As the recent launch of two sports exchange wagering platforms indicates, consumers are continually searching for more control of their betting journeys.
WagerWire, a secondary marketplace for sports betting futures tickets, has designed an innovative platform that gives bettors the ability to profit off of line movements and momentum swings by buying and selling tickets in their portfolio of assets. The platform allows a user to jump in and out of futures wagers all season, akin to an investor executing stock trades on Robinhood.
As the NFL season kicks into full gear, WagerWire is joining forces with Quarter4, an Ontario-based artificial intelligence-driven predictive sports analytics provider. Under the partnership, WagerWire will utilize Quarter4’s data sets to share game forecasts and player patterns via WagerWire’s social media channels.
“We decided to join forces with WagerWire because of our shared vision of user and bettor empowerment,” Quarter4 CEO Kelly Brooks told Sports Handle. “WagerWire aims to empower users to leverage their bets as assets, creating multiple applications for a bet rather than a singular outcome to make the best decisions.”
A portfolio of futures
Much like a portfolio of stocks on Robinhood, WagerWire allows bettors to track futures wagers in a simple, intuitive fashion. At a given moment, a WagerWire user could have wagers on UCLA to win the national title in men’s basketball, Josh Allen to capture NFL MVP, and the Yankees to win the World Series.
Founded by three former UCLA students, WagerWire’s roots trace to the period immediately after the Supreme Court’s PASPA decision when legalized sports betting began to explode throughout the nation. One night, WagerWire CEO Zach Doctor had a small wager on a game when Travis Geiger arrived shortly after the start. Geiger could have placed a wager on an in-game market, he but didn’t like the odds on the live line. He also considered sending Doctor $50 on Venmo for betting on the other side. Instead, they hatched an idea for a startup.
Geiger, an ardent Bengals fan, points to the team’s run to the most recent Super Bowl as an archetype for the company’s business model. While the Bengals opened the season around 200/1 to win the title, the odds gradually fell as Cincinnati morphed into a contender. The two college buddies also brought on Guy Dotan, a data scientist who handles product delivery and statistical analysis for the company.
They were as long as 200/1 to win the Super Bowl, but are sportsbooks sweating the possibility of the Cincinnati Bengals winning it all?https://t.co/S5EvzzOLXf
— Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) January 31, 2022
WagerWire has developed a “Deal Score” calculator that enables a bettor to gauge whether a potential sale is a fair deal relative to the consensus odds. During the 2018-19 NHL season, the St. Louis Blues opened the campaign slowly with a 7-10-3 start through 20 games. As they were beset by a rash of injuries, the Blues’ odds to win the Stanley Cup reached as high as 300/1.
One Blues fan, however, still had faith in his team. Determined to lock in a wager on the Blues, Scott Berry placed a $400 bet on St. Louis to hoist the cup at 250/1, with a potential payout of $100,000. Somehow, Berry had the intuition to foresee an improbable outcome. The Blues rattled off 13 wins in a 14-game stretch, including a 12-game unbeaten streak.
The models from WagerWire take into account such hot streaks, as the momentum of an extended run may portend a greater possibility for future success. Had WagerWire existed then, the deal score would have provided Berry with a real-time calculation of the ticket’s value.
On PropSwap, another top secondary market for sports betting tickets, Berry received an offer of $40,000 for the ticket days before the Stanley Cup Finals. Instead, Berry opted to let it ride. The decision paid off, as the Blues defeated the Boston Bruins in seven games.
Scott Berry placed a $400 wager on the Blues in January.
He got $100K richer tonight 💰 pic.twitter.com/Jpud70G9HS
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 13, 2019
Integrations into top sportsbooks
If a bettor such as Berry opted to sell the ticket weeks before the Stanley Cup, the funds from the sale would have appeared directly in his sportsbook account. The function gives bettors a plethora of options. A customer can continue betting off the profits, place other futures bets off the winnings, or withdraw the amount in full. Rather than cashing the entire ticket on the Blues, a customer could have rolled over some of the winnings onto the Nationals to capture the World Series. Just like stock trades on Robinhood, a bettor can buy and sell sports futures wagers in an instant.
As with fractional ownership of a stock, WagerWire also allows customers to sell a percentage of the wager while retaining a larger share. A retail trader may not be able to afford 1,000 shares of Apple at $149 a share. Instead, the individual can purchase fractional shares, or a portion of a stock at a fraction of a full share. By the same token, WagerWire allows someone like Berry to sell 20% of his Blues futures ticket while holding onto the rest.
WagerWire also offers a plug-in version where partnering sportsbooks can add the trading function into their mobile app. While a physical trade may be placed on WagerWire, the original bet still sits in the database of a sportsbook such as FanDuel. On the back end, WagerWire will ping the sportsbook with their Application Programming Integration (API) to facilitate the transaction. In this case, FanDuel would still complete the settlement on their end.
“We’re more of a signaling system than anything,” Dotan said.
Here's a great animation from the @WagerWire data team showing the change in Super Bowl payout in the NFC West in '21 pic.twitter.com/HU2JLHko8v
— WagerWire (@WagerWire) September 15, 2022
Only one week into the season, there has been considerable movement on the NFL futures market. On the basis of a dominating win over the Green Bay Packers, the Minnesota Vikings’ Super Bowl odds at FanDuel shortened to +2400 from +4000. Wins by the Philadelphia Eagles and Baltimore Ravens also pushed their odds from +2000 to +1300 and +1600, respectively.
As part of the deal, Quarter4 will provide WagerWire with player and team probabilities, backed by the company’s deep learning neural network. At one point last season, Quarter4’s predictive models reported a 76% accuracy rate for the first month of the college football season. In total, the company has analyzed more than 90,000 games and data from more than 132,000 players while generating probabilities on roughly 21 million sports outcomes.
“Quarter4’s goal is to empower users with predictive analysis that is unique, personalized, and non-biased to make the best decisions,” Brooks said. “Marrying these two ideas puts bettors in the best position possible to make the strongest, strategic, and most informed decisions regarding the outcome of their wagers.”