The Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears are not playing in Week 1, but that won’t stop bettors at Caesars sportsbook in Las Vegas from getting action on the rivalry.
Caesars will be allowing clients to bet on rivalries like Bears-Packers, Giants-Jets and Cowboys-Steelers every week even though the teams won’t actually be meeting on the field.
Here’s how it works: A line and over/under total is offered on a handful of rivalry games. For example, the Packers are 6.5-point favorites over the Bears in Week 1 with a total of 44.5. The wager is based on how many points each team scores in their actual game. So if the Packers beat the Saints 31-30 on Thursday and the Bears lose to the Falcons 28-27, the winning ticket on the rivalry matchup would be Bears +6.5 and Over the 44.5.
“It’s basically modified team total bets with spreads,” said Caesars Race and Sportsbook analyst Todd Fuhrman.
Caesars posted the Week 1 matchups Tuesday (see below). Depending on the response from bettors, they may branch out into college.
“We could have the Iron Bowl playing every week,” said Furhman. “Eventually, we might even have college vs. pro. So if you wanted to be the Texas Longhorns against the Dallas Cowboys you could.”
Fuhrman expects some wise guys to try and beat the numbers, but is more excited about offering a unique wager that can only be found at Caesars.Caesars Week 1 Rivalry Matchups
Border Ward: Bears vs. Packers (-6.5, 44.5)
Gotham Grudge Match: Giants vs. Jets (-2, 43)
Pro Football Championship Rematch X2: Steelers vs. Cowboys (-1.5, 35.5)
Escape from LA: Raiders vs. Rams (-1, 37.5)
Battle for the Bay: Raiders vs. 49ers (-4, 41)
Tuna Cup: Jets vs. Patriots (-3.5)
NFC South Supremacy: Saints vs. Falcons (PK, 43)
Rivalry renewed: Redskins vs. Cowboys (-1.5, 35)