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One Week With FOX Bet: Why It's A Big Deal
14th September, 16:03FOX Bet, live for a little more than a week now in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, has come out of the gate strong with a compelling sports betting app. I have been playing with it for a full week now, experiencing all of it's quirks - good and bad - and I'm here to give some thoughts on why this is such an intriguing option which sets the direction for the way legal sports betting might take off in the United States.
The biggest thing so far with FOX Bet has been the FOX branding. Rupert Murdoch's behemoth becomes the first major media company in United States to have its own sportsbook in the model of SkyBet. But the execution goes much further than that.
The very nature of FOX Bet speaks to how American sports bettors are different.
Go to any sports betting conference in the US over the past 18 months since PASPA was repealed - which effectively legalized sports betting in the United States - and you'll see a flood of Europeans. The reason for this is pretty simple: sports betting and online sports betting has been live in Europe, in various countries, for years. Therefore, many of the technology services and data providers are international companies.
The topic that has dominated the conversation among the oft-foreign crowd has centered on what makes the American sports bettor different from European punters.
So far it's been hard to narrow on an answer, because the American bettor, until last year, was operating underground- they were betting with offshore websites or illegal bookies.
There's Las Vegas, of course, but that is more experiential and really doesn't provide an accurate read of the population at large.
As such, there's been a lot of handwringing about what makes American bettors tick. But no one has seemed to really crack the code.
Their app has doubled down on FOX Sports personalities like Colin Cowherd, Cousin Sal, Clay Travis, and Charissa Thompson.
Each of those people have their own fans and detractors, so it's hard to say how much their presence offering up odds boosts and promotions really compels people to bet. However, the case could be made that even their haters want to fade their picks, and of course call them out on it on social media.
The point is, there is now a tie-in between the people you watch and listen to during the week, and the action you place on Saturdays and Sundays.
This should only be expanded when FOX Bet incorporates more of Terry Bradshaw and their gameday personalities to further synergize FOX Bet with FOX Sports broadcast coverage once some more states have legalized betting.
Still, FOX has capitalized on the American sports media landscape where more is never enough. And they've tied it into the betting experience.
This sort of around the clock, multi-cable-channel sports coverage simply does not exist in Europe, or anywhere on the globe for that matter.
American sports fans are different because we can, and often do, live and breathe sports debates and conversation throughout the week. FOX knows this, and has somehow made you put your money where your mouth is.
The other thing that makes the American sports bettor tick, and something that is constantly pointed out at these conferences, was that American sports fans are interested in stats.
Few Brits will tell you how many goals or penalty kicks or corner kicks Eden Hazard had in February, but there are plenty of American sports fans who can tell you how many consecutive innings Justin Verlander pitched before giving up a run, or how many no-hitters he has thrown. Or what the record is for most touchdown passes as an NFL quarterback.
Thanks to fantasy sports, which are uniquely American, sports fans in the US know a ton about individual stats. And this plays right into prop bets.
Open up FOX Bet and you'll find a slew of odds boosts tied to personalities. But more notably you'll find an incredible array of prop bets that are based on individual players stats.
To their credit, DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook offer this as well, and PointsBet actually allows you to bet on a player's fantasy performance, which is a delicious hybrid. But FOX Bet features a staggering amount of props on not just a single over-under, but incremental stats for major players, particularly in NFL football games.
This combination of personality-driven betting promotions and stats-based prop bets really stands out among the legal sports betting apps.
While it's a highly engaging app, after playing it for a week, some quirks and the rough edges have begun to show.
Live betting is often delayed, and trying to place a live parlay is damn near impossible. Though there are hardly any deal-breaking bugs, an update or two will serve FOX Bet well.
There are other legal betting apps that can better accept your regular bets bets. FanDuel Sportsbook, DraftKings and PointsBet are all good options for placing a simple spread bet, or even a live bet.
But the experience as a whole with FOX Bet is more fun, more engaging, and offers more unique props bets and boosts than we've seen from other sportsbooks.
One may have been a bit concerned at the announcement of FOX Bet that FOX would simply just brand the app and do little more. But that has not been the case. In the early going, FOX has doubled down on its personalities, doubled down on what makes American bettors tick, and offered up an engaging experience. And this is likely only the tip of the iceberg. They're absolutely one to watch.