West Virginia sports betting fans: Pause, refresh and embrace the next wagering feast.
Several major events are set to unfold on the Mountain State gambling landscape.
- Week 2 of betting on the NFL is set to begin Thursday night.
- The 120th US Open golf championship, starting Thursday.
- The 60-game MLB regular season roars into its final two weeks with several playoff spots undecided.
Here’s a look.
NFL betting in WV rules the roost
Odds from DraftKings, FanDuel Sportsbook and other major online sportsbooks in West Virginia are listed inside these capsules. Most lines are generally the same, although some change a little faster than others.
Who grabs first win of Week 2?
The Cleveland Browns host the Cincinnati Bengals as a 5.5-point favorite in the Battle of Ohio Thursday night. The line dipped from 6 points early Wednesday.
This is an emotional test for the Bengals, who suffered defeat the way only struggling franchises can Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers. Can they recover from:
- A late fourth-quarter shovel-pass turnover by rookie quarterback Joe Burrow, when the Bengals were already in position to kick a game-tying field goal?
- An offensive pass-interference call that negated the winning touchdown in the final seconds?
- A missed field goal as time expired from Randy Bullock, who had hit 24 straight from inside the 40? Bullock also injured a hamstring stepping into the kick.
You can’t make this stuff up. All of it, sadly, happened to the Bengals.
If they are to improve on a 2-14 campaign, they must quickly turn the page.
The Browns were thrashed 38-6 by the Baltimore Ravens, who were 14-2 last year. Cleveland beat Baltimore once last season and battled tough in a late-season loss. This blowout indicates that quarterback Baker Mayfield may be regressing and that team chemistry hasn’t been good since Cleveland picked up free-agent Odell Beckham before last season.
If the Bengals win this game, it will be panic time early in Cleveland.
WV sportsbooks feature these marquee matchups
1. The Pittsburgh Steelers, immensely popular throughout northern West Virginia, play their home opener as a 7.5-point favorite against the Denver Broncos.
Pittsburgh defeated the New York Giants 26-16 Monday night, as its defense prevented the Giants from getting in the end zone on two drives from inside the Steelers’ 5. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was methodical, and receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster caught two touchdowns.
The Broncos lost to the Tennessee Titans 16-14 Monday night. The line moved so wildly that some bettors cashed on both sides. The game opened last week with Denver -1.5, and many Tennessee bettors jumped on that. By game time Monday, Denver was all the way up to +3.5 at DraftKings. Anyone who took Tennessee early in the week and Denver near game time hit the wager twice.
2. You have to love the new-look New England Patriots visiting the Seattle Seahawks Sunday night.
Both teams come off victories. Seattle opened at -4 for this game; the line briefly touched 4.5 and came down to 4. The Seahawks looked exciting in a 38-25 shootout win over the Atlanta Falcons. Russell Wilson showed his pedigree by launching a 38-yard touchdown pass to D.K. Metcalf — on fourth and 5! Wilson didn’t simply go for the first down. He went deep, and hit the jackpot.
New England didn’t miss Tom Brady, who had departed for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, in its opener. His replacement, Cam Newton, tallied two running touchdowns in a 21-11 win over the Miami Dolphins.
3. The New Orleans Saints, who just pounded Brady’s new Tampa Bay team, 34-23, visit the Las Vegas Raiders as a six-point favorite Monday night.
The Raiders, formerly of Oakland, indicate how far the sports betting age has come. The NFL, which fought legalized gambling tooth and nail before the Supreme Court forced its inception, now has a franchise in a gambling capital.
The Raiders secured an exciting 34-30 triumph over the Carolina Panthers Sunday. This game has the earmarks of a shootout, with the over-under at 50.5
4. The host Arizona Cardinals opened at -6.5 against the Washington Football Team in a game containing a phrase few would have thought: This is a battle of 1-0 clubs.
Washington prevailed as a 5.5-point underdog, defeating the Philadelphia Eagles 27-17 with 27 unanswered points Sunday. Quarterback Dwayne Haskins converted two interceptions by Philadelphia quarterback Carson Wentz into two touchdowns, putting Washington back in the game.
Arizona showed the fleet feet of quarterback Kyler Murray, whose 23-yard touchdown scamper was key in a 24-20 upset over the defending NFC champion San Francisco 49ers. This was THE 49ers, who nearly won the Super Bowl in February. Murray and new receiver DeAndre Hopkins were a formidable pair. Arizona bettors want to make this bet before it hits 7, a number that encourages ties, if they like the game.
5. The defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs are -8.5 when they visit the Los Angeles Chargers. The over-under is 47 points, the first Kansas City total below 50 in a long time.
Watch this pattern from Week 1 and see if it continues.
All teams with mobile, quick quarterbacks won and covered last week. That included:
- New England Patriots
- Buffalo Bills
- Arizona Cardinals
- Washington Football Team
- Baltimore Ravens
Give them a good look this week.
Mountain State bettors did that last week, at least for one team. Avello told PlayWV.com that West Virginia bettors wagered more on the Baltimore Ravens than on any other team, including the Steelers.
Possible carryover? The Atlanta Falcons had 506 yards against Seattle on Sunday. That’s a lot of offense. No wonder the Atlanta-Dallas Cowboys matchup is the highest over-under in the league, at 53 points.
Strange line: The Jacksonville Jaguars defeated the Indianapolis Colts 27-20 on Sunday. Now they are +9 against the host Tennessee Titans, coming off a win.
US Open betting offers opportunities galore
The 120th US Open golf championship runs Thursday-Sunday at Winged Foot in Mamaroneck, New York, with big numbers for the big hitters.
DraftKings has Dustin Johnson as the favorite at +850, Jon Rahm at +900 and Justin Thomas at +1400.
Picking the winner in a field of 144 players is difficult, but value lies in the top five, top 10 and top 20 selections.
Some of the noted long odds for good players include three-time winner Tiger Woods at +4500 and +400 for the top 10
Tyrrell Hatton is +4000 to win the US Open, +700 for a top five spot, +400 for the top 10 and a still-profitable +163 for the top 20.
Bryson DeChambeau is No. 6 on the money list. But on the US Open board he is +2800 to win, +550 for top five and +300 for top 10. DeChambeau has hit the top 10 in nine of 17 events.
Webb Simpson is No. 5 on the money list. But he’s priced at +2500 to win, +550 for the top five, +250 for the top 10 and +120 for the top 20. Simpson won this event in 2012.
Xander Schauffele carries the fourth-highest odds to win, +1500. His prospects include +350 for top five and +175 for a top 10 spot. Schauffele just finished second in the Tour Championship with the same top names.
BetMGM Sportsbook odds are similar, and it also has a promotion for patrons who wager $25 or more pre-match on a golfer to win the tournament. The gambler gets $2 for every birdie or better by that player.
MLB betting in the homestretch
Can you believe it? Teams are roaring into the final two weeks as MLB looks ready to beat COVID-19 and complete its 60-game season Sept. 27.
In the expanded playoff format — eight teams from each league reaching the postseason — keep your eye on the desperate teams now.
In the American League:
- New York Yankees
- Toronto Blue Jays
- Cleveland Indians
- Seattle Mariners
For the National League:
- Cincinnati Reds
- San Francisco Giants
- Colorado Rockies
- Milwaukee Brewers
The postseason is slated to start Sept. 29.