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December 18, 2018

Sports Data Rich: FanDuel Becomes NBA ‘Authorized Gaming Operator’

Marc Meltzer December 18, 2018
FanDuel NBA

The National Basketball Association (NBA) announced a deal to make FanDuel Sportsbook an authorized gaming operator of the league. FanDuel will continue to be the official daily fantasy partner of the NBA and the WNBA.

The new and expanded partnership gives FanDuel access to official NBA betting data as well as the use of NBA and WNBA marks and logos across FanDuel’s sports betting offerings. This part of the deal might sound familiar as the NBA has similar partnerships with The Stars Group (BetStars) and MGM Resorts International.

What makes this deal slightly different is that FanDuel will remain the NBA’s Official Daily Fantasy Partner. They will continue to operate both the Official Daily Fantasy Game of the NBA and the WNBA. FanDuel and the NBA will also continue to offer NBA InPlay, the interactive, real-time mobile fantasy game that launched in 2016.

Maybe… finally… possibly… a sportsbook will do something with NBA data

MGM Resorts was the first company to sign a partnership with the NBA to access official data. So far, the international casino operator hasn’t offered anything new for pro basketball bettors. BetStars just signed their partnership and hasn’t offered new NBA sports betting options either. Perhaps, FanDuel and their beautiful app will offer NBA bettors a new way to get down on the action.

“The core of our terrific partnership with FanDuel has been focused on innovation around the fan experience, and we are excited to extend it to include sports betting,” said Scott Kaufman-Ross, Head of Fantasy & Gaming, NBA. “Together, we have broken new ground in the fantasy world on both the NBA and WNBA, and now with the use of our official NBA betting data, will continue to collaborate on new ways to engage our passionate fans.”

FanDuel has one of the best, if not the best, mobile sportsbook apps on the market. While FanDuel’s in-play betting options load quicker than some of the competition, it can still get better. Official data from the NBA should reduce any lag, which will give bettors a few more seconds to place a wager.

FanDuel already offers a large and quick In Play menu for NBA games. In theory, the new partnership should make these offerings even better.

FanDuel engaging NBA fans like nobody else

NBA fans are looking for engagement with the game anywhere they can find it. NBA twitter is probably the most active audience of all sports leagues. House Of Highlights on Instagram has more than 11 million followers enjoying NBA videos all day and night.

The NBA has always been a step of other professional sports leagues in the US. Their fans expect to be able to engage with the NBA more than any other sport. This new FanDuel partnership has the potential to give NBA fans another way to engage with a sport and brand they already know.

“We share a clear view on how we can collaborate to bring basketball fans new ways to engage with the games and players they love. With the expansion of our fantasy agreement and addition of sports betting, we are excited to work together in ways we haven’t before.”

The more partnerships the NBA signs the closer American sports bettors are to unlocking new ways to gamble on one of their favorite games. This could be the first partnership with the NBA to actually offer sports bettors in the US new and improved sports betting options.

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Big NFL Week 15 Bets Include $569,000 Loser On Seattle Seahawks

FairwayJay December 18, 2018

Bettors can’t help themselves when it comes to betting NFL favorites. Despite back-to-back weeks in which road favorites went just 6-9 SU and 5-10 ATS, including a Week 14 that left NFL bettors baffled with the Miami Miracle, more bets including huge wagers on the favorites came flooding in during Week 15.

As sports betting continues to expand in the U.S. and more states and casino’s cash in with a successful launch, the betting activity grows. So does the popularity of in-play betting, and the “event within the event,” as lines and odds change rapidly as bettors fire for more action and the chance to profit.

But betting on the teams of choice is still the most standard approach. And instead of laying the points on their favorites of choice, some bettors prefer to lay the bigger price on the moneyline feeling they have a better chance to cash in and profit.

If it was only that easy.

Bettor loses $569,000 on Seahawks moneyline

One of the bigger bets reported on Sunday was on the Seattle Seahawks to beat the San Francisco 49ers. The Seahawks were a 4-point road favorite, but a better apparently thought this would be an easy Seahawks win, so he played Seattle on the moneyline. First, he bet $235,00 at -230 odds. MGM then raised the moneyline, and the same bettor bet $334,000 at -250 odds. The total wagers of $569,000 would have returned $804,774, or a profit of $235,774.

Final score in overtime: San Francisco 26, Seattle 23.

The 49ers’ upset win produced MGM Race & Sports’ largest win on a single NFL game this season.

The Seahawks had beaten the 49ers 10 straight times. Reminder: trends don’t pay the rent. Neither does wagering on NFL road favorites, especially greater than three points.

The Hawks weren’t the only road favorite that struggled and lost on Sunday. New England (-2.5) had 14 penalties in a 17-10 loss at Pittsburgh, and the Patriots took a week-high 73% of the consensus side bets according to SportsInsights, which monitors real-time betting activity at seven online sportsbooks. It was closer to 80% at one point, and New England did have 65% of the moneyline bets. The Seahawks were next highest bet team with 72% of the side bets.

Two games that flipped favorites from the Week 15 look-ahead lines were the Titans and Patriots, who were initially projected as underdogs. Tennessee, along with the LA Rams had the biggest market moves on game day, and the Titans delivered the cash in a 17-0 shutout win at New York against the Giants while Los Angeles got ‘rammed’ in a 30-23 defeat against the Eagles.

In Monday night’s game, the Saints took 63% of the side bets as game time approached in their division road game at Carolina against the Panthers.

More Week 15 moneyline losers

As the games concluded Sunday with only the Sunday night game remaining, the LA Rams (-13) were the biggest favorite of the week hosting the Philadelphia Eagles. Money poured in on the Rams with the news that Eagles QB Carson Wentz would not play due to injury.

