kambi, which powers three of the biggest online sportsbooks in New Jersey, reported an even split between in-game betting and traditional pregame wagering: 50.1 percent to 49.9 percent, respectively. Regarding in-play, one in every 16 wagers addresses the “next field goal” market.

Outside the moneyline, according to Kambi, the most popular pregame markets include player points linesteam spread and points line parlay, and rebounds by players. For player points bets, LeBron James and Kevin Durant see the most action.

At FanDuel Sportsbook, both online and retail, Warriors games featured more than 20,000 wagers last month. Golden State finished November as the top NBA team in generating handle. (Of note: The Warriors’ four-game losing streak proved beneficial for FanDuel, as bettors continued betting on Golden State to halt the skid.)

FanDuel also noted that the biggest NBA days for FanDuel are Fridays and Wednesdays, a result of a higher volume of games those days without much football with which to compete.

Interestingly, during last week’s Thursday night NFL game between the New Orleans Saints and Dallas Cowboys, many of the patrons in the sportsbook’s simulcast lounge watched less of the football game and more of the Golden State-Toronto matchup.

Over/Under Challenge: Eastern Conference

Two months in, clearer pictures begin to emerge on the potential of NBA teams this season. As such, for those who participated in the NBA/MGM $1 million over/under contest, egos begin inflating more or deflate enough to fit the comfort of New England QB Tom Brady.

With help from FiveThirtyEight and its NBA predictions based on Elo ratings, we can examine each team’s current record and get a glimpse of their potential futures. Let’s begin with the Eastern Conference.

Eastern
Conference
Preseason
Over/Under
PickRecord*Pace
*(Through Nov. 30)
Atlanta Hawks26.5Under5-1722-60
Boston Celtics58.5Over11-1049-33
Brooklyn Nets29.5Over8-1432-50
Charlotte Hornets35.5Over11-1042-40
Chicago Bulls28.5Over5-1722-60
Cleveland Cavaliers30.5Over4-1629-53
Detroit Pistons40.5Over11-743-39
Indiana Pacers46.5Over13-949-33
Miami Heat41.5Over7-1333-49
Milwaukee Bucks46.5Under15-655-27
New York Knicks31.5Under7-1629-53
Orlando Magic30.5Over10-1235-47
Philadelphia 76ers54.5Under15-851-31
Toronto Raptors54.5Under19-459-23
Washington Wizards44.5Over8-1335-47

A few observations

Boston Celtics: This was supposed to be the year, Boston. You’re healthy. You’re at full force. You don’t have any excuses this year. The World Series parade beer-can-hurling was a celebration. Keep nose-diving and you’ll have thousands of this guy to deal with.

Brooklyn Nets: Name the Brooklyn starting five. Go. No? Ok, name three players on the roster. Go. Still nothing? I don’t care. Which apparently is the mindset of anyone the Nets have played this year.

Charlotte Hornets: Poor Kemba Walker. He needs to go for 50 a night just to give Charlotte a chance. There’s still hope. And if nothing else, they still have the 30th anniversary season to celebrate, replete with nostalgic throwbacks and that DOPE COURT DESIGN.

Cleveland Cavaliers: Fell into the typical Cleveland trap. Thinking a bunch of rag-tag guys could somehow be at least mediocre. Oh, well. When to pitchers and catchers report?

Milwaukee Bucks: How is it the Bucks can get all Hulkamania on the Blazers one night, winning by 43, then turn into first-half Little Giants two nights later and lose to the lowly Suns? Here’s hoping that inconsistency becomes more consistent. Or at least that Giannis Antetokounmpo stops being such a damn beast.

Over/Under Challenge: Western Conference

As for the Western Conference:

Western
Conference
Preseason
Over/Under
PickRecord*Pace
*(Through Nov. 30)
Dallas Mavericks35.5Under10-938-44
Denver Nuggets46.5Over14-752-30
Golden State Warriors64.5Under15-852-30
Houston Rockets56.5Over9-1146-36
Los Angeles Clippers38.5Over15-652-30
Los Angeles Lakers49.5Over12-944-38
Memphis Grizzlies32.5Over12-840-42
Minnesota Timberwolves44.5Under11-1142-40
New Orleans Pelicans43.5Over11-1143-39
Oklahoma City Thunder48.5Under13-751-31
Phoenix Suns27.5Under4-1719-63
Portland Trail Blazers42.5Over13-847-35
Sacramento Kings26.5Under10-1135-47
San Antonio Spurs45.5Under10-1137-45
Utah Jazz48.5Under10-1244-38

A few observations

Golden State Warriors: Clearly it has become clear that Stephen Curry is the most important piece of the Warriors puzzle. He missed all but two-and-a-half games in November. In those 11 full games without the point guard: Golden State went 5-6.

Houston Rockets: Insert party dance gif here followed by a video montage of happy crying moments.

Los Angeles Clippers: Here it is, the most overlooked, most forgotten, most best team in Los Angeles (don’t @ me). Sweet Lou Williams is an all-star, or he should be. Tobias Harris is ballin’ out. And friggin’ Danilo Gallinari is playing like it’s 2007.

Minnesota Timberwolves: What is this? Minny trades away the tyrant King George and all of a sudden you remember how to play well? Stop it. Stop this now.

Oklahoma City Thunder: See above. I won’t repeat myself. Steven Adams is the real MVP, though.

Who ya got for the end-of-season hardware?

Hot take alert. Pull the fire alarm, get out the fire extinguisher, and get out the milk to help ease the spice. The Warriors are still the heavy favorite for the NBA title, so heavy that not even Tony Perkis stands a chance at reforming them into skinny winners.

Golden State holds -200 and -160 moneylines at DraftKings and FanDuel sportsbooks, respectively. The Celtics (+700/+750) and Raptors (+900/+750) sit as the top contenders from the Eastern Conference.

Interestingly, despite a one-win October schedule and another losing skid to end November, the Rockets, +900 at DraftKings and +1000 at FanDuel Sportsbook, are still considered a top prospect for the NBA title. The teams climbing the ladder include the Bucks (+10,000 preseason at FanDuel, currently +2000) and the Pelicans (+9000 preseason at DraftKings, currently +3500).

To wrap up, consider the early-season MVP race and each player’s odds (at FanDuel/DraftKings):

  • Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo (+250/+240)
  • LA Lakers’ LeBron James (+300/+460)
  • Golden State’s Stephen Curry (+500/+600)
  • New Orleans’ Anthony Davis (+500/+500)
  • Toronto’s Kawhi Leonard (+700/+750)
  • Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid (+900/+1100)
  • Golden State’s Kevin Durant (+1000/+1500)
  • Houston’s James Harden (+1000/+1500)

Of note: Curry continues to be a top contender for the MVP, despite the fact that he missed 11 of the Warriors’ 14 games in November, while Durant, at a 50 percent success rate, carried Golden State through the month.

Where’s the respect for Damian Lillard? Dude’s ballin’ for arguably one of the biggest surprise teams of the early season. No love for the Blazers guard? One of six players in the league averaging 27 points6 assists and 5 rebounds? The other five are serious contenders, after all. Lillard, though: +4000 at DraftKings, +6000 at FanDuel.

You know what time it is.

FanDuel Rolls Out New Campaign Featuring Halftime Quitter Vontae Davis

Grant Lucas November 20, 2018
Vontae Davis

Ray Lewis fired teammates up with halftime pep talks. Vontae Davis prefers the Irish exit.

