Bull City Bets, a North Carolina sports betting podcast in its first season, follows two brothers making the transition from sports lovers to sports bettors.
Born and raised in North Carolina with ties to Durham (thus the name of the podcast), Sam Eberwein, 32, and Brad Eberwein, 26, are Panthers and Hurricanes fans with an ambition to take their fandom a step further. So, they decided that when the state had legalized sports betting, they’d create a podcast to document their foray into the market.
On the show, they talk NFL and NHL, the betting line movement throughout the week, and they reflect on picks and document their progress.
“Our primary goal with the pod,” Sam explains, “is to talk about our process and journey learning how to become a smart sports bettor (and hopefully a sharp one!). We want to share our process of trying to make betting picks and then share what we learn week to week as the results come in.”
At present, their NFL betting record sits at 60-56-1. This year’s stats are purely hypothetical as North Carolina online sports betting hasn’t launched yet.
NCSharp talked with the Eberwein brothers about the podcast and their yin-yang relationship with North Carolina sports betting.
Taking the jump from sports fan to sports bettor
For the Eberwein brothers, online sports betting has raised a question and a challenge that is probably confronting a number of North Carolinians: how to martial their sports knowledge for sports betting success.
“We are sports lovers at heart, says Sam. “Every year we talk about the NFL in the fall and winter, and then the NHL into the spring and summer. When we heard sports betting was coming to North Carolina, we wanted to learn more about how and what to bet when it goes live, so I convinced Brad to put our casual sports watching and following to the test.”
Bull City Bets provides the customary analysis of picks that a seasoned sports bettor would find on a sports betting show, but it will also resonate with new bettors. Sam and Brad talk about bet types, raise questions about line changes and interrogate how to approach certain wagers.
“We find totals difficult; they just don’t make sense to us. We know what the key numbers are from reading about them online, but we don’t have an appreciation for what drives the initial line setting and how to pick an over or an under.”
Discussing these topics on the show provides some of the most valuable content for NC sports bettors.
“We figured if we started tracking our hypothetical bets with the 2023 NFL & NHL Seasons, we would be able to figure out what we know and what we don’t know. We got a few books and read them, and we realized we wanted to go on the record with some of our picks and talk about what we’re learning along the way.”
The head and the heart of the bull
The Eberweins claim to have a “healthy sibling rivalry,” and this will resonate with many sports fans who’ve spent years arguing gut feelings versus hard sports data with their family and friends.
“We both follow the NFL closely due to our super competitive family fantasy football league, making it a natural place for us to start looking at the sports betting process.”
Brad brings the “trust your gut” approach while Sam, whose day job is in hospital finance, relies on analytics.
“When breaking down the money lines and the NHL puck lines,” says Brad, “Sam is trying to determine what the oddsmakers are saying the probabilities are to see if we agree or disagree with them, and I’m all feeling. This has led to some funny moments for us where we think the other person is just plain wrong.”
As their record for 2023 indicates, they’re winning more than they’re losing, but, they remind, “the NFL humbles us every few weeks.”
The format of Bull City Bets
Every Monday on the podcast, the Eberweins break down NFL game lines to find value picks. These are longer episodes featuring a breakdown of key matchups and their betting targets for the week. They then track those picks throughout the week and reconvene for a shorter Saturday show to discuss line movement and lock down their picks. On Wednesdays, they talk NHL betting in North Carolina.
Sam plays the role of host while Brad provides commentary and recounts news stories from the week that could influence the lines. They also banter over their fantasy football league, rib each other for their miscues and make the obligatory gripes about the lowly Panthers.
“We’ve found fun with player props. These are easier to follow and translate the closest to fantasy sports from what we’ve seen. The options are endless, which can be fun, but also difficult to choose when there are so many.”
They’ve also documented their travels to states with legal online sports betting where they’ve tried their hands with online sports betting apps.
In much the same way that player props can provide an overwhelming menu of options, Sam explains that “when we opened up these sports betting apps for the first time, it was overwhelming. There are promos for various bets everywhere, the odds aren’t exactly clear, and when we opened a game we realized we could bet on almost anything. The apps make it easy to place a bet, almost too easy.”
For listeners, their travels, their trials and their learnings provide solid insight into the market and a good form of responsible gambling education.
Learnings from the first six months
With the 2023 NFL regular season in its final week and the 2023-2024 NHL season halfway over, the Eberweins have learned a few things in their short time as sports betting podcasters.
First, they feel like the NFL is an easier league to bet than the NHL “because you have more time between games,” explains Sam. “The NFL lines move in reaction to news where we can assess the value of a player being injured, returning from injury, weather, and other events.”
On the flip side, “there are a lot of games in hockey,” says Brad. “Lines are usually posted the day before the game and we’ve even seen some lines posted the day of, which hasn’t provided much time for analysis. The injury reports are also inconclusive. This makes it difficult to truly assess a player’s impact on the odds within a line.”
The level of complexity of adding a second sport to their betting enterprise has led them to another learning: Focus.
They’ve realized that they need to limit their exposure to maximize their resources (namely, the time to reflect on their bets).
“It’s tough to keep up with every aspect of each league, which inevitably leads us to making less informed decisions when making actual picks. It’s fun to be on a lot of spots, but it leads to inefficiencies because we’re trying to take in lots of information to make a lot of decisions. We’ve tried to narrow our initial focus to NFL spreads and NHL pucklines with the goal of identifying where we think we can find value, but we think we may need to narrow it even further.”
This messaging is important for all sports bettors and one of the reasons why Bull City Bets has a lot to offer. As the Eberweins note, oddsmakers are good at their jobs.
How to find Bull City Bets
You can catch Bull City Bets on Amazon Music, Spotify, Google Music. They release new episodes every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.
You can also listen to every episode and send them questions through their website: bullcitybets.com.
Image Credit: Jim Bounds / AP Images