NCAA Tournament Puts on Sports Betting Map

Posted on: April 8, 2019, 12:59h. 

Last updated on: April 8, 2019, 12:59h.

The biggest winner from this year’s NCAA Tournament may not come on the court on Monday night. Instead, it may be a sports betting website that seeks to transform the industry.

Tariq Owens shoots a jumpshot for Texas Tech in Saturday’s win over Michigan State in the Final Four. The Red Raiders run to the NCAA Tournament championship has led some of its bettors to offer their tickets on to see if there’s any interest in purchasing them. (Image: offers bettors the chance to cash out of a futures bet early and gain some profit. It’s the brainchild of a couple of college buddies who have backgrounds in entrepreneurism and investments.

While this year’s NCAA Tournament produced mainly chalk results through the first few rounds, a couple of unexpected teams ended up crashing the Final Four. That’s opened opportunities for the company.

Most notably, PropSwap tried to broker the sale of a $1,500 bet on Texas Tech to win the NCAA title at 200-1 odds. Late last week, former Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant offered to buy the ticket, worth more than $300,000 if the Red Raiders win on Monday night, for $50,000. A Las Vegas businessman offered $57,000. However, the bettor declined the offers.

Now, with just hours before the final tipoff of the college season, those who bet on favored Virginia are starting to offer their tickets on the site, according to Luke Pergande, one of PropSwap’s co-founders.

“I think if you were holding Virginia, you felt pretty good,” Pergande told on Sunday. “Even coming out of the Purdue game, in my opinion, they stole that game. But I think since Texas Tech has looked so dominant, we’ve seen a bunch of Virginia tickets now all of a sudden.”

PropSwap History

Pergande and his co-founder Ian Epstein started the company in 2013. Over the Labor Day weekend, Pergande placed a bet on the New Orleans Saints to win the Super Bowl. At that time, handicappers made the Saints a 50-1 shot to win the title.

When the Saints started the season 7-1, their odds went down to 15-1. That prompted Pergande to call his friend and ask him if he knew anyone who would want to buy his ticket. They reached out to 15 lawyers before finding one who helped them make the case to the Nevada Gaming Commission that their endeavor was legal.

They started brokering bets in the fall of 2015 and have grown steadily ever since. Pergande said he expects the site to broker 3,000 sales this year. Earlier this year, they brokered their biggest sale ever when they sold a Saints Super Bowl bet worth more than $160,000 prior to the NFC Championship game.

PropSwap comes in handy for bettors when they have a difficult time covering their bets, Pergande. For example, someone who bet on Virginia earlier in the season, now – if they have the funds – they could place a bet on Texas Tech if they were so inclined to protect themselves.

We make the most sense when you’re like two to three games out of championships,” Pergande said.

Expansion of Sports Betting Helps

Pergande and Epstein started the company years before the Supreme Court decided to overturn the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, which opened the door for states other than Nevada to offer sports betting.

While they didn’t bank on such expansion in their business plan, Pergande said as more states legalize sports betting, the more traffic they expect for their site. He doubts increased availability will hurt them as PropSwap still gets a lot of buyers from Nevada, where they could just make a bet on their own.

“That kinda blew the doors off,“ Pergande said. “We’re now getting tickets from New Jersey, Mississippi, and Pennsylvania. That’s helped tremendously, no doubt.”

On Sunday, PropSwap listed more than 150 tickets for sale on its site. That included some NCAA basketball bets, as well as wagers on The Masters, the Kentucky Derby, and the National Hockey League and National Basketball League playoffs. Their biggest traffic comes from football, the NCAA Tournament, and golf, Pergande said.

For bettors who are new or have sold nine or fewer bets, PropSwap requires them to only offer a bet made through a retail sportsbook. Once someone has sold 10 betting tickets, they can offer a bet they made online.

The site is not available for everyone, however. Buyers must use a credit card with a billing address in one of a dozen states to make a purchase. Those states are Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Connecticut, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, and West Virginia.