Return To Player Rate: What RTP Is And Why It Matters

We tell you what a return-to-player rate is, why it matters, and how to find the RTPs of your favorite PA online casino games.

Even if you aren’t a math whiz, it pays to read and understand what’s conveyed in the acronym RTP, or return to player.

The RTP is the percentage a player can expect to see returned over time. Another way to refer to it is the house edge.

Are you looking to lose less over the course of your play? Check the RTP.

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RTP is the flip side of the house edge

Pennsylvania has a state-mandated RTP of just 85% for all slot games and video gaming terminals (VGT) at truck stops. The state has some of the tightest slots in the country.

The average RTP for Pennsylvania slots is around 89%-90%, though individual games may have higher or lower percentages. Percentages also vary from casino to casino.

PA has a legally has a low RTP

Slots in other states tend to have higher better RTP than Pennsylvania. In New Jersey, online casinos range from a low of 94.74% to a high of 99.87%.

The higher house edge in PA likely stems from offsetting the state’s 55%  tax rate.

One thing to keep in mind is that while penny slots hit more frequently than most other games, the RTP on those penny machines is generally among the worst.

Each game has a house advantage.

RTP is measured over the long haul

Even if you know the percentage of return, keep in mind RTP measures your expected return over the long term, not just from a handful of plays.

Just because you lost four plays in a row does not mean you are due for a win to hit the RTP. The outcome of any one bet or even a series of bets does not affect the outcome of the next wager.

What the RTP tells you is how a game performs on average over time. The higher the RTP, the more often you should win, theoretically.

Think of it as a guideline, not a guarantee. Each play is random and independentThanks to random number generation in slots and VGTs, your chances of winning are the same every time you play.

Within the community of players, gamblers keep track of a game’s RTP and trade info among themselves and on social media sites.

Unfortunately, there is no central place to find the RTPs, but they can be found online with some research.

For instance, Wheel of Fortune Triple Extreme Spin! at HollywoodCasino.com,  has an RTP of 92%.

On the other hand, Hollywood’s Divine Fortune game has an RTP of 96.6%, making it perhaps a better risk. Other casinos with Divine Fortune do not have the same RTP, so shopping around pays.

Like blackjack in brick-and-mortar casinos, the house advantage tends to be low with PA’s online blackjack, 96.6%, but that low percentage means playing with perfect strategy. You can find a better percentage in other states.

And, keep in mind, different types of blackjack have different edges for the house.

So again, check the house advantage.

A Close Loss Can Still Be A Big Win With FanDuel’s Insurance Promo

If your team is in a close loss, you can get up to half of your moneyline bet back thanks to FanDuel Sportsbook’s close-game insurance.

As Pennsylvania online sportsbook promo offers go, FanDuel Sportsbook is offering a great cost-free one that minimizes your risk. The site provides close-loss insurance on your NFL football wager.

All you need to do each week is opt-in. There’s a promo box at the top of FanDuel’s site when you sign in to place your football picks.

The insurance had hit 17 times since the promo began during Week 3 of the NFL season.

Get half your bet back as bonus money

If you lose a close bet on a moneyline football wager, you can still get up to $50 back in site credit. Per the promo, FanDuel will pay back half of your bet, up to $100, if your team loses by 6 points or less.

You’ll have to wager the entire amount again before you can withdraw the bonus money. The bonus funds expire in seven days if you do not use them.

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Other stipulations of the insurance offer

The other major stipulation is it applies to one outcome per week. Additionally, live bets, cash out, and multi-bet wagers, such as teasers and parlays, are not eligible. However, there is a $25 insurance promo available for eligible parlay bets.

The good news is you can opt-in again in subsequent weeks. Typically,  insurance for close games is available just to new customers. Often it is capped at $25.

But not so at FanDuel.

By the way, new users of FanDuel can still qualify for a $500 risk-free bet just for signing up.

How close-loss insurance works

Here’s an example of how the offer works.

Let’s say you place a $100 bet on the Steelers to win outright. If they win the game, you win the payout on the bet.

But if the Steelers lose by 6 points or less, you will receive $50 of your $100 back.

