Unless you're lucky enough to live near a beach, volleyball may not seem like an obvious sport to bet on - or even think about. In many ways, though, this provides an advantage to the astute bettor. It only takes a little bit of research to gain an edge on bookmakers, and the level of competition means that there's plenty of money to be made. There's an exciting element too, in that it's one of those rare sports where in-play betting is key. One has to be aware of who's serving and closely watch where the momentum is coming from.
While the fan pool isn't as intense as a sport like football ("volleyball hooligan" just doesn't have the same ring to it), there are several well-established leagues. From most to least popular, the ones to watch are Olympic Volleyball, the FVIB World Championships, World League Volleyball, World Cup Volleyball and the World Grand Prix. The amount of reporting on these leagues is relative to the size of their fan base, i.e. there isn't much of it. But again, this means that those who are willing to do some digging stand to gain a huge advantage.
The easiest and most common bet is for match winner. It's obviously possible to predict this before the match, but betting in-play is wiser because serving momentum will quickly dictate winning odds.
The other option is the 'set betting' market. A team wins a set when they reach 25 points or more and has a lead of two-or-more points over their rivals, so don't leave your bet too late because the odds will shorten as a team's point tally approaches this level. Common bets are 'total sets betting', predicting whether the total number of sets won by both teams is over or under the value set by sportsbooks; and 'first set betting', predicting the outcome of the first set in a game.
If you do choose to bet futures, the name of the game is blocks and spikes. A team that can set up a quality spike - when a player jumps and smashes the ball down into the opponent's side of the court - is a team you can rely on to win. Teams that play well close to the net are also normally a reliable group because they can win back serves.
It's also worth looking for statistics on points lost, due to both the ball landing outside marked areas on the court after a shot and fouls. Make use of these to inform pre-match bets, or as background to your observations during in-play betting. Some online bookies, like Bet365 Sports, provide stats like these via a link on their volleyball betting console, which is key.
When you get more confident, take advantage of the 'double result' market (picking who'll win the first set and the match). This is where the odds really increase, so if you think a team has considerable momentum or is likely to crumble, you stand to make large sums if your predictions are proved true.
To enjoy some in-play volleyball betting, head over to Bet365 Sports today and find the perfect punt for you.