You may recall that highly anticipated game between the Buffalo Bills and Los Angeles Chargers game in Week 2 of the NFL season. No? You chose instead to flip between Billy Mays infomercials and nonsensically named committee meetings on your local public access channel? You and everybody else.

Anyway, in that game, the Bills, at home, trailed 28-6 at the half. Davis left the building. Literally. Retired. Off to go live on a beach in Zihuatanejo.

Now Davis is back. And he’s poised to score more points in his first week playing fantasy football than his former team has all season.

In a Monday announcementFanDuel brought on Davis as the centerpiece for “a multichannel campaign” that “encompasses digital, television, and social, including a new (30-second) television spot.”

And, oh boy, did FanDuel ever buy into Davis’ No.-16-seed-like reputation.

‘Walk away’ and get ‘a fresh start’

Most fantasy football seasons are beginning to wind down. FanDuel, though, has stepped forward to let the DFS world know that not all is lost.

From the release:

“With the football season well past the halfway mark, many season long fantasy players must come to grips with the fact that their dreams of making their fantasy league playoffs and winning it all are over … but they don’t have to stop playing fantasy football.”

And here’s where Davis comes in:

“FanDuel, in tandem with All-Pro cornerback Vontae Davis, is here to let fans know that it’s OK to walk away from their fantasy leagues and they can get a fresh start by playing on FanDuel.”

Whatever the opposite of Irish exit is (SWAT Team entrance?), that’s what Davis apparently did.

On the heels of that spot, FanDuel posted a tweet with a photo of Davis pointing toward the camera: “Is your season-long fantasy team out of playoff contention? It’s time to walk away. Right, @VontaeDavis?”

Sounds like all-star trolling. But Davis, apparently, loves the campaign, which will have commercials run for three weeks. From the release:

“I know how serious fantasy owners are about their teams, it can be tough for them to admit defeat. The opportunity to get a fresh start with FanDuel and still come out on top can help with the coping process. Sometimes you just have to know when to walk way.”

The good and the bad

Bad acting aside, though good enough for Wilt Chamberlain and anyone else who appeared in “Conan the Destroyer,” the spot lands brilliantly. (FanDuel Group CMO Mike Raffensperger credited Davis’ “fantastic sense of humor,” displaying the former player’s fearlessness “to put a fun spin on a serious decision he made.”)

The humor is evident, despite an over-cheesiness that even Wisconsinites became lactose intolerant.

Naturally, though, social media took over.

Aside from some users accurately noting that Davis was never All-Pro (he was a two-time Pro-Bowler, to be fair), Twitter did not disappoint.

Some of the highlight responses:

  • “I quit watching halfway through it.”
  • “I think I am gonna quit playing FanDuel now.”
  • “Wait, I can quit a league midway through the game and still get paid?”

And the winner of the inaugural Oak Award, given to the tweet with the most shade: “Shocked he sat around long enough to finish this promo.”

Then again, FanDuel gets its campaign shared around the Twitter-sphere. Vontae Davis is back in the limelight and already has one-third the victories Buffalo has this year.

Leaving the Bills now becomes the SECOND-best decision Davis made this season.

Pound The Rock: Checking In On The First Month Of NBA Betting

Grant Lucas November 5, 2018
NBA Betting

OK. Don’t freak out. It’s only been a few weeks. No title is won in October.

Although. I suppose it’s possible to LOSE title.

Sorry, Los Angeles Lakers. Apologies, Houston Rockets. Additional-though-insincere sympathetic comment, the rest of the Western Conference and entire NBA outside of the Golden State Warriors.

Behold, the NBA has returned. Well, not so much “season” as “countdown to Golden State’s championship.”

Entering the season, Golden State held -200 odds to win its third straight NBA title and fourth in five years. Per sportsoddshistory.com, no other team in the last 30 years has been such a heavy favorite, let alone the odds-on favorite — that is, until the Warriors earned that recognition two years ago… and then last year… and this year…

So basically, Obi-Wan Kenobi, not even you can provide hope. But hey, you can cash in on the Warriors, or on a darkhorse. Sports betting is in full swing in several states, especially in New Jersey. After each month of the NBA season, we’ll check in with NJ sports betting operations and update some preseason projections via the league’s $1 million over/under contest.

So let’s begin.

A quick recap of NJ sports betting

FanDuel Sportsbook opened the season by offering a promotion wherein bettors received a $3 bonus for every point LeBron James scored when they wagered a minimum $50 on the Lakers’ moneyline. As a result, the sportsbook doled out more than $250,000 in credit.

Another promotion that paid off was a local lock. When wagering on the New York Knicks or Brooklyn Nets to win (yeah, right), bettors could receive their money back (up to $100) should they lose in their respective games (Knicks vs. Hawks, Nets vs. Pistons). With the Nets losing, FanDuel reported, Brooklyn bettors got back more than $100,000 in credit.

The highlight of the early NBA betting season came Oct. 24, when “one brilliant mind,” as FanDuel described it, wagered $200 on the ENTIRE NBA BOARD! Victory came. And that 11-leg parlay, with winning odds of 1 in 650, paid out over $86,000.

Over/Under Challenge: Eastern Conference

The NBA, in its over/under contest presented by MGM, feeds hubris. It fuels the ego. No better feeling exists in life than throwing a parade, ribbon dancers abounding, with a sing-song “Told ya! Called it!” providing the soundtrack.

In an attempt to land a cool $1 million, participants examined the projected win totals for each NBA team. Correctly predicting the over/under for all 30 teams earns a seven-figure payday. (As a consolation prize, nailing 25 picks gets a gift card to the NBA Store. I’ll take the mil, thanks. And also the mil promised by a coworker, and another couple grand by another coworker. Naturally, I’ll be keeping tabs throughout the season.)

With help from FiveThirtyEight and its NBA predictions based on Elo ratings, we can not only look at current records but see a projected final record. Let’s start with the Eastern Conference.

Eastern
Conference
Preseason
Over/Under
PickRecord*Pace
*(Through Oct. 31)
Atlanta Hawks26.5Under2-528-54
Boston Celtics58.5Over5-251-31
Brooklyn Nets29.5Over3-534-48
Charlotte Hornets35.5Over4-443-39
Chicago Bulls28.5Over2-627-55
Cleveland Cavaliers30.5Over1-635-47
Detroit Pistons40.5Over4-340-42
Indiana Pacers46.5Over5-349-33
Miami Heat41.5Over3-439-43
Milwaukee Bucks46.5Under7-053-29
New York Knicks31.5Under2-629-53
Orlando Magic30.5Over2-526-56
Philadelphia 76ers54.5Under4-449-33
Toronto Raptors54.5Under7-154-28
Washington Wizards44.5Over1-636-46

