Betting has gone mainstream. Platforms like Poker and Sportsbooks have followed the lead of social media and online casinos in adapting to the evolving habits of online gamers. And with the legalization of sports betting in several U.S states, the world of in-play betting is becoming accessible to a wider audience.
Why In-Play Betting?
Live betting is nothing new. Sportsbooks and casinos have been accepting wagers for centuries. But the technology has evolved to the point where in-play betting is possible. This type of wagering is initiated once a game has ended and the outcome is determined. If you’re reading this, you’re probably wondering what the difference is between in-play betting and traditional post-game betting. Here’s a brief primer:
Fixed Odds & Against The Spread
While there are no guarantees in life, you can often find solid betting odds available for most sports. This aspect of in-play betting makes it a bit more approachable for the average person. You won’t find a lot of flexibility when it comes to betting on football games because the odds are usually fixed. This means you’ll either have to choose between winning or losing, and there aren’t a lot of in-between possibilities. You’ll also notice that the posted odds are usually skewed towards the betting side, making it a bit more appealing to gamblers.
An example of a fixed odds bet would be a $100 bet on the New York Jets to win the Super Bowl. Even though the Jets are an 8.5 point favorite, that’s a lot of money to spend on one game. But for the person who did, they would feel pretty good about it. The other side of that bet would be terrible. The person who took that particular wager would either have to win the Super Bowl or suffer through an entire season of losing.
This type of bet is more suitable for experienced sports gamblers who can evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of multiple teams. It also makes it more convenient for people who want to bet on multiple games in a day. You could conceivably place bets on games that end before the next one begins, so you can jump into the action while it’s still ongoing.
In-Play Betting Spread
Unlike fixed odds betting, the spread is always changing. The main difference between the two versions of in-play betting is in the way the spreads are revealed to the public. With traditional post-game betting, the spread is usually only displayed in a few places online. For example, if a team beats a huge favorite by a point, that spread might only be shown at the top of the page in a small box or at the bottom of a sentence in small print. Sometimes the spread will only be posted if the favorite wins by a certain amount. But for the most part, posting the spread is unnecessary because the majority of people who bet on sports know how to calculate the spread themselves.
The spread for an in-play betting matchup determines how much the bettor is willing to risk on a specific side. The higher the spread, the greater the potential reward. For example, a -3 spread on the Cleveland Browns means that the Browns are favored to win by 3 points. That’s a lot of risk for someone who is betting on just one game. But for the person who is using this strategy, it’s a safe bet that they’ll either make money or cover their bet, given that most games have enough suspense to keep people interested. This type of in-play betting is more suitable for use with high-profile contests that have large implications for a team’s playoff seeding or for picking the World Cup winner. That’s a lot of pressure on one game. But for the person who is using it, it’s a way to make a lot of money in a short amount of time.
In-Play Betting Implications
While there are no exact figures available, it is safe to assume that the esports industry is growing rapidly. And with the growth comes an understanding of a more sophisticated audience who values data over opinion and wants to see numbers to back up their decisions.
As this audience gains experience, they’ll begin to wonder why there isn’t more data available concerning esports. One of the biggest issues surrounding in-play betting is the opacity within the industry. Esports journalists and insiders often don’t get the access they need to provide the data they want, so they instead have to rely on anecdotal evidence or gut feelings to form an opinion on a given game or matchup.
More and more people are realizing the value of gathering data and being able to crunch the numbers to find answers to their questions. The more time that goes by, the more data that will become available. It would be great if journalists and experts could get access to this data so that they can provide the public with a reliable, objective take on whatever topic they are investigating. Being able to look at the numbers would also give people a better understanding of the game, which in turn could lead to more interest and engagement.
There is plenty of room for both traditionalists and data-types within the esports industry. The trick is finding a way to engage with both audiences.