Water Polo: How do you play it and how do you bet on it
Water polo is difficult to call a sport for betting. This is despite the fact that it is one of the oldest in the history of the Olympic Games. The first men’s water polo competition was held in 1900. Women’s competitions debuted at the Games exactly 100 years later, in 2000. We will discuss the basics of the sport and the stakes that go along with it.
Features of water polo, changes in the rules. Water polo matches have a rich history, but this is not the case of the rules which have changed drastically over the years. Initially, water polo was more similar to rugby: players could grab each other, hold and snatch the ball in any way possible. Naturally, this led to a great danger of this sport. Therefore, over time, the rules begin to move in the direction for maximum safety of water polo athletes. At the same time, these changes brought an undesirable one as well: water polo under new rules is a very boring sport. To offset this negative effect and to increase the entertainment value, time was introduced to force teams to quickly develop the attack as well as the removal of players for fouling.
Constant rule changes are a feature of water polo. The new laws are trying to make water polo a more entertaining game, which means, everything possible is done to ensure the scoring of more goals. Before each tournament is necessary to study the changes in the rules and place bets on competitions based on this.
Types of water polo bets
Bookmakers are often limited to these main bets in their lines on water polo:
Betting on the outcome. In water polo, a draw is possible, so three options are available in the exodus bets: first-team victory (P1), draw (X) and a second-team victory (P2).
Betting on winning with a handicap. Water polo is one of the sports where most matches have a well-known favourite (it is too big of a difference in class). This makes betting on winning with a handicap especially popular in water polo. The handicap allows you to equalize the team’s chances to win and allows the player to consider bets with higher odds. Most often the forming of odds in water polo is 1-2 goals, no more.
Betting on winning in the period. A water polo match consists of four periods consisting of exactly eight minutes each. Accordingly, the player can bet on the winner in each individual period. Or to win in an individual period with a handicap.
Betting on totals. Water Polo tries to make every new year more and more attractive for spectators. The rules change in the direction of having the most possible goals scored. Water polo totals are among the most sought-after in betting lines.
How to make bets on water polo
Given that water polo does not have the greatest popularity, it can be assumed that the bookmaker and the player are in an equally rough position when betting on this sport. There are very few decent water polo analysts, and bookmakers rely on the same available statistics as the players do.
Accordingly, with a competitive analysis of the match, you can beat the bookmaker because of your slight edge in knowledge about the game.
Explore the pool. Choosing water polo bets should start with exploring the arena for the upcoming match. The home pool, in this case, helps the hosts more strongly than in most other team sports. In addition, water polo matches can also be held in outdoor pools, which is also important to know before the start of the match.
Important players and goalkeepers, current team form, team line-ups, head injuries, top players are all standard parameters in the pre-match analysis of any team sport, including water polo. Special attention should be paid to goalkeepers: in water polo, a lot depends on the goalkeeper’s form, as in an average match they can amass up to 25 saves. The stronger the goalkeeper, the stronger the team.
Identify your rivals. Water polo has its hotbeds of popularity in the world. Before betting on an international match, it is worth noting how widespread the sport is in that particular country. For example, in Croatia water polo is very popular. Just like in other countries such as the former Yugoslavia and in Hungary. In women’s water polo there is no team in the world equal to the United States.