The 64 teams are set, the madness kicks off on Thursday, and for the first time many Americans will be making legal wagers in their home states. With Round 1 games set for Thursday and Friday, plenty of fans will not only fill out those brackets this year but also have some action on the weekend’s matchups.
The American Gaming Association recently released a study estimating that Americans will gamble $8.5 billion this year on March Madness with 18 million wagering $3.9 billion at a sportsbook, online, with a bookie, or with a friend. Of that total, 4.1 million bettors are expected to wager legally at a book or online.
So which teams are drawing the most interest among those betting legally? Here’s a look at some of the legal online books and where the money is headed.
Tigers, Orange popular at DraftKings
Surprisingly, the most money (and total number of tickets) at DraftKings Sportsbook isn’t going to one of the No. 1 seeds but instead to LSU. The Tigers are ranked No. 12 in the AP poll, but bettors seem to be giving them the upperhand in a matchup with Yale in Round 1.
Here’s a look at the top teams in Round 1 players are wagering on:
|Rank||Bets By Money||Bets By Tickets|
|4||Murray State||Florida State|
When it comes to futures betting for this year’s champion, plenty of money is going to traditional powers Duke and North Carolina, both No. 1 seeds and ranked first and third in the AP poll. Here a look at those top teams wagered for the title:
|Rank||Bets By Money||Bets By Tickets|
|2||North Carolina||North Carolina|
Those looking for some prop bet action may be enticed by several interesting Zion Williamson prop bets. Hopefully his Nikes hold up for those betting on Williamson, and here’s a look at couple of those:
- Whether he connects on two or more 3-pointers in any game
- Whether or not he will score 20-plus points in every game
Duke futures still king
Duke is also the favorite to win it all at the FanDuel Sportsbook with 23 percent of all futures wagers going to the Blue Devils. The largest futures wager so far has been $25,000 on Virginia at +750.
Here’s a look at the top three championship futures bets overall:
- Duke – 23 percent
- Virginia – 17 percent
- Gonzaga – 13 percent
Not surprisingly, Duke is the favorite to win the tournament. Tennessee was ranked No. 1 for much of the season and may offer some nice value at +1600 as well as No. 7-ranked Kentucky at +1700 and No. 8-ranked Michigan at +1700. Here’s a look at futures betting for some of the favorites:
- Duke (+220)
- Gonzaga (+600)
- Virginia (+850)
- North Carolina (+950)
- Michigan State (+1400)
- Tennessee (+1600)
- Kentucky (+1700)
- Michigan (+2200)
- Texas Tech (+3300)
If you’re into trends
For those ready to make those basketball wagers on SugarHouse, the site provided some stats on the most widely bet teams bet throughout the year, and their performances against the spread. Here’s a look at those:
- (1) Duke: 17-15
- (2)Michigan: 17-14
- (2) Tennessee: 15-14-1
- (6) Villanova: 20-12
- (1) North Carolina: 20-9-3
Those numbers might be helpful for betting this weekend’s action. It might also be helpful to know the teams that performed poorly against the spread throughout the season. Here’s a look at some of those heading into Round 1:
- (15) Montana: 12-18
- (11) Ohio State: 13-19
- (10) Iowa: 13-19
The NFL season may be over, but bettors have a lot to look forward to with March Madness right around the corner. One New Jersey bettor put his college basketball prognostication to good use over the weekend, turning a $100 wager into a win of almost $45,000.
The parlay legs included wagers on the following teams:
- Cincinnati (against Memphis)
- Houston (against Central Florida)
- Oral Roberts (against Denver)
- Old Dominion (against UAB)
- Iowa (against Indiana)
- Hawaii (against Long Beach State)
- San Diego (against Loyola Marymount)
- Washington (against Arizona)
- Wofford (against East Tennessee State)
- Nebraska of Omaha (against South Dakota)
Getting to the finish line had plenty of ups and downs for this winner. Cincinnati trailed by six at the half, but came back to win by 5. Houston and Oral Roberts both won easily also. Old Dominion was outscored by 16 in the second half, but still won by 11 against UAB. Iowa topped Indiana by 5, Hawaii beat Long Beach State by 7, and the Huskies cruised over Arizona.
San Diego proved to be a close one and provided some sweat. The Toreros trailed Loyola Marymount by 2 at the half, but were able to turn things around and squeak out a 2-point victory.
Two games must have been particularly worrisome but swung the right way in the end. Nebraska of Omaha faced off against South Dakota in a major scoring fest. After 40 minutes of play, the game was tied at 87-87. The Mavericks outscored the Coyotes in overtime, however, to keep the parlay alive with a 107-102 victory.
The Wofford-East Tennessee State matchup also proved tough, but no double-digit parlay would be complete without some nervousness. The Terriers battled to a 64-64 tie against the Buccaneers but trailed late in the overtime period. Senior Fletcher Magee, however, nailed a 3-pointer as he was fouled with 31 seconds remaining in overtime. The free throw gave the Terriers a 75-73 and they held on for a 78-76 win.
