The different types of sports bets that bookies should have in their portfolio

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Sports betting is an incredibly competitive and complex industry that has grown tremendously in recent years. As such, bookies are constantly looking for ways and solutions to scale their operations and streamline the experience in order to attract more customers.

One of the critical elements of success is the variety of their betting offerings. This article will delve into the intricacies of modern sports bookmaking and what betting types their portfolios should contain. We will also show you how OddsMatrix, a leading sports betting data provider, can help bookies grow their business with data.

How does modern bookmaking work?

To better understand the topics we’ll touch on later in the article, we need to set the stage by outlining the ins and outs of a bookmaking operation.

A bookmaker, also known as a “bookie” or “betting agency,” is an organization or individual that accepts bets on various events. These events can take many forms, but they mainly involve sports. Bookies set odds, manage bets and pay out winnings. The process is relatively straightforward, but a lot more intricacies are involved in running a betting agency.

First, there are setting odds. The gist is that bookmakers determine the probability of each outcome in an event and set the odds. When setting the odds, bookmakers must account for factors such as historical data, player/team form, expert predictions, weather, and, most crucially, public opinion. Bookmakers gauge public opinion by scouring social media and monitoring the media. As for collecting and assessing historical data, bookmakers often use odds feed service providers like OddsMatrix (more on this later).

The next step involves accepting the bets after setting the odds. Customers place bets on various outcomes and combinations of outcomes – the number of goals scored, the winner, or even as granular as which players might be substituted with whom.

The third step is balancing the book. Balancing the book means bookmakers set the book in such a way that no matter the outcome, they profit by paying out less than the total amount wagered. To balance the book, operators must constantly adjust the odds to attract more bets on less popular outcomes. Another way to balance the book is to limit the maximum stake allowed on a particular outcome. This is so important that it led to an entire industry oriented towards providing accurate sports betting analytics to ensure bookmakers work with the best odds possible.

The fourth and fifth steps concern paying out the winnings, reporting, and regulation. Payouts are adjusted based on the odds while reporting and regulation involve the bookmakers’ adherence to the regulations of their jurisdiction.

How do customers choose one bookmaker over another?

As mentioned in the introduction, as gambling is becoming more competitive, bookies must find creative ways to attract and retain customers.

Operators do so through marketing – however, there is only so much an operator can achieve with creative marketing. What truly matters is offering a seamless user experience, a wide variety of betting options, and, more crucially, accurate (and attractive) odds.

As such, betting operators have been increasingly leaning towards services that provide the infrastructure and data capabilities necessary to run a modern sportsbook operation. OddsMatrix offers sports data feeds and sports data API solutions for real-time betting odds, scores, and settlements. More on this later.

Betting Types bookies should have in their portfolios

Now that we’ve established the basics, let’s go through a few betting types that all bookies should have in their portfolios.


There is a good reason why moneylines are among the first bets listed when bettors click on a specific game. And that’s because money lines are amongst the most basic betting types there are – bettors simply bet on a team to win, and that’s pretty much it.

However, just because moneylines are simple doesn’t imply that they don’t come with their own quirks. The odds for moneylines can be just as uneven as the matches themselves.

For example, the game may see the underdog with long odds while the favorite with short odds – thus leading to a huge potential payout for the former and a low payout for the latter. This, naturally, complicates things for the bookmaker, whose primary interest is to balance the book and turn a profit regardless of the outcome.

This makes solutions like OddsMatrix all the more important. OddsMatrix offers real-time odds data for a wide range of sports and betting types. Through it, bookmakers can access accurate odds, which they can adjust based on developing trends, thus minimizing the risk posed by moneyline bet types.

Totals Or Over/Under

This is among the more complex betting types. Bettors go for this model when they are unable to gauge the outcome of the match but have a rough idea of its development.

For instance, betting on totals involves wagering on the total combined score of both teams. It’s up to bookmakers to decide whether it’ll be over or under a certain threshold.

Betting over assumes that the teams will combine for more than x number of points.
And betting assumes the possibility for the teams to combine for fewer points than the set line.


In parlays, multiple wagers are combined into a single bet. This has the result of increasing the odds and, by extension, the total payout. The catch is that every single leg of a parlay needs to hit in order for it to win. If one of those bets loses, they all lose.
Parlays are essentially a mix of spread, moneyline, and over/under bets. Bettors are attracted to parlays because of the huge potential payout. They’re also very hard to win, which is part of the allure.

Now, from a bookmaker’s point of view, parlays can be a very lucrative betting niche to leverage – especially because they are very hard to win. Balancing the book can be made even easier with the help of a dedicated solution that provides accurate odds data and the infrastructure to support parlays.

Live Betting

Live betting, also known as “in-play betting,” refers to gambling that occurs after a game has started. Users can place bets throughout the game rather than only before its start. Consequently, odds change in response to what’s happening during the game – adding an exciting dimension to traditional betting, which is a “bet and wait” kind of game.

The demand for live betting has exploded during the Pandemic and has changed the nature of gambling in general. The fact that it feels more like a “game” than other forms of betting is what attracts bettors the most to it, as bettors can adapt their strategy and have tighter control over the outcome. As this emergent form of gambling started gaining popularity, operators have strived to offer the best possible betting experience to customers who prefer it.

However, experts within and outside the industry have raised concerns about live betting due to its vulnerability to match-fixing. The reason why live betting is so exposed to match-fixing is twofold: the higher betting limits and the changing odds. Add the short windows during which betting takes place, and it’s easy to see why it may be harder to spot fraudulent betting.

Fortunately, dedicated data feed solutions like OddsMatrix offers security and risk mitigation tools to spot and prevent match-fixing.

How can bookies leverage betting in the modern betting industry?

Sports betting data solutions like OddsMatrix provide bookmakers with essential data and tools to help them manage their operations more efficiently and competitively.

These services collect and analyze vast amounts of sports data and offer various features that can streamline and improve the bookmaking process. Some of the ways a bookmaker can use a sports betting data solution like OddsMatrix include:

  • Odds management and customizable margin. OddsMatrix provides customizable real-time odds for a wide array of sports and betting markets. With this feature, bookmakers could, for example, access up-to-date odds and adjust them according to betting types and behavior, gaining a competitive advantage over competitors.
  • Automation. Bookies can customize their pricing with automated margin adjust meant. This way, they can follow competitors and work with preset parameters. Event creation and scheduling are also entirely automated. Bookmakers can create event listings, assign market types, and set opening and closing times for bets. This saves bookmakers a tremendous amount of time and allows them to focus on other aspects of their business.
  • Live sports data. This allows bookmakers to offer live betting (also known as in-play betting). Odds are updated constantly to reflect the changing circumstances of the game. This makes certain betting types less risky for the bookmakers and more exciting for the customer, who’s enjoying the benefits of a dynamic betting environment.
  • High level of customization and accuracy. OddsMatrix’s APIs and integration-friendly infrastructure allows bookmakers to customize their data, betting offerings, and features to their liking. This not only makes OddsMatrix easy to integrate but also boosts the value proposition of your operation in the eyes of the customer, who will be attracted to your platform’s ease of use and variety of features.
  • Risk management tools that help bookmakers identify and address risks proactively. These tools help bookmakers balance the books and minimize exposure to unexpected losses – if, say, a large payout is on the horizon.

Take your betting portfolio to the next level with OddsMatrix.

OddsMatrix is the leading sports betting data provider solution for bookmakers and operators wanting to present varied types of sports bets to their customers. If you’re a bookmaker or a sports betting operator looking for a powerful sports betting analytics solution, look no further than OddsMatrix.