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.

Advantage 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.

Oddsmakers have to dedicate the majority of their time to the big leagues because they represent such a big part of the book’s business. That often leaves the smaller leagues and less popular sports far less scrutinized.

  1. 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.
  2. When odds and lines move in marquee sports it is often based on a majority of the public betting big on an over-hyped favorite. 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.
  3. There are 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 will 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.
  4. Record the lines throughout the year and see if you notice trends in the oddsmakers’ lines. Take a game by game measure of how they set their money line, point spreads, and point totals. Are you noticing any mistakes or exaggerated lines? Are you noticing patterns or redundancies? If so you can exploit it to make a profit. They may just be relying on averages and ignoring important events within the league.
  5. If you are an avid fan of a smaller league, make sure to track the statistics closely but do so for many teams, not just your favorite. Sometimes the oddsmakers will base all of their lines on historical trends but will miss out on current affairs that alter the end results.

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