The NFL Draft is normally a relatively minor sports betting event but with the coronavirus pandemic forcing major sports into a hiatus, the draft set new records for wagering this past week.
We heard some early reporting from ESPN as sportsbooks in New Jersey told them that they’d see about 10 times the action year-over-year and now that the draft is over, we have some hard figures to report.
Sportsbook See Big Spike In NFL Draft Betting
For the most part, NJ online sportsbooks in the Garden State haven’t been overly specific about their sports betting numbers in regards to the draft but what we do know is that they all saw gains.
PointsBet was fairly general as they reported that their numbers “absolutely crushed” the 2019 NFL Draft handle. As for PlaySugarHouse, they saw a four-fold increase year-over-year. Meanwhile, FanDuel likened the action on the NFL Draft to a popular Thursday Night Football game, which is quite impressive.
All of this shows just how much bettors have been craving any semblance of action. The Draft didn’t even present any gameplay or battle, per se, yet fans were still dialed into to see who’d go first at each position and how all of the various props would grade out.
Biggest Offering Ever For Betting Options
One of the reasons that this draft was such a sports betting spectacle was because of the sheer volume of betting lines on the board. It’s important to note that there were times in the past where bettors in Vegas would have to go from sportsbook to sportsbook just to find a single line on the NFL Draft.
Even if books carried some odds, it wouldn’t be much more than a handful of options. The 2020 NFL Draft was completely opposite as sportsbooks went all out with a massive menu of options.
That included bets on who’ll be the first/second/third overall, who’ll be first drafted at each position, head-to-head matchups among players, what players each team will target, props on if the team’s first pick will be offense or defense, trades, number of players drafted by school and many more.
What was even more surprising – and something that’s rarely ever been seen – is sportsbooks coming back with lines for Round 2.
DraftKings led the way as they had a huge variety of lines, which they posted late Thursday night/Friday morning after the first round was finished. That meant bettors had options to sift through on Friday before the second round started at 7:00 p.m. ET.
A huge factor here is that we’re really short on sports betting events. However, sportsbooks deserve credit for really making the most of this to offer customers more betting options than they’ve ever seen before for this event.
Receiver, Quarterback Props Were Of Particular Interest To Bettors
Some of the most popular props on the board for the NFL Draft turned out to be the ones focused on receivers and quarterbacks. With receivers, there was rampant debate ahead of the draft as to which who’ll be first taken and what the order will be for the top three.
PlaySugarHouse’s largest bet of the day was that Oklahoma receiver CeeDee Lamb would be the first wideout taken.
- That player ended up losing just shy of $5,000 when Henry Ruggs III, who was priced at +400, was drafted first.
As for the quarterbacks, they attracted plenty of action as bettors piled in on the Tua Tagovailoa props. They did pretty well against the book as many bettors accurately predicted that he’d be the second quarterback off the board.
PointsBet ran an odds boost promo, bumping Tua to be the second quarterback off the board from -115 to +140, and they ended up paying out quite a bit when that rang true.
The other quarterback that drew a lot of interest was Oklahoma signal-caller Jalen Hurts. Originally, Hurts was in the mix with Jacob Eason and Jake Fromm to be the fifth quarterback selection (and the first in Round 2).
Instead, Hurts ended up being the only one of the three to go in the second round.
- When the odds opened up at PointsBet (after the first round was over), Eason was at +100, Hurts was at +180, and Fromm was at +425 to be first selected in the second round.
- So much money piled in on Hurts that he ended up closing as a -175 favorite with Eason dropping to +150 and Fromm falling to +900.
Many bettors were bullish on Hurts, though, as his over-under for a draft position opened up at 69.5 at PointsBet but ended up closing at 48.5 as the under kept getting pounded.
DraftKings saw similar action on a related prop as Hurts opened at +200 to be taken in the first two rounds but closed at -225. Of course, the Philadelphia Eagles stunned a lot of people when they selected Hurts in the second round at No. 53.
What About Next Year?
DraftKings Sportsbook has already opened up betting lines for the 2021 NFL Draft where Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence is a -305 favorite to be the first pick in the draft.
They’ve also posted props on who’ll be the first quarterback, running back, offensive lineman and wide receiver to be taken. Here’s hoping that sportsbooks in New Jersey offer this type of selection for next year’s draft and that this isn’t just a one-off because there aren’t any other sports happening right now.
The Philadelphia Phillies made a splash last offseason when they added Bryce Harper to the roster, along with several other former All-Stars.
While the thinking was that a Phillies team that finished 80-82 in 2018 would be propelled to new heights in 2019, the reality was that the team regressed by one victory in the win column.
As we look ahead to the 2020 season, a lot of people are wondering if Harper can get back to his MVP level and whether other key players on the roster like Aaron Nola can help lead this team back to the playoffs.