Right on track

  • Charlotte Hornets: The Hornets went just .500 over their first eight games. Already that seemed like overachieving. This is a franchise that won 48 games three years ago, but has consistently finished below 37 victories and out of the playoffs since its 1990s heyday. Even so, Kemba Walker, the newly crowned franchise leading scorer, has Charlotte out of the gates with confidence. Granted, the Hornets’ opponents so far wouldn’t scare a goat into a frozen fright. Yet Charlotte had three losses decided by two points or less, including against playoff contenders Milwaukee and Philadelphia.
  • Cleveland Cavaliers: Going 1-6 in the first month is nothing to write home about. Though it will earn a pass to the front of the unemployment line, which coach Tyronn Lue indeed received. The MGM-fueled contest pegged Cleveland to still win over 30 games, which seemed rather lofty. The last time James left, the Cavs plummeted from 61 wins to just 19 victories. Still, Cleveland has weapons, even if one, Kevin Love, will be sidelined for an extended period due to injury. It’s still the East. There’s still hope for competitiveness, which has not shown thus far. Still, as FiveThirtyEight projects, the Cavs still have a chance to push for the postseason (it is the East, after all). However, if things continue to go south, certainly owner Dan Gilbert will again pull the tanking trigger.
  • Indiana Pacers: The Pacers were thoroughly underrated last season. After trading away centerpiece Paul George, Indiana had only a few playmakers. And no cornerstones. At the time, anyway. Behind Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis (two pieces received from OKC in the George deal) as well as Myles Turner and Thaddeus Young and somehow Lance Stephenson, the Pacers won 48 games (17.5 more than the preseason over/under) before bowing out in the first round. This year, Oladipo has continued his rise, averaging 22 points per game in October for an Indiana team that ranked second in the league in field goal and three-point percentage. In a LeBron-less East, Indiana still seems like an heir apparent.

Off the rails

  • Boston Celtics: Fifty-seven players in the NBA had better scoring averages than the top scorer for the Celtics in October. The Celtics still went 5-2. When LeBron bolted to the West, Boston jumped to the top of the list of Eastern Conference representatives in the NBA Finals. Even if Bron stayed in Cleveland, the Celtics likely would receive similar praise. Despite a strong start, though, FiveThirtyEight has Boston stumbling along the way. Yet Boston boasted six players averaging double figures in the first month while holding opponents to the second-lowest shooting percentage.
  • Milwaukee Bucks: The last unbeaten team in the NBA was not the Warriors. There’s the first shock. It was not either of the East’s top contenders, the Celtics or the Raptors. Actually, it was Toronto, then undefeated, that the Bucks defeated to exit October with a flawless 7-0 mark. The Alphabet, Giannis Antetokounmpo, has again emerged as an MVP candidate for Milwaukee, which has limited opponents to the worst shooting percentage in the league. Regression to the mean can be a wonderful thing (for those taking the under), but an inexplicable slump or some bad injury luck would need to get the Bucks down to around their projected 46.5 win total.
  • Washington Wizards: Easily the most disappointing first-month performance in the league. And also another black mark against Dwight Howard. A playoff team four times in the past five years, Washington didn’t just stumble out of the starting blocks. It slipped, tripped, face-planted and skidded off the track into a cart of manure. John Wall and Bradley Beal are doing what they can, both averaging more than 20 points per game in October on better than 44 percent shooting apiece. But the Wizards need a streak. Or they will post the franchise’s lowest win total since Beal’s rookie year in 2012-13.

Over/Under Challenge: Western Conference

As for the Best Western Conference:

Western
Conference
Preseason
Over/Under
PickRecord*Pace
*(Through Oct. 31)
Dallas Mavericks35.5Under2-627-55
Denver Nuggets46.5Over6-151-31
Golden State Warriors64.5Under8-162-20
Houston Rockets56.5Over1-544-38
Los Angeles Clippers38.5Over4-345-37
Los Angeles Lakers49.5Over3-538-44
Memphis Grizzlies32.5Over4-232-50
Minnesota Timberwolves44.5Under4-441-41
New Orleans Pelicans43.5Over4-348-34
Oklahoma City Thunder48.5Under2-443-39
Phoenix Suns27.5Under1-620-62
Portland Trail Blazers42.5Over5-251-31
Sacramento Kings26.5Under5-336-46
San Antonio Spurs45.5Under5-245-37
Utah Jazz48.5Under4-354-28

Right on track

  • Denver Nuggets: Fun challenge — name the starting five for the Nuggets. Name three players other than Nikola Jokic. Name Denver’s coach. Doesn’t matter. They don’t care. Denver wrapped up October with the second-most wins in the West, behind only the Warriors. Four of the Nuggets’ five starting regulars (all five, if you count Will Barton, who has been sidelined since the second game of the year due to injury) averaged more than 12 points per game in the first month. Not only is Denver winning the jersey war, it’s started establishing itself as a contender.
  • Oklahoma City Thunder: Speaking on behalf of all Seattle diehards, good. Finally, the Sonics have something to be proud of. Despite ridding itself of iso-beso master Carmelo Anthony, OKC has not put anything together. Russell Westbrook and Paul George both averaged 25 points per game, yet the Thunder shot a league-worst 27.5 percent from 3-point range, an absolute necessity in today’s game.
  • Portland Trail Blazers: You would think after several years of shaming the Trail Blazers and pegging them as mediocre-at-best, oddsmakers would at some point try to provide some respect. Then again, Portland has been known to use any fodder as motivation. Still, a preseason projection of 42.5 wins, nearly seven less than last year’s total, seems to have inspired Portland more than ever before. Off to the third-best record in the West, the Blazers have under-the-radar MVP candidate Damian Lillard, the only player in October to average nearly 30 points, six assists and five boards per game.

Off the rails

  • Houston Rockets: The Carmelo Anthony effect has set in. The team with the NBA’s best record last year, with a franchise-record 65 wins, went just 1-5 in October. James Harden continues to be a travelling circus (emphasis on travelling; don’t @ me), and Chris Paul, when not poking the face of Rajon Rondo, continues to be a top-tier point guard. Yet the Rockets shot the second-lowest field goal percentage in the NBA. Certainly, one would assume, Houston will right the ship. But when? How quickly?
  • Los Angeles Lakers: Certainly no one, at least nobody in their right minds and nobody whose room is decorated with padded walls, expected the Lakers to become immediate championship contenders. Even an NBA Finals has not gone on without LeBron on the court since 2010. The Lakers got off to a horrid start and limped into November at 3-5. The rag-tag island of misfit toys could still find a rhythm. Most LeBron teams do at some point. Here’s hoping.
  • Sacramento Kings: No. No no no. Nonononono. C’mon, Kings. Who does this? Granted, the preseason over/under for Sac-tap-town stood at a mere 26.5. And the Kings have not won fewer than 27 games since 2012. Still, Sacramento has lost more and more over the past three years. Off to a 5-3 start, Sacramento is among the league leaders in field goal (49.8) and 3-point (40) percentage. But the Kings are still young. The West is still loaded. The trademark Sactown Slump awaits. Hopefully.

Who ya got for the title?

Naturally, the Warriors continue to be odds-on favorites to win the NBA title. After just two weeks, however, several teams have argued hard enough for lines to move significantly at FanDuel Sportsbook and DraftKings Sportsbook.

The Bucks, for example, jumped from a +10,000 preseason line to +4,400 at FanDuel, while the Nuggets have climbed from +8,000 to +6,000. At DraftKings Sportsbook, Toronto went from +1,700 to +900, and the New Orleans Pelicans have gone from +9,000 to +4,500.

As for MVP odds (at FanDuel/DraftKings):

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo (+240/+300)
  • Steph Curry (+410/+450)
  • Anthony Davis (+390/+450)
  • LeBron James (+500/+450)
  • Kawhi Leonard (+750/+650)

ALSO READ: Have the Golden State Warriors Ruined NBA Betting?

