The world of esports betting markets is a vast one, and Overwatch is a huge part of it. If you’re a fan of Blizzard’s fast-paced shooter, placing bets on your favorite teams is a great way of adding some thrill to your viewing experience. And if you know how to break down games and tell favorites from the underdogs, you can make some money in the process.
But before you start your esports gambling career, it’s a good idea to evaluate your options. That’s why we prepared this handy guide to help you get familiar with Overwatch betting markets!
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Overwatch bet types
Bet types (or betting markets) are pillars of the gambling industry. Almost every Overwatch bookmaker will allow you to place simple wagers, but it’s the ability to make complex, multi-layered wagers that separates the best gambling platforms from the rest. After all, the more options you have, the easier it is to find good value bets. Granted, Overwatch is still young, so it doesn’t have a plethora of betting markets like other esports titles. Even so, there are some options you have to keep in mind.
Overwatch match winner bet
We’ve already covered this in our ultimate Overwatch betting guide , but it’s paramount that you get a good grasp of match-winner bets. At first glance, the concept doesn’t seem difficult. In fact, predicting a winner in a battle between two Overwatch teams is the most straightforward wager you could make.
And yet, very few punters can get it right. Making an accurate forecast is a challenging task since you have to account for a wide range of factors. Things like player statistics, team identities, head-to-head records, and recent showings should play a key role in your match predictions. However, you should also stay on top of Overwatch news to notice game-changing decisions like roster moves or substitutions. In a similar fashion, internal drama or player injuries (yes, these do happen in esports) can also significantly influence team performance.
Then, you have to consider playstyles. The game of Overwatch can be approached from many different angles, and some of these tend to be better than others. For example, if your lineup excels with a protect-the-Bastion setup, it will naturally struggle against dive comps that just jump on top of Bastion before he can deal a significant amount of damage. Of course, pro play is a bit more complicated since most OWL lineups can employ a variety of high-level tactics. Still, even pro teams have their tendencies and preferred playstyles.
Also, keep track of balance changes. Many Overwatch pros are dedicated specialists with only one or two heroes in their arsenal. So if their heroes suddenly get nerfed, they will have to reimagine their playstyles. This is the exact reason why OWL lineups have 12-man rosters, but no amount of substitutes will help you if Blizzard decides to nerf your star player.
So why did we go so deep into this topic? Well, match winner wagers act as the foundation for your other Overwatch bets. Your success will largely come down to how well you can tell victors from losers, so it’s vital to know what (and where) to look for.
Overwatch correct score bet
If you thought predicting match winners was complicated, Overwatch correct score bets take things up a notch. Ultimately, you’re still trying to call who’s going to take a specific matchup, but you also have to guess how many maps they will win and lose in the process. Overwatch playoffs matches are usually conducted in a Bo5 format, so it’s already quite hard to decide the final scoreline, but you really need to be on top of your gambling game to predict a Bo7 series.
Overall, prolonged matches test versatility. Each party has to play a variety of maps, game modes, and team compositions. So the lineup with the most consistent level of performance is very likely to take the W. Of course, adaptability is another part of the equation. While following the meta is great, competitive teams often try to blindside each other with unorthodox heroes and unpredictable tactics. And in that scenario, it’s important to make the right adjustments on the fly.
In the end, even when you consider these factors, there’s a high chance of missing the mark. However, correct score bets usually come with great odds, so it’s worth taking the risk if you’re certain in your analytical abilities. Otherwise, stick to Overwatch match winner bets.
Overwatch map winner bet
As we’ve mentioned above, Overwatch matches follow the series format. And the only win condition is taking more maps than your opponent. However, many bookmakers give you the option of betting on the outcome of specific maps.
This would be a very volatile wager in other esports titles, but Overwatch is different. For starters, Overwatch maps are divided into four game modes: Escort, Assault, Control, and Hybrid. With that, teams don’t just have to account for a change in terrain, they also have to learn how to play around different objectives.
For these bets, your team insight is key. Some lineups might excel in a Control scenario while others make all the right move in an Escort setting. So, if you want to make profitable map winner bets, it’s important to have a good grasp of team identities to determine which maps suit them the best.
Overwatch handicap bet
Of course, there are also gambling options that reduce risks to the absolute minimum. And one of these options is Overwatch handicap bets. This wager artificially adds (or subtracts) a number of map wins to the final score of your team, which is a perfect way of cutting down variance in a long series. Sounds confusing? Don’t worry, we’ll break everything down in the example below.
