Loot, Loot, Loot For the Home Teams: NJ, PA Sportsbooks Clean Up in Week 1

Loot, Loot, Loot For the Home Teams: NJ, PA Sportsbooks Clean Up in Week 1 article feature image
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Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning

  • The NFL season is off to a great start for sportsbooks in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
  • All four local teams -- the Jets, Giants, Steelers and Eagles -- failed to cover in Week 1, meaning the books cleaned up.

It was a good day on Sunday for mobile sportsbooks in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

That’s because none of the local teams — the Jets, Giants, Steelers and Eagles — covered the spread on Sunday. As you can imagine the action at the Tri-State sportsbooks was heavily lopsided in favor of the “home” teams.

It’s an interesting predicament for the bookmakers in these new markets. They know they will get heavy action on the local teams, but they can’t stray from the market just because they know that fans will bet with their hearts. In other words, if the market suggests the Giants should be 3-point underdogs against the Bears, the Jersey sportsbooks aren’t going to post them at +2 just because casual punters will bet on their team. That would leave the books exposed to professional bettors who spend their days picking off the best number.

“We have to offer the most fair lines,” said Johnny Avello, the leading man at DraftKings sportsbook. “It’s not like, we’ll put up a team at 7.5, when the rest of the market is at 7. You have to post a line and then whatever happens, happens…Some weeks, we will do well from how lopsided thing are, sometimes we won’t.”

New Jersey, whose handle is roughly 80% mobile, and Pennsylvania, have developed into the biggest mobile markets outside of Nevada.

PointsBet, which offers its mobile product in New Jersey, where its American headquarters are also located, reported that 90% of the money bet in the Bills-Jets (-2.5) game was on the Jets to cover. They lost by one, 17-16.

“I think people betting their teams as single bets are fine,” said PointsBet CEO Johnny Aitken. “It could get more ugly if we see parlays of all these teams coming through.”

Avello said don’t expect these markets to ride in the local teams for too long.

“Even Giants fans are willing to lay off the Giants if they think it’s a better bet to do so,” Avello said.

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