The following is a review of the data and tips provider SportsOptions. This US-based service claims to provide the fastest sports information, live odds and picks. Membership costs between USD $39 and $299 per month, although a one week free trial is available.
The service is driven by Java. When you log in the main screen looks as follows:
The ‘Details’ columns provide access to player injuries, weather, umpires and scores for each fixture. The ‘Computer’ column provides a statistics-based prediction of the winning margin for each fixture. The ‘PincleOp’ column provides the opening Pinnacle Sports odds (the first odds offered when the market became available). The ‘Public%’ shows the percentage of the public that are backing a specific selection. The rest of the columns provide real-time bookmaker odds.
This panel is customisable, from the sports and bookmakers listed right down to the fonts and colours. Unfortunately you can’t change the odds display from American to decimal. Other than the fact that they don’t provide NRL and AFL odds, this is the biggest drawback of the service from an Australian perspective.
It’s difficult to write about every feature of the SportsOptions service without writing a book, so below are some feature highlights:
- Live odds across 40+ bookmakers
- Fast and accurate score updates
- Key odds move alerts
- Odds watch alerts – input the desired odds for a selection and the system will notify you when those odds become available with your pre-selected bookmaker(s)
- Middle and scalp alerts
- Stats and matchups
- Archive scores and odds
- Player injuries
- Starting line-up changes
- Umpire changes
- Bookmaker outages
- Final scores (with play-by-play details)
Betting tips (complete with win/loss history)
- SportsOptions staff picks
- Computer (stats-based) picks
- Public plays – line bets where 60%+ of the public are backing one side
- Steam plays – see what the large syndicates are backing (based on observations of falling odds)
The primary sports that are covered are basketball, American/Canadian football, ice hockey, baseball, golf, tennis and soccer. SportsOptions is an American service, hence the lack of coverage of sports such as rugby, Australian rules and cricket.
SportsOptions offers three packages: Mobile ($39/month), Standard ($99/month) and Professional ($299/month).
The Mobile service is available for iPad and iPhone. Support for other devices is coming soon.
Professional is the full featured web based package, while the Standard service includes most of the same information as the Professional service, but with a small delay. Both the Professional and Standard services include access to the Mobile service.
Below are the service upsides and downsides.
- Provides access to both opening and closing odds/lines, which is gold dust for punters who strive to beat the closing odds
- The speed at which news and data is presented is mind-blowingly fast and the odds are provided in real-time
- Access to public wagering percentages is excellent for punters who employ strategies based on public sentiment data
- Four different betting tips services built in (staff, computer, public, steam)
- No data for Australian domestic leagues
- American, not decimal odds
- Expensive, especially for the Professional service
- Of the numerous bookmakers supported, only Canbet and Pinnacle Sports offer AUD accounts
The only way to really get your head around the services on offer is to sign up for a one week free trial. This will give you full access to the services on offer. You can play around with the plethora of features to see if a subscription is worth the price. Unlike other services, the SportsOptions trial doesn’t require credit card details. You can be up and running in a couple of minutes.
SportsOptions is as feature-packed as it is expensive. At USD $299/month (if you pay for three months), the Professional package is a major investment, so the service is clearly intended for high stakes punters. If you are willing to forego real-time information, the Standard package is one-third the price at $99/month. Being an American service, it’s understandable that Australian domestic sports aren’t covered. This service will most benefit those who wager on soccer, tennis and American sports (professional and college). Our biggest gripe about the service is the lack of decimal odds. Perhaps if enough customers badger customer service we will see additional odds display options the future. If anything, it’s worth giving the free trial a go just to see the type of services that are out there. Beginner punters will probably learn a fair bit about sports betting in the process.
Below are a few more screenshots of the service.