Jan 3, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) throws a pass against the Denver Broncos during the second quarter at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

NFL announces partnership with Caesars, DraftKings, FanDuel

The National Football League named Caesars, DraftKings and FanDuel as its first-ever U.S. betting partners on Thursday night.

Specific terms of the agreements were not announced, but the negotiations reportedly involve five-year deals that will pay the league just shy of $1 billion. The NFL has opt-out clauses it can invoke toward the end of the deals if desired.

The NFL could sign additional operator partnerships at a lower tier going forward, according to reports.

“As the sports betting landscape has continued to evolve in the United States, we have been thoughtful with our strategy and are excited to announce three partners who share the NFL’s vision and goals,” said Renie Anderson, NFL chief revenue officer and executive vice president of NFL partnerships in a release. “Working closely with Caesars, DraftKings and FanDuel, we will provide fans new and different ways of interacting and engaging with the sport they love.”

Caesars, DraftKings and FanDuel will have permission to use the NFL logo and team marks on their platforms. Additionally, the three companies receive the right to integrate sports betting content directly into NFL Media properties, including NFL.com and the NFL app.

Previously, the NFL had partnered with sportsbooks in Australia and Latin America.

–Field Level Media

Jan 1, 2021; Arlington, TX, USA;  Alabama Crimson Tide players celebrate the victory against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at the Rose Bowl at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama-Ohio State action rolling in on Crimson Tide

Alabama, but not in a shootout.

That is the overwhelming sentiment among sports bettors less than a week out from the College Football Playoff title game.

The top-ranked Crimson Tide are 7.5-point favorites at DraftKings, where Alabama is being backed by 71 percent of the spread line bet and 76 percent of the handle. However, bettors are leaning toward No. 3 Ohio State’s +325 moneyline, which has attracted 55 percent of the bets compared to Alabama’s 45 percent at -305.

After the teams combined for 80 points in their respective semifinal victories, DraftKings installed the Over/Under at 76 points. The Under is currently being backed by 65 percent of the bets and 68 percent of the handle.

Alabama scored 50-plus points in three consecutive games before being “held” to 31 by Notre Dame in the Rose Bowl. The Crimson Tide raced out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter and led 28-7 midway through the third before putting the offense largely on cruise control.

The bigger x-factor is Ohio State, which produced a stunning 49-28 win over No. 2 Clemson in the second semifinal in the Sugar Bowl

Buckeyes quarterback Justin Fields threw six touchdown passes against the Tigers. That came after scuffling a bit in a 22-10 win over Northwestern in the Big Ten championship game.

Ohio State has averaged 43.4 points per game this season. But the Buckeyes’ body of work has been limited in a seven-game schedule to date, and they have yet to face a defense as deep and loaded with as much NFL talent as the Crimson Tide’s.

Alabama is also a 7.5-point favorite at PointsBet and BetMGM, where the Over/Under was being offered at 75 and 75.5, respectively, on Tuesday.

–Field Level Media

Dec 27, 2020; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky (10) throws a pass against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the second quarter at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Bears biggest wild-card weekend underdogs

The Washington Football Team won the NFC East with a 7-9 record, but it’s the Chicago Bears who were installed as the biggest underdogs on Sunday night for wild-card weekend.

Fourth-seeded Washington will play host to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who earned the NFC’s top wild-card spot. The Bucs were installed as 7.5-point favorites by DraftKings shortly after Washington secured the final playoff spot with a win over Philadelphia in the final regular-season game on Sunday night.

The Bears lost to top-seeded Green Bay on Sunday but qualified for the postseason at 8-8 when the Arizona Cardinals lost to the Los Angeles Rams. Chicago is a 9.5-point underdog at the New Orleans Saints by DraftKings.

The other NFC matchup will pit the Rams at the Seattle Seahawks, who are 4.5-point favorites.

The final AFC order was established when the Tennessee Titans won the South division with a last-second win over the Houston Texans. That relegated Indianapolis to the seventh seed in the conference, and the Colts have been installed as 6.5-point underdogs at No. 2 seed Buffalo in the first game on Saturday.

Fifth-seeded Baltimore joined Tampa Bay as the only road favorites next weekend, with the Ravens favored by 3.5 points at Tennessee.

Wild-card weekend will conclude with Cleveland playing its first playoff game since 2002 at Pittsburgh, with the third-seeded Steelers installed as early 3.5-point favorites by DraftKings.

–Field Level Media

Dec 20, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA;  Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) celebrates after a score against the New Orleans Saints during the second half at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs dominating Super Bowl odds — and action

The Kansas City Chiefs have the shortest Super Bowl odds, but that isn’t dissuading bettors from backing the defending champions.