The victory gave Wofford its 20th win and one New Jersey bettor a huge return on investment.
With Selection Sunday set for March 17 and the first play-in games getting underway March 19-20 in Dayton, Ohio, bettors may be looking for some futures wagering as the tournament approaches.
As of Feb. 13, Tennessee was the top-ranked team in the nation with a 22-1 record. Duke followed the Vols at 22-2, followed by Gonzaga, Virginia, and Kentucky. Last year’s champion Villanova sat at No. 13 with a record of 19-5.
Here’s a look at current odds from the BetStars NJ on some of the favorites to win the title.
- Duke: +175
- Gonzaga: +850
- Michigan: +1200
- Virginia: +1300
- Kentucky: +1400
- Tennessee: +1600
- Nevada: +1600
- North Carolina: +1700
- Kansas: +1700
- Michigan State: +1800
The Showtime cable network announced a new docu-series set to debut March 24. It chronicles the lives and betting of several sports bettors, bookies, and oddsmakers throughout the 2018-19 NFL season.
The show, titled “Action,” has made some news this week not just as a spotlight on the industry, but for a controversial figure highlighted in the series.
The show follows players through the ups and downs of the season, culminating with Super Bowl Sunday. The network says the “character-driven narrative delivers intimate access to a diverse cross-section of authentic and sometimes garrulous subjects within the sports gaming community, documenting the effects of legalization through their prisms.”
“Action” plays out in four parts and explores the changing face of the industry since last May’s Supreme Court ruling.
“The world of sports gambling has fascinated Hollywood for decades, but never before has a documentary captured the essence of the industry at such a pivotal period,” Showtime Sports and Event Programming President Stephen Espinoza said. “Through the lens of industry professionals and real-life gamblers within every virtual layer of the business – both legal and illegal – ‘Action’ delivers a one-of-a-kind look as sports gambling enters a brave new world.”
Controversial figures and criticism
Almost immediately after plans for the new show were released, many in the sports betting industry reacted negatively to some of the figures involved.
One of those is David “Vegas Dave” Oancea, who pled guilty in federal court in January for charges involving using phony Social Security numbers at Las Vegas casinos in transactions of more than $1.2 million. Oancea initially faced 19 felonies, but ultimately pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge by admitting to causing violations of record keeping and procedures.
The fake Social Security numbers used by properties such as Wynn and Westgate, caused casinos to file false federal currency transaction reports. As part of his plea deal, Oancea also agreed to forfeit $550,000.
Oancea claims to have won millions of dollars and runs a tout service offering his picks with several packages available beginning at $199. On his Twitter feed, Oancea describes himself as the “No. 1 sports information consultant as seen on ESPN, Fox Sports, Yahoo Sports, USA Today and Forbes.”
Others in the industry quickly accused the series of hyping bettors and handicappers involved with suspect tout services.
Ughhhhhhhhhhhh. Touts galore. Including the biggest con job of all: Plea Deal Vegas Dave. https://t.co/IecTmlR3t3
— Rufus Peabody (@RufusPeabody) February 13, 2019
Chronicling an industry
Producers are hoping viewers give the show a shot and note that there are other interesting characters featured in the show. Those include professional gambler Bill Krackomberger and sports handicapper Kelly Stewart. Krackomberger, a longtime Vegas handicapper, seems ready to distance himself a bit from the inclusion of “Vegas Dave” in the show.
“I can tell you I did not film a single scene with VD [Vegas Dave] nor was I even told who was even in the show (besides Kelly) until last week,” he noted Tuesday via Twitter. “Kelly and I had zero clue he was in this show until last week.”
“Action” becomes the latest in a growing number of media offerings and content related to sports betting as the industry grows at a rapid pace. An estimated $400-$500 billion is wagered annually on sports gambling in the U.S., and that is expected to grow. Beyond legal wagering, the show also delves into illegal wagering.
Along with professional gamblers, the show also features Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, sports broadcasting icon Brent Musburger, and comedian Cousin Sal. While some bettors and handicappers may not be pleased with publicizing some of the negative sides to sports wagering, producers are hoping viewers give the series a chance as they try to show a season from all angles.
“The chorus of human stories we present in ‘Action’ will resonate far beyond the world of sports and gambling,” director Luke Korem says. “This is a subculture that reflects to an extreme the risk, reward, and uncertainty we find in our everyday lives. I’m thrilled that Showtime is allowing us to capture these stories at such a unique moment in history.”
The Alliance of American Football debuts this weekend and the new league offers some new football betting options for those looking to extend their gridiron action farther into the winter and spring.
The AAF features eight teams playing a 10-game season with one week of playoffs before a championship game in Las Vegas. The league has altered a few rules (including no kickoffs), but is promising to bring traditional football to fans beyond the Super Bowl. With MGM on board as an official sports betting partner and casinos setting lines for the action, here’s a look at the Week 1 odds, matchups, and everything you need to catch all the action.