Another bettor couldn’t resist the ‘easy’ money, betting $180,000 to win $20,000 on the Rams (-900). That didn’t work out too well.

In Thursday night’s Chiefs and Chargers showdown in Kansas City, a bettor placed a $200,000 moneyline bet on the Chiefs (-3.5) at odds of -200. The bet would have returned a $100,000 profit, but Kansas City couldn’t hold onto a 28-14 late 4th quarter lead as the Chargers rallied and won 29-28 on a two-point conversion with four seconds to play.

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DraftKings Week 15 NFL Winners

Now to the winners. DraftKings Sportsbook reported some solid scores on big and small bets.

One player placed a $3,000 moneyline bet on the Eagles (+600), and returned $21,000 for a solid score when Philadelphia beat the Rams Sunday night as a 13-point underdog.

A bettor turned a $5 bet into $867 on a 9 leg NFL parlay (321-1). One game pushed (Texans). But the Browns, Falcons, Colts, Lions, Titans and three UNDER the total picks CHI/GB, BAL/TB and JAX/WSH secured the winning online wager.

Another online user at DraftKings cashed out a $6 bet after hitting 8-of-9 totals and spreads for $655. The final bet was on the Seahawks, but the bettor cashed out before kickoff and was correct as Seattle lost as a favorite at San Francisco.

Week 15 betting activity

Regional bias in U.S. sports betting was on display in Week 15.

At Sugarhouse Casino in Philadelphia, 91% of the moneyline bets were on the Eagles against the heavily favored Rams, according to ESPN Chalk.

At Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh, 83% of the moneyline bets were on the Steelers.

Other major wagers in Week 15 included a $55,000 bet on the Titans (-1) to win $50,000 at the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas. Tennessee won 17-0.

Overall, the most bet teams in Week 15 by moneyline and point spread, according to DraftKings, were the Texans, Seahawks, Patriots, Rams, and Eagles. Houston (-7) was a fortunate win for early bettors, and the Eagles (+13) won outright as the biggest underdog of the week. Seattle (-4), New England (-2.5) and the LA Rams (-13) all lost.

Controversial DFS Pro Shows Charitable Side With Million-Dollar Pledge

Juan Carlos Blanco December 18, 2018

Throughout his extensive daily fantasy sports (DFS) career, Tom Crowley — more commonly know by username ChipotleAddict — has been a lightning rod among the player community. But recently, he displayed a benevolent side that should earn him his fair share of positive press.

Crowley had multiple entries in both the DraftKings World Championship Final and FanDuel World Fantasy Football Championship this past weekend.

On Dec. 13, Crowley made a public pledge regarding his charitable intentions concerning his potential winnings:

ChipotleAddict promptly went out and earned a sizable haul of cash in both tournaments.

Best of all for the selected charities, he finished at the top of the mountain in the DraftKings Championship. With an Atlanta Falcons-heavy lineup that netted him 174.04 DK points, Crowley scored the $2 million grand prize.

A total of 10 different charities will be beneficiaries of the potent combination of Crowley’s DFS acumen and generosity.

ChipotleAddict will work with Double Up Drive, a time-sensitive initiative currently running through Dec. 29, which matches donations and distributes them to 10 different highly vetted and impactful charities.

Notably, this marks the second consecutive year that Crowley is spreading the wealth. In 2017, he also contributed more than $700,000 to poker professional Dan Smith‘s donation drive.

Dirty Birds spearhead the biggest jackpot

The DK Championship unfolded in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and featured 180 total contestants.

Crowley had a total of six entries in the event. The second-highest-scoring lineup for him checked in at 18th place, which still paid out $65,000.

Including the aforementioned first-place prize, his DK winnings totaled just under $2.2 million.

The key to Crowley’s first-placed lineup was a Falcons team that generated one of their best all-around offensive performances of the season.

Matt Ryan (25.04 DK points), Tevin Coleman (23.5 DK points) and Julio Jones (20.2 DK points) spearheaded the charge. Those were supplemented by excellent returns from Joe Mixon (30 DK points), Davante Adams (24.9 DK points), Jaylen Samuels (22.2 DK points) and the Vikings defense (13 DK points).

Considering the numbers, ChipotleAddict’s lineup had more than enough equity to survive a zero by the final member of the Atlanta foursome, Austin Hooper.

Crowley’s FanDuel ledger was much less prolific but impressive in its own right.

ChipotleAddict held a total of four seats in the 75-seat tournament. His best finish was fifth, which resulted in a $42,000 bankroll boost.

Notably, that lineup had a very different look, with a Bengals stack consisting of Jeff Driskel (11.4 FD points), Joe Mixon (26 FD points) and Tyler Boyd (11.8 FD points) serving as its core.

Crowley garnered another $62,000 in total from his FanDuel entries.

Past collusion allegations disproven

The controversy associated with Crowley’s DFS career centered around the hottest of hot-button topics in the industry regarding contest rules and logistics: the alleged circumventing of multi-entry rules through alleged collusion with his brother, Martin Crowley’s (DFS username bigpapagates), a highly successful DFS pro himself.

Back in September 2016, Martin aka bigpapagates was a co-winner of the Week 3 Millionaire Maker contest on DK. Shortly after that, rumblings had already begun in days prior ramped up.

Namely, some in the DFS community alleged the duo covered as many bases as possible regarding lineup combinations in big-dollar tournaments by entering an identical number of lineups with a complete absence of overlap.

The situation led to an official DraftKings investigation, one that ultimately cleared both players of any wrongdoing.  A subsequent post by Rotogrinders co-founder Cal Spears on the site’s forums several months later further made a case for their exoneration.

As detailed by Spears, the two worked together as far as devising and actively utilizing a player selection model, but not to any degree beyond.

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