Smarkets vs Sportsbooks

smarkets vs sportsbooks

Exchanges vs Sportsbooks

Betting exchanges differ from traditional bookmakers in that for a small commission, around 5%, punters can bet against each other as well as on horses, players or teams to win or lose. In this review we’ll cover what Betting Exchanges are, how they compare with online sportsbooks and how you can increase your odds in your selection.

Introduction To Exchanges

A betting exchange is an online service that matches bets from backers (the people that place the bets) and layers (the people that cover the bets). While sportsbooks deal very much with fixed odds betting, betting exchanges offer a fluid marketplace where customers can play against each other.


Betting exchanges offer better odds than sportsbooks and even with the small commission they charge for winning bets, higher odds exchanges will almost always have better odds.


Betting Exchanges offer punters the possibility to bet and lay on the same market and make a profit even before the events has begun. For example, you bet £10 on a horse with odds of 11(10/1), the horse wins and you take home £110. But if the odds change to 6(5/1), you could leave before the race has even started with an £8 profit.

Laying, Something Sportsbooks Can’t Offer

Laying a selection is the opposite of backing, it’s betting that an outcome will not happen. Laying is much like what bookmakers do when they take our bets, they accept our stake and pay out at the agreed odds if the team wins and they keep our stake if the team loses.

Pros and Cons Of Laying A bet

Pros Of Laying A Bet

This is a great way for punters to bet on an event not happening and make money from other gamblers’ losing bets. Laying a bet opens up the possibility of hedging a bet and booking profits, even before an event has started. For example, you bet on Liverpool to beat Everton at £2.5, if three players get sick, the odds increase and you can lay off the bet at £5.

Cons Of Laying A Bet

Laying a bet means risking large amounts of money in order to make a decent profit. Because you’re backing a selection to lose and your liability may be greater than the potential payout.
Lay Betting is only available with exchanges. This means that your terms are never 100% to be matched and you’ll still be charged a commission of around 5% on any net profit.


A sportsbook, also known as bookmaker, is a company that accepts bets on anything from sporting events to politics to entertainment. Sportsbooks have become very popular in recent years primarily because of the sheer convenience of placing a bet online within a few minutes.  A reputable sportsbook is licensed and regulated which guarantees you safety and security. Finally, the odds available online are a little better and placing wagers online puts money directly in your pocket.

Sportsbooks: Here To Stay

Online sportsbooks are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and accessing lines and betting odds are just a mouse click away. Basic betting methods like sides, totals and parlays are provided by sportsbooks and main events betting on the most controversial non-sporting activities offer plenty of additional excitement.

The Final Battle

Exchanges and Sportsbooks have their own advantages and disadvantages.

Exchanges: Advantages & Disadvantages


With Exchange Betting you can lay selections, in other words, bet on them to lose. It opens up a lot of new opportunities to make extra cash.
You choose to act as a bookmaker where you pick your best odds and wait to get a match
You can make your profits earlier in the game or even before the start of the event


There is a good chance of not getting your bets matched, especially when placing odds on less popular events or you have laid a bet too close to the off time
Learning how to lay bets is not easy and punter will need to take time to learn the tricks.
Exchanges don’t allow laying bets on individual scores, first-scorer, or minute by minute scores

Sportsbooks – Advantages & Disadvantages


Online sportsbooks allow you to bet on just about every sport and event possible.
Sportsbooks allow punters to make just about every type of wager, from multiple team teasers and parlays to in-depth futures and props.
Sportsbooks offer higher payouts, which means more money when you win.


Once you’ve placed your bet, it becomes hard to change your mind and pick a different selection
The odds are fixed and rarely change, hence it’s not easy to get bigger prices.


We’re here to make things a little simpler by breaking down the advantages and disadvantages of each platform so that you can decide which is better for your betting needs. For top quality sportsbooks, follow our links and place your bets today!

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