Atlanta Legends at Orlando Apollos
Saturday, Feb. 9, 8 p.m. (EST) – CBS
Line: Orlando -4
Coaches: Kevin Coyle (Atlanta), Steve Spurrier (Orlando)
Players to Watch:
- Atlanta – Matt Simms, son of NFL legend Phil Simms, gets the start with Aaron Murray playing backup. Simms brings NFL experience with the Jets, Bills, and Falcons. RB Denard Robinson adds NFL experience (Jaguars) from the backfield.
- Orlando – Former University of Texas QB Garrett Gilbert leads the charge. He has a Super Bowl ring as a member of the Patriots’ practice squad in 2014. Look for plenty of passing in the Spurrier offense.
San Diego Fleet at San Antonio Commanders
Saturday, Feb. 9, 8 p.m. (EST) – CBS
Line: San Antonio -3.5
Coaches: Mike Martz (San Diego), Mike Riley (San Antonio)
Players to Watch:
- San Diego – Former Arizona State QB Mike Bercovici brings NFL experience (Chargers, Cardinals), and former Cowboys TE Gavin Escobar should be a passing option.
- San Antonio – Look for former Cowboys backup QB Dustin Vaughan to take command. Former University of Houston Cougar QB Greg Ward Jr. provides some speed and playmaking at WR.
Memphis Express at Birmingham Iron
Sunday, Feb. 10, 4 p.m. (EST) – CBS Sports Net
Line: Birmingham -2.5
Coaches: Mike Singletary (Memphis), Tim Lewis (Birmingham)
Players to Watch:
- Memphis – Former New York Jets second-round pick Christian Hackenberg leads the offense as QB with Zac Stacy providing experience at RB. Stacy spent three years as a Tennessee Titan.
- Birmingham – Former Alabama RB Trent Richardson hopes to make a comeback in the Alliance after flaming out with the Browns and Colts. QB Luis Perez was one of the best players in Division II in 2017, leading Texas A&M-Commerce to a national championship.
Salt Lake Stallions at Arizona Hotshots
Sunday, Feb. 10, 8 p.m. (EST) – NFL Network
Line: Arizona -4.5
Coaches: Dennis Erickson (Salt Lake), Rick Neuheisel (Arizona)
Players to Watch:
- Salt Lake – Former Liberty QB Josh Woodrum leads the passing attack and bettors may remember former Vikings RB Matt Asiata, who had some decent work in five NFL seasons. Erickson describes the defensive front as a strength for the team.
- Arizona – Former Oklahoma and Texas A&M QB Trevor Knight brings plenty of skill passing and rushing. At WR, Josh Huff was a third-round pick for the Eagles in 2014. Inconsistent as pass catcher, he showed his explosiveness in kickoff returns for TDs of 107 and 98 yards and will now try to harness that at wideout.
Certainly betting on games with completely brand new teams isn’t easy, but no doubt many will be hoping to make those matchups a little more interesting as they take in the action. Things should shake out a bit more after Week 1 and offer bettors a bit more information on making those wagers in Week 2.
Looking for betting picks on each of these games? Be sure to visit PlayPicks.com for a deeper dive into each of these games from a wagering perspective.
Lead imavia via AAF
With the Super Bowl wrapped up, sports bettors and fans are now moving on to basketball and hockey, and gearing up for March Madness and the start of baseball season. However, a large percentage of gamblers only wager on football, and now they have another opportunity when the Alliance of American Football (AAF) debuts this weekend.
The league not only offers added games for sports betting, but it’s the on-field action that the league is hoping brings viewers and fans coming back. CEO and co-founder Charlie Ebersol talked to TheLines.com this week about the future of the league and what gamblers can expect to find.
The app and betting
Sports betting has always been part of the plan for the AAF. With a new legalized environment and more fans betting on football than ever, embracing that dynamic seemed like not only a natural move.
The league has even partnered with MGM as an investor and official gaming partner. Lines for the league’s Week 1 matchups are available on the PlayMGM app as well as its casinos. The hope is that bettors and fans will still be interested in football a week after the Super Bowl.
“We’re continuing football, which is the biggest bet in sports in the U.S. outside of horse racing, and we see it as an opportunity to expand that season,” Ebersol says. “Obviously, MGM becoming an investor early on was really crucial because it helped people understand that what we built is real: the football is all real, and the fact that all the sportsbooks have taken lines on our games.”
The Alliance hosted several sportsbook directors at its training camps last week in San Antonio.
While the league’s planned app, set to be released this week, has promised up-to-the-second stats and information, it won’t offer sports betting, per se. That information will be available to bettors and casinos alike to branch out beyond traditional betting options.
