It didn’t take a sharp to forecast that the 2020 NFL season would look different than any other. It is said that time is undefeated when it comes to determining the end of an athlete’s career. Coronavirus is undefeated when it comes to disrupting major sports leagues.
For the NFL, it delayed the start of teams’ offseason programs, made the draft go virtual, scrapped all preseason games and will keep fans out of most stadiums (at least for the first few weeks).
But when that first hint of fall air hits Pennsylvania, thoughts don’t turn to pumpkin spice. Instead, they shift to football in a state that is home to the Philadelphia Eagles and the Pittsburgh Steelers. The 2019 NFL season was the first time Pennsylvanians could bet online on the NFL.
Currently, Pennsylvania has nine sportsbook apps. And it’s about to be 10 with the Barstool Sportsbook app soft launching on Sept. 15.
DraftKings NFL futures betting
DraftKings online sportsbook has a robust offering for team and player future betting markets. For team futures, there are 19 different choices, from the common “Super Bowl winner” to the ones you will only find at DraftKings in PA, like the team with the most/fewest points and most sacks.
DraftKings also gives users the option to bet on “Season Leaders” for:
- Passing yards
- Passing TDs
- Rushing yards
- Rushing TDs
- Receiving yards
- Receiving TDs
- Kicking points
- QB interceptions (thrown)
If you just can’t wait to place your Super Bowl LV bets, DraftKings is currently the only app in PA that has a Super Bowl MVP market.
DraftKings director of ops talks 2020 NFL season
A veteran bookmaker with over 40 years of experience, Johnny Avello, director of operations at DraftKings, spoke to Play Pennsylvania about the upcoming 2020 NFL season.
Is this the most options DraftKings has offered for NFL futures betting?
Yes, it’s the biggest futures market we’ve ever offered. We are totally reinventing ourselves. We are trying to come up with new markets. Not all of them get played extensively. But you need to have a lot of product for your consumer. Some are going to find it appealing, and some will stick to the basics. I think it’s important to come up with content that makes sense and content that is bettable.
How do you think not having a preseason will impact bettors and bookmakers?
The way I look at the preseason is [as] a warmup not just for the players, but for the bookmakers it’s also the same. It’s a time to get acclimated to moving lines, adjusting back to football season where there is a lot of movement and work by the traders. It works both ways, and we are going in a bit greener than we have in the past.
You’ve been in this business a long time. This is obviously a vastly different start of the NFL season. Can you talk about that a bit?
Everything is different this year. The team here at DraftKings is normally close together and we are bouncing ideas off of each other. Now we are separated. Booking is booking. Out of all of this, we are going to learn some things we didn’t know, and it’s not going to be the same. It’s going to be a lot better.
Betting with the heart (home team) or head?
The Steelers and the Eagles have passionate fan bases. For DraftKings in Pennsylvania, do you see more bets on those teams because of the fan base?
We certainly do. But I can also tell you that the local clientele (within an individual state’s boundaries), when a team starts to go bad, they’ll bet against them quickly. If they see their team not doing well and not giving a good effort, they will go the opposite way. They are not afraid to bet against them.
In Pennsylvania at DraftKings, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have the most bets and highest handle to win the Super Bowl. The Steelers are third for Super Bowl handle, and the Eagles are fifth.
For NFL MVP, the most bets were placed on Carson Wentz, but Drew Brees has a higher handle.
Philadelphia Eagles futures betting splits at DraftKings
The Philadelphia Eagles have made the playoffs the past three years under head coach Doug Pederson. However, 93% of bets at DraftKings are going in the “no playoffs” direction at +144.
Another popular Eagles play at DraftKings is “Over 9” wins (-134), with 72% of the handle and 70% of bets.
Pittsburgh Steelers futures betting splits at DraftKings
Pittsburgh Steelers bettors are heavily backing making the playoffs (yes -137) and “Over 9” wins (-121).
Super Bowl LV betting splits at DraftKings
DraftKings customers (all states where the app is available) placed the most bucks and bets for the Tom Brady led-Tampa Bay Buccaneers to win Super Bowl LV. The defending champs Kansas City Chiefs are second with 14% of the handle and 12% of the bets. The Steelers and the Eagles round out the Top Ten, each with 4% of the handle.
The Chiefs have the best odds to win the AFC in addition to the highest handle and most bets. The Pittsburgh Steelers, who haven’t been to a Super Bowl since 2011, have 9% of bets and handle.
The Buccaneers obviously get the majority of handle and bets to win the NFC. The Dallas Cowboys are second with 13% of the handle. The New Orleans Saints have the second-most bets (14%).
NFL MVP betting splits
NFL bettors must be looking for the next Lamar Jackson. The reigning MVP didn’t even crack the Top Ten at DraftKings for handle/bets. Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray leads with 13% of handle and 10% of bets. Drew Brees and Tom Brady each have 12% of the handle.
Carson Wentz is getting some love, too, with 8% of handle and 7% of bets.
NFL Week 1 public betting percentages at DraftKings
Point spread with largest % of handle
- 96%: Tennessee Titans vs. Denver Broncos (-1.5)
- 90%: Seattle Seahawks (-1) vs. Atlanta Falcons
- 88%: Green Bay Packers (+3.5) vs. Minnesota Vikings
Point spread with largest % of bets
- 87%: Dallas Cowboys (-2.5) vs. LA Rams
- 85%: Philadelphia Eagles (-6.5) vs. WAS
- 81%: Pittsburgh Steelers (-3.5) vs. NY Giants
Moneyline with largest % of handle
- 92%: Seattle Seahawks (-129) vs. Atlanta Falcons
- 88%: Green Bay Packers (+150) vs. Minnesota Vikings
- 87%: Philadelphia Eagles (-286) vs. WAS
Moneyline with largest % of bets
- 92%: Philadelphia Eagles (-286) vs. WAS
- 83%: Cleveland Browns vs. Baltimore Ravens (-345)
- 80%: Indianapolis Colts (-315) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars