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Sports Betting Markets

Sports Betting Markets

Eric Kithinji
Eric Kithinji
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6 Min
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Difference Between Large & Small Markets
Pros & Cons Of Large Markets
Pros & Cons Of Small Markets

In sports betting, you have the freedom of betting on different types of sports markets. The most popular sports are commonly known as large market sports. The more niche sports that aren’t the go-to option for many are known as small market sports.

Both markets have their pros and cons, and you need to understand the core concepts of each if you want to make money betting on them.

If you’re new to sports betting, you may be somewhat familiar with the terms large and small markets, but you may not be fully aware of both concepts.

In this article, we are going to take you through large and small market sports and show you how to bet on each type of market so that you can take advantage of both.

Large & Small Betting Market

When you hear the term large market sports, just think of the most common sports and leagues that the majority of people bet on. Small market sports, on the other hand, are the more niche and obscure sports.

Pro leagues like the NBA and the NFL are great examples of large market sports. This is because such leagues have huge fan bases and get a lot of attention from media outlets. This easily translates to a lot of betting action since people will naturally wager on sports that they are familiar with.

In fact, football is the most bet-on sport, and basketball is a close second. Baseball and hockey are also considered large market sports because they have received a great amount of betting action in recent years.

Sportsbooks place a lot of focus on large market sports because of the high betting action that such sports receive, so expect stronger markets on the above-mentioned sports.

On the other hand, examples of small market sports in America include sports like soccer, Esports, cricket, and female leagues such as the WNBA.

Even though some of them may have a popular fan base, such sports still aren’t considered large market sports because only a small percentage of bettors choose to bet on them.

Large Vs. Small Betting Market

Apart from the obvious difference in betting volume, large market sports, and small market sports have other distinctions.

Firstly, sportsbooks pay a lot of attention to large market sports since billions are wagered on them. So you’re less likely to find mistakes or “loopholes” in large market sports because one minor error could end up costing the sportsbook millions.

Since there’s very little room for error in large market sports, bettors who are looking for any potential edge should instead focus on the smaller markets. Your chances of finding an underpriced line in a niche market are higher, so digging for info in such markets is definitely worth it.

Additionally, since sportsbooks may not pay much attention to small market sports and may take less time handicapping such sports, you can easily beat the oddsmakers at their own game by betting on the niche sports.

If you get enough information on the less-prominent sports, you may end up knowing more than the oddsmakers and can easily use such information to create lucrative betting opportunities.

Another major difference between both markets is the amount that you can bet on each type of market. Popular sports for betting have higher limits since sportsbooks make a lot of money from such sports, and also because sportsbooks are usually very observant on the lines of the most popular sports.

Niche sports usually have lower limits because sportsbooks don’t have much information on such markets and will thus put a lower limit on them to prevent any possible exploitation.

Pros & Cons Of Betting On Large Market Sports

Large market sports are the most popular sports, so if you prefer betting on sports like basketball and football, you’ll always get a variety of betting options.

For example, if you want to bet on an NFL game, you can make a wide range of bets such as the following—halftime, point spread bets, totals, moneyline, parlays, and more.

Another pro of betting on popular sports is that the wagering limit on large markets is usually higher, so high rollers can easily make large amounts of cash on the more popular sports.

On the other hand, betting on large market sports has its downsides as well. Firstly, the sportsbook is always going to have the edge on the popular sports and leagues because of the amount of time that bookies take to handicap such sports.

However, this doesn’t mean that sportsbooks are unbeatable when it comes to the big leagues, it just means that it will be impossible to find a betting advantage that the bookies aren’t aware of.

Another con is that popular sports have a wide range of betting options, and this can easily lead to confusion since you may not know what is the best or most profitable betting option to go for.

Pros & Cons Of Betting On Small Market Sports

While large market sports receive a lot of scrutiny, small market sports have the luxury of receiving much less attention from the oddsmakers.

This means that mispriced lines should be expected in niche sports. So, bettors who opt for niche sports and take their time to conduct proper research will have the edge over the bookies in this scenario.

However, despite the above-mentioned advantage, sportsbooks place wagering limits on small market sports. This prevents bettors from taking extreme advantage of any potentially mispriced lines.

Additionally, a lower betting limit means that the sportsbook controls how much you can win, so you may not make as much money from niche sports.

Another con of small market sports is that they aren’t available on many sportsbooks. Even if they are, you’ll find that you won’t have as many betting options when compared to large market sports.

Niche Sports To Target

Thanks to the internet, sports fans and bettors have streaming access to a wide range of foreign sports. So you can follow and watch a variety of niche sports—some are even available for free!

This accessibility allows bettors to bet on some of those niche sports. Here are a few niche sports that you can easily follow and bet on:

  • Esports – Esports is continuing its meteoric rise, and its popularity is bound to grow in the coming years. There are many popular games that you can bet on, and the best thing is that a lot of the esports tournaments are freely available on sites like Youtube and Twitch.
  • MMA – While the UFC is a really popular franchise, betting on mixed martial arts still hasn’t caught on and that’s why it’s still considered a niche market. So if you’re into martial arts and fighting, betting on the UFC and other related franchises could be a profitable route for you.
  • WNBA – Women’s basketball, plus other female leagues of major sports, are still considered niche and aren’t given a lot of attention by the bookies. So if you’re a basketball fan, you can definitely find a lot of hidden value in WNBA games.

Final Take On Large Vs. Small Market Sports

Large market sports will be the default betting route for most sports bettors, but if you’re into hidden value, focusing on niche sports may prove to be a really profitable avenue for you.

Since sportsbooks place a greater emphasis on large market sports, small markets, in turn, become easier to exploit and that’s why a lot of sharps focus on the smaller leagues nowadays, especially with the amount of information that is freely available on the internet.

This doesn’t mean that you should completely ditch the big leagues; just keep in mind that such leagues are notorious for having extremely tight lines that have been formulated by meticulous handicappers.

Don’t expect any errors from the bookies if you choose to bet on the large markets.

Thirsty For More Betting Knowledge? Check Our Gambling Education Hub.


About the author

Placed his first sports wager shortly after high school, and has been involved in this whirlwind of the industry since then. Fan of most of the major ...

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