World Series Betting: Game 5 Odds And Props At NJ Sportsbooks

Grant Lucas October 28, 2018
Game 5 betting

Chavez Ravine takes on a desperate, perhaps even somber, environment for Game 5 of the World Series on Sunday night.

With its Los Angeles Dodgers fighting for their lives against the Boston Red Sox, trailing 3-1 in the series, the Blue Crew fanbase holds onto slim hope for the Dodgers’ first world championship in 30 years. Heck, even the dang Angels have won a title in that time. Ouch.

Once again, a Boston pinch-hitter entered the nightmares of LA fans, like Freddy Krueger in a Sox hat. Mitch Moreland inconceivably connected for a three-run homer in the top of the seventh inning, his first dinger since Aug. 22, to cut a four-run Dodgers lead to one. Steve Pearce added his own name to LA’s Mount Hauntmore by blasting a game-tying homer in the eighth inning, then smacked a two-out, three-run double that capped a five-run ninth inning for Boston to build a 9-4 advantage.

Pearce’s timely hitting proved game-winning, as the Dodgers’ Kike Hernandez belted a two-run homer in the home half of the ninth, finalizing LA’s 9-6 loss.

Only six teams in Fall Classic history have rallied from a 3-1 series deficit. Fortunately, recent history leaves some optimism for the Dodgers, as the Chicago Cubs stormed back to beat the Cleveland Indians in 2016.

That said, of the 35 teams to lead 3-1 in the World Series, 18 clinched the title in Game 5. There’s the oil to hope’s water.

Onward to glory

While LA manager Dave Roberts has attempted to use the same analytical approach that helped the Dodgers reach the World Series for the second straight year, Boston has relied on its clutch hitting, its young talent, the gut-feeling decision-making of manager Alex Cora.

As a result, the Red Sox, despite a heart-wrenching 18-inning loss in Game 3, have positioned themselves for a fourth league championship since 2004. Rightly so, Boston, in the New Jersey sports betting market, has become a bigger favorite than Kirk Gibson at Dodger Stadium.

And with its core of talent, this could only be just the beginning of a Boston dynasty (again).

SportsbookBostonLA Dodgers
DraftKings-1430+800
BetStars1/1215/2
FanDuel-900+800
SugarHouse-1430+800
888sport-1430+800
Caesars-1200+750
William Hill-1100+700
MGM-1200+700

Looking ahead, here’s the schedule:

  • Game 5 at Los Angeles: Sunday, 8:15 p.m. ET
  • Game 6 at Boston: Tuesday, 8:09 p.m. ET (if necessary)
  • Game 7 at Boston: Wednesday, 8:09 p.m. ET (if necessary)

Game 5 lines

While the Dodgers hoped for anniversary magic to lead to a long-starved-for World Series title, it’s another landmark year that comes to the forefront.

The last time Los Angeles lost back-to-back Series, Tommy John was dealing for the Dodgers, and Steve Garvey and Davey Lopes anchored the right side of the infield. One loss to Boston, in any of the remaining three games, would deal LA its first back-to-back Series losses since 1977 and 1978. On top of that, the Dodgers would become the first team to lose consecutive World Series at home since the New York Giants in 1936 and 1937.

SportsbookMoneylineSpreadOver/Under
*Multiple lines offered
DraftKingsBOS +123/LA -139BOS +1.5 (-190)/LA -1.5 (+155)7.5 (-103/-118)
BetStarsBOS +130/LA -150BOS +1.5 (-182)/LA -1.5 (+150)7.5 (-110/-110)
FanDuelBOS +134/LA -150BOS +1.5 (-170)/LA -1.5 (+150)7.5 (-104/-112)
SugarHouseBOS +123/LA -139BOS +1.5 (-190)/LA -1.5 (+155)*7.5 (-103/-118)*
888sportBOS +120/LA -143BOS +1 (-129)/LA -1 (+106)*7.5 (-104/-118)*
CaesarsBOS +132/LA -142BOS +1.5 (-170)/LA -1.5 (+150)7.5 (-105/-115)
William HillBOS +132/LA -142BOS +1.5 (-170)/LA -1.5 (+150)7.5 (-110/-110)
MGMBOS +131/LA -141BOS +1.5 (-170)/LA -1.5 (+150)7.5 (-110/-110)

MVP props, props, propspropsprops

Rather than examining the most intriguing wagers at various NJ sportsbooks, it’s most likely time to begin assessing proper Series MVP candidates.

Fortunately, there are lines for that.

Start with Boston’s latest in a long line of postseason heroes.

Pearce, one of just six players in MLB history to play for every team in the same division, joined Carl Yastrzemski (1967) and David Ortiz (2004) as the only Sox players to homer and drive in four runs in a World Series game.

Those kinds of heroics hold a lot of weight, especially considering he has batted a decent .250 with no strikeouts and four walks. That, and his five RBIs lead all players this series. BetStars lists Pearce’s MVP odds at 14/1, while FanDuel Sportsbook pays +1300. Pretty good for a guy who’s changed teams nine times since 2007.

Yet Pearce sits behind four teammates in the odds column:

  • JD Martinez, batting .214 with four RBIs: 5/2 by BetStars, +240 by FanDuel
  • Mookie Betts, batting .211: 3/1 by BetStars, +340 by FanDuel
  • Andrew Benintendi, batting .357: 7/2 by BetStars, +375 by FanDuel
  • Xander Bogaerts, batting .105: 9/1 by BetStars, +1000 by FanDuel

For those still holding out hope for the Dodgers, keep holding on. The odds of completing a comeback rise dramatically with each win. Of the 17 teams winning Game 5, eight forced a Game 7. And in that deciding game, six teams clinched the title.

So, for those holding out hope, consider LA’s top three MVP candidates. Yasiel Puig, batting .235 with four RBIs and a home run, is listed at 18/1 at BetStars and +2000 at FanDuel. Teammates Justin Turner (a Series-best .381 average) and Manny Machado (.222 with three RBIS) both feature +2500 payouts at FanDuel.

World Series Betting: Game 4 Odds And Props At NJ Sportsbooks

Grant Lucas October 27, 2018
Game 4 Betting

Guess there will indeed be a World Series Game 5. Sorry, bettors who took the Sox in a sweep. Blame Ian Kinsler. Everyone else is.

Although some are a little more sympathetic.

Regardless, Game 3 ended after 18 innings, courtesy of a Max Muncy walk-off home run. The game featured the most inning in Series history, first set 102 years ago — between the Red Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers (then the Brooklyn Robins), during which a fella named Babe Ruth recorded 13 shutout innings. (Oh, and Game 3 went an absurd SEVEN HOURS AND TWENTY MINUTES!)

Aside from Kinsler (even the top four spots of the Boston lineup, which went 0-for-28), nothing disappointed in the third game. Pitching in his third game of relief this Series, Boston’s Nathan Eovaldi went the final six innings, throwing 97 pitches that matches the postseason high for a Sox pitcher (which Eovaldi set in the ALDS). Suffice to say, Eovaldi won’t be starting Saturday’s Game 4 as originally scheduled.

Recapping Game 3 betting action

Wagers poured in at FanDuel Sportsbook until just before 3:30 AM ET, when the game mercifully ended. For the New Jersey sportsbook, Game 3 featured the highest volume of NJ sports betting action of the MLB season.

