The first thing to know is that there are actually many different types of volleyball, such as men’s, women’s, indoor and beach. Without a doubt, the most popular variant is indoor volleyball, which as the name suggests takes place indoors on a hard surface court.
Beach volleyball is another very popular version of the game, which for obvious reasons usually takes place in warmer climates. The important thing though is that due to the sandy surface, the game has a slightly different dynamic to indoor volleyball.
However, regardless of which form of the game is being played, the basics are always the same. It is played by two teams of six people each who occupy different sides of a net on a court. The aim is to score points by grounding the ball on the other team’s side of the net or by forcing the other team to hit the ball either into the net or out of bounds.
When the ball is in play, a team can only touch the ball three times before sending it over the net to the opponent’s side, and the same player can never touch the ball twice in a row. Under rally scoring, a point is scored regardless of which team is serving. The ball goes over to the other team to serve if a point was won on defence and it stays with the serving team if they win the point.
The first team to reach 25 points with a two-point margin wins a set. Games are usually best of five sets, meaning the first to three wins, and if a fifth set is played, often it is just to 15 points.
There are a few more rules of course, but these are the basics and should be enough for you to follow the sport when watching it.
Betting on Volleyball
There are many different types of betting markets available for a volleyball game and they allow you to bet on many different things. Here we will explain the most popular betting markets to help you get started.
Moneylines or Winner Full Time
This is the most basic type of bet and a great place to start if you are a newcomer. It is simply a bet on which of the two teams will win the match. If your chosen team wins, then you win the bet. Furthermore, if you think that a team is going to cause an upset, then you may find some fantastic odds available.
It is worth pointing out that Winner markets are often offered on individual sets as well, so you may be able to bet on the winner of the first set, second set, and so on.
Handicaps and Spreads
These types of bets can appear to be a little confusing at first, but they are actually quite simple. In volleyball, there are usually two types of spread bets on offer, the set spread and the points spread.
Bookmakers use handicaps to make the odds more attractive to punters. One team is given a handicap and starts the match with an advantage, such as 1.5. Therefore, you would see something like Team A -1.5 Sets, Team B +1.5 Sets. If you bet on Team A, then the team must win 3-1 or 3-0 to cover the handicap, if they do not, then you will lose your bet.
The same principle applies to the point spread bets. The weaker team receives a handicap, for example, Team A -6.5 points, Team B +6.5 points. The bets look at the total number of points across all sets. Therefore, if the game ended with Team A winning 97 to 93 points, then they will have failed to cover the spread.
In volleyball, it is possible for a team to win the match having scored fewer points overall than the opposition, and this can make these bets very interesting.
Total Points Under/Over
This betting market allows you to bet on whether the total number of points between both teams will be more or less than a specific amount. For example, the bookmaker may offer Over/Under 182.5 points. If you think that the total number of points will 183 or more then you bet Over, if you think 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 market simply allows you to bet on the final score of the match. You will be presented with all the different options, e.g. 3-0, 3-1, 3-2, 0-3, 1-3, and 2-3, and just choose which you think is most likely.
Set Winning Margin
This allows you to bet on the winning margin of an individual set. For instance, you can bet on the team to win by 2 points, to win by 3-4, 5-7, 8-11, or 12+. Simply choose the range that you think the set will be won by and if you are correct, then you win the bet.
Set Exact Score
As the name suggest, this allows you to bet on the exact score of an individual set, such as 25-21. It is a very hard bet to get right, so the odds are usually very generous.
Futures and Outrights
For some major competitions, you may find futures and outright betting markets. For example, you can bet on which team will win the World League, the World Cup, and so on. One of the advantages of these bets is that there are often good odds available, even when backing the favourites. Therefore, it is always worth taking some time to look at these markets to see what is on offer.
Live betting, also known as in-play betting, is a great way to make watching volleyball even more exciting. It allows you to bet on the matches as they are taking place. Many of the same markets discussed above are on offer and the odds are updated in real time to reflect what is happening on court. As such, if you keep a careful eye on the game and the odds, you may spot some fantastic opportunities. Furthermore, sometimes there are special bets on offer 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 Volleyball
It is always important to carry out your research before placing a bet. When it comes to volleyball, there are many things that are worth considering. Most of it is self-evident, but it doesn’t hurt to spell it out.
You should look at the teams and their respective forms. Also look into team news, for instance, you need to be aware if one of the star players is injured. It is also worth looking at the head-to-head record between the teams that are playing. Furthermore, always consider the teams’ schedules. If a team has been travelling a lot, then they may be tired and this could affect their performance. Similarly, if a team has a strong home record and a poor away record, then this is something you need to be aware of. The more information you can gather about a team the better. While it won’t guarantee you a winning bet, it should certainly help.
Something that is often overlooked is the venue of the match. While the field will be very similar, it is not going to be exactly the same. For instance, the size of the hall can vary a lot, and this can have a big impact on players who have to adapt to new conditions quickly. Beyond the size, the height of the ceiling, the position of the lights, where the audience sits relative to the field, and more, can all make a difference. If a team regularly plays in a small hall and then suddenly finds themselves in a huge arena, then they may find it highly off-putting, especially when it comes to serving.
This is just one example of the many things that can make a difference to a volleyball match. Before placing your bets, be sure to do as much research as you possibly can and try to approach the question of who will win from multiple angles. With a bit of luck, the combination of clever use of the betting markets explained above with some careful research will result in you placing many more bets that are successful.