Let’s say British Hurricane face CIS Hope in the Overwatch Contenders: Europe semifinals. This is a Bo5 series, so the first team to win three games will advance to the finals, and the other lineup will drop out of the playoffs. You analyze the matchup and conclude that British Hurricane are a bit better than their opponents. However, placing a match winner wager on them provides very slim value. In fact, you’ll get much better odds by making a +2.5 handicap bet on their opponents!
But wait, isn’t it counterintuitive to back the underdogs? Not exactly. If CIS Hope show up and upset the favorites, you’ll get paid because… well, they won! But even if they lose 3-2 or 3-1, you’ll still receive your money since the handicap adds 2.5 maps to their score.
With that, a 3-1 in favor of British Hurricane would turn into a 3.5-3 victory for CIS Hope. So your team would win by 0.5 maps. In short, the only time when you lose this bet is when CIS Hope get 3-0’d by their opponents. The -2.5 handicap bet would have the opposite effect, and you would need your team to win without dropping a single map to claim your reward.
So how is this useful? Well, a +handicap bet is a great way of backing the underdogs and reaping the benefits if they put up a good fight. Obviously, you need both teams to be somewhat competitive to profit. Meanwhile, a -handicap bet is usually placed on overwhelming favorites that are likely to win by a landslide. Both versions decrease variance by giving you more outs than correct score bets and map winner wagers, so use them if you have a hard time making an accurate forecast.
Overwatch maps total over/under bet
In the end, all of the above bets involve predicting Overwatch match winners. But is there a way to benefit from a match when you have no idea who’s going to be the victor? There is.
Enter Overwatch maps total over/under bets! Essentially, placing this wager means you’re trying to predict the length of a series (i.e. how many maps will be played). This doesn’t apply to the regular season of the Overwatch League, as every single match lasts for four maps there. But once you enter the OWL playoffs (or bet on another tournament), maps total bets are fair game. Here’s how they work:
- Let’s say we have the same Bo5 between British Hurricane and CIS Hope. If you bet on the maps total being over 4.5, you’ll only get paid if either team scores a 3-2 victory because the match lasted for 5 maps. Meanwhile, if you place wager on the maps total being under 4.5, you’ll get your money if either team scores a 3-1 or a 3-0 since both scenarios fulfill your bet conditions.
As a rule of thumb, maps total over bets are excellent if two teams are close skill-wise. In that case, a match winner wager is too hard to predict. However, you can almost guarantee that neither team will find a clean win, making the maps total over bet a very attractive option. The maps total under wager is more situational. Generally, you want to use it for a clash of two momentum-based lineups that can take over the series if they have a good start.
Overwatch team to win at least X maps bet
This is an alternative to handicap and maps total bets. Placing a wager on an Overwatch team to win at least a certain number of maps signifies that you don’t have the highest degree of confidence in your choice. However, you also won’t get anything if the enemy lineup scores a one-sided victory, so you want to do enough research to ensure your team can put up a fight. And if your lineup somehow exceeds expectations, you’ll still get your payout.
Overwatch tournament winner bet
Just like any other esports title, Overwatch gives you the option of making tournament winner bets. Basically, you’re trying to call which lineup will claim the trophy. If you guess it right, you get a huge payout. If not, better luck next time. Of course, the huge payout part may vary, as picking a clear-cut favorite like New York Excelsior in OWL wouldn’t get you the greatest odds. But if you put your money on underdogs and they step up to the challenge, you might make a fortune.
As you’ve probably guessed, predicting a tournament winner can be very hit-or-miss. Granted, you can analyze roster moves, research player strengths, and evaluate different playstyles to increase your chances. And if you’re dealing with international events, you won’t make any mistakes by betting on the strongest South Korean lineup.
Even so, Overwatch competitions involve high degrees of variance, so don’t expect to win tournament winner bets often. But if your analysis was on point and you managed to predict an unexpected winner, this type of bet will dramatically boost your winnings.
Overwatch risk-free bets
Alright, this isn’t exactly a separate type of wagers. However, every esports punter should strive to minimize risks while increasing profits, and Overwatch risk-free bets are a great way of accomplishing this goal. Usually, these come from bookmaker promotions.
You won’t see them often, though, because most Overwatch betting sites prefer to reward their customers with deposit bonuses. These are also nice, as you can double or triple your gambling funds. However, taking advantage of such bonuses can be problematic, as most platforms make you turn over your deposit several times to unlock your reward.
But some bookmakers go an extra mile by offering risk-free bets. Essentially, new customers gain extra gambling funds, which they can instantly put to good use. This is a very lucrative offer if you’re starting out in the world of esports betting, as you’ll get some much-needed gambling experience without suffering from any risks. Keep in mind this is a one-and-done type of deal, so you might still prefer deposit bonuses in the long term.