Betting markets are the DNA of any online betting site, the building blocks from which betting opportunities are composed. Take a look at the various ways online betting sites display and develop betting markets, and the key considerations for punters looking for a new bookie to bet with.
The best online betting sites have an overwhelming number of sports betting markets across a range of games and events. In this sea of information, breaking down the data and using it to your advantage is vital.
Gamblers who play, or plan to play, flexible, stats-based systems might benefit from looking for a wide range of different sports to bet on. Whether your approach involves backing the underdog, examining form, or your own twist on the Martingale System, you can find opportunities in the most surprising places.
You'll also find differences between popular sports with high volumes of bets and niche sports where fewer people gamble. This is because oddsmakers spend a lot of time analysing outcomes when big money is wagered, but niche sports are priced using more basic calculations and can therefore be exploited by well-informed gamblers.
Unlike sports betting, specials are frequently one-off and there may not be as many precedents. Political events, which have precedents and high volumes, can be as carefully priced as the most popular sports, whereas unpredictable television events and one-off specials often have longer odds.
It's also worth noting that the arrangement of markets within non-sporting events (specials), varies significantly between online gambling sites. Some sites offer an entire political betting section while other might only include a few major political markets open in the specials or novelty section of site.
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The more events that an online betting site covers, the more chance you have of finding untapped resources and favourable odds. While some gambling sites specialise in covering every aspect of major sporting events, others are more focused on covering a wider range of global events and tournaments.
They can also vary by season, so it's wise to take the time to check other sites at different times of the year to ensure you're not missing out.
You might also find that larger betting sites will offer live streaming of events that don't have highly valued television rights in your home country. For example, Australian A-League and Major League Soccer (MLS) can be streamed via the Bet365 Sports console in the UK. So looking for less high-profile events can add entertainment, as well as economic value.
In the markets themselves, savvy gamblers should be looking for range and depth. That means, firstly, the number of betting markets on offer and, secondly, the number of possible outcomes available within each market.
For example, in football, a good online betting site will not only offer a 'goals over/under' market, but 'goals over/under' in a set period of the game. What's more, the range of options within these markets will run the whole gamut from over/under 0.5 to 9.5 goals and perhaps beyond, giving opportunities to safe and speculative punters alike.
The difference between high volume (popular) and low volume (niche) sports has already been noted, but there are more factors to consider.
Some betting sites offer competitive odds on the favourites to retain steady, regular gamblers, while others offer outrageous odds on outsiders to attract speculators, and a third kind have frequent money-back specials and betting bonuses to reward and retain loyal customers.
Each site's betting approach should be examined carefully in order to determine which approach best suits your betting style and goals. If you keep a really close eye on odds variations, you may even be able to engage in some arbitrage betting.
The final consideration when looking at betting markets is how they stack. Bets can usually be combined to create an accumulator that pays out on the prediction of two or more correct outcomes. This is commonly a series of outright winners; for example, predicting the winner of five different EPL matches.
The best online betting sites allow creative combinations, allowing punters to maximise their knowledge and obtain attractive odds. For example, a team to win, a player to score and the game to have over a certain number of goals. Finding a site that frees your creative gambling urges could mean finally landing a dream win.
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