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Athletics betting has become popular in recent years as the online streaming of popular events has made the sport more accessible to global markets. Athletics is popular with punters because the rules of most athletic sports are easy to understand.
And unlike other major sports such as Association Football, there are few secondary markets to make things complicated. When betting on athletics, it’s simply a case of guessing which of the competitors will win or be placed.
Types of athletic bets
Online athletics betting focuses on individual competitors rather than teams. Most bets are focused on the event winner. But you can also bet on who will finish on the podium and which competitors will progress to the next round.
These are the most popular bets punters can make:
A win bet is essentially a bet on which competitor you think will win the event. The bet pays out if the competitor wins and doesn’t if they don’t.
A place bet is a bet that a specific competitor will finish on the podium. If the competitor finishes in a Gold, Silver or Bronze position the bet typically pays out ¼ of the winning amount.
An each-way bet is essentially two bets in one, a winning bet and a place bet. So a $10 each-way will involve a total stake of $20. $10 for the win and $10 for the place bet. If your chosen competitor wins, both bets pay out. But if your chosen competitor finishes in silver or bronze, your win bet loses, but your place bet pays out.
When placing an each-way bet the odds on the winning bet must be higher than 4/1. This is to ensure the payout on the place bet covers the cost of both bets.
What odds can you expect?
The odds in athletics work the same way as association football. You will get lower odds on a famous competitor winning than lesser-known competitors. But this can give you an advantage if your research shows that a competitor is particularly good in certain climates or will benefit from home advantage.
Popular events such as the Men’s 100m also typically offer lower odds than less popular events such as the Women’s Discus. Once again this provides a good opportunity for punters who do their homework.
What events can you bet on?
You can bet on all international athletics track, field and combined events. Track events include sprints, middle-distance, long-distance, relay races and hurdles. Field events are divided into two categories, Jump and Throw. Jump events include long jump, triple jump, high jump and pole vault. Throw events include discus, javelin and hammer. Combined events include a combination of both, popular events in this category include Men’s decathlon and Women’s heptathlon.
Where to get up to date information?
Because there is no single team or national championship, getting information on individual competitors can be difficult. But if you are prepared to do your homework this represents an opportunity for you to make a difference.
Do your research on individual competitors before the event. For competitors based in Asia or Europe, this information can be found on national Athletics websites such as the Royal Spanish Athletics Federation.
If you want to get serious about athletics betting, you should compile a database of the results of individual competitors over several seasons. This will give you a distinct advantage over other punters in the market.