FOX Bet has posted odds booster specials on Harper winning the MVP award and Nola winning the Cy Young, so let’s take a closer look at each prop and see if there’s any value.
Harper National League MVP Odds
Harper was among the top competitors to win the 2020 NL MVP award (he was seventh in line, according to the odds) but FOX Bet has given him a boost. Here’s the updated line:
- Original Odds To Win NL MVP: +1600
- Current Odds To Win NL MVP: +2000
To translate what the means, if you were to bet $100 on Harper to win the award and he came through, you’d win $2000. Now the question is does Harper have a good shot?
When you take a look at the race for the MVP, WAR has become a very important number in that category. For five straight seasons, the player that led the National League in WAR was eventually named the MVP, which includes Harper back in 2015.
The challenge for Harper is that his WAR numbers have declined since then. In 2015, he was at 9.9 when he clubbed 42 home runs, had 99 RBI’s and six stolen bases while batting .330. However, his subsequent WAR numbers have looked like this:
- 2016: 1.6
- 2017: 4.7
- 2018: 1.3
- 2019: 4.2
Last year was solid but it wasn’t good enough. To put what a WAR of 4.2 means in perspective, that ranked him 21st last season.
The real question here is what do you think happens with his batting average and what happens with the Phillies? If his batting average can get back over .300 – something that’s only happened once in the last four seasons – then his WAR should start to approach the numbers he’ll need.
Secondly, will the Phillies be in contention? If you believe so, he’ll have a decent shot to win it and at 20/1, the payout is juicy. However, if you don’t think either of these fall his way, you might want to stay away.
2020 NL MVP Odds
- Mookie Betts +550
- Cody Bellinger +650
- Christian Yelich +750
- Ronald Acuna Jr. +900
- Juan Soto +1100
- Fernando Tatis Jr. +1500
- Bryce Harper +2000
Aaron Nola Cy Young Odds
When it comes to Nola, FOX Bet is also handing out a generous boost as they’ll pay out +2800 if Nola comes through, which is a $600 bump over the +2200 he’s priced at.
Original Odds To Win NL Cy Young: +2200
Just like WAR was important for the MVP race, it’s similarly as important for the Cy Young Award. The eventual Cy Young winner has been first in three of the last four years, and first or second in seven straight seasons.
Coincidentally, the last time a player led the league in WAR and didn’t win the award was Nola in 2018.
The question with Nola is will he be able to duplicate his 2018 season. He went 17-6 that season and had a WAR of 10.5. He lost out because Jacob deGrom edged him in WHIP slightly and allowed more than a half-run less in terms of ERA.
While those numbers were good enough for Nola to win the award, the question is if he can do it again. Beyond that, the Phillies also have to play well. If they get to the playoffs and Nola is leading the National League in WAR, he’ll be among the front runners.
If you think he’s got a chance, you can now get him at +2800 with the odds boost, which will put some more money in your pocket if he does come through.
2020 NL Cy Young Odds
- Max Scherzer +400
- Walker Buehler +750
- Jack Flaherty +900
- Stephen Strasburg +1200
- Clayton Kershaw +1600
- Yu Darvish +1800
- Luis Castillo +2000
- Aaron Nola +2800
The NFL free agency (read: tampering) period has been an absolute blast, especially since sports fans don’t exactly have a whole lot else to focus on these days.
From Tom Brady leaving the New England Patriots to the trades of star wideouts DeAndre Hopkins and Stefon Diggs, there was a lot of big news breaking every day at NJ Gambling Websites.
Tom Brady talks Gisele’s famous dig at WRs
Remember what Tom Brady’s wife, Gisele, went nuts on a heckler after the Super Bowl loss versus the Giants?
“My husband cannot f—— throw the ball and catch the ball at the same time. I can’t believe they dropped the ball so many times,” Gisele said after Super Bowl XLVI.
Well, Tom hasn’t forgotten about it either.
“You know, my wife said, ‘He cannot throw the ball and catch it?’ That’s the truth. There (are) a lot of guys who have been on the other end of catching all those passes,” Brady said.
Wait; what?! Oh, OK, Tom. I see what you’re trying to say.
Brady suggested the opposite of how Gisele felt. She felt that her husband’s teammates were holding him back; he feels that he wouldn’t be where he is now if it wasn’t for his WRs.
But who is right and who is wrong? And why would he bring up THAT quote when giving praise to his former WR?
Either way, it’s been over seven years since Welker’s drop, so Brady clearly feels enough time has passed to make light of his wife’s stinging comments.
“Wes is one of my best friends. He always will be,” Brady added. “Wes knows how I feel about him. What an amazing player he was.”
Now that the dust has settled — for the most part — let’s take a look at some of the best NJ sportsbooks and see how the Super Bowl futures have changed from before free agency.
