In the last year, the betting world has undergone a major shift. Where there was once one clear betting option – with the bookies always offering odds on national teams and major sporting events – the diversity of betting platforms has lead to an increase in edge-cases. For sports lovers who follow a number of different leagues, this can be a challenge. Wherever you place your bets, it’s important to keep an eye on the big sports trends of the day. In this article, we take a look at five of the most interesting trends as of late, and give our opinion on whether or not they’re here to stay.
1. NBA Preseason Betting Is Here To Stay
The 2019 NBA pre-season was one of the most unusual on record. The majority of teams did not do much, with only 10 percent of the games being decided by three points or less. The competition was exceptionally high, and players were anxious to showcase their talents before the start of the regular season. The majority of fans were also left disappointed as only 4.7 games were scheduled for each team’s home stadium. Despite the disappointment, sports bettors quickly adapted and saw this as a great opportunity to make some money. Preseason is traditionally a great time for sports betting, with most bookmakers offering great value on a range of wagers. One of the most popular bets during the 2019 NBA preseason was the over/under on the total number of games won by the home team. The total was set at 126.5, which in itself is not an extraordinary number. However, given the competitive nature of the NBA and the high likelihood of teams winning more than 12 games, the over/under on the total number of wins became a popular choice. This season proved that preseason betting is here to stay. A lot of people made money from the relatively low-scoring games featuring a lot of close calls, and it seems others are keen to take advantage of the home advantage in the upcoming NBA season.
2. The Dominance Of Online Gambling
The past few years have seen an explosion in the popularity of online gambling, with sites like 888 Holdings providing a safe and secure way to place bets over the internet. One of the major driving forces behind the growth in online gambling was the explosion of mobile sports betting apps. With many top smartphones now being equipped with powerful enough CPUs to perform complex calculations, it’s made it much easier for people to place bets from anywhere. This has largely displaced the need for physically going to a bookmaker’s office to place a bet. The trend was initially greeted with scepticism by some professionals in the field. However, with the explosion of online betting platforms and increased competition from new entrants, the doubters have largely been silenced. Nowadays, online gambling is a completely different ballgame and it’s dominated the industry. It’s also one of the most convenient ways to place wagers, as there’s no need to search for a bookmaker’s office or visit a sportsbook website to place a bet. The future of sports betting looks decidedly mobile.
3. The Rise Of The Conference Championship
The rise of the conference championship is another interesting trend that gained a lot of popularity this year. The idea behind the conference championship is to reduce the number of games necessary to determine the final champion. The current NBA playoff format has the first round being held amongst the eight best teams in the league, followed by the second round featuring the four best teams from each conference. The conference championship allows for the top four teams in each conference to play a one-off match, with the aggregate score providing the decider. With the rise of the conference championship, fans get to see the best four teams per conference compete for the right to go to the next round. The concept is completely new and it hasn’t been tested in professional sports, but it’s likely to become an annual event in the coming years.
4. Super Bowl Betting Is Here To Stay
The last year has also seen a revival of the Super Bowl betting, which had disappeared over the past decade. The event itself had a relatively quiet 2018, with only 15 percent of the matches being decided by more than three points. That’s not such a remarkable number, considering that only five of the 62 matches had a winning margin of more than three points. Despite this, Super Bowl betting has made a comeback and it will no doubt return as an annual event. One of the major reasons behind the resurrection of Super Bowl betting is the availability of great value odds from a range of bookmakers. While the majority of bets on the Super Bowl fall within the traditional areas of over/under and winner-take-all, there are also some interesting niche markets, such as whether or not certain players will have a better chance of winning than others. In the coming years, Super Bowl betting is sure to be just as popular as it was before the pandemic.
5. The Acceptance Of Professional Gamblers
Finally, we arrive at perhaps the most interesting trend of the last year, which is the acceptance of professional gamblers by the sports industry. For decades, sports fans had to put up with the annoying tweets and obnoxious Instagram posts of professional gamblers, who would often brag about their big bets and showboat about their expensive jewelry. While this might have been amusing to some fans, it wasn’t appropriate for the sports industry. To some extent, the tide has now turned. Instead of fans having to put up with the annoying posts of professional gamblers, they are now grudgingly accepting them as a part of the game. The reason behind this shift is probably due to a combination of factors, including increased competition, growth in the number of bettors and the decreasing importance of amateurism. At least, this is what we would argue. In any event, it’s great to see the sports industry finally embracing its role as a tasteful reflection of society and letting sports gamblers join the party.
At the end of the day, none of these trends are actually that big of a deal. On the outside, it might seem like a seismic shift has taken place in the betting world, with new and interesting options and games flooding the internet. However, on the inside, these are just parts of the bigger picture. The reality is that while the paradigm might have shifted, the fundamentals have not. To continue providing good value for our customers and giving them a good experience, we are not going to change a thing about how we operate. If anything, we’re going to keep pushing forward and adapting to the trends emerging around us.