DraftKings entered the sports betting realm back on Aug. 1 and hasn’t looked back.
The daily fantasy sports (DFS) industry leader —that early on made its intentions of exerting similar dominance in due time over the betting space — is currently operating its DraftKings Sportsbook online in New Jersey.
In early October, DraftKings announced the first-of-its-kind Sports Betting National Championship. The event unfolds this week in the Garden State over the NFL’s divisional playoff weekend.
The championship offers a $1 million grand prize, and DraftKings is guaranteeing a $2.5 million prize pool.
Significant overlay with days to go
The company has gotten plenty of well-deserved positive press for the event, which seemingly seeks to replicate some of the same electricity that DraftKings has been able to generate with its DFS live finals over the past several years.
But as much early momentum as the Sports Betting National Championship enjoyed, DraftKings’ Senior Product Manager Jon Aguiar chimed in with the following on Twitter late last week:
Approximately 100 entries in the Sports Betting National Championship with 1 week to go. 500 are needed to meet the guarantee. This was a VERY aggressive guarantee for a brand new event and is unlikely to be met. Should be a LOT of value out there. https://t.co/ixINU8RMku
— Jon Aguiar (@JonAguiar) January 3, 2019
DraftKings updated that number to 140 entries on Monday following a busy weekend of online qualifiers during the NFL playoffs. That still leaves them well short of the total to meet the $2.5 million guarantee.
For those who are already well-versed in the DFS space, the word “overlay” is typically brings glee. To put it succinctly, overlay, depending on how large, is one heck of an odds booster for the player and a proverbial bath for the operator.
When the guaranteed contests fail to fill, the portion of the prize pool those absent entries would have subsidized then ends up on the company’s tab.
Given Aguiar’s announcement, that bath is looking more like a deluge. With a Jan. 11 kick-off date, there is still plenty of time for some of those empty seats to be filled.
The event has a $10,000 direct buy-in. Therefore, it’s not just exclusive to those that punched their tickets through qualifiers during NFL season or the first quarter-plus of the NBA campaign.
Given the well-timed announcement, it’s the last-minute sales pitch that likely will bring some high rollers to the table. After all, the edge is undeniably magnetizing for those who can afford the buy-in fee and have a degree of confidence in their sports betting acumen.
Unique format sets up an intriguing challenge
The Sports Betting National Championship sports a unique format that promises to test several important sports betting skills in its participants, including multisport knowledge, bankroll management and prudent line selection.
Some of the nuts and bolts of the event are as follows:
- Each participant begins the contest Friday with a DraftKings-funded $5,000 bankroll.
- Players must wager at least $1,000 on Friday and Saturday, and at least $2,000 on Sunday.
- Wagers can be placed on any sports on Friday or Saturday. However, all wagers placed Sunday must exclusively involve the two NFL divisional playoff games unfolding that day.
- Participants must meet the requirements to retain a spot on the official leaderboard and qualify for the $1,000,000 grand prize, or for the subsequent payouts for lower finishes.
- All types of bets are in play, including straight bets, parlays and fantasy props. However, betting closes upon the kickoff of the second NFL divisional playoff game on Sunday.
- The player with the biggest bankroll at the end of the weekend becomes the grand prize winner. Bankroll size determines subsequent qualifying spots.
- DraftKings is guaranteeing a prize pool of $2.5 million. Each direct buy-in above 531 entries will increase the prize pool by $4,700 apiece.
- The contest is single entry. The event will have a maximum of 1,000 entrants.
- All players take home the total of their bankroll at the end of the weekend. Those who have kept their leaderboard eligibility are also awarded any money they’ve earned through that channel.
TheLines will be in Jersey City providing coverage of the DraftKings Sports Betting National Championship. Follow our Twitter account for updates from the event!
After Clemson’s throttling of Alabama in the national championship game, the Tigers find themselves as early favorites to repeat in 2020.
Early futures at DraftKings Sportsbook have Clemson and Alabama at +200 to win the 2020 college football national championship. FanDuel Sportsbook lists Alabama at +170 and Clemson +250. At the Westgate Superbook in Las Vegas, Clemson is +180 and Alabama is +250.
Interestingly, before Monday’s national title game, Alabama was the listed favorite at the Westgate. However, given Clemson’s domination, the Tigers went from +350 to +180 by game’s end.
Ohio State (+700 at DraftKings, +850 at FanDuel) and Georgia (+800 at both) are next on the list of 2019-20 title contenders. Michigan and Oklahoma round out the rest of the favorites. All of the odds can be found below.
Notre Dame, which made this year’s playoffs but was embarrassed in the semifinals by Clemson, starts at +3300.
The odds somewhat line up with ESPN’s take on a way-too-early top 25.
Given their recent recruiting classes, Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence ascension to likely Heisman favorite, and weak overall division, Clemson seem well-positioned to at least make another CFB playoff. And don’t kid yourself that last night’s national championship game is the end of Alabama’s dynasty. While the SEC will be stronger overall next year, Bama is still the team to beat.
College Football Futures Odds 2019-20
(Odds updated 1/17/19)
|North Carolina State||+16000||+8000||+50000|
|San Diego State||+25000||+50000||+500000|
NFL’s Wild Card weekend got wilder as emotions from fans and bettors were on full display Sunday night.
The Philadelphia Eagles escaped with a 16-15 win after Bears’ kicker Cody Parkey’s game-winning 43-yard field goal attempt hit the upright and crossbar and fell back into the field of play.
The “double-doink” kick became to talk of NFL fans and sports bettors were slightly tipped at the line of scrimmage by an Eagles’ lineman. But that provides little solace to Bears’ bettors and fans.
FanDuel Sportsbook awards customers up to $100 credit
All online FanDuel Sportsbook customers in New Jersey who placed a single, moneyline wager on the Bears to beat the Eagles on Jan. 6 will automatically receive a site credit matching their stake up to $100 in their account.
“We are thrilled for the Eagles, but it was a tough way for the Bears to lose,” said Mike Raffensperger, CMO of FanDuel Group.
“With playoff season heating up, this was a way to prove there are more ways to win on the FanDuel Sportsbook, and once again, show why we are the most innovative and fun sportsbook in the United States.”
FanDuel’s creative approach
FanDuel continues its innovative approach to sports and gaming, and the company is changing the way consumers engage with their favorite sports, teams and leagues.
In November, the FanDuel Sportsbook made an impact in the industry with sports betting history. FanDuel became the first legal sports betting operator in the US to pay out future wagers on the college football national championship — more than a month before the final game happened.
The FanDuel Sportsbook awarded online customers early winnings and paid out all Alabama bets to win the national title. The Crimson Tide ended up losing in the national championship game to Clemson on Jan. 7, and the promotion cost FanDuel $40,000. Alabama bettors with future win wagers on the Tide rolled in the money more than five weeks ago.
FanDuel offers a sportsbook app in the state of New Jersey. FanDuel also has physical sportsbooks at NJ’s Meadowlands at the Greenbrier in West Virginia.
The company provides “More Ways To Win” through its live football sports betting TV show.
With the biggest single sports betting event approaching for Super Bowl LIII on Feb. 3, it will be interesting to see what FanDuel offers its customers next. It’s likely to be a touchdown catch for its customers.