So … What Was Up With The FanDuel Sportsbook Vig On Opening Day?

Written By Marc Meltzer on July 16, 2018
FanDuel Sportsbook

There was excitement when the FanDuel sportsbook opened at the Meadowlands over the weekend. The new sportsbook in East Rutherford, New Jersey is the closest to New York City. Since FanDuel is owned by European bookmaker Paddy Power Betfair there was a lot of anticipation for a new sportsbook operator to offer fair lines in the United States. That excitement diminished quickly when lines started to leak out.


That’s a pretty large vig for lines in Major League Baseball games. Twitter blew up. It was almost like the first born child was taken away from every household. STOP THE PRESSES! FU FANDUEL! Suck it Paddy Power! You’re the Devil! The DEVILLLLLLLL!

FanDuel may have been listening to the many complaints online because their week one NFL game point spreads are all available for the traditional -110. The baseball game spreads aren’t great but they opened better on the second day of business.

We can all agree that bad lines suck and nobody should offer them. In a perfect world, every sportsbook or bookie will offer a fair line and take any wager. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.

It’s not personal, it’s just business

Investopedia describes a free market as “an economic system based on supply and demand…”

If there are customers willing to pay more for their legal sports wager they can do that. If saving 20 cents on a line is that important to sports bettors in Northern New Jersey they can still bet illegally or drive 45 minutes or so to Monmouth Park for William Hill lines. When those lines aren’t good enough, MGM Resorts sportsbook at Borgata is about another 90 minutes south. Of course, there’s always the local bookie that might offer the best lines.

FanDuel and any business for that matter have a right to charge whatever they want for their product or service. Likewise, customers have the right to shop around and buy from any location that works for them. Sports bettors can speak with their money and possibly make FanDuel change their high vig on baseball games.

Businesses like FanDuel will adjust their strategy to keep the customer base they want and need in order to make money. That’s their right as a business owner. It appears as though they may have made some adjustments after the first day.

Shopping around is free

Experienced sports bettors are a savvy bunch and know to shop around for the best lines. However, there are plenty of less experienced bettors that don’t know or care about how much the sportsbook operator is making on average. They just want to have a little action on their favorite team.

Customers in New Jersey and surrounding areas have three legal sportsbook operators to choose from and there are more on the way. There are also plenty of guys willing to take action illegally. Further, there are offshore options available to a different gambler. Customers can shop around and bet with the retail option that works best for them. It’s no different than buying a TV.

Helping the less experienced bettors

It’s easy to get caught up in the frustration of bad sportsbook operators. However, complaining doesn’t help educate the guy that would rather play a $5 10-team parlay with bad lines than a single dime line MLB game.

This is an opportunity for the experienced gamblers to teach the noobz why bad lines are bad. Maybe there’s a local sportsbook operator where they can get good lines. What’s the saying? “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

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Marc Meltzer

Marc Meltzer grew up on the mean streets of the South Bronx. He's the rare combination of Yankees and Jets fan which explains his often contrarian point of view. Marc is a freelance writer and social media consultant. Writing about steak, booze, gambling and Las Vegas is a tough job but somebody has to do it.

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