Betgenius’ VP of US Business Development Andrew Patterson and Bill Anderson, VP Commercial Americas, talk about the vast potential for betting on basketball and how it fits with the modern sports fan.

SBCA: Basketball seems to offer a near endless supply of statistics. How do you envisage the potential of player and team props for NBA games?

AP: Statistics and player content are vital to how fans follow the NBA and, as shown by the popularity of DFS, there is an appetite to apply this engagement in gambling.  

Factor in the fast, end-to-end nature of matches and the potential of NBA prop markets is huge. Wagering on Lebron James’ points, rebounds and assists in a given quarter is a really compelling proposition and one which will add excitement to every play.

In this sense, our NBA BetBuilder is an attractive product. With 400 market-types for every game including hundreds of props, it allows customers to create, customize and back same-game-parlays involving player, team and match performance without any restrictions. It’s perfect for the modern sports fan and a game changer for pre-match betting.

SBCA: What information could the official data providers make available in the future that would enable additional betting markets to open up? Is that data already in use by the teams’ analysts or are there as yet untapped statistics?

BA: Data required for sportsbook trading is very different to the data needed by media publishers and sports. To power fan engagement services and performance analysis, live data needs to be extremely rich. In the case of leagues and clubs, this often includes things like distance covered, how high a player jumps for a dunk and ball trajectory. 

For betting markets however, data must be extremely specific. The accuracy, latency and reliability of this data is where the value lies because these factors dictate how sharp your lines and spreads are, your up time, how quickly bets are settled and ultimately your customer experience and turnover.

SBCA: What is the potential for in-play betting in the NBA? Could markets such as next scorer or next three-point scorer really become widely available? Or could the combination of the end-to-end speed of basketball and the limitations of technology prevent in-play from matching the popularity of spreads and parlays?

AP: The live action is where fan excitement and emotion are at their highest. So innovating and capturing the speed and drama of NBA games in live betting is a major opportunity for US sportsbooks.

One way this could look is thousands of play-by-play markets, like what’s going to happen in the next 30 seconds or minute, and whether the next attempt will score or miss. Similar markets have emerged in soccer and given their tendency to interact with a second screen while watching on TV, I have no doubt they would appeal to NBA fans.

Pricing is the obvious challenge in the way of this vision and requires major investment in the right modelling capabilities. But the data exists.

SBCA: Are there examples of any other sports making great strides in the type and volume of data they make available to sports betting and how they engage with the sector?  

BA: Our betting partner NASCAR is a great example. Through investment in official data, it is driving engagement and attracting new fans while also benefiting from a new revenue stream.

In partnership, we launched the sport’s first official live betting solution last year, including an exclusive set of live market-types that allow fans to follow the action in exciting new ways.

This has enabled many of our sportsbook partners across the US to acquire a loyal and passionate customer group and unlock additional turnover.

Along with modeled in-race pricing powered by racetrack data, the solution we’re supplying sportsbooks includes risk management and pre-event markets. Hold percentage and risk strategy are fully customizable, so while operators are outsourcing their operations, they can still localize their trading and maximize profits.