After a long and difficult offseason in the wake of…wait, sorry. Force of habit. Let me try again.
After a short offseason that many of us spent reveling in the Eagles’ glorious Super Bowl win, the 2018 season kicks off tonight at Lincoln Financial Field as the Champs begin their title defense with a rematch of last year’s NFC Divisional Playoff against the Atlanta Falcons. Today is undoubtedly one of the best days of the year, not just because pro football is back, but because with it comes betting on pro football. What a god damn beautiful thing. Know what else is beautiful? If you happen to exist in a state that has its shit together, it’s legal, too!
With several gaming companies recently entering the legal sports gambling arena, prospective gamblers have a wide-range of mobile betting apps and services from which to choose, and it’s an important decision. My recommendation? Download them all. Not only do most companies offer generous sign up bonuses, but even occasional and casual bettors should shop around for the best odds, cheapest prices, and best payouts. You wouldn’t want to pay $3 for a beer when you could pay $2.50, and you wouldn’t take a 5% return on an investment when you can get 7%, so why would you place a bet without the most advantageous odds and prices? Maximize the profits, minimize the damage on wins, and get your money. That’s the bottom line.
Since I suspect that many readers have either recently begun using sports betting apps, or plan to throw some money on the Birds game tonight, I thought it would be a worthwhile exercise to help you sort through the DraftKings, FanDuel and SugarHouse sports betting apps to find some value and explore a rather robust set of wagering options.
Before we begin, I want to note that SugarHouse and DraftKings each use popular gaming operator Kambi for their odds and prices, so in most cases their lines will be identical. Therefore, when choosing between the two apps, it comes down to a matter of personal preference on app design and functionality. FanDuel will often present entirely different odds and pricing.
Also keep in mind that pricing and odds, particularly as we near kickoff are fluid, and will absolutely fluctuate, so be sure to check every app you have for the best pricing. All odds and prices in this post are as of writing this. With those notes out of the way, let’s get into it.
For a list of available betting sites, check out our NJ online sports betting guide.
FanDuel currently offers the Eagles as a 1-point underdog at -110 while the Falcons are priced at -105. DraftKings offers the Eagles as a 1-point underdog at -112 and the Falcons at -108. If you plan to take the spread on either side, FanDuel is the way to go.
FanDuel offers the Eagles and Falcons to win outright at -106. Meanwhile, DraftKings is offering the Eagles at +300 for new users and the Falcons at -117. If you want the Eagles outright, which with a line this short will probably be a popular play, you can save yourself a few dollars by grabbing them at FanDuel, unless you’re eligible for the DraftKings promo.
Both books list the total at 44.5 and the over/under is priced evenly at -110 a side on both FanDuel and DraftKings.
Alternate line plays are enticing because they often present value or allow betters to maximize profits on a particularly strong opinion. SugarHouse/DraftKings and FanDuel each offer several, and I mean several, alternate line plays for bettors to choose from. But I grabbed a few popular numbers for this post. Right now, DraftKings/SugarHouse offers the Falcons at +3(-150) and the Eagles -3 (+123). If you not only like the Eagles, but think they are going to win this game by more than a field goal, why not hop in and turn a $110 risk to win $100 into a $100 risk to win $123? That’s a .33 cent swing per dollar in value. Think the Eagles are going to blow Atlanta out of the water? DraftKings/SugarHouse also offers the Eagles -7 at +210. Personally, that feels like a bold play, but if you want to get weird, then let’s get weird.
FanDuel, meanwhile, adds a hook for their alternate lines in this game. In other words, the lines are -1.5, -2.5, -3.5, and so on, all the way into the 20s. If you want to play with bigger point differentials with some really unique payouts, I highly suggest you try this out. The breadth of their alternate point spread offerings is incredible. I will point out that if you like the Eagles in a nip and tuck game, you can grab the Eagles at -2.5 at for a -115 price, but again, I see no value in that—just take the moneyline.
