For decades, the NFL fought the existence of legalized sports wagering, finally losing the battle via the PASPA verdict ushering gamblers into their game last year. Now, it’s time to go Inside The Lines.
Look at this potentially tragic situation. The NFL showcase matchup between Cincinnati and Pittsburgh features an incredible problem for the league: two winless teams.
Two 0-3 clubs on the league’s signature stage.
Yes, it’s a bitter rivalry and the teams have met before in the playoffs. Yes, people do love these teams and Pittsburgh is a revered, Super Bowl winning franchise, but what is the story line of this game?
Somebody’s O has to go? Boxing already has that one.
- This game has no viewing purpose, on its own.
- But the spread bets will save it.
- So will the props, the teasers, the over-unders and the parlays.
- This game will be rescued online and inside brick-and-mortar establishments.
- The eyeballs advertisers want will come from those with a vested interest.
These are the people who will wade through the long games, the endless commercials and the presence of at least one backup quarterback.
It’s been long known that without gambling, there is no NFL on this level of engagement.
Now it’s a fact. The NFL may not say, Thank You. But the NJ online sports bettors might say, You’re Welcome.
AROUND THE LEAGUE:
Cris Collinsworth made an excellent point in the Rams-Browns game last weekend about Baker Mayfield floundering when given less than two seconds to throw.
That’s not enough time to launch a deep ball to Odell Beckham, whom the Browns obtained as a long-ball threat in the offseason.
Besides improving their blocking, the Browns will have to send Beckham deep, even as a decoy, to open the field for their passing game.
DID YOU NOTICE:
A missed field goal late in the second quarter of Cleveland and the Rams last week:
- Dropped the over-under 38.5 in-game number to over 30.5
The latter bet covered early in the fourth quarter but the 38.5, which went under, wasn’t decided until the Rams made a big stand and fourth-down end zone interception in the final seconds. How good are the line-makers with these insane NFL odds?
Overs-and-unders are determined on the final play.
Football talks about blown coverage. This was almost a blown cover. Bettors of the over 41.5 On the Redskins-Bears Monday night were cruising via the 28-3 halftime score. And then they weren’t.
Looks like the 31-15 final was an easy cover until you consider there was an interception in field-goal range, a goal-line interception, a missed field goal and unsuccessful two-point conversion all in the third quarter.
The winning points actually came on a fourth-and-goal touchdown pass in the final quarter. If that touchdown is not made there, the under wins in a steal.
It just shows that a bet is never in the bag while we’re still inside the lines.
STRANGE BUT TRUE:
The Jets have only four touchdowns in three games and two of them came from special teams. Another was courtesy of the defense. Given the bye week, when the Jets line up again on Oct. 6, they will not have scored an offensive touchdown in nearly A MONTH.
They acquired Le’Veon Bell for big bucks in the off-season and can’t even outscore their own special teams unit. A turnaround would be logical soon, see if it is reflected in the lines.
The fact that Bell tweeted the fans to stay behind this team indicates the coach hasn’t lost his players. The Jets will play a good game pretty soon.
Try to be there on the cover line when they do.
GUT CHECK TIME FOR TAMPA BAY:
The Bucs had their heart ripped out after losing a 28-10 second-half lead against the Giants at home. They were set to retake the lead but an easy field goal was missed on the final play.
Are they in shell-shock mode or can they be resilient? What a time to find out; they play the Rams.