NFL Season Kickoff Spurs Sports Betting Boom: FanDuel, DraftKings Lead as ESPN Bet Preps for Debut
September 7, 2023
2023 NFL Season Kicks Off
The NFL season kicks off tonight with a clash between the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs and the Detroit Lions. The match, set for 8:20 PM ET, stands as the starting point for the sports betting industry’s avid tracking of pro football matchups. The journey continues right through to the Super Bowl in Las Vegas on February 11, 2024.
Betting Trend Predictions
On the threshold of the inaugural kickoff, an annual survey published by the American Gaming Association projected a significant uptick in betting activities during the 2023 NFL season. The survey predicts that approximately 73.5 million U.S. adults will place wagers this fall and winter, a remarkable leap from the 27 million in 2022.
The Heavyweights of Sports Betting
In the sports betting market landscape, FanDuel (OTCPK:PDYPY) and DraftKings (DKNG) start the season holding top positions, boasting shares that have risen by 25% and 175% year-to-date (YTD) respectively. Companies like BetMGM (OTCPK:GMVHF) (MGM), Caesars Entertainment (CZR), and Bet365 remain embroiled in the tussle for market share. In contrast, firms like FuboTV (FUBO), MaximBet, and Churchill Downs’ (CHDN) online sports betting arm have either shut down operations or drastically curtailed their reach. Fanatics (FANA) is slated to acquire the U.S. business of PointsBet (OTCQX:PBTHF), as betting operators prioritize profitability.
ESPN Bet: The Game Changer
The most intriguing development to watch for could be the entrance of Disney’s (DIS) ESPN Bet into the sports betting fray via a deal with Penn Entertainment (PENN). ESPN Bet’s launch is projected for mid-season, but it will leverage ESPN’s extensive football coverage across diverse platforms. As noted by SA Investing Group Leader Stone Fox Capital, ESPN will promote its betting concept through odds attributions and digital product integrations, effectively transforming the deal into a marketing agreement for the sports brand.
Potential Market Winners
If ESPN Bet’s launch triggers a surge in sector promotion activities, Gambling.com (GAMB) is flagged as a stock that could reap benefits. Taking a broader perspective, Genius Sports (GENI), a supplier of mission-critical data, and sports betting provider Flutter Entertainment (OTCPK:PDYPY) have also been spotlighted. The Roundhill Sports Betting and iGaming ETF (BETZ) has risen nearly 20% YTD, with DraftKings (DKNG) and Penn Entertainment (PENN) as its two prime holdings.