“We’re a technology business and our technology is that we built a data capture manifestation device that allows the data to get off the field instantaneously in under 400 milliseconds and delivered to users,” Ebersol says. “That’s either through a sportsbook or a mobile device, which will ultimately allow in-game betting, play-to-play betting.”
Getting in the game
Fans who download the app for Week 1 cannot only watch the games, but interact as plays happen. That includes using technology to track the action on the field as exactly as possible.
“You can turn on a cellphone or any other device, and see what’s going on in real time,” Ebersol says. “We created a fully animated version of the game. We have all these trackers on the players, the ball, et cetera. It looks like a combination of Madden meets Angry Birds, and you see exactly what’s going on in real time with the data.”
While traditional fantasy football may not be offered yet, the league is hoping fans will engage in other ways. That includes wagering and using its new PreCast (predictive casting) offering.
“PreCast uses all the historical data as well as machine learning and artificial intelligence to give you predictive odds on what each play is going to be,” he says. “So in our game, if you guessed run right for a first down and the combined likelihood of that happening is 13 percent, you win more points than if you guessed run left for two yards, which was 30 percent.”
In essence, decision making makes use of the data for odds and percentages. Users can play in large pools and against friends. Wagering looks to be a part of that in the future.
“When we showed the technology to MGM nine months ago, that is immediately where their heads were,” he says.
Certainly one of the biggest drivers of the popularity of pro football over the last two decades is fantasy football. That includes more than 60 million Americans who play fantasy sports each year, and a huge chunk of those play fantasy football.
Ebersol said those options won’t be available on the Alliance app to start the season, but hopes to have fantasy games soon.
“One of the things we discovered with our app is we had way features on day one,” he says. “We’ve cut back the features that are coming out on Saturday. You’ll be able to get the PreCast play. Over the course of the season, we’ll introduce something called In-Game Fan, where you can play fantasy play to play, which has never been available before.”
Players would challenge other players during the game as part of that offering, but the league doesn’t currently have a traditional fantasy football partner. That could change during the season or another partner brought on board next season.
“As of right now, we do not have plans to have markets up for AAF,” FanDuel spokesman Kevin Hennessy said. “That could change, but nothing is scheduled for this weekend’s kick off.”
On the field
While bettors and fantasy players may have some limited options initially, Ebersol believes football fans will be pleased with play on the field. All eight teams conducted training camps in San Antonio and went through scrimmage games over the last month. He believes solid play will help engage fans in the long run.
“One of the things we’ve held close to our chest is the football because it’s important to us that ‘football is football’ on the field on Day 1,” Ebersol says. “Ultimately, we believe as fans get more familiar with our games and more familiar with our players, we’ll be able to roll out those products like daily and season-wide fantasy.”
So what can fans expect on the field? The Alliance so far has made use of social media to build buzz. Ebersol has brought in NFL talent like Bill Polian (co-founder and head of football) to ensure the product is the best it can be on the field. In 2001, Vince McMahon’s XFL was hampered by sloppy play due to short practice periods. Ebersol believes the Alliance has figured this out.
“Unlike all previous attempts of [alternate football leagues] over the last 25 years, we’ve brought in actual football experts, actual general managers from the NFL,” he says. “The combined level of NFL experience among my executives, coaches, and GMs is over 500 years. We focused as heavily as we could in putting the highest quality at the top of the league to create better football.”
Hall of Fame cast
The league is not shying away from a link to the NFL and much of its leadership and coaching come from the NFL including league leaders like Troy Polamalu and Hines Ward as well as coaches and general managers like Mike Singletary and Daryl Johnston.
All 794 players also have an out in their contracts to play in the NFL if that opportunity comes up, something that sets them apart from previous attempts at alternate leagues and attracts a higher level of player. Ebersol also notes that 70 percent of the players in the league have played in the NFL in the last 18 months.
Viewing the AAF
Along with the ability to view on the league app, those who long for more pro football will have an easy time finding games on television. The league has deals in place with CBS and the CBS Sports Network, NFL Network, and TNT and promises shorter games with fewer commercials and a faster pace (only a 30-second game clock).
“You’re going to experience something that comes very close to the NFL experience,” he says. “Previous leagues all wanted gimmicks. What you will see on the field will be actual football broadcast by actual football broadcasters. Our broadcast teams are going to be very traditional and you’re going to see things that you’re used to seeing on Sundays, which is by design.”
Playing the long game
Ebersol says the league’s backers are patient. His goal is to gain traction with a good brand of football and then grow from there.
“One of the mistakes that the other leagues have made is that they’ve been so reliant on media deals and ticket sales out of the gate that they could never survive,” he says. “Our long-term business is funded based on the technology we’ve built. We raised money around the idea of losing a lot of money on football for quite some time because we’re going to earn our fans.
“We’re going to go into stadiums where the fans are going to sample us and if they like us they’re going to come back. What we’re focused on is how it grows over the course of the season. I’m excited. I think this weekend’s going to be very interesting to see how the world accepts us, and we’ll go from there.”
