PA Betting Picture For NFL Action Has Improved With Barstool’s Arrival

Sharp, line-shopping bettors may get better vigs now from Barstool and its online rival, BetRivers, when betting on the NFL.
sportsbook app in hand

All Kambi-backed sportsbooks are not created equal, and that’s good news for Pennsylvania sports bettors — at least when it comes to NFL wagers.

There was eager public anticipation last week of the arrival of Penn National Gaming’s Barstool Sportsbook as the 10th online/mobile site available to sports bettors in the state.

Among savvy bettors, however, there may have been less excitement in that it was yet another site — the sixth now in Pennsylvania — using Kambi as its odds supplier. If the Barstool site would just duplicate that European-based firm’s odds used by peers that also include DraftKings, Unibet, Parx, and the twin Rush Street Interactive sites of BetRivers and PlaySugarHouse, there would be little benefit for serious bettors from its arrival.

If its first weekend of NFL action is any indication, however, Barstool will be a quite welcome addition. It was often giving different odds and a better vig on Sunday’s games, compared to not just its Kambi competitors but also the four Pennsylvania sites that use other odds suppliers.

What’s more, whether it’s from the new Barstool competition or other factors, the Rush Street sites are also featuring better vigs than are customary, to the benefit of sharp players. That’s a distinction we didn’t find when analyzing the Pennsylvania sites last November and seeing little difference from one another among the Kambi-backed sites.

Juice as low as -107 is worth noting

Favorites won 13 of Sunday’s 14 NFL contests, with the Eagles the one exception, a small favorite thumped 37-19 by the Los Angeles Rams. Against the spread, however, favorites went just 7-7. In mostly high-scoring action, the overs on the point totals went 9-5.

Interestingly, there was not a single game where sites’ differences on the point spread or points total factored into a betting outcome — though that shouldn’t deter anyone from shopping for the best available odds to maximize potential profit. There was no game where the odds and vigs among all the sites were identical.

Anyone checking all the lines Sunday morning would have seen Barstool and BetRivers (an identical site to PlaySugarHouse, so we’ll just use BetRivers for examples) were often the best places for betting, though not in every case.

They gained that edge for betting by knocking down the standard -110 vig in many games.

In a game the Green Bay Packers won over the Detroit Lions, 42-21, all 10 sites agreed beforehand that the Packers were 6-point favorites. Eight sites had the standard 10% juice, which is how they make their profit when betting is split evenly. Barstool and BetRivers, however, both offered that line at -107, thus returning more money than the others to Packers bettors.

In some cases, the same two sites were better than everyone else in that regard, but with a slight difference from one another.

The over/under on points in the Eagles game was 45.5 almost everywhere, with most sites offering -110 whether you bet over or under. Barstool did better, offering -108. And BetRivers did better yet, again willing to pay off at -107 either way.

Moneylines also pay off better at different sites

BetRivers and Barstool were often also good places for moneyline wagers, with different payoffs from Kambi-backed sites Unibet and Parx, which tend to stick with what Kambi provides. DraftKings, meanwhile, is another Kambi site known to tweak the suppliers’ odds.

In the case of the Rams’ win, DraftKings, Barstool, and BetRivers all paid off a moneyline wager the best among all sites at +110. Unibet and Parx offered +107 while FOX Bet, Caesars, and BetAmerica paid off at +105. FanDuel offered just +102 to Rams bettors, but it would have paid off better than other sites to Eagles backers for a win, at a price of -120.

All told, when we tallied the potential for winning bets on point spreads, moneylines, and points totals from the results of Sunday’s 14 games — while allowing for the fact that multiple sites tied with the best lines in some cases — a bettor’s biggest profit would have come from using BetRivers 19 times, Barstool and FOX Bet 11 times, DraftKings 9, Caesars 5, BetAmerica 4, and FanDuel 3.

In no case would a bet using Unibet or Parx have provided the best profit for a bettor.

The vigs also vary for the Monday night game

The betting lines for the Monday Night Football contest that features the New Orleans Saints visiting the Las Vegas Raiders in their new stadium shows the present contrast between the sites as clearly as anything.

SportsbookFanDuelFOX BetDraftKingsBarstoolBetRivers
Point spreadSaints -5.5 (-110)Saints -5 (-110)Saints -5.5 (-110)Saints -5.5 (-107)Saints -5.5 (-107)

The point spreads being offered Monday show agreement on the Raiders as a 5.5-point home underdog, with the exception of FOX Bet’s 5-point line. But once more, Barstool and BetRivers were willing to return more to bettors for a winning wager, by taking just 7% juice instead of 10%.

The story for over/under betting was similar:

SportsbookFanDuelFOX BetDraftKingsBarstoolBetRivers
Total points o/u48.5 (-110)48.5 (-110)48.5 (-110)48.5 (-108)48.5 (-107)

This time, BetRivers does even better than Barstool, with -107 instead of -108 for the same 48.5-point total being offered across the board.

Will such contrasts that can benefit bettors hold up all season, or carry over to other sports, or are they just a temporary value being offered due to a big newcomer entering the market? It’s hard to say yet, but that’s why for anyone investing more than a casual $10 or $20 a week, having access to all of the sites and investing the time to compare them before placing a bet will pay off in the long run.


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