eSports Betting Guide: Where & how to bet on eSports

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Caleb Wilfinger

Esports · 1 month ago

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Deputy Editor for Pickswise. Lover of all US sports and Southampton FC.

Here at Pickswise, we’re committed to helping you make your next bet better. That stretches into eSports as well, which is the term for competitive video gaming tournaments. That’s why our team of expert handicappers is here to provide this educational guide so you can bet better. You will certainly want to have this guide on hand before you place a bet on any eSports market. At Pickswise, we’ll also provide FREE picks, insights and betting deliverables for eSports events.

Enjoy this betting guide, and best of luck with your bets!

Where is eSports betting legal?

Esports has been a major thing for a while. Globally it is more popular than ever. Just look at all the people that stream on sites such as Twitch. Heck, Twitch broadcasts a number of current eSports. The ever growing number of esports has also pushed the popularity of betting on eSports events. 

It isn’t quite growing as quickly as it has across the world, but the United States could very well be heading to making it a major catch here. The reversal of PASPA in May 2018, has made sports betting a legit thing across the country. It may take a little while longer to get eSports fully legal in more places, but the best thing about it is that states are starting to join the cause. 

The current number of states where eSports betting is completely legal are Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Louisiana, Maryland, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, Ohio, Tennessee and West Virginia.

Meanwhile Arkansas, Delaware, New York, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Rhode Island, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Wyoming are currently regulating esports betting. 

The room for more states to start allowing this can easily expand within a year or two. 

How to bet on eSports

The easiest way to get into betting on eSports is to check out some of the most popular games. Find the right game for you. If you like Call of Duty for example, check out the Call of Duty League official site, to see when the matches are played. The simplest way to put in an eSport bet is to go to one of the top sportsbooks that offer eSports odds. Once you do that the easiest thing to look for is some of the top matches of the day, and always make sure to check out stats before selecting the match you wish to bet on. If you’re looking for any good tips on Pickswise has a number of expert picks for daily matches in CS:GO among other popular eSports.  We have experts on hand who specialize in particular games, teams and tournaments and this is key to us making the best Esports Picks around. Check out our latest, and upcoming Esports Picks all year long. 

What Are the different games you can bet on in eSports?

The world of competitive eSports continues to grow, and pretty soon it may outweigh normal video game play. There are so many different games being played online. Not only that, so many of these top games have made huge deals with sportsbooks to allow betting on the outcomes of the games. 

Some of the most popular games are CounterStrike: Global Offensive, Call of Duty and Overwatch. League of Legends is likely one of the longest running eSports games and it is likely the world’s largest online eSport. 

Top Games that you can bet on include:

  • CS:GO
  • LoL
  • Dota 2
  • Call Of Duty
  • Overwatch
  • PUBG

Ways to bet on eSports

The world of eSports offers a number of different possibilities when it comes to the betting market, one of the most popular routes is to bet on an outright winner of a match, or which team will cover a point spread, much like American football or basketball. 

With such a diverse range of games the possibilities of betting are endless. You can bet on single games, tournament winners, sometimes there are event prop bets for a certain individual player involved in a match. For example how many kills/ eliminations a player might have in a match. 

CS:GO, Call of Duty League  and Overwatch League, are usually the simplest eSports to bet on as they have events pretty much on a weekly basis throughout the year.

H2 – CS:GO (Counter Strike: Global Offensive)

What is CS:GO?

CS:GO or Counter Strike: Global Offensive is a first-person shooter game, where team strategy is king. The game pits two teams of five-players against each other. Each team has to complete objectives to win. One team takes the role of the Terrorists (Ts), and the opposing side is the counter-terrorists (CTs). The first team to win 16 rounds wins the match. Most matches in Competitive CS:GO including the ESL Pro League will play a best of three series. There are so many different events hosted with the CS:GO server. Some events include ESL Pro League, IEM, BLAST Premier, DreamHack among other major tournaments throughout the calendar year.

The two biggest events hosted in CS:GO are the CS:GO Major Championships. Like major tournaments in sports like golf or tennis, these are the most prestigious events on the CS:GO calendar. The first ever CS:GO Major was held in 2013 in Sweden. Teams involved in CS:GO compete for prize pools. The bigger the event the bigger the money pool is. Some of the best eSports players in the world call CS:GO home, players such as ZywoO from France’s Team Vitality is one of the most popular players right now. This server is one of the most popular in the world. 