The Chiefs are being offered at +190 by DraftKings, where they are being backed by 28 percent of the total bets and 21 percent of the total handle.

Part of that is due to Kansas City being among the top two favorites throughout the season. The Baltimore Ravens passed them at some books early in the season, but quickly fell off following a loss to the Chiefs and are now fighting just to make the postseason.

The Ravens are now +1400 to win the Super Bowl by DraftKings, but are still second only to the Chiefs with 10 percent of the total bets. Seven percent of the handle has been placed on Baltimore. Similarly, the Dallas Cowboys (+10000) are backed by three percent of the bets and handle despite needing to win and get some help on Sunday just to make the playoffs.

Tampa Bay also made a surge up the odds before a midseason slump. They’ve clinched a wild-card spot and are backed by nine percent of the bets and 12 percent of the handle. The Buccaneers are currently being offered at +1100.

The second Super Bowl favorite is now Green Bay, which can lock up the No. 1 seed and a first-round bye with a victory over Chicago on Sunday. The Packers are listed at +525 and are being backed by five percent of the bets and seven percent of the handle, the same as the Pittsburgh Steelers (+2200).

Green Bay is a 5-point favorite against Chicago, with 75 percent of the spread handle backing the Packers.

–Field Level Media

Nov 1, 2020; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) passes the ball against the New England Patriots during the second quarter at Bills Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Bills backed by 90 percent of MNF bets

The Buffalo Bills have already clinched the AFC East title, and bettors believe they will kick the longtime division bullies while they’re down on Monday night.

The Bills (11-3) are 7-point favorites at New England, and Buffalo is being backed by 90 percent of the spread line bets and 91 percent of the moneyline (-315) bets at DraftKings. The story is similar at BetRivers, where Buffalo is being backed by 88 percent of the spread handle and 92 percent of the moneyline handle.

The Bills cannot earn a first-round bye, with the Kansas City Chiefs already clinching the lone one by in the AFC, but Buffalo is still in the hunt for the No. 2 seed with the Pittsburgh Steelers (12-3). Meanwhile, New England (6-8) has been eliminated from playoff contention for the first time since 2008 and has lost back-to-back games.

Buffalo beat New England 24-21 at home in Week 8 despite quarterback Josh Allen throwing for just 154 yards and an interception.

The Bills have covered the spread in each of their past six games, while the Patriots are 2-3 ATS in their past five.

Both sportsbooks have set the over/under at 46.5 points, with bettors backing the over with 69 percent of the handle at BetRivers and 56 percent of the handle at DraftKings. New England has not hit the over in six consecutive games, while Buffalo has hit the over in three of its past five.

The Bills are seeking to sweep the Patriots for the first time in 21 years after dethroning the Patriots from the top of the AFC East following 11 consecutive division titles by Bill Bellichick’s team.

Buffalo boasts the NFL’s second-ranked passing offense (278.5 yards per game) and fifth-ranked scoring offense (29.1 points).

Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs’ 111 receptions lead the NFL and he already has a career-high 1,314 receiving yards.

Although Buffalo enters Monday’s contest with momentum, coach Sean McDermott was quick to say that his team won’t be looking ahead to the playoffs.

“It’s the defending AFC East champs that have held that position for multiple, multiple, multiple years,” McDermott said. “It’s one of the greatest — if not the greatest — coach ever to coach our game. They’re going to be prepared, they’re going to be well-coached, and they’ll be ready to go.”

–Field Level Media

Nov 1, 2020; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) passes the ball against the New England Patriots during the second quarter at Bills Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Bills backed by 90 percent of MNF bets

The Buffalo Bills have already clinched the AFC East title, and bettors believe they will kick the longtime division bullies while they’re down on Monday night.

The Bills (11-3) are 7-point favorites at New England, and Buffalo is being backed by 90 percent of the spread line bets and 91 percent of the moneyline (-315) bets at DraftKings. The story is similar at BetRivers, where Buffalo is being backed by 88 percent of the spread handle and 92 percent of the moneyline handle.

The Bills cannot earn a first-round bye, with the Kansas City Chiefs already clinching the lone one by in the AFC, but Buffalo is still in the hunt for the No. 2 seed with the Pittsburgh Steelers (12-3). Meanwhile, New England (6-8) has been eliminated from playoff contention for the first time since 2008 and has lost back-to-back games.

Buffalo beat New England 24-21 at home in Week 8 despite quarterback Josh Allen throwing for just 154 yards and an interception.

The Bills have covered the spread in each of their past six games, while the Patriots are 2-3 ATS in their past five.