Image courtesy of AAF
It’s been a long wait for many bettors who were able to drop a fiver on the BetStars Super Bowl promo earlier in the season. Early in the season, BetStars (the sports betting arm of PokerStars) offered gamblers an early season $5 Super Bowl future wager with minimum odds of 100/1.
The promotion, which ran from Sept. 14-30, offered the massive odds on any team in the NFL, but only one $5 wager. The site even raised the odds on the local New York Jets to 300/1. That was a nice value for a team that was really going at 80/1 at other books, but obviously, the Jets missed the playoffs for the eighth straight season.
Bettors cashing in
Those who placed those wagers on the Los Angeles Rams or New England Patriots are now in the driver’s seat and many may be looking to now hedge those bets to ensure some easy money. The Patriots began the season as the betting favorite to win the title at 6/1. The Rams were a heavy favorite as well at 10/1 – the same odds as the Super Bowl champion Eagles as well as the Vikings and Patriots.
BetStars told us this week that 46 percent of the 100/1 promotion bets were placed on the Rams, and 18 percent on the Patriots.
No doubt many viewed the Rams as a well-coached and talented up-and-coming team with a shot at some success. Five bucks must have seemed like it might be worth a shot at some decent money. Those bettors certainly are licking their chops for Super Bowl Sunday, and a non-call of pass interference in the NFC Championship game proved lucrative.
Amazingly, the two teams accounted for about 66 percent of all our Super Bowl betting through the promotion. The Patriots are a 2.5-point favorite heading into Sunday’s big game with the over/under hovering around 57. The game looks to a matchup of two potent offenses with a young coach and quarterback squaring off against a dynasty looking to bring home a sixth Lombardi Trophy.
And when all the hoopla, pregame show analysis, and celebrity appearances are over, plenty of bettors placed wagers in New Jersey early in the season will be eagerly watching and hoping to cash a nice ticket.
Heads? Tails? Betting on those results may seem the ultimate in a 50-50 proposition, but millions of dollars will be wagered on the outcome when players and officials gather in the center of the field in February for the Super Bowl coin toss. Ready to completely overanalyze a flip of the coin?
We thought so. Below is the result of every Super Bowl coin toss as well as the winner of each game. Interesting note: the winner of the coin toss has won the Super Bowl less than half the time. Only 25 teams have won the flip and won the game (48 percent). The results seem to have been trendy through the years with streaks of three or four wins one way or the other. After four straight wins for tails the last few years, the coin came up heads in 2018, giving the Patriots the early advantage against the Eagles — but not the Lombardi Trophy.
If you believe in coin karma, it might be interesting to look at both teams facing off in Super Bowl LIII. The New England Patriots have only won three of their nine Super Bowl coin flips. The Rams have a much better history. With two previous appearances in St. Louis and one in Los Angeles, the Rams are 3-0 in coin tosses.
Super Bowl Coin Toss Results
Heads: 25 times (48%)
Tails: 27 times (52%)
Heads longest streak: 5
Tails longest streak: 4 (three times)
Most coin toss wins: Cowboys (6); 49ers (4); Dolphins (4); Raiders (3); Patriots (3); Seahawks (3)
|Super Bowl||Teams||Heads or Tails||Toss Winner||Super Bowl Champion|
|LII||New England vs Philadelphia||Heads||New England||Philadelphia|
|LI||Atlanta vs New England||Tails||Atlanta||New England|
|L||Carolina vs Denver||Tails||Carolina||Denver|
|XLIX||Seattle vs New England||Tails||Seattle||New England|
|XLVIII||Seattle vs Denver||Tails||Seattle||Seattle|
|XLVII||Baltimore vs San Francisco||Heads||Baltimore||Baltimore|
|XLVI||New England vs NY Giants||Heads||New England||NY Giants|
|XLV||Green Bay vs Pittsburgh||Heads||Green Bay||Green Bay|
|XLIV||New Orleans vs Indianapolis||Heads||New Orleans||New Orleans|
|XLIII||Arizona vs Pittsburgh||Heads||Arizona||Pittsburgh|
|XLII||NY Giants vs New England||Tails||NY Giants||NY Giants|
|XLI||Chicago vs Indianapolis||Heads||Chicago||Indianapolis|
|XL||Seattle vs Pittsburgh||Tails||Seattle||Pittsburgh|
|XXXIX||Philadelphia vs New England||Tails||Philadelphia||New England|
|XXXVIII||Carolina vs New England||Tails||Carolina||New England|
|XXXVII||Tampa Bay vs Oakland||Tails||Tampa Bay||Tampa Bay|