The same close-game insurance offer is available to FanDuel customers in New Jersey and West Virginia, too.

FanDuel’s promos help set it apart from the competition

By making this generous promo offer, FanDuel is setting itself apart even though it is already leading in the PA market, as well as in NJ.

As PA Online Casino reported, FanDuel, under the license of Valley Forge Casino, in August handled $37.8 million in wagers. A staggering 93% came via the website and mobile app, not its retail sportsbook.

New Jersey Now Has A Parx Online Casino With More Games Than The PA One

Parx Casino is already a juggernaut in Pennsylvania gaming. Now it has crossed the Delaware River.

You can now play on Parx Online Casino in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The site launched in New Jersey last week. It is operating under Ocean Casino’s online gambling license.

That’s a major boon to its cross-border customer base. New Jersey patrons of the casino can now choose between spending time on property in Philadelphia or playing games at home.

NJ online casino features a much larger library of games

The biggest problem in the Pennsylvania online casino business is the lack of games for players to choose from. Currently, Parx PA has 57 titles. It launched with less than 30 games.

Most of them are slots, with a limited number of table games. For the first couple of months, Parx was the only online casino in the state with blackjack.

By comparison, the NJ Parx site launched with 94 titles, including multiple blackjack formats and a much larger choice of table game titles.

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Leading supplier GAN is Parx’s partner

Parx partnered in the move to NJ with GAN, a leading European-based supplier of internet gambling software. The companies have worked together in PA since 2014.

GAN has expanded rapidly. The growing company recently announced its third-quarter gross revenue had risen 203% year-over-year.

Extending to NJ via online came quickly. Parx had only entered the PA online sports betting market in June. Parx then launched an online casino in Pennsylvania in July.

NJ is a logical expansion for Parx online casino

Parx formally launched Monday in NJ following a three-day soft opening period last week.

Dermot Smurfit, the CEO of GAN, explained the move:

Launching the largest casino in Pennsylvania online has now logically extended across the border into New Jersey, extending its reach into New Jersey’s fast-growing and established internet gambling market.

This represents an incremental revenue opportunity for GAN and is a logical extension of our technology infrastructure to serve Parx Casino patrons who routinely cross the invisible border between these two populous states.

The leader of GAN said growth was better than “better than expected.”

One major factor he pointed to is the fact that NJ sports fans who attended games across the river in Philadelphia are already accustomed to betting online.

John Dixon, the chief operating officer of Greenwood Gaming & Entertainment, Parx’s parent company, added GAN can serve “our business needs in multiple states which aligns with the cross-border nature of our existing retail gaming customer base.”

Parx card can be linked in both states

The expansion means Parx patrons can now “gamble online in either Pennsylvania or New Jersey, as they wish,” added Dixon.

Additionally, because GAN has a patented integration system, the Xclub reward card for Parx can be linked so it works in both states.

According to GAN, Parx’s land-based casino in PA accounts for about 18% of the total market in the bricks-and-mortar segment. That makes Parx the top land-based casino among the 12 retail properties in the state.

Major FanDuel, PokerStars Merger Means A Powerhouse In The PA Market

The merger of The Stars Groups and Flutter Gaming means there is a massive new player in the game, one that is in a great position in Pennsylvania.

In a $6 billion deal, two powerhouse online gaming companies plan to come together next year, changing the world and Pennsylvania’s online gambling markets.

Flutter Entertainment, which includes Paddy Power and Betfair brands as well as FanDuel Group, which includes TVG, numberFire, and FanDuel Sportsbook PA, are acquiring The Stars Group, which is known for PokerStars, Sky Betting & Gaming, and the recently launched Fox Bet.

The combined mega-company will be valued at approximately $11.3 billion, making it the world’s biggest gaming company. It will operate as Flutter Entertainment Plc., based in Dublin, Ireland.

FanDuel rules PA and NJ online markets

FanDuel began as a daily fantasy sports brand in 2009 but expanded into sports betting following the Supreme Court ruling on the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PAPSA). FanDuel moved into the New Jersey sports betting market in 2018. It is currently the top online sportsbook in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

The FanDuel Group has verticals operational in 40 states.

