JAX played well at the start of last weeks game, however I still think of them as JAX, and I had this spread closer to a field goal than a touchdown. If Vegas is confident that the collapse against PHI was due to weather/circumstance then I will follow their lead. HOU is one of the ‘young but fun and bad’ teams that are fun to watch and easy to bet with or against because it’s good entertainment regardless.
NO -4.5 (-110)
I for sure thought SEA would be favored in this game, considering NO played a long game across the sea, literally. But also because G. Smith has been the highest rated QB this season, and he looks to be in complete control of an actual dynamic offense! I didn’t think Vegas would lay more than a field goal in NO favor here, and I even had SEA favored in this one, so I got to side with a sizable win for NO due to understanding the betting markets/lines.
NE -2.5 (-110)
I don’t know the status of M. Jones, but if he is not able to return for this game I am unsure of why NE is favored to be quite honest. DET moves the ball and scores at will, better than anyone else in the entire NFL! I’m sure the NE defense will slow them down, however originally I didn’t think NE had the passing game to attack DET big secondary weakness. Seeing the line in favor of NE makes me want to have a stake in this one, and I don’t typically have a problem betting Bill Belichick as an underdog.
The loss of Tua is a huge one for the NFL and especially for MIA, but I still thought they looked good without him and have plenty of pieces throughout the roster to absorb his lost. Especially against a team as bad as NYJ, I thought they could still cover by at least a touchdown. However, Vegas thinks otherwise and I am not one to go against their expertise, so the close line tells me to side with the team that I don’ expect to put up a great fight.
I know MIA is taking the world by storm right now, and rightfully so. Tua has been the second highest rated QB this season, and the duo of Waddle + Hill is impossible to contain. But, for some reason, Vegas has set the line more than a FG favorite toward CIN, so they know something that I don’t! Could be a hangover week for MIA.
Reflection: All the concern should be on Tua after this game, he never deserved to be in that spot. CIN covered and looked like the more rested, put together team but it was hard to celebrate this one. (He appears to be recovering nicely and not in serious pain anymore so good for him, we can celebrate a bit more knowing that).
BAL +3.5 (-110)
BAL has the highest rated QB this season in Lamar Jackson, leading an offense that he’s always been capable of scoring 30+ points with per game. BUF seems like the team to beat in the AFC, despite their loss down in MIA without all their secondary starters. I wouldn’t be surprised to see crazy good QB numbers in this game, but the fact again here is the line is set more in BAL favor than I would have anticipated, so I am leaning on them having a good outing against a great AFC contender.
Reflection: Well it was almost an outright win for BAL, but the hook play is beautiful here and they lose by a field goal, so we win the bet! They got off to a fast start but teetered off towards the end, some questionable decisions may have been the deciding factor for them, but BUF proves to have fight in them and ability to execute a comeback with help from all sides of the ball.
ATL ML (+110)
CLE has shown to be a decent football team despite playing with their backup QB. Truth be told (look at the linked QB rankings), J. Brissett has played better than most other QB’s in the league! ATL is one of those ‘fun, but young and bad’ teams, which I think gives them a chance to put a few plays together that are enough to change the outcome of this one. Too close of a line when I think CLE clearly has the better roster/coach/scheme combination.
Reflection: Down to the wire and a really good matchup as predicted by Vegas, I was happy to be on the right side of this game. ATL were the underdogs still, but not by nearly as much as I thought they should be, and they managed to get off to a good start and ride that to a strong finish.
JAX ML (+220)
Eh, PHI could be the best team in the entire NFL (not enough conclusive evidence yet), but JAX has really turned some heads the past two weeks with incredible performances on both sides of the ball. Maybe there’s something to be said about D. Pederson coaching against PHI, where he won a super bowl. Or, maybe this is one of those games that the decision making and playmaking ability of T. Lawrence & J. Hurts will determine the outcome. I like juiced up underdogs like this, but never thought it would be JAX against a team as hot and loaded as PHI. Here goes nothing!
Reflection: It looked really good for about a quarter and a half, but then the turnover bug bit T. Lawrence numerous times (NFL record four lost fumbles) and they failed to do much of anything after that. PHI showed to be a good team, able to withstand a punch or two and come from behind. Made plays when they needed to and responded well over 60 minutes.
CAR ML (-120)
This is mostly a fade ARI play, because K. Murray is somewhat ineffective without playmaking WR’s (Hopkins/Kirk) and pass-catching RB’s (Edmonds). I don’t like betting to favor CAR, but I think this is another instance where I would have set the line probably -2.5 ARI, so it’s off enough for me to realize I’m not totally analyzing it correctly and someone with lots of information thinks CAR has an advantage.
Reflection: I said it in my write up above, but I hate betting to back CAR. There’s enough stats out there to reveal how bad of an offense they’ve had under Matt Rhule, but I’ll say they will definitely be on my do not bet list going forward. A mess all around that I don’t want to be a part of for now!
In the past two weeks, there was 61 total ‘boosted’ parlays across these major sportsbooks; BetMGM, FanDuel, Caesars and Barstool. 55 of those boosted parlays lost.
