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  • Q&A: OddsJam’s Matt Restivo on teaching bettors to beat the books
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NEXT.io sits down with OddsJam’s new chief executive Matt Restivo to discuss how the firm is teaching bettors to beat the books.

NEXT: How did you come to become CEO of OddsJam?

MR: My background is mostly in sports and media. I go all the way back to the early days of ESPN. From 2018 to just before the sale, I worked in Action Network as the chief product officer there. And then OddsJam actually approached me.

I was doing my own thing, raising money, building my own company at the time – I told them “you don’t need me, you guys are doing great, just keep grinding.”

But they were very hot on pursuit, so I became one of the first advisers in the business and then joined as operating COO at the end of 2022. After that, I established a solid amount of trust with the founders and the team, so we felt like this was the right time to make this move.

NEXT: Could you walk me through what OddsJam does?

MR: Very simply put, we’re the Bloomberg terminal for sports bettors. Leaning very America focused, we’re essentially rewiring the brains of how people bet on sports. Lots of people in America bet with their gut, or a lot of people in America fancy themselves data scientists. Turns out they’re not.

They’re losing money sports betting. What we basically do is we take an overall look at the market with our data model – in sports we have data from over 200 sportsbooks globally.

And that allows us to have a really good understanding of where the market might be off. So, we take a look at the market from a top-down approach, and essentially help people identify value with our EV algorithm.

NEXT: What does your audience look like?

MR: They’re open to understanding that you’re not necessarily trying to bet one specific game – you’re trying to identify where there’s value in the market.

If you think about it like you had a weighted coin, if I handed it to you, you wouldn’t be able to tell if that point was weighted, unless you sat there flipping it and you were like keeping track of it. But even eventually, if you didn’t have a pen or a pad, you’d lose track of it, you wouldn’t remember.

What our software does is essentially identify areas where individual sportsbooks are off, compared to what I would consider sharper sportsbooks for that particular market. And so it’s a very different sort of betting philosophy. It’s a strategy for betting on sports in a way that makes you lose a lot less.

NEXT: Are sharp bettors more interested in betting with exchanges?

MR: I would say there’s a mindset that is different. There’s people who think about price, and there’s people who think about value.

And even though you can say those worlds are probably pretty similar, that’s what separates people who shop on Oddschecker in the UK, versus people in America. Our users are looking for value. They’re looking for the best price, which is a component of that value. But they’re ultimately trying to find value in the market.

Different players want different things. You can’t hand somebody a Bloomberg terminal and just say “go make money,” right? They really need to understand the strategy and how to use it. So, we invest a lot in that.

NEXT: How do you see the business developing in the next five years?

MR: We’re going to continue to talk to customers, we’re going to continue to grow. We’ve really established a solid footprint in the US – and we’re really excited about what’s happening in South America. I think 2024 will be the first year we expand the product internationally.

But also, a big thing on our minds is how we make our products more accessible. We do a really good job once we’ve captured somebody into the web of OddsJam – where we’re hitting them on social and hitting them on YouTube and hitting them on recommended – and getting them into our longer form content that explains some strategies. But how we make it even more accessible to people is something we’re talking about a lot.

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