Beach Volleyball Basics
As the name suggests, beach volleyball is played on a sand-based court. Two teams of two compete and the aim is to hit the ball over the net and make it land in the opposition’s half or prevent the opposition from returning the ball in a “legal” fashion.
A team begins the game by striking the ball over the net, and the teams then compete in a rally. The rally finishes when a team cannot return the ball, and the opposite team receives a point. The team that is the first to reach 21 point by two clear points wins the set, and two set wins are needed to win the overall match.
A return is considered illegal if the ball hits the net, if the ball is hit too many times in one rally (three touches are permitted), or if the team fails to strike the ball at all. During the first two sets, the teams will swap ends after every seven points and after every five points during the third set. There is also a timeout when the accumulated score is 21 points, e.g. if the score was 14-7. As mentioned, a set is won when a team reaches 21 points, with a 2-point lead, but in the final set 15 points is the target.
The game has a number of other rules that you are sure to become familiar with, such as the illegal moves including hand touches, tips and dinks. However, using the basics above, you are sure to be able to start watching and understanding the sport.
There are a number of beach volleyball competitions that you can bet on, the most popular of which are the World Championships, the Olympic Games, and the Grand Slam, which is a series of competitions played over the course of a season on different continents with a prize fund that is usually around $10 million.
Betting on Beach Volleyball
When you look at the betting markets available for a beach volleyball match, you will see that there are many different options. Here you can find a brief explanation of the most popular types of betting markets to help you get started.
Moneylines or Winner Full Time
This is the simplest bet available and a great place to start with beach volleyball betting. It is simply a bet on which of the two teams will win the match. As long as your chosen team emerges as winner, then you win the bet. There are no draws in beach volleyball, so there are only two options in the bet.
The reason it is called Winner Full Time and not just Winner, is that you will also find Winner markets on the individual sets. In other words, you can bet on which team will win the first set, the second set, and the third.
Handicaps and Spreads
At first, these types of bets can appear to be a little confusing. However, once you understand what they represent you will realise that they are very simple and can be a huge amount of fun. In beach volleyball, there are often two types of spread bets available, the set spread and the points spread.
Bookmakers introduce handicaps to betting markets in order to offer better odds. One of the teams, the favourite to win, is given a handicap, while the other, the underdog, is given an advantage. For example, you might see a market such as Team A -1.5 Sets, Team B +1.5 Sets. If you were to bet on Team A, then the team must win the match 3-1 or 3-0 to cover the handicap, in other words, they must still be the winners once 1.5 sets are subtracted from their total.
The same principle can be applied to the points spread bet. You may see a market such as Team A -6.5 points, Team B +6.5 points. This bet refers to the total number of points scored across all sets in a match. This means that if Team A wins 97 to 93, then they will not have covered the spread.
Total Points Under/Over
Over/Under bets are bets on whether something will happen more of fewer times than the number supplied by the bookmaker. In this instance, it is referring to the total number of points scored in a match being greater or smaller than the number. For instance, you may be offered Over/Under 182.5 points. If you believe that the total number of points will 183 or more then you bet Over, if you believe it will be 182 or less, then you bet Under. Very often, you can place similar bets on individual sets, such as the total number of points scored in the first set.
This is a bet on the exact score at the end of the match in regards to sets. You will be able to choose from options such as 2-0, 2-1, 0-2, 1-2, and so on.
Set Winning Margin
This is a bet on how much a set will be won by. Remember, a team must be at least 2 points clear to win a set, but they can win by far more. You will be presented with options such as the team two win by 2 points, by 3 to 4 points, by 5 to 7, by 8 to 11, or by 12 or more.
Set Exact Score
This is a bet on the exact score of an individual set, e.g. 22-20. It is very hard to predict, so it will normally have very long odds available.
Futures and Outrights
For major competitions, you may be able to place futures and outright bets. For example, you could bet on which team will win the World Championship. These types of bets usually offer very generous odds, even when backing the favourite. As a general rule, the further in advance you place your bet, the better the odds will be.
Live betting, also known as in-play betting, is an excellent way to make watching beach volleyball even more exciting. It gives you the ability to bet on the matches as they are taking place. Many of the same markets explained above are available and their odds will be updated in real time to reflect what is happening in the game. This means that by keeping a careful watch on the markets, you may see some great opportunities. Sometimes live betting also offers special markets known as ‘Next To’ bets. As the name suggests, these are bets on the next thing that is going to happen, such as the next team to score.
What to Consider When Betting on Beach Volleyball
No matter what sport you are betting on, the key to placing successful bets is to do your research. The trick is knowing what your research should focus on. Very often, this will be obvious and it will simply be a matter of watching as much beach volleyball as you can in order to gain knowledge about the teams and players. However, you may unintentionally overlook some aspects.
As there are just two players in a beach volleyball team, injuries and illnesses become far more important. Watching carefully how a player warms up for a game can give you a great deal of information regarding his/her fitness level.
However, having just two players can also be advantageous to punters as the longer a pair has worked together, the better the understanding and teamwork will be. Therefore, if you have a well-established pair playing a new pair, then it will have a significant impact on the match.
You also need to look at the venue very carefully as the quality of the sand and the climate can make a big difference. The players will be affected by the weather conditions; such as if it is too hot, raining, windy, if the sand is too dense, and so on.
It is also important to be aware of the structure of the competition. In some tournaments, teams will play several matches a day, which can be exhausting, so it is important to check the schedule before placing your bets.
Hopefully, after taking into account all of the above, you will be able to put together a successful betting strategy and enjoy placing many bets on beach volleyball.