Glen Saville, Senior Director, Global Trading at SG Digital, lifts the lid on how the company and its OpenSports platform has tackled every trading challenge ahead of this weekend’s big game.
Fail to prepare, prepare to fail
You can trace the start of a particularly intense period back to at least a month before this weekend’s big game. At that stage, we had a team dedicated to creating and thereafter managing a huge number of markets. It is not simply a standard offering, either. We customize what we produce to meet the needs of our individual customers, in order that they can differentiate from the competition.
When it comes to the final week in the lead-up to the main event – most of the pricing has settled down. That does not mean that our work becomes any less intense, only that the focus becomes trained on ensuring absolute accuracy across every single market.
A market for everything
You need reserves of stamina simply to count up the number of individual markets we are offering this year. We believe that we are now up to at least 700 – though that number could yet increase. As a trading prospect, the key markets such as money line, spread and total are relatively simple to trade due to the market being so stable due to the weight of money that has already been placed. Those numbers are unlikely to shift significantly.
The game also brings with it novelty markets that can attract the more casual sports bettor – or even those swept up in the excitement of the occasion who would not normally place a bet. This year, bettors can place wagers on the first song to be played in the halftime show and the color of sports drink that gets thrown at the coach, for example. Maintaining all of these smaller markets is complex, but there is no doubt that they all add value to the overall entertainment package.
Prop bets on players is an area where interest has rocketed. Sports fans can bet on virtually any statistic that can be measured and we are able to tie a market to. Customers who are looking for a bigger return from a small wager can bet on the scorer of the first touchdown, for example.
For those who are more invested in the granular detail of the game in order to try to spot an edge they can exploit, we have got player performance markets, with receptions, rushing yards and touchdowns. Whatever occurs on the night and whatever your level of interest in the field of play – or even during the halftime show – there is a market for it.
Strength in numbers
Our OpenSports platform is the most robust in the business and is known to be bulletproof at scale. We have a presence in every US state where online sports betting is permitted and at any given point – pre-match and in-play – our operator partners can handle the huge spikes in betting activity.
It goes without saying that in our business, reliability is everything. That does not mean that we can ever afford to become complacent, though. We see it as vitally important that we engage with customer feedback and shape our provision accordingly. From start to finish, our partners can spend up to six months working with us, perfecting and differentiating their packages safe in the knowledge that the platform will be right on the night.
There is plenty more still to come in terms of enhancing the entertainment experience, of which we see betting as an integral part. Football, along with US sports in general, is ideal in its stop-start structure for creating betting opportunities.
If you take soccer, for example, it is so free-flowing and non-stop that there is a limit placed on the ability to trade markets while the ball is in play. With football and baseball, to take two examples, frequent stoppages allow for the development of new micro-betting opportunities.
What will happen next after the snap – a completion, a successful pass or a first down? Technologies including AI will come to the forefront in the creation of these new pathways and we see the future landscape as an exciting place to be.