NFL Week 2 already had a rousing start with the Cleveland Browns toppling the Cincinnati Bengals 35-30 for their first win Thursday night.
Bettors are already cashing, as Bengals backers celebrated the late touchdown to enable their +6 cover at NJ online sportsbooks.
FanDuel Sportsbook players collected on an odds boost paying +170 for the game to go over 48 points. DraftKings Sportsbook returned +175 for its boost on quarterbacks Baker Mayfield and Joe Burrow to throw at least four touchdowns. They hurled five.
What an appetizer for the rest of the NFL Week 2 betting schedule.
The lineup begins for New Jersey bettors with an oddity regarding the teams they support most.
Giants, Jets, Eagles: Odds are on shaky ground
The New York Giants, New York Jets and Philadelphia Eagles were all underdogs, albeit briefly.
That rarely happens.
The Eagles have shown the league’s most wildly fluctuating line. Philadelphia opened as a -2.5 favorite against the visiting Los Angeles Rams, then slid back to a +2 underdog. On Thursday, Eagles odds settled between -1.5 and a pick’em, depending on which sportsbook app you selected.
The Giants and Jets, meanwhile, opened as underdogs and will stay that way.
The Giants’ odds are at +5.5 against the host Chicago Bears in a line that opened at +4.5 for them.
Jets bettors finally broke the logjam of their team being +7 most of the week against the visiting San Francisco 49ers. Jets odds drifted to +6.5 on Thursday at DraftKings and will likely induce strong 49ers betting action.
DraftKings: NFL Week 2 is a hot ticket
The slate of games unfolds after what DraftKings race and sportsbook director Johnny Avello considers a banner opening week.
“The handle on the NFL in Week 1 was off the charts,” he told Play NJ. “That happened right from the start with the Kansas City-Houston matchup (Thursday night). That was one of the biggest betting games ever. And the handle on Sunday, with all the games together, was equal to a Super Bowl.
“We are delighted that this has happened, and we expect more. We are certainly growing. Every year, I think we are going to crush it over the year before.”
And so far, he’s right.
Avello believes the Giants are in a softer spot with Chicago than with the Pittsburgh Steelers, against whom they self-destructed with turnovers in a 26-16 Monday Night Football loss. A third-quarter end-zone pick thrown by quarterback Daniel Jones prevented the G-Men from taking the lead, and they never threatened again. He also threw an interception that led to a Steelers touchdown.
The Giants were +5.5 against Chicago even before the Pittsburgh game. Avello said having one less day of preparation before Sunday’s game was “baked into the line.”
The Jets will be without rushing star Le’Veon Bell when they face the 49ers. Bell left the team’s season-opening 27-17 loss to the Buffalo Bills with an injury and will miss at least a couple of games. This is a big loss for the Jets, who were stout defensively but weak offensively against the Bills.
The Eagles confounded their backers — which made up 85% of the DraftKings handle at -5.5 against the Washington Football Team — by blowing a 17-0 second-quarter lead last week. Veteran quarterback Carson Wentz threw two costly picks that led to the touchdowns that brought Washington back in the game. Avello believes the timing between Wentz and his receivers should improve this week.
Games of interest around the NFL
Arizona Cardinals bettors were implored to jump on them at -6.5 against Washington before the line could move to -7.
Well, on Thursday, it did at DraftKings, while FanDuel kept it at 6.5 — a very important half of a point.
Arizona is a full touchdown favorite after its utterly impressive 24-20 road upset of the defending NFC champion 49ers on Sunday. Fleet-footed quarterback Kyler Murray is the real deal, probably the league’s second-best running QB behind Lamar Jackson. DeAndre Hopkins, who caught a career-high 14 passes, gives him an exceptional ally.
The Seattle Seahawks host the New England Patriots on Sunday Night Football at -4. We predicted that line wouldn’t move much this week, and it did not through four days. Seattle has one of the better power running backs in the NFL, Chris Carson, along with emerging receiving star DK Metcalf. They accent blue-chip QB Russell Wilson.
New England outlasted the Miami Dolphins 21-11 behind two rushing touchdowns from new quarterback Cam Newton. He was their offense. Teams may learn to keep him in check at some point. Will Seattle be one of those teams?
The Brady Bunch and more on NFL Week 2
The Tom Brady Premium is something else that’s “baked into the line.”
His new team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, failed to win their opener against the New Orleans Saints but are a fat -9 against the visiting Carolina Panthers. Brady’s teams will always be bet, maybe overbet.
One team facing an emotional gut check is the Detroit Lions. They are +6.5 against the host Green Bay Packers after a titanic Week 1 collapse.
The Lions squandered a 23-6 fourth-quarter lead and lost to the Bears 30-27. They even dropped the game-winning touchdown in the waning seconds.
For a team that finished last year losing nine straight, that’s a win they had to have. Will it break their backs, or will they deliver an inspired effort against the 1-0 Packers?
The New Orleans Saints christen the Las Vegas football era as between 5.5- and 6-point road favorites against the Las Vegas Raiders on Monday Night Football. Both teams won last week.