Ice Hockey – Violent Action on the Rink
If you like the sound of fast-paced action, physical prowess, and tactical ability, you’re going to love ice hockey. The objective is simple: two teams go head-to-head on a rink of ice with the aim of scoring more goals than the other scores. While a team can include over 20 players, only six will play on the ice at any one time. This consists of a goalkeeper and five outfield players. Players use a hockey stick to strike a rubber disc known as the puck. Matches are played out over three periods, each of which is 20 minutes long. If that brief description has piqued your interest, then why not consider one of these popular betting markets?
Bets on the Outright Winner: This can be considered at both the individual match and league levels. The NHL in North America is by far the most popular league. Consisting of 32 teams who battle it out to win the prestigious Stanley Cup.
Total Goals Bet: If predicting the winner of a match seems a little tricky, you may prefer to place a stake on how many goals you foresee in each match. This is a simple over/under bet.
The Grand Salami: Unique to ice hockey, this is a bet type that is a sure-fire way to win bragging rights. To be successful, you will need to bet on how many goals will be scored across a particular day’s games. For example, if you bet on over 34.5, then a game day that has 35 goals or more will see you take home the winnings.
These are just three examples of popular betting markets. Due to its popularity, ice hockey has some of the greatest betting options among the variety of winter sports.
Ski Jumping – Flying Through the Air to Wins
Next up, we turn our attention to a sport saved for the fearless. Part of the Olympics since 1924, ski jumping requires participants to hurtle down a ramp before flying as far as possible through the air.
Points are awarded for every metre a skier flies beyond a landing or k-point, and points are deducted for every metre they fall short. Five judges also award style points. The current world record is held by Austrian Stefan Kraft, who jumped an incredible 253.5 meters. If you fancy placing a bet on this iconic sport, why not start with one of the following?
Outright Event Winner: An ever-popular market, this requires a punter to place a stake on who they think will win a particular event; for example, this could be at the Ski Jumping World Cup. Placing a bet before the tournament is always likely to secure the best odds.
Versus Market: In this type of market, you can place a bet on which of a pair of skiers you think will finish in a higher position in a tournament. This doesn’t require you to forecast the overall tournament winner correctly but can be an exciting option when watching two rivals battle it out.
Alpine Skiing – Racing Down the Mountain
In its most simplistic terms, the sport, which consists of alpine, downhill, slalom, giant slalom, super-G, and combined events, involves opponents competing to ski down a snow-covered mountain in the quickest possible time. Scores are calculated over the course of two runs. The individual with the quickest combined time is deemed the winner. Bet types tend to be more straightforward here.
Outright Winner: With multiple entrants in any one event, it’s important to do your research. Who is on form? Who may benefit from home support? Who is most comfortable based on the conditions? Ensuring you are familiar with your competitors is key to placing a successful bet.
Podium Finish: Within certain events, you may also be able to predict who you think will finish on the podium. This reduces the risk, as if your selected competitor finishes anywhere in the top three, you will still take home the winnings.
Speed Skating – Zooming Round the Rink
Turning our attention back to the ice rink, we focus on speed skating. As the name suggests, opponents race around a track, reaching speeds of more than 50 km per hour. Race distances can differ, but the outcome remains consistent: to cross the line ahead of your opponents. However, with races often coming down to tenths of a second, this is a sport that keeps fans on the edge of their seats until the very end.
Race Winner: Punters who focus on speed skating will often place bets on race, heat, or competition winners. This can either be backing an individual or an event such as the mixed relay, and the ask is to predict which nation you think will win. Competition is tight, but in recent years, it has been the Netherlands that have often dominated the sport.
Snowboarding – Pulling Tricks in the Snow
Packed with action and style in equal amounts, this is one sport that will get fans watching in astonishment as contestants showcase gravity-defying twists, turns, and jumps. Disciplines include snowboard cross, slopestyle, parallel giant slalom, half pipe, and big air.
Podium Finish: As well as the overall winner, backing which competitors you foresee taking a place on the podium is a popular betting market.
Bobsleigh – It’s Not Just Jamaica
With the World Bobsleigh Championships due to commence on January 28th, 2023, in St. Moritz, Switzerland, many punters will also be casting their predictions on who will race down the narrow and twisting ice tracks in their gravity-powered sleds the quickest.
Outright Winner: Would-be punters are most likely to place a bet on which nation will finish at the top of the pack. Each-way betting is also possible for those who prefer to place a stake on a top-three finish instead.
Are There Any Other Winter Sports?
Above, we have only touched the tip of the iceberg. Would-be punters could turn to the slower yet more skilled game of curling, whereby teams battle it out to glide stones on a sheet of ice into a target of concentric circles. If endurance sports are your passion, why not look at biathlon skiing, a competition where competitors combine cross-country skiing with the acute skill of shooting at rifle targets? A final mention goes to the artistic discipline of figure-staking, an event where individuals or pairs perform choreographed performances packed with twists, turns, and lifts to music. The most common betting markets across all of these will remain largely consistent, with forecasting winners and podium finishers being the most popular.
What are the Major Sporting Events To Look Out For This Winter?
World Championships, World Cups, and Olympics are always the pinnacle for winter sports, but there are a couple of top events to draw your attention to this winter. The 2023 NHL Ice Hockey Winter Classic will take place on January 2nd at Fenway Park in Boston. This year's matchup will see the Boston Bruins take on the Pittsburgh Penguins. January will also see the return of an action-packed X Games. The competition, which will be held in Aspen, Colorado, will feature a variety of ski and snowboard events as the world's top athletes compete on the slopes of Buttermilk Mountain. Lastly, we encourage you to look at the FIS Ski Jumping World Cup. Hosted at the Lake Placid Olympic Complex in New York, the action will kick off on February 11th.
So, there we have it. Even though your favourite summertime sports may be taking a break, fear not. There is a wealth of incredible winter sports to get stuck into. Here is to wishing you a successful season of winter betting!