Betting Markets

One of the most important things bettors need to know before they start gambling is betting markets and how they work. Sports betting markets are the unique outcomes that bettors are putting their money on. There are many different kinds of markets, each offering a different type of outcome for bettors to bet on. In this guide, we’ll explore and compare betting markets and provide insight into what they are and how they work. Ready? Let’s get started.

Betting Markets Explained

Betting isn’t as simple as picking a team to win. While there is a betting market for that, this is only one of many different options that bettors can choose from. There are numerous types of betting markets, each providing a different outcome for bettors to place their money on. Understanding what they are and how they work will allow you to benefit and win big while sports betting

How do betting markets work?

Every sporting event is broken into different markets. The markets will all pertain to a different aspect of the sport or event. A game can have a massive amount of markets for just one event. These all cover different areas of the game and will have different odds attached to them. Bettors can bet on one market or many. There are also several sportsbooks that allow users to parlay bet multiple betting markets for a single game.

How to use betting markets

Here is how you can use betting markets to start betting on different outcomes.

  • Step One: Create an Account with the Sportsbook of your choice
  • Step Two: Browse their Sports section to find the sport you want to bet on. Click on the sport, league, and game of your choice to see the markets.
  • Step Three: Look at each of the different market sections, and see if any stand out. Make sure you are familiar with the market you hope to bet on, or else you might accidentally bet on something you don’t want to!
  • Step Four: Click on the odds associated with the market you want to bet on, and input how much you want to bet on the bet slip.

Popular Betting Markets to be Aware Of

There are many different betting markets that bettors need to be familiar with for them to fully grasp the sports betting world. Let’s look at some of the most popular sports betting markets that you are likely to find on just about every website on the planet.

  • Moneyline: Moneyline is the most common and popular market that there is due to its simplicity. A Moneyline bet is simply picking a team as the winner of a game. If you bet the Raptors on the Moneyline, that means you think they’ll win.
  • Point Spread: The Point Spread is a line that represents the projected score differential in a game in favor of one team. While in sports like basketball and football, the point spread will differ, in hockey and baseball, the spread tends to be 1.5 in favor of one team. Bettors can bet for the spread, meaning the favored team exceeds the projected differential, or against the spread, meaning they don’t.
  • Over/Under: The Over/Under or Total is a line that represents the total projected amount of points/goals/runs that will occur in a game between both teams combined. Bettors have to pick the over, which means the teams combine for more than the line, or the under, meaning they combine for less than the line. In basketball or football, the total tends to be high, but in soccer, it is most often at 2.5.
  • Futures: Futures or Outrights is a market based on long-term outcomes that are not settled right away. An example of futures would be betting on a team to win the NFC in Football or betting on a player to win MVP or Rookie of the Year in the NBA.
  • Game Props: Game Props are outcomes within a game that may not necessarily be tied to the final score. This is the most expansive betting market there is, with a ton of options for bettors. Game Props can include things like which team leads after the first quarter, how many corner kicks Team A will have, which team wins the tip-off, and so on. It depends on the operator.
  • Player Props: Player Props are like Game Props but for individuals, not teams. Player Props include outcomes like point totals for an NBA player, whether a player will score a touchdown bets for an NFL player, and more. They are tied to player performance. Not every operator has this market.

Popular betting markets per sport

  • Baseball: Baseball is one of the most popular sports in Canada, and most operators carry many markets for these games. The most popular baseball markets tend to be Moneyline, Over/Under, and the Run Line, which is the baseball version of a point spread.
  • Basketball: Basketball has become a global game that is loved by Canadians and others around the world. Basketball has many markets, but Moneyline, Point Spreads, Over/Under, and Player Props tend to get the most action.
  • Football: Football is the most popular sport in America and is certainly up there in Canada as well. Most operators carry tons of football betting markets. Popular ones include Moneyline, Over/Under, Player Props, and Point Spreads.
  • Hockey: Hockey is well-known to be Canada’s biggest game, and there are tons of Canadians that enjoy betting on the many hockey markets around. The most popular markets for hockey include Moneyline, Game Props, Over/Under, and the Puck Line, which is the hockey point spread.
  • Soccer: Soccer has many different markets because it is a sport that is played everywhere around the world. It is the most popular sport on the planet and has some unique popular markets like Double Chance and Asian handicaps. Moneyline and Over/Under bets are popular too.

Betting Market Strategies

If you want to use the different types of betting markets to your advantage, having a strategy in place that enables this is important. Always be cautious with your betting picks and try and seek out value first and foremost. Utilizing different markets to your advantage is a great way to start winning big when betting. Let’s look at some different strategies for winning with markets.

  • Search for the Edge: This is a simple piece of advice all bettors should know. Finding the edge when betting is extremely important. If none of the odds you see are bettor friendly, browse different markets to see if there are any outcomes being overlooked. Shop for odds by comparing them on different sportsbooks and find an edge that benefits you.
  • Avoid Props Based on Luck: Props are a great way to earn some money but be careful betting on props based entirely on luck. These include which team wins the opening tip-off, who wins the coin flip for an NFL game, and which player scores the first touchdown. These are markets that are almost entirely determined by chance.
  • Moneyline Heavy Underdog Bets are High Risk, High Reward: Betting the heavy underdog on the Moneyline is a risky endeavor, and it is a trap many bettors fall into when chasing value. A smarter strategy may be betting the point spread on the heavy underdog, so the range of outcomes that allow you to win is larger.
  • Research Matchups for Player Props: Player Props can pose huge results for bettors if they do their research. If you are betting on an NBA or NFL player, look at the defenses they are playing. If Steph Curry is going against a team that struggles to defend the three, putting some money down on his three-point total may be a smart decision.

Why does choosing the right betting markets matter? 

Choosing the right betting market is important because it determines what you need to happen. If you bet an underdog on the Moneyline, that team needs to win for your bet to cash. If you bet an +5.5 underdog on the point spread, that team only needs to keep the game within five points for your bet to cash. These are important differences. Each market also has varying payouts, so you can win more or less by betting on certain markets.

Frequently Asked Questions

Sports betting markets are the different outcomes within a game or a league that bettors are placing bets on to occur or not occur. They cover different aspects of a sport, like whether a team will win a game or whether a player will win MVP.

The most profitable betting markets are likely bets placed on the Over/Under line. While there isn’t any foolproof betting market, as all have inherent risks, an over/under bet is one where research into form and recent performances can give excellent insight and where the odds are around 50/50.

The safest betting market is called Double Chance. This is when bettors get to pick two of the three potential outcomes in a game like soccer, where ties are in play. So bettors can pick Team A and a tie, Team B and a tie, or Team A and Team B as their two potential outcomes. It is low risk, low reward.

The most expansive betting market is game props, where some sportsbooks carry hundreds for a single game. The most popular of the betting markets is Moneyline, which is simple and easy to understand.

Yes! Every betting market has different payouts, although it all depends on what they are covering. A Moneyline bet will typically pay out higher on an underdog than a Point Spread bet on an underdog. However, a Point Spread bet on a favorite will pay out higher than a Moneyline bet on a favorite most often. It all depends on the market and the teams playing.


Betting markets are one of the core parts of a gambling experience. Regardless of how many years you have been gambling, understanding the intricacies of these is important to your success. There are countless different kinds of markets, each offering some potential edge to users. It is up to you to find the one that works best for you.