Learn What The Markets Mean

Andy Schooler

29 November 2022

Modern-day betting allows punters to bet on a vast range of markets and, of course, these are all offered by Smarkets. 

Each individual sport produces a number of unique markets, but let’s take a look at some of those on offer in our two most popular sports - horse racing and football.

To win 

This is the most popular horse racing market. This simply offers prices for each horse to win/lose the race in question. You can ‘back’ a horse to emerge victorious or ‘lay’ the horse (bet on it not winning).

To place

You are betting on whether a horse will be one of the first few finishers – to finish ‘in the places’. The exact number of places available each race is determined by the type of race and the number of runners. This information is always shown on the market page.

Full-time result

The most common football market. A user can choose three possible outcomes – a home win, a draw, or an away win. This market will be settled as a draw in cup competitions where level matches are set to be decided in extra time, by a penalty shootout, or even replayed.

To qualify

This market essentially deals with the aforementioned cup matches. Here you have just two outcomes – will team A emerge victorious or team B?

Goals over/under

Another popular football bet these days is to predict the number of goals in a match. A market is set with a ‘line’ (the most common is 2.5 but others are generally available) and punters can choose to bet ‘over’ that line or ‘under’ it. 

If they think there will be more than 2.5 goals in the game (E.G. three or more), they will back the over option. If they believe there will be fewer than 2.5 goals in the game (E.G. two or fewer), they will back the under option.

Both teams to score

This market asks if both teams will score in the match or not? The options are simple - ‘yes’ and ‘no.’

Asian Handicaps 

A type of handicap betting that became popular in Asia, hence the name. It is often popular for matches in which there is a hot favourite, as placing a bet in the handicap markets can get you a bigger price.

The market gives the underdog a head start in the match and you duly bet on whether you think they will win with the handicap or not. The handicap for the favourite is indicated by a minus sign (-), while the handicap for an underdog is indicated by a plus (+) sign.

Let’s take an example of a handicap of 1.5. The underdog starts the game leading 1.5-0. The favourites will ‘cover’ the handicap by winning the match by two goals or more – and thus win any bets that are placed backing them. Any other result sees bets on the underdog win.

The example above is of a half-ball line (0.5, 1.5, etc.), but sometimes other lines are used by market makers. One such handicap is the +0.25 line, which is often displayed as 0, +0.5 as it is essentially two separate bets with the stake split equally between the two handicaps. In this example, half of your stake would be on the 0 handicap and the other half on the 0.5 handicap.

The draw becomes a possibility for a whole-ball line (such as 1.0). If the handicap is applied to the result of the match and produces a draw, then bets are voided and stakes are returned.

Andy Schooler

29 November 2022

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