Putting Motorsports Betting into Perspective
If you ask a random person on the street to give you their definition of sports gambling, they will most likely refer to horse racing at one point or another and there is a very good reason for this. It has been around since the time of the ancient Greeks and is amongst the very few sports that have managed to preserve themselves to this day. Furthermore, horse races have not merely remained part of the modern culture, but are thriving as the keystone in the realm of sports betting.
And if you ever wonder why they rarely appear on lists such as the top 10 most popular sports to bet on’, that is because horse racing is so vastly popular that it has been placed in a category of its own. On top of that, it is the only sport that relies solely on sports betting to sustain itself. Motorised vehicles, since their creation, have been seen as the substitute for the horse carriage. Not only did they quickly become the ‘workhorse’ of 20th-century societies, but soon after people started racing them on the streets. And before they knew it, the first race circuits emerged, and official races started being staged. It is no wonder then that motorsport, in all its varieties, has become increasingly popular ever since the first races took place in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Tremendous speed, great looks, amazing soundtracks, and an incredible level of drivers’ skills involved, have made these sports extraordinarily exciting to watch. You can also find some pretty nice racing-themed slots. Furthermore, the constant technological advances have allowed the vehicles, be it cars, bikes, оr trucks to go ever harder for much longer, thus making the spectacle more and more fascinating to watch. Not surprisingly, this whole scene has attracted people willing to gamble against each other, trying to guess the winners of various races and championships.
The Main Factors in Motorsports
Despite the fact that motorsport could be seen as the natural and technological continuation of horse racing, there are some major differences that you must take into consideration in order to stand a good chance of making money. This is where we step in, to bring you up to speed and give you the upper hand against both the house and the other gamblers. So here are some of the intricacies that you should take into account before placing bets in motorsport.
First of all, unlike horse racing, in motorsports, you place your bet mainly on the drivers and not on the cars themselves. The reason behind it is that due to the strict rules and regulations in most series, the cars are either very similar or completely the same in their technical characteristics. Thus, the only way a certain team can secure an edge over the opposition is through the personal skills of their pilots and the speed of their mechanics, that is if the race includes pitstops. The current form and momentum of the drivers are the key points to research, as they have the most impact on the final outcome in these sports.
There are numerous examples of middle-of-the-road underdog pilots who after winning a couple of races would rise to the top and create a comfortable gap that would eventually allow them to win championships. Gary Puffet and Paul Di Resta in the DTM, James Hunt in F1, Colin McCrae and Sebastien Ogier in the WRC, Jacques Villeneuve in the American Open-Wheel Racing Championship are just a handful of examples. Therefore, you should ideally follow the racing series you’d like to bet on in order to spot and separate the teams that are doing good from those with average performance. In case you don’t have the time or just don’t want to watch all the races, we recommend that you at least perform a quick google search to find out the results from the start of the championship or even better, the last couple of years. This way, you will have a much better chance to predict the turn of events and gamble on the right ‘horse’.
That said, there are series, such as F1 and the WRC, in which you can also bet on the mechanics and manufacturers/constructors. On one hand, you have the men on the ground. The role of the whole team of mechanics, engineers, strategist, etc. is rarely appreciated by most people, however, they provide a crucial foundation upon which drivers can rise and show their qualities. As Paul Di Resta, ex Mercedes-Benz driver, once stated, referring to his team:
‘These are the guys that are going to be putting the sweat and the tears. Driving is 5%, what goes in the background makes the difference.’
In series like Formula 1 and the DTM, drivers that climb the podium usually have less than a second difference in their average lap times. If you take a look at the table below you will see that in the final round of the 2018 DTM at Hockenheim the first five drivers were divided by mere tenths of a second. Thus, a second wasted during a pit stop can easily prove fatal for the final outcome of a race. By the way, you can also take a look at our blog about Formula 1 betting.
|Racing Driver||Fastest Lap|
|Joel Eriksson||58:07. 548|
And if you believe that this case study might be just a coincidence, then we have prepared a second example. This time the data is taken from the 2018 British Touring Car Championship and if you find that the name sounds familiar, that’s where all analogies end. The BTCC, though following a similar format, is held on different race tracks, where completely different vehicles are raced by different drivers in what can only be described as distinctly British weather conditions. And yet, the results appear remarkably similar. That is one of the main reasons why you definitely have to do your best and learn everything that you can about the speed and consistency with which teams perform their pit stops.
|Racing Driver||Fastest Lap|
On the other hand, the technological know-how and the financial support required to build a good car, form an experienced team and manage to sustain it all throughout the championship is usually limited/restricted to the top dogs only. Thus, the Brand heritage and past year performance would most certainly give you an indication of who is most likely to win. However, you should definitely keep an eye for average teams that have been performing on an unusually high level. Even though the rules and regulations provide a level playing field teams sometimes manage to find workarounds and secure a technical advantage over their opponents. Such was the case with the 1983 Lancia team in the Group B of the World Rally Championship or Williams in the 1992 F1 season. All in all, if you actually spot them, you must definitely make your bet!
