Is there a benefit to betting on more obscure sports markets?

Sports betting is a popular pastime that has grown across the world in recent years, and a major reason for its growing popularity is that sport itself is becoming more widely popular. It’s easier than ever to become a fan of a sport, even a minority sport, in a world where you can open up your laptop and tune into either live coverage or watch archive video content of it. Increasingly we are also now seeing tactically-driven blogs and videos about a range of sports, as people literally become armchair sporting experts. A term which was once used pejoratively now accurately describes a lot of very well-informed analysts.

As we become more knowledgeable about sports, there are potential impacts on sports betting. It’s not so long ago that watching a football game simply meant marveling over the physical exploits on show, and if you then went to a site like to find a betting site, you could bet on the game but do so as a fan. Now, it is possible to have a more informed analysis of the game, and that makes it easier to place a bet with confidence – but it also means a lot of other people are doing the same, which diminishes any advantage. So is it smarter to bet on games that fewer people are watching?

Scalability is a factor

To some extent, there is merit in the idea that betting on a more obscure sport, league, or team has its advantages. Just about everyone knows how good certain teams in certain sports are. You’re not going to steal a march on any analyst or bookmaker by having the inside knowledge that Real Madrid score a lot of goals. If you happen to know more obscure things – like, for example, Hajduk Split are in the middle of a poor run of home form – you can sometimes find better odds on games involving that team. But it will take more in-depth analysis than just looking at their recent results.

It’s not easy to outwit a business

The disadvantage that you have as a bettor is that you aren’t betting against another human being – you’re betting against an organization that has far more research ability than you do. So if you want to leverage more obscure knowledge against the sportsbooks, it is probably better if you have that pre-existing knowledge. It’s easier to gather and analyse information about something if you already know quite a bit about it. In other words, there is little point deciding to bet on Lithuanian basketball because fewer people know about it, if you also don’t know that much about it; you’ll have access to the same information the odds-setters have, and there are more of them so they can analyse it faster.

Being a nerd will help

But say that you are passionately interested in a more obscure element of sport. Say you are living in the UK but are initially from Iceland and are a huge fan of KR Reykjavik. You know all about their recent form, their current injury list, which teams they tend to win against and lose against. That knowledge can be genuinely beneficial. The best value you will find in betting is never going to be on the bigger games, but if you have an interest in games most people consider not to be “big”, you can use that to your advantage.