|XXXVI||St Louis vs New England||Heads||St Louis||New England|
|XXXV||NY Giants vs Baltimore||Tails||NY Giants||Baltimore|
|XXXIV||St Louis vs Tennessee||Tails||St Louis||St Louis|
|XXXIII||Atlanta vs Denver||Tails||Atlanta||Denver|
|XXXII||Green Bay vs Denver||Tails||Green Bay||Denver|
|XXXI||New England vs Green Bay||Heads||New England||Green Bay|
|XXX||Dallas vs Pittsburgh||Tails||Dallas||Dallas|
|XXIX||San Francisco vs San Diego||Heads||San Francisco||San Francisco|
|XXVIII||Dallas vs Buffalo||Tails||Dallas||Dallas|
|XXVII||Buffalo vs Dallas||Heads||Buffalo||Dallas|
|XXVI||Washington vs Buffalo||Heads||Washington||Washington|
|XXV||Buffalo vs NY Giants||Heads||Buffalo||NY Giants|
|XXIV||Denver vs San Francisco||Heads||Denver||San Francisco|
|XXIII||San Francisco vs Cincinnati||Tails||San Francisco||San Francisco|
|XXII||Washington vs Denver||Heads||Washington||Washington|
|XXI||Denver vs NY Giants||Tails||Denver||NY Giants|
|XX||Chicago vs New England||Tails||Chicago||Chicago|
|XIX||San Francisco vs Miami||Tails||San Francisco||San Francisco|
|XVIII||LA Raiders vs Washington||Heads||LA Raiders||LA Raiders|
|XVII||Miami vs Washington||Tails||Miami||Washington|
|XVI||San Francisco vs Cincinnati||Tails||San Francisco||San Francisco|
|XV||Philadelphia vs Oakland||Tails||Philadelphia||Oakland|
|XIV||LA Rams vs Pittsburgh||Heads||LA Rams||Pittsburgh|
|XIII||Dallas vs Pittsburgh||Heads||Dallas||Pittsburgh|
|XII||Dallas vs Denver||Heads||Dallas||Dallas|
|XI||Oakland vs Minnesota||Tails||Oakland||Oakland|
|X||Dallas vs Pittsburgh||Heads||Dallas||Pittsburgh|
|IX||Pittsburgh vs Minnesota||Tails||Pittsburgh||Pittsburgh|
|VIII||Miami vs Minnesota||Heads||Miami||Miami|
|VII||Miami vs Washington||Heads||Miami||Miami|
|VI||Miami vs Dallas||Heads||Miami||Dallas|
|V||Dallas vs Baltimore||Tails||Dallas||Baltimore|
|IV||Minnesota vs Kansas City||Tails||Minnesota||Kansas City|
|III||NY Jets vs Baltimore||Heads||NY Jets||NY Jets|
|II||Green Bay vs Oakland||Tails||Oakland||Green Bay|
|I||Green Bay vs Kansas City||Heads||Green Bay||Green Bay|
The New Orleans Saints were on a roll to start the 2013 NFL season. The team was 7-1 after only losing to the New England Patriots by a field goal.
This left Luke Pergande in a quandary. While working for Bloomberg in San Francisco, he’d visited Las Vegas over Labor Day and bet $100 on the Saints to win the Super Bowl at odds of 50-1.
The Saints’ odds had dropped to 15-1 by November.
Hoping to secure some winnings on a ticket that may eventually be worthless, he called a friend.
“Where can I sell this ticket?” Pergande asked his friend, Ian Epstein. The two met at the University of Arizona.
“Nowhere,” said Epstein, who worked for Arizona’s largest sportsbook CG Technology.
Both began discussing the possibility of reselling betting tickets and even creating a marketplace for bettors to buy and sell — kind of an eBay or Craigslist for sports wagers.
Pergande and Epstein were soon contacting lawyers; 14 out of 15 told them their idea wouldn’t work.
The 15th, however, believed their idea was legal and could succeed.
The duo began working on a plan and found a developer to build a prototype.
Once the gaming commission approved the concept, Pergande and Epstein left their jobs and headed to Las Vegas — and PropSwap was born.
Betting and bargains
Listing a bet or purchasing someone else’s on PropSwap is simple. A new user creates an account and then has access to list or buy tickets.
The company has processes in place to make sure a buyer receives his or her ticket and a seller receives payment. PropSwap even offers resources to help sellers determine the fair market value.
For example, a bettor may have placed a $100 wager on the Kansas City Chiefs to win the Super Bowl at 40-1 before the season and now the odds are around 4-1. The Chiefs have had a huge season, but winning a Super Bowl is definitely not assured. The bettor can offer that ticket for sale and still bank some cash no matter the turnout.
“You can make your money today off a great pick you made back in August,” Pergande said.
“Without us, you’d have to wait until February to get paid and only if they win. We all know New Orleans or New England may have something to say about that. And what if, God forbid, Patrick Mahomes gets injured? It’s sports; injuries happen all the time.”
Average tickets sell for about 10 times what a bettor paid. That $100 bet turns into about $1,000 — not a bad payday for a Super Bowl payout that isn’t a certainty. Betting slips are kept locally after a sale.
