FanDuel has something to say to its rivals in the NJ online sports betting space: Good things come to those who wait.
At least that’s our impression after a quick glance at FanDuel’s much anticipated New Jersey online sportsbook, which finally entered into a soft launch period over the weekend and is on tap for a full launch ahead of this Sunday’s NFL slate.
The land-based FanDuel Sportsbook has been holding court at the Meadowlands Racetrack since mid-July, but the operator was hardly a first mover in the online sports betting sphere. DraftKings took that honor, becoming first out of the gate with an online/mobile app in early August. PlayMGM and Play Sugarhouse have since followed DK’s lead, with an app from William Hill also entering a testing phase over the holiday weekend.
So no, FanDuel wasn’t first to the party, but it may quickly become the most popular attraction.
(More) competitive pricing
Let’s get this out of way: Betting lines on FanDuel still lag behind those of some Vegas books, at least at times.
We’re overgeneralizing here, but whereas Vegas might offer a dime money line on a MLB game, and DraftKings Sportsbook a 20-cent line on the same game, FanDuel tends to split the difference with a 14-16-cent line.
Certainly, FanDuel’s lines aren’t good enough to send sharps packing their bags for a stay in the Garden State, but they’re fair for a regulated (taxed) market.
NFL Week 1 spreads are the standard 20 cents, with money lines a full tier better than on DraftKings. Listed below are a few randomly selected games, with money lines compared across the two apps:
- ATL v. PHI (-2.5): DK (+115/-139); FD (+116/-132)
- PIT (-3.5) v. CLE: DK (-215/+170); FD (-192/+170)
- TB v. NO (-9.5): DK (+335/-455); FD (+340/-400)
It is very much worth noting that there are instances where DraftKings offers the better odds, especially on exotic bets. For example, for regular season QB passing yards futures, FanDuel comes in at -118 on both sides, while DraftKings offers a more attractive -115. So there will be reason for savvy bettors to spread their business across multiple books.
Betting options galore
FanDuel offers an absolute swarm of betting options. For single MLB games, we witnessed no less than 100 different wagers, including fun longshots like exact score, race to 2-7 runs, lines for 3, 5, and 7 innings, and inning-by-inning results. To elaborate on the latter, players may see something like +800 odds for the White Sox to lead the Yankees 1-0 after one inning, +3600 for the White Sox to lead 3-0 after the first, +12000 for a 3-2 Yankees lead, and +25000 for a 3-3 tie after one.
NFL games had just as many, if not more, single game wagers, plus categories for futures, player futures, team wins, playoffs, and season props. The bets aren’t just on the games. FanDuel also offers odds on who will be the first NFL coach fired, who will win the Heisman Trophy, etc.
To little surprise, in-game betting is a huge part of the package, with players able to bet on something as granular and in-the-moment as who wins the next point in a tennis match.
FanDuel seems to have passed on million-dollar attention-grabbing schemes for its sportsbook, instead focusing on ease of use, especially where payment processing is concerned. While it doesn’t appear that FanDuel’s online sportsbook will share a wallet with its popular daily fantasy site, players should have no problem depositing and withdrawing funds.
For deposits players have the option of:
- Credit/debit card
- FanDuel prepaid card
- ACH (eCheck) – VIP Preferred
- Online bank transfer
For withdrawals, players can choose from any of the aforementioned options, sans PayNearMe, credit/debit cards, and online bank transfers.
Overall, the FanDuel Sportsbook cashier closely resembles that which one may find on a modern NJ online casino site, and that’s by and large a good thing.
- Betting on professional darts, an option at DraftKings, isn’t available on FanDuel. Seems like FD is a bit more conservative when it comes to off-the-beaten-path sports. But players can expect more sports to roll out as time goes by.
- Bettors from outside the state of New Jersey, and even players not currently logged in, can view the lines on FanDuel — they just can’t place real-money wagers. On DraftKings Sportsbook, players cannot view any part of the book unless they’re logged in and geolocated.
John Brennan also contributed to this article.
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