The newest Colorado sports betting app launched last week, and its founders hope their approach can become a game changer.
Novig officially started taking action in the Centennial State on Thursday. Colorado is the first state for the startup, which completed a $6.4 million round of seed funding in August. The group of early-round investors includes startup accelerator Y Combinator, entrepreneur Jared Heyman and pro football legend Joe Montana.
Created by a pair of Harvard grads who have experience in the financial sector, Novig is working to create a commission-free sports betting exchange.
Betting On Lower Hold Rates
Colorado does not have rules allowing an exchange, so Novig currently operates a traditional sportsbook. However, it claims it offers lower margins, and thus better prices, than other Colorado sportsbooks.
For example, on Monday, Co-Founder and CEO Jacob Fortinsky posted images on X showing Novig’s odds on the College Football Championship game and those of FanDuel Sportsbook Colorado. At the time, Novig offered Michigan as a 4.5-point favorite with odds of -116. Washington’s odds as the underdog were -101. Those odds equal a hold of 3.8%. That was nearly a full percentage point lower than FanDuel’s hold on the point spread (-122/+100).
On the moneyline, the -207/+182 odds at Novig equaled a 2.8% hold, compared to FanDuel’s 4.3% for its -210/+172.
“We’re offering the same betting experience users are accustomed to, but better prices, faster in-game trading, more transparency, and a number of innovative features like liquidity screens, position tracking, and partial cash outs,” Fortinsky said in a statement announcing the launch last week.
For now, Novig offers odds on NFL, NBA, MLB and college football and basketball games. It plans to expand into soccer and tennis. Other developments in the works include player prop markets, futures betting, parlays (including same-game) and peer-to-peer competitions. Its app is currently available for Apple and Android devices.
Colorado Betting Exchange Rules in Works
Colorado gaming officials are in the process of convening with stakeholders to discuss rules for sports betting exchanges. During last month’s Limited Gaming Control Commission meeting, Division of Gaming Director Chris Schroeder told commissioners he would likely update them on progress later this month.
Sports betting exchanges differ from sportsbooks because they allow bettors to wager against themselves. Exchanges facilitate the trades, which allow bettors to change their positions during a game. Such actions can help a bettor cut their losses or secure a profit. Bettors can also set their own prices, which must be matched by another for the trade to be completed.
Novig is not the only operator in the sports betting exchange game. New Jersey allows exchanges, and both Prophet Exchange and Sporttrade operate there. Sporttrade Sportsbook Colorado has been operating as a traditional book since its launch here in August.