In recent years, gamblers in the US have the opportunity of both gambling traditionally at an offshore sportsbook and attempting to make a profit through Daily Fantasy Sports. These pursuits offer very different ways of investing hard earned dollars into predicting the outcomes of sporting events, but both offer an exciting way to get involved.
In this article I make a comparison between daily fantasy sports and offshore sportsbooks. Firstly I explain how they work and who you are actually gambling against. I then move onto looking at the key skills you’ll need for each of the two. Finally I consider the overall marketplace for each and the competitiveness of each.
How DFS and Sportbooks Work
When playing Daily Fantasy Sports you’ll enter a tournament of two or more players, where each tournament will have a buy-in amount which can vary from free up to many thousands of dollars. Each entrant will pick a roster of players in your given sport, each player having their own salary. You’ll only be given a certain amount of money to spend on these players. The players will earn points for different achievements in a game and you’ll add the totals of the players together to gain a personal total, which will then rank against other competitors.
A sportsbook will offer odds to users around a sporting event, and the user of the site will decide whether to bet on the event and how much they’ll bet.
This leads to key differences between the two in regards to who you are actually gambling against. In DFS, you are up against other users of the site, the site itself acting as a middle-man taking commission every time you buy into a tournament. When using a sportsbook it’s simply a case of you against the site, with you wanting to win money from the site and the site wanting to make money from you.
Both have their advantages and disadvantages.
When playing DFS, you’ll face a mix of abilities and some of the players will be weak (especially at the lower stakes entry tournaments). If you are indeed better than the average player, you’ll have an edge and if the edge is more than the commission the site takes, you’ll make a profit. However, the site is guaranteed to make a profit.
When betting at a sportsbook you’ll be facing just one competitor, this being a very high quality one in the sportsbook itself, however there is no guarantee that the site will win. A small edge will indeed make you money without having to worry about covering a commission.
Key Skills Required
When playing DFS you’ll be interested in the performances of individual players. This requires a very good feel and understanding of the statistical side of the game and the minor details involved in making up a game. If you’re interested in this side of the game and find yourself good at it, you’ll be able to translate these skills across all DFS games and platforms.
When gambling at a sportsbook you’ll have a much wider range of options, which implies you’ll need a much wider range of skills. However, this is not the case, as the choice is yours when it comes to choosing which type of betting and at which sports - the best gamblers in the industry tending to specialize on one particular sport. So, to succeed at a sportsbook you’ll need to study one individual sport and gain a great overall understanding of the sport.
The Market Place
Competition is always a good thing for customers in any industry and the gambling industry is no different.
Right now the sportsbook industry is a great place for gamblers as there are many companies fighting for your custom. This has led to a scenario where there are many features and promotions available, especially for new users. It also means that customers can shop around the sites ensuring that they’ll be able to gain the best available prices on any particular bet they want to place.
Although there are a host of Daily Fantasy Sports sites in the market, the industry is currently dominated by just two sites – FanDuel and DraftKings. This situation has pros and cons. The advantage is that these two sites are in direct competition and will endeavor to try and outdo the other site by offering similar bonuses to the sportsbooks. However, shopping around for value is not really an option as both sites offer very similar commission structures.
Daily Fantasy Sports v Offshore Sportsbooks – Verdict
Both sportsbooks and DFS sites make healthy profits, so it is going to take a lot of hard work and study to make a profit here whichever you choose. To make a decision on which is your best option is not something I can do – that job is up to you! Choose whichever of the two you either find the most profitable, or that you enjoy more than the other.