You can tell we’re getting closer to football season by the arrival of sports-betting entities running NFL picks contests. The latest comes from Rush Street Interactive, the online partner of Rivers casino in Pittsburgh and the SugarHouse in Philadelphia.

These contests, which are extremely popular in Nevada but have yet to come to New Jersey, ask players to select NFL games each week and award a huge prize at the end of the season.

The purpose is “to crown the best picker in Pennsylvania,” said Mattias Stetz, chief operating officer of RSI, which will award at least $125,000 to the winner. The guaranteed prize pool is $500,000.

NFL Week 1 lines

After a soft launch over the weekend, Stetz said the contest fully opened Monday.

“There will be no house cut,” Stetz said. “If we get more entries than the guarantee, then 100 percent of the money goes back to the players.” A weekly prize of $2,500 is also up for grabs.

Players select only the Sunday and Monday games. Registration is $125 until Aug. 15, and $150 thereafter. Games are picked straight-up (no point spread) and can be made exclusively online at or

Contestants must be within Pennsylvania state lines to sign up and make picks.