Team total bets are often quite popular. Let’s say for instance that you have a strong feeling about how the Eagles’ offense will perform tonight, but you don’t know what the defense will do against Matt Ryan and the Atlanta offense. You can eliminate one side of the equation by wagering on a team total. In this case, you would grab the Eagles to score OVER 22.5 points at -120 or UNDER 22.5 at -103.
VALUE ALERT. At DraftKings/SugarHouse you can do a single-game parlay with the spread set at Eagles -1.5/45.5. A bet of the Eagles/Under pays +250 and Eagles/Over comes in at+275. On the flip side, ATL/UNDER is +235 and ATL/OVER +260. Over at FanDuel it’s a pick’em (even) spread, the Eagles/Over bet pays +240, Eagles/Under pays +230, so the payouts aren’t as strong. Personally, I’d rather go with the DraftKings offering and lay the -1.5-points in the parlay to get better payout terms. If the Eagles only win by a point, then oh well, fuck me, I guess.
I love me some props. Traditional wagers like point-spread, moneyline, and game total bets are great, but one of the best things about the legalization of sports gambling is the amazing amount of fun and entertaining game and player props available. While the focus is often on the aforementioned traditional streams of wagering, there is often an opportunity to grab some great value in the sub-market of prop betting. DraftKings is particularly strong on the player prop front.
Think Nick Foles is going to look like last season’s Super Bowl MVP tonight because, you know, he is? You can grab him to go over 235.5 yards at -115 or 1.5 touchdowns at -115 a side.
Think the Eagles defense will wreak havoc on Matt Ryan? He only had 210 yards passing back in January. You can wager that he will stay under on 259.5 yards at -115.
What about the run game? If you like Jay Ajayi to run free tonight, the 53.5 total yards over/under is enticing, but expensive at -139. Freeman, meanwhile, comes in at 59.5 yards at -115 a side. How a feeling on receivers? Maybe check out Mike Wallace’s 48.5 yard total, Nelson Agholor’s and Zach Ertz’s 60.5 yards, or Julio Jones at 90.5 yards. Those will cost anywhere between -109 and -122.
Odds are also offered at DraftKings/SugarHouse on head to head player matchups. Matt Ryan vs. Nick Foles passing yards and Ajayi vs. Freeman rushing yards are both fun, and even same team bets like Ertz vs. Agholor in receiving yards are each less traditional, but fun wagers that have a daily fantasy flavor.
One other prop bet that I love that is offered by each book is what I call the “big night” prop. Think Jay Ajayi is going to get in the end zone twice tonight? Grab him at +1220, or take Zach Ertz for two TDs at +1220, or Nelson Agholor at +900. Are these bets likely to win? Hell no, but each of these players could do it, and at that pay out, it could be worth a light wager. You can do this type of play with three touchdown nights, too. I recommend FanDuel for these bets because of consistently much higher payouts. For instance, a three touchdown night for Ajayi pays out at +14000 at FanDuel, but only +8000 at DraftKings. You will find a similar consistently higher payout at FanDuel across the board on these bets.
Want a bet that I like? Check out FanDuel’s longest successful field goal bet. Currently Atlanta comes in at -140 and the Eagles at -115. Guess they don’t know about Jake Elliott? I’ll take the Eagles on that one.
As for the game, look, I certainly see the value of taking the Falcons, but I’m rolling with the Eagles here. Jim Schwartz has owned Matt Ryan in each of the teams’ past two meetings, and I think Nick Foles plays well enough to get it done. I’m going to FanDuel and taking the Eagles on the money line at -108 (I’m not eligible for the DraftKings promo).
I’m also going take Jay Ajayi to score at +200 on FanDuel, and the Eagles/Over single-game parlay at DraftKings at +275.
A word of caution: This post isn’t about the picks, it’s about the offerings and value information. I’m not a prognosticator, and I don’t pretend to be, so I don’t want to hear it if these bets don’t cash. I’m just sharing my plan that is backed by the value of what’s available.
See something on the board that you like? Feel free to drop it in the comments below.