Some 5,600 bets came down on the moneyline alone, part of a day of wagers that was 25 percent more than the previous high, the final game between the Red Sox and the New York Yankees in the ALDS. Those moneyline bets were up 40 percent from that Sox-Yankees game nearly three weeks ago.

While the majority of the handle went toward the Dodgers (52 percent), the bulk of overall wagers went with the Red Sox (63 percent). Of note, one bettor, at 1:50 AM ET, laid down $5,000 on the Dodgers to win. With a -125 line, that bet paid off $9,000.

Onward to glory

A day after it appeared Los Angeles was already set to break out its offseason fishing gear, the Dodgers are back in contention.

A Game 3 loss would have slid the nails into LA’s coffin. Instead, history has shifted to the Dodgers’ favor. Per Elias Sports Bureau, Los Angeles has won three best-of-seven series in which they trailed two games to none. In all three (the 1955, 1965 and 1981 World Series), the Dodgers, as they did this year, dropped the opening two games on the road.

As a result, the Red Sox, listed by FanDuel as -650 favorites to win the Series heading into Game 3, now see their odds drop to -280.

SportsbookBostonLA Dodgers
DraftKings-295+235
BetStars1/349/20
FanDuel-280+240
SugarHouse-295+235
888sport-295+235
Caesars-240+210
William Hill-260+220
MGM-300+240

Looking ahead, here’s the schedule:

  • Game 4 at Los Angeles: Saturday, 8:09 p.m. ET
  • Game 5 at Los Angeles: Sunday, 8:15 p.m. ET
  • Game 6 at Boston: Tuesday, 8:09 p.m. ET (if necessary)
  • Game 7 at Boston: Wednesday, 8:09 p.m. ET (if necessary)

Game 4 lines

Thanks to Muncy, the Dodgers have turned the tables on Boston. Home teams have won each of the first three games, a trend that bodes well for LA as it hosts Games 4 and 5.

SportsbookMoneylineSpreadOver/Under
*Multiple lines offered
DraftKingsBOS +143/LA -165BOS +1.5 (-162)/LA -1.5 (+133)8.5 (-104/-118)
BetStarsBOS +140/LA -167BOS +1.5 (-150)/LA -1.5 (+130)8.5 (-110/-110)
FanDuelBOS +146/LA -164BOS +1.5 (-154)/LA -1.5 (+136)8.5 (-104/-112)
SugarHouseBOS +143/LA -165BOS +1.5 (-162)/LA -1.5 (+133)*8.5 (-104/-118)*
888sportBOS +140/LA -167BOS +1.5 (-162)/LA -1.5 (+132)*8.5 (-104/-118)*
CaesarsBOS +152/LA -164BOS +1.5 (-150)/LA -1.5 (+130)8 (-120/+100)
William HillBOS +148/LA -158BOS +1.5 (-150)/LA -1.5 (+130)8.5 (+100/-120)
MGMBOS +145/LA -160BOS +1.5 (-150)/LA -1.5 (+130)8.5 (-105/-115)

Props, props, propspropsprops

DraftKings Sportsbook

If only there was a prop for whether Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw would pinch-hit in Game 3. What a payoff that would have seen.

Maybe an in-game wager will surface if Game 4 also goes into the wee hours. For those hoping for it, DraftKings has the line:

  • Will the game go to extra innings? Yes (+800) or no (-1667).

Go start-to-finish with the wager, even.

  • Which team leads after the first inning? Red Sox (+310), Dodgers (+240) or tie (-125).

FanDuel Sportsbook

Through three games at FanDuel, the Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger and Manny Machado have represented the most wagers on players to hit a home run, the two combining for 30 percent of bets.

Additionally, Muncy has vaulted from a +3500 MVP candidate to +1300 after his walk-off heroics, while Eovaldi, despite eating the loss, has climbed from +3500 to +1700. (On the flip side, Kinsler dropped from +5000 to +7500.)

In what has become the more popular market at FanDuel, moneyline/total runs are set for Game 4:

  • Boston win, over 8.5 runs: +360
  • Boston win, under 8.5 runs: +360
  • LA Dodgers win, over 8.5 runs: +210
  • LA Dodgers win, under 8.5 runs: +195

SugarHouse Sportsbook

Time to analyze trends. Through three games, only once has the home team exceeded four runs (Boston, Game 1). Only once as the visitor reached at least four runs (LA, Game 1). In two of three games, the total score amounted to an even number (Game 1: 12; Game 2: 6).

Consider that pattern when poring through this prop from SugarHouse:

  • Total runs by home team: O/U 4.5 runs (-103/-127)
  • Total runs by away team: O/U 3.5 runs (-120/-109)
  • Total runs odd/even: -167/+130

888 Sportsbook

See above, re: trends. The home team in each of the first three games scored first en route to victories.

  • First team to score: Boston (-132), Los Angeles (+106)
  • Home team score first and win: Yes (+165) or no (-220)
  • Away team score first and win: Yes (+210) or no (-286)

William Hill

Piggy-backing off the first team to score and win. William Hill throws out the home and away factors. Instead, the bookmaker poses if the first team to score overall will win: -230 for yes, +195 for no.

William Hill also features a trio of Boston vs. LA head-to-head props regarding total bases:

  • Boston’s Andrew Benintendi (-110) vs. LA’s Clay Bellinger (-110)
  • Boston’s Mookie Betts (-130) vs. LA’s Manny Machado (+110)
  • Boston’s Xander Bogaerts (+105) vs. LA’s Justin Turner (-125)

World Series Betting: Game 3 Odds And Props At NJ Sportsbooks

Grant Lucas October 26, 2018
World Series Game 3

The Los Angeles Dodgers return home for Games 3 and 4 of the World Series. Maybe the National League champions can go ahead and unpack. Get out the golf clubs. And get to the golf course earlier than they anticipated.

With four runs coming with two outs in Game 2, the Boston Red Sox put away the Dodgers to grab a 2-0 Series lead. Of teams that win the first two games in a best-of-seven series, 84 percent have gone on to win, including each of the last the last 10 such instances in the Fall Classic.

On paper, it appears, the Red Sox, on the doorstep of dynasty status 100 years after kicking off an eight-decade-long championship-less drought, are in line to win the franchise’s fourth Commissioner’s Trophy in 14 years.

Yet while the Series is all but decided (don’t at me, Dodgers “fans”), and unlike Los Angeles, there’s still something for bettors to play for as at least two games remain to enjoy Series NJ sports betting.

Recapping Game 2 betting action

Throughout the regular season, even into the postseason, the Red Sox and Dodgers took on their respective identities: Boston relying on clutch hitting, LA on the long ball.

During the playoffs, the Dodgers have racked up 14 home runs, but only one in the Series. In banking on the big bopper, Los Angeles has struck out 187 times this postseason — 50 more than Boston.

In the World Series, the Red Sox, as shown in Game 2, have scored nine of their 12 runs with two outs. More than half of Boston’s runs in the playoffs have occurred with one out remaining. The Sox head into Game 3 batting .425 with two outs and runners in scoring position, which would be tops in World Series history. By contrast, the dinger-reliant Dodgers are hitting just .234.

At FanDuel Sportsbook, the betting disparity between Boston and Los Angeles was narrowed. According to the book, 52 percent of the total handle came down on the Red Sox, creating a four percent gap between them and the Dodgers after Game 1 featured 68 percent of the handle on Boston.

