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New Jersey Sports Betting: Which NJ Sportsbook App Is Best For You?

Bill Gelman January 15, 2019
NJ Sportsbook Apps

New Jersey legalized sports betting is expanding at a rapid pace. The sportsbooks available in the Garden State include seven Atlantic City casinos, two racetracks, and eight mobile online products available. And there are more to come.

In this article, we’re going to focus on the mobile apps available in New Jersey. Each of the sites have their strong points, and it really comes down to personal preference and searching for the best odds.

Here is a closer look at the eight options.

DraftKings Sportsbook

Land-based partner: Resorts Atlantic City
Available via: iOS, Android and web browser
Promo: $35 free (no deposit) plus free bet match up to $500 (no promo code needed)

DraftKings, one of two DFS heavyweights to cross over to the sports betting world, surprised many by jumping to the front of the New Jersey mobile sports betting line on Aug. 16 — a full 16 days before MGM went live.

Deposit options are limited compared to others on this list, but PayPal was added as an important option for bettors. The $5 minimum deposit is light on the wallet, but $500 will earn you the full promo amount. Withdrawals are processed via checks and the Resorts casino cage.

Although the apps are separate, users of the DFS and sports betting sites enjoy the benefit of the sites being linked, including a shared wallet.

You can pretty much place a bet on any sport, cricket and darts included. DraftKings offers a complete menu of betting options, including in-play and cash out options.

The betting carousel is extremely user-friendly. And the geolocation technology is top-notch. If you’re not located in NJ, users will not be able to see the lobby. The app automatically logs users out after a short period of inactivity. Wagers can only be placed online as DraftKings does not have a retail operation.

For more information visit our DraftKings Sportsbook review page.

FanDuel Sportsbook

Land-based partner: Meadowlands Racetrack
Available via: iOS, Android and web browser
Promo: Risk-free bet up to $500 for new bettors

FanDuel, another big-time player in the DFS world, merged with Paddy Power Betfair’s U.S. operations, resulting in the “largest online sports destination in the United States.” Name recognition is key, and so is having a strong sportsbook app.

There are several deposit and withdrawal options at FanDuel Sportsbook, making it easy to get in the action. The promo bonus is enough to attract attention, but several others are offering higher amounts.

Bettors can wager on all of the popular sports, and those not quite as popular. The full menu of betting options includes everything from moneyline to round robins, and of course the previously talked about in-play betting.

The live scoreboard feature allows users to track wagers and updated odds, with easy links to in-game bets. Sports betting rookies can take advantage of the informative FanDuel training camp.

For more information visit our FanDuel Sportsbook review page.

BetStars Sportsbook

Land-based partner: Resorts
Available via: iOS, Android; web browser in the works
Promo: New players earn up to $500 in free bets

The sports betting product is the newest under the Stars Group umbrella, joining the already established PokerStars NJ and PokerStars Casino.

The eight deposit methods ($10 minimum) include VISA, MasterCard, PayNearMe, eCheck, and casino cage, offering plenty of customer convenience. There are five withdrawal options.

Wagers are accepted on all the popular sports — football, basketball, baseball, hockey, soccer — and less popular sports such as tennis and cycling. Besides the popular wager options, there are in-game betting and cash out options. Odds boosts are available daily.

Users of the multiple Stars Group platforms have access to a shared wallet available to use in poker/casino and sports betting apps.

The iOS PokerStars NJ app highlights popular games with betting options and other sports posted above. The downside is bets cannot currently be placed via the web browser.

For more information, visit our BetStars how-to guide.

Caesars Sportsbook

Land-based partner: Caesars Atlantic City
Available via: Android, iOS and web browser
Promo: $25 free

One thing missing from the Caesars Atlantic City property is a retail sportsbook. But sister properties Harrah’s and the connected Bally’s do have one. The flagship property took a different route by rolling out its mobile/online product first, and it’s combined with the previously existing casino app.

Besides the eight deposit methods, the lobby features a full menu of sports wagers grouped by sport, MLB, NBA and NCAA football games take center stage, but it’s easy to filter personal preferences.

Bettors will find money lines, point spreads, parlays, futures, teasers, and props, but in-game and cash out features are not included at this time.

Total Rewards members will enjoy the added perk of earning tier credits.

