Special Sportsbook Offers Galore Available For Return Of NBA, NHL

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The NBA and NHL are back this weekend to join Major League Baseball in the busiest sports weekend in more than four months, and Pennsylvania’s online betting sites are loading up the special offers to pique interest still further.

It’s possible to earn $3 with each 76ers 3-pointer in their return Saturday or to bet on them and get an extra $3 site credit reward for each point they win by.

You can quintuple your money betting any NBA favorite or simply get a $5 free bet on any NBA game.

Or if hockey’s your thing, you can bet on the Flyers in their return Sunday and receive a special $5 site credit for every goal they score — win or lose. Or place a futures bet on any team to win the Stanley Cup and receive a $10 bonus for each game they win in their first five games back.

Those could all be just the beginning of a bevy of competitive bonuses that lie ahead as sportsbooks try to one-up each other for customers’ attention now that sports are back — just don’t count on anything duplicating FanDuel’s $45.45 giveaway to every customer making full use of its “Spread the Love” promotion Thursday night.

Lakers plus 52? Sounds good

To welcome back the NBA, FanDuel advertised that it would move the spread a point in the Los Angeles Lakers’ direction for every 2,500 customers betting up to $50 on them in Pennsylvania and four other states.

The line started in normal enough fashion, with the Lakers as a 4-point favorite. Then word of the can’t-lose offer spread via emails to FanDuel customers and attention it drew to the offer on its site.

By the time the offer ended after the game started, LeBron James & Co. had become 52-point underdogs vs. the Los Angeles Clippers. The game itself was a squeaker, a 103-101 Lakers victory, but they beat the special spread by 54 points. FanDuel and DraftKings have done similar point spread gimmicks in the past to get customers’ attention, but you can never count on when the next one will surface.

DraftKings and FOX Bet also in the game

While FanDuel’s “Spread the Love” is gone, some other NBA offers almost as good were available as of Friday morning.

With DraftKings’ “5/1 Boost,” a bettor can come come out with a higher profit, in fact, though unlike the FanDuel promotion, there’s also a chance of losing.

The deal lets you bet $20 on any NBA team to win Friday or Saturday, and if your team wins, you win $100. It’s like getting the 76ers at +500 on the moneyline vs. the Indiana Pacers Saturday instead of the listed -230 price. Or to go with even higher favorites, one can risk $20 to win $100 Friday on the Phoenix Suns vs. Washington Wizards or Orlando Magic over the Brooklyn Nets. (Both the Suns and Magic are 7-point favorites.)

There’s another sure-fire way to win money on the Sixers, meanwhile. FOX Bet is offering a chance to bet just $3 on them to beat the Pacers and, no matter the outcome, receive a $3 free bet for every 3-pointer made by a 76er, up to a max of $50 in bonus play.

On a smaller scale, Unibet is simply offering a $5 free bet for any NBA game Friday, as well as an NBA “Buzzer Beater Refund.” If you place a moneyline bet on any game this season and your team loses on a shot as the clock winds to zero, you get a refund.

Not to be outdone, FanDuel is even more generous with its “NBA 3rd Quarter Insurance.” With that, if a team you bet pre-game on the moneyline is leading at the end of the third quarter but loses, you get site credit up to $50.

FanDuel also has a special offer for the 76ers-Pacers contest: Bet at least $50 on the moneyline pre-game and, if successful, you’ll get an extra $3 site credit for every point your team wins by.

Parx, meanwhile, has a version of FanDuel’s third quarter “insurance” just for a 76ers-Pacers moneyline bet. If your team in that game is winning at the end of the third quarter but loses, you receive matching site credit of $25 to $100.

BetRivers and PlaySugarhouse give you a free $5 bet on live NBA action Friday if you wager at least $50 pre-game.

Hockey incentives are fewer, but also tempting

Basketball draws a lot more betting action than hockey, so it’s no surprise the NBA’s return has generated a lot more special offers. But there are still incentives for those following the Flyers, Penguins, or anyone else in the NHL as the league returns to play at neutral “bubble” sites in Canada this weekend.

FanDuel has an “NHL Goal Bonus,” where someone betting $50 or more on the moneyline in Sunday’s Flyers-Bruins contest will receive $5 in site credit for every goal their team scores.

On a longer-term basis, FanDuel has its “Stanley Cup Win Bonus”: Make a $50 futures bet on any team to win the cup, and you’ll receive a $10 bonus for each of their wins in the first five games of return to play.

DraftKings welcomes back the NHL with a “Playoff Goal Bonus,” in which betting at least $50 on a team to win its qualifying series (such as the one the Penguins are in against the Montreal Canadiens starting Saturday) will net a $5 free bet for every goal the team scores in the series.

BetAmerica is a bit more minimalist with its offers, but if you use it for a $50 pre-game bet on either the NHL or NBA and the bet is successful, you’re rewarded with a $10 bonus for use in its online casino.

And don’t forget the daily odds boosts

All of the offers above are in addition to varying welcome bonuses the sites offer to new customers and daily odds boosts attached to specific games or players.

The promotions often change on a daily basis, and the smartest sports bettors will check each site regularly for updates that they can take advantage of.

Just don’t count on getting the Lakers, or anyone else, as a 52-point underdog again for quite a while.

Photo provided by Shutterstock

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Gary Rotstein

Gary is a longtime journalist, having spent three decades covering gambling, state government, and other issues for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, in addition to stints as managing editor of the Bedford (Pa.) Gazette and as a reporter for United Press International and the Middletown (Conn.) Press. Contact Gary at [email protected].

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