The last thing to keep in mind is the weather. The atmospheric conditions could have a dramatic impact on the performance of both cars and drivers. First of all, some drivers, like Ayrton Senna, for example, who was on another level in the wet, are better than others when it’s pouring down. If you are into watching motorsports you will know who we’re talking about. If not, do your homework and find more about the track record of the drivers taking part in the race. Then there are the cars. Just like the drivers, some cars, mostly the four-wheel drive ones, hold themselves better in the wet.
Furthermore, one of the most important points in any team’s strategy is the selection of ‘rubber’ both before and during the race. As most of you would probably know already, there are two main categories of tires used on race cars and bikes – slicks and rain tires. Choosing the wrong type of tire would completely ruin the performance of the vehicle and could end up losing the race. This is why you should consider checking accurate weather forecasts and even live weather reports if you want to gamble with the pros and make some good cash. There is a vast amount of weather websites and apps, so you have an unlimited number of options.
However, we sincerely recommend you visit metcheck.com – a website that has a special section dedicated to motor racing with a list of every official race track in the world and a detailed local weather report. Furthermore, they provide an hour by hour track temperature chart for the most famous tracks – pretty much the same info that the teams themselves would be using.
Most Common Betting Options
In the final section, we will try to quickly and comprehensively run you through the most widely spread betting options that you will find in your trusty local sports betting shops as well as online. However please keep in mind that both betting options and terms and conditions will certainly vary based on your location, the racing series as well as the betting venue you have selected.
Guess The Winner
The most obvious one is to bet on who is going to win a specific race or the whole championship. This is extremely difficult to do and usually much harder than in other sports. Тhe vehicles are put under extreme stress the whole time and the lifespan of crucial parts rarely exceeds the duration of more than a single race. Technical issues, therefore, can cause an unexpected last-minute change on the scoreboards.
Furthermore, the sheer number of participants, which varies anywhere between 5 and over 60, can often make choosing a single pretender to feel overwhelming. On the bright side, guessing the winner pays way more, compared to other sports. Namely, because there are so many drivers taking part, the odds for a rookie to win a single race are usually around 20/1 or 40/1 and can go as high as a 100/1 in the NASCAR series. And even those leading the scoreboards would rarely have better odds than 4 or 5 to 1.
Bet On A Podium Position
If you are new to motorsports, betting on a place is a more rookie-friendly alternative. What you have to do is simply choose a participant who you believe is going to go on the podium of a certain stage, race or a championship. The downside is that these types of bets pay less than picking out the winner and often come with some type of wagering requirements. As an example, a ‘Podium’ bet through the majority of betting platforms, including the WRC’s official betting partner, would come with the following rules. If your pretender and another driver both finish on 3rd position, then you will get half of the initial payback and if three drivers finish 3rd, you’ll only be paid a third. That aside, betting on a place is a very good starting point for those of you who are new to motor racing and as long as your favourite finishes first or second, you will still get paid the full amount.
An alternative could be found in the ‘duel’ types of bets, where you put two or more drivers against each other and bet on the order in which they are going to finish. It is a great way for novice sports gamblers to get into the nitty-gritty of motorsports betting, as well as for those casual betters who enjoy watching the races to spice up the whole experience and make it that much more entertaining and engaging to watch.
You could also combine it with any of the aforementioned bets. This way you are going to be amused not only by watching the best drivers at the front of the pack but also the more average performers in the middle or even at the very back. And of course, if your favourite experiences a breakdown and is out of the race at the very start, you still have someone to cheer for.
The last popular betting option that you should be able to find in most betting shops and online sports betting platforms is the ‘non-finish’ or ‘retire’ one. As you can tell by the name it is a pretty straight forward option. All you have to do is try and guess which car is not going to go over the checkered line at the end of the race, due to any type of mechanical failure or driver’s mistake. As we’ve already mentioned, in motor racing there is a very high probability that such issues may occur and there is rarely a race in which all the cars make it to the end. All you need to do is spot the teams which are, for example, having gearbox or engine problems or drivers who have a bad record of often pushing their skills to the limit and beyond.
This pretty much sums up all the basic rules and tricks that you will need to get a head start as a rookie and wraps up this crash course in motor racing betting. Please keep in mind, that even though these are the most widely accepted betting options there will most certainly be a much wider variety available based on the location and rules of the racing series you would like to bet on as well as the betting shops and platforms themselves. However, with the knowledge, you have acquired in this blog post and a quick read of the wagering requirements specific to each betting venue you will be on your way to becoming a pro in no time.