Betting trends from the NFL preseason openers continued into Week 2, according to numbers released by FanDuel Sportsbook this week. The public bet heavy on the Jets last Thursday against the Redskins, while the Giants saw more action against them before their Friday tilt with the Lions.
FanDuel runs the sportsbook at the Meadowlands racetrack, in the same complex at MetLife Stadium, home to the Jets and Giants. The sportsbook opened in mid-July to prepare for NFL action and has drawn significant handle. They’re the only physical sportsbook regularly serving the NYC market, the largest metro market in the United States.
Jets vs. Redskins
The Jets played Thursday night at Washington. At the FanDuel sportsbook, the Jets opened +3.5. However, the betting public shifted the line a whopping six points in a few days. By kickoff, the Jets were -2.5 favorites. They drew over 78% percent of the money bet on the game.
The game was responsible for 69% of the book’s NFL handle Thursday night, with three games on the card. As it turned out, the public’s support was in vain, as the Jets lost 15-13 on a field goal at the gun.
These numbers show that Gang Green is a darling of the public in New Jersey, even moreso than the previous week. The volume was over double the opener against Atlanta, which was 34% of the handle on a night with one other game. Last week, the Jets-Redskins also went heads up against the Super Bowl rematch in Foxboro. The line move last week was only four points, while the Jets’ share of the money bet was 80%.
Compared the numbers on VegasInsider.com, the line moves in Nevada appear to be significant but not out of line with the market. Every book reporting on the site moved the Jets from underdog to favorite over the course of the week, except Atlantis in Reno which moved the line from Washington -1 to a pick’em on gameday. Ten of the 15 books listed opened with the Jets +3.5. Only William Hill closed with the Jets -2.5.
Giants vs. Lions
Unlike Week 1, the Giants entered Friday night’s contest as underdogs at +2.5. Similar to that game, the public betting moved the line away from them at FanDuel in Week 2. At kickoff, Big Blue was +3.5. Only 33% of the money at FanDuel was bet on the game, and the handle made up 26% of the NFL total on the five-game slate that night. And the public’s position backfired and the Giants won 30-17 in Detroit.
There was similar public hesitation to bet the G-Men again in Week 2. The line moved away, but substantially less than the four-point swing before the Browns game the week prior. On a much busier card, the Giants drew 30% of the NFL handle for Week 1. We’re not sure if that was because the game was at home, which meant fans could head over before kickoff to make a wager; the allure of the novel opportunity; or the absence of No. 2 overall draft pick Saquon Barkley, who was held out with an injury.
The line movement in this game again mirrored action in Las Vegas. The Giants remained underdogs throughout the week. Only the Stratosphere and Wynn sportsbooks offered the same +2.5 as FanDuel did to open; most books had the line at 3. More than half of the books matched the price of +3.5 at close.
This week, the Jets and Giants will face off in their annual preseason game on Friday night. The Jets are currently a -2.5 favorite at FanDuel. It’s an interesting game to observe; if you’re betting the big weekend at Saratoga, stop by the FanDuel book at the Big M. If not, and you’re in New Jersey anyway, have a look at the NFL preseason lines on DraftKings Sportsbook.