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What a game.
I guess the most simple takeaway is to credit Paul George for hitting the game-winner and move on to the next one, but that wouldn’t make for much of a recap, would it?
On a micro-level, there were some really interesting late-game situations that took place, situations that come with their respective quotes.
That’s a good starting point, and we can probably work backwards from the game’s final play, a sequence where Ben Simmons had to drive down the court with five seconds left and no timeouts. He paused at the three point line and handed the ball off to Jimmy Butler, which resulted in this:
That’s a tough shot, and Simmons doesn’t do Butler any help by picking up his dribble early and allowing Paul George to double team.
Here’s Simmons on the play:
I saw Adams to my left, and it was assuming he was going to help in and sort of create a road block, so I saw that and wanted to come to Jimmy, give him a hand off and see if he could get an and-1 or a shot off.
I was about to (pull-up and shoot) but at the end of the play I saw Jimmy’s man sag a little bit more so that was the hand-off.
It was kind of similar to the Boston game, wasn’t it? Ben just doesn’t get much of a body on Terrance Ferguson there, kind of like how he wasn’t able to put a body on Gordon Hayward in that two-man game with JJ Redick.
A report from ESPN senior writer Jackie MacMullan last night described Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns new relationship with Derrick Rose and his emergence as a team leader since the trade of Jimmy Butler to the 76ers.
It’s unsurprising, considering Towns and Andrew Wiggins were two of Butler’s prime targets when it came to his criticism of the team and their perceived lack of effort on the court.
However, MacMullan included an interesting nugget from KAT’s former college coach, University of Kentucky’s John Calipari, in which he outright accused Butler of bullying the Timberwolves’ center.
Sports Betting Updates
The Rams and Saints will meet on Sunday afternoon in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome with a trip to Super Bowl 53 on the line. If the rematch possesses the intensity of the first meeting between the two teams, a 45-35 Saints win back in November, then we should be in for quite a game. That leads us to perhaps the most important question ahead of what’s expected to be another high-scoring shootout between two of the
You can analyze trends and probabilities all you like. You can diagnose a match to within an inch of its life. But there are certain things you really can’t account for. Before shutting out an impotent Newcastle United on January 2, Manchester United hadn’t kept a clean sheet in the league in their prior seven matches. The Red Devils went to Wembley last weekend to take on Tottenham Hotspur. Goals aplenty, right? Yeah, no: 11
The Rams and Saints will meet on Sunday afternoon in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome with a trip to Super Bowl 53 on the line. If the rematch possesses the intensity of the first meeting between the two teams, a 45-35 Saints win back in November, then we should be in for quite a game. That leads us to perhaps the most important question ahead of what’s expected to be another high-scoring shootout between two of the league’s best offenses–will the game play out much the same as it did the first time, or are we in store for a different outcome? Let’s get into it.
FanDuel: Saints (-3.5), Over/Under 56
What to know about the Saints
Most bettors will look to the Saints’ excellent playoff history at home under head coach Sean Payton, where they are 6-0 straight-up. Undoubtedly, that’s an impressive stat to rely on, but it’s worth noting the Saints are only 2-4 against the spread in those games, including last week’s ATS loss to the Eagles as an 8-point favorite.
New Orleans has also excelled at home over the last two seasons, compiling a daunting 16-2 record, but again, they are only 9-9 ATS in those games. The lesson here? The Saints are tough to beat in the dome, but getting a win against the number isn’t exactly a Herculean task. Still, the importance of home-field advantage in recent championship game history can’t be understated. Home teams are 10-0 SU in the championship round over the last five seasons. The last time an NFC team won on the road in this spot came in 2012 when the 49ers knocked off the Falcons in Atlanta.
It’s been a bit of rollercoaster for bettors backing the Saints this season. They are a profitable 10-7 ATS, but the path has been a streaky one. New Orleans began the season with back-to-back ATS losses, but then ripped of nine-straight covers before finishing the season 1-5 ATS over its final six games. The Saints are regarded by many as the favorite to lift the Lombardi Trophy next month, but is their lackluster play and inability to cover spreads dating back to December an indicator they are simply not the same squad that was demolishing the opposition with ease earlier this season? For those concerned about their recent lack of success ATS, it’s worth noting the Saints are 7-2 ATS in their last nine tries when entering having failed to cover in consecutive games. In fact, only twice since the 2015 season have Payton teams failed to cover in three-straight contests.
