Betting on “minor” sports

Handball, rugby, cycling, volleyball, or even greyhound racing and bandy: so many recurring absentees from the betting lists. Gambling on these events suffers either from the lack of enthusiasm of the general public or from the restrictions put in place by the Arjel.

Caught in the vice between the bookmakers’ demand for profitability and the Arjel’s guarantees of sporting ethics, betting on marginal sports is therefore very often under-represented on the operators’ calendars. However, in cases where betting is authorised and on display in bookies, the lack of knowledge of the disciplines presents certain advantages from which bettors can benefit.

We therefore provide you with a summary of the availability of online betting as provided for by the Arjel and the main operators.

Where to bet on marginal sports?

In order to simplify your search for available bets, this table lists all the sports authorised by the Arjel and their availability with the three major Internet sports betting operators.

While all major sports are present on all three platforms, betting on some niche sports is only handled by some of them. This is the case, for example, with luge, which is available online on Bwin and PMU, curling, which is offered exclusively on Bwin, and skeleton and badminton, which are only available on PMU. Likewise, betting on combat sports is open, but in reality only boxing finds favour in the eyes of bookmakers, and not judo or taekwondo.

Limited Gambling Options

The real disadvantage of this type of bet is the lack of availability in the bookmakers’ listings.

First of all, the list of events authorised by the Arjel does not cover all sports. It excludes, for example, greyhound racing, cricket, fencing, darts, chess, figure skating, and in general all sports which it considers easily manipulated. Thus, in the same way as bets on the minute of a goal or a yellow card, bets on marginal sports are considered likely to influence the players or referees of a match. In addition, operators do not cover bets that they consider to be in low demand, so some sports authorised by the regulation are unavailable on specialised sites.

Even when these are authorised and available, another major drawback remains: the bookies’ calendar. Indeed, open bets on this type of sports event are generally announced relatively late, the day before or the day before the event, as opposed to several weeks or even months in advance for high-stakes events.

Moreover, even if these events are open, they may not benefit from the full range of gambling options. For example, the “live bet” – i.e. the bet during the match and the floating odds depending on the course of the game – is often not open on these types of events.

The bettor therefore has:

  • little time to analyse.
  • few bets offered.
  • sometimes the unpleasant surprise not to see his discipline of heart represented on his betting site.

The ignorance of bookmakers: an opportunity!

The reason proclaimed by the operators for the under-representation of certain sports in their listings is the lack of public interest in them. However, the flip side of this lack of popular interest is a real lack of knowledge of these disciplines.

Thus, while the bookmakers’ statistical tools can establish consistent odds on the major events on the sports calendar, more significant anomalies can occur in the odds of these less well-known events. A connoisseur following the news of these less popular sports more or less closely will therefore be able to more easily detect frequent blunders in the automatically generated statistics and thus win first-rate prizes.

The “Value-Bet”

A good technique to evaluate the chances of winning on these events is therefore the quick calculation to determine if the bet is a “value bet”, i.e. a bet where the chances of winning are higher than the bookmaker’s prediction.

To find a value bet, first estimate the probability of the bet yourself, then multiply it by the bookmaker’s odds. If the result is greater than 100, you have found a value bet. This is the same as applying the following formula: bookmaker’s odds * estimated probability > 100ю

If you followed the previous edition of the Stanley Cup, you probably know that the Boston Bruins finished second, and that the Philadelphia Flyers did not qualify for the playoffs. So you estimate that the Bruins have more than a 50% chance of winning. You apply the formula 50*2.20=110 and discover that because the result is higher than 100, you have a “value-bet”!

In Brief

The regulation of the Arjel and the lack of media coverage of certain sports results in disadvantages for bookmakers’ betting. Many disciplines are subject to a ban and if bets are offered, it is often very late that the bettor will find out about it. Also, the bettor may not be able to take advantage of all betting options – especially live bets.

However, the lack of knowledge of various sports offers a real advantage for those who follow them. Being able to detect statistical anomalies in the odds generation tools, savvy bettors will be able to make more value bets than in the better known sports and thus win more money.

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