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FanDuel to Set AP Sports Odds

June 8, 2021

In over 1,300 newspapers and sports broadcasts across America, the AP reporting organization is responsible for providing current betting odds on games of interest. Where does the AP get their information? As of June 4, 2021, they will be relying on the oddsmakers at FanDuel.

As of now, many people attached to the sports betting and reporting communities are questioning the wisdom behind this deal. According to a May 25th tweet from Matt Perrault @sportstalkmatt:

“The Associated Press and FanDuel Group today announced an agreement that makes FanDuel the exclusive provider of sports odds across AP’s global sports report.” It didn't seem to sit well with him.

FanDuel is one of America's largest and most popular online gambling conglomerates. After establishing itself as one of the biggest and best fantasy sports operators in the world, FanDuel has gone on to become one of America's leading domestic retail and online bookmakers. Now, they have the exclusive rights to set the lines that the AP will be reporting.

How they came about scoring this major deal is a bit of a mystery to a lot of important industry people. That's not to say FanDuel is undeserving of the opportunity, it's just a matter of them getting the exclusive rights to handle this responsibility. It is certainly something that a lot of the world's best online bookmakers would have wanted to add to their resumes.

What really makes this deal mysterious is the lack of information that is coming out of the AP and from the FanDuel management team. The reality is very little is known about this deal other than the fact FanDuel must have really ponied up to land the aforementioned exclusive rights.

At this point, one has to question how this benefits anyone other than FanDuel with the odds setting rights and the AP with an unknown amount of new cash in their bank account. That's not to mention that every time specific odds are mentioned, the line will likely be linked directly to a FanDuel online sportsbook. FanDuel can also count on getting a lot of future good press from AP writers and bloggers.

For American sports bettors, the lack of a means of betting line comparisons is a real problem. A lot of novice sports bettors are already unaware that betting lines can vary from one bookmaker to another. With FanDuel having the exclusive rights to have their lines published, a lot of bettors won't know they can go shopping for better lines and point spreads.

For sports journalism as a whole, it's another black eye. This deal essentially eliminates any possibility of independent reporting of sports betting odds and online bookmakers. The organization is tied to FanDuel, effectively establishing a contractual bias. While FanDuel is but one of several prominent online operators in America, that's not something casual bettors will be thinking.

Max Tani @maxwelltani summed it up this way: “As we learned this week, top leaders at the Associated Press are very concerned that the wire service's stories may appear biased, but not so concerned that they won't allow FanDuel to pay to include the company's betting odds in AP sports stories.“

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