DraftKings Up Early Win
- Place a moneyline bet on DraftKings
- If your team goes up 7 or 10 (depending on the promo) at any point during the game your bet wins even if they lose the game
- Betting the underdog on DraftKings and hedging the favorite on another book is the most profitable
DraftKings is offering the Up Early Win promotion again in 2023. This promotion has two variations, either up 7 or up 10. You must place a moneyline bet on the respective NFL game(s) for this promotion. If your team reaches the 7 or 10 point lead outlined in the promotion, your bet is immediately graded as a winner. Even if the team you bet on loses the game, your bet is still paid as a winning bet.
For week 1, DraftKings is offering one Up 7 Early Win for Thursday Night Football, one Up 10 Early Win for any game on Sunday, and an Up 10 Early Win on Monday Night Football. Let's look at the Up 7 Early Win for Thursday Night Football.
From examining the terms of the promotion in the above screenshot there are a few criteria to note:
- This is an up 7 promotion, not 10
- This one applies to the Vikings vs. Eagles game on 9/14/2023 (Other ones apply to different games)
- You must opt-in and apply the promotion in your bet slip
- $10 maximum bet (this may vary by user)
- Pre-game money line wager
Make sure you apply the Early Win promotion to your bet when placing it.
Like most other promotions, the Matched Bet (hedging) approach works for Up Early Win. However, because of the number of games involved, there’s another approach to consider: the +EV approach. Each has its pros and cons. Read on to learn more.
What is +EV?
EV stands for expected value and it essentially is the difference between the odds of an event taking place and the sportsbook's published odds.
+EV can get complicated, but in its simplest form, it’s betting in a way where you expect to profit over an extended period. An important thing to understand for +EV betting is that it is subject to risk and variance because you don't hedge.
If you’re not familiar with variance, think of flipping a coin. When you flip a coin, it has a 50% chance of heads and a 50% chance of tails. However, flipping a coin ten times does not mean it will be exactly 5 heads and 5 tails. It could be, for example, 7 heads and 3 tails. That is because there is variance, in this case, 70% heads and 30% tails. This example is 20 percentage points away from the average. If you flip a coin 100 times, you will likely get much closer to 50% heads and 50% tails. This pattern of getting closer to the average continues as the sample size increases. Flipping a coin a million times will land extremely close to 50% heads and 50% tails.
Note: The +EV concepts outlined in this guide are very simplified. +EV could get an entire series of guides as its own topic. What is explained here is meant to be a useful introduction.
+EV vs. Matched Betting
Sports Handle wrote a great guide on EV, but here is a high-level comparison of the two approaches as they apply to this promotion.
The Matched Betting Approach
- Minimal risk of loss
- Works with smaller bankrolls
- Does not require betting on every game available
The +EV Approach
- Subject to variance (potentially losing money), especially in the near term
- To increase your sample size, you should commit to doing every game available
- Week 1 only has three games available
- If DraftKings cancels this promotion mid-season, it will reduce the sample size and increase your variance and risk
- Due to possible losses and the number of bets required, a larger bankroll is needed
There are 4 fundamental approaches to this promotion.
- Bet every underdog on DraftKings
- Bet every favorite on DraftKings
- Bet every underdog on DraftKings and Hedge
- Bet every favorite on DraftKings and Hedge
Looking at every score change in each game from the 2022 NFL season, there were 101 times that an NFL team had a 7 point lead and ended up losing the game, and 52 times that an NFL team blew a 10 point lead. In both scenarios underdogs blew more qualifying leads.
For this analysis, we are using "units". One unit is your standard bet amount. For example, if you are offered this promotion at a max bet of $10, then $10 is the size of one unit. If we state that you had a profit of 18.5 units (18.5u) equivalent to a profit of $185 (18.5 x $10 = $185).
The first thing to note about the +EV approach is that the sample size for this promotion is relatively small, especially when compared to other promotions like FanDuel's Dinger Tuesday. For Week 1, DraftKings is offer the Up Early Win on a maximum of 3 games.
