SBC News SBC Innovation Report: Football stats bets and player props - trends and new experiences

SBC Innovation Report: Football stats bets and player props – trends and new experiences

In 2021, SBC News put new football stats betting markets and experiences built on Stats Perform’s Opta data from Entain, BoyleSports and Sky Bet under the microscope. We looked at the factors behind their popularity with bettors and discussed what might come next. 

Three years on, it felt time to see what football stats betting experiences the industry has created since our last report. To do so we sat down with Nick Cockerill, VP of Betting Products at Stats Perform, to examine three major trends.

Fast-forward to 2024 and Opta-powered player stats markets are mainstream. Operators and pricing providers like Kambi revealed volumes can rival 1X2 bets, marketing campaigns are built around them, and product innovation continues apace. 

We’ve recently expanded our coverage to 8,000 games a year and operators have new data points to create innovative betting markets from – each stats datapoint supplied for betting purposes has rigorous additional controls and layers of scrutiny and compliance for optimum accuracy.  

Here are three major shifts we’ve seen: 

Trend 1: Operator front-ends now display rich, live player stats

SBC News SBC Innovation Report: Football stats bets and player props - trends and new experiencesOne of the more noticeable changes in football stats betting has been the addition of real-time Opta player stats, form and trackers into the sportsbook UI. This data is now available to bettors on many operators including bet365, Betfair, Sky Bet and beyond.

bet365 introduced their player stats console to their event page just before the 2022 World Cup. It now shows real-time information on player shots, shots on target, passes, tackles, fouls and expected goals.

But the event page isn’t the only place this information has been added. It’s also enriching the “My Bets” section, seamlessly helping a bettor to track their personal selections and adding greater entertainment into following the bet. 

SBC News SBC Innovation Report: Football stats bets and player props - trends and new experiencesNew experience: Bingo: re-imagined for sports bettors 

Sometimes new experiences borrow from existing formats but re-imagine them to breathe new life and interest from audiences. DIBZ, Flutter’s new sports-based bingo game, fits that description perfectly.

DIBZ turns a bingo card into a same-game-multi with a wide variety of stats-based events at a game (match result, cards), team (goals scored, corners) and player-level (shots on target, fouls) being sought after by players to complete their bingo card.

Player and team stats drastically increase the number and variety of bingo cards that players can enjoy. It also makes the experience game-long, increasing the entertainment from every bingo card as events get marked off the player’s card.

SBC News SBC Innovation Report: Football stats bets and player props - trends and new experiencesTrend 2: Novel, tournament-long marketing promotions

Player and team stats have also helped power innovative marketing activations. BetVictor’s lottery-style “Crack the Code” campaign gave customers a six-digit code for every £5 bet placed during the 2022 World Cup, built on stats in defined categories. If the numbers in the code matched those in the categories in the Final, they could win up to £100,000.

The Crack the Code campaign persisted throughout the tournament, using billboards, radio and adverts featuring Harry Redknapp trying to crack the code into his house. It helped reinforce the variety of stats-based markets on offer at BetVictor. It also very likely changed the way BetVictor customers watched the final, making every card, corner and shot on target mean much more. Not bad for a marketing promotion.

SBC News SBC Innovation Report: Football stats bets and player props - trends and new experiencesTrend 3: Expected goals is now a betting market

The football vocabulary internationally has undoubtedly expanded in recent years. Expected goals was first introduced more than 10 years ago by Opta but has taken on even greater resonance and use in the wider football discourse in recent years.  

For those that don’t know, expected goals measures the quality of a shot based on many contextual features such as the location, shot type, pressure and clarity levels, goalkeeper positioning, chance type, the assist type and previous actions.

Understanding and interest from Novibet sports bettors saw the innovative Greek operator introduce expected goals markets at the last World Cup, offering over and under markets for both teams. 

Markets like these persist for the full 90 minutes and offering both sides of the market makes them even more entertaining for customers, especially in low-scoring affairs. In this game, which ended 0-0, England accumulated xG of 0.77 and USA 0.63.

What’s next?

Next, we’re sitting down with VP Betting Product Nick Cockerill at Stats Perform to examine a brand-new, system Opta has devised that measures a player’s live impact in a game for hundreds of competitions and thousands of players.

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