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Bettors Piling On Streaking Saints For Thursday Night Football

FairwayJay November 29, 2018
Saints

The New Orleans Saints are kicking ass and taking numbers. And taking a lot of bets, too, including for Thursday’s primetime matchup against the also mini-streaking Dallas Cowboys (3-0 SU/ATS). According to SportsInsights, nearly 70 percent of bets at contributing books have come in on New Orleans as of Thursday afternoon.

The streaking Saints have won 10 straight games since a Week 1 loss at home to Tampa Bay. But for bettors, the 9-0 ATS streak by the Saints is even more impressive — and profitable.

Saints scoring at a record pace

The Saints have won five straight games by 10 or more points, and seven of their nine ATS wins have been by double digits. In a record-scoring season in which NFL games are averaging 48.04 points per game, the Saints lead the NFL averaging 37.2 points per game. You have to go back to 2013 to find a team that was close to the Saints record scoring, as the Denver Broncos led by QB Peyton Manning averaged 36.4 points per game, and the next closest team that season averaged 27.9. That was also the year that the Seattle Seahawks’ elite defense dominated Denver in the Super Bowl 43-8. Is there a defense that can slow down the Saints?

Thursday night: Cowboys vs. Saints

There is hope for the Cowboys against the Saints, even with Dallas as a big home underdog. Fan and betting interests will make the Cowboys vs. Saints matchup one of the highest-rated primetime attractions of the 2018 NFL season.

  • New Orleans Saints (10-1): First place in NFC South and current No. 1 seed in NFC
  • Dallas Cowboys (6-5): Tied for first place in NFC East
 DraftKingsBetStarsFanDuel888sportSugarHouse
SpreadNO -7 (-117)
DAL +7 (-104)
NO -7 (-118)
DAL +7 (-105)
NO -7 (-110)
DAL +7 (-110)
NO -7 (-117)
DAL +7 (-104)
NO -7 (-114)
DAL +7 (+100)
TotalOv 51.5 (-110)
Un 51.5 (-110)
Ov 52 (-105)
Un 52 (-118)
Ov 51.5 (-110)
Un 51.5 (-110)
Ov 51.5 (-110)
Un 51.5 (-110)
Ov 51.5 (-107)
Un 51.5 (-107)
MoneylineNO -335
DAL +255
NO -333
DAL +260
NO -300
DAL +250
NO -335
DAL +255
NO -315
DAL +256

New Orleans opened as a 7-point favorite, with some sportsbooks charging 12/10 vigorish to take the Saints rather than the traditional 11/10. The Saints are up to a 7.5 point favorite at some books as of Thursday afternoon, but most of the online operators in New Jersey have dropped it back to an even seven.

The Dallas defense has been one of the better units in the NFL this season, allowing 331 yards per game and 5.3 yards per play to rank No. 7 in the league. The Dallas defense features some stunt or twists on every pass rush snap. They execute those patiently and they work well with coverage.

Meanwhile, the Saints offensive efficiency numbers look like this:

  • 415 yards per game with balance, ranking No. 6 in both rushing and passing YPG
  • No. 1 in fewest giveaways (nine) and No. 1 in fewest offensive penalties
  • No. 3 in red zone touchdown percentage

Betting trends and Saints success

New Orleans is not only the hottest team in the league and a big money-making 9-0 ATS run during the 10-game winning streak, but the Saints are also 11-3 ATS since last season when facing an opponent with a winning record. New Orleans has also outscored those opponents by 10.9 points per game.

The Saints have scored at least 40 points in six games this season. Dallas has yet to allow a team to score 30 or more points.

There has been little letdown by the Saints even off of big margin victories as the point spreads rise. New Orleans is 8-1 ATS since the start of last season when coming off a win by 12 or more points, and the Saints won last Thursday night at home over Atlanta 31-17 in a misleading final score as the Saints gained 312 yards and the Falcons suffered a 4-1 negative turnover differential.

The Saints lead the NFC South by four games with five remaining, but New Orleans is still pushing for the No. 1 seed in the NFC with the LA Rams (10-1) only loss of the season against the Saints.

Thursday Night Football betting odds and analysis

There is a reason why the Saints are now the favorite to win the NFC (+150) and Super Bowl (+300). They are a great team, and bettors can’t get enough of New Orleans.

As of late Tuesday night, the Saints had taken 79 percent of the bets per BetLabs. On game day Thursday morning, Action Network reported that the betting splits were 70/30 with the majority on the Saints at the consensus sportsbook. Sharp bettors are taking Dallas +7.5.

The total opened 54.5 but was quickly bet down by Monday. On Thursday morning, the total had dropped from 52.5 to 51.5 at many online sportsbooks and in New Jersey but was holding 52.5 at most Las Vegas sportsbooks and 52 at both MGM and the Westgate SuperBook.

The Saints rewarded Thanksgiving Day bettors with a win and (fortunate) cover against the Falcons 31-17 as Atlanta suffered numerous turnovers in the red zone. In the Saints, three road games against quality opponents Baltimore and Minnesota and even hard luck, injury-riddled division rival Atlanta, the Saints were not laying more than 2.5-points and won two close games and a 30-20 win at Minnesota despite being out-gained 433-270 by the Vikings.

Still, the ticket count continues to climb on the streaking Saints Thursday night at Dallas.

Local NY Giants Dominating NFL Betting Action At BetStars NJ

Juan Carlos Blanco November 18, 2018
Giants Betting

Both the shiny and familiar objects are getting plenty of attention from customers at BetStars NJ during the NFL season.

The New Jersey sportsbook’s latest data reveals much of what we’d suspect as we approach the NFL regular season’s stretch run:

  • Despite winning only two games, the New York Giants are the most frequently wagered-on NFL team (9.8 percent of NFL bets)
  • Two “legacy” teams with significant nationwide fandom — the Steelers (5.0 percent) and Cowboys (4.6 percent) — check in at number two and four, respectively.
  • The AFC’s hottest team this season, the Patrick Mahomes-led Chiefs, check in as the third-most popular team for bets at 4.8 percent.
  • Another team with plenty of nationwide interest, the Saints, rounds out the top five at 4.0 percent of all NFL wagers.

