Competitive video gaming continues growing rapidly into a legitimate professional sport covered extensively by bookmakers. But due to its niche status, esports odds still vary widely allowing smart bettors to find substantial value.
This guide examines how betting margins work, which operators offer the lowest esports margins, and how to calculate margin to maximize payouts on eSports wagers.
Understanding Betting Margins
Also referred to as overround or vigorish, the margin is the percentage of each betting outcome that sportsbooks take as potential profit. This ensures the house wins across the total volume of wagers regardless of random outcomes.
Lower margins signify better odds and potential returns for punters on winning selections. Typical bookmaker margins range from 5% to 15% depending on the sport.
For example, NBA match odds may show:
Los Angeles Lakers – 2.00 Boston Celtics – 1.95
The cumulative decimal odds equate to 1.975, suggesting a margin around 2.5%. Lower margins provide better odds.
Calculating & Comparing eSports Betting Margins
Let’s compare esports margins between two bookies on the same Dota 2 tournament:
Team Secret – 1.45
PSG LGD – 2.62 T1 – 4.75
Combined odds – 1.093 (7.5% margin)
Team Secret – 1.53 PSG LGD – 2.85
T1 – 5.50
Combined odds – 1.063 (5.8% margin)
1xBet offers a lower vigorish and thus provides better odds in this case. The difference seems small but adds up over volume.
Lowest Esports Betting Margins
After comparing numerous bookies, the lowest margins and best value prices for esports can be found at:
- Pinnacle – As an esports-first betting specialist, extremely low 2-3% average margins across all titles and tournaments. Recognized as having the sharpest esports odds.
- Asian bookmakers – Operators like Fun88, 22Bet and BK8 provide strong esports coverage tailored for Eastern markets. Margins typically below 5%.
- 1xBet – While not as specialized as others, consistently provides margins around 4-7% on major esports. Popular in Africa and CIS regions.
- Betway – A leading Western facing site for eSports betting with margins in the 5-8% range. Markets not as extensive but odds reliable.
Getting these percentages down even slightly makes a big difference in potential payouts across thousands of esports bets.
Tips for Maximizing Esports Betting Value
Here are some tips to ensure you capitalize on favorable margins when wagering on competitive gaming:
- Line shop between multiple sites to compare odds and margins for the same match. Just a few percentage points difference provides substantial added value over time.
- Target betting on underdogs and draws/map ties where margins are usually favorable.
- Focus bets on titles with the highest upset frequency like CSGO over more predictable games.
- Create betting exchanges accounts to back underdogs at even better odds in the exchanges than traditional fixed-odds sites. Exchanges charge commissions instead of margins.
- Avoid promotional boosts or specials which inflate margins behind the scenes despite perceived better odds.
With esports projected to soon surpass established major sports for total betting handle, this pricing edge will narrow over time as books improve statistical modelling. So start utilizing lower margins now before this lucrative opportunity disappears from the market.