One angle that bettors are sure to look at is the matchup between Drew Brees and Jared Goff. Brees inspires more confidence and with reason. He is 13-3 ATS throughout his career and 10-1 ATS when facing opponents averaging at least 30 points per game, including the win over the Rams earlier this season. For those wondering, Goff is 1-3-1 ATS against teams averaging at least 30 points per game.
While there’s a lot to like about the Saints in this matchup, there are, however, at least some concerns. Despite scoring 30.8 points per game this season, the Saints have averaged just a shade over 24 points per contest over their last eight games. In fact, the offense hasn’t looked particularly crisp dating back to the 48-7 thrashing of the Eagles in November. That includes last week’s rematch in which they managed only 20 points against the Eagles’ decimated defense. In fact, Brees has only four touchdowns to three interceptions in four starts since the beginning of December. Some of those offensive struggles have been masked by a defense that is allowing only 16.9 points per game over its last eight contests. That defense won the game a week ago, but New Orleans is going to need more firepower to keep pace with the NFL’s No. 2 scoring offense.
Time to hop into the time machine: It’s Week 17. Nick Foles is about to once again rally the troops and lead a ragtag Eagles team into the postseason. Unbeknownst to many, Foles is about to hit a $1 million incentive in his contract; one that’s triggered by him playing in 33% of the team’s snaps while also making the playoffs. The question was whether or not he’d need to play the entire game and if there were any lasting effects from Week 16.
The previous week against Houston, he took this cheap shot from Jadeveon Clowney and missed only one play:
Nick Foles misses one play after the big hit by Jadeveon Clowney on the Alshon Jeffery reception, but leads the Eagles down the field for the game-winning field goal. Eagles win it 32-30! pic.twitter.com/WM3NszqaWc
— The Bitter Birds (@AdrianFedkiw) December 23, 2018
Back to Week 17: Foles takes a hit in the fourth quarter against Washington and misses the remainder of the game. That incentive? Poof.
Eagles’ QB Nick Foles has a $1 million incentive if Philadelphia goes to the postseason AND he plays 33 percent of team’s plays. His bruised ribs that prevented him from finishing today’s game now mean he played 32 percent of Eagles’ plays – 1 percent short of $1 million. Ouch.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 31, 2018
But now it appears the Eagles did the right thing:
Source: the Eagles have paid QB Nick Foles a $1M signing bonus to account for the incentive he missed out on by just four snaps earned by Philly making the playoffs and Foles playing 33% of the snaps. Philly does right by the clutch QB.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) January 19, 2019
No brainer. It’s good to see the Eagles are doing right by the only man to quarterback the franchise to a Super Bowl, something Randall Cunningham, Donovan McNabb, Jeff Garcia, Mike McMahon, and even Carson Wentz cannot claim to have done.
You can analyze trends and probabilities all you like. You can diagnose a match to within an inch of its life. But there are certain things you really can’t account for. Before shutting out an impotent Newcastle United on January 2, Manchester United hadn’t kept a clean sheet in the league in their prior seven matches. The Red Devils went to Wembley last weekend to take on Tottenham Hotspur. Goals aplenty, right? Yeah, no:
11 – David de Gea made 11 saves for Manchester United vs Tottenham Hotspur today; the most saves he’s made in a top-flight league match without conceding a goal. Unbeatable. #TOTMUN pic.twitter.com/r7xYnHzalv
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 13, 2019
World class players occasionally thwart the best of all laid plans. The blinder from de Gea cost me a winning week, but as usual, the best part about the past week is that it’s in the past. Looking for a rebound in Week 23, we’re going to ignore the early card and hone in on the weekend’s final three matches. Here come this week’s winners:
ARSENAL v. CHELSEA
— SuperSport (@SuperSportTV) January 17, 2019
This time of year you start hearing a lot about “relegation six-pointers.” That’s when two clubs near the bottom of the table play each other; the winner gets the benefit of adding three points to their tally while depriving their fellow strugglers of a potential three points.
Neither Arsenal nor Chelsea is anywhere close to being relegated. But this match can fairly be called a “Champions League place six-pointer.” Chelsea is fourth in the table with 47 points, clutching onto the last Champions League place. Arsenal is tied with Manchester United on points for fifth (the Gunners have a slightly better goal difference) with 41 points.