Most popular teams a mixed bag versus spread

How have these favorite options performed against BetStars’ lines? Three — KC, New Orleans and Pittsburgh — have frequently rewarded those who’ve wagered on them to cover. They sport respective 80.0 percent, 77.8 percent and 66.7 percent success rates versus the spread thus far.

But, it’s been a different story for those who’ve plunked down some bucks on the pair of NFC East representatives. Both the Giants and Cowboys have each failed to beat the number in five of their nine tries.

Conversely, two other prominent clubs currently making a beeline for the postseason are curiously receiving far less attention from Garden State bettors:

  • The Rams, despite boasting a smorgasbord of offensive firepower that would seemingly engender plenty of confidence in moneyline bets, aren’t the darlings of bettors by any means — they check in as the NFL team with the fifth-fewest percentage of wagers (2.1) placed on it by BetStars customers. The issue may lie in the Rams’ rather surprising inconsistency in covering, despite their sparkling won/loss record — they’re only 4-6 (40.0 percent versus the number).
  • The fast-rising Bears and electric second-year quarterback Mitchell Trubisky may be thrilling the Chicago faithful, but their mostly impressive exploits have largely fallen flat with the East Coast crowd — the Monsters of the Midway rank dead last among NFL teams as the subject of a scant 1.4 percent of wagers. Unlike Los Angeles, Chicago has come through versus the spread twice as often as it’s failed — they sport a 6-3 record (66.7 percent) in that regard. However, early-season lack of confidence in Trubisky could have certainly helped drive that sparse action.

NFL ATS Records 2018 (BetStars closing lines)

TeamATS RecordCover %Margin of VictoryATS +/-% Total Bets
Arizona5-3-162.5%-11.2-5.32.4%
Atlanta3-6-033.3%-1.1-3.12.1%
Baltimore4-5-044.4%5.9+3.62.2%
Buffalo4-6-040.0%-11.4-2.02.6%
Carolina5-4-055.6%1.0+0.72.7%
Chicago6-3-066.7%10.4+6.11.4%
Cincinnati4-5-044.4%-5.9-5.31.8%
Cleveland6-4-060.0%-4.5-0.52.7%
Dallas4-5-044.4%1.1+1.84.6%
Denver3-5-137.5%-0.9+0.83.9%
Detroit5-4-055.6%-4.7-3.22.0%
Green Bay4-5-044.4%0.8-1.74.0%
Houston4-5-044.4%3.6+1.22.4%
Indianapolis4-4-150.0%2.3+3.92.0%
Jacksonville3-5-137.5%-4.3-6.02.3%
Kansas City8-2-080.0%11.3+7.34.8%
LA Chargers5-4-055.6%6.0+2.22.3%
LA Rams4-6-040.0%10.4+2.82.1%
Miami5-5-050.0%-5.7-1.72.1%
Minnesota5-3-162.5%1.9-1.33.5%
NE Patriots6-4-060.0%4.4-1.83.9%
NO Saints7-2-077.8%10.9+7.34.1%
NY Giants4-5-044.4%-5.7-2.19.8%
NY Jets3-7-030.0%-4.6-2.63.9%
Oakland2-7-022.2%-13.9-10.22.2%
Philadelphia3-6-033.3%1.7-2.23.3%
Pittsburgh6-3-066.7%7.8+5.25.0%
SF 49ers3-7-030.0%-3.6-0.93.2%
Seattle5-3-162.5%3.0+5.23.0%
Tampa Bay3-6-033.3%-6.6-4.32.4%
Tennessee6-3-066.7%1.9+5.13.0%
Washington6-3-066.7%0.1+0.92.5%

Big names wield big power in NBA as well

Star power is carrying the day when it comes to the hardwood, too.

LeBron James is a magnet for money in all sorts of ways, not just in the astronomical salaries he commands each time he “transports” his talents to a new city. The Lakers are the team of choice when it comes to BetStars customers in the new NBA season, commanding 9.6 percent of the sportsbook’s NBA action. The rest of the top five is fairly predictable as well:

  • Warriors: 7.6 percent
  • 76ers: 7.1 percent
  • Knicks: 4.9 percent
  • Celtics: 4.2 percent

The drop-off is steep after the top three, but as with the Giants, the Knicks hold plenty of appeal to area bettors. New York currently sports a 6-6-2 record versus the number over its first 14 games.

Meanwhile, the Warriors, Sixers and Celtics are all long on talent but notably short on reliability when it comes to those who’ve banked on them covering. Their respective records against the spread:

  • Warriors: 8-7 (53.3 percent)
  • 76ers: 6-9 (40.0 percent)
  • Celtics: 4-9 (30.8 percent)

Fittingly — considering Showtime reigns supreme as the most wagered-on NBA team — LeBron’s two former clubs are stuck bringing up the rear in terms of NBA action at BetStars:

  • Cavaliers: 1.5 percent
  • Heat: 1.1 percent

BetStars boasts its own unique college football leaderboard

On the college football side, BetStars features a top 25 poll that has its share of differences with current real-world NCAA rankings:

  • Consensus #1 Alabama finds itself the recipient of just 0.1 percent of the action at BetStars.
  • Unanimous runner-up Clemson is doing only slightly better at 0.6 percent.
  • A team with no shortage of nationwide prominence, history and appeal — No. 3-ranked Notre Dame — has them both beat with a 1.1 percent stake of the action.
  • Oregon may only have a 3-4 record and checks in fourth in the Pac-10 alone, but they’re top dogs at BetStars — 5.1 percent of college pigskin money is being plunked down on the Ducks.
  • The closest correlations between real-word and BetStars rankings belong to LSU and Washington State. Ranked No. 7 and 10 in the CFP and AP rankings, respectively, the Tigers check in second on BetStars with 3.4 percent of the college football action. Meanwhile, the Cougars’ unanimous No. 8 rankings in the official polls are complemented by No. 3 slotting in terms of popularity with BetStars customers (3.3 percent of wagers).
  • The team closest in proximity to New Jersey holding the highest ranking on BetStars leaderboard is the Penn State Nittany Lions — 2.3 percent of wagers, fourth overall.

