Imagine walking down the street — every day — and there being dollar bills littered about. You’d certainly take a moment to pick those up, wouldn’t you?
I certainly would. In fact, that’s usually how I start my day. In this case, however, the “street” are the 20-odd sportsbooks in New Jersey, and the “dollar bills” are arbitrage opportunities. Basically, I look at the odds boosts across the sites and see if there’s an opportunity to arb them and start my day with a few free dollars. I don’t keep track, but most days I’m pocketing at least ten bucks, sometimes significantly more. It makes losing in DFS GPPs that night much easier to handle.
So when I first took OddsJam — a betting tools website — for a spin, the first thing that popped out at me was their arbitrage page. In short: The nascent company started by a handful of Stanford grads is constantly running through a mind-boggling array of different markets every 10 seconds at sportsbooks around the globe in an effort to very simply point out arbitrage opportunities.
Another live one (seriously, go sign up for @OddsJam):
BR vs MGM.
— Arbitrage Papí (@ArbitragePapi) September 5, 2021
“We’re processing about a million odds every 10 seconds,” said Alexander Monahan, the co-founder and COO. “In an average week, there are about 5,000 arbitrage opportunities. We will display everything, all the way down to .001%.”
The arbitrage opportunities are listed in ROI order, so subscribers — the basic plan is $79 per month — can easily see where the money is at. Monahan said if you bet every single arbitrage opportunity presented, it would net an average return of a little less than 1%.
“We’re talking 75,000 odds at any one time, and it’s not a high percentage of markets that have arbitrage opportunities. It’s a small fraction, but based on how many markets there are and how many books, there’s just a ton of opportunity,” he said.
But wait, there’s more
And it’s not just arbitrage opportunities at OddsJam — it’s a full suite of betting tools, from bet tracking to calculators to one of, if not the most, exhaustive collection of odds out there. Pick a game, and it will take you to a page where every prop listed by the books is accessible to click and compare. Line shopping made easy, in short.
“OddsJam provides tools to add value to users’ lives,” Monahan said. “The quantity of sportsbooks is insane, the amount of data these sportsbooks have is insane. Like DraftKings, if you look at their site, in just one MLB game you have like 500 odds, alternate run lines, alternate props, everything. We compile it all and break it down.”
If it sounds like this start-up is trying to knock on the door of Don Best, well … that’s because it is. OddsJam has an “industry” plan that is even more robust.
“We are competing with Don Best directly, and we already have some customers who use the product and say it compares favorably,” Monahan said.
But while Monahan and company would love to become the default screen for professional bettors, the company’s mission and immediate goal is to help educate us non-pros and help us to squeeze a few shekels out of the sportsbooks’ pocketbooks.
Teach a man to fish
Funny how every person who claims to be a "pro" bettor ends up starting a company to sell advice. Guess they didn't make much money betting…
— OddsJam (@OddsJam) August 21, 2021
“How can we teach people these basic concepts, like line shopping, getting the best odds, finding arbitrage opportunities?” Monahan said. “It seems pretty intuitive to people who recognize it. I mean, if you go to the store and there are three cans of the same exact soup but one is being offered for a dollar cheaper, you take that can of soup. But there is very little, if any, good information out there [in the sports betting space]. A lot of sports betting content is handicapping, not the mathematical bent like you get in DFS stuff, and largely run by handicappers who aren’t making money and are selling picks. It’s hard to find good content and good tools.”
For Monahan, 25, this realization came as he was working on Wall Street as a trader and saw many of his work friends and associates get into the world of legalized sports betting. They all noted the lack of analytical tools available.
“This isn’t rocket science, but people who use our product are more serious about making money, have more sportsbook accounts, and are more mathematical in their approach,” Monahan said. “We’re for people coming into the sports betting world who are sharp but not professionals, have day jobs, aren’t depending on this for a living, but want some tools. We saw the opportunity there.”