5 Great Ways To Kick Off NFL Betting At New Jersey Sportsbooks And Casinos

Written By Bill Gelman on September 4, 2019 - Last Updated on September 5, 2019

The summer NJ sports betting lull is finally behind us.

Take a backseat MLB betting. NFL and college football betting are now front and center.

And in the Garden State, there is plenty of buzz about what’s new and exciting to the market.

Here are five things on the radar as the Philadelphia Eagles prepare to play the Washington Redskins. And let’s not forget about the New York Giants and those pesky Dallas Cowboys.

1. Bally’s sportsbook gets its grand opening

Technically speaking, The Book at Bally’s Wild Wild West started welcoming guests since mid-June.

But when you are home to Atlantic City’s largest sportsbook (15,228 square feet), things need to be bigger and grander.

Sure enough, just before the Birds kick off the season at 1 p.m. ET Sunday, Sept. 8, Bally’s will be holding the “official opening.”

The open-to-the-public event starts at 10:30 a.m. Chris Long, who helped the Eagles win their first and only Super Bowl title, will be in town to help kick off the festivities. Hollis Thomas and Fred Barnett, who also wore the green and white, will be making appearances, too.

And there will be giveaways throughout the day. For example, the first 200 guests who place a $100 wager on Sunday’s games will receive a prize.

Plus the viewing experience is about as good as it gets in AC. Call it a Vegas-style sportsbook at the center of the Boardwalk.

Here are just some of the amenities:

  • 200-plus seats
  • 98 foot by 18 foot, high-resolution LED television wall with surround sound
  • self-serve beer wall (the first of its kind in Atlantic City)
  • 10 fan caves to reserve (large enough for a party of 10)

So compared to the other spaces that have opened this summer, Bally’s may become the game-day destination for the sports betting crowd.

2. Pep Rally at Ocean Casino

If you don’t feel like waiting until Sunday, Ocean Casino Resort is hosting a full day of festivities one day earlier.

It starts with an all-day football kickoff inside the William Hill Sportsbook on Saturday, Sept. 7. Customers who place a bet will receive one free T-shirt. The $2 hot dogs are back as well.

For those craving more, there is a new sportsbook food menu this season. Jumbo chicken wings and pulled pork or chicken are just a few of the items.

The party-like vibe will extend to the lobby level at 7 p.m. where Ocean will be holding a pep rally. Head to the fire pit at the Lobby Bar where there will be a live DJ, trivia, along with appearances by the Atlantic City Blackjacks cheerleaders and Bud Light girls.

And it will start all over again on Sunday with a full slate of NFL wagering opportunities.

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3. Bet365 and theScore are here at last (and Fox Bet, too)

The NJ mobile sports betting market has expanded again (and likely isn’t finished).

The current tally is at 16, and it includes two newcomers and a rebranded offering.

TheScore Bet is fully launched as of Tuesday afternoon. What makes this product unique is the fact that they are the first media company in North America “to create and operate a mobile sportsbook in the United States.”

Plus, it’s seamlessly integrated with theScore platform — the company’s market-leading media app.

Bet365 NJ, on the other hand, is the sports betting giant from across the Atlantic. It went into testing mode in mid-August via the Hard Rock Atlantic City license.

For those who have not watched or listened to Fox Sports recently, Fox Bet is the rebranded BetStars app from The Stars Group. The launch (or relaunch) took place early Saturday morning.

You might hear a thing or two about it during FOX NFL Sunday’s broadcast. So are you sticking with industry leaders FanDuel Sportsbook and DraftKings Sportsbook or trying something new?

Decisions, decisions.

4. Place your bets with these free football contests

For Atlantic City casinos, NFL games provide that added attraction to get customers on property. This is especially true now that sports betting is legal.

“FREE” is the target word that tends to grab the customers attention. After all, the Jersey Shore season technically ended Labor Day Weekend.

Borgata, CaesarsGolden Nugget, and Hard Rock are offering free pick’em contests. The basic concept is to predict the outcome of NFL games at the promotional kiosks. Rules and prizes vary, of course.

Here is a quick glance at the four seasonlong promotions kicking off with NFL Week 1 games:


  • Weekly prizes of $20 Bonus SLOT DOLLARS to all winners with three correct picks (a selected team must cover the +/- 7 point spread denoted on the screen).
  • All M life cardholders will have the ability to make one entry per week.
  • Any participant(s) who finish a perfect 51-for-51 at the conclusion of the 17-week NFL regular season will walk away with a share of $1 million.


  • The top 10 guests in Atlantic City who pick the most correct outcomes of the prior week’s game will receive a share of $10,000 in free slot play.
  • The total combined score guess for the Monday Night Football game is used to settle any ties.
  • The finale drawings will take place on Saturday, Jan. 4 at The Book at Bally’s and Harrah’s Resort.


  • Play for a chance to win more than $250,000 in cash and free play throughout the 2019 season.
  • The top three finishers with the most correct NFL picks each week will split $7,500 (first place is $5,000).
  • Correctly pick the winner of 204 games or more and win $1 million.


  • $25,000 in weekly prizes are up for grabs (through Jan. 21).
  • Players can submit up to seven entries per week (one per day).
  • The person with the most correct weekly NFL picks will earn $10,000 while 600 random winners will receive $25 in free play.

5. Resorts Sportsbook’s Super Pick’Em contest

If you’re trying to avoid those weekly trips to Atlantic City, the Resorts Sportsbook app provides an easy solution:

The football handicapping Super Pick’Em contest has more than $40,000 in total prizes up for grabs. And by the way, it’s free to play. Simply register for the contest (online casino/sportsbook credentials will work).

And here are the basic rules:

  • Pick five games each week against the spread (ATS) and over/under (games are preselected).
  • Earn one point for each correct ATS pick and one point for correct O/U pick. To earn the latter, the ATS selection needs to be right.
  • The top point earner each week will win $1,000 (awarded directly to your Resorts Casino account).
  • There is $15,000 up for grabs at the end of the season.

Clearly, there are no shortage of ways to take in the first weekend of NFL games. Whether you are visiting Atlantic City or hopping online to place that first bet, the options are almost endless.

Goodbye summer! Sports betting season has arrived!

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Bill Gelman

Bill Gelman is a veteran sports writer based just outside of Philadelphia and not too far from the Jersey Shore. Bill spends time in Atlantic City writing about casino openings and expansions, special events and now NJ sports betting and online gambling.

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