What Are The Gambling Rules Governing Pro Athletes In The Major U.S. Sports?

Chops November 13, 2018
Gambling Rules

In something you don’t see at the top levels of European soccer anymore, Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge has been charged with allegedly breaching the Football Association’s betting rules.

Specifically, Sturridge is accused of breaking Rule E8(1)(a)(ii) and Rule E8(1)(b) during January 2018.

He has until Tuesday, Nov. 20 to respond. Sturridge has stated “categorically that he has never gambled on football,” said a Liverpool spokesperson.

Soooo … what does that mean?

Just follow this and then I’ll speculate. Here are the FA betting rules Sturridge is accused of violating:

  • Rule E8(1)(a) – a participant shall not bet, either directly or indirectly, or instruct, permit, cause or enable any person to bet on – (i) the result, progress, conduct or any other aspect of, or occurrence in or in connection with, a football match or competition; or (ii) any other matter concerning or related to football anywhere in the world, including, for example and without limitation, the transfer of players, employment of managers, team selection or disciplinary matters.
  • Rule E8(1)(b) – where a participant provides to any other person any information relating to football which the participant has obtained by virtue of his or her position within the game and which is not publicly available at that time, the participant shall be in breach of this Rule where any of that information is used by that other person for, or in relation to, betting.

Sturridge was accused of this violation in January 2018.

In January 2018, Sturridge completed a loan to West Brom Albion. Rule E8(1)(a) states that, “a participant shall not bet, either directly or indirectly…or enable any person to bet on…the transfer of players…” Rule E8(1)(b) states that, “where a participant provides to any other person any information relating to football which the participant has obtained by virtue of his or her position within the game…”

It’s reasonable given the timeframe to assume that Sturridge either intentionally or carelessly provided information of his transfer to someone who placed and won a large wager. We here at TheLines are not the betting type of people, but it’s like -350 that’s what happened.

Governing athletes in the U.S.

Europe has a significantly more mature sports betting market than the U.S. Players at the top levels know the rules.

So what exactly are sports betting rules for U.S. pro athletes?

Major League Baseball

We all know that Pete Rose earned himself a lifetime ban. In general, this is pretty straightforward. Section D of Major League Baseball Rule 21 states:

  1. Any player, umpire, or Club or League official or employee, who shall bet any sum whatsoever upon any baseball game in connection with which the bettor has no duty to perform, shall be declared ineligible for one year.
  2. Any player, umpire, or Club or League official or employee, who shall bet any sum whatsoever upon any baseball game in connection with which the bettor has a duty to perform, shall be declared permanently ineligible.

National Football League

The NFL has an interesting and somewhat confusing view of gambling in general. They’ve opposed gambling and were behind lobbying efforts around the UIGEA. Yet they provide injury reports with a wink-wink-nod-nod to how that impacts gamblers, and their owners had no issue investing in daily fantasy sports sites. As far as “NFL personnel” go, however, this is more clearly defined:

League policy strictly prohibits NFL Personnel from participating in or facilitating any form of illegal gambling. In addition, NFL Personnel are prohibited from engaging in any of the following gambling-related activities, regardless of whether such activities are legal:

  • Accepting a bribe or agreeing to throw or fix a game or illegally influence its outcome, statistics or score;
  • Failing promptly to report any bribe offer or any attempt to throw or fix a game or to illegally influence its outcome, statistics or score;
  • Betting on any NFL game or practice, or any other professional (e.g., NBA, MLB, NHL,PGA, USTA), college (e.g., NCAA basketball), or Olympic sport. including but not limited to wagers related to game outcome, statistics, score, or performance of any individual participant
  • Sharing confidential information regarding any game or any participating individual’s Status for or performance in any game without authorization or for the purpose of enabling or facilitating gambling;
  • Participating in or condoning any form of gambling while in any Club or League setting including, without limitation, locker rooms, practice or office facilities, or while traveling on Club or League business; or
  • Entering into, utilizing or otherwise visiting a “sports book ” at any time during the NFL playing season.

National Basketball Association

Rumors have swirled for years regarding why Michael Jordan really left the NBA the first time. And we all know about Tim Donaghy.  The NBA Constitution states:

Any person who, directly or indirectly, wagers money or anything of value on the outcome of any game played by a Team in the league operated by the Association shall, on being charged with such wagering, be given an opportunity to answer such charges after due notice, and the decision of the Commissioner shall be final, binding, conclusive, and unappealable. The penalty for such offense shall be within the absolute and sole discretion of the Commissioner and may include a fine, suspension, expulsion and/or perpetual disqualification from further association with the Association or any of its Members.

Additionally, per the league’s collective bargaining agreement, players have to take a mandatory gambling awareness program.

Expect very public player and personnel policy

As sports betting continues to roll out to more states, with so much at stake, expect stricter, clearly defined, and more public player policy from all professional leagues. It’s in the best interest of the leagues, players, and bettors.

That’s Gonna Leave A Mark: Vegas Sportsbooks Take Historic Losses On NFL Sunday

Chops November 5, 2018
las vegas sportsbooks

It’s said that they wouldn’t erect giant casinos in the desert if the public knew what it was doing.

For one Sunday, at least, the public massively proved that maxim wrong.

Las Vegas sportsbooks took historic losses on Sunday’s NFL games.

According to David Purdum at ESPN, Vegas sportsbooks lost between $7-10 million on Sunday’s NFL slate.  Given the modeling and advanced analytical information at bookmaker’s fingers, how did this happen?

Three games really decimated the books

Three public and popular picks made it a bloodbath for Vegas. The Minnesota Vikings (-5.5), Pittsburgh Steelers (+2.5), and Kansas City Chiefs (-8) were all bet heavily. There wasn’t much suspense in any of those games.

The Chiefs as an 8-point road favorite particularly left a mark, with close to 90% of the action on them covering (they won 37-21, the outcome never really in doubt).

Purdum quoted Jay Rood, MGM’s VP of race and sports, as saying, “We were pretty much done at that point.” Rood also said it was in his personal “Top 10” list of worst NFL Sundays.

