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Silverman: Sports Gambling Will Only Take Off From Here

Jets, Giants to Roll in Week 2

Steve Silverman
September 14, 2018 - 3:30 pm

The advent of legalized sports betting is going to have a huge impact. There was a percentage of sports fans who had refused to participate in the past because of the legalities surrounding the issue, and an even bigger percentage who just didn’t know how to do it.

You may have a bookie, I may have a bookie and your buddy down the street has an online account where he makes his picks on the NFL, NBA and occasionally Major League Baseball – and of course college sports – but there are a number of people who don’t trust giving their personal information to a non-essential site.

But it is all changing now, and the biggest difference will be seen in the upcoming years and decades. In the past, the competition was the underlying storyline- the battle between the Giants and the Eagles or the Jets and the Patriots.

The pointspread has always been a point of interest, but it has not been the primary storyline. However, that’s going to change – and it has nothing to do with those who currently make the line or bet to it.

It’s about the way the information will be presented. Nearly every media entity will see the way consumers hunger for information on sporting events – and we don’t mean feature stories on our favorite athlete’s last vacation.

Readers can’t get enough data that pertains to sporting events that they can bet on. Analytics, trends, and numbers will drive sports as never before, and everything translates into a perceived edge for one team or another.

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The upcoming generations will have little interest in learning about a sport and its history, with the exception of how it impacts the line in tonight’s game. The information that is out there now will be dwarfed by the information that will be available in 5, 10 or 15 years.

The romance of sports is disappearing, but the information that drives overall interest is about to surge and there will be no end in sight.

Sports betting will be looked at as a science and not a game of chance, and we will have a new generation of experts who are able to figure out a better way to gamble on sports.

In this corner, we favor the marriage of the old and new ways. When it comes to handicapping football, it’s about the individual matchups and statistical trends.

Neither one should be ignored over the other.

With that as our backdrop, here are this week’s top choices.

The New York Jets had the best performance of any team in Week 1, compared to expectations. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were close in that category, as they went on the road and defeated the heavily favored New Orleans Saints.

However, the Jets did it two ways as their rookie quarterback Sam Darnold was quite sharp after throwing a pick-6 on the first play of his NFL career. Darnold has a tough receiver in Quincy Enunwa and a productive running back in Isaiah Crowell to help him, and what could be a very good defense to set him up with excellent field position.

The Jets opened as one-point favorites over the Miami Dolphins, but the line quickly went to three points after the impact of their Monday night destruction of the Detroit Lions took hold.

While we are not convinced the Jets will turn their fortunes around after years of disappointment, they will get the best of Adam Gase, Ryan Tannehill and the Miami Dolphins. The pairing of linebackers Avery Williamson and Darron Lee will be too much for Miami’s unproven offensive line.

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The Giants are playing a familiar prime-time game on the road against the Dallas Cowboys Sunday night. They are three-point underdogs against a Dallas team that got pushed around by the Carolina Panthers in Week 1.

The Cowboys have a sluggish offensive line, and their receivers are non-descript. If the Giants contain Ezekiel Elliott, it will not be difficult to slow down the Dallas offense.

While the Cowboys are limited, the Giants have an offense that should roll. Saquon Barkley is about to join Todd Gurley and Elliott as the best running backs in the game, and Odell Beckham Jr. is on the upswing.

The defense has issues, but it is not as questionable as the Dallas offense. The Giants win the game straight-up as underdogs.

Both New York teams winning in impressive fashion in Week 2? Yes, but this prediction is for information only. So are the following selections:

Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers (-1.5) – The guess here is that when push comes to shove, the Packers will realize that it’s a very long season and Aaron Rodgers needs a game or two to rest his knee. It will be a painful decision, but it will probably pay off in the long run. The Vikings are the best team in the league, and they win by at least a field goal over the Pack.

Philadelphia Eagles (-3) at Tampa Bay Bucs – The Eagles looked awful in winning their Week 1 game against the Falcons. The Bucs scored 48 points with Ryan Fitzpatrick under center. Going on the road will help the Eagles focus, and Fitzpatrick’s four-TD performance will get the attention of the Philly defense. Nick Foles gets it together and the Birds fly high.

New England Patriots at Jacksonville Jaguars (E) – The Patriots may not have to lay points, but this game could turn out to be a disaster. The Jaguars may be the most talented defensive team in the league, and they have been waiting for this game since their loss in the AFC title game in January. Unless the moment is too big for Jacksonville head coach Doug Marrone, the Jaguars get the edge early and win big.

Follow Steve on Twitter at @Profootballboy​.