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Daily Wager: Four Valuable Lessons Learned From Launching ESPN’s First Daily Sports Betting Show

Producer Scott Clark values the team he works with: "They know the space and they’re experts in it."

“Daily Wager” senior coordinating producer Scott Clark (R) joins show host Doug Kezirian on the set. (Photo courtesy of Scott Clark/ESPN)

On March 11, ESPN launched Daily Wager, the network’s first daily sports betting news and information television program. With a team of experts and enthusiasts, ESPN senior coordinating producer Scott Clark oversaw the program’s launch and now oversees the daily production.

For Front Row, Clark listed the four most valuable lessons he’s learned in the first eight weeks of Daily Wager:

THE SPORTS BETTING WORLD IS INCREDIBLY NUANCED

Coming onto the project, I wouldn’t have considered myself an expert in sports betting. I understood betting but I’ve learned a lot in the first two months of the show just in terms of how the gambling world operates, why lines are set the way they are, why lines move and how bettors approach their craft. When you’re not in it every day, you don’t always see the nuance and the sophistication of the approach on both sides.

KEEP THE FOCUS SMALL

When we looked at what we should do with this show, we went in with a very simple approach of we’re going to be a news and information show produced through the lens of sports betting, and structurally it’s going to feel like the SportsCenter of sports betting. We’ve kept our structure very simple and it allowed us to quickly establish a workflow and identity for the show. I feel good about it because we launched smoothly and now we’re at the point where we can expand our horizons a little bit.

HAVE EXPERTS ON THE TEAM

When you’re building a team in a niche area, it’s really important to get the experts on all levels of the staff. And with the group we have together, everyone is heavily invested in sports betting. They know the space and they’re experts in it. That leads to better conversations, show meetings and collaboration within the group because we’re all on the same page. Everyone in the group is elevating everyone else.

SPORTS BETTING IS ABOUT TO EXPLODE

We’ve approached the show with the understanding that we’re in the first inning of how we’re handling sports betting at this company. We’re trying to be proactive and be in a position to excel as it gets bigger and bigger. When you’re in this every day, you can see how competitive this is, how much potential there is and how much interest there is. I’m very happy that we’re in early on it and on the air before the explosion as opposed to reacting to it after it gets enormous.

Daily Wager airs Monday-Friday at 6 p.m. ET on ESPNEWS and the ESPN App.

“Best Bets” Segment Shows Strength of Daily Wager Analysts

Doug Kezirian (L) and Michael Schwimer discuss games on Daily Wager.

How qualified are the sports betting experts on Daily Wager?

Through the first eight weeks of the show, the experts have prognosticated a winning record with the program’s “Best Bets” segment. In fact, they haven’t had a week with a losing record.

In each episode, host Doug Kezirian and the analysts on the show that day pick a game or match taking place that night (or over the weekend for the Friday show) that they think represents the “best bet” for viewers.

So how are they doing?

A few weeks ago, Kezirian and analyst Michael Schwimer each won six consecutive “Best Bets.”

Through the Friday, May 3, edition, the analysts have a record of 108-87-4 on the “Best Bets.” For those into analytics, that’s 21 games over .500.

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