While three games created most damage, it wasn’t limited to just those contests. Teams that took the majority of spread bets went 11-0 ATS on Sunday. That simply doesn’t happen often (if ever).

Three weeks in a row of this

Even more surprising, this Sunday’s battering caps off a three-week run of losses for Vegas books. The losses stretched beyond the Silver State, as newly opened sportsbooks in New Jersey and Mississippi took hits as well.

“In a great weekend of NFL matchups, the players had their best week of the season as it was one of the worst weeks for sportbooks in recent memory,” said Mattias Stetz, COO at Rush Street Interactive, which runs PlaySugarHouse Sportsbook in NJ. “Our worst result by far was the Chiefs covering vs. the Browns. The Chiefs are now 8-1 against the spread and have consistently been outperforming oddsmakers and attracting heavy betting interest.”

The pendulum on these things tends to swing and eventually lands back in the sportsbook’s favor. September of this year saw record numbers for Nevada, with sportsbooks winning over $56M for the month.

Expect a market correction for November and some articles on TheLines about the public giving those winnings right back to the casinos.

ALSO READ: The Worst Bad Beats From The Weekend In Sports Betting

 

 

 

How ‘Remarkable’ Is The Eagles Winning Seven Coin Tosses In A Row?

John Mehaffey October 20, 2018
Eagles Coin Toss

The Philadelphia Eagles are 7-0 in coin tosses so far this NFL regular season, including one in overtime.

NBC Sports was excited enough by this fact to publish an article trying to explain why the team is such an expert at getting lucky. It must have been a slow news day. The author went to great lengths to explain a 128-to-1 shot, as if those things never happen in sports, or anywhere else.

Eagles’ captains stress about ending streak

The Eagles players are concerned with being the one that goes onto the field and losing something that happens every other time. “There was a bit of pressure on me,” Avonte Maddox, who made the last coin toss call for the Eagles, told NBC Sports. “That’s why I went with tails never fails.”

And it worked. It brought the Eagles to 7-0 in coin flips for the year. Watching hours of film of coins flying in the air paid off once again for the team. However, studying physics and trends is only so much help here.

The visiting team calls heads or tails before kickoff. Hours of watching film of a referee’s techniques and studying the trends of how a coin lands week-after-week does not help if the opponents gets to make the call.

Still, the Eagles have managed to defy the odds for an impressive 3-0 record when having to fade a call by the visiting team’s captain. That 8-to-1 shot is something that will make any home crowd cheer loudly and get the team fired up.

NBC Sports notes how ‘remarkable’ winning seven coin tosses in a row is. The article even cherry-picks two preseason games where the Eagles won the coin toss, to make it a nine-flip streak. We all know that preseason does not count for anything, not even this.

Nothing remarkable

The odds of winning seven coin tosses in a row are 1 in 128. In the big picture, that is not all that remarkable. Theoretically, a team will start the season with seven winning coin tosses once every four years. It is just as likely that a team will start a season losing its first seven coin tosses.

It is even less remarkable if you consider winning seven regular season flips in a row. There is a 25 percent chance it can happen during any seven-game stretch in the NFL, ignoring overtime. Theoretically, it happens one time every 28 games for a team. This makes the over/under of it happening to any random team once every 1.75 NFL seasons.

NFC Super Bowl teams think nothing of this streak

Of course, there was the streak of the NFC winning 14 Super Bowl coin tosses. The Chicago Bears did the same. The odds of that are 1 in 16.384. Both streaks ended with a 1 in 2 occurrence that is pure luck, just like the Eagles’ one eventually will.

The only thing remarkable about the Eagles winning seven coin tosses in a row is that somebody thought it was newsworthy.

NFL Look-Ahead Betting Lines And Market Moves For Week 7

FairwayJay October 19, 2018
Look Ahead Week 7

The Westgate Superbook in Las Vegas has released the NFL look-ahead lines for Week 8, and just one home underdog is on the card. That follows a Week 6 that saw three home underdogs pull upsets and home dogs go 3-3 SU and 4-2 ATS. Dallas, Washington and Miami all won outright as home underdogs. The season-to-date numbers show home underdogs very profitable at 20-10 ATS.

However, the Week 6 look ahead lines had Washington and Miami favored before the market adjusted and bookmakers took more bets on the other side with Carolina and Chicago betters ultimately getting burned. Same with Browns bettors, as Cleveland opened a underdog over the LA Chargers before closing a slight favorite and burying Browns bettors in an embarrassing 38-14 defeat.

The tendency of many bettors is to over (or under) react to games and events they saw most recently. That’s especially true on the nationally televised primetime games on Thursday, Sunday and Monday night. More so this week as New England beat Kansas City 43-40 Sunday night and Green Bay rallied to beat San Francisco at the wire 33-30, continuing the record-setting scoring this season.

Adjusting to market moves

While it’s essential to make adjustments in your handicapping and sports betting approach based on information such as impactful injuries, statistical profiles, player performance, and scheduling situations, it’s also important to understand a bookmaker’s approach to setting the lines and its understanding of how bettors react to recent results.

Last week’s four biggest market moves from the look-ahead line to the adjusted line following the Week 6 results saw Baltimore, Seattle and Tampa Bay all cover the adjusted price while Chicago bettors got buried by the Bears in a road loss at Miami.

Week 7 look-ahead lines and major moves

For the Week 7 games on Sunday, Oct. 21, these are the games where there was at least a two-point difference from the look-ahead line and current line:

  • Tennessee at LA Chargers (-3) – Current line Chargers -6.5
  • Cleveland at Tampa Bay (-1.5) – Current line Buccaneers -3.5
  • Buffalo at Indianapolis (-5.5) – Current line Colts -7.5
  • New Orleans at Baltimore (PK) – Current line Ravens -2.5
  • LA Rams at San Francisco (+12.5) – Current line Rams -10
  • NY Giants at Atlanta (-3.5) – Current line Falcons -5.5 (Monday night)

Recent results, injuries and public perception have impacted these games more than others from an adjusted line standpoint. Particularly with the Buffalo Bills, as QB Josh Allen is out indefinitely following an elbow injury last week and head coach Sean McDermott announced Wednesday that Derek Anderson would start at quarterback instead of Nathan Peterman, who threw another costly interception late in last week’s loss at Houston. Anderson has been with the Bills less than one week.

