Sportsbooks and their trading team working for them will do everything they can to differentiate their product from others and ultimately taking as much money as they can while holding as much profit as they can. it’s a very delicate balance and mistakes can and do happen along the way. Here are 10 Sportsbook weaknesses and ideas of how to profit from them.
1) Sportsbooks rely on feeds
And feeds can go wrong. It’s not the first time that a disruption in the connection between a Sportsbook and their feed provider lags and/or connection is lost for a time period. More often than not this can happen when the Sportsbook is at its busiest time (Saturday/Sunday afternoon). Feeds can also provide inaccurate information. For example if a Live Scout at a football match sends the wrong information, this will be displayed on the Sportsbook page.
2) Traders don’t know everything about every Sport
As much as they would like to think they are experts in their field, there is ALWAYS someone out there who has more and ‘more up-to-date’ information about their favourite team/player/sport. Add to that the fact that the likelihood is that the trader won’t know much about more than half the Sports that a Sportsbook is offering means that you will be able to find plenty of opportunity to find value bets.
3) Human error can occur
Ok, Sportsbooks can protect themselves with Palpable error rules (when they make an obvious human error) however there is no concrete definition of when the palpable error rule can be applied. If you are subjected to the palpable error rule if you threaten to take your issue to IBAS (Independent board of arbitration service) more often than not the Sportsbook will concede and pay you out fully.
4) Odds Compilers make mistakes
To differentiate themselves from other Sportsbooks, traders will occasionally compile odds for events or markets that other bookmakers don’t and here you can find opportunity to profit. Traditionally if a compiler is offering a unique market then they will adjust that the betting limits on that market are lower than normal thresholds. ‘Specials’ markets can be compiled using data (which is more accurate) or on ‘gut-feeling’ where more errors can occur.
5) Many Sportsbooks will ‘copy’ odds
When a Sportsbook copies odds from other sources, they leave themselves potentially exposed to other sources having made an error. It does happen that the original compiler gets their odds completely wrong and before you know it, 5 other bookmakers have copied over those odds to their website.
6) Traders can be slow to react to market moves
In the fast world of betting lines moving, traders need to be switched on and monitoring market moves (which they do) however the reality is that a trader can only do so much at a time. Typically a trading team will use Betradar software which will alert them to market moves however if you are faster than them you will be able to get your bet on before they move their betting lines.
7) European traders tend not to use twitter as much as they should
You will be hard finding a UK trader that doesn’t have a twitter account that follows every Sportsbook industry insider and/or as many Sportspeople as possible. the amount of information that can be found on twitter is an extremely useful addition to a traders armoury.
8) Emotion can lead to trader’s downfall
Traders are human and are Sports fans (like most of us are) and it is not the first time that being a fan of a team or a player can sway traders opinions on a match or event. The best traders are not emotional at all regarding sport but it can be difficult f you’ve been supporting a particular team from childhood.
9) Traders rarely (if ever) look at bets ‘under the radar’
Imagine you’re a medium sized Sportsbook and you’re taking in 10,000 bets plus every day €5 and a lot of these bets are £/€5 10 team accumulator bets. Traders neither have the time nor the inclination to sift through all of these bets one-by-one so they will set out parameters of thresholds of bets that they would ‘like to see’. Typically a trader wants to see all single bets over £/€50 or £/€100. Therefore the way to keep your bets ‘under the radar’ would be to place bets for £/€49 and duplicate that bet should you wish. Do be careful though as some trading teams have methods to spot bet duplication (but if you duplicate once you should be fine).
10) Sportsbooks have their own bonus targets
Generally a trader earns a wage with the potential to earn more money on bonus targets. Bonus targets can include turnover (how much money they help to bring in) and/or margin percentages (the percentage profit they make for the Sportsbook). Come the end of a period traders might try and push to hit either target, or tighten up to protect their bonus numbers. By doing a bit of research you will be able to find out how a trading team is performing to see where they might ‘open up’ until the end of the bonus period.
A great follow up read from here is our page on Factoring/Limiting customers as Sportsbooks do not like customers who show behaviour that is unprofitable in the long-term.