SugarHouse Sportsbook and Casino

Land-based partner: Golden Nugget Atlantic City
Available via: Android, iOS and web browser
Promo: First deposit match up to $250 (Use promo code PLAY250)

The brick-and-mortar SugarHouse calls Philadelphia home, but the digital version is holding its own in New Jersey thanks to its strong affiliation with the Golden Nugget — the state’s Internet/mobile gaming leader. As an added bonus the sportsbook is built into the previously existing casino app (featuring more than 450 table games and slots) for an all-in-one package with a shared wallet.

Users will enjoy the 10 deposit options — four of which can be used for withdrawals. All of the popular American sports are on the board with a variety of betting options available — jackpot parlay included. Everything is easily accessible via the very busy looking lobby, which may be distracting to some as a result of the rotating promo ads and news feed.

Operator Rush Street Interactive has played up the strength of its live betting options for football games with more than 300 offers available the first week of the NFL season. Cash Out option is available, too.

For more information, visit our SugarHouse how-to guide.

888sport

Land-based partner: Caesars Atlantic City
Available via: Android and web browser (iOS coming soon)
Promo: $10 Free Bonus (no deposit needed); First deposit match up to $500

888 Holdings continues to go all in with its New Jersey mobile/online offerings as 888sport joins 888poker and 888 Casino. 888 bills its sports betting platform as “among the finest in the world.” It was the seventh sports betting platform to go live in NJ. Users have access to a shared wallet between sports betting, poker, and casino.

Customers can choose between eight deposit options along with five withdrawal methods. The welcome promo is currently among the best being offered.

There is a full menu of popular pro and international sports all types of wagers available, in-game betting included. Everything is easily accessible from the lobby that includes a running scoreboard of current games.

iOS users will need to wait a tad longer as the web browser still has the “coming soon message.”

For more information, visit our 888sport how-to guide.

William Hill

Land-based partners: Monmouth Park and Ocean Casino Resort
Available via: Android, iOS and web browser
Promo: $50 cash after reaching $50 in total bets

William Hill is investing heavily in New Jersey with retail operations at Monmouth Park (where New Jersey’s first legal sports bet was accepted) and Ocean Casino Resort, with another one in the works at the Tropicana.

William Hill’s hard push in NJ comes as no surprise being that they bill themselves as “America’s sports betting leader.” Besides operating 100-plus sportsbooks in Nevada, the company rolled out the New Jersey version of its Android and web browser platforms in time for the NFL season. The iOS app was launched in late September 2018.

The deposit and withdrawal methods are a bit limited compared to some competitors, but William Hill has been doing this for a long time, so the system is working. All of the major sports are on the board with a full variety of betting options, live betting included. Everything is easily accessible from the lobby.

The welcome promo is not as attractive as others — $50 in free money compared to much larger deposit matches at 888sport, BetStars and DraftKings.

Web browser users may experience some confusion if connected to the informational williamhill.us/new-jersey website, which includes links to the Nevada version of the app. Customer service representatives are in hand to help resolve the issue. Instead of searching Google Play, Android users will have an easier time downloading the app via nj.us.williamhill.com/betting/en-us.

playMGM Sportsbook

Land-based partner: Borgata
Available via: Android devices
Promo: None at this time

The Borgata is the top-performing casino in Atlantic City and is regularly ahead of the pack with its offerings. The MGM-owned property was ready to go with its retail operation the first day sports bets were accepted in New Jersey. Some were likely surprised that the playMGM Sports Android app was not the first to launch. For now, it’s completely separate from the casino and poker apps.

While MGM has name recognition, the app seems extremely basic compared to the Las Vegas version that is designed with strong graphics. The betting options are displayed within the individual sports menus. Users will not be able to access the lobby without creating/logging into account — another difference from the Las Vegas version. No deposit is required to check out the app.

Seven available deposit options make it easy to get in the game.

The biggest remaining question is when, as in when will the app be available to iOS and web browser users? Combined with a lack of a promo offer, bettors may find others options on this list more attractive.

Top DFS And Handicapping Minds Talk DraftKings’ Sports Betting National Championship

Juan Carlos Blanco January 11, 2019
DK Sports Betting Championship

Much like the company hosting the event, there are plenty of participants in this coming weekend’s DraftKings’ Sports Betting National Championship looking to replicate their daily fantasy sports (DFS) success in the sports betting realm.

The most prominent might well be Alex Baker, much better known in DFS circles as “Awesemo.”

