Bettor Talks Strategy, Competition Ahead of DraftKings Sports Betting Championship

(USA Today Sports Images)

On Friday in Jersey City, New Jersey, somewhere between 150 and 500 contestants will convene at a warehouse space turned-VIP Sportsbook venue that will host the first ever DraftKings Sports Betting National Championship (SBNC).

As of this past Friday, about 125 people had  entered the event (most of them through qualifiers), which boasts $2.5 million in guaranteed prizes and a $1 million top prize. With just four days until the event begins, there’s a high probability of substantial overlay and some last minute jet setters looking to buy in for $10,000 (of which half would apply to the tournament bankroll).

Basically, every participant will start with a $5K bankroll, and the leaderboard prizes go to whomever amasses the biggest bankroll by the end of Sunday’s NFL Divisional Round games: the Los Angeles Chargers +4.5 at New England Patriots and the last game of the weekend, the Philadelphia Eagles +8 at New Orleans Saints. The entire sportsbook menu — from football props to the Australian Open — will be open for betting, and a leaderboard beginning Saturday will show players ”live, upcoming, and graded bets.” Leaving room for some wild strategizing and perhaps some side discussions.

To learn how one player is approaching the novel contest, we spoke to H3Budda (aka Mike Brown):

RotoGrinders (RG): Where will you be coming in from?

Mike Brown (MB): Marshfield, Massachusetts.

RG: Have you used the DK Sportsbook before or another of the new legal sportsbooks in New Jersey?

MB: I have not.

RG: From what you’ve been able to see or gather, any impressions of the books/apps?

MB: They look great but I have not played on it. A big plus is the cash out button.

RG: Any sense of what the competition will be like at the SBNC?

MB: There are so many sharks in the competition that I think people will be aggressive early and often. I would say a majority of the people in the competition won’t worry about going broke trying to hit it big. You may see multiple people bust their rolls before the last day.

RG: Are you entering with a specific plan of attack to bet sides/totals/props/etc.?

MB: The plan of attack is to get a comfortable amount of profit early betting ML’s or something I feel is “safe”. Maybe get a little bit of money going to take shots mid Saturday on to Sunday. As for the games I believe I will be attacking player props for Sunday (i.e. first TD/player to score/etc).  

[Also see: Johnny Avello On DraftKings Sports Betting Event: ‘We’re Close To Crowning A Champion’]

RG: What sport(s) besides football (required on Sunday) do you think you may dabble in or consider for wagering purposes?

MB: I will be betting on anything they offer. People may not be betting sports such as tennis or soccer, they may focus on the main three: NFL, NBA, NCAABK.

RG: Any guess as to how high the winning bankroll will get?

MB: My guess would be ~20-25k because of the level of competition we are playing against.

RG: Are there any contest rules that could use clarification, in your opinion?

MB: Everything looks good. I am sure there will be some kinks in the rules.

RG: If you were to combine your time/efforts spent researching, modeling, preparing for DFS contests and sports betting, what percentage do you estimate is devoted to the latter?

MB: If you are playing DFS and/or sports betting you should take it serious enough to put in the same amount of hard work.

RG: Any other thoughts about the event?

MB: I wish they had a welcome party or some sort of gathering like a live final. There are no events taking place that we need to be at. I think from their point of view it would be huge to require everyone in the room for the Sunday games. They aren’t guaranteeing the winner will be in the room Sunday.

About the Author

  • Brett Smiley (bsmiley)

  • Brett Smiley is Head of Sports Betting Content for RotoGrinders and co-founder of SportsHandle.com, a website covering the sports betting industry. He's an avid sports bettor, focusing on the NFL, MLB and college basketball. In a past life, Smiley practiced commercial litigation in New York City and previously wrote for FOX Sports and SI.com.