How to Bet on Speedway
What You Need to Know
- Speedway is fast, exciting and great for sports betting. However, before you put any money down, you should read more about the sport and make sure you understand the rules and point scoring system
- As well as trackside betting, you can also bet online.
- In most cases, the odds offered for speedway races will be given in fractions, making it easy to understand how much you can win
- The Money Line bet, where you just bet on one team to win a certain meeting, is easy to make and the most popular type of flutter on speedway
- Bookies will often also offer Handicap Betting. This evens things up and can make races more interesting
- Betting on individual riders as well as on teams can be a good way of expanding your money-making opportunities
- Be aware that betting on speedway can become addictive, so be sure to bet responsibly at all times
Betting on Speedway
Speedway is one of the most exciting motorsports on the planet, with riders careering around a short, oval track at speeds of up to 70mph on bikes with no brakes or gears.
The combination of high speed and high risk make it a great spectator sport, plus, it's also a great sport to bet on: races are short and, while individual heats can be unpredictable, the top teams often come out on top over the course of a whole season. Plus, a team's chances of winning and often reliant on one or two star riders, so if you do your homework and look at their form, you may be able to make a savvy bet or two.
However, before you start betting on speedway, it's a good idea to familiarise yourself with the sport, including how points are scored and how individual meetings work. Check out this introductory guide to speedway before you get busy betting.
Where to Bet
Trackside betting is very common at speedway, with local bookies offering up-to-the-minute odds on individual races and riders.
However, the best place to have a flutter on speedway is online. Most online sports betting sites give you the chance to bet on everything from single heats to whole seasons. Plus, many online bookies will offer you free bonus money if you open an account with them. Check out our guide to the Top 10 Sports Betting Sites and get started today.
Understanding the Odds
Arguably the number one thing you need to know about before you make a bet is how odds work. The odds (also known as the price) indicate how the bookmakers think an event will happen. The odds also determine how much you will win if your prediction is correct. If you're using a UK sports betting sites to bet on speedway, then the odds will almost always be expressed as fractions. Or they could be expressed as decimal points or even in the American style. In all cases, however, you should be able to change the settings to suit you.
Here's what each of these mean:
1) Fractional Odds
On UK-based sports betting sites, the default setting for displaying the odds will be as fractions. Odds displayed this way show you how much you will win on a bet compared to how much you put on. The first number of the fraction indicates how much you will win if you place the amount of money shown in the second number of the fraction.
So, if the odds for Team A winning a particular meeting or heat are 2/1, this means if you bet £1, you will receive £2 in winnings (and you will get your original stake back on top of this). This works on a ratio basis. So, if you are extra confident and place £7 at odds of 2/1, you will receive £14 in winnings. Or, if you place £10 at odds of 2/1, your winnings will be £10, plus your initial stake.
2) Decimal Odds
Since the majority of sports fans are used to seeing odds displayed as fractions, getting your head around decimal odds may seem daunting. But, don't worry! This system is equally straightforward once you've got the hang of it.
The way it works is that you just need to multiply your stake by the decimal shown and this is how much you will receive in winnings, including your returned stake.
So, if you put £1 down on odds of 3.00, you will win £3.00, including your initial stake, if your prediction comes true. And again, this works on a ratio basis. So, if you put down £15 at the same odds of 3.00, you will win £45, including your original stake.
Popular Types of Bet
1) Money Line
The easiest and most popular type of bet to make on speedway is what's known as the Money Line. Don't worry if this term sounds confusing, as it really isn't. It's really just a straightforward bet on which team you think will win a meeting. In most cases, this is a three-way bet, with your options a home win, an away win or a draw. Note, however, that draws (or ties as they are sometimes referred to as) are relatively rare in speedway.
Let's take an example from the Swedish domestic league, one of the best competitions to bet on due to the frequency of races. Here we can see the odds given for a Money Line bet ahead of the meeting between Indianerna and Vetlanda. As you can see, Vetlanda are the favourites, at 1/2 on to win the meeting. This means if you put £10 on them at these odds then you will get £15 back, including your original stake, if they do win. For a Money Line bet, it doesn't matter if they win by a single point or by 10, so long as they are the overall winners, your bet is a good one.
2) Handicap Betting
Mismatched meetings are quite common in speedway. That is, in many meetings there will be a clear favourite and a definite underdog. This can mean that the odds you are offered for a Money Line bet are quite unattractive, and that you have to stake lots to enjoy a good return.
To even things up, and to make the odds more attractive, bookmakers will often introduce what's known as a Handicap. All this means is that they will give the underdog a virtual headstart and the favourite a virtual handicap, with this taken into account with the odds.