NFL Teams on the Rise
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Pre-Free Agency Super Bowl Odds: +3500
- Current Super Bowl Odds: +1700 at DraftKings
The Bucs were one of the big winners in free agency as they won the Tom Brady sweepstakes. As a result, their Super Bowl futures shortened all the way down from +3500 to +1700. Only the San Francisco 49ers (+900) and the New Orleans Saints (+1300) have shorter odds in the NFC.
The big rumor making the rounds now is that the Bucs will try to add Antonio Brown to the mix. The troubled wideout has been out of the league and dealing with all sorts of legal and family issues.
On the surface, a Brown-Brady-Mike Evans-Chris Godwin offense would be incredible. Of course, Brown might torpedo the team too but expect the Bucs odds to shorten if they do get their hands on Brown.
- Pre-Free Agency Super Bowl Odds: +3300
- Current Super Bowl Odds: +2200 at FanDuel
The Bills were busy in free agency as they acquired a No. 1 wideout in Stefon Diggs and then adding some good pieces to their defense like Mario Addison, Vernon Butler and Quinton Jefferson.
The Bills’ defense was ranked third in the NFL last season, so adding these types of quality pieces is going to make them one of the top units in the NFL once again.
The Bills also benefited greatly from Brady leaving the AFC East. Their path to winning the division or conference has gotten a lot easier as a result.
- Pre-Free Agency Super Bowl Odds: +15000
- Current Super Bowl Odds: +8000 at William Hill
The Dolphins are still extreme longshots to win the Super Bowl, but their odds shortened significantly after free agency. They had a really big haul, including cornerback Byron Jones, offensive lineman Ereck Flowers and running back Jordan Howard – to name a few.
We’ll see what they end up doing in the 2020 NFL Draft in terms of their quarterback of the future. As of now, the Dolphins have boosted the talent on their roster significantly.
NFL Teams on the Decline
New England Patriots
- Pre-Free Agency Super Bowl Odds: +1600
- Current Super Bowl Odds: +2000 at DraftKings
Of course, the Patriots were one of the biggest fallers in terms of the 2020 Super Bowl futures. They were at +1600 beforehand right before free agency, but many people felt that was a good value bet as they might be able to bring Brady back.
Instead, the Patriots didn’t even make an offer to Brady as they watched him sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The bigger issue for the Patriots is that they have no clear option to replace Brady on the roster and the offense is otherwise in shambles. Sure, there’s Julian Edelman, but the receiving corps were several bricks short of a load even with Brady.
They haven’t done much to fix that. With guys like Hunter Henry and AJ Green getting the franchise tag, and the Pats missing out on DeAndre Hopkins and Diggs, they are really in a tight spot to improve their offense.
As far as who is their starting quarterback for Week 1 in 2020? As of right now, it looks like Jarrett Stidham could be the guy. Options like Andy Dalton and Cam Newton are still out there, though.
- Pre-Free Agency Super Bowl Odds: +3100
- Current Super Bowl Odds: +3300 at PointsBet
It’s interesting to see that the Browns have fallen as they were one of the more active teams in free agency. They inked Austin Hooper to a contract, making him the highest-paid tight end in the NFL.
Then they also filled a big need by signing tackle Jack Conklin. On defense, they added Kevin Johnson and Karl Joseph to their secondary.
Even so, the oddsmakers were nonplussed as the Browns actually dropped from +3100 to +3300. Maybe they’re cautious as the Browns were very busy the last offseason and ended up falling on their face once the regular season started.
It’s the final week of sports before March Madness betting takes center stage. That on the college basketball scene, it’s conference tournament time, but we still have plenty of other exciting activities around too.
The XFL season has reached its halfway point, the NBA and NHL are making their final moves for the playoffs and Major League Baseball is in the midst of spring training.
Here’s a look at what’s on tap for this week as well as our best bets.
Detroit Pistons at Philadelphia 76ers
Odds at William Hill Sportsbook:
The Philadelphia 76ers are at one of their low points as they’ll enter Wednesday’s action as the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference after having lost five of their last seven games. That includes a loss on the road to the Steph Curry-less Golden State Warriors on Saturday.
The Warriors have the fewest wins in the NBA this season.
As bad as it’s been for Philadelphia, they should get back on track on Wednesday for two reasons. For one, they’re back at home and they’re 28-2 at home compared to 10-24 on the road.
And secondly, they’re hosting the Pistons, who have been absolutely miserable. The Pistons have just one win in their last 12 games and three in their last 20. The last team they faced the 76ers, Philadelphia won 125-109.
Even though the 76ers are banged up, they should be able to take care of business rather easily in this spot to get the win and the cover.