The winning ticket for moneyline/total parlay betting was wagering on a Boston win and the under of 8.5 total runs. Like in Game 1, this prop proved most popular, as 40 percent of the wagers occurred here. That said, per FanDuel, just 16 percent of the betting slips cashed out.

At DraftKings Sportsbook, with Boston trailing 2-1, a bettor wagered $50 on the Red Sox to be leading after five innings. Boston grabbed the lead in the home half of the fifth, paying out $400.

Onward to glory

As noted, teams that go up 2-0 in the Series become heavily favored to claim the world championship. As well as Boston’s clutch hitting, Los Angeles playing the matchups has stolen headlines.

After all, the Dodgers became the first team in World Series history to utilize an all-right-handed-hitting lineup. And they did it in each of the first two games, sitting their four top home run hitters in the process. Fortunately, with Boston’s Rick Porcello lined up to start Game 3, Los Angeles will likely send out its top lineup.

Regardless, the Red Sox become heavily favored to win the Series. And if they win Game 3… Well… Thanks for playing, Los Angeles. No team in the World Series has come back from 3-0. Only one in the postseason has done so: the 2004 Red Sox. If there is silver lining, at least the Dodgers have some karma on their side: manager Dave Roberts sparked that Boston comeback 14 years ago.

SportsbookBostonLA Dodgers
DraftKings-625+450
BetStars2/135/1
FanDuel-650+475
SugarHouse-625+450
888sport-625+450
Caesars-600+450
William Hill-600+450
MGM-650+475

Looking ahead, here’s the schedule:

  • Game 3 at Los Angeles: Friday, 8:09 p.m. ET
  • Game 4 at Los Angeles: Saturday, 8:09 p.m. ET
  • Game 5 at Los Angeles: Sunday, 8:15 p.m. ET (if necessary)
  • Game 6 at Boston: Tuesday, 8:09 p.m. ET (if necessary)
  • Game 7 at Boston: Wednesday, 8:09 p.m. ET (if necessary)

Game 3 lines

The Red Sox have won 14 of their last 16 games in the World Series. In Game 3, however, sportsbooks favor the Dodgers to pick up their first win of the Fall Classic.

SportsbookMoneylineSpreadOver/Under
*Multiple lines offered
DraftKingsBOS +140/LA -159BOS +1.5 (-165)/LA -1.5 (+135)7.5 (-106/-115)
BetStarsBOS +140/LA -167BOS +1.5 (-162)/LA -1.5 (+140)7.5 (-110/-110)
FanDuelBOS +132/LA -152BOS +1.5 (-154)/LA -1.5 (+138)7.5 (+104/-122)
SugarHouseBOS +140/LA -159BOS +1.5 (-165)/LA -1.5 (+135)*7.5 (-106/-115)*
888sportBOS +135/LA -167BOS +1 (-110)/LA -1 (-110)*7.5 (-106/-115)*
CaesarsBOS +145/LA -155BOS +1.5 (-165)/LA -1.5 (+145)7.5 (-105/-115)
William HillBOS +142/LA-152BOS +1.5 (-155)/LA -1.5 (+135)7.5 (-105/-115
MGMBOS +140/LA-155BOS +1.5 (-160)/LA -1.5 (+140)7.5 (EV/-120)

$25 No Deposit Bonus!

Props, props, propspropsprops

DraftKings Sportsbook

Boston has won the first two games, both at home. In the 2017 Series, also featuring the Dodgers, home teams went 4-3. The year before, in seven games, the hosts won just twice.

So in Game 3, do you take the Dodgers at home or Boston to continue rolling? Go ahead and parlay that with the run total, which itself has been inconsistent. Each of the first two games at DraftKings featured an over/under of 7.5 (as it sits for Game 3). The opener went for 12 runs, and the next game went for six. Toss-up again with Porcello going up against the Dodgers’ best lineup, and rookie Walker Buehler facing a clutch Boston offense.

Taking the Dodgers to win as well as the under pays +200, but banking on LA to come through offensively with Buehler’s victory pays +210. (Alternatively, a Porcello win and the run total finishing over and under pays +360 and +340, respectively.)

Sticking with pitching, DraftKings features lines on more strikeouts between the two starters (Porcello +275, Buehler -265, equal total +650) as well as a prop on if LA’s Kenley Jansen (+220) or Boston’s Craig Kimbrel (+275) earns the save.

FanDuel Sportsbook

Before the Series started, FanDuel pitted the odds of Boston’s JD Martinez winning the MVP at +550. After batting .429 with four RBIs through two games, Martinez is now the front-runner at +220.

Other MVP candidates on whom to wager include Boston’s Mookie Betts (+260) and Andrew Benintendi (+400). Certainly, Los Angeles has not lost all hope just yet. Should the Dodgers rally and claim the title, currently Manny Machado (+2000), and Cody BellingerYasiel Puig and Matt Kemp (all at +3000) lead the way.

FanDuel also features inning-by-inning prop bets: total runs in the first inning, which team leads, total runs odd or even.

For those bettors focused more on the back end of the game, consider two props.

  • Will the Dodgers bat in the bottom of the ninth inning? Yes (-112) or no (-108).
  • Which team ends up with more hits? Boston (+128), Los Angeles (-106) or tie (+830).

SugarHouse Sportsbook

Three props stand out at SugarHouse.

First: How many earned runs (line set at 2.5 for each) will starting pitchers allow? The over/under for Buehler (+115/-155) and Porcello (-143/+108) suggests a standout performance for the LA hurler.

Will Boston (+175) or Los Angeles (+100) post the highest-scoring inning in Game 3? Or will they match each other (+325)?

Will Game 3 become the first of this Series to reach extra innings? Yes (+750) or no (-1430).

Caesars Sportsbook

Few props exist at Caesars, but they still appear intriguing.

For example, take the Red Sox to be ahead after five innings (+145), or bank on the Dodgers (-165) to lead for just the second time this Series.

Through those first five innings, Caesars sets the line of total runs at four. The over pays +100, while the under sits at -120.

William Hill

Begin with Game 3 props. Wager on the first pitch of the game: ball (+135) or strike (-155). Decide between Benintendi (-105) and LA’s Justin Turner (-115) for more total bases, or Boston’s Mookie Betts (-125) and the Dodgers’ Manny Machado (+105).

How many players, total, will be stranded on the base paths: 15 or more (+100), 14 or less (-120).

Game 3 will allow for a clearer prediction of how many games this Series will go, but why wait? At William Hill, bettors can wager on the exact number of games the Fall Classic will last:

  • Boston in four (+300)
  • Boston in five (+280)
  • Boston in six (+240)
  • Boston in seven (+500)
  • Los Angeles in six (+1500)
  • Los Angeles in seven (+500)

Claim Your $250 Bonus At SugarHouse Sportsbook!

World Series Betting: Game 2 Odds And Props At NJ Sportsbooks

Grant Lucas October 24, 2018
Game 2 Betting

The World Series has begun. Finally.

Since as early as the conclusion of the 2017 Series, pundits have made projections about who would play for and ultimately win the Fall Classic.

Yet as the great Yogi Berra has said: “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”

The same holds true in sports betting. But by no means does that stop bettors from patronizing sportsbooks. Especially in the ever-expanding NJ sports betting industry.

With that, let’s take a look at some Game 1 highlights and look ahead to tonight’s Game 2.

