There are six NFL wild card playoff games this weekend. Many New Jersey sports bettors have already found their edge — or lack of one — regarding the teams and players.
It’s a smaller schedule than the regular season and will push more NJ online sportsbook customers in the direction of boosts, props and promos.
Let’s observe the prolific betting landscape.
The #NFLPlayoffs are set! #SuperWildCard pic.twitter.com/M8oWEK6CgL
— NFL (@NFL) January 4, 2021
Fox Bet boosting Nick Chubb
Can Nick Chubb of the Cleveland Browns rush for more than 100 yards and score a touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers? Fox Bet has boosted it to an eye-opening +400, up from +333. Chubb is certainly capable, and the Browns are a good rushing team.
Chubb accomplished this feat five times during the regular season. The latest was last week, against the Steelers. Pittsburgh, however, rested some key players.
For this realistic possibility to pay that well, the book is saying the public expects the Steelers to dominate and force Cleveland to throw more.
This bet is as much about where one thinks Cleveland will be in the game as whether Chubb can hit the number.
If the bet hits, it pays very well.
For Derrick Henry to achieve the same totals in the Tennessee Titans-Baltimore Ravens game, the odds are +100 — a staggering difference for the same achievement.
The intangible thrown into the Chubb bet is the absence of Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski, who won’t be behind the bench. He’s out after testing positive for COVID-19.
We were informed this morning that Head Coach Kevin Stefanski, two additional members of the coaching staff and two players have tested positive for COVID-19.
Our contingency planning calls for Special Teams Coordinator Mike Priefer to serve as the acting Head Coach. pic.twitter.com/Mhh9Zt1e4d
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) January 5, 2021
Will this have an effect on the team’s organization?
The bet offers indirect insight on the game. For Chubb’s prop number to be that large, insiders don’t expect him to be a major factor. It would correlate with Pittsburgh dominating the game.
But will the bettors agree?
Tom Brady vs. Alex Smith
Here’s one from the Washington Football Team–Tampa Bay Buccaneers Saturday evening game.
Can Tom Brady of Tampa Bay and Alex Smith of Washington each toss two or more touchdowns? It’s +300 for a reason.
Brady has been on a roll, picking apart defenses with 12 touchdowns against only one interception over recent games. But those performances have come against the Atlanta Falcons and Detroit Lions.
Washington hasn’t allowed two passing touchdowns in a game since Week 13 and will be the best defense Brady has seen in several weeks.
Smith did throw two touchdowns against the Philadelphia Eagles in the team’s last game. Plus, Tampa does have a porous defense, so he will have a chance here. But he looks hobbled and can’t extend plays well.
Nonetheless, two touchdowns apiece is not a ridiculous thing to ask.
Colts-Bills kick off Wild Card Weekend
Here’s a prop to make bettors think about where the Indianapolis Colts-Buffalo Bills game will be during the fourth quarter.
Can each team come up with at least two touchdowns and two field goals?
The yes has been boosted from +225 to +250.
It’s a respectable return, because teams are not locked into scoring in each quarter. The key is believing the game will be close enough for a field goal to matter in the fourth quarter. Both teams are not shy about bypassing field goals and going for touchdowns, even in the red zone.
But with everything on the line, they could be tempted to play more conservatively and grab sure points when possible.
More NFL betting possibilities
Alvin Kamara of the New Orleans Saints to score twice against the Chicago Bears has been added. It’s gone up to +300.
There are some props for Jared Goff of the Los Angeles Rams, but be wary. His status is uncertain versus the Seattle Seahawks.
Here’s an apples-to-apples comparison to benefit line shoppers
FanDuel Sportsbook has boosted the moneyline payout for Buffalo, Seattle and Tampa Bay to win their games from +160 to +190. This is meaningful because most other books have this one in the +160 range.
Thirty basis points is a substantial edge for the bettor.
Moneyline parlays are a good idea in the first place, especially with clear-cut favorites involved. In most instances, bettors will hit the majority of the wagers and always feel as though there’s a good chance this will hit.
The question is whether they can get that last one, and there usually is one difficult or sweat part of the wager, to make the bet pay.
DraftKings Sportsbook luring newcomers
If you haven’t joined the parade yet, now is an excellent time.
For Wild Card Weekend, DraftKings Sportsbook is offering an easy score for first-time users.
Amid the NFL’s highest-scoring season ever, all you need is a touchdown. It’s what DraftKings likes to refer to as a no-brainer bet. The rules are simple:
- Sign up for an account using the above link.
- Deposit at least $5 into your DraftKings Sportsbook account.
- Bettors will be issued one single-use odds boost (+100) to use for any team to score a touchdown during Wild Card Weekend.
- The wager must be placed prior to the kickoff of Saturday’s Bills-Colts game.
- You must select the boost from your betslip before placing the bet.
- The maximum bet is $50.
There is a similar promo for existing customers, but the maximum wager is $25.
PointsBet says you drink the ‘juice’
PointsBet has an exciting slate of promotions to kick off NFL Wild Card Weekend, including the return of No Juice +100 spread lines. The max bet is $10,000.
This eliminates the vig, or the price of playing the bet, usually 10% of the wager.
The promo has particular significance on large bets. A $10,000 wager will usually result in a vig of about $1,000.
The principle applies for smaller bets, too. A $300 wager, for example, would provide a savings of roughly $30 if the vig vanishes.
William Hill + NFL Saturday playoff bonus
Here’s an if-you-win angle from William Hill. It involves all three Saturday games.
All it takes is wagering at least $50 on a pregame bet, and if you win, bonuses will kick in. Basically, you’ll receive free bet dollars for your team’s top running back’s stats. Here are a few examples:
- $1 toward a free bet per 10 rushing yards.
- $6 toward a free bet per rushing touchdown.
- $6 toward a free bet per receiving touchdown.
AP Photo/Derik Hamilton