In the world of sports betting, the terms large and small are often used to describe markets. However, many tend to throw these terms around without fully understanding what it means. Or, far more importantly, what it means for the betting enthusiast.

To put it very simply; large markets refer to the most popular sports. This would include the NFL and NBA, which see an enormous amount of bets placed on virtually every match. When major events come around, the betting market all but explodes with a flurry of wagers, with bettors taking part from almost every corner of the globe.

To put it into perspective, it is estimated that around 77% of every active bettor in the world makes wagers on the NFL. The NBA is a close second.

Small markets refer to less popular, or even obscure sports. Golf, boxing, and the female leagues of sports all qualify as small markets. Some betting does occur, but it is not nearly as much as can be seen in the NFL.

However, it is very important to keep in mind that it is far more than just a sport’s popularity that determines its market size. This is what many tend to overlook.

What is the Difference?

Conversely to what many assume, betting on small market sporting events can often be very beneficial. Due to big market betting involving such an extraordinary amount of money, bookmakers tend to focus the majority of their attention on keeping these markets under control. Just one bad move can, and often does, result in that bookmaker going bankrupt overnight. Or, having to make a hasty decission that angers many customers.

In small markets, however, bookmakers are far more relaxed, and keep far less control. This means that betting odds are often extremely generous, which creates many opportunities. For example, MMA is a new market, and also considered a small market. For this reason, bets are often placed on MMA fights, and won, with a success percentage that drastically outweighs NFL betting. But MMA betting is also popular here and at other places.

The Cons

On the other hand, smaller markets come with significant restrictions of their own. In betting, a bookmaker may have a wager limit of $2,000. This is because there is a great deal of confidence that the market is controlled, and that big losses are carefully considered.

However, that same bookmaker may put a limit of just $500 on MMA betting. Why? Because the bookmaker is well aware that the market is uncontrolled, and so wants to limit the possibility of major losses.

Which is Better?

It is plain to see that there are major benefits, and cons, to both markets. However, for beginner betting enthusiasts it makes all the sense in the world to stick to the smaller markets. It may be less popular sports, but the practice gained is priceless. In fact, it is basically a necessity to spend at least some time in the small market, before moving on the higher wager limits.