Where to bet on CS:GO

There are plenty of different places to place bets on CS:GO, but it’s still a bit tough for it to really strike it big  throughout the United States. UniBet is one of the top places to find odds for CS:GO, and it has been one of the leaders in trying to get more eSports on Sportsbooks throughout the world. While limited, one of the world’s biggest sportsbooks does offer Esports. William Hill’s book is good enough that a lot of other sites use their lines. The app is great and user-friendly. As one of the most trusted sources, they also provide a high level of transparency. Be aware though, their Esports offerings may be limited. There is still plenty of room for more in regard to eSports betting in the US.

Popular CS:GO bet types

There are different betting markets to target in CS:GO, but some of the most popular markets are usually pretty basic. The standard form of betting in CS:GO is to pick which team will win a particular series. Most CS:GO matches are played in a best of three series, there is also an option to pick out a winner of one specific game in a series. This form is very similar to that of basketball or hockey.

That isn’t the only betting market that CS:GO can offer, as some bettors will also go for a bet on how many rounds a match will go. Other markets include the Final score of a series, number of maps won by a team in a series, it even can be as simple as a bet on the overall winner of the match. 

League Of Legends (LoL)

What is LoL?

 League of Legends or LoL for short is one of the longest running eSports servers currently running. LoL is a team-based strategy game where two teams of five powerful champions face off to destroy the other team’s base. Players have a choice of over 140 champions to make epic plays, secure kills, and take down towers on your way to victory. This is arguably the most popular eSport game in the world. League of Legends has been running strong since 2009, when it officially launched. Teams from all over the globe compete to be the best. The most popular league is LCS, which features 10 teams fielded by some of the more popular names in eSports. Organizations such as Evil Geniuses, Cloud9, Team Liquid among others also have a large footprint in CS:GO. One of top players in LoL is Faker who not only plays for T1, but is also part-owner of the organization. That has become a common practice in LoL. 

Where to bet on LoL

As esports continues to grow in popularity, more and more sportsbooks are offering betting odds on popular games such as League of Legends. If you are already using an online sportsbook, you have probably seen betting lines offered on League of Legends and other esports events. William Hill, and UniBet are likely the two places where odds for LoL can be found. Though William Hill’s odds for eSports have been notoriously scarce. Much like CS:GO there are a number of different places to place bets on LoL. It might be a little more popular than CS:GO, so looking for places to put bets may come a little easier.

Popular LoL bet types

Most major shooter games in eSports share similar things that can be betted on. Much like CS:GO League of Legends is pretty popular with Spread Bets. Money Line bets are pretty commonplace for this League, but one of the most popular options is to bet on which team will cover the spread in a certain match-up. The favored team is always listed at -1.5 games while the underdog will be at +1.5 games. Taking the favorite at -1.5 means that that team must win the match 2-0. Spread bets can offer a good payout if the match-up is even. Especially if the money line is high.  Team A (-800) vs. Team B (+400) for example.

Other top bets include a Totals Bet, whether or not a match will go over /under  2.5 rounds or not. Some Prop bets include Map Bet, which could mean anything that could occur in a specific match. An example would be if Team A  or Team B will score the first kill. 

Dota 2

What Is Dota 2?

DOTA 2 is yet another team-based game in which two teams of five players enter the battlefield as one of over one hundred Dota Heroes. Dota is the deepest multiplayer action RTS game ever made, and there are always new strategies and tactics to discover. It is pretty much a carbon-copy of LoL. The winner being the first to enter the opposing team’s stronghold and destroy their ancient. The game launched in 2013, has gone on to offer the highest esports tournament prize pool in the world. The International is the biggest annual tournament in Dota 2. This is also one of the most watched games on the streaming platform Twitch. This game is highly popular globally. Other top tournaments in this game include ESL One, WESG, and other various majors throughout the year.  

Where to bet on Dota 2

Much like most of the other top eSports, it can be tricky to always find odds for Dota 2 events. There are plenty of matches throughout the year, but there isn’t always a reliable place to easily find odds everyday. Dota 2 hasn’t quite got the betting bug like CS:GO or LoL in the United States, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for it to reach the level of importance in eSports betting. It is an ever growing thing, and UniBet is the simplest starting place when looking for odds on eSports. Champions League is likely the most popular league to bet on in Dota 2. 