Let's look at the meeting between Indianerna and Vetlanda in the Swedish domestic league again. As we have seen, the bookies made Vetlanda the firm favourites with Money Line odds of 1/2.
To make things more interesting, a Handicap of 4 points has been introduced, as you can see below. So, Vetlanda start off on -4 points, with the bookmaker offering odds of 19/20 for them to still win. This means that they need to win by 5 points or more to overcome the Handicap and be the overall winners. Should they draw, lose or even win by 4 points or fewer, then they will not have 'covered' the Handicap, and any bets made on them this way will be losing bets.
At the same time, Indinerna have been given a headstart of +4. This means that if they lose by 3 points or fewer, they will be named the winners by the bookies once their headstart is taken into account. If, however, they lose by 5 or more points, they will be the losing team even with the Handicap taken into account.
The Handicap for the meeting ending in a draw works exactly the same way.
3) Rider Match-Ups
To make things more interesting, most bookies will also give you the chance to bet on which individual riders will come out on top in an individual meeting. A Rider Match-Up will pair riders from competing teams and you will be given the chance to put money on the one you think will win the most points.
Here's an example from the Swedish league meeting between Indianerna and Vetlanda. As you can see, Protasiewicz is the bookies' favourite to do well. Even with a handicap of -5 points he's still 8/5 to get more points in the meeting than his rival:
You should be able to pick from a number of Rider Match-Ups for each individual meeting. Plus, you will usually be able to put down a straightforward bet on the one rider you think will win the most points overall at the meeting.
Note that, in almost all cases, a rider must compete in at least 3 heats of a meeting for any bet to stand. If they are injured and cannot continue before they hit this minimum, all bets will be declared void.
4) Rider Totals
A quick and easy bet to make is to put money on the number of points you think an individual rider will win in a single meeting, or even in a single heat. In almost all cases, this will be a straightforward under/over bet. This means, the bookmaker will give a possible points total and you have to bet whether the rider will get more or fewer points than this.
Let's go back to the meeting between Indianerna and Vetlanda for an example. Here we can see the odds offered on Lindgren scoring a certain number of points. As you can see, the bookie thinks it's most likely that the rider will score under 8 points overall. So, if you put a bet on this, it doesn't matter if Lingdren scores 7 points or no points at all, so long as he scores under 8, you will win at odds of 4/6.
The bookies may also allow you to bet on how many points a team will win in a heat or a whole meeting, as well as a straightforward bet on which team will pick up the most points in a single heat.
5) Futures Markets
Given the frequency of accidents, individual heats and even whole meetings can be hard to predict. You may, therefore, prefer to bet on the outcome of whole seasons or other competitions since the top teams and riders usually come out on top in the long-run.
Most bookmakers will offer a good range of Futures Markets, letting you have a flutter on a number of competitions.
Hints and Tips for Betting on Speedway
There really is not such thing as a 'sure thing' in speedway. Races can sometimes be quite predictable, but the sport is dangerous and accidents do happen, making upsets far more commonplace than in many other sports. That said, there are some steps you can take to increase your chances of making rather than losing money. For example, you should:
- Do your homework and follow the latest news. A team's top rider may miss a meeting due to injury and this could have a significant affect on their chances, so be sure you are armed with such relevant information before you put any money down
- Be sure you have a good understanding of the point scoring system, especially if you're betting on league standings. Remember, even losing teams can pick up points.
- Look beyond the UK. Speedway is popular in many other European countries, meaning you can bet on the sport most weeks of the year.
- Sign up with different online sports betting companies. This way you can shop around and compare odds, ensuring you always get the best value for money.
A Note on Betting Responsibly
Like every other type of sports gambling, betting on speedway can become addictive. The key is to stay in control of your bets. Be wary of betting under the influence of alcohol or in an attempt to make up for your losses as you usually won't make a sound judgement. Additionally, never bet with money you can't afford to lose.
Important Information on Gambling
You must be 18+ to gamble and use the offers and betting odds featured
Every new gambling account offer has "Terms & Conditions" that will apply - make sure you read these before opening an account.
See www.gambleaware.org for help and advice on problem gambling.
Please gamble responsibly.
Further Sports Betting Reading
If you want to really get stuck into the exciting world of sports betting, then we have a range of guides that will help you get off to a winning start. Some of these include:
- A guide on How to Bet on F1 and make money from another great motorsport
- A guide on how you can join millions of other sports fans and Make a Bet on a Horse
- A Guide to Betting on Cricket and making money from this popular sport
Further Speedway Betting Reading
- To learn more about speedway and to find a meeting near you, visit the website of Speedway GB: http://www.speedwaygb.co/
- To keep up to speed on the latest news from the world of speedway, follow Sky Sports News: http://www1.skysports.com/speedway/