Both sportsbooks have set the over/under at 46.5 points, with bettors backing the over with 69 percent of the handle at BetRivers and 56 percent of the handle at DraftKings. New England has not hit the over in six consecutive games, while Buffalo has hit the over in three of its past five.

The Bills are seeking to sweep the Patriots for the first time in 21 years after dethroning the Patriots from the top of the AFC East following 11 consecutive division titles by Bill Bellichick’s team.

Buffalo boasts the NFL’s second-ranked passing offense (278.5 yards per game) and fifth-ranked scoring offense (29.1 points).

Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs’ 111 receptions lead the NFL and he already has a career-high 1,314 receiving yards.

Although Buffalo enters Monday’s contest with momentum, coach Sean McDermott was quick to say that his team won’t be looking ahead to the playoffs.

“It’s the defending AFC East champs that have held that position for multiple, multiple, multiple years,” McDermott said. “It’s one of the greatest — if not the greatest — coach ever to coach our game. They’re going to be prepared, they’re going to be well-coached, and they’ll be ready to go.”

–Field Level Media

Nov 1, 2020; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) passes the ball against the New England Patriots during the second quarter at Bills Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Bills backed by 90 percent of MNF bets

The Buffalo Bills have already clinched the AFC East title, and bettors believe they will kick the longtime division bullies while they’re down on Monday night.

The Bills (11-3) are 7-point favorites at New England, and Buffalo is being backed by 90 percent of the spread line bets and 91 percent of the moneyline (-315) bets at DraftKings. The story is similar at BetRivers, where Buffalo is being backed by 88 percent of the spread handle and 92 percent of the moneyline handle.

The Bills cannot earn a first-round bye, with the Kansas City Chiefs already clinching the lone one by in the AFC, but Buffalo is still in the hunt for the No. 2 seed with the Pittsburgh Steelers (12-3). Meanwhile, New England (6-8) has been eliminated from playoff contention for the first time since 2008 and has lost back-to-back games.

Buffalo beat New England 24-21 at home in Week 8 despite quarterback Josh Allen throwing for just 154 yards and an interception.

The Bills have covered the spread in each of their past six games, while the Patriots are 2-3 ATS in their past five.

Both sportsbooks have set the over/under at 46.5 points, with bettors backing the over with 69 percent of the handle at BetRivers and 56 percent of the handle at DraftKings. New England has not hit the over in six consecutive games, while Buffalo has hit the over in three of its past five.

The Bills are seeking to sweep the Patriots for the first time in 21 years after dethroning the Patriots from the top of the AFC East following 11 consecutive division titles by Bill Bellichick’s team.

Buffalo boasts the NFL’s second-ranked passing offense (278.5 yards per game) and fifth-ranked scoring offense (29.1 points).

Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs’ 111 receptions lead the NFL and he already has a career-high 1,314 receiving yards.

Although Buffalo enters Monday’s contest with momentum, coach Sean McDermott was quick to say that his team won’t be looking ahead to the playoffs.

“It’s the defending AFC East champs that have held that position for multiple, multiple, multiple years,” McDermott said. “It’s one of the greatest — if not the greatest — coach ever to coach our game. They’re going to be prepared, they’re going to be well-coached, and they’ll be ready to go.”

–Field Level Media

Nov 1, 2020; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) passes the ball against the New England Patriots during the second quarter at Bills Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Bills backed by 90 percent of MNF bets

The Buffalo Bills have already clinched the AFC East title, and bettors believe they will kick the longtime division bullies while they’re down on Monday night.

The Bills (11-3) are 7-point favorites at New England, and Buffalo is being backed by 90 percent of the spread line bets and 91 percent of the moneyline (-315) bets at DraftKings. The story is similar at BetRivers, where Buffalo is being backed by 88 percent of the spread handle and 92 percent of the moneyline handle.

The Bills cannot earn a first-round bye, with the Kansas City Chiefs already clinching the lone one by in the AFC, but Buffalo is still in the hunt for the No. 2 seed with the Pittsburgh Steelers (12-3). Meanwhile, New England (6-8) has been eliminated from playoff contention for the first time since 2008 and has lost back-to-back games.

Buffalo beat New England 24-21 at home in Week 8 despite quarterback Josh Allen throwing for just 154 yards and an interception.

The Bills have covered the spread in each of their past six games, while the Patriots are 2-3 ATS in their past five.

Both sportsbooks have set the over/under at 46.5 points, with bettors backing the over with 69 percent of the handle at BetRivers and 56 percent of the handle at DraftKings. New England has not hit the over in six consecutive games, while Buffalo has hit the over in three of its past five.

The Bills are seeking to sweep the Patriots for the first time in 21 years after dethroning the Patriots from the top of the AFC East following 11 consecutive division titles by Bill Bellichick’s team.