Fox Bet is new to Stars but leverages Fox Sports

Fox Bet came about after Fox Corporation bought into The Stars Group in May, intending to create a gambling company intertwined with the Fox Sports brand.

Fox bought a 4.99% stake in Stars in May for $236 million.

Fox Sports has an option to purchase up to 50% of Stars’ business in the US within the next decade. Under the acquisition deal,  Fox now has the right to buy 18.5% of Flutter’s business in the US at its 2021 market value.

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The FanDuel and Stars brands in Pennsylvania

Both FanDuel and Fox Bet are aggressively advertising and marketing, which should continue even after the merger.

The distinct brand identities should also remain and expand into new US markets. Experts believe they serve different market segments.

In Pennsylvania, the two companies are involved in the following projects, most of which have yet to launch in the state:

“We’re going to run a dual-brand strategy,” Matt King, chief executive officer of FanDuel, told Bloomberg.

It’s a proven model in the betting space. If you look at Paddy Power and Betfair in the UK and Ireland, both of those brands compete against each other but they also attack different parts of the marketplace. We think there is a complementary nature between FanDuel and Fox Bet.

Expect a move to a single online platform

The venture will create a group operating on a single platform, a huge competitive advantage.

FanDuel’s current platform has rave reviews. No details on the single platform plan came with the acquisition announcement.

According to Dustin Gouker, an analyst with Legal Sports Report:

Everyone else in the space in the US will struggle to keep up with the combined assets — and will — of the new Flutter/FanDuel Group in the US.

Fox Bet expects the combined online sports betting, online casino, and online poker markets could be worth $9 billion by 2025.

SugarHouse Is The First PA Online Casino To Accept PayPal

PA online casino players have their first PayPal option now that SugarHouse accepts the e-wallet for deposits and withdrawals.

PlaySugarHouse, Pennsylvania’s revenue leader in the online casino category, recently added a deposit option that is missing from its competitors’ offerings.

PayPal is the most popular digital wallet in the world. The e-wallet is also one of the most popular ways to get money on and off online casinos and online sportsbooks. Unfortunately, it is not prevalent in the PA online gambling market yet.

However, with the addition at SugarHouse, there is now an option for online casino users to deposit via PayPal. Additionally, the number of PA online sportsbooks accepting PayPal is now up to three.

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SugarHouse, BetRivers now accept PayPal

SugarHouse is the first in the PA online casino market that offers PayPal. However, FanDuel has offered a PayPal option though its online PA sportsbook since launch.

SugarHouse added PayPal without fanfare on Sept. 17.

PayPal is also available via its sister, BetRivers, site. Rush Street owns both properties. SugarHouse is currently in the process of rebranding to Rivers Philadelphia.

PayPal common in NJ, but may not be in PA

SugarHouse has had a PayPal option for some time now in New Jersey, where the market is more mature. Many online casinos and online sportsbooks in NJ accept PayPal for deposits, but not all.

It is possible PA online operators are not offering PayPal because the processing fees are higher than other banking methods.

With Pennsylvania’s 54% tax rate on online slots, online casino margins are slim. Some operators may forgo offering PayPal because the high fee cuts too deeply into profits.

More options for deposits at SugarHouse

SugarHouse has additional deposit options.

They are:

  • ACH 
  • Mastercard
  • American Express
  • Discover
  • Play+
  • PayNearMe
  • Cash at the casino cage

Parx has the most options, but not PayPal

Parx Online Casino offers gamblers 11 options for deposits, which is the most of any online casino in the state. The deposit options at Parx are:

  • Visa
  • Visa Electron, a debit card
  • Mastercard
  • Discover
  • Maestro, a debit card
  • ACH
  • Secured payment, another form of an e-check.
  • Play+ card
  • PayNearMe, which works through a network of stores, such as 7-Eleven.
  • Cash at the casino cage
  • Bank wire transfer

Hollywood Casino deposit options

Hollywood was the first online casino to launch in PA, but it has the fewest deposit options.