Baker currently has the ranking of No. 1 DFS player in the world, by industry site RotoGrinders.

Therefore, he’s no stranger to live, high-stakes bashes, which DraftKings’ Sports Betting Championship promises to be. Last month, Baker held three seats in DraftKings’ DFS NFL Live Final.

Just a couple of months prior, he was a four-time qualifier in the site’s MLB Live Final. That was the second time he’d accomplished the feat; Baker snagged the same number of seats for the NBA season-ending extravaganza last spring as well.

Baker boasted a similarly prolific body of work in the prior two years, too.

His DFS success across multiple sports — he also currently ranks in the top five in PGA and NHL, and in the top 75 in MMA — should serve him well in an event where contestants will be free to wager on a wide variety of games until Sunday when the event draws to a close.

That same day, contest participants must plunk down at least $2,000 on markets for the Chargers versus Patriots, and Eagles versus Saints during NFL’s divisional round. None of the other sporting events unfolding that day qualify with respect to the contest’s leaderboard.

An aggressive approach will be key

Given his overall success, the fact that Baker holds a seat to the single-entry event is far from shocking. He won his way in through a $225 NFL qualifier contest this fall. If that wouldn’t have worked out, he was ready to foot the $10,000 direct buy-in to get in on the action.

In a conversation with TheLines.com, Baker elaborated on his overall outlook heading into the first-of-its-kind event.

Naturally, he wasn’t overly revealing when it comes to the more granular aspects of his planned strategy.

But, Baker did affirm his belief that anything resembling a cautious approach simply ain’t gonna cut it with regards to securing the $1 million grand prize — the amount awarded to the participant with the largest bankroll by weekend’s end.

“I think you have to take a very high-variance approach with nearly half the money going to first,” Baker said. “You also have to place as many bets as possible to increase your bankroll exponentially.”

Given that all bet types, live betting and cash-outs are considered eligible wagers as per DraftKings’ official rules, there’s no shortage of options through which to achieve that goal.

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Will DFS skills play a role?

How much can Baker’s DFS talent help in this weekend’s sports betting-focused event? In his view, there’s a certain degree of overlap; yet, there are also enough differences to make it an unchartered territory.

Granted, he’s not a sports betting novice by any stretch. Baker concedes to having “dabbled some” in sportsbooks in the past. There’s also plenty of synergy with DFS when it comes to the type of research involved before decision-making.

Much like in DFS, “everyone will be using the best estimation of what happened in the past to try and predict what will happen in the future,” said Baker.

Having built player models for DFS purposes with success for multiple years, Baker is beyond well-equipped in this regard.

However, there’s naturally a gulf between assessing potential individual production as opposed to attempting to predict a team-centered outcome. Then, figuring out whether a point spread or projected total is exploitable is an even more precise practice.

The area where DFS acumen could move the needle the most may be in individual player props. An expert statistical modeler, the caliber of Baker, could certainly leverage his or her skills in predicting individual performance to achieve substantial success with such bet types.

Regarding contest structure, Baker is very much on board with the aforementioned rule that all Sunday wagering is exclusive to NFL’s divisional playoff games.

In fact, the long-tenured DFS live final participant thinks the structure could allow the Sports Betting National Championship to trump those events in terms of last-minute fireworks.

“In DFS live finals, everyone sets their lineup before lock, and then you wait it out,” remarked Baker. “This will be a fluid situation with all the bets that can be placed as the games go on.”

Prominent handicapper offers his view

Having obtained the valued perspective of the DFS industry’s most successful pro — one that also happens to be one of the event’s participants — TheLines.com reached out to a professional handicapper for his take on the Sports Betting National Championship.

Jon Price, of Sports Information Traders, has been a prominent name in sports betting for many years. He’s hit on several six- and seven-figure wagers in multiple sports while also heading up his renowned “sports investment service.”

While the Sports Betting National Championship has been the recipient of some social media flack, Price lauds the event as a positive that sets up as a formidable test to its participants’ sports betting skills.

“Specifically, this will require more than general knowledge in handicapping, but also the DK fantasy props will provide a challenge to those contestants who don’t normally play fantasy and vice versa for those adept at individual player props,” Price said.

“Also, the idea that all sports are included will definitely create some opportunities (for) professional handicappers who have their niche sport. This is one event that truly does require thought, skill and most importantly, bankroll preparation and execution.”

Will Potential Overlay Entice Bettors To Enter DraftKings’ Sports Betting National Championship?