Recapping Game 1 betting action

Back and forth the Series opener went. The Boston Red Sox took a 2-0 lead in the first inning. The visiting Los Angeles Dodgers evened it up two innings later. Boston regains a 3-2 advantage in the home half of the third, only for the Dodgers to answer in the fifth.

The Sox, though, pulled away. And a three-run home run by pinch-hitter Eduardo Nunez put the game away, earning Boston an 8-4 victory.

That Nunez homer, via DraftKings Sportsbook, earned one bettor a $684.60 payday after wagering $335.59 on Boston to be the first team to reach five runs. (In an at-bat that played no role for the Dogers, a simple in-play wager on LA’s Joc Pederson to put the ball in play on the second pitch of his ninth-inning at-bat paid out $520 on a $40 bet; Pederson grounded out to second base.)

According to FanDuel Sportsbook68 percent of its World Series sports betting handle came down on the Red Sox. Boston winning with total runs reaching the over accounted for 41 percent of the action.

Onward to glory

One game down. Hopefully (well, depending on your betting slip) six more to go. Obviously with a series-opening win, the odds have shifted in Boston’s favor. That said, though this goes without saying (which is a weird saying since everyone who says it ends up saying what they were going to go without saying)… Anyway. Hope still remains for the Dodgers to win the series.

SportsbookBostonLA Dodgers
DraftKings-278+225
BetStars4/1121/10
FanDuel-260+230
SugarHouse-278+225
888sport-278+225
Caesars-280+240
William Hill-265+225
MGM-275+225

Looking ahead, here’s the schedule:

  • Game 2 at Boston Wednesday, 8:09 p.m. ET
  • Game 3 at Los Angeles Friday, 8:09 p.m. ET
  • Game 4 at Los Angeles Saturday, 8:09 p.m. ET
  • Game 5 at Los Angeles Sunday, 8:15 p.m. ET (if necessary)
  • Game 6 at Boston Oct. 30, 8:09 p.m. ET (if necessary)
  • Game 7 at Boston Oct. 31, 8:09 p.m. ET (if necessary)

Game 2 lines

The Red Sox already took a strong first step. With a Game 1 win, Boston inched closer to not only securing its fourth World Series title since 2004 but also snap quite a streak.

After all, Boston clinched its spot in the Series three days ahead of the Dodgers. And according to the Elias Sports Bureau, each of the last nine Series champs entered the Fall Classic with fewer days rest than their opponents.

SportsbookMoneylineSpreadOver/Under
*Multiple lines offered
DraftKingsBOS -143/LA +125BOS -1.5 (+138)/LA +1.5 (-167)8.5 (-118/-104)
BetStarsBOS -143/LA +125BOS -1.5 (+140)/LA +1.5 (-1678.5 (-110/-110)
FanDuelBOS -146/LA +130BOS -1.5 (+142)/LA +1.5 (-162)8.5 (-108/-108)
SugarHouseBOS -143/LA +128BOS -1 (-105)/LA +1 (-117)*8.5 (-113/-108)*
888sportBOS -150/LA +123BOS -1 (-105)/LA +1 (-117)*8.5 (-113/-108)*
CaesarsBOS -140/LA +130BOS -1.5 (+135)/LA +1.5 (-155)8.5 (-115/-105)
William HillBOS -140/LA +130BOS -1.5 (+135)/LA +1.5 (-155)8.5 (-120/+100)
MGMBOS -143/LA +133BOS -1.5 (+135)/LA +1.5 (-155)8.5 (-115/+105)

Props, props, propspropsprops

Need more than the traditional moneyline? Consider this prop bets.

BetStars

The Sox obviously have pole position to the championship. BetStars lists a Boston sweep at 10/1 odds, compared with 5/1 for Boston to win in five games, 15/4 to win in six, and 10/3 to go the distance.

Again to quote Berra: “It ain’t over till it’s over.” The Dodgers feature 5/1 odds to come back and win in six games, while a Los Angeles four-game winning streak from here on out sits at 13/2.

In Game 2, the winning margin for the Dodgers ranges from one run (+425) to six or more runs (+4500). Winning margins for Boston, meanwhile, go from one run (+380) to six or more (+2500).

BetStars also feature props for total runs after three, five and seven innings, the run spread for each category, and if the total runs are odd or even.

FanDuel Sportsbook

Think the Dodgers’ Matt Kemp or Boston’s Nunez will go yard for the second straight game? Each player features a +550 line to do so. Boston’s JD Martinez is the favorite at +250, followed by the Red Sox’ Mookie Betts (+340), and Los Angeles’ Max Muncy (+360) and Manny Machado (+380).

Game 1 saw two runs, both by Boston, come across in the first inning. Will the same occur in Game 2? FanDuel lists two or more scores at +230. One run pays +350, while a scoreless inning pays out -115. If déjà vu happens all over again, again to quote Berra, and Boston heads into the second inning up two runs, that will trigger a +610 payout.

How about on the mound? Like the chances of Dodgers starter Hyun-Jin Ryu to strike out at least eight and pick up the win? Or maybe you prefer Boston hurler David Price to record a similar outing? FanDuel lists each pitcher at +550 and +400, respectively.

DraftKings Sportsbook

Who wins the first inning? The Dodgers (+310)? The Sox (+250)? Maybe they head into the second all square (-132)?

Crunch the numbers and try to predict which team reaches three runs first. Los Angeles pays out +105, though Boston is favored at -115. Maybe the game features a pitching duel. If so, and neither team gets past two runs, that will pay +1150.

One of the most hated players in the game right now is LA’s Machado. And DraftKings offers an odds boost if “you’re all for rooting for people you don’t like to FAIL and don’t like Manny Machado.” Wagering on Machado was originally listed at -130, but the boost adjusts that number to -106.

Consider wagering on the Series as a whole. DraftKings features a prop for total games played in the Fall Classic: Under 5.5 (+160), over 5.5 (-200).

888sport

In Game 1, Andrew Benintendi became the third-ever Boston player to record four hits in a World Series game. For those assuming a harsh downturn in the outfielder’s performance, 888sport pays +175 if Benintendi goes hitless (-140 for one or more hits).

Which team will post the highest-scoring inning in Game 2? Take the Dodgers at +163, the Sox at +104 or neither at +335. Wagering on if the game goes to extra innings features a +800 line, while lines on more strikeouts by the starting pitchers sees Price at -125, Ryu at +135 and tie at +550.

The book also includes two specialty props:

  • Will Price allow more than 3.5 earned runs? Yes: +250.
  • Will Machado strike out at least once? Yes: -130.

World Series Betting Preview: It’s Time For The Fall Classic Of NJ Sports Betting

Grant Lucas October 21, 2018
World Series Betting

For the first time, legalized sports betting permeates in New Jersey as the World Series takes center stage.

The Commissioner’s Trophy sits within grasp of the American League champion Boston Red Sox and the NL champ Los Angeles Dodgers. For up to seven games, through as late as Halloween night, two of the most storied franchises will battle for the coveted world championship.

The last and only other meeting between these historic teams took place during the heart of World War I. The most impressive pitching display during that series came from the big bopper himself Babe Ruth, who gave up a first-inning run but then held the then-Brooklyn Robins scoreless over the next 13 innings. Del Gainer then provided a walk-off single to win Game 2 in the bottom of the 14th inning for Boston, which went on to take the series in five games.

