Since we started formulating Unabated in late 2020 a lot has changed in sports betting. Similarly, since we started I’ve rediscovered a lot about sports betting. For instance, before Unabated, I used to preach that futures were inherently poor wagers. The house edge is too high. The money is tied up too long. Then came our NFL Season Simulator and I could finally see the value in futures wagers. There have been other rediscovery points. One of the biggest has been my approach to in-game sports betting.
Previously, in-game sports betting was dreadful. You had to tolerate a dance of spinning status wheels and rejected bets. Basic strategy was to wait until commercial breaks and then rush to make a wager that would be accepted before play resumed.
On top of this, you are conditioned to accept a 6.5% organic house edge because books deal -115 on both sides of the line. At Unabated, we felt very early on that tools to present the dynamic values of half-points with in-game betting would be revolutionary. We’ve created landmark in-game betting tools. However, the problem persisted that the in-game sports betting experience was often frustrating to bettors.
Sporttrade Changes The In-Game Sports Betting Experience
Along came Sporttrade and their sports trading platform. We’ve discussed in past articles why the consumer benefits tremendously from betting exchanges in the ecosystem. However, one of the key advantages of Sporttrade’s platform is the contractual obligation of their market makers to offer wagers nearly the entire length of the game.
Their market makers put up two-sided betting lines with thin margins and no bet review process. The amount of liquidity available is clearly stated and your wager is filled instantly. No spinning wheels, no review from the sportsbook to see if they want to take a wager from you or reject it based on your history.
I must admit, my first time trading with real money on the Sporttrade platform, it didn’t seem real. How could my bet be accepted instantly? Not only that, but the line moved slightly after my wager and the liquidity was replaced. Eliminating the ubiquitous spinning wheel was only part of the game changing that Sporttrade brought to the industry, though.
Near Frictionless Betting
I’m a buy-and-hold investor. Both in my financial market investing as well as my sports betting. I’d rather buy a low-expense index fund and hold it than try jumping into popular stocks like TSLA and then jumping back out when Elon says something offensive. I could extol you with practical reasons like tax implications and brokerage commission structures, but for many investors it’s just personal preference. Whether you are an index fund person or a stock picker, we both agree that the real crazy ones are the day traders.
It’s a special kind of masochist who attempts to open and close all their positions in the course of one day, short-term capital gains taxes be damned. They want to ride the waves of stock movement in either direction and quickly profit. Then do it all again the next day.
In my sports betting, I prefer to identify the value and then let it play out to the completion of the game. I really didn’t have much choice until a few months ago. My options were to bet the other side at that 6.5% theoretical house edge, or take a cash out offer from the sportsbook. The cash out offer is the payday loan of sports betting. Typically, they offer you about 50 cents on the dollar to the amount of equity your bet has. If you have $60 of equity on your wager, expect a cash out offer that nets you $30. Really lousy returns.
Sporttrade Makes Me Feel Dirty
However, Sporttrade enables me to get out of my bet quickly, easily, and almost without sacrificing much equity. The cash out offer at Sporttrade is your ability to sell your position at whatever the current price is. If you bought 10 shares at 52.5 (-110) and the Sell Price is now 60 (-150), you get $75 of profit, minus the 2% commission on wins. Your $73.50 net profit might have only been $35 in the form of a cash out offer. Betting the other side requires you to tie up twice as many funds. Whereas on Sporttrade, your money is free to be used again right away.
The first time I watched a game with the Sporttrade app open, I instantly realized the rush that day traders must feel. It felt dirty. I didn’t want to buy-and-hold anymore. I wanted to buy-the-dip and then sell-and-flip. Again, another thing that I’ve rediscovered about sports betting — in-game betting can be profitable and fun. In-game sports betting doesn’t have to be frustrating and you don’t need to stay steadfast in your pregame position in a game.
The key is low margins and low friction. I hate to say it, but you can almost afford to make mistakes on the Sporttrade platform and then trade your way out of them without much harm. Ugh, that sounds so reckless! But it’s true.
Sporttrade Does Microbetting At A Macro Level
A few months back, I wrote how Microbetting will soon be an industry buzzword. Sportsbooks will want you betting on every little facet of a game. Will this player make both free throws? What will be the outcome of this at-bat? Will this team score on this drive?
Sporttrade is uniquely positioned with it’s low-margin, low-friction, high-speed platform to potentially be the best microbetting platform available to bettors. Aaron Judge due up for the Yankees. Do you take a bullish position on the Yankees because you think Judge will do something positive? Or do you short a position on the Yankees because you think Judge will strike out?
The platform is nimble enough that you may have that position for only a minute or two and then close it out. It’s absolutely a viable way to bet on almost any sport. Sporttrade’s market makers clearly have a fast operator feed to set lines and react to live data. However, the prices and liquidity are clearly stated. A savvy bettor can do quite well taking a microbetting approach to the Sporttrade platform.
What’s Next For Sporttrade
One of the more impressive aspects of Sporttrade is how much they’ve adapted to the market in just their first four months of operation. At Unabated, we wanted the New Jersey exchanges to be part of our odds screen because of their price discovery properties. We also were anxious to be the Rosetta Stone translating Sporttrade’s implied probability pricing into the more-accepted American odds. Sporttrade listened to users and now offers American odds in their platform.
They also offer futures betting now. In fact, they probably offer the best futures odds in the U.S. Not only because you can bet both the “yes” and the “no.” And not only because they have a low-margin on the straddle between yes and no. But, they do something I’ve never seen done in a sportsbook: they leave futures lines open during games. Imagine betting against a Tampa Bay Super Bowl if Tom Brady goes down with an injury mid-game? Intriguing.
Sporttrade is rumored to be adding MMA soon. I can’t imagine how much fun that might be. MMA is a sport where the probabilities swing wildly. I’ve also heard rumors of rolling out some props on other sports. One of the most popular props in NFL betting is whether a certain player will score a touchdown in a game. Imagine being able to bet the yes or no and then trade out of your position based on how the game is going.
Sporttrade Wants To Buy You An Unabated Subscription
If you are a bettor like me that always likes to be thinking of new ways to beat the house, this article should have already given you some new ideas to try at Sporttrade. One of the best aspects of Sporttrade is that they really don’t mind if you’re trying to beat them. They’re just the exchange. It’s the market makers who take the hits if you’re sharp.
We’ve always felt Unabated is the perfect complement to Sporttrade and vice-versa. To prove that, Sporttrade is still willing to buy you a month of Unabated if you deposit $500 on Sporttrade and make at least one trade. If you’re willing to up the ante, they are too. Deposit $1,000 on Sporttrade, make at least one trade, and you get a three-month subscription to Unabated Premium. You don’t even need to do anything special, they’ll contact you when you qualify. This deal is in addition to any other sign-up promotion that Sporttrade is running.
Sporttrade is currently only available in New Jersey. Is a trip to New Jersey worth it just to take advantage of this offer? That’s up to you. However, scheduling a flight with a layover at Newark Liberty International Airport may have a nice side benefit.
Adapting to change can be beneficial and profitable when you’re trying to win in a changing market. Sports betting always has a lot of nuance. Something might not be profitable under most conditions, but then conditions change. In the case of Sporttrade, they’ve removed two impediments that typically stand in the way of bettors. They offer lower margins and less friction in that betting experience. That combination can take a bad approach and make it a very viable approach.
Disclosure: Unabated has entered into a marketing agreement with Sporttrade as evidenced in the new user offer above. We believe in the value of exchanges in the betting ecosystem. We maintain editorial independence and the views and opinions expressed are our own.