If you haven’t heard of Microbetting, you soon will. Move over Same Game Parlay and Pointsbetting, there’s a new buzzword technology sportsbooks will soon be leveraging in the US. Microbetting is the term given to prop wagers that originate and resolve in-game and aren’t tied to the overall result of the contest. In other words, microbetting is a wager on a small slice of the game. A player at-bat in baseball or the result of the next possession in football. How micro does microbetting get? You may soon be able to wager on whether the next pitch will be a ball or a strike. Will Joel Embiid make or miss this free throw? Will Ryan Succop make this FG attempt?
A Brief History of Microbetting
The concept of betting on individual events in the course of a game is nothing new. Various offshore books offered low-limit microbets years ago. The reason limits were often low is because the bets were fairly inefficiently priced. Cantor Gaming had microbetting in 2010 as a part of their in-game betting option called eDeck. Bettors could use a tablet device in the sportsbook to bet in-game on games broadcast in the sportsbook. Cantor’s solution introduced some computer algorithms to the process to derive a price. The eDeck was popular with sharp bettors looking to get an edge and within a couple years a mobile app was born for Nevada bettors.
Since then, many smaller companies have targeted creating a more efficient microbetting market. Chief among them so far is SimpleBet. Founded in 2018, they have raised (and largely spent) $80 million in pursuit of a machine-learning microbetting B2B solution. They have partnered with both FanDuel and DraftKings to bring their solution to market. SimpleBet is the dominant microbetting provider currently. Meanwhile, PointsBet purchased Banach Technology largely to leverage their research in microbetting markets. Many other startups are vying to be part of the microbetting discussion as it evolves in US sportsbetting.
How Microbetting Works
Typically, in order to avoid past-posting and courtsiding, microbetting markets are on events soon to happen. Rather than betting on the player currently at-bat, you’d be betting on the player due to bat next. Here’s an example. Jurickson Profar is due up second in the 8th inning. You can wager on what he’ll do while CJ Abrams takes his at-bat in front of him.
The complexity of microbetting varies. Some operators offer many different wager options, as seen with the screenshot above. Some also offer the simple Yes/No proposition of will Profar reach base in that plate appearance? Or a 3-way market of Hit or Out or Walk/HBP.
In football, betting on the result of an upcoming drive is a frequent offering. In basketball, the aforementioned free throw proposition is offered. Another popular option is which team will score the 50th point of the contest when the score is 23-20.
Why Sportsbooks Want You To Microbet
The more bets you make, the more chance the sportsbook has to let their built-in edge grind against your bankroll. If you are a basketball fan and you’re just betting your favorite team to win on the moneyline each game, the sportsbook has a 4% edge on you that they exercise once every couple days. If they can convince you to try microbetting while you watch the game, they can now leverage their house edge many times during the game. Sportsbooks thrive on volume. They would love to turn you into a high frequency trading machine. They’d love to see you betting on every little facet of a game.
Traditionally, bettors like instant gratification in their wagers. They prefer to know if they’ve won or lost quickly, rather than sweat out the result for three hours. We’ve seen that with the popularity of First Inning wagers in MLB (YRFI/NRFI) as well as First To Score X in basketball. In that sense, microbetting could take off with the American bettor.
However, that house edge cutting into you could be problematic for bettors. In the same way that Same Game Parlays have been the downfall of many bettors due to their potentially ridiculous house edge. Microbetting can have a high house edge.
|Bet Type||House Edge
|2-way||6% to 9%
|3-way||9% to 12%
|Multi-way||11% to 16%
The house edge matters because unless you have developed your own microbetting algorithms, you’ll probably be attempting to beat these markets using seat-of-the-pants handicapping. The higher the house edge, the less likely that your method of handicapping will be successful and the faster it’ll become painfully obvious to you.
Would Line Shopping Help?
In case you’re thinking of line shopping to lower the synthetic hold when microbetting. It won’t be easy. Typically, the wording on microbetting options make for finding an apples-to-apples comparison somewhat difficult. For instance, one sportsbook may offer microbetting on a player to either get a single, double, triple, home run, or no hit at all. However, another sportsbook might offer those same options but also base on balls, reach on error, or any other result.
Those extra options make comparing lines nearly impossible. Not to mention, the time crunch you may be under in your line shopping.
What’s Good About Microbetting?
Anything that’s good for the sportsbook must be bad for the player, right? Well, not exactly. There is some upside for the savvy bettor in microbetting markets. The first potential inefficiency that a player can exploit is that microbetting creates more surface area for a sportsbook to defend. The biggest benefit for consumers in sports betting is that they don’t have to be every single wager on the screen. Meanwhile, sportsbooks potentially do. The sportsbook gets the benefit of the vig in exchange for having to defend a massive surface area of wagers.
Microbetting is now largely algorithm-based. SimpleBet prides itself on machine learning to build a more efficient in-game microbetting experience. Despite many advancement in the field of AI and ML, the machines still have trouble understanding the nuance of some sports. Especially American sports. You should theorize about situations where a computer might miss how a situation might deviate from the statistical norm. There’s always room in sports betting for injecting a human element into the logic puzzle.
What’s Bad About Microbetting?
Beyond the house edge that was mentioned earlier, microbetting also presents a lot of opportunity for undisciplined bettors to chase their losses. A half-inning containing as many as 30 different microbetting options within the space of 3 outs. Bettors tend to want to “get that back” when a microbet doesn’t go their way. Perhaps they go “double or nothing” on the next bet because they feel their read is right.
Microbetting also needs more competition so that it’ll continue to innovate. As we saw with Same Game Parlays, if given the chance, sportsbooks will continue to jack up the house edge as much as they can get away with. The current options are somewhat innovative, but there’s room for growth. There’s also room to compete with slightly lower vig if a book can gain confidence in their lines.
Where You Can Find Microbetting
DraftKings probably offers the most extensive microbetting options through their deal with SimpleBet. Many different markets are offered from Plate Appearance props to Pitcher/Inning props to Drive Outcome props. PointsBet’s offering, powered by Banach Technology, typically has a half dozen betting options based on the current inning, quarter, or period. Caesars offers microbetting for both batters and pitchers in MLB. PlayUp leverages some next batter and next inning props as well. In short, if your favorite sportsbook doesn’t offer microbetting, they probably soon will.
Additionally, there’s going to be new ways to approach microbetting in the future. The convergence of sports betting and stock trading continues to happen. The concept of day trading is alluring to bettors. It’s also alluring to operators since it creates higher volume. You can be sure that operators will find a way to make sports betting take the form of day trading very soon.
If you want to learn more about Microbetting – check out our Unabated Community Discord where you’ll find like-minded bettors who are also trying to get an edge with these in-game wagers.
- Microbetting is a way to bet in-game without necessarily betting on the outcome of the game itself.
- Operators will be pushing the concept because it creates more volume against the house edge.
- Bettors should be choosy in which bets they pursue and look for inefficiencies in the nuance of the sport.
- If you haven’t heard about microbetting yet, you soon will.