Esports betting is a big thing today and punters can bet on the most popular video games and classic bookmakers and esportsbooks. Ante-post wagers on upcoming tournaments, pregame and live bets are just one click away and competitive odds await. There are multiple esports betting markets available for each type of game and in this guide, we break them down.
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Ante-Post Esports Betting Markets
Regardless of the game of choice, you will always be able to bet on upcoming tournaments weeks and sometimes months before they start. The more important the competition, the sooner the odds become available and the more betting options exist. Arguably the most common bet is on the outright winner of tournaments. You can predict the name of the team to claim the trophy before the kickoff of the event and live. If the team performs poorly in the early stages, the odds can actually grow. Still, the best way to lock in on maximum value is to bet as soon as the odds are posted.
Alternative esports betting markets for upcoming tournaments include each-way bets and placement. The former pay as long as your team or pro-gamer qualifies to the final but fails in the final act. Placement bets are preferred by punters betting on underdogs to exceed expectations and make a deep run in the tournament. Conversely, you can bet on esports teams to win the group, advanced to the playoffs or outperform an opponent.
Pregame Betting Markets Explained
The bulk of esports betting markets revolve around the outcome of individual matches. Most punters prefer to place a bet a few hours before the game begins. This has the upside of using the latest information to make an educated decision. Roster changes, results recorded in matches played by competitors and other last-minute details influence the prediction.
Match and Series Winner
The best esports betting markets for beginners and casual punters are usually the most straightforward ones. Betting on the match winner or the team to prevail in a series is the easiest way to tackle the challenge of esports bets. The system applies to all esports, so you can use it for League of Legends, Dota and Overwatch betting markets. To be successful in this quest, you need to factor in the head to head record, current form, individual player statistics and other key facts. Some teams tend to perform better against certain opponents, which is valuable knowledge when betting on match and series winners.
Correct Score and Handicap Bets
Now that you have the general pregame betting markets explained you can get creative with special bets. You can get creative when betting on teams to win the series by trying to predict the correct score. In a best-of-five series, there are six possible outcomes, and the odds are much better than betting on the winner. Even in a Bo3 series you can bet on four correct scores to enjoy competitive odds.
Handicap bets are an effective instrument when betting on lopsided matches. You can boost the odds by trusting the favorites to cover the spread and use the -1.5 and -2.5 handicaps. If you fancy the underdog to exceed expectations, there’s the option of trusting them to win a match or two. These esports betting markets are available at all bookmakers, so you can use handicaps on virtually all tournaments.
Map Winners and Totals
Risk-averse punters who don’t like the idea of betting on the correct score but fancy bigger odds can bet on the map totals. If you expect a lopsided Bo3 series, you can bet on under 2.5 maps to be played, while a highly contested affair warrants a bet on the over 2.5 esports betting markets. The beauty of these bets is that you win if the favorites sweeps the opponent, but also if the underdog prevails by 2-0.
An alternative to classic handicaps is to bet on teams to win a minimum number of maps. These are perhaps the best esports betting markets when putting your trust in the underdog. That’s because you can bet on the weaker team to win at least one map, which greatly reduces the risks. In a best-of-five series, this type of wager has the upside of producing winners well before the series has ended.
Special Esports Betting Markets
Punters who also play the games have a clear preference for special markets and in-game objectives. These differ from genre to genre, but the thing they have in common is that you can only place the bet pregame. First-person shooters and real-time strategy games have a fair share of such markets, but they pale in comparison to MOBAs. League of Legends and Dota 2 fans are the main beneficiaries as they can bet on a multitude of in-game objectives. To have these special betting markets explain, we will use League of Legends as example, since it is the most popular multiplayer online battle arena game.
First blood and total kills – punters can bet on the team to score the first blood, which is one of the most unpredictable esports betting markets. Even the worst teams have a decent chance of registering the first kill, as this is an individual rather than a team effort. The odds are competitive regardless of the team you back and it is an action-packed wager. Betting on the total number of kills requires more research, as it depends on how aggressive the teams are and their average game duration.
First and total dragons, towers and inhibitors – dragons, towers and inhibitors are in-game objectives that bring LoL teams closer to victory. Better teams always get low odds on destroying the first tower and even lower for crushing the first inhibitor. That’s because there is a process that leads to this outcome and a team effort spanning over many minutes. First dragon kills are more arbitrary, as better squads sometimes focus on different objectives such as the Herald. The total number of dragons, towers and inhibitors killed is closely linked to the game duration.