Last Updated Sep 09, 2022, 11:53 AM
NFL Week 1 Betting Amps Up New York
US Sports Betting Industry Expert
Last January, the state of New York jumped on the legal, regulated sports betting train. No doubt, it was good timing as the NFL playoffs unfolded.
But this week, for the first time, New York customers get to experience NFL Week 1 betting. It's the first-ever full weekend of NFL betting for the New York market. And expectations are fairly high.
Johnny Avello, director of sportsbook operations for DraftKings, and Jason Scott, vice president of trading for BetMGM, offered their insights on NFL Week 1 betting in the Empire State.
Regional Bias Aplenty
Sports betting in New York will certainly lead to more interest in the upstate Buffalo Bills, the consensus favorites to win the Super Bowl. But let’s be honest: It’s the mass population center of New York City that will really make an impact on statewide handle for NFL Week 1 betting and beyond.
And that means a heavy dose of Jets and Giants action. Which is no surprise to Avello, who has seen similar regional bias as legal sports betting has expanded to more jurisdictions across the nation. New York just happens to be the largest jurisdiction at the moment.
“You’re definitely gonna see that in every single jurisdiction, bets mostly on teams in that area. Initially, you’re gonna see that bias, for sure,” Avello said, while also noting that both the Jets and Giants are getting a handful of points in their Week 1 games.
The Jets are 7-point home underdogs to the Baltimore Ravens, and the Giants are 5.5-point road pups to the Tennessee Titans.
“So that’s two pretty good pluses on the moneyline,” Avello said, pointing out that New York customers like the Jets +260 and the Giants +210 to pull outright Week 1 upsets.
A Very Parochial State
BetMGM’s Scott said that over the past several months, New York customers certainly haven’t hesitated to put their dollars where their fandom is.
“We have seen with MLB that New York is a very parochial state, in terms of support for the home teams,” Scott said. “Early signs [for NFL] are that, despite low expectations in terms of success for the Giants and Jets, they will be heavily bet by our New York customers.”
However, it’s worth remembering that bettors like winners, too. The MLB trend is surely bolstered by the fact that both the Yankees and Mets are having strong seasons.
BetMGM has the Giants’ season win total at 6.5 and the Jets at 5.5. DraftKings has the G-men at 7. The Jets are currently off the board at DK, presumably due to Wednesday’s news that second-year QB Zach Wilson (knee) is likely out until Week 4.
If the Giants and J-E-T-S don’t deliver some early W-I-N-S, or at least some early covers, bettors’ parochial nature could quickly reverse.
“If those teams don’t play well for two to three weeks, the bettors are gonna jump off of them,” Avello said. “But the Jets are going to be underdogs the first seven to eight weeks. If they get a few outright wins at plus money, the bettors will stay on them.”
New York Promos
In New York, and several other jurisdictions in which DraftKings operates, there’s currently a promotion for $200 in free bets. Customers just need to make a $5 NFL or college football bet to access the $200 in free bets. The bonus is paid out in eight $25 free bets.
However, as has been widely reported in the sports betting space, sportsbooks in general are starting to dial back on promo bets/free bets. Specific to New York, the state’s 51% tax rate and rules prohibiting the deduction of promotions has prompted BetMGM – among others – to scale back.
“As a result of the onerous 51% tax, we have deliberately reduced our marketing spend, and BetMGM customers in New York will receive considerably less in incentives in terms of free bets than our customers in other states,” Scott said. “This will result in reduced handle in New York.”
Still, there's no doubt that New York's numbers will be massive, as USBets analyst Chris Altruda reported in substantial detail this week. Altruda projected that the Empire State could see September/October bring in more than $1 billion in NFL wagers.
With that two-month projection, the hugely populous and sports-hungry state – particularly in the Big Apple – will assuredly see weekly NFL betting handle that dwarfs that of any other state/jurisdiction.