What are Alternate Markets in Sports Betting? How to Bet Alternate Lines
It is a well known fact that, at its basics, sports betting is about picking the winner of a game or match. In fact, most of the bets that a sports bettor places are going to be on the winner or loser of something. However, there are other markets that exist and are available to you in sports betting.
What are Alternate Markets in Sports Betting?
There are a variety of alternate markets that exist and vary greatly from each other. Some involve betting over/unders, some involve the number of points a specific player will score, and some can even have to do with whether the coin toss is going to be heads or tails! Below is a list of common alternate markets:
Alternate Point Spreads
This particular alternate market has already been covered heavily in our buying points article, if you are unfamiliar with alternate point spreads I strongly suggest you go check out that article.
Essentially alternate point spreads allow you to bet on point spread markets that are not the main, or consensus line being offered at most sportsbooks. This will impact the odds that you get for these bets, more favorable spreads get you less favorable odds, but major sportsbooks offer a wide range of alternate spreads. There’s often value found in how these different books price these alternate markets.
Alternate over/unders are very similar to buying or selling points. As you can see below betting the alternate lines of this market will either decrease or increase the odds of your bet based on the books’ factors.
For example: the closer to 0 points you get and taking the over, the bigger decrease of the odds. The same is true for the further away from 0 you get and taking the under. On the other side of the coin the further away from zero while taking the over and the closer to 0 you get while taking the under will increase your odds.
Another popular prop is the 1H/2H alternate market. In this you are simply betting on who is going to score the most points, goals, runs, etc. in the first half and second half respectively. This can be done in football and basketball.
In this screenshot you can see the 1st half and the second half betting laid out for an NFL game. It looks just like an entire game line, but adjusted for the halves.
It is important to note this is all about what happens in the half, with no carryover from any other halves. If you take the Titans 2H but the Bengals win the 1H it does not matter. Everything resets for the second half.
In hockey they do not play halves but three periods. This makes betting that alternate market equivalent to 1H/2H a little different. The Over/Unders are going to be lower per period since there is action in a period than a half.
Along with this the spreads and money lines will vary greatly from the total game spreads and money lines because in hockey it is not uncommon for teams to have a bad period in a game but play well the other two.
Baseball innings works the same way as hockey periods and football halves but instead of 2 halves or 3 periods there are 9 innings.
Just as in hockey this makes the variance between total game spreads and money lines and per inning spreads and money lines much greater.
In baseball you also have to account for who is pitching. A team may have horrible odds to win the first 5 innings due to their opponent having their ace on the mound, but may have better odds on the full game result because of their opponents bullpen issues.
Other Types of Alternate Betting Markets
Player props refer to the alternate markets involving the number of points, goals, runs, rebounds, yards thrown, tackles, rush yards, etc that a player may score or receive in a given game. Below are some of the more popular player props from the major sports leagues around.
- Made Threes
- Touchdown Scoring
- Passing Yards
- Receiving Yards
- Rushing Yards
- Defensive Props (tackles, assists,sacks)
- Player Goals
- Player Points
- Player Assists
- Player Shots
By general definition prop bets are a bet that is not tied to the final score or final outcome. This does not mean that the event does not factor into the outcome of the game, but of the bet.
In this screen shot we can see the touchdown scorer prop on FanDuel. In this prop you bet on who will score a touchdown at any point during the game. If the player you pick scores a touchdown, the bet hits, regardless of whether that player’s team wins or not.
Prop bets get categorized into these two “umbrella” categories:
Game props are like the example above. They have to do with outcomes within the game such as longest touchdown pass, highest points scorer, first to score, etc.
Exotic or Special Props
These are the props that I like to refer to as “lottery tickets”. There is no actual strategy or percentage edge in these bets. They include what the coin toss will be, what color is the gatorade poured on the winning coach, how long is the national anthem?
Exotic prop bets have a lot more variance, are much riskier and often. have small limits. Game props, however, usually come with larger odds, the ability to strategize, and the ability for a larger payout.
If I were you I would head on over to your favorite book, look at the alternate markets, and get in on the money.