The deposit options at Hollywood are:

  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • Play+
  • ACH
  • PayNearMe

Week 3 PA Betting Lines: Injuries Hurt Steelers And Saints Odds

Nine undefeated NFL teams are heading into Week 3, making for interesting betting lines.

The 2-0 teams are:

  • New England Patriots
  • Dallas Cowboys
  • Kansas City Chiefs
  • San Francisco 49ers
  • Buffalo Bills
  • Baltimore Ravens
  • Seattle Seahawks
  • Los Angeles Rams
  • Green Bay Packers

Two of the undefeated teams, the Chiefs and the Ravens, are facing off against each other at Arrowhead on Sunday. The Chiefs are currently favored by 5.5 points on FanDuel and 6.5  at PlaySugarHouse.

The Chiefs are receiving about 75% of the bets at SugarHouse.

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NFL Week 3 spreads and totals

Here is a look at all the game spreads and totals at FanDuel Sportsbook and PlaySugarHouse (Last updated: Sept. 21):

GAMEFanDuel spreadSugarHouse spreadFanDuel totalSugarHouse total
TEN vs. JAX
TEN -1.5TEN -1.538
38

CIN vs. BUFBUF -6.5 BUF -5.543.543.5
MIA vs. DALDAL -21.5DAL -2246.546.5
DEN vs. GBGB -7.5GB -741.541.5
ATL vs. INDIND -1.5IND -147.548
BAL vs. KCKC -4KC -45252
OAK vs. MINMIN -9MIN - 943.543.5
NYJ vs. NENE -20.5NE -20.543.543
DET vs. PHIPHI -4.5PHI -4.54545
CAR vs. ARIARI -2.5ARI -244.544.5
NYG vs. TBTB -5.5TB -547.547.5
HOU vs. LACLAC -3.5 LAC -3.548.549
PIT vs. SFSF -6.5SF -6.54444.5
NO vs. SEASEA -4.5SEA -4.544.545
LAR vs. CLELAR -3.5LAR -447.547.5
CHI vs. WASCHI -4CHI -4.541.541

Injuries factoring into the betting lines

Week 3 gets going on an interesting note, thanks to a large number of injuries sustained in Week 2. More than one injured star is impacting the NFL betting lines at Pennsylvania sportsbooks.

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger injured his right elbow in the game against the Seahawks. As of Monday, he’s out for the season with surgery pending, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Second-year Steeler’s quarterback Mason Rudolph will instead take the field against the already-favored and undefeated San Franciso 49ers. The Steelers are 6.5-point underdogs.

The 49ers are receiving 70% of bets to cover the spread at SugarHouse.

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is also headed to the operating room. He has a ligament tear in his throwing hand, injured in a game last weekend against the Los Angeles Rams.

The Saints were the favorites to win the NFC South before Brees’ hand injury, but that’s in doubt.

The NFL reports Brees is likely out for six weeks. Teddy Bridgewater will now start against the Seattle Seahawks.

As of Friday morning, 85% of the bets are on the Seahawks to cover.

Last week’s sports betting action

According to PlaySugarHouse.com, the three most popular teams last week against the spread were the Chiefs (-7), Cowboys (-6), and Chargers (-1.5).

All three teams had nearly 85% of bets on them to cover the spread. The Chiefs and Cowboys covered their spreads, but the Chargers could not get it done against the Detroit Lions.

The two largest underdog wins last week at SugarHouse were the Seahawks and Colts.

Quite the spread for the Cowboys

Meanwhile, in notable spreads this coming weekend, the Dallas Cowboys are favored by 22.5 points over Miami on FanDuel and  SugarHouse.

That’s the first time in 32 years that the Cowboys have been favored by at least that many points.

Cowboys wide receiver Michael Gallup is having arthroscopic surgery and could be out for two to four weeks.

The hapless Dolphins have given up 102 points over the first two weeks of the season.

Patriots remain heavy favorites too

Patriots left tackle Isaiah Wynn had a toe injury during the game against the Washington Redskins on Sunday. He’s on injured reserve with turf toe. The earliest he can to suit up is on November 17th against the Philadelphia Eagles.

