These days the number of different sports and leagues people can bet on just keeps getting bigger. Gamblers aren’t limited to major pro leagues like the NFL or NBA. There are tons of other less popular, non-marquee sports that offer amazing value for betting.

We’re talking about sports like tennis, golf, CFL football, rugby, NASCAR and many more. These sports don’t get nearly as much getting action in the US as the big four pro leagues and since the sportsbooks aren’t spending as much time focusing on them, you can find big gambling edges.

What are Non-Marquee Sports?

Most of the time when you hear people talking about sports bets they’re talking about betting on the NFL, NBA, NHL, or MLB. The word marquee refers to the big sign above theater entrances, where you see the name of the band or show. We call the four major US leagues “marquee sports” because they’re the feature presentation. They’re headlining the show.

What’s considered a marquee sport depends on which part of the world you’re in. Internationally it might be soccer, cricket or rugby. In North America, it’s the four major sports leagues we mentioned before.

Non-marquee sports refer to the less popular leagues in North America and around the world, whether it’s golf, tennis, car racing, or even e-sports. In terms of betting action, sports like this are way less popular than the big four. But just because a sport or league is less popular than another doesn’t mean there aren’t great gambling opportunities.

As online sports gambling has evolved and gained popularity, it’s now standard for sportsbooks to offer lines on tons of the less popular non-marquee sports. In the next sections, we’ll take a closer look at non-marquee sports and how to profitably bet on them. And if you’d rather bet on mobile, then take a look at the best betting apps on the market.

Advantages of Betting on Non-Marquee Sports

The issue that sportsbooks have with setting so many lines across so many different sports is that they run the risk of spreading themselves thin in terms of staying up to date on the latest news and spending the time required to create dead-on accurate lines. Whether it’s moneylines, point spreads, or over/unders, the less time the oddsmakers spend setting lines, the less accurate they’re going to be.

Here are some of the biggest advantages to look for and keep in mind when considering taking a shot at betting on non-marquee sports:

  • Do early research and hunt for lines that haven’t adjusted to recent news. One main advantage of betting on non-marquee sports is you can find lines where it’s clear the bookmakers are not as up to date as they would be for NFL news, for example.
  • When odds and lines move in marquee sports it is often based on a majority of the public betting big on an over-hyped favourite. Generally speaking, when the public moves a line it is not based on smart money. With smaller leagues, if you see a line shifting it is more often from smart bettors who have found an edge overlooked by the sportsbook. This is a good chance to follow the smart money and make a smart bet.
  • There’re many cases of oddsmakers missing out on vital news for non-marquee games because the stories aren’t reported in the mainstream media and you’ll only know if you follow a particular team closely via their website, Twitter, Facebook, etc. If you notice something significant before the house does you can get an edge.

Disadvantages of Betting on Less Popular Sports

Less Betting Options

Compared to marquee events you can expect far fewer betting options when it comes to non-marquee sports. If you like individual player prop bets, for example, you’ll have a hard time finding a good variety compared to the big leagues. Different sportsbooks offer different options so make sure to do some investigation and find a set that has good options for the sport you want to bet on.

Most likely you are going to have to choose between moneyline, point spread, or totals. It’s a bit of a catch-22 because if your sportsbook does start offering in-depth betting options for the non-marquee league you’re interested in it indicates that they are now paying more attention to it and subsequently they will be setting much tighter lines and odds.

Less Media Coverage

This can be an advantage or a disadvantage depending on your level of research. As mentioned above the more popular a league gets, the more attention the oddsmakers will give to it. If you are a fan of a sport that is mostly ignored by mainstream media it means you have the opportunity to be quicker than bookmakers when you come across fresh and important news about a team or game. The downside is that research takes a lot more legwork.

Less Research Resources

These days, thanks to the Internet that you can dig up data like never before. Even when information is hard to find, there are other means of obtaining what you seek. Again, if information is hard to come by you, you can also see this as a positive and an opportunity to become an export on your niche team/league in or der to outsmart the bookmakers.

Best Non-Marquee Sports to Bet On

  • NNCAA Football
  • NCAA Basketball
  • CFL
  • WNBA (Woman’s National Basketball Association)
  • PGA Golf
  • Tennis
  • MMA
  • E-Sports

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