I made the trek to both the Meadowlands Racetrack and Monmouth Park on Wednesday to check out the sports betting odds sheets to see if there are significant discrepancies.
- Some of the hoopla surrounding sports betting in New Jersey already has subsided. There were only about a dozen people — all males — at the FanDuel Sportsbook at the Meadowlands late in the morning. There were maybe twice as many (including three females!) in the betting area at Monmouth Park at lunchtime. Those who live or work near the sites can get in and out very quickly — no lines.
- Only nine of the 32 “futures” odds on who will win the 2019 Super Bowl were identical at the two sites. Granting that betting lines are fluid, two of the the biggest relative bargains at the FanDuel Sportsbook were — surprise! — the Giants and the Jets, their neighbors in the Meadowlands Sports Complex. Get 50/1 (for now) on the Giants at the FanDuel site vs. the 30/1 offered by William Hill at Monmouth Park. The Jets, only 75/1 at Monmouth Park, list at 200/1 at the Meadowlands.
All odds are not created equal
FanDuel offered better odds for 14 teams, including the Bears at 100/1 (not 75/1), the Lions at 67/1 (not 40/1), the Raiders at 40/1 (not 12/1), the 49ers at 25/1 (not 10/1), and the Rams at 14/1 (not 8/1).
Monmouth Park odds particularly will appeal to fans of the Bengals at 125/1 (not 80/1), Buccaneers at 100/1 (not 66/1), Colts at 75/1 (not 50/1), Seahawks at 50/1 (not 40/1), and Panthers at 45/1 (not 33/1).
Within weeks, mobile sports betting in NJ will change this landscape, of course, by widening the options. (Though it will be interesting to see if the online sports betting odds are any different, considering the tax rate is 8.5% for in-person wagering vs. 14% online.) But for old-school types, it’s good to know that comparing the tracks is worth your while if you have the time and inclination.
The Sports Book by William Hill at Monmouth Park has the more extensive gambling offerings, including betting on who will win each division and each conference. That can be a useful hedge for some bettors who are less enthused about the “all or nothing” aspects of the Super Bowl futures. The Patriots are at an exorbitant -650 to win the AFC East (bet $650 to win $100), while the Jets are 10/1. In the NFC East, it’s Eagles -160 vs Giants at 11/2.
Fairways and greens
The British Open (or The Open Championship, as they call it) teed off early this morning, and the odds yesterday were far more attractive at the Meadowlands. The only contender not listed at better odds at their FanDuel Sportsbook was Rickie Fowler, listed on both sheets at 17/1. Tiger Woods at 31/1 and Phil Mickelson at 67/1 compared nicely to Monmouth Park’s rougher figures of 20/1 and 40/1, respectively.
There was limited “72-hole match betting” at both locations. For instance, favorite Dustin Johnson was -135 against Rory McIlroy in a head-to-head matchup at the Meadowlands. Or you could have bet on them to finish tied, at 16/1 odds.
Monmouth Park not only had odds on The Barbasol Championship — a parallel PGA Tour event this week for lesser players who didn’t qualify for the British Open — it also has 72-hole match betting. Richy Werenski and Scott Brown both were at -110 in their matchup, so if one stands out … (okay, probably not). Derek Fathauer was even-money against veteran Hunter Mahan, but Mahan was -120.
The MLB futures sheets also tell you to think Meadowlands for those bets. The Yankees are 9/2 at Monmouth Park but 6/1 at the FanDuel Sportsbook. Again, all of the contenders had longer odds at the Meadowlands — such as the Dodgers at 12/1, not 8/1. But if you are silly enough to think the Mets have even a prayer of winning the World Series, take Monmouth Park’s 1000/1 vs. the meager 500/1 at the Meadowlands. You could win twice as much! (But you won’t.)
Interestingly, despite early reports of New Jersey bettors banging the local teams, the MLB odds in Las Vegas are pretty much identical to those on the East Coast. The Yankees are 9/2 at Wynn Las Vegas (same as Monmouth Park) and the Mets, who opened the season at 28/1, are 500/1 (same as Meadowlands).
Making a racquet
The Meadowlands has three-page, double-sided printouts for betting on a men’s tennis event in Newport, R.I., where the top seed is 26th-ranked Adrian Mannarino. You can even bet on who wins the first set in men’s doubles matches in the same tournament.
The more interesting tennis play surely is U.S. Open future picks at Monmouth Park. Serena Williams is an imposing +350, so maybe sister Venus at 30/1 is the better value. Or take the field at 4/1 — that gets you everyone but the 19 best players.
Speaking of women’s sports, both tracks had odds on yesterday’s two WNBA games, with point spreads, over/under point total, and a money line.
Plenty of other sports on the board, too
Soccer fans, Monmouth Park is for you. There are odds on the English Premier League — Manchester City is the favorite at -175. The NY Red Bulls are 13/2 in MLS Futures, just behind Atlanta United FC at 7/2, NYC FC 4/1, and Los Angeles FC 9/2.
The Formula 1 German Grand Prix also is in play at Monmouth Park.
Finally, I am learning from Monmouth Park’s betting sheet that the college football season kicks off on Aug. 25 (!) with Wyoming -6 against New Mexico St. and Colorado St. -14 vs Hawaii. The biggest point spread of Weeks 1-2 is Ohio St. -38 over Oregon State. Just remember: No betting on Rutgers games or any NJ collegiate events at in-state betting sites.