Browns bettors burned last week probably won’t be betting on Cleveland this week at Tampa Bay despite the apparent added value in the line. Much of American saw the shootout in New England Sunday night as the Patriots held off the previously undefeated Kansas City 43-40. Since the Bears blew the game at Miami and cost many bettors money, it’s likely public bettors will support the Patriots this week at Chicago, despite the likely letdown situation off the big win over Kansas City and the Bears boasting the stronger defense and overall stat profiles.

As you watch and evaluate the games, injuries, key game-changing calls and go inside the numbers in boxscores and stats, try your best not to overreact to the scores and a recent result or two. By looking ahead to the point spread posted in advance by the Westgate, you can better gauge and understand the bookmaker’s thoughts and approach and make your adjustments without influence from the recent games and results.

NFL Week 8 look-ahead betting lines

  • Miami at Houston (OFF) – Thursday Night
  • Philadelphia vs Jacksonville (PK) – London
  • Cleveland at Pittsburgh (-7.5)
  • Denver at Kansas City (-9.5)
  • New York Jets at Chicago (-5)
  • Washington at New York Giants (-1)
  • Seattle at Detroit (-2.5)
  • Tampa Bay at Cincinnati (-5)
  • Baltimore at Carolina (PK)
  • Indianapolis at Oakland (-1.5)
  • San Francisco at Arizona (-2)
  • Green Bay at Los Angeles Rams (-8.5)
  • New Orleans at Minnesota (-3) – Sunday Night
  • New England (-10.5) at Buffalo – Monday Night

ALSO READ:  NFL Week 7 Lines And NJ Betting Guide

NFL Week 6 Lines And NJ Betting Guide

Marco Cerino October 13, 2018
NFL Week 6

Here’s a first look at how the New Jersey sportsbooks are pricing the Week 6 NFL spreads and totals. Be on the lookout for updated lines all week, along with Super Bowl futures and analysis from our friends at PlayPicks.com.

(Odds updated 10/13/18)

 DraftKingsFanDuelSugarHouseBetStars888sportMGMCaesarsWill Hill
Philadelphia
NY Giants
-1
44
-1
43.5
-1
44
-1.5
44.5
-1
44
-1
44
-1
44.5
-2
44
Seattle
Oakland
-2.5
48.5
-3
48.5
-2.5
48.5
-3
48
-2.5
48.5
-3
47.5
-3
47.5
-3
47
Carolina
Washington
-1
44.5
-1
45
-1
44.5
-1
44.5
-1
44.5
-1
44.5
-1
44.5
-1
45.5
Arizona
Minnesota
43
-10.5
43
-10.5
43
-10.5
43
-10
43
-10.5
43
-10
43
-10.5
43
-10.5
Chicago
Miami
-3.5
42
-3
42
-3
42
-3
42
-3
42
-3
42.5
-3
42.5
-3
42.5
Buffalo
Houston
41
-10
41
-10
41
-10
41
-10
41
-10
41
-9.5
41
-10
41
-10
Indianapolis
NY Jets
45
-2.5
45
-2.5
45
-2.5
45
-2.5
45
-2.5
45.5
-3
45.5
-2.5
45.5
-2.5
LA Chargers
Cleveland
45
-1
45.5
-1
45
-1
45.5
-1
45
-1
45
-1
45
-1
45
-1
Pittsburgh
Cincinnati
51
-1
51
-1
51
-1
51
-1
51
-1
51
-1
51
-1
51
-1
Tampa Bay
Atlanta
57
-3.5
57.5
-3.5
57
-3.5
57.5
-3.5
57
-3.5
57.5
-3.5
57.5
-3.5
57.5
-3
LA Rams
Denver
-6.5
52
-7
52.5
-6.5
52
-7
52.5
-6.5
52
-7
52.5
-6.5
52
-7
52.5
Baltimore
Tennessee
-2.5
41
-2.5
41
-2.5
41
-3
41
-2.5
41
-3
41
-3
41
-3
41
Jacksonville
Dallas
-3
40.5
-3
40.5
-3
40.5
-2.5
41
-3
40.5
-3
40.5
-3
40.5
-3
40.5
KC Chiefs
NE Patriots
59.5
-3.5
60
-3.5
59.5
-3.5
59.5
-3.5
59.5
-3.5
59
-3.5
59.5
-3.5
59.5
-3.5
SF 49ers
Green Bay
46.5
-9.5
46.5
-9.5
46.5
-9.5
46.5
-9.5
46.5
-9.5
46.5
-10
46.5
-9.5
46.5
-9.5

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Week 6 betting breakdown

Seattle (-3) vs. Oakland (London): Two West Coast teams playing in the early window eight time zones away from home? Yeah, this should be interesting.

Philadelphia (-3) at NY Giants: This will be really interesting because it’s the first regular season game where both teams carry regional bias in New Jersey. Most books get more action on Big Blue than the Eagles in NJ. Eli Manning enters the game 10-18 against Philly.

Arizona at Minnesota (-10.5): Again, Minnesota enters the biggest favorite of the weekend coming off a road victory in Philly. They have won the last eight games at home against the Cardinals, who last won in Minnesota in 1977.

Chicago (-3) at Miami: The Bears’ hot September gives them some steam coming off the bye week. Miami has lost two straight after starting the year 0-3. The Dolphins melted in the fourth quarter in Week 5.

Indianapolis at NY Jets (-2.5): The Jets open as a favorite after the convincing win at home against Denver. Colts backers got an extra half-point value at William Hill on Monday. Andrew Luck enters the game 1-2 against the Jets.

Tampa Bay at Atlanta (-3): The teams have split the last six games in this divisional rivalry. BetStars offered an half-point extra value at open for the Bucs, who are coming off the bye week.

LA Chargers at Cleveland (-1): Don’t like the favorite traveling cross country for the early kick? William Hill and BetStars opened the Browns at +1.5 on Monday, but then the line moved 2.5 points to Browns -1.