Chelsea will naturally see this match as a chance to put Arsenal irretrievably behind. A Blues win would stretch their lead over Unai Emery’s men to nine points with nearly two-thirds of the season gone. Chelsea is on a nice run in league play, with five wins and a draw in their last seven. Meanwhile, Arsenal continue to waste time figuring out what to do with the expensive malcontent that Arsene Wenger stuck Emery with:
Unai Emery says he has not given thought to the possibility of Mesut Ozil leaving Arsenal and the midfielder could return against Chelsea.https://t.co/Q5c8Vr3Tc6
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) January 18, 2019
Arsenal is not favored at home for a reason. Two losses from three in league play, including the 5-1 humiliation at the hands of Liverpool, make the Gunners the wrong side of this tie. Take Chelsea to win at 5/4.
Another weekend is here and with it comes two fantastic NFL championship games featuring rematches of memorable regular season shootouts. The action is also in full effect across the NBA, NHL, and college basketball.
With Super Bowl Sunday looming just two short weeks away, start building your bankroll now by getting in on New Jersey’s legal sports betting action. Enjoy all of the different great games on tap across multiple sports this weekend and take advantage of all the extra incentives with aggressive sign-up bonuses and promos being offered by the industry’s top sports betting apps. Just be sure to hit the “bet now” buttons or links to take advantage of these deals, as some of them are exclusive to our audience.
And, as always, for those of you in Pennsylvania, PA online sports betting is coming soon.
DraftKings Sportsbook continues to run a $25 free bet with no deposit to new customers. Just sign up and cash in on your free bet. No catch. No nonsense.
Additionally, DraftKings Sportsbook recently increased their $200 free bet offer after deposit, which they’ve been running pretty much open-ended since their launch last August. To match some of the offers put forth by some competitors, DraftKings is now offering a $500 free bet. If you’re thinking about signing up, we strongly urge you to take advantage of what we think is the best offer to date.
Here’s how it works—just use our link to sign up and DraftKings will match your first wager with a free bet up to $500. It works the same way as the previous $200 bet, only, you know, it’s more. Use your matched free bet within 30 days of making your first wager, and you’re good to go. It’s that simple.
Once you’re signed up, there are plenty of fun and unique promos to take advantage of this weekend with DraftKings Sportsbook, including the recent rollout of its blackjack, video poker, roulette, and slot games.
On Saturday, DraftKings is featuring basketball stars, including Zion Williamson, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden, as well as some of the biggest teams in college basketball like UNC, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, and UVA. There will also be some surprise crossover overs.
That all leads up to Sunday’s championship showdowns. DraftKings will feature special odds boosts in both contests.
DraftKings is also giving its members a way to wager on all of the games. Similar to its football pools, DraftKings is now offering NBA and NHL Sportsbook Pools. Users can bet small to win big in a pool-style pick’em format nearly every night.
Both FanDuel and DraftKings are offering outstanding promos and specials this weekend, so if you want to see more, read our DraftKings vs. FanDuel comparison on which sportsbook is better.
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New England and Kansas City will meet at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday night with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line in a rematch of the Patriots’ wild 43-40 win over the Chiefs back in October. The Patriots are showing up for their yearly reservation in the AFC Championship Game, appearing for the 13th time since the 2001 season and the eighth year in a row. They will face a Chiefs squad that won only its second postseason game since 1993 a week ago in a 31-13 romp over the Colts. Will Andy Reid in his 20th season as a head coach reach his second Super Bowl and finally lift the Lombardi Trophy? Or will Bill Belichick and Tom Brady reach football’s biggest stage for a ninth time? Let’s get into it. Continue Reading
You’ve been waiting for the Flyers to make a trade, and the wheels could very well be in motion. It would appear that Dale Weise’s time in town is about to come to an end.
Head coach Scott Gordon told the assembled media today that Weise will not be traveling with the team to Montreal. A team source confirmed to Crossing Broad that Weise – who has been a healthy scratch in consecutive games since appearing on the Snow the Goalie podcast – has been told to stay behind and await news of a trade.
The source’s information appears to confirm the contents of a tweet from Wednesday night from Rogers Sportsnet writer/reporter Eric Engels:
As you know, Dale Weise cleared waivers earlier today. However, he will not be sent to the AHL. At least not yet. Expectation is he will be traded.
— Eric Engels (@EricEngels) January 17, 2019
While some might think it’s an insignificant move, there could very well be one of many things at play. A best-case scenario for Flyers fans is that Weise – who cleared waivers on Wednesday – is part of a much bigger trade that GM Chuck Fletcher is working on.