Juan Carlos Blanco January 8, 2019
DraftKings Sports Betting

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:

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!

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2020 College Football Futures: Clemson, Alabama Early Favorites

Chops January 8, 2019
Clemson Alabama

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.

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College Football Futures Odds 2019-20

(Odds updated 1/17/19)

TeamFanDuelDraftKingsWestgate
Clemson+250+200+180
Alabama+200+200+250
Ohio State+1400+700+1200
Michigan+2000+1600+1400
Georgia+750+800+1200
Oklahoma+1600+1600+1500
Texas+3400+5000+2000
Nebraska+8000+20000+2500
Washington+6500+5000+2500
Florida+3500+2500+2500
Notre Dame+5000+3300+2500
Oregon+5000+5000+3000
Wisconsin+5000+8000+5000
LSU+5000+2500+5000
Mississippi State+10000+5000+5000
Auburn+6500+2800+5000
Miami (FL)+5000+15000+8000
Utah+16000+10000+8000
USC+12000+10000+8000
Texas A&M+16000+5000+8000
Virginia Tech+16000+12500+10000
Penn State+5000+4000+10000
Iowa+16000+15000+10000
Florida State+8000+10000+10000
Iowa State+16000+15000+20000
Oklahoma State+10000+8000+20000
Michigan State+6500+5000+20000
Purdue+10000+20000+20000
Washington State+12000+8000+20000
Stanford+6500+10000+20000
Arizona+23000+25000+20000
UCLA+23000+15000+20000
TCU+16000+10000+20000
Baylor+23000+15000+20000
Syracuse+23000+10000+20000
Northwestern+10000+15000+20000
Arizona State+23000+25000+30000
South Carolina+16000+15000+30000
Missouri+23000+25000+30000
Tennessee+12000+10000+30000
West Virginia+5000+10000+30000
Texas Tech+25000+15000+30000
California+25000+15000+30000
Central Florida+25000+5000+50000
Houston+25000+50000+50000
Virginia+16000+15000+50000
Fresno State+23000+50000+50000
Boise State+25000+15000+50000
Utah State+25000+10000+50000
BYU+25000+25000+50000
Kansas State+25000+50000+50000
Kansas+25000+50000+50000
North Carolina State+16000+8000+50000
Boston College+23000+15000+50000
Louisville+25000+25000+50000
Pittsburgh+25000+20000+100000
Georgia Tech+23000+15000+100000
Duke+25000+50000+100000
Maryland+25000+15000+100000
Minnesota+23000+50000+100000
Colorado+25000+50000+100000
Kentucky+19000+20000+100000
Ole Miss+25000+15000+100000
Arkansas+25000+100000+100000
Wake Forest+25000+15000+200000
North Carolina+25000+15000+200000
Indiana+25000+100000+200000
Vanderbilt+25000+25000+500000
San Diego State+25000+50000+500000
Illinois+25000+100000+1000000
Oregon State+25000+100000+1000000
Nevada+25000+50000+1000000
UNLV+25000+25000+1000000

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DraftKings Sportsbook Boosts First Bet Match To $500

Bart Shirley December 31, 2018
DK Sportsbook

Placing your first bet on any online sportsbook can be intimidating. Thankfully, DraftKings Sportsbook is making sure that new players in New Jersey can ease into sports betting with a free wager to get started.

DraftKings Sportsbook is now offering to match all first bets onsite up to $500. This deal, which is more than double its previous amount of $200, will give players more freedom and flexibility to see how things work.

How the $500 First Bet Match works

This promotion is open to newly-registered DraftKings accounts (here’s a how-to guide to get started). Simply make a first wager and see what happens.

Whether that first bet wins or loses, a Free Bet for the same amount will soon appear in the player’s account. In effect, DraftKings is doubling the bet amount for the first go-round.

There are a couple of caveats, however:

  • The first is the timing of the bet — a player must place his or her wager within 30 days of registration in order for the bet to be eligible.
  • The other issue is that the Free Bet is not a negotiable instrument. Bettors cannot simply exchange the Free Bet for cash – the new money must be put back in play. However, players will keep any winnings from the Free Bet.

This promotion is active right now, but won’t last forever. Players need to be sure to make their first bet by Jan. 21, 2019.