Pittsburgh at Cincinnati (-1): The red-hot Bengals open as a +2.5 favorite despite having lost eight of the last nine against the Steelers.

Carolina at Washington (-1): Interesting discrepancies between Kambi books (DraftKings, SugarHouse, 888sport) and other operators as of Tuesday. The Redskins were -4 at open at Kambi, and -1 at the rest of the books. The line moved to CAR -1 on Saturday.

Buffalo at Houston (-10): No book had posted this game as of Tuesday as they waited on Deshaun Watson’s status. Most listed at HOU -10 as of Thursday morning. The Texans have won three of the last four meetings, include the last two in Texas.

LA Rams (-7) at Denver: The Rams have won the last three in this series. Expect the total (52) to move on this one during the week.

Baltimore (-2.5) at Tennessee: Both teams coming off upset losses on the road last week. Tennessee has won the last two match-ups at home.

Jacksonville (-3) at Dallas: Every book opened this at Jags -3. The Jags’ loss at KC might give a boost for Dallas while keeping the total on the lower side.

Kansas City at New England (-3.5): No recency bias here for the undefeated Chiefs as Mahomes takes on the Pats. BetStars and FanDuel opened this at -3.5 and some of the other books followed by adding the hook.

San Francisco at Green Bay (-9.5): Aaron Rodgers enters the game 3-2 against the Niners. FanDuel gave a half-point extra value to the visitors at open but dropped the line back to -9.5 on Tuesday.

NJ NFL Super Bowl Futures

(Odds updated 10/9/18)

TeamDraftKingsBetStarsFanDuel888sportSugarHouse
Arizona+300000+250000+500000+300000+300000
Atlanta+25000+25000+25000+25000+25000
Baltimore+5000+6000+8000+5000+5000
Buffalo+50000+75000+500000+50000+50000
Carolina+6600+6600+6500+6600+6600
Chicago+1600+1600+2100+1600+1600
Cincinnati+25000+15000+25000+25000+25000
Cleveland+15000+17500+75000+15000+15000
Dallas+3300+3500+3600+3300+3300
Denver+10000+8500+17000+10000+10000
Detroit+25000+25000+25000+25000+25000
Green Bay+10000+10000+16000+10000+10000
Houston+1800+1800+2100+1800+1800
Indianapolis+4000+4000+3600+4000+4000
Jacksonville+50000+75000+45000+50000+50000
Kansas City+525+550+500+525+525
LA Chargers+1600+1500+1400+1600+1600
LA Rams+350+350+380+350+350
Miami+30000+30000+25000+30000+30000
Minnesota+2200+2200+2200+2200+2200
NE Patriots+650+750+500+650+650
NO Saints+300+300+270+300+300
NY Giants+25000+50000+75000+25000+25000
NY Jets+50000+100000+500000+50000+50000
Oakland+300000+400000+500000+300000+300000
Philadelphia+5000+5500+8000+5000+5000
Pittsburgh+1400+1200+1600+1400+1400
SF 49ers+300000+300000+100000+300000+300000
Seattle+4000+4500+6500+4000+4000
Tampa Bay+50000+75000+100000+50000+50000
Tennessee+12500+10000+16000+12500+12500
Washington+12500+12500+16000+12500+12500

NFL Week 2 Lines Comparison At NJ Sportsbooks

Marco Cerino September 15, 2018
Week 2 Lines

Sportsbooks in New Jersey have posted their spreads and totals for NFL Week 2. It’s never too early to look ahead, so read below for some food for thought as you prepare for the next slate of NFL games.

(Lines updated 9/15/18)

 DraftKingsFanDuelSugarHouseMGMWill Hill888sportCaesars
Baltimore
Cincinnati
-1
44.5
-1
43.5

-1
44.5
-1
43
-1
43.5
-1
44.5
-1
43.5
Kansas City
Pittsburgh
53.5
-5.5
53.5
-5.5
53.5
-5.5
53.5
-5.5
53.5
-5
53.5
-5.5
53
-5.5
Miami
NY Jets
43.5
-2.5
43.5
-2.5
43.5
-2.5
42.5
-2.5
43.5
-2.5
43.5
-2.5
43.5
-2.5
Philadelphia
Tampa Bay
-3
44
-3.5
43.5
-3
44
-3.5
44
-3
44
-3
44
-3
44
Cleveland
NO Saints
49.5
-9.5
49
-10
49.5
-9.5
49
-9.5
49
-9
49.5
-9.5
49
-9.5
Indianapolis
Washington
48.5
-4
48
-5.5
48.5
-4
48
-6
46
-6
48.5
-4
48
-5.5
LA Chargers
Buffalo
-7
43
-7.5
42.5
-7
43
-7
42.5
-7.5
43
-7
43
-7.5
43
Minnesota
Green Bay
TBATBA

TBATBATBATBATBA
Carolina
Atlanta
44.5
-6
43.5
-6
44.5
-6
44.5
-6
44
-6.5
44.5
-6
44
-5.5
Houston
Tennessee
-3
43.5
-3
43
-3
43.5
-3
43
-3
43.5
-3
43.5
-3
43
Arizona
LA Rams
45
-13
44.5
-13.5
45
-13
44.5
-13
45
-13
45
-13
45
-13.5
Detroit
SF 49ers
48
-6
48.5
-6
48
-6
48.5
-6
48.5
-6
48
-6
48.5
-6
Oakland
Denver
45.5
-6
46
-6.5
45.5
-6
45.5
-6.5
46
-6
45.5
-6
45.5
-6
NE Patriots
Jacksonville
-1
44.5
44
PK
-1
44.5
-1
44
-1
45
-1
44.5
-1.5
45.5
NY Giants
Dallas
42.5
-3
42.5
-3
42.5
-3
42.5
-3
42.5
-3
42.5
-3
41.5
-3
Seattle
Chicago
43
-3
43
-3.5
43
-3
43
-3
43
-3
43
-3
43
-3

Baltimore (-1) at Cincinnati: Both teams won and covered in Week 1. Installing Baltimore as a road favorite seemed curious, especially considering their win last year was the first in Cincinnati since 2011. But the line since moved in the Bengals’ favor.