Best NJ Sportsbooks & Best Sportsbook Bonus Codes
Dallas Renegades at DC Defenders
Date: Sunday, March 15th
We’ve got a ridiculously low number on the board in this game and it’s easy to see why. The two offenses playing in this game have been extremely weak over the last few games, so the oddsmakers at DraftKings Sportsbook are not expecting many points. I’m actually expecting even fewer points than that at other NJ sportsbooks.
DC is coming off a 15-6 win over the St. Louis BattleHawks, which was important as DC had been blown out in back-to-back contests. Their offense is really laboring as they have scored a total of just 24 points over their last three games in total. They’re just really laboring to move the ball.
As for the Renegades, they’re also in a similar position as they’re without lead quarterback Landry Jones. Even with Jones in the lineup, the Renegades had a tough time getting things done on offense as they hadn’t scored more than 25 points in a game this season. On the year, they’re averaging just 18.0 points per game.
Philip Nelson got his first start of the season in Week 5 and he had a rough outing. He completed just 57% of his passes along with two picks. He had just a 4.3 yards-per-attempt on the day, which is awful. The running game produced just 56 yards.
Add it all up and I’m not expecting to see many points in this game at all. Take the under.
Pick: Under 35
Odds To Win Southwest Division
DraftKings does a great job of rehanging their futures on the board and one of the sections I’ve been perusing has been the NBA futures.
Each night, they have lined up on who’ll win the respective divisions and I think we have a good opportunity with the Southwest Division.
The general thinking all season long is that the Houston Rockets are going to win the division but to me, this looks like a team that’s in decline. They have lost four in a row with some really ugly losses in there (Orlando Magic at home, New York Knicks on the road) and I just see this team as having some issues wit their smallball lineup.
During their four-game losing streak, they’ve been outrebounded by 35.
There’s no question that the Mavs have also been kind of treading water as they are 12-11 in their last 33 games. That’s a step back from their 27-15 start. However, they have a real opportunity to win this division as they’re just a game back whereas the oddsmakers have them at +160. Keep in mind that they still get to host the Rockets two more times down the stretch.
In my eyes, this is closer to a coin flip than the odds show. That being the case, I’d take a shot with the Mavs to win the Southwest.
Pick: Mavericks +160
March Madness Betting Has Already Begun
Big Ten Tournament – It’s conference tournament week in college basketball, which means we’re going to see a lot of great games. Specifically, the Big Ten tournament is going to be incredible. There are six teams ranked in the Top 25 and probably three others that will make the NCAA Tournament. This will be quite the episode of survivor.
Selection Sunday – After all of the conference tournament action is finished, we’ll have the March Madness Selection Show, which will air on CBS on Sunday night and reveal the field of 68. That means that as soon as the show is over, it’s time to get into the brackets and start betting all of the NCAA Tournament futures.
UFC Fight Night – Lee vs Oliveira – Kevin Lee has been talking a lot of trash about Conor McGregor, Jorge Masvidal and Khabib Nurmagomedov. Now the No. 8 Lightweight in the world will get to show what he’s got when he takes on Charles Oliveira on Saturday. Oliveira has won six fights in a row and all have ended via stoppage, so this should be an entertaining bout as both fighters look to make their way up the ladder.
See you same time next week when we start off the week with our Best Bets Of The Week!
There’s plenty of excitement surrounding the start of the 2019-20 NBA season as there is expected to be more parity this season than we’ve seen in a long time.
Those who are thinking about betting the Philadelphia 76ers to win the 2019 NBA Championship, you might want to head over to FanDuel Sportsbook as they’re offering an incredible odds boost.
FanDuel Promo Code Offers Big Boost On 76ers
For residents in the states of New Jersey or Philadelphia only, FanDuel Sportsbook is offering the Philadelphia 76ers at odds of +7600 (or 76/1) to win the NBA Championship. Yes, you read that right!
The 76ers are roughly in the neighborhood of +600 at most sportsbooks, so FanDuel’s odds boost gives you an extra 70 times your money.
In other words, at most places, a $10 bet on the 76ers to win the NBA Championship would pay $60 if they won. FanDuel is offering players $760.
How it works
First download the FanDuel sports betting app, which is available on both iOS and Android
When you’re signing up, use the FanDuel promo code: PROCESS to take advantage of the offer
Once you’ve signed up, your first bet must be the +7600 (76/1) odds on the 76ers to win the 2019-20 NBA Championship.
- The maximum you can bet on this is $10.
Can Sixers Win The Ring?
The 76ers had an epic offseason where they waved goodbye to Jimmy Butler and J.J. Redick but brought in Al Horford and Josh Richardson – among others – to replenish the lineup. They’re viewed as one of the top two teams in the Eastern Conference.
The question will be if a trimmed down Joel Embiid (lost 25 pounds) and an improved Ben Simmons (has been working on his jump shot) can elevate their play in the postseason.
If the answer is ‘yes’, this team could rise to the ranks of NBA champions and payout on those 76/1 odds.