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What new players to DraftKings Sportsbook will find

DraftKings Sportsbook was the first online sportsbook to debut in NJ and it has maintained its dominance through innovative and intuitive design and operation. New players will likely be surprised at how easy it all is.

The first thing that greets players to the mobile site is the betting carousel. This design feature places bet suggestions on a wheel that mobile users can then rotate to see more options.

These suggestions are not just stock opportunities, however. Each player’s betting carousel is customized according to the player’s preferences and betting history.

The result is that no two players will experience the same DraftKings. Instead, each will find prompts for wagers they would be most likely to make, anyway.

DraftKings Sportsbook also offers incredible flexibility with its variety of wagers. Almost every type of bet and betting limit is available for players to craft their betting patterns. There are even betting limits that are less than a dollar.

Players also have options to guard against last-minute defeats or parlay legs that seem unreliable in hindsight. The DraftKings live ticket system allows bettors to cash out their tickets at almost any point during the game(s).

The bottom line is that DraftKings leading the field in New Jersey for a reason. With the site doubling players’ first bets up to $500, there’s no reason not to try out the sportsbook this month.

DraftKings Blazing New Trails With Sports Betting National Championship

Juan Carlos Blanco December 31, 2018
DK Championship

DraftKings got to the top of the DFS mountain by taking some chances and thinking outside the box.

One of the methods by which the industry leader gained notoriety was through its live final events. There have even been full-fledged documentaries memorializing the experience. And while DK wasn’t the first to host one, they arguably have gotten to the point where they pull it off better than anyone else.

The company took a similarly aggressive/innovative approach when entering the sports betting space. Chief Revenue Officer and Co-Founder Matt Kalish made no bones about the company’s goal to become the “best total value operator in sportsbook” as DK officially kicked off its sports betting product in early August.

Bringing a little DFS flavor to the sports betting space

The subsequent months have arguably been an unqualified success by and large for DraftKings Sportsbook, even as it’s still only available in New Jersey. Now, using a little bit of that same ingenuity that they’ve often applied on the DFS front, the company has found a way to hold a first-of-its-kind live final for sports betting that incorporates players from jurisdictions where the activity isn’t yet available.

“At DraftKings, the natural state of things is to look at everything as an opportunity for creativity and disruption,” said Kalish. “We looked at the sportsbook space and saw very little in the way of events. With our history running the biggest and best fantasy events every year, it seemed natural to find a way to bring that kind of experience to the sportsbook space.”

The first annual DraftKings Sports Betting National Championship unfolds in – where else – Jersey City, New Jersey on the weekend of January 11-13. Qualifiers are currently running in the company’s DFS lobby. However, there’s also the option of a direct $10,000 buy-in.

Some of the other logistics of the event include:

  • Each participant begins with a DK-funded $5,000 bankroll.
  • Players must wager at least $1,000 on Friday and Saturday, and at least $2K on Sunday.
  • Wagers can be placed on any sport Friday or Saturday. However, all wagers placed Sunday must exclusively involve the two NFL divisional playoff games unfolding that day.
  • Those requirements must be met in order for participants 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, fantasy props and more” as per Kalish. 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 is crowned the grand prize winner. Subsequent qualifying spots are also determined by bankroll size.
  • The prize pool will be at least $2.5 million, with each direct buy-in above 531 entries increasing the prize pool by $4,700 apiece.
  • Contest is single entry. The event will have a maximum of 1,000 entrants.
  • All players take home the sum 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.

Ensuring a level playing field

The Sports Betting National Championship will naturally have quite a few firsts associated with it. One of those is an educational component not found in DK’s live DFS events.

Despite their many similarities, sports betting – and how it’s laid out in the DK Sportsbook app — is in a completely different stage of familiarity as compared to the company’s DFS product for most that will attend the event, considering:

  • Legal single-game sports betting outside of Nevada is still in its nascent stages.
  • Many qualifiers for the proceedings will be migrating over from the DFS space. While conventional wisdom would dictate most have placed a sports bet before, there will inevitably be at least a handful that are considerably inexperienced.
  • The DK Sportsbook app is only fully operational for New Jersey residents at present. It offers a wealth of potential wagering options – including a suite of in-play bets – that even some experienced players may not have extensive experience with. At minimum, many participants will be navigating the platform for the first time upon their arrival at the event.

Accordingly, the company is trying to ensure that no one is at a disadvantage from a knowledge perspective.

