Using a Betting Exchange for Your NFL, NBA and MLB Picks

How the betting exchange format improves NFL betting, NBA betting and other major sports

When exchange betting was first introduced over 50 years ago, many believed it would revolutionize sports betting and lead to the demise of the bookmaker. It has certainly had a major impact on the sports betting industry and is very popular with bettors, but it has not replaced betting with bookmakers. Exchange betting is buried in a maze of legal roadblocks and the competition. Not legal in the US, exchange betting in Europe will deny online access to US bettors. Other off-shore accounts in Costa Rica and Curacao do not offer an exchange platform for NFL betting and other sports.

Exchange betting is also known as peer to peer betting between bettors who are offering or taking bets from other exchange betting members. It’s basically about betting against other individuals, rather than a bookmaker, which is why so many thought it would kill off traditional bookmaking. It’s a form of betting you should definitely be familiar with because it offers several benefits and should become a betting option when the legal problems are resolved someday.

What are the basics of exchange betting and how to use a betting exchange for NFL and NBA betting

The advantages and disadvantages of exchange betting when compared to traditional sports betting is mostly the reduced prices or vig needed to complete your bet. Betting on the NFL, NBA and MLB is still the same function with spreads, moneylines and totals pretty close to all others postings. However, bettors can save good money over a season with reduced juice and lower moneylines from other various exchange offerings. Bettors still need to apply their handicapping methods and to rely on accurate data banks of relevant information just like all bettors should use for extra support. Exchange betting allows your NFL and NBA picks to wager at a reduced price. Another available option is to offer your best NFL picks to other members to bet against you with you as the bookmaker collecting the wager with vig if you win.

The Basics of Exchange Betting

The basic principle of exchange betting is relatively straightforward. A betting exchange essentially matches up people who wish to take opposite sides of a wager. For every wager agreed they are acting as the middleman between someone betting on a selection to win (the backer) and someone betting on that selection to lose (the layer). The layer is effectively acting as a bookmaker, taking the backer’s stake and agreeing to pay out at the relevant odds if the selection wins. Your NFL, NBA and MLB picks are the usual betting format but instead of laying the standart -110 you only need to lay maybe -105 give or take two bucks. The middleman exchange is the manager which regulates the action between bettors and creates a smooth platform for betting the NFL and other sports.

Betting exchanges are run on websites which work in a similar way to most sports betting sites. Before you can start betting, you have to open an account and deposit funds. You’ll then be able to login to your account and see all the various sports that are covered, and the available betting markets. You have to navigate to the market you wish to bet on, and then locate the selection you wish to back or lay.

Backing a selection works in pretty much the same way as it does with a bookmaker. Bet the NFL and bet the NBA by choosing your selection and place your stake at the agreed odds. The main difference is that it’s another bettor that will be taking your wager and not a bookmaker. There’s also a difference in the way the odds are agreed.

When betting with a bookmaker you have to take the money odds currently being offered, but with an exchange you have the opportunity to choose the odds. You can submit a proposed wager with the stake and odds that you want, and if a layer chooses to accept your terms, then the wager is agreed and your stake will be deducted from your account. You can also choose to accept an existing wager which has already been proposed by a layer if you like the terms.

Betting the NFL as the bookmaker or the bettor

You have the same options when laying a selection. If someone has proposed a wager and you like the terms, then you can accept. The exchange will then deduct your potential liability, which is the amount you will have to pay the backer if the selection wins, and the wager is agreed. You can also choose to set your own odds for a selection and the stake you are prepared to lay. If a backer accepts that proposal, the wager will be agreed.

There’s technically no limit to the stakes or odds that can be proposed. There’s never any guarantee that your terms will be accepted because it depends if anyone else finds them attractive. In the event that you propose a wager and no one accepts it, it will simply be cancelled. Any funds that have been deducted from your account will be refunded, with no commission payable. But consider the following :

  • Liquidity has improved greatly at some betting exchanges. You will normally see relatively large amounts of liquidity at better prices at the exchanges than at most sportsbooks.  Sometimes, you may find only small bids offered on the betting exchanges, but at good prices.
  • Fees at the betting exchanges may range from 0% to 5% (and more) on winning bets. These fees are often separate from the actual transaction and vig, so you need to consider these fees when you enter into any sports betting exchange transaction. It is similar to a small rake by the house when playing poker.
  • When using sports betting exchanges, you are dealing with other sports bettors.  As a result, you won’t be banned or have your lines shaded if you prove to be a sharp bettor.

There are two other major advantages which exchange betting has over traditional sports betting. The biggest of these is the simple fact that you can lay selections i.e. bet on them to lose. This isn’t something that you can do with a bookmaker, and it opens up lots of new opportunities for making money.

Laying also gives you the opportunity to use certain strategies that help you to manage your risk. Betting the NFL Seattle Seahawks, at odds of 15 to 1 to win the Super Bowl at the start of the season, is a future NFL betting strategy. If they make it to the playoffs, the odds on them winning the Super Bowl will be much lower by that point, so you could bet against them at about 7 to 1 not to win the Super Bowl. Either way your NFL hedge bet produces a profit with no risk.

The other main advantage that exchange betting has to offer is the odds for backing selections. You’ll frequently find better odds on exchanges than you’ll find at the bookmakers. They may only be a little higher in some cases, but even a small improvement in the odds you get can make a big difference to your overall returns in the long run.

Disadvantages of Exchange Betting

There are a couple of disadvantages of exchange betting that are fairly minor, but you should be aware of them before deciding whether or not this form of betting is for you. The main drawback is that you may not always be able to get your NFL or NBA bets matched. This is unlikely to be a major problem if you are betting on the most popular markets, it’s something you could run into fairly often if you bet on less mainstream sports or smaller events.

  • Many betting exchanges do not offer “second half” lines on many sports.  Offerings on “Totals” in college hoops and other less-popular markets are also limited for your NCAAF picks and NCAAB picks.
  • Liquidity for “smaller games” is sometimes limited.
  • If the line moves suddenly, the betting exchange may not create a new market at the new line immediately.  This means you will either have to go to a sportsbook or pay the adjusted vig.

Value and Liquidity

Betting exchanges look like they will be the wave of the future. Why pay -110 vig when you can deal with a fellow sports bettor and get -103, +100, perhaps even +105. As sports bettors become more informed shoppers, an increasing number of players will migrate to the betting exchanges. This will lead to increased liquidity, improved pricing for players and a self-fulfilling cycle of increased business for the betting exchanges. NFL betting is a big market for all types of betting platforms. Betting NFL games from different angles is a key factor to consider when your NFL picks are part of your betting trends that you find on certain teams during the season.

One important point to note is that you can use sports betting exchanges in a variety of ways. Some players will shop the lines offered (called offers” on the betting exchanges and then buy up an offer. If the pricing isn’t great, the player might just use their regular sportsbook.  Other players will put out bids and try to see if other players will accept their offer.

Traditional bookmakers will probably blend their regular betting format with a limited range of exchange betting. Many bettors like to play teasers, parlay, if bets and other exotic bets offered by the books. Exchange betting is limited by nature and cannot offer the variety of bets allowed in a sportsbook. The mix of betting platforms gives bettors additional options and increases the revenue stream for the books. NFL betting is the most popular market but NBA betting, MLB betting and the two major college sports of NCAA football and basketball are big draws especially during playoffs, bowl games and March Madness.