Kansas City at Pittsburgh (-5): The line on Pittsburgh dropped multiple points after LeVeon Bell extended his holdout into Week 1. Facing the Chiefs off an upset win against the Chargers, this could be the biggest moving line of the week.

Miami at NY Jets (-2.5): The Jets opened as an early underdog despite not playing until Monday in Detroit. Interestingly, FanDuel was the only book that installed them underdog without the half-point kicker. Following the Monday night win, the line moved to Jets -2.5 or -3 at most books. The Meadowlands location saw a lot of public action on Gang Green this offseason.

Philadelphia (-3) at Tampa Bay: The Eagles won the season opener despite the spread dropping throughout the week. Tampa won outright as the highest ML dog at New Orleans. This line will be worth watching if the regional bias goes the world champs’ way this week.

Cleveland at New Orleans (-8): The Saints fell at home as a massive favorite to Tampa, while the Browns tied after late support on the spread. The 50 total tied for the highest on the board as of Monday night but the Steelers/Chiefs total quickly flew up to 53.5.

Indianapolis at Washington (-5.5): The home debut for Alex Smith and Adrian Peterson sees Washington a strong favorite. The Colts’ late collapse at home to Cincinnati might scare away bettors.

LA Chargers (-7.5) at Buffalo: Both teams are looking for a bounce-back after disappointing losses in Week 1. The Chargers are the biggest road favorite this weekend going cross-country so watch for this line to move, particularly if Josh Allen gets his first start at home.

Carolina at Atlanta (-5.5): Neither offense impressed in Week 1. Atlanta is the home favorite, perhaps pushed by recency bias, as the Falcons have won the last three and seven of the last nine at home against the Panthers.

Minnesota at Green Bay (No line): Only FanDuel had this game on the board Monday afternoon with the Packers a slight favorite. It was back off the board as of Saturday afternoon.

Houston (-3) at Tennessee: Recent history suggested that Tennessee would be a home favorite. But injuries to QB Marcus Mariota and two Titans starting offensive lineman moved the line toward Houston.

Arizona at LA Rams (-13): The 10-point opening spread was the biggest of Week 2, and most books moved it to -13 following the Rams’ performance in Oakland on Monday night.

Detroit at San Francisco (-5.5): The Niners are the established favorite across the board, especially after the Lions put up a stinker at home on Monday night.

Oakland at Denver (-5.5): Denver’s win against Seattle has earned the books’ confidence. Recent history helps this stance, as the Broncos are 5-1 at home in the last six against their division rivals.

New England (-1) at Jacksonville: Both teams won convincingly in their season openers. All of the books give the Pats the edge here going on the road, but some listed it as a PK as of Saturday.

NY Giants at Dallas (-3): Dallas is the favorite at home despite neither team looking impressive in opening losses. Regional biases could see these lines drop, especially at FanDuel which gave the G-Men a half-point kicker to open.

Seattle at Chicago (-3.5): Both teams will look to bounce back in Week 2. The books install Chicago as a home favorite, with William Hill the only one making the spread an even FG at open.

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Nine (Questionable) NFL Props You Won’t Find At Legal Sportsbooks This Season

Juan Carlos Blanco September 7, 2018
NFL Props

Different isn’t always necessarily better. More intriguing? Sure, sometimes. Like in a can’t-look-away, rubbernecking type of way. But not necessarily better.

As one of sports betting’s “national holidays” – Week 1 of the NFL regular season – fast approaches, we’re reminded of that with a glance at some offshore sportbooks’ bets that are (thankfully) nowhere to be found on the boards of their legal, regulated stateside counterparts.

The longest offseason in major U.S.-based professional sports belongs to the NFL, which goes just over seven months between the Super Bowl and the opening week of the following regular season. That’s quite a stretch of time, but it’s usually a favorable recipe for sportsbooks.

When that slow, steady build of anticipation for those who like to plunk down money on pro football reaches its crescendo in that second Sunday in September, the cash – gobs of it – flows freely.

Offshore books = off-the-rails props 

For the first time, sportsbooks outside of Nevada will enjoy some of that windfall when it comes to the regulated U.S. market. But offshore books still have an abundance of U.S. customers – bettors that they can leverage the eager anticipation of with a number of … ahem … questionable prop wagers.

This year, those unregulated entities are even heavily gravitating toward props that are a hell of a lot more “CNN” than “ESPN”. For example, you can now place action on whether:

  • The NFL will settle out of court with Colin Kaepernick.
  • If Nike will produce a signature Kapernick shoe.
  • If President Donald Trump will take a swipe at Nike chairman Phil Knight over the entire Kapernick issue (“I’ll take scenarios with a –Gazillion line for 500, Alex”)
  • What team will have the most players refuse to stand for the national anthem in Week 1.

And then you have plenty of other options where the oddsmakers at least make a faint attempt at pretending there’s a sports-based connection to what’s being offered. Have a gander at these other fine “investment opportunities”:

  • How many games does the infamous “Madden curse” cost Steelers receiver Antonio Brown this season?
  • Post-2018 retirement future props for prominent players such as Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger.
  • Total suspended players during the 2018 season.
  • Odds on the Super Bowl LIII halftime artist (The Chainsmokers, Pink and Rihanna are the favorites)
  • The “first head coach to get fired” – whether in-season or afterwards – prop (hint: Dirk Koetter, light a fire under your guys early and often).

A bad look for entire sports betting industry

The absurdity of some these wonky betting props belies the very real drag they represent on sports betting’s overall image. Namely, they help give weight the abundance of negative narratives often spouted by anti-gambling activists – those that say some are so addicted to the feeling of having action on something, they’ll wager on the outcome of almost anything.

In that regard, a regulated industry that has a sense of boundaries, even if those are sometimes partly imposed out of caution and self-preservation, is far from the worst thing in the world. In fact, given the scrutiny any newly legalized activity is bound to be under, it’s likely a winning proposition — unlike many of the ones you’ll find offshore these days.