“In addition to the abundance of educational features already included in our easy-to-use app that help better acquaint customers with our product, we’ll be providing additional learning materials to all competitors,” remarked Kalish. “We will also have a fully staffed onsite area at the event for customers with any questions or issues that happen to arise.”

“Method to the madness” in contest rules, structure

As Kalish further explains, there’s sound reasoning behind each of the contest’s rules, even when it’s not evident on the surface. For example, the requirement that all final day bets must be exclusively on football stems from the NFL undoubtedly serving as the U.S. market’s most frequently and lucratively bet sport.

The fact that the NBA and NHL – the other two major sports in action at that point of the year – purposely keep their Sunday slates modest while pro football’s in season also played a role.

And as far as the wagering cut-off time on the contest’s final day? There’s a strategic element at play there as well.

“Closing betting at the kickoff of the last game will allow players and spectators alike to watch the last few hours of action with a clear picture of who could potentially walk away the champion,” Kalish said. “We want the final experience to easily display the necessary turn of events required to crown a winner, adding even more anticipation with each in-game moment.”

From the company perspective, that certainly makes sense. DK is naturally hoping this initial version of the Sports Betting National Championship once again positions it as a trailblazer in a new industry, with all the positives that could bring.

The company’s prior experience facilitating live, high-stakes sports-based gaming events was critical. Devising a final-day contest structure that engenders the type of electricity that’s made DK’s DFS live finals an industry standard was high on the priority list, according to Kalish. Especially for an event that DK certainly has a highly bullish long-term view on.

“Based on our experience with our DFS live finals, which we’ve been hosting since 2014, we think this will lead to a much more focused and exciting conclusion to the event.”

Lead image courtesy of DraftKings

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In-Play Betting, Live Cash Outs Give DraftKings Sportsbook An Interactive Advantage In U.S.

Juan Carlos Blanco December 30, 2018
DraftKings Sportsbook

DraftKings clawed its way to the top of the multimillion-dollar daily fantasy sports industry by maximizing the most visceral appeal of its product — the chance to win large sums of money in a single day. That potentially making any sporting event, regardless of its participants, one of keen interest.

That seductive quality has enticed plenty of sports fans — approximately 10 million of them according to co-founder Matt Kalish — to at least give DraftKings’ daily fantasy sports (DFS) offerings a try at one point or another.

The company kickstarted a new era when DraftKings Sportsbook officially went live Aug. 6. Being the new kid on the block brings plenty of challenges; managing to capture the same level of engagement with the sports betting customer as they do with those on the DFS side is one of the bigger ones.

Spicing up conventional sports betting

Traditional sports betting can be a notably more “static” product than DFS on the surface. Many traditional wagers hinge on end-of-game outcomes. And many bettors may only have action on a handful of contests on, say, a typical NFL Sunday. Conversely, the DFS player could potentially have a stake to some degree in every game being played if they’ve created enough lineups.

Not averse to thinking outside the box, DraftKings Sportsbook has multiple features that allow bettors to have many skins in the game during the game. These are in addition to the conventional array of tried-and-true sports betting options, including:

However, they’ve also literally made every “event within the event” potentially mean something by making all of them wagerable.

Every point in tennis. Every play in a football game. Shoot, every pitch in a baseball game. They all have odds assigned within DraftKings Sportsbook, allowing you to plunk some money down on, say, whether Tom Brady’s next pass successfully finds its target or falls incomplete.

For example, DraftKings Sportsbook offered in-play golf bets on every hole for Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy during the PGA Championship. Bettors could watch live action of those featured players on the PGA Championship app and bet on every shot on the DraftKings Sportsbook app, with the odds changing on the fly.

Having that kind of in-play action certainly helps glue a fair share of eyeballs to a game, not to mention the DraftKings Sportsbook app. And while, admittedly, DK is far from the only operator offering in-game betting (it’s already big in Europe), there’s another innovative feature they can actually claim all their own for the moment — a revolutionary “live ticket” system.

Think sports betting meets day trading, in the purest sense. Except, in this case, you won’t hear a chaotic cacophony of “buy!” and “sell!” — the action all takes place over a matter of seconds within the serenity of a bettor’s smartphone or mobile device.

Simply put, any open bet on DraftKings Sportsbook — even those that fully hinge on end results — can be assigned a value based on what’s happening as the contest unfolds.

