Long before motorsports legends like Michael Schumacher and Colin McCrae touched the tarmac for the first time, betting on races was already a beloved pastime. Ancient Romans deemed chariot races as the most entertaining sport imaginable. Now that horse shoes became Pirelli tires, motorsports betting saw a rise in popularity in recent years.
Most of this adoration is due to the unpredictability of motorsports when compared to traditional sports. While it may seem confusing at first, the principles are the same – you learn, then read and experiment with different bets. In this short guide, we’ll introduce you to the world of motorsports betting and show you how to capitalize on this newfound knowledge.
Mastering the Basics
While betting on motorsports can be more challenging due to the difficulty of the learning curve, it’s still fair game. There are more variables to consider, which allows you to make fairly accurate predictions about any outcome. Here are the main factors that determine the end result of any motorsports event.
- Drivers. Any race is a matchup between individual drivers. They have different levels of experience, as well as preferences in terms of weather, tracks and similar variables in play.
- Cars. While rules and regulations in most motorsports associations are indeed strict, some manufacturers have a better track record than others. This should give you a clearer picture about who to bet on.
- Teams. In Formula One, MotoGP, NASCAR and many other, there are team competitions, too. A team can field multiple drivers in one race, whose points affect the outcome of the team champion. It’s not unusual to see a driver winning a title, but his team losing because they don’t have a good roster. Teams with more money and influence can also “poach” great drivers from other teams.
- Weather conditions. Even the smallest changes in variables such as humidity and atmospheric pressure can affect drivers. This is without mentioning major weather changes, such as rain, snow or winds. A slippery road can result in more accidents and drivers who are usually risk takers to make slower turns. Some drivers, like F1’s Ayrton Senna, were known to perform better when there’s torrential rain.
- Tracks. Every motorsports championship is comprised of a large amount of tracks that differ between each other. There are drivers who prefer tracks with a longer pit straight, while others find it fairly easy to navigate circuits with more turns such as the Hungaroring or Circuit de Monaco.
Which Motorsport Association Should I Bet On?
The answer to this question depends on your personal preference. Here are some of the most popular associations/leagues for motorsports betting:
- African Rally Championship
- Dakar Rally
- World Rally Championship
- MotoGP 2
You probably noticed that some associations have different numbers next to their names. F1 and MotoGP function based on a league-like principle. Drivers from lower-ranked competitions compete for a place in the big leagues. Other associations can actively recruit amateur drivers, but this ultimately depends on the association itself and its individual rules and regulations.
There are other rising organizations like Formula E, in which Audi Sport competes. While they may get less coverage, you can still learn a lot and have fun.
Pick one or more organizations to follow. You don’t need to dive head first into motorsports betting, so don’t worry. Start reading about the rules, the history and, finally, about the current drivers. Watch races whenever you can and be sure to listen to pundits and analysts break down the elements of the sport. The next thing you know, you will be immersed into the exciting world of motorsports betting.
Bets That You Can Place on Motorsports Events
Just like football or basketball, motorsports betting gives you several opportunities to make a winning bet. Not all have the same probabilities, nor are they all equally suitable for beginners in the motorsports betting world. Let’s take a look at some of them:
- Betting on the winner. Possibly the most obvious bet, picking a winner is harder in motorsports than in traditional sports. Predicting correctly can earn you a lot of money, but only because the odds are 4/1 or 5/1 at most, even for the most esteemed drivers. This is because there are usually 10+ drivers in every race, including variables like weather, technical problems, crashes, etc.
- Who will be on the podium? While we wouldn’t recommend betting on the winner for beginners, picking who will stand on the podium is a great way to start your experience with motorsports. It’s much easier to predict that a driver will place first, second or third. Besides, good drivers win titles by basically living on the podium throughout the season.
- Matching bets. If you want to spice things up, you can also pit two or more drivers against one another. This is perhaps the best way to learn all the intricacies of motorsports, as well as things about individual drivers. Pick an order in which you think they will finish and you will have a lot of fun watching the race.
- Non-finish. Oftentimes, drivers don’t finish races because of crashes or technical problems. Once you see which teams, manufacturers and drivers have a track record of dropping out, a pattern will emerge. Also, pay close attention to the weather forecast for the location of the race, as rain makes drivers more likely to not cross the checkered line.
What Are the Best Markets for Motorsports Betting?
While betting on motorsports has seen a rise in recent years, not all bookmakers have added these options for players. Respected brands such as William Hill, 888, 10Bet, Paddy Power and others can give you a wide range of events that you can bet on.
Most of them also allow live betting, meaning that you can make predictions during the race itself. By doing so, you can earn a pretty penny by potentially predicting an upset or someone crashing out of the race. It’s all up to you. Good luck.