But that hasn’t had a noticeable influence on the line, with NE heavily favored at all PA sportsbooks.

Fly Eagles?

The Philadelphia Eagles are favorites against the Detroit Lions despite a painful loss against the Atlanta Falcons.

Nonetheless, FanDuel puts them at 6 points over the Lions and Sugarhouse makes the Eagles at 6.5-point home favorites. But keep in mind the Birds failed to cover the spread in either of their first two games.

Detroit is coming off a 13-10 win against the Los Angeles Chargers. The team is 1-1 ATS so far this season.

“This looks to be an exciting weekend of football: New starting quarterbacks for the Steelers, Saints, and Giants, massive spreads for the Patriots (-22.5) and the Cowboys (-21.5) and a 52 point over/under in the Ravens-Chiefs game,” said Mattias Stetz, of SugarHouse’s parent company, Rush Street Interactive.

Picking An Online Poker Screen Name: Are You An ‘Acehole?’

There is more to picking an online poker screenname than you may think. What to consider and how to pick a winning poker handle.

What’s in a name? In the world of online poker, a screen name can mean many things.

Or sometimes, nothing at all.

What to consider with an online poker name

A persona is something to ponder while we await the launch of online poker in Pennsylvania.

A name could be a bluff or deflection, such as a girly name for a guy. For instance, Cindy34 might be a dude. Some male players have gone so far as to create an entire false female identity, hoping opponents will play them differently.

A name may be meant to intimidate, invoking a mythical figure of great power, such as Isildur from Lord of the Rings.

Or it might show a depth of knowledge about the game, or maybe it is just funny. Or both.

Humor can be a good online choice

How else to explain Acehole? It is at once self-deprecatingly funny and also “indicates you know a certain amount about how to play,” one poker veteran says.

Unless, of course, it is just a bluff.

Don’t give away too much online

While a handful of players use their real names or some variation, most of those who play online like the relative anonymity of selecting a screen name because a pseudonym doesn’t offer any tells.

As Mike, a veteran player online in New Jersey says, he keeps extensive notes on those he plays against, hoping for a psychological advantage about how his competition plays the game.

That’s fairly common with serious players.

That was harder to do a few years back when the pool online was huge and booming, says Mike.

But with a smaller number of players in the pool of poker players now, according to Mike, it’s difficult to remain unknown these days.

Notes on a player can be formidable tools, he explains, especially with the tracking stats compiled by what is known as a heads-up display, or HUD, which tracks a player’s hand history. HUDs are allowed on some sites, but not all.

Don’t include telling info with your handle

While many online players use numbers in their online handle, using a birth year which gives away clues about your age or generation or a clue about how long you have played poker might not be to your advantage, unless it is a red-herring or simply a lucky number, says Mike.

While you don’t want to give away that you are a clueless newcomer, there can be some advantages to hinting that you are still learning.

Mike likes the name Newbie, for instance, because other players may make assumptions and play differently against Newbie than they might against someone named ThortheDestroyer.

But innocuous and not memorable might be a good choice for names if your goal is to stay in the background. I mean, who is going to remember KCS1234?

Some online names jump out

On the other hand, some names do stand out:

  • PwnedUrAnus
  • UPay4MyWeed
  • The-Toilet
  • GameSlut
  • OJ Limpsin
  • PokeHer

Keep in mind, some opponents will ask about the origins of a nickname using the chat function. The players I spoke with say they sometimes answer questions usually with a cheeky story, but Mike turns off the chat when opponents go too far.

And, while you can actually find online poker name generators, Mike thinks that’s a bad idea.

Make it personal, just not too personal

“People put thought into the name they choose,” says Mike, whose own poker name comes from a lucky event in his life as a poker dealer in a live poker room.

He’d previously used a variation of his dog’s name as his online handle, but he likes the connection to luck, which comes with the name he uses now.

“Choose a name that has personal meaning to you. I think that’s what most people do,” he says.

NFL Week 2 Lines: Patriots Heavy Favorites Despite AB On Roster

Everyone is betting on the Patriots now that Antonio Brown is on the team. Check out the betting lines on New England and every other Week 2 match-up.

