Traditionally not a major sport at the bookmakers, alpine skiing betting is growing in popularity thanks to its television deals.
Traditionally not a major sport at the top Canadian betting sites, alpine skiing betting is growing in popularity thanks to its television deals, such as with Eurosport. With around 6-8 hours of live alpine skiing on television each weekend, alpine skiing betting now provides some unusual opportunities for the smart punter.
As it's a relatively niche sport, understanding how alpine skiing works is crucial before you're able to spot the best value winter sports bets. There are a number of disciplines that make up the overall Alpine Ski World Cup. These are Slalom, Giant Slalom, Super Giant Slalom and Downhill, plus a Super Combined event which involves one downhill and one slalom run in the same day. While contenders for the overall World Cup title will be strong across the majority of disciplines, other competitors are specialists in just one or two, and as such, are worth keeping a close eye on in the alpine skiing outright and podium finish markets in the individual events.
A key factor to take into account in any alpine skiing betting is the course being used. The World Cup tour rotates around a number of different ski resorts, and each individual course is slightly different. Of course, certain runs will suit certain skiers better than others. Often, some of the skiers grew up learning on their home slopes, and so can have an advantage in that they know the course like the back of their hand.
Even if it's not their home course, an individual skier’s style may be tailor-made for the demands of a particular run, making them a great bet in the outright or podium finish markets. Retired Swiss skier, Didier Cuche, is the perfect example. He won only twelve Downhill races in his fourteen year career but, interestingly, no fewer than five of them came at Kitzbuhel. The course suited him to perfection and, as a result, it was no surprise that he won regularly at the Austrian resort.
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Cuche also demonstrates our earlier point that skiers do not necessarily excel in all disciplines. He won four Downhill season titles, including back-to-back wins in 2007 and 2008. In the same years, however, he finished 34th and 23th respectively in the Super Combined event. Clearly, looking to back him in the Downhill would have been a sound strategy, but he would certainly not have been worth backing, even at long odds, in the Super Combined. It's important to tailor your alpine skiing betting to each individual discipline.
As with other sports, form should be taken into consideration in alpine skiing outright betting. If a competitor is skiing well and getting good results, it can boost confidence going into future events, and can often lead to faster times and better final standings.
Take Tina Maze, for instance. Before this season, she had won only eight Giant Slalom races since 2003. However, she started this season well, winning the first race at Sölden and gaining the confidence to push on. She proceeded to win four straight races, and has made the podium at each of the six meetings this season. She's showing a marked improvement on her past form, and is now an excellent choice to back in the alpine skiing podium finish betting market (or even the outright market) for the Giant Slalom races remaining this season.
The betting sites you can sign up with depends very much on your location, as each province has its own set of laws surrounding online sports betting. In some cases your only option may be to sign up with an offshore operator. Recently, sports betting in Ontario was legalised which means a whole host of new sites are available in that province. Be sure to check what sites are available in your province in advance of signing up with any operator.