Popular Dota 2 bet types

By far the simplest Dota 2 bet is to go all in on an outright winning team. You can do so by either the money line or by which team will cover. This is pretty universal across all the popular eSports. Treat it as if you are betting on a football or hockey match. Dota 2 throws in its own wrinkles in betting, as this game offers bets on different categorized forms of kills in a match. Some of those special bets are Roshan Kills, Courier Kills, and even which team will draw first blood.

Five ways to bet better on eSports 

  • Follow Trends

When pursuing a bet in eSports it is always important to keep tabs on trends especially if you are betting on a CS:GO match. Just because a player has positive numbers, doesn’t always mean he is going to be good each and every time he plays. Look at Team Vitality’s ZywOo for instance he has really high numbers, but that doesn’t always translate to team success. A lot of CS:GO follows trends. Most betting odds for eSports will provide some key stats and how well a team has been performing in recent matches. 

  • Bet on games you know

Don’t be too quick when making a choice on what game you want to make a bet on. They’re a lot of different types of games in the eSports world. The smartest thing to do is to stick to something you know. There are some high-quality matches in Dota 2 and LoL, but if you are more of a first-person shooter type of person, then CS:GO and Call of Duty are more your style. Don’t go all in on a game you don’t know anything about. It’s all about betting on the Games you know and understand. 

  • Follow your favorite eSports teams

Much like being a fan of a certain sports team, being a fan of an organization in the eSports world works pretty much exactly the same way. There are so many different top level organizations in eSports it is nearly impossible not to find a team worth rooting for. Sometimes organizations compete across more than one platform. A good example would be FaZe Clan, as they have teams across a vast number of different games. After all, if you don’t know the history of some of the successful esports organizations that you are betting on, then how will you know if that team is worth taking. 

  • Get to know the top eSports players

Just like following the top teams on social media, it would also be smart to look for some of the top players as well. CS:GO, LoL, Call of Duty all have superstar players, and most if not all have social media accounts. That just makes eSports that much more popular. CS:GO has made plenty of big name players, over the past few years, names like Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev and Nikola “NiKo” Kovac have really made that game popular worldwide. 

  • Always shop the odds

It is always smart to just jump on some odds that you find on one site. Always check other places just to see what other sites are thinking. It is always a smart idea to shop the odds, no matter what sport or eSport you are betting on. 

Expert eSports betting strategies

Basic 

Keep a good standing going in on this form of betting the first time you try it, because sometimes things just don’t go right, even if you take a team that has been on a hot streak. Momentum comes in waves in the eSports world. Don’t throw all your money the first time you try an eSports bet. Also keep in mind that you need to have a full understanding of all the rules of the particular game or match you are making a bet on. Yes CS:GO and Call of Duty are both first-person shooter, but they are by no means similar. Call of Duty gives you a little more freedom on weapon choices. 

Intermediate 

Always make sure you know that you don’t just have to bet on the overall outcome of a match. There are a number of different things that can happen throughout a match. Just like a real sporting event, anything can happen. Even in the virtual world of eSports. Just because a money line bet looks good, doesn’t mean that should be your go to bet each match. Betting on something as simple as who will get the first kill or which team will score more points is sometimes a better option than just an outright winner bet. 

Things to avoid when betting on eSports

There can be many things to avoid when betting on eSports. It isn’t always smart to bet the smaller level events, as there just isn’t that big of a market yet. The small prize events with teams that aren’t ranked among the top in the world are not worth betting on. Avoid large money line odds, as the payout is really worth much, especially if the favorite doesn’t win the match. That also brings up another good point, don’t take the favorite all the time. Sometimes avoiding the favorite is a smart decision. Players aren’t always going to show up, and that can cost you dearly especially if you go heavily on a certain team. It is also smart to avoid choosing favorites in the bigger events, for example in ESL Pro League, if a team you think is prominent has some ugly showings early, avoid that team for the rest of the event, because you will lose money quickly. 

Pickswise is the home of free sports picks, news, and best bets. Check out our expert NBA picksNCAAB picksNHL picks and Soccer picks for the latest game picks.

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