That game still stands as the longest World Series contest played, though it has twice been matched: Game 3 of the 2005 Series, Game 1 of the 2015 Series.

Los Angeles has gone 30 years without a World Series title, the crack of Kirk Gibson’s pinch-hit home run still echoing, though fading, in Chavez Ravine. Boston, meanwhile, long ago broke its curse. In fact, the Red Sox have won each of their last three appearances in the Fall Classic: 2013, 2007, 2004.

Who ya got?

Boston won a franchise-record 108 games this season, 16 more than the Dodgers, who return to the World Series for the second straight season. The highest-scoring team in the bigs, Boston, squares up against a Dodgers team that allowed the second-fewest runs in the league.

So the question becomes, with New Jersey sports betting lines below: Who ya got in the Series?

SportsbookBostonLA Dodgers
DraftKings-167+130
BetStars8/13 11/8
FanDuel-150 +135
SugarHouse-155 +127
888sport-167+130
Caesars-155+140
William Hill-155+140
MGM-155-135

Just so you don’t frantically jump online every day to see if the Series continues any given day, here’s the schedule, with Games 5-7 obviously played only if necessary:

  • Game 1 at Boston Tuesday, 8:09 p.m. ET
  • Game 2 at Boston Wednesday, 8:09 p.m. ET
  • Game 3 at Los Angeles Friday, 8:09 p.m. ET
  • Game 4 at Los Angeles Saturday, 8:09 p.m. ET
  • Game 5 at Los Angeles Sunday, 8:15 p.m. ET
  • Game 6 at Boston Oct. 30, 8:09 p.m. ET
  • Game 7 at Boston Oct. 31, 8:09 p.m. ET

Game 1 moneylines

Not interested in a drawn-out, waiting-for-the-final-pitch-to-see-if-you-won-your-wager? Below are Game 1 moneylines from NJ sportsbooks:

SportsbookMoneylineSpreadOver/Under
DraftKingsBOS -150/LA +123BOS -1 (-117)/LA +1 (-105)7.5 (+104/-125)
BetStarsBOS -162/LA +135BOS -1.5 (+135)/LA +1.5 (-162)7.5 (+105/-125)
FanDuelBOS -148/LA +130BOS -1.5 (+148)/LA +1.5 (-166)7.5 (-102/-114)
SugarHouseBOS -143/LA +128BOS -1.5 (+143)/LA +1.5 (-177)*7.5 (+104/-125)^
888sportBOS -150/LA +123BOS -1 (-117)/LA +1 (-105)7.5 (+104/-125)
CaesarsBOS -150/LA +135BOS -1.5 (+135)/LA +1.5 (-155)7.5 (+100/-120)
William HillBOS -145/LA +135BOS -1.5 (+145)/LA +1.5 (-165)7.5 (+105/-125)
MGMBOS -155/LA +140BOS -1.5 (+135)/LA +1.5 (-155)7.5 (+105/-125)

Props, props, propspropsprops

Forget the traditional run spread, over/under and moneyline. Let’s have some fun with some in-game betting and alternate futures.

Does Boston pick up the first Fall Classic sweep since 2012 (which the Sox did in their last two World Series appearances)? FanDuel Sportsbook gives the No. 1 team in baseball a +1000 payout. Maybe the Dodgers get the upset, in a sweep, for their first title since 1988? That earns a +1600 payout from 888 Sportsbook.

In Game 1, does Boston starter Chris Sale, fresh from a faux injury caused by a belly button ring, strike out 6 or fewer batters after averaging nearly nine per game? That will pay +120 via 888. Does Sale help the Sox post a shutout, which Boston has not done since the 2013 ALCS? BetStars NJ lists that possibility at +500. (On the flip side, a Clayton Kershaw-led Dodgers shutout pays +650 via BetStars.)

Props abound with NJ sportsbooks. Game 1 home run by Boston MVP candidate Mookie Betts+725 via 888. Total runs in Game 1 as an odd or even number: 888 has -160 for odd, +136 for even. Which team scores first? Dodgers (-124 with FanDuel) or Red Sox (+106 with FanDuel)?

Striking first proves vital. After all, in the MLB, the first team to light up the scoreboard goes on to win roughly 65 percent of the time. That fact holds more than just water: Per the Elias Sports Bureau, the team to win Game 1 goes on to claim the World Series title 63 percent of the time.

Ready To Roundball Rock? Here’s The Guide To In-Play NBA Betting In New Jersey

Grant Lucas October 16, 2018
NBA in-play

Certain songs tap into nostalgia, instill excitement and signify the beginning of a long-awaited time of year.

Shortly after Thanksgiving, radio stations begin blasting Christmas carols. March Madness starts playing “One Shining Moment.” Remember Hank Williams Jr? “Are you ready for some FOOTBALL!?”

For the NBA, the great anthem of John Tesh rings in the new year: Roundball Rock.

Lo, the NBA season has arrived. For sports betting as a whole, it becomes another arrow in the quiver of wagering options. For New Jersey sports bettingKambi-powered mobile sportsbooks, per a release by the company, “will be the only place to go as the leading sports betting supplier prepares to offer a raft of updated props hoop-by-hoop.”

Kambi enters NBA realm

Certainly, the NFL will continue to attract the most attention and the most wagers. Football, after all, remains the most popular sports in the country.

The global influence of the NBA, however, could make the sport a contender. And with Kambi, not all NBA bets need rely solely on game outcomes.

According to the release, Kambi-powered sportsbooks in the Garden State will boast the “market-leading offer” beginning with Tuesday’s season-opening NBA games: Philadelphia 76ers at Boston CelticsOklahoma City Thunder at Golden State Warriors.

Every day, Kambi will offer pre-game and in-play betting options as well as “in-running lines” on individual player totals that will update with each passing minute.

“The NBA has become extremely popular over the last few years, with the game becoming faster, smarter and teams relying on analytics more than ever before,” Stefanos Moysidis, Kambi Head of Live Basketball, said in the release. “Superstars are dominating games with a barrage of three-pointers and bettors are increasingly wanting to wager on high-profile players and choose their own lines. At Kambi we have embraced these changes and developed our offering to cater for this new and more informed audience.”

What’s included

Of the eight mobile sportsbooks in New Jersey, three are powered by Kambi:

At each, according to the release, a variety of in-play wagers will be offered by Kambi, which already features “result of current drive” for NFL games and “nearest to the pin” in golf.

Take Tuesday’s Thunder-Warriors matchup. Is Golden State’s Steph Curry in a rhythm? Bet on the over on his individual points line as the game goes on. Is the Warriors’ Kevin Durant struggling from the field? Take the under on his point total.

A more-intricate wagering option has bettors predicting the next made field goal: two-pointer or 3-pointer. All told, Kambi’s in-play betting, to quote the release, creates “a fast-paced wagering experience from tip-off to final buzzer.”

In addition to in-play betting, Kambi will offer an array of pre-game alternative lines and relevant in-game lines, which allows bettors to be picky with which lines on which to wager rather than relying on the traditional point spread or moneyline.

So while Kambi continues to take advantage (and reap the rewards) of the popularity of the NFL season, do not forget about the NBA. With in-play wagering and the variety of lines offered, bettors will be able to stay engaged during any given NBA game, whether it comes down to the final shot or the Warriors run away with a 40-point win.

You can bet on that.

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