Maybe the biggest news from NFL Week 1 was off the field, not on, though it set off ripples on the odds for future weeks starting with Week 2.

We’re talking about the release of temperamental but talented receiver Antonio Brown from his short-term home with the Oakland Raiders and his addition to the defending the Super Bowl Champs, the New England Patriots.

And as if that wasn’t enough, there was the civil court accusation of rape against Brown and his lawyer’s threat to countersue her.

As a USA Today columnist put it: “Antonio Brown is going to spoil all those grand plans the NFL had for its 100th birthday.”

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Brown’s move to the Pats the odds for the season and Week 2

While drama seems to follow Brown, the book at PlaySugarHouse.com had already moved the Raiders from 40-1 to 100-1 to win the Super Bowl on the news and the Patriots odds improved from 6-1 to 4-1.

At FanDuel, Patriots odds had from +700 to +550 to win the Super Bowl.

This week, New England is currently favored by 18.5 points playing away against the Dolphins in Miami at FanDuel. SugarHouse has moved it to -18.5.

That looks to be the largest spread of Week 2 at Pennsylvania online sportsbooks. And it is the largest a team has been favored by on the road since 2007.

Here is a look at all the Week 2 lines (Last updated Sept. 14)

GAMEFanDuel spreadSugarHouse spreadFanDuel totalSugarHouse total
TB vs. CAR CAR -7CAR -7.549.5

49.5

ARI vs. BAL
BAL -12.5
BAL -12.546.546.5
BUF vs. NYG
BUF -2BUF -2.543.543.5
DAL vs. WASDAL -6 DAL -646.546.5
IND vs. TEN TEN -3.5TEN -3.543.543.5
JAX vs. HOU HOU -8.5HOU -8.54343
LAC vs. DETLAC -1.5LAC -1.546.547
MIN vs. GB GB -2.5GB -2.54343
NE vs. MIAMIA -18.5MIA -1948.548.5
SF vs. CINCIN -1CIN -14646
SEA vs. PITPIT -4PIT -3.547.547.5
KC vs. OAKKC -7.5 KC -753.553.5
CHI vs. DENCHI -2.5CHI -2.54040
NO vs. LAR LAR -1.5LAR -251.552
PHI vs. ATL PHI -2PHI -1.552.552.5
CLE vs. NYJ CL -6.5CL -6.54444.5

Boos and believers for the Eagles

Of interest to Pennsylvania gamblers, the Eagles drew boos from their Philly fans for their lackluster first half play in Week 1, before turning the game around.

They narrowly beat the Washington Redskins 32-27 even with a home-field advantage. Pregame odds with FanDuel had favored the Eagles by 10.5 points. In the end, though, the final score was enough for Washington to cover the spread.

The Eagles’ upcoming game against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 2 in Georgia is on the board at -1 with FanDuel and -2.5 at SugarHouse. Nearly 90% of bets with SugarHouse favor the Eagles to cover the spread.

And their fans remain believers for the long haul.

At the start of Week 2, the Eagles account for 17.2% of the total bets made on teams to win the Super Bowl and 26.6% of the total handle wagered to date, according to FanDuel. The Patriots, on the other hand, account for just 6.1% of the total bets and 8.1% of the handle for Super Bowl wagering.

Steelers stumbled and Week 2 looking weak

While the Pittsburgh Steelers hoped that with Brown gone from their roster they would put their losing behind, the Pats drubbed them, 33-3, when most sportsbooks had them listed as just 5.5-point underdogs.

This coming week, FanDuel puts the Steelers behind by 4 .5 points against the Seattle Seahawks despite playing at home and SugarHouse also has them at -4.5.

The Steelers do not factor into much Super Bowl wagering at this point.

No Luck for some Colts bettors

Andrew Luck‘s abrupt retirement changed odds last week in the Los Angeles Chargers game against the Indianapolis Colts.

Before the news, the Chargers were favored by 3.5 points. After the trade, the line closed at LAC -6.5 points according to SugarHouse. The Colts lost 30-24 and the Chargers covered.