The service benefits buyers because they can get better odds on a wager than they could currently get at a casino. The service collects a 10 percent fee on sale prices.
A quick look at the PropSwap marketplace provides a glimpse of numerous bets listed for sale from several sports.
A prop bet on Patrick Mahomes to lead the NFL in passing yards would pay out $2,550, but is available for only $1,111.
Looking to bet on Kansas Jayhawks to win the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship? A chance to win $500 is available for $60, odds of a bit over 7-1.
With the recent legalization of sports betting in other states, Pergande and Epstein have a business that seems to be in a position to grow.
After building the business for three years in Las Vegas, Pergande has moved to New Jersey while his partner manages operations in Nevada.
“This concept is great for the casinos because their customers now have an insurance policy for their bets,” Pergande said.
“Customers can sell bets for a loss, too. We’ve seen guys sell their Eagles Super Bowl Bowl bets already this year who don’t have a good feeling they’ll repeat.”
Pergande offers a few success stories.
The Vegas Golden Knights were the talk of the hockey world last season, and one bettor wagered $300 on the Knights at 100-1 to win the Stanley Cup — an opportunity for a payout of $30,000. He sold it for $12,600 before Game 1. The Knights ultimately lost to the Washington Capitals and that bet would have paid nothing.
One bettor placed a wager on the Bills to win less than 6.5 games. Buffalo was 4-8 and would need to finish 3-1 for the bet to be a loser (probably not going to happen). Even so, the ticket owner needed some Christmas money and listed the ticket for $1,650 even though it would actually pay out $1,833. The logic?
“The buyer is happy to pay the $1,650 today, to collect in January once the regular season ends,” Pergande said. “He is going to make an 11 percent return in two months.”
So far, buyers have been easier to attract than sellers but that might change with more legalized sports betting.
The company has found two issues that deter bettors from listing a ticket for sale. One of those Pergande termed an “endowment effect,” where players just don’t like selling what they own, believing their possessions have a greater value than what they’re actually worth.
Another issue is a “regret avoidance effect,” where no one wants to be the one who sold a winning ticket.
An additional challenge is awareness and PropSwap is hoping to change that.
“Many people don’t realize that once they make a bet,” Pergande said, “they can immediately list it for sale using our app.”
Don’t want to wait on that $100 Chiefs wager at 10-1? With odds now in the 4-1 ballpark, it might be time to cash in for a few hundred bucks.
As more states begin legalizing sports betting, sports books are looking to attract gamblers with new and innovative product offerings. DraftKings Sportsbook announced Thursday that it has unveiled Sportsbook Pools, borrowing a concept from its daily fantasy sports offerings.
The new product, currently on available in New Jersey, is intended to appeal to more casual sports wagering fans and is similar to games among coworkers in office pools. Company officials expect it to be the first in a continuing attempt to offer players new gaming options. The new offering may signal a trend that has also been seen in online poker through the years, adding more betting options and varieties to keep players wagering.
Jump in the pool
The Sportsbook Pool format allows a group of players to make picks from certain games with the competitors battling it out for the top prize. A player who might not be a strict follower of betting lines or the over/under may be more prone to make game selections in a pool. It’s an easy wager and makes following those games on a Saturday or Sunday a bit more enjoyable.
“Millions of Americans have been playing in sports pools for years with their friends and coworkers, and now one of the most popular ways that fans can get skin in the game is live on DraftKings Sportsbook,” said Matt Kalish, chief revenue officer and company co-founder.
Players outside NJ may not be able to wager but can preview Sportsbook Pools in the DraftKings betting app. The site’s inaugural contest for players in New Jersey features a $20 entry with $200,000 in prizes. That includes a $100,000 jackpot shared among those who select all Sunday and Monday NFL Week 10 games correctly. The contest doesn’t only award perfect selectors with payouts, but also those who nail 12 and 11 picks as well.
“DraftKings Sportsbook Pools feature simple predictions, such as picking the winner of each NFL game weekly, combined with the potential to win jackpot-style prizes,” Kalish says. “This product will unquestionably make every game more exciting for DraftKings Sportsbook players of all levels.”
The new addition is expected to be the first of several rolled out by companies like DraftKings looking to innovate within the sports betting space as they attempt to distinguish themselves and reach out to different levels of players.
Other companies like BetStars, the sports book arm of PokerStars, are offering “odds boosts” and other promotions. FanDuel Sportsbook is offering limited “NBA Overtime Heartbreak” insurance as well as NFL Big Win Bonus for moneyline bets where a pick wins by 14 points or more.
But beyond promotions on traditional sports betting, Sportsbook Pools points to innovations in how players bet on games.
Even the new Alliance of American Football has embraced betting and fantasy football and sees these games as keys to its success and survival. The league itself hopes to offer new betting options within its own app, partnering with MGM as its gambling partner and promising plenty of innovations in live betting and fantasy.