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FiveThirtyEight Should Be Thankful It’s Not An Actual Sportsbook

Grant Lucas September 7, 2018
FiveThirtyEight

Legal sportsbooks should not just be your destination to place a wager. (Quick reiteration of legal sportsbooks. Talking to you, offshore book, among others, that doesn’t deserve to be named because you for some reason still exist and are for some reason setting lines on if Colin Kaepernick gets a signature shoe or if Donald Trump will slam Phil Knight for Nike bringing on the controversial quarterback.)

Whoa. Shake it off.

Anyway, legal sportsbooks are not just for sports betting action. They’re educational tools composed of educated information crafted by highly educated folks. Plays, players, games, teams, leagues, sports, all handicapped by savants who rarely receive their proper due.

Meanwhile, holed up in a dark room lit only by the cold light of a computer screen and serenaded by the depressing soundtrack of the clacking of keyboard keys and the scratching of pencils-on-paper, “experts” provide their take on the 2018 NFL season.

One resource combines analytics, gut feelings and knowledge; the other composed of overanalysis and algorithms. One (hint: the legal sportsbook) mans the keg tap while running the lit playlist at a house party; the other (hint: FiveThirtyEight) lives at said house but was banished to the basement after spending an hour trying to decide what genre of music paired best with the craft beer using thousands of computer simulations.

Simulations that prove nothing

FiveThirtyEight recently unveiled its 2018 NFL predictions, utilizing a model that uses what it calls “Elo ratings,” which measures head-to-head results and quality of opponents. Per the site: “This forecast is based on 100,000 simulations of the season and updates after every game.”

“Good work, everyone,” sighed the simulation supervisor, drawing in a deep breath of stale, chick-pea-puffs-infused air.

Using much less time, and enjoying the light of day as a result, bookmakers churned out win totals and odds to make the playoffs and win the Super Bowl. After the wiseguys got out their lines, FiveThirtyEight shared its computers’ simulation-derived work. For argument’s sake, we compared FiveThirtyEight’s predictions with the odds offered by FanDuel Sportsbook, which powered by longtime European bookmaker Paddy Power Betfair.

Of the 32 teams in the league, FiveThirtyEight had 23 with win totals that stood within one of those produced by FanDuel Sportsbook. Of that group, 15 were virtually exact or EXACTLY exact with FanDuel’s numbers. Fun fact, if nothing else. But what stands out with FiveThirtyEight should relieve the company that it’s not actually a sportsbook.

Value where value should not be

Last year’s FiveThirtyEight predictions are interesting to study. (In fairness, even sportsbooks get bad beats; and unforeseen injuries — like for Green Bay, Indianapolis and Houston — certainly hurt projections.)

Heading into Week 1 of the 2017 season, FiveThirtyEight gave the Philadelphia Eagles a 2 percent chance of winning the Super Bowl, one of the lowest in the league. They were forecast to finish third in the NFC East with an 8-8 record. Of course, Philly went on to go 13-3, win the division and the franchise’s first Super Bowl.

Other surprises cropped up: Jacksonville winning the AFC South after being projected to take last, and reaching the AFC Championship game; the Los Angeles Rams winning the NFC West after having the fourth-lowest percentage to reach the playoffs in the league. Sportsbooks also succumbed to such surprises. But the 2018 predictions from FiveThirtyEight are … surprising, to be nice about it.

Obviously, the company (sorry, its simulations) have the usual suspects atop the Super Bowl favorites: New England, Philadelphia, Minnesota and Pittsburgh. Same with FanDuel Sportsbook.

Let’s say FiveThirtyEight was a sportsbook. Where’s the value?

Oh, I’ll feed you, baby birds.

Start with the teams that are overrated (compared with FanDuel Sportsbook’s odds). Kansas City, per FiveThirtyEight will win the AFC West with 9.5 wins (8 wins by FanDuel). The Chiefs are the sixth-biggest favorite (12th by FanDuel) to reach the playoffs and the seventh-biggest favorite (16th by FanDuel) to win the Lombardi Trophy.

Never thought I’d say this, but Alex Smith is no longer there for the Chiefs. Their playmakers (Kareem Hunt, Tyreek Hill) are now on the radars of opponents. And KC’s defense is fragile. With the Chargers on the rise and the streakiness of the Raiders, the Chiefs have a difficult road ahead. Under on wins; yeah, OK, on playoffs; end of season.

FiveThirtyEight’s algorithm (dang robots) also overvalues Buffalo, which inexplicably reached the playoffs last year but not by their own doing. The company/fictional sportsbook has the Bills winning 8 games (FanDuel more accurately with 6.5) and with reasonable playoff chances at 36 percent. FanDuel gives Buffalo the longest odds at the postseason, which, without Tyrod Taylor and no other weapons seems more reasonable.

The greatest discrepancies between FiveThirtyEight and FanDuel Sportsbook come with Green Bay, Houston, and San Francisco.

Consider that in only two seasons the Packers have not made the playoffs with Aaron Rodgers as a starter: 2008 (his first year as the play-caller) and last year (when he was injured early in the season). Yet FiveThirtyEight projects Green Bay to take third in the NFC North with 7.1 wins (10 by FanDuel), a paltry 23 percent chance at the playoffs (FanDuel with sixth-best odds), and a mere 1 percent crack at the title (FD against with sixth-best odds).

A similar story is told with Houston, which was 3-4 and in the division title hunt before starter Deshaun Watson went down. FiveThirtyEight gives the Texans 6.3 wins (8.5 by FanDuel) to finish last in the AFC South and the fourth-lowest chance at reaching the postseason (ninth-best by FanDuel). San Francisco is also predicted to take last in its division with 7.3 wins (8.5 by FanDuel) with a slightly better playoff percentage than Green Bay but still in the lower half of the league (FanDuel with upper-half odds). This FiveThirtyEight forecast is for a team that features a QB, Jimmy Garoppolo, that went 5-0 as a 49ers starter last year and added offensive and defensive weapons in the offseason.

Certainly pocketing the potential to tell everyone, “I TOLD YOU SO! I CALLED IT!” while parading around the room like Rocky Balboa is the American dream.

But being able to take on the “experts” (FiveThirtyEight allows readers to do week-by-week picks to beat its projections) and scream, “I TOLD YOU SO!” is even sweeter.