Bettors who picked the Chargers before the Luck news won their bets in overtime, while wagers made after the news couldn’t quite hang on for a win.

For now, the lines at both books favor the visiting Colts over the Tennessee Titans in their upcoming game. FanDuel put the Titans behind by -3 and SugarHouse pegs them at -3.5 point favorites.

Check All The Week 1 NFL Betting Lines At PA’s Major Sportsbooks

Go line shopping at Pennsylvania’s best sportsbooks with this rundown of the lines for all 16 NFL Week 1 games kicking off the 2019 season.

And so it begins: Week 1 of the regular NFL season.

The 100th season for the league kicks off Thursday, Sept. 5 with Green Bay at Chicago. A full slate of games follows on Sunday, Sept. 8, then the week wraps with Monday Night Football on ESPN on Monday, Sept. 9.

Pennsylvania sportsbooks are ready. The lines are set at FanDuel and SugarHouse, which is essentially the same book as BetRivers since the two are sister properties and utilize the same Rush Street Interactive software and Kambi betting lines.

Rank
Sportsbook
Bonus
Promo Code
Features
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Week 1 NFL betting lines at PA sportsbooks

We’ve broken out the spreads and totals for the opening week’s games in the table below to make it easier to compare and shop.

We’ll be updating the table daily right up to the kickoffs as odds adjust.

Last updated: Sept. 8

GAMEFanDuel spreadSugarHouse spreadFanDuel totalSugarHouse total
GB vs. CHICHI -3CHI -346.5

47

TEN vs. CLE
CLE -5.5

CLE -64544.5
BAL vs. MIA
BAL -7BAL -74040
ATL vs. MINMIN -3.5MIN -3.54747.5
BUF vs. NYJNYJ -2.5NYJ -2.540.540.5
WAS vs. PHI PHI -10.5PHI -10.544.544.5
LAR vs. CARLAR -2LAR -25049.5
KC vs. JAXKC -3.5KC -3.550.550
IND vs. LACLAC -6.5LAC -6.544.545
CIN vs. SEASEA -9.5SEA -9.544.544.5
NYG vs. DALDAL -7DAL -745.545
DET vs. ARIDET -2.5DET -2.54646
SF vs. TBTB -1TB -1.55150.5
PIT vs. NENE -5.5NE -64949.5
HOU vs. NONO -6.5NO -6.552.552.
DEN vs. OAKDEN -2.5DEN -2.542.542.5

Intro to key betting terms

Some betting basics,  first, then we’ll take a quick look at some of the more interesting contests.

The most common football bet is the spread. You can find the spread for each of the 16 games above.

In the simplest terms, the spread is the number of points one team is expected to win by in a given game.

The favored team has to win by the point spread offered by the sportsbook in order for bets on that team to cash.

The favorite in a game is listed as being minus (-) in the point spread. The underdog in a game is listed as being plus (+) the point spread.

The reason for the plus is that an underdog can still lose the game and have a bet on them cash. Take, for example, Green Bay. The team is +3 for Thursday’s game against the Chicago Bears, so if they lose by one or two points, they still “cover the spread” because they lost by fewer than three points.

The total is just what it sounds like: A wager on whether or not the combined score for a game is over or under what the oddsmaker sets.

Notable NFL games

Green Bay @ Chicago Bears

The opening game on Thursday, Sept. 5 is one to watch, and not just to quench a need for some football or listen to Meek Mill at the pre-game show. Or the fact that it is the most expensive opening day ticket.

The Bears are currently -3 favorites, which means these two teams are close to evenly matched, with Chicago benefitting from home-field advantage.

San Francisco @ Tampa

The San Francisco 49ers are playing away at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Tampa is a single-point favorite, the closest game of the week.

A late injury report Friday by the San Francisco Chronicle to rookie wide receiver Jalen Hurd could shift the spread when it becomes clearer if he’s good to play – or not.

