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Avoid Small Markets
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Avoid Small Markets When Matched Betting

Level: Beginner
Updated: Aug 25, 2023
2 min read

Key Takeaways

Be Careful With Small Markets

Placing large bets on small markets, such as player props and alternate lines, is a large red flag to a sportsbook that you are a sharp bettor and is an unwise sports matched betting strategy. Regularly doing this with promotion or arbitrage bets often leads to limits.  This means you won’t get any more promotions and greatly reduces your max bet amount.  A limited max bet amount makes it much harder to do Matched Betting. Learn more in our Don't Get Limited guide.

How Can I Tell If A Market Is Small?

Small markets include player props, alternate lines, and all lines on less-popular sporting events, such as tennis and small college sports.

The largest markets are main lines (Moneyline, Spread, Total) on major sports.  NFL, NCAAF (large schools), NBA, MLB, and NHL main lines are the safest bets.

FanDuel's BetSlip can be used as an indicator if you are unsure about a market's size. On FanDuel, enter 9,999,999 in the bet slip for the market you are looking at. It is best to do this when logged out.  This will tell you the max bet amount FanDuel will allow.  You can then determine the max winnings FanDuel will allow.  It is important to recognize that max winnings is what determines the size of the market, not max bet.

For example, if FanDuel allows a $5,000 bet on a line that is +200 they are allowing you to win $10,000.  This is a higher limit than FanDuel allowing a $30,000 bet at -400 since the max winnings is only $7,500.  Try it out yourself. Compare a major-sport moneyline to a non-main-line from an obscure Tennis match.

The example below shows significant differences in max winnings allowed by FanDuel on three different markets with the same odds.

  1. NBA Moneyline $8,333 wager for max winnings of $10,000
  2. Tennis Moneyline $2,083 wager for max winnings of $2,500
  3. Tennis Total Games $315 wager for max winnings of $378

Limits tend to increase as you get closer to the event.  This means it is safer to bet closer to game time.  It may come at a cost of lower conversion, but it is worth it to maintain a healthy account without limits.

Without Arbitrage How Do I Make Money After the Sign-up Offers?

There are constant recurring offers that can be hedged.  Sportsbooks do this to attract new customers and retain existing ones.  Hedging these leads to a steady stream of profit.

The largest profits come from reaching and maintaining VIP on one or more sportsbooks. Learn more about becoming a VIP.

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