Erin Dolan hasn’t forgotten where she came from on her rise to stardom. It’s important that her audience knows she’s from the Philadelphia area. Dolan’s audience has gotten larger over the years. After graduating from Penn State in 2018, Dolan worked in local news for PHL17 in Philadelphia and then entered the sports betting field.
Since 2019, Dolan has worked for PointsBet, FanDuel and is currently a sports betting analyst at ESPN. Dolan appears regularly on Daily Wager and other segments across ESPN’s TV, radio and digital platforms.
In an interview with PlayPennsylvania, Dolan talks about her career in the sports media industry, the Philadelphia Eagles odds to win the NFC East, and other 2022 NFL season-long props she is targeting.
Dolan “couldn’t root for another team”
Now a national figure, Dolan, who grew up just outside of Philadelphia, has shouted out her hometown on her social media pages numerous times. She’s not shy about it either.
“I think it’s always important to represent where you came from. It’s so interesting to me that people enjoy rooting for teams where they’re not from. I’m not that type of person. If you grow up on the outskirts of Philadelphia, you’re a Philadelphia sports fan in general. You’re very much opinionated, a diehard. I don’t feel like I could be from Philadelphia and root for another team. That’s just not the way I was raised. Everyone has their own way of doing things but Philly is a special sports town.”
Erin Dolan’s start in sports and sports betting
Dolan loved sports her entire life and knew she wanted to work in it. She thought her path would take her as an occupational or physical therapist and work for a team.
She started taking anatomy classes before she stumbled into a journalism class. Before almost dropping the class, it was explained to Dolan that she’d learn about different topics of journalism, such as photography, writing and on-camera work.
Once Dolan knew that, she was sold on journalism. As she got further into college, Dolan knew she wanted to be a sports talent on TV, and nothing else.
“When I was in college everyone said to pursue the news as well as sports and make a reel for both. I was like ‘No, I’m not doing that.’ I remember professors being really mad about it but I don’t ever want to brand myself as someone that does the complete opposite of what she loves.”
Dolan graduated from Penn State in 2018, the same year the Supreme Court overturned Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), and sports betting became legal outside of Nevada. Once Pennsylvania sportsbooks started operating, Dolan and most of her friends bet on sports.
The sports betting field was new and exciting for Dolan, which opened doors for her career to take off. She started at PointsBet in 2019 where she created content. In 2021, she went to FanDuel to build on her content creation and also made picks as an analyst. Now at ESPN, she’s loving that side of the industry.
“I get so excited about stats. I genuinely love waking up and looking up things and trying to find a really cool edge. It takes so much time, so much research and if I didn’t love it, there’s no way I could do it.”
Erin is ‘Dolan Out Winners’ on SportsCenter
Dolan said she always watched SportsCenter growing up. One of her favorite reporters she followed was Erin Andrews. She also mentioned her colleagues Sam Ponder, host of NFL Countdown, and Laura Rutledge, host of NFL Live, as broadcasters she looks up to.
If not already, Dolan should have young broadcasters looking up to her. In addition to her appearances on Daily Wager, Dolan performs live betting segments on SportsCenter. Dolan has the segment named after her, “Dolan Out Winners,” on the show she grew up watching.
“I didn’t even know they were doing that. I just saw it one day on TV and they were like ‘Dolan Out Winners’ and I went and did my segment but didn’t know about the segment name. Whoever did it, I loved it, it’s great. It’s not something I knew was coming but when it came out I thought it was super cool.”
Working at ESPN has been a culmination of a lot of learning and growth over the years. Though Dolan said she didn’t make picks in her first job at PointsBet, she really had to study the industry. Dolan used her time at PointsBet and FanDuel as building blocks for her opportunity at ESPN.
Dolan’s family has always supported her route into the sports industry and now get to watch her on a regular basis.
“My family, they definitely keep up and watch. My dad gets a lot of messages from people that he knows asking ‘is that your daughter or a cousin?’ They’re very proud and excited and super supportive because they’ve known I wanted to do this.”
Philadelphia Eagles betting insight from Erin Dolan
Dolan has high hopes for the Eagles but it’s not because she’s a huge fan. Here’s Dolan’s thoughts on the Eagles and NFL for the upcoming season.
Do the Eagles have a chance to win the division?
Dolan: I think they’ll end up winning it. A.J. Brown will be a contributor. Jalen Hurts is going to be better than people think and his accuracy will improve as well. I have nothing but high hopes for this team and that’s not because I’m from Philadelphia and the area. I genuinely studied this.
Do you like the Eagles to go over their win total?
Dolan: That’s one of my favorite plays, their total for the season. I’ve seen 9, 9.5. It keeps moving up. It’s been as low as 8.5 awhile back. They’re a really popular team this season to go over so I’m not surprised that line has moved. When you look at their strength of schedule, they have an easy schedule as does everyone in the NFC East to be honest.
Favorite Eagles prop?
Dolan: I do like A.J. Brown to go over his receiving yards. It was 995.5, I just looked at it before I jumped on this interview and it’s at 1,000.5 on Caesars Sportsbook. He had 869 receiving yards in 13 games last season. Obviously he was on the Titans and it’s going to be totally different catching passes from Jalen Hurts but I do think he’s going to have a really awesome season.
NFL Week 1 pick and bold prediction
What is your favorite Week 1 bet?
Dolan: I really like the Bills. I really like that right now but there’s so much money coming in on them, the line is moving in favor of them. It was at plus money at one point this summer and that’s when I loved it. I’m a little nervous about it now because it’s the first game and the line keeps moving for them but I definitely like the Bills to beat the Rams in the first game.
What is a bold prediction for the NFL season?
Dolan: I think the Chiefs go under 10.5. I finally think we see some regression from them. Their injury luck has been so good and they’ve been dominant and a powerhouse. Now everyone in their division has gotten substantially better and they have a tough strength of schedule.
Lead image c/o ESPN