Buffalo boasts the NFL’s second-ranked passing offense (278.5 yards per game) and fifth-ranked scoring offense (29.1 points).

Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs’ 111 receptions lead the NFL and he already has a career-high 1,314 receiving yards.

Although Buffalo enters Monday’s contest with momentum, coach Sean McDermott was quick to say that his team won’t be looking ahead to the playoffs.

“It’s the defending AFC East champs that have held that position for multiple, multiple, multiple years,” McDermott said. “It’s one of the greatest — if not the greatest — coach ever to coach our game. They’re going to be prepared, they’re going to be well-coached, and they’ll be ready to go.”

–Field Level Media

Dec 14, 2020; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) runs the ball past Cleveland Browns strong safety Karl Joseph (42) during the second quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

Ravens favored to claim final AFC spot ahead of Dolphins

When Justin Herbert nosed the edge of the football across the goal line to secure the Los Angeles Chargers’ overtime victory on Thursday night, he also put a dagger in the Las Vegas Raiders’ playoff hopes.

The Raiders entered the night a game behind the Miami Dolphins and Baltimore Ravens in the battle for the final wild-card spot in the AFC. While 81 percent of the bettors at DraftKings were backing Las Vegas at +440 to make the playoffs, 59 percent of the total money was backing the Raiders at -625 to miss the postseason.

The odds of Las Vegas making the playoffs lengthened to -10000 by DraftKings by Friday, with the Raiders now a +2200 long shot of rallying for a wild-card spot after falling to 7-7.

The Dolphins (8-5) can put the Raiders on the brink of elimination with a win at home against New England this weekend ahead of playing host to Las Vegas in Week 16.

Miami faces a difficult regular-season finale at Buffalo, while Las Vegas closes with a trip to Denver.

The Ravens (8-5) play host to 1-12 Jacksonville and the 5-8 New York Giants before a road trip to 2-10-1 Cincinnati.

Miami currently owns the third wild-card spot ahead of Baltimore in the AFC due to tiebreakers.

However, with their final three opponents owning a combined 8-30-1 record, the Ravens are being offered at -1250 to make the playoffs by DraftKings compared to the Dolphins being +200.

The Cleveland Browns and Indianapolis Colts (9-4) are -1115 and -1250, respectfully, sitting in the top two wild-card spots while still fighting for their division titles.

The wild-card spots in the NFC currently belong to Seattle (9-4), Tampa Bay (8-5) and Arizona (7-6).

With Seattle a virtual lock even if it should lose its final two games, DraftKings is not offering odds on the Seahawks reaching the postseason. The Buccaneers are -3335 while the Cardinals are -152.

Minnesota and Chicago, both a game behind Arizona at 6-7, are being offered at +305 and +400.

–Field Level Media

Dec 7, 2020; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Washington Football Team defensive end Chase Young (99) reacts after defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. Washington won 23-17. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Bettors still not buying into Washington Football Team

The Washington Football Team has charged into the lead of the beleaguered NFC East with a four-game winning streak, but that has yet to impress bettors.

Washington (6-7) is the -305 moneyline favorite to win the division by DraftKings, but only 1 percent of the total bets and 7 percent of the money wagered back the division leaders.

That’s compared to 93 percent of the bets and 64 percent of the handle backing the last-place Dallas Cowboys (4-9), who are being offered at +7500

The New York Giants (5-8) are being backed by 2 percent of the bets and 16 percent of the handle at +400. Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Eagles moved to 4-8-1 with Sunday’s upset of the New Orleans Saints and are backed by 4 percent of the bets and 13 percent of the handle at +600.

The money behind the Cowboys can be attributed to their status as heavy favorites to win the division before the season-ending injury to quarterback Dak Prescott in October.

Not only do the Cowboys have to make up two games on Washington with only three to play, Dallas also was swept in the season series. So outside of a three-way tie that changes the tiebreaker scenario, the Cowboys would need to win out and have Washington lose all three of its remaining games.

Washington is scheduled to close out the regular season with road games at Seattle (9-4) and Carolina (4-9), with a home game against the Eagles sandwiched between them.

Dallas will host San Francisco (5-8) and Philadelphia before traveling to East Rutherford, N.J., to finish the regular season against the Giants.

The Giants have one of the hardest remaining schedules with a home game against Cleveland (9-3) followed by a road trip to Baltimore (7-5) before hosting the Cowboys. The Eagles will travel to Arizona (7-6) before an opportunity to eliminate the Cowboys in Dallas in Week 16. Philadelphia closes the regular season at home in a game against Washington that could determine the division title.

–Field Level Media