Sometime mid-day yesterday a light flickered in my brain that James Holzhauer, the sports gambler who won 32 straight Jeopardy episodes and over $2 million, could easily now waltz into a gig in sports media. He is famous, well-liked, self-evidently intelligent, and when he says things like that the Browns are the worst Super Bowl bet it draws attention.
We covered the sports gambling gold rush last September and since then it’s only ballooned. ESPN launched Daily Wager on ESPNEWS and vaulted into a partnership with Caesars for a Vegas studio; Fox Sports is getting into business directly with a mobile sportsbook (and Holzhauer has appeared on FS1’s Lock It In). Dozens if not hundreds of other potential opportunities are out there.
Okay, but does Holzhauer want to do it?
“I have already been approached by the major players in this space,” he tells The Big Lead. “The question is whether I’m interested, and I don’t know that I am.”
“I strongly suspect that any gig will eventually ask me to provide picks, and I don’t want to go down that road,” Holzhauer continues.
It’s easy to understand this stance from all angles. Gambling insight on television or online or anywhere else does not have huge audience appeal if it’s not attached with a side to bet, while many top-flight gamblers are notoriously secretive about their positions to preserve their edge. The future will tell if this gap can be reconciled.