Eagles, Steelers and Nick Foles

There are several opening week games of particular interest to Keystone State gamblers, beginning with the Philadelphia Eagles and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Redskins @ Eagles

There are several opening week games of particular interest to Keystone State gamblers, beginning with the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Washington Redskins are visiting the Eagles with the Birds favored to win. FanDuel puts the spread at -8.5 while SugarHouse pegs the spread at -9. On the points total, FanDuel has posted 46 and SugarHouse 45.5.
Pregame news coverage in the Washington Post has focused on the broken finger of Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson.

Pittsburgh Steelers @New England Patriots

The Steelers are on the road, playing against the Pats, last season’s Super Bowl champs.

FanDuel and SugarHouse both favor New England by 6 points.

The Steelers have no major injuries to contend with, according to Trib.Live, but star receiver Julian Edelman may have injured a thumb. Patriots nonetheless remain favored.

Kansas City @ Jacksonville

While not a PA contest, Keystone gamblers may have a strong interest in this contest with former Eagles’ QB Nick Foles now helming the Jaguars.

Visiting Kansas City is favored by 3.5 points at both books.

Want Some Instant Sports Betting Action? Try Jackpot Parlays At SugarHouse And BetRivers

New PA sports bettors might not realize SugarHouse and BetRivers offer up Jackpot Parlay action for those who want a little money on a longshot big payout.

Learning sportsbook vernacular is something like picking up a foreign language on the fly. Except instead of asking “Parlez-vous français?” the question is more apt to be, “How do you place a parlay wager?”

Or, in the case of two PA online sports betting sites, “What’s a Jackpot Parlay?” 

So listen up, class, school’s in session with the sister Pennsylvania sites BetRivers and PlaySugarHouse as our virtual chalkboards.

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What is parlay betting?

Let’s start with the simple definition of a parlay.

A parlay bet is a single sports wager made simultaneously on the outcome of two or more teams winning.

The appeal of parlay betting is a larger payout than choosing a single team to win.

Larger payouts for a parlay make sense since picking an individual winner is difficult. Picking more than one winner is harder. But then the reward for winning is larger.

How does the Jackpot option work?

That brings us to Jackpot Parlays, which offer a quick and inexpensive way to get into multiple sports games wagering.

A Jackpot Parlay is the equivalent of a quick-pick lottery, but a quick-pick chance that’s also a sports bet.

A traditional parlay wager is made by a bettor picking two or more outcomes, and not necessarily in the same sport. That usually means an investment of time and research to craft your bet.

A Jackpot Parlay lays out the options for you, minus the time studying up.

The betting option from PlaySugarHouse and BetRivers automatically puts together the bet for you. These bets can range from three to eight legs.

There is an amount of instant gratification to these bets too. The sites allow you to choose from a selection of events happening in the next four hours or events happening in the next 24 hours. There are no multi-day Jackpot Parlays though.

These bets, which can cost users as little as $.10 can yield some massive paydays if you are lucky enough to hit every leg. Be aware though that the odds on Jackpot Parlays, just like lottery quick picks, are very long by design.

How to place a Jackpot Parlay

BetRivers Jackpot ParlayA graphic icon labeled “Jackpot Parlay” is on the Sports Betting section of SugarHouse and BetRivers mirror sites.

Start by clicking the “Bet Now” button. 

By default, the Jackpot Parlay selects a combination of eight randomly selected bet options. 

At the top of the screen, you can see the potential payout if all of the bets are winners.

If the selections suit you, then you can click on “Place Bets.” You can choose an amount to wager with Place Bets, too. The potential payout shows at the bottom of the screen. 

What are the Jackpot Parlay options?

SugarHouse Jackpot ParlayThe sites and their apps allow bettors some options. A bit of strategy can even come into play.

Here are the options:

  • Choose the sports you want to bet on.
  • Pick the time period for settling the bet. You can only wager on live events taking place within a 24-hour time frame.
  • Choose the number of bets you want to have in the Jackpot Parlay. Three is the minimum.
  • Pick the amount you want to bet, beginning at 10 cents.

You also have the option to remove one or more bets from the list by clicking on the “X.”

Recreational bettors are the target audience for Jackpot Parlays. These bets feature long odds but give someone who just wants a little money on the action something to root for, namely, the hope of a big payday.