In DraftKings Sportsbook, you can monitor that potential value of your wager — which fluctuates as lines adjust for in-game events — and jump off at any point in time you feel is particularly advantageous. A click on the Cash Out button that appears on every open betting ticket is all it takes.

The live ticketing system even applies if you have suddenly second thoughts about taking a stake in multiple games. In other words, you can jump off a parlay just as easily as you can a single-game ticket.

DraftKings Sportsbook becomes the first to offer the live ticket system in the United States, and it’s a feature that could certainly help it carve out a niche in what is already a crowded online sports betting market in New Jersey. The fact that bettors can take advantage of the price they locked in when they opened their betting ticket — particularly when there’s a drastic change in circumstances, such as injury to a key player — is likely to appeal to a sizable segment of the customer base.

FanDuel Sportsbook Expands NJ Betting Menu With Darts, Aussie Rules Football

Grant Lucas December 20, 2018
FanDuel Darts

Hot take: Stephen Hawking was a smart dude. If not only for one thought:

“Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.”

Nobody aspires to be Chumbawamba, a flash-in-the-pan, one-hit wonder. The Foo Fighters’ reputation — with their extensive catalog of hits spanning a generation —  is more desirable.

That’s the goal: Adapt and endure.

In New JerseyFanDuel Sportsbook is doing just that, introducing several new features within its NJ sports betting online platform to allow the operator to stay ahead of the curve. Among them: markets for professional darts and Australian rules football, and a shared wallet with Betfair Casino NJ.

Additionally, as best it can, FanDuel remains in stride with its chief competitors in the Garden State, particularly DraftKings Sportsbook.

New markets hit FanDuel Sportsbook

Certainly the load of FanDuel’s handle and revenue stems from the major sports leagues: NFLNBAMLBNHL, even NCAA football and men’s basketball.

FanDuel, though, has expanded its offerings.

The sportsbook recently rolled out markets for PDC darts (the professional circuit) and Australian rules football. While such niche sports likely won’t generate a significant or even notable bump in revenue, FanDuel casts a wider net. As a result, the sportsbook becomes one of a select few operations with such variety.

Of the seven other online sportsbooks in New Jersey, four offer darts: BetStars, DraftKings, SugarHouse Sportsbook, and 888 Sportsbook NJ.

Fewer operators feature Australian rules lines, as only three (all Kambi Group clients) include the sport: DraftKings, SugarHouse and 888.

FanDuel promoting online casino

Over the summer, Paddy Power Betfair completed its acquisition of FanDuel and rebranded its US operation as FanDuel Group.

The new owner runs the online Betfair Casino in New Jersey, and soon after, it seemed as if the online casino would get a makeover complete with FanDuel name and logo.

While that has yet to come to pass, FanDuel has begun promoting Betfair Casino within its sportsbook.

The promotion takes users to the Betfair Casino, which does not promote FanDuel Sportsbook. Still, another innovation could help both platforms enjoy a bump in users.

FanDuel announced that customers could use their sportsbook login information to gain access to Betfair Casino.

Essentially, FanDuel will not have a shared wallet with the online casino, allowing users to navigate seamlessly between the two products. As a result, bettors will have access to hundreds of real-money casino games at Betfair Casino, including blackjackroulette and slots.

FanDuel customers will also be offered a special promotion via Betfair Casino. Bettors will have the ability to play their first day risk-free up to $100 at Betfair. Per FanDuel: “Net losses within the first 24 hours of placing first real money casino wager will be given as casino site credit up to $100.”

On the heels of DraftKings

FanDuel’s newest features come on the heels of DraftKings Sportsbook implementing a preview of blackjack within its mobile app for Android and iOS platforms.

The New Jersey online casino industry has taken off in 2018, as monthly revenue records were set four times since March. Of course, sports betting in the Garden State has enjoyed a similar boom.

In November, sportsbooks in the state took in more than $330 million in wagers, resulting in more than $21 million in gross revenue. Online platforms alone accounted for 72 percent of the sports betting handle.

Yet sportsbooks, particularly FanDuel and DraftKings, the two mobile leaders in New Jersey, have recognized an untapped market within the online casino industry. Now both have avenues into that space, which will potentially make these companies even more powerful in Garden State.

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

FairwayJay December 18, 2018
Seahawks

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.

DraftKings Sportsbook Pools Point To More Sports Betting Industry Innovation

Sean Chaffin December 2, 2018
DraftKings Pools

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.”

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Future innovation

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.