Sports Betting 101: Guide to courtsiding

Sports Betting 101: Guide to courtsiding

You’re no mere playa – you’re a real, bona fide player, baby, and you live for, you absolutely thrive on, the thrill. The thrill of what? That’s not the point! The thrill is what we’re after, and when it comes to sports betting, there’s nothing quite like the tense, last-minute, nerve-wracking excitement of courtsiding. It’s immersive, it’s live, it’s down to the wire, and it is not, we repeat NOT, for the faint of heart.

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If you mention the word ‘courtsiding’ near a group of experienced sports betters, you may see at least a few raised eyebrows. It’s a controversial practice that some buy into wholeheartedly, while others frown upon it. But why, we hear you ask. Well, think of it like a combination of insider trading and skydiving – it’s not the most ethical of practices, and if you do it a second too late, you might not like how you land.

Okay, relax, we aren’t talking broken legs or jail time, here, but tread carefully, is all we’re saying. If your bookmaker figures out you’re courtsiding, they might refuse to do business with you and, in extreme cases, they may even blacklist you.

Courtsiding happens when you attend the game and place live bets on the outcome based on what’s happening right in front of you. It’s risky and tricky because you need to get your bet in before the bookmaker has a chance to update their odds based on the same data. The reason courtsiding is such a tight game all comes down to technology, which is, funnily enough, the reason it’s possible in the first place.

Sports betting can take many forms, including spread betting, moneyline, totals and more. Aside from bets placed on wins or losses, or bets placed strictly before the event begins, the various types of betting can allow for odds to change based on what happens during the match. If a favourite, for instance, is performing poorly and seems unlikely to achieve the predicted outcome, the chances of them winning decrease. This doesn’t matter to bets placed before the game, but it can matter to live betting.

Not all operators offer live betting, but some do. Live betting allows betters to make bets during the game, as it progresses. That means, if the favourite is losing, betters might decide to bet on the underdog, who is pulling forward. Of course, the bookmakers and operators are watching the same game, which means they are constantly adjusting the odds based on the game’s progress.

Courtsiding relies on the inevitable delay involved in data processing. You as the better want to get your bet placed on the most favourable odds possible, while the bookmakers are trying their absolute best to not lose money to you. That means you want to get your bet in before they have a chance to update their odds.

Courtsiding is a game of seconds, which is why the name is significant – those technology delays that slow down the odds calculations by a few seconds apply to broadcast media as well. If you’re watching the game online or on TV, or listening on the radio, you’re catching the same delay in information. To engage in courtsiding, you need to be literally at the courtside, in the crowd, watching the game and using those lightning-fast reflexes to place your bets on the fly.


Know your game

Anyone who wants to effectively bet using courtsiding needs to really know their game. You need to understand not only the sport, but also how your preferred sports betting operator or bookmaker works. You also need to be able to use your knowledge and skills to predict what will happen if certain in-game events take place.

Pick your focus

Live bets can take many forms, from betting on specific points and spreads to final outcomes and even individual player actions or recognition. It can be really hard to keep track of every tiny detail of the game and can easily become the real-life version of having way too many tabs open on your browser. It can be far easier and more beneficial to zone in on one aspect – for example, you could focus on tries or penalty goals, placing your bet in the microseconds between when you witness the outcome and when the bookmakers’ systems update.

Watch yourself

Operators and bookmakers are continuously working to mitigate against courtsiding, with built-in cutoffs and delays, but the savvy wannabe courtsider should be able to figure out ways around it. However, we urge caution – as we said before, this isn’t exactly a practice that’s looked upon fondly in the sports betting industry. You don’t want to end up banned from your favourite sports betting sites or losing access to your bookmakers. Sports betting is supposed to be a fun and exhilarating activity, not one that causes you problems. Make sure to thoroughly read the terms and conditions on any sports betting website or app you sign up for, and you will have a much more positive gambling experience.

Sports betting is a world of its own, and you don’t want to head in there without a map. We’ve put together a crash course – Sports Betting 101. This is just one article, check the rest out here.

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