New Jersey’s mobile sports betting sites are battling hard underneath the basket, swinging elbows, in their efforts to get attention and business in these early days of the online wagering wars.
No matter who wins or loses the games, the competition undoubtedly benefits the fans. Everyone’s trotting out bonuses, free bets, and other types of specials to encourage action, giving bettors numerous opportunities to have an edge on the house. And if you know anything about gambling, you know how rare that is.
The NBA season tipped off on Tuesday, and BetStars NJ is rolling out several basketball-betting options that turn hand-in-the-face three-point shots into uncontested 15-footers. Here’s a look at the most tempting money-back opportunities and odds boosts available this weekend:
Get your ’Bron on
While our eyes try to adjust to the sight of LeBron James in purple and gold, BetStars is shining a light on the living legend’s betting lines.
It’s a wide-open race for MVP this year, and conventional wisdom says if James can lead the otherwise lowly Lakers to 50 or more wins and a top-five Western Conference playoff seed, he’ll be in line for his fifth MVP award. If you agree with that line of thinking, you’ll want to jump on an odds boost from 3/1 to 5/1 on LeBron to win the end-of-season honors.
To be frank, 3/1 odds, pre-boost, were kind of short. But the best you’ll find anywhere else is about +410, making 5/1 the tastiest number available on James’ MVP hopes.
BetStars also has an intriguing LeBron-centric promotion going called the “LeBron Lifeline,” which allows you to get your money back on a losing bet. For any Lakers game while the promotion is ongoing, if you bet up to $20 on the Lakers to win outright, you’ll get bailed out with a free bet equal to the amount of your bet if LA loses and James scores 35 or more points.
What are your chances of the lifeline kicking in? Last season, LeBron scored 35 or more 12 times in 82 games, and three of those high-scoring performances came in losing efforts. So it’s not a high-percentage play (3.66%). But with this mediocre supporting cast, loaded with inconsistent young players, there’s always a chance that LeBron will carry the load and his teammates will let him down.
This is the kind of bet where, if you feel on a given night that the Lakers’ moneyline odds are fair to begin with, those few percentage points of possible insurance swing the overall play in your favor.
Because why wouldn’t Boston win another title?
We don’t know what happened in early 2002, perhaps some sort of shift of the Earth’s tectonic plates that went undetected by seismologists. But starting with Super Bowl 36, Boston/New England teams haven’t been able to stop winning titles: five for the previously hapless Patriots, three for the supposedly snake-bitten Red Sox (with another now just one series away), and one each for the Celtics and Bruins.
So you can count out this year’s Celtics at your own peril. They sure look like the best team in the Eastern Conference, and by virtue of not having the Golden State Warriors on their half of the draw, Boston is the second most likely team to win it all this year.
And with the current odds boost on the Celtics to win the NBA Championship, what had been a 6/1 price becomes an 8/1 payout. The +600 number was already favorable; on other sites, +500 is the standard price. This Celtics team has probably the best coach in the league and maybe the most depth, and unless you refuse to believe that anyone other than the Warriors can win this year, 8/1 is hard to pass up.
Trust the odds boost
Meanwhile, a little ways down the east coast, Boston’s division rivals in Philadelphia boast the NBA’s most tantalizing assortment of young talent. They openly tanked for several seasons (their fans rode it out on a “trust the process” mantra), landed a series of top-three draft picks, and now have two players — Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons — who any GM would choose to build around before considering a single player on the Celtics.
How will the other pieces fit? Can Markelle Fultz live up to his promise as a No. 1 overall pick? Are Dario Saric, Robert Covington, and J.J. Redick good enough role players to get this team over the hump?
If you think so, the Sixers are worth a flyer (punny reference to the local hockey team partially intended).
BetStars is boosting odds on the 76ers to win the whole enchilada from 16/1 to 25/1, and if you want to go for less of a long shot, there’s an odds boost on the Sixers to win the Eastern Conference from 15/4 to 5/1. If you shop around, you’ll see that most books have Philly at about +1800 to win it all and only +320 to win the East.
To prevail in the long run in sports betting, sometimes you have to make bets you expect to lose because the price is right. Philly is a ’dog to go all the way this year, but at +500 or +2500, there’s something to be said for trusting the process.