Similar ideas were recently unveiled at the Global Gaming Expo, with companies unveiling new technology for in-game betting. For example, IGT debuted its new CrystalBetting Terminal allowing for bettors to view their preferred games and bet right on screen.
DraftKings is also working on a feature so players can create their own pools. A bettor could create a pool and invite 10 buddies to play. The company is even considering traditional football squares and shotgun pot options.
As the landscape continues to change and more legal jurisdictions open up, it will be interesting to see what the legalized sports book plan to attract more gamblers.
The sportsbooks took it on the chin over the weekend with the public-heavy NFL sides going 11-0 against the spread. Three crucial wins by the Chiefs, Vikings, and Steelers on Sunday led to some heavy losses for Vegas and other sportsbooks around the country. Beyond those losses, there were some interesting parlays cashed over the weekend. In this article, we take a look at some interesting wins.
Estimates put the Vegas books at losing as much as $10 million over the weekend and that included some big exotic wagers. ESPN’s Darren Rovell noted one big win at the Silver Sevens Casino — a $20 parlay earning one lucky better $13,236. Like most, the win included legs on the Chiefs, Vikings, and Steelers.
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) November 5, 2018
The wager included a few over/under picks also and even a college football bet on Syracuse, which handily covered the 6.5-point spread in a win over Wake Forest. Amazingly, none of the games were even that close, making for a nice score of a 662-to-1 return on investment.
The big scores continued and William Hill noted many big winners – even several who earned big bucks for low-roller wagers. A $5 parlay with six legs placed at Siegel Slots and Suites in Vegas brought a payday of $3,500.
Check out this $5 6-Leg #ProFootball Pleaser #Parlay that cashed at the William Hill Sports Book inside Siegel Slots & Suites for $3,500 (700/1 odds) when all 6 pleaser point lines covered on Sunday (11/4/18).
— William Hill US (@WilliamHillUS) November 6, 2018
At Rail City Casino in Sparks, Nevada, a $2 wager on an 11-leg parlay brought one player a $2,800 score. No doubt there were plenty of sparks in the sports book as he collected his cash.
— William Hill US (@WilliamHillUS) November 6, 2018
Luke Jett, of Gardner, Illinois, visited Las Vegas for the first time over the weekend. Just an occasional sports gambler, he was on a trip with his girlfriend and some of her family. As the NFL games approached, a friend showed him a bit about how to place a parlay bet. Jett knew the 10 teams he wanted but wasn’t sure how to place the bet.
With ticket in hand from the Flamingo sportsbook, he settled in for the action. The results? His $10 bet turned into a sweet $7,000. He now plans to save some of those winnings and use some for another vacation.
— Luke Jett (@LukeJett) November 5, 2018
The bet on the Miami Dolphins proved to be particularly nerve-wracking with the Miami quarterback struggling against the lowly Jets.
“I got really lucky,” he says. “It’s nice having a cool story from Vegas. I’m never betting on Brock Osweiler to cover -3.5 again, I can tell you that.”
Better than a hat trick
One Vancouver hockey fan showed some real expertise by notching a $30 seven-team NHL parlay beginning on Halloween and continuing on Nov. 1. The win brought a $6,100 win. The bet was placed on PlayNow, which is the official sports betting site of the British Columbia lottery.
Ryan W. of Vancouver was all about the underdogs last week and it paid off! Ryan turned a $30 wager into $6,111.31 in winnings on a 7-way NHL Parlay that started with the #Canucks defeating the Blackhawks at home on Halloween and continued the next day with six big wins! pic.twitter.com/VOBWYvFtyr
— PlayNow/SportsAction (@PlayNowSports) November 5, 2018
The NFL may have gotten the best of the books and much of the news in the sports betting world, but a couple nice college parlays also stand out. One bettor at Eureka Casino in Mesquite, Nevada, turned $5 into $4,000 with a 10-team parlay win. Most of the legs came easily, even Clemson’s 38.5-point spread. The Tigers whacked Louisville 77-16.
This $5 #CollegeFootball 10-Leg Parlay Card 🏈 turned into $4,000 💰(800 for 1) when all ten teams covered the point spread on Saturday (11/3/18).
— William Hill US (@WilliamHillUS) November 5, 2018
The Casino Royale is known as one of the cheapest places on the Vegas Strip to buy a beer. Until late last year, an ice-cold Michelob could be had for $1. The casino attracts a budget betting crowd and low rollers enjoy the $3 craps and $5 single-deck blackjack.
— William Hill US (@WilliamHillUS) November 5, 2018
Sadly, the Michelob price was moved to $2 last year. Over the weekend, one gambler wagered the price of just one of those Michelobs on an 11-team parlay mostly on college football. It was a huge win and brought the gambler a score of $2,800. The winner now has the option of heading back to the Royale and a few friends 1,400 beers. Cheers!