Former Pro Bowl wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh has faith in his former team.
Houshmandzadeh, a seventh-round pick of the Bengals in 2001, bet $20 on the Bengals to win the Super Bowl at +750 ($20 to win $187.50) as part of a ribbon-cutting ceremony at FanDuel Ohio Sportsbook at Belterra Park in Cincinnati Thursday.
Houshmandzadeh, who holds the Bengals franchise record for single-season receptions (112 in 2007), said, “The Bengals are gonna be here for a long time.”
Houshmandzadeh spent eight seasons in Cincinnati before finishing his career with one-year stints with the Seattle Seahawks, Baltimore Ravens and Oakland Raiders.
Houshmandzadeh, 45, is going to be the “Ruler of the Jungle” before the Bengals’ playoff game against the Ravens Sunday night at Paycor Stadium. The Bengals are the clear favorite at Ohio sportsbooks.
The Bengals currently are a 9.5-point favorite over their AFC North rival at FanDuel.
“It’s gonna be a great environment. I expect a Bengals win,” Houshmandzadeh said.
If you want to bet the moneyline, Fan Duel has the Bengals at -500 and the Ravens at +380. The over/under for the game is at a low 40.5 points.
FanDuel Delayed Grand Opening Out of Respect for Bills Player
The ceremonial grand opening of FanDuel Sportsbook at Belterra Park was delayed one week after the injury to Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin Jan. 2 in a Monday Night Football game between the Bengals and Bills.
The sportsbook has been operational since New Year’s Day, but the ribbon-cutting ceremony was pushed back a week while the sports world waited for news on Hamlin’s health.
“That was absolutely the right thing to do,” Belterra Park Vice President and General Manager Chris Corrado said in a press conference. “After Damar Hamlin’s injury, football, and the launch of sports betting, took a backseat to the health and well-being of Damar.
“All of us at Belterra Park and FanDuel joined the Cincinnati community and the entire country in praying for Damar to make a full recovery.”
More on FanDuel at Belterra Park
The Belterra Park location is FanDuel’s 15th retail sportsbook opened in partnership with Boyd Gaming.
“They (FanDuel) have done an amazing job across the country in helping us in creating amazing experiences,” Corrado said. “We are most excited about this room because we believe it will be a very comfortable, exciting and unique place to play. FanDuel has been a big hit at Boyd Properties across the country and we’re confident it will be a hit at Belterra Park, as well.”
FanDuel Midwest Regional Manager Jeff Hoose added: “This is the ribbon cutting of our 28th retail sportsbook and our first here in Ohio. Our partnership between Boyd Gaming and FanDuel has now opened 15 sportsbooks in eight states. I’d like to thank the people of Ohio. It’s been a pleasure meeting many of you recently and I look forward to seeing you this weekend in the playoffs and hope to see you here for every big game for years to come.”
Belterra Park’s new sportsbook features three sports-betting windows, located adjacent to nine sports-betting kiosks. Bettors are also able to access the odds and make wagers directly from the Ohio sports betting apps on their cell phones, too.
The sportsbook has 12 movie theatre-style chairs in front of a large wall of television screens and there are plans for a 26-seat bar to open in the spring. Half of the bar will be inside the sportsbook and the other half will be on the gaming floor.
“I think it (the new bar) will not only just open up this space, but will make this, along with the rest of our facility, an even greater destination for our guests who are just looking for something new, different and a great place to hang out and watch sports,” Corrado said.
Betting at the site certainly will get a test when the Bengals host the Ravens. On the day of the launch, BetOhio.com examined betting on the Bengals in the state.
Ja’Marr Chase is the big name in receiving for the Bengals, following the path of top-flight Bengals receivers such as Houshmandzadeh, Chad Ochocinco Johnson, Isaac Curtis and Cris Collinsworth.
BetOhio.com will be following the Bengals’ fortunes in the playoffs as well as being your go-to for Ohio sportsbook promos.