Legal sports betting is on its way to casinos, racetracks, and online gambling websites in New Jersey.
The state has been trying to make it happen since 2011 when it first passed a bill legalizing sports betting at racetracks and casinos.
When professional and amateur sports leagues across the country got word of that, they sued and were successful in having the law struck down.
New Jersey tried again in 2014, passing a second sports betting bill. The leagues sued again and were successful in having the law struck down. However, New Jersey appealed and the state was ultimately successful in getting the US Supreme Court to hear its case.
New Jersey took its argument against the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) to the Supreme Court in December 2017. PASPA is the federal law that makes single-game sports wagering illegal outside of Nevada.
New Jersey claimed the federal ban on sports betting was unconstitutional and presented arguments strong enough to have the court rule in its favor on May 14.
Now, legal sports betting will hit racetracks, casinos and online gambling websites in the state as soon as state regulations are in place.
New Jersey residents and anybody inside state lines will be able bet on all kinds of things. Single-game wagering options will likely include everything from the money line to the point spread, the over/under and a variety of propositions and parlays.
But one question remains: Who will they all be betting on?
The local favorite
Gamblers love a good favorite. Bets on the favorite may not pay too big, but they are dependable. Favorites allow gamblers to bet with confidence because they win most of the time.
However, there may be one thing gamblers like more than a favorite: a local favorite.
Locals are going to back these teams regardless. When they are favored, the locals get the chance to be on the sharp side and bet with their heads as well as their hearts.
Local favorites in New Jersey are the teams people will likely be betting on in big numbers if and when legal sports gambling does come to the state.
The defending champs
Both New York-based NFL football teams play home games in the state of New Jersey. However, due to the fact this team’s home stadium is just an hour’s drive up the Expressway from Atlantic City, and they are defending Super Bowl champions, a Pennsylvania football team is one local favorite many people will likely choose to bet on when sports gambling launches in the state.
The Philadelphia Eagles have been in the playoffs 25 times. While last season’s Super Bowl LII was the teams first NFL championship game win, they have won four conference championships and 13 division championships.
The Eagles are winners, and the team is always competitive in the tough NFC East division.
NFL teams only play 16 regular season games, but wagering on each of the league’s games is always huge. Expect some big numbers to be bet on the Eagles this season.
Defending Super Bowl champions are always favorites and the team’s close proximity to New Jersey should make them a favorite of the sports gambling community in the Garden State as well.
New Jersey and the Philadelphia Eagles
If you think the Eagles aren’t a local New Jersey team? Think again. The Delaware River forms the border between Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
On one side sits Philadelphia and on the other is Camden, New Jersey. Camden and the surrounding New Jersey townships act as a massive suburb to the city.
Philadelphia is a major metropolis capable of supporting an NFL team all on its own. But it doesn’t. The huge population of people living right at the New Jersey-Pennsylvania border help out.
Plus, the East Coast gambling mecca of Atlantic City is only an hour’s drive from Lincoln Financial Field where the Eagles play.
The Eagles have a long history of coming up just short of winning it all. But all that changed in the 2017/2018 season with the team’s first Super Bowl win. Now, they will enter the 2018/2019 campaign as favorites to at least return to the Super Bowl and defend their title in the championship game. That should see a lot of money wagered on the team in New Jersey.
They’re not America’s Team just yet. Nor are they perennial favorites like the New England Patriots. However, since they are local, New Jersey will be behind them.
Where will you be able to bet on the Eagles?
Monmouth Park racetrack in Oceanport opened up a sportsbook in 2014. But since sports betting wasn’t legal, its operating as a sports bar now. Executives at the track say they will be ready to take bets within weeks of sports betting regulations becoming law.
As a result, Monmouth Park will likely be the first place in New Jersey to take a bet on the Eagles.
The Meadowlands Racetrack won’t be opening up a casino anytime soon. New Jersey voters said no to expanding casino gaming outside of Atlantic City in a 2016 referendum, killing any plans for a casino up there. However, it remains a prime location for a sportsbook.
Since the New York Giants and New York Jets play home games right there, there may be more money wagered on those two teams at a potential Meadowlands Racetrack sportsbook than the Eagles. However, it’s no stretch to think the Eagles will be among the local favorites all over the state.
Sportsbooks are expected to open at other tracks. Plus, most Atlantic City casinos appear interested, including the new Ocean Resort Casino that will open up this summer where Revel once stood. It recently partnered with William Hill for its future sportsbook.
Sports betting will also go online at a variety of NJ gambling websites. All this means there will be plenty of places to bet across the state and the amount bet on the Eagles is expected to rival any other team.
Sports betting on the Philadelphia Eagles in NJ
When single-game wagering opens up in New Jersey, people should be able to bet on the Eagles in a variety of ways.
However, most NFL single-game wagers are point spread bets.
A point spread is the number of points by which the favorite in a game is expected to win. The favorite has to win by more than the point spread for bets on that team to win. Bets on the underdog pay off when the underdog wins the game outright, or the favorite wins by fewer points than the established point spread.
Points spreads are set by the sportsbooks themselves and can vary from place to place. They are based on things such as the history of the matchup, game location, and other historical data.
For example, the point spread on the Eagles versus the Patriots might be 3.5 points, with the Patriots the favorite.
Essentially, this means the Patriots must win by more than 3.5 points to cover the spread. If the final score of the game ends up Patriots 17 Eagles 10, the Patriots would cover. All point spread bets on the team would be winners.
However, if the final score of the game was Patriots 17 Eagles 16, the Patriots would not cover. Only point spread bets on the Eagles would pay.
Checking point spread winners
It’s easy to check the point spread winners. Just add the point spread number to the underdog’s score and see who wins the game outright.
If the favorite is still ahead on that scoreboard, they cover. If not, bets on the underdog are winners.
It’s considered a push and both sides get their bet back when the final score lands right on the spread.
The Philadelphia Eagles are defending Super Bowl champions. So, they’ll be point spread favorites for most of the season against all comers. That should mean big dollars are wagered on them in the legal sports betting market in New Jersey.
Additionally, one can expect to see a lot of money wagered on the team on futures bets as well.
Futures bets are long-term wagers that include several bets available on a team’s full season. One might bet on a team like the Eagles to repeat as Super Bowl champs. Or, to win the NFC East or just make the playoffs, before the season starts.
There will be various Eagles futures bets available in New Jersey if sports betting becomes legal. Expect these bets to be among the most popular in the state before the Eagles’ season begins.
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