Looking for sports betting tips and strategies to help you find an edge in these uncertain times?
You’ve come to the right place!
Even as the world of sport slowly returns to normal with leagues restarting and rescheduled tournaments now going ahead, things look very different for players and punters alike. With strict new safety protocols in place and competitors being regularly tested and isolated to prevent Covid-19 outbreaks, this is not business as usual.
Exactly when fans will be allowed to come and cheer on their teams and players again is difficult to know. Meanwhile, the unusual conditions players are forced to perform under are worth considering when placing your bets.
Sports Betting Tips for Betting during the pandemic
We’ll help you weigh up some important factors related to sports betting during the pandemic and give you a few pointers on how to turn this knowledge into profit.
Individual vs Team Sports
The pandemic undoubtedly affects the headspace of players differently. But in terms of betting, Covid-19 is less of a factor for individual sports like tennis or golf than team sports. For example, if a tennis player tests positive for the virus they cannot play at all, while teams can play without utilising the infected players.
However, for a team sport like soccer, punters need to weigh up the impact of a player being excluded from the squad with how much the odds or line have been adjusted by the bookmaker as a result, if at all.
Betting angle: Bet on individual sports like tennis or golf where performance is not dependent on the health and fitness of an entire team.
Home Field Advantage
With fewer or no fans in the stands, home advantage in the time of Covid-19 is less of a factor, and in some cases, completely diminished. The crowd noise, which most often positively impacts the home team and negatively impacts the visiting team, no longer applies. Punters could benefit from thinking about matches played during this time as taking place on a neutral field, especially in stadiums where no fans are allowed at all.
Betting angle: Bet against teams which are heavily favoured on the money line or spread/handicap while playing “at home” on a neutral field.
The psyche of every player is different, and therefore they can’t all be treated the same way from a betting perspective. Some players thrive in a noisy and energetic environment where they can feed off the energy of the crowd to motivate them. These competitors might struggle to play their best in a quiet, fanless arena. Other players who are badly affected by nerves in a crowded stadium might feel more at ease and confident when playing without these distractions.
Betting angle: Avoid betting on players who are entertainers at heart and rely heavily on the crowds to motivate and inspire their best performances.
Team News Uncertainty
With players regularly being tested for Covid-19, team news is more important than ever. Depending on how a team is affected by Covid-19, this uncertainty can work for or against you as a punter. If you back a side before team news is released, you might get better odds if the opposition loses a key player due to a positive Covid-19 test.
On the other hand, if you bet on a team that loses one or two key players, you might suddenly end up on the wrong side of a bet!
Betting angle: To avoid the increased uncertainty around team news during the time of Covid-19, bet closer to the time of the match so you know exactly who’s in and who’s out.
During the pandemic, teams with squad depth in multiple positions could have an even bigger advantage over teams that rely heavily on one or two key players being healthy. This is especially relevant in sports like American football and baseball, where the quarterback or pitcher is highly determinative of overall team performance.
Teams able to field a strong line-up even with several players unavailable might disproportionally outperform those whose second-choice players aren’t nearly as good.
Betting angle: Bet on teams with good squad depth that have solid second-choice players or substitutes to fill in for players ruled out because of Covid-19.
Slower Game Pace
There’s no real evidence yet to back this up, but with a lack of fans to cheer players on, the pace of games could slow down and scoring might be reduced as a result. In sports like soccer and rugby, this might translate to more games going under the total goals and points.
Betting angle: Bet on under the total goals/points in matches where the lack of crowds might slow down the pace of the game.
In some leagues, where play was suspended for several months due to Covid-19, seasons have been shortened. For this reason, teams won’t have as many game weeks to prove themselves and secure play-off or promotional positions in their respective leagues. What might happen as a result is teams that tend to ramp up their level slowly over the course of a season won’t fare as well as teams that perform more consistently overall.
Betting angle: Bet against teams that tend to start the season slowly because they won’t necessarily have enough time to claw their way back into contention if they fall by the wayside early on.
Remember this is unchartered territory for everyone—the players, coaches and also the punters! The trick is not to overthink anything and simply keep these above considerations in the back of your mind when betting. To quote the former U.S. Secretary of Defence, Donald Rumsfeld: “There are known knowns—these are things we know that we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say, we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns, the ones we don’t know we don’t know.”
Betting angle: Keep a cool head!
What it takes to be a successful punter doesn’t change because of the global pandemic. For instance, you should still always shop around at different bookies for the best odds and lines. To be profitable, you also need to manage your bankroll responsibly and not chase your losses. Your best bet is to stick to the basics, keep an open mind, and the rest will take care of itself.
New to betting and want help getting started with sports betting? Check out our Ultimate Betting Guide for everything you need to register an account and place your first wager.
Any tips you want to share that have helped your betting during the pandemic? Hit us up in the comments below!