Now, we will acknowledge the odds of these parlays, because even though some of them are boosted, they are still relatively low probability bets. Given the data imported and scraped from Sports Betting Dime, we see that the average odds for these parlays was +522.38.
If a user of these major sportsbook placed $10 on each of these parlays over the two weeks, that unlucky user would have lost $416.98, with a return on investment of -216.03%.
These shocking insights would suggest a strategy to identify what the boosts are for specific games, and pinpoint if there are any individual markets to target a ‘fade’ of these boosted parlays. The sportsbooks offer these ‘boosts’ and ‘promotions’ for a reason!
Here is a copy of the scraped data and calcuations:
On the brink of the most disrupting pandemic ever, the winter of 2019 and 2020 brought a long-awaited expansion of the major sports betting markets.
In the state of Michigan, I was able to sign up for five different sports books all within a couple weeks of each other (with significantly good bonuses at the time). So from my experience I will be speaking on the following companies:
From user interface to connected casino/sportsbook/fantasy account balances, FanDuel has been the best sports betting experience for me so far.
The goal for many sports bettors is to make a profit, so it’s nice to know what your accounts net winnings are. FanDuel’s account balance section makes it more than easy to scroll down and have the total amount laid and total amount won back displayed in an instant.
As for the mobile app, it seems to be a much more clean and flowing interface that makes things easier to find. Which leads into the next advantage of FanDuel; it offers EVERYTHING. From same game parlays to boosted odds to can’t lose promos to daily fantasy, the coverage FanDuel offers is second to none.
Each sportsbook has to offer varying odds of some sort for competitive advantage, however time and time again when I do my line shopping I find myself declaring FanDuel as the best odds pretty frequently. With revenue of nearly $900 million in 2020, FanDuel had been the top money maker during the early stages of legalized sports betting expansion, earning the business of many sports bettors alike.
In a market as crowded as the sports betting market right now, being the ‘second best’ sports book is a very big compliment. For a company like Caesars, they got their start in a much more traditional form of betting – casinos.
While the casino business doesn’t directly affect our sports betting experiences, the resources and foundation it provided Caesars to develop a cutting-edge mobile app and memorable marketing materials like this can’t go unmentioned:
My favorite part of the Caesars experience are the occasional super boosts that occur for popular events. At times they will release a Super Boost that has boosted +100 odds for something that almost always happens (like a QB throwing for over 150 yards).
It’s not necessarily a given that all mobile apps feel refreshing to use when searching for bets, but the first two names on my list go above and beyond in their design and interface.
Although FanDuel had dominated the early stages of the industry expansion, DraftKings has been quick to make up the ground. With an estimated $1.8 billion in 2021 revenue, their projections fall evenly with their rivals’ for the year.
In terms of ‘gateway’, DraftKings is a likely first destination for people entering the market due to the massive coverage they possess on national media and partnerships. Becoming a fan favorite sports book was important, so DraftKings developed the ability to host countless promos, bonuses and special boosts.
Without a doubt my favorite moments on DraftKings come when they release ‘Hammer the Over’ specials that lower with each x amount of users placing a bet. The wager amount is limited, but there’s nothing like telling all your friends and family about guaranteed money.
The public sides with DraftKings; on my personal Instagram story, 16 users voted for DraftKings compared to 13 for FanDuel, 9 for Barstool and 7 for Caesars.
The best sign up bonus I ever received was from PointsBet. Using a friends referral code, him and I both received $200 in free bets. Not only that, but unlike many books like MGM, the free bets could be used in any increments – not just $100 per bet or anything else restricting.
Needless to say, I enjoyed becoming a user of PointsBet. I will also say that the best looking dark-mode interface belongs to PointsBet and not DraftKings like many others might think. Maybe it could be that I think the colors red and black are better suited for a sports book than green and black for whatever reason.
PointsBet takes a slightly different approach, they like to offer different odds for alternative lines on games, hence the name of ‘Points Bet’. It’s nice to see the different options available to bettors, and they do a great job of balancing that new atmosphere.
Last and, in my opinion least, is BetMGM. This might be hard to believe if you looked at my investing portfolio, as I do own shares of MGM. However, the betting experience I’ve had while using the BetMGM app is not hard to beat.
To get one thing out of the way; I was not a fan of the helmet icons MGM used during college football season last year. Instead of using just school logos or opting to go no visual at all, they decided on cheesy looking helmet graphics for each college. Despite the creativity involved, the end result was not better than a clean image of a school’s logo.
For a company that trails only FanDuel in market capitalization, I expected more when using their sports book. As PointsBet allowed me to do as I wished with my sign-up bonus free bets, BetMGM locked them as $100 individual free bets, and the payout on the bets didn’t include the free $100 bet!
Since it’s always time to win, the best way to win is by placing the right bets on books with the highest odds. MGM rarely if ever offers a few cents more on a payout compared to the other books mentioned in this article. That reason above all is why they’re ranked last, because it’s not enough to just offer the games – you have to offer a competitive advantage.
All in all, each sports book has its pros and cons just like every other market with options in the world. Don’t forget to sign up for as many books as you can, so the next time you’re looking to place even just one bet, you’re able to ‘shop’ the books for the best price.