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A Beginner's Guide to Athletics Betting Online


Track and Field Online BettingThe term athletics betting can be applied to a wide range of track and field events, and it doesn't just mean the Olympics either. Athletics betting can be done pretty much year-round now, thanks to the growing number of events and competitions held across the globe. This term covers a multitude of events including races (100m, 200m, 400m etc), field (shot-put, javelin etc) and events away from these as well.

However, the ins and outs of online athletics betting are slightly different. We will outline all the basic essentials needed to engage in online athletics betting throughout this guide, and you will have much more clarity after completing the reading. 

Firstly, we will take a look at the fundamental bets placed on athletic events and explain some key terms.

The Basics of Athletics Betting

As mentioned, athletics betting covers the whole spectrum of track and field bet types, and sportsbook bettors choosing to bet on events in this category need to understand three of the most common bets before starting.

  • Single winner

Athletics betting much like other sports always has one winner at the end of an event. For this reason the most common bet is for someone to bet on the ultimate winner of an event. For example, the 100m-sprint event will have just one winner. You could bet on Usain Bolt to win the event before it begins, which would be a 'single winner' bet.

  • Outright event winner

Unlike the single winner bet (which is based on a single race), you can also bet on the ultimate winner of an entire event. For example with track and field betting, you could bet on someone to win the European Championships in shot-put before the event begins. This is an outright winner bet, and it is very common with online athletics betting.

  • To win a medal

Since athletics betting is often associated with a major global event such as the Olympics, this is an extremely common bet. Much like horse racing where you can bet on a horse 'to place' (which just means to finish in the top 3), you can bet on an athlete to finish in the top 3. Since medals are given for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place, this is a bet that carries slightly less risk with a higher chance to payout.

Terms to Understand

To become effective with online athletics betting, you must understand some key terms to make things clear and simple. The good news is that the terms listed apply to all forms of track and field betting!

  • Underdog 

You may have heard the term underdog before, but it is important to know what this means for athletics betting. Here we are looking for somebody who is not the favorite for an event, but is in good form. This creates a scenario where this athlete may have huge odds since they are not the favorite, but their form gives them a shot at winning a race or an event.

  • Banker

A banker is essentially an athlete that is supposedly guaranteed to win an event. The downside to betting on a banker is that odds are usually very low, meaning you won't win a lot if they win. Another downside is that you will need to bet a lot of money to see a good return, which is of course a risk.

  • Single bet

Online athletics betting often entices players to place single bets rather than multiples. A single bet just means that you have bet on a singular outcome of an event, and that your bet consists solely of this event.

  • Accumulator bet

Unlike a single bet, an accumulator is a type of bet that consists of multiple events. For example, you may bet on Usain Bolt to win the 100m, Mo Farah to win the Marathon and Katie Ledecky to win one of the swimming events. Combining these bets into one is referred to as an accumulator (or multiples) bet. The catch is that all of the selections need to win if you are going to win the bet.

Online Athletics Betting Advice

The world of athletics certainly provides fewer opportunities to place bets than other sports, but it still runs year-round. But firstly before doing anything, make sure that you do a little bit of research to find a competitive bookmaker. This means that you want to find a bookmaker that offers you the most value. For example, if one bookmaker places an athlete at odds of 2.0 but another places the same athlete at odds of 3.0, you may want to go with the second option!

Besides this initial step, we have a couple of key points to be successful with online athletics betting.

  • Don't always bet on the banker

This is a hugely common mistake when it comes to athletics betting, and most forms of sports betting for that matter. Many sports bettors think that by constantly betting on the banker they will win - wrong! In fact, by betting on others besides the banker you cannot only win more, but you can be wrong more times and still potentially make a profit. This is because you need to bet less to win more thanks to the odds.

  • Pay attention to form

Athletics is interesting because it doesn't always depend entirely on skill. Many events are simply a test of an athlete's strength and / or endurance. It is this reason that makes athletics betting a bit more predictable than other sports. Therefore an athlete that is showing great form is highly likely to do well in an upcoming event, but don't let this be your sole betting factor.

The Finish Line

Track and field betting provides a very unique experience. The events are not overly common, yet they can be highly exciting when they do come around. The category of athletics betting also covers one of the widest ranges for all sports, since it includes the entirety of track and field events. This is definitely a category that a beginner bettor could learn many things from.

Always bet small to begin with - and never gamble more than you can afford to lose!

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