NJ Assembly Overwhelmingly Passes Online Gaming Bill

New Jersey took another step towards online gaming today as the state assembly voted by 48-24 margin in favor of legalizing online gaming in the state. The bill will now head to the state Senate on Thursday where it is also expected to pass. What is unknown, however, is Governor Chris Christie’s opinion on the revised bill. Christie vetoed a similar bill two years ago but has offered guarded support for this revised version.

New Jersey State Senator Ray Lesniak estimated the casinos could gross $100 million annually from online gaming, with 10 percent of the revenues benefitting the state in taxes. Lesniak also believes that online gaming could lead to the addition of hundreds of high-paying technical jobs, as well as the opportunity to run online games for other states as they vote to permit it.

“The Internet has long been a reality, and Internet gaming in New Jersey should now be reality too,” said Assemblyman Ruben Ramos. “We have to move aggressively and thoughtfully to position our gaming industry to succeed, and this is another step toward that goal. It will mean economic growth and job creation for our state.”

“Most everything else has migrated to the Internet and taken advantage of the consumer and revenue options it offers, and New Jersey’s gaming industry should be no different,” said Assemblyman Vincent Prieto. “This is a carefully crafted bill designed to ensure Internet gaming on casino games is offered the right way. It’s a much-needed competitive step forward for our casinos that could also raise more revenue to benefit senior and disabled citizens.”

Desperate Jets Head to Tennessee as Two Point Underdogs in Monday Night Football Action

The New York Jets, needing to sweep its final three games to have any chance at the playoffs, travel to Tennessee tonight in what may be the least appealing matchup in Monday Night Football history. Both teams are decimated by injuries: the Titans with their offensive line and the Jets are hurting at the skill positions.

Tennessee has lost three in a row, including a tough loss on the road in Indianapolis last weekend. New York, in contrast, has won four of its last five to give itself a long-shot chance at making the playoffs. Ignore the fact the last two wins have come against laughingstocks Arizona and Jacksonville; a win is a win is a win in the NFL. Style points don’t matter.

The game opened with Tennessee as 2.5 favorites. Early money came in on the Titans, pushing the line up to -3 at one point in the week. Jets money dropped that line down to two where it has since settled. The total is 42, with the weather expected to be a comfortable 55 degrees at kickoff.

Both New York and Tennessee enter the game with struggling offenses, especially at quarterback. Mark Sanchez has thrown 15 interceptions and lost nine fumbles for the Jets, while Jake Locker has been picked off nine times and lost five fumbles. Both teams will try to run the ball. Chris Johnson remains the Titans main weapon, but he is a shadow of his old self this season. Johnson has run for 100 yards or more just four times this year. He’ll be facing a Jets defense that has allowed 136 yards per game this year, good for 29th in the NFL.

The Titans haven’t been much better, allowing 127 rushing ypg, 24th in the league. Shonn Green and Bilal Powell will be the primary ball carriers for New York; the duo combined for 155 yards rushing last week in Jacksonville.

Expect a dull, low-scoring game tonight. The Jets threw the ball just 19 times last week against the 31st ranked defense last week; a similar game plan is most likely tonight. Tennessee should follow the same routine, content to let Chris Johnson carry the load.

Neither team deserves a bettor’s money. A gambler needs a rooting interest, however, especially in a dog game like this. Pick of the Day: Under 42.

The State of the Race: How the AFC Playoff Battle is Shaping Up

With two weeks left in the season, the AFC playoff race doesn’t have many unanswered questions. Houston has all but locked up the #1 seed. The #2 spot, along with the all important first round bye, is Denver’s to lose. Cincinnati and Pittsburgh will play next week in a pivotal game that should likely determine the winner of the sixth and final playoff spot.

1. Texans (12-2): The Texans have clinched the AFC South and are one win away from clinching home field advantage throughout the playoffs. The road to the Super Bowl in the AFC is going through Houston.

2. Broncos (11-3): Denver moved a game ahead of New England thanks to the Patriots loss and will earn a first round bye with home wins against Cleveland and Kansas City.

3. Patriots (10-4): The Patriots will need to win out and hope the Broncos lose one of their final two games in order to avoid playing the first week of the playoffs. New England does hold the tie-breaker over Denver thanks to its 31-21 victory in October.

4. Ravens (9-5): Baltimore has clinched a playoff berth, but face two tough games to close out the season. Baltimore takes on Cincinnati in Week 17 in a game that could determine the division winner.

5. Colts (9-5): Indianapolis hasn’t actually locked up a wild-card spot but are in very good shape. Will face the hapless Chiefs next week; a win there will make the Colts’ Week 17 rematch with Houston meaningless for Indianapolis.

6. Bengals (8-6): Cincinnati has control of the final AFC wildcard slot, but Pittsburgh also controls its destiny. The Bengals play at Pittsburgh next week.

7. Steelers (7-7): Despite losing 4 of its last five, Pittsburgh can still sneak into the playoffs with wins against the Bengals and Browns over the next two weeks.

8. Jets (6-7): Amazingly, New York is still alive in the race thanks to three wins in the last four weeks. They will have to win out, however, hope the Bengals lose out and Browns beat the Steelers in week 17.