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‘In-game’ bets seem limitless

Dec 19, 2017 3:11 AM

It’s the day after Thanksgiving, 9 a.m. Pacific, and the NBA’s New Jersey Nets are about to host the Portland Trail Blazers. It’s just another ho-hum NBA game for most recreational bettors in Nevada, the only state where single-team sports wagering is legal in the United States.

However, the contest is at a more favorable time in other countries worldwide and will be one of the most highly wagered sports events in the world this day. In addition to the favorable time slot outside Nevada, gamblers all over the world will now have about 120 different betting options during the game thanks to “in-game” wagering information provided by sports data companies led by Don Best Sports, the longtime Las Vegas entity providing legal bookmakers in Mexico, Asia and Europe among other locales with the constant data stream needed for this type of bookmaking.

As my colleague, GamingToday publisher Eileen DiRocco, pointed out in these pages a few weeks ago, the major Nevada bookmaking concerns are now currently offering this kind of betting in their books and on their mobile apps, although not nearly to the extent bookmakers in many foreign countries do.

Most believe this is the future of sports betting. It’s the non-stop action many bettors, especially the younger generation, enjoy and provides the monetary competition they crave.

My host for the game is Don Best’s Craig Mucklow, 44, an advanced-degreed mathematician with an emphasis on probability and statistics who 20 years ago was one of the originators of this kind of betting. He’s now vice president of trading services at Don Best Sports. Those in the know call his actions during the game “trading.” That means he’s going to watch and listen to the game poised in front of four different computer screens and provide betting options, line moves and other data for clients where such betting is legal and regulated.

His screens update automatically after each score providing all the running totals for any statistical category you can think of. Mucklow is also watching the game on television, but his data screens update on direct data feeds from the game about two to five seconds before he sees it on “live” television.

Don Best provides this service for its customers for every NBA game, including all ten this day. The service is also available for all NFL, NHL and MLB contests as well as thousands of college basketball/football matches.

Don Best Sports takes no wagers and does not book any action on any game. Mucklow and his team merely provide the information needed for the bookmakers to do it.

The tip-off is just a tad late, but the game is underway and Mucklow’s eyes dart from screen to screen monitoring the information he’s sending to Don Best customers. There’s a betting line for the entire game that he is constantly changing according to the flow. There’s a line for each quarter, again, updated as the game continues. There are numerous bets available within the game itself. Some of the bets are called “races” in which you can bet which team reaches a certain total points target first. As mentioned earlier, there are about 120 possible bets for an NBA game, covering just about anything your mind can conjure up.

The action is fast and furious as Mucklow, the ultimate multitasker, is constantly updating his lines according to the ebb and flow of the game. When Brooklyn, a 4.5 point home underdog, darts ahead to start the contest, leading after the first quarter by nine points 32-23, Mucklow has already adjusted his spread to reflect that team members slept in their own homes the night before. He’s adjusted for the travel plans of the visiting team. When did they get to town? Where were they the night before? All of this, in addition to injuries and just about anything else you can think of that might impact the outcome.

Mucklow is well aware NBA teams often secure a lead with its starters and then generally relinquish some of it as the substitutes take the floor. He knows all NBA teams were off the day before, Thanksgiving, and Portland lost to Philadelphia on Wednesday by 20, and Brooklyn hung in longer than expected at Cleveland before losing by 10 but covering an 11-point spread. His formulas and knowledge make the game extremely predictive and as it plays out he adjusts his lines.

If bettors don’t agree, then they can go to their bookmaker and bet he’s wrong!

Some of this information is just the obvious stuff anyone risking money should know. But Don Best, utilizing Mucklow’s savvy instincts and experience, additionally has all manner of mathematical formulas and data that instantly allow him to forecast trends before, during and after the game. Bettors around the world, through their licensed bookmakers, bet into markets (betting pools) as the Don Best information appears on said bookmakers’ websites and mobile offerings almost instantaneously.

It’s fast paced, nearly non-stop action and as Mucklow forecasted, Portland outscored Brooklyn by seven in the second quarter with Brooklyn leading at the half 53-51. The total for the game is 210.5, so this game is right on target. Portland wins the third quarter by two, 41-39, and the last period again by 2, 35-33, to win 127-125. Portland might have covered the 4.5 but missed some free throws in the final seconds, in an exciting game that could have gone either way. Brooklyn gets the cover and the game goes way over, and for in-game bettors there were more than 100 other kinds of bets at their fingertips.

The prediction here is in-game wagering will continue its rapid growth. Sports bettors who have tried this seem to enjoy it. In-game wagering, for those who like to take a shot but may not have a real rooting interest in either team, makes betting more pleasurable with the bonus of being able to make a bit of cash.

What could be better than that?