Looking at the +EV approach and starting with the Up 7 Early Win promotion first, we can see that betting the underdog unhedged on DraftKings is more profitable, 158.8u, than betting the favorite unhedged, which only has a profit of 55.1 units. For the Up 10 Early Win promotion, betting on the underdog on DraftKings results in a profit of 58.0u compared to only 24.0u for betting on the favorite.
Comparing those numbers to -23.1u for betting on every underdog the length of the NFL season without a promotion and -11.1u for betting on the favorite. It is easy to see how profitable this promotion is.
How does the +EV approach compare to hedging your bet? The reason to hedge this promotion is that it reduces the potential downside drastically.
There are two possible outcomes when hedging your bet:
Outcome number one is that you win one of the two bets. This is the most likely scenario and the average result is a 0.08u loss.
Outcome number two is winning the DraftKings Up Early Win promotion and your hedge bet. This only happens when the team you bet on DraftKings gives up a qualifying lead. This is the less likely scenario and the average result for this outcome is a 3.1u when betting the underdog on DraftKings and 1.5u when betting the favorite on DraftKings. When hedging your bet you either lose very little or have a "Double Win", where both bets are paid out as winnings bets.
Here, we can see that the highest potential profits come from hedging your bet. Betting the underdog on DraftKings and hedging on another sportsbook results in 59 double wins for a total profit of 163.8u for the Up 7 Early Win and 51.4u for the Up 10 Early Win.
Just like when not hedging your bet, betting on the favorite is less profitable than betting on the underdog. Betting on the favorite for the Up 7 Early Win promotion on DraftKings and hedging on a different sportsbook results in a profit of 58.5u and only 27.4u for the Up 10 Early Win.
Which Game To Choose
DraftKings only allows this promotion to be applied to 1 out of 14 games on Sunday. Therefore you have to decide which game is best.
For the matched betting approach you want to select the game with the lowest cost to qualify. See the Bet Finder example below.
For the +EV approach it can be less clear which game to bet for the Up Early Win promotion.
Up Early Win Bet Finder
The Bet Finders on DarkHorse are designed for matched bets with fixed promotional value. Since this is not the case with Up Early Win, we'll use the Bet Finder differently. In this case, we’ll be using the Qualifying Bet Finder to identify the matched bets we want to make. First, we will apply the necessary filters.
Filter League to NFL, Market to moneyline, and Market Segment to Full Time+
Next, filter Bet Odds to a minimum of -105. This will then only display the underdog on DraftKings.
If required, use the Single Event filter to select the game you have the promotion for. If the Up Early Win promotion applies to multiple games, you do not need this.
Finally, enable the Best From Each Event filter. This will only display the most profitable bet for each game instead of multiple bets for the same game.
Since the profit from this promotion is not fixed and depends on whether there is a double win, the displayed profit on the DarkHorse Odds Bet Finder will be incorrect. To account for this, we will leverage the ‘Reward Modifier (%)’ field to filter for the matched bets we are interested in. See the screenshot below.
Setting the Reward Modifier to 20% will filter out anything above a 20% (or .2u) loss. This is used for the hedging approach. As discussed previously, the average loss for hedging was 0.08u, not a cutoff. Since this is only an average, by expanding our search results to include up to 0.2u loss, we can increase the sample size and still get the planned average loss. Remember to change the bet amount to reflect the maximum bet amount (your unit size) listed in the promotion. Another way to read this would be "Show me the matched bets where I lose less than 20% (0.2u) of my Qualifying Bet amount". In the case of a $10 bet, the results will only include bets where you lose less than $2. Remember the Bet Finder is displaying the most cost effective hedges, not the actual result of a double win, or a loss.
In the 2022 season, across 284, games betting the underdog on DraftKings and hedging with the favorite on a separate sportsbook was the most profitable for the Up 7 Early Win (163.8u vs. 158.9u), and slightly less profitable for the Up 10 Early Win (51.4u vs. 58u).
In other words, hedging has little to no impact on the value of this promotion, but hedging does greatly reduces the risk of loss. Betting the underdog on DraftKings and hedging means that each time you do not have a double win, the loss is minimal, an average of 0.08u. Compare this 0.08u loss to a 1u loss every time the underdog loses if you do not hedge.