Comprehensive Guide to Esports Bets and Odds

Esports betting is quickly gaining traction in the gambling world. It offers video game enthusiasts the chance to wager on exciting matches.

Many people are finding esports betting for the first time these days. But some of these same people are confused by the betting process because they don’t have previous experience with online gambling.

Luckily, video game betting is relatively easy to understand after learning the odds and types of wagers. Keep reading as I cover everything you need to know regarding esports bets and odds.

Different Types of Esports Betting Odds

Every esports bet features a favorite and underdog. If each of these sides was presented equally, then everybody would simply bet on the favored team.

Bookmakers use odds to handicap matches and make both sides attractive from a gambling perspective. The bookmakers also skew the odds in a manner that gives them a small cut from the losing side (a.k.a. juice).

Odds are easy to understand in theory. But they can be expressed in different forms, which is where things get confusing.

The three types of odds include American, decimal, and fractional. Here’s a quick explanation of how each type works.

American Odds

American odds are commonly found at North American-facing sportsbooks. They use a positive sign to indicate the underdog and a negative sign to indicate the favorite.

Here’s an example:

  • SK Gaming -160
  • Rogue +135

The favorite’s odds are commonly viewed as what you must bet to win $100. In this case, you must wager $160 on SK Gaming for every $100 you’d expect to win.

The underdog’s odds are viewed as how much you’ll win for every $100 wagered. Here, you’d stand to win $135 for every $100 bet on Rogue.

Decimal Odds

Decimal odds are commonly found at European-facing bookmakers. They represent the total amount that you’ll win back, including both stake and profit.

Here’s an example:

  • Team Liquid 1.6
  • Natus Vincere 2.35

You figure to win $1.60 ($1 stake + $0.60 profit) for every dollar bet on the favored Team Liquid. You stand to earn $2.35 ($1 stake + $1.35) for each dollar wagered on the underdog Natus Vincere.

Fractional Odds

Fractional odds are commonly found at sportsbooks that serve bettors in Ireland and the UK. They use a forward slash to separate what you’re risking (right side) versus what you stand to win (left side).

Here’s an example:

  • OpTic 2/1
  • BIG 2/5

Wagering $5 on the favorite BIG offers a potential $2 profit. Betting $1 on the underdog OpTic would yield a $2 profit.

You can quickly figure out the overall win (profit + stake) just by adding the two numbers. For example, you’d receive $7 total on a successful BIG bet ($2 + $5).

You normally only have to deal with one type of odds at a given esportsbook. Nevertheless, it’s still good to know different kinds of odds just in case you run into multiple styles.

Types of Esports Bets

Esports gambling would get boring pretty quickly if bookmakers only offered one type of bet. Luckily, esportsbooks feature multiple kinds of wagers to spice up the action.

Most bets are based on a match’s outcome. However, you’ll also find plenty of wagers that involve other types of outcomes. Here’s a closer look at the main esports bets.

Moneyline

A moneyline is a straight-up wager on which team will win a match. The odds determine how much money you can win on either side.

Here’s an example:

  • Dark -135
  • Serral +115

You have the potential to win $100 for every $135 wagered on Dark. Meanwhile, you stand to earn $115 for every $100 bet on Serral.

Totals

Totals, or an over/under, are based on two teams’ combined score in a match. You can bet on whether their score will be over or under the given line.

The number used in a totals line differs based on the game. For example, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive totals involve the number of rounds played.

Here’s an example:

  • Over 26.5 rounds (-110)
  • Under 26.5 rounds (-110)

Taking the over means that you think 27 or more rounds will be played. Betting the under means that you expect 26 or fewer rounds to take place.

The -110 in parentheses signifies that you’re betting $110 to win $100 in both cases.

Point Spread

A point spread gives each team a handicapped score that they must cover. You win when your chosen team covers its spread.

Here’s a point spread example:

  • North -3.5
  • FaZe +3.5

North’s spread is -3.5, which means they must win the match by three points or more for a successful wager. FaZe’s spread is +3.5, meaning they must lose the match by three points or less (or win) for a successful bet.

Outright (Tournament Winner)

The esports industry thrives on its big annual tournaments, such as Dota 2’s The International and League of Legends’ World Championship.

An outright is a bet on which team will win a tournament. These wagers are tougher to win because you’re betting on a single team to beat the entire field.

Here’s an example:

  • Astralis 2.25
  • Team Liquid 3.25
  • BIG 3.75
  • Natus Vincere 4.0
  • FaZe 4.5
  • MIBR 5.5
  • Mousesports 6.25
  • North 7.5
  • Fnatic 9.0
  • NRG 9.75

Most outright picks have long odds of winning. However, the key benefit is that you can earn a larger payout on a smaller bet.

Live Wagering

Live betting (a.k.a. in-play) includes wagers that are placed while a match is currently running. Compare this to moneylines, point spreads, and totals, which have to be made before a match starts.

Some esports matches don’t have any live wagering action. High-profile contests, on the other hand, may feature dozens of in-play betting opportunities.

Here’s an example of a live bet:

  • Cantwinalan (3.8) is playing Vireo.pro (1.25)
  • pro is the big favorite here
  • However, cantwinalan jumps out to a big lead
  • The esportsbook now offers an in-play moneyline
  • This line puts cantwinalan (1.7) as the new favorite over Vireo.pro (2.2)

The fun thing about live betting is that there’s no limit to the possibilities. Bookmakers can concoct all sorts of wagers based on how the action is going.

Unfortunately, esports in-play betting is quite limited compared to major sports like football, basketball, and baseball. But the esports industry is growing rapidly, meaning we should see a lot more live wagering in the near future.

Prop Bets

A proposition (“prop”) wager is based on an outcome that’s not tied to a match’s score. These bets can be quite unique and involve propositions such as which team will achieve a specific objective first.

Here’s an example of a prop bet:

First Inhibitor Takedown
  • Cola 1.55
  • Aurora Esports club 2.5

Here’s another example:

First Blood
  • Bermudan Frogs 2.1
  • Team Team 1.65

Prop bets are just like traditional wagers in that they must be made prior to a match. But they can differ greatly in terms of subject matter, which makes them intriguing.

Esports That You Can Bet On

Esports are much like traditional sports in that there are different games and leagues. Some of these games are much more popular than others, including League of Legends, Dota 2, Overwatch, and CS:GO.

But many esports have a decent following, which makes them interesting from a betting perspective. Here are some esports that can be found at gambling sites:

  • Battlefield
  • Call of Duty
  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
  • Dota 2
  • FIFA Soccer
  • Halo
  • Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft
  • Heroes of the Storm
  • League of Legends
  • Overwatch
  • PUBG
  • Rocket League
  • Smite
  • Starcraft II
  • Street Fighter
  • Super Smash Bros.
  • World of Tanks

How to Get Started With Esports Betting

Knowing the esports bets and odds is a great start. But at some point, you’ll have to sign up and deposit at a betting site to truly enjoy the action.

The following tips will guide you through the process of choosing a good esportsbook and funding your account.

Research Esports Betting Sites

The gambling world is filled with dozens of esports betting sites. This number should only increase as the industry keeps expanding.

The large number of esportsbooks can make it difficult to choose a single site, but reading reviews helps narrow the field.

These reviews cover everything from available markets (games) and bet types to bonuses and banking options.

If you don’t know where to begin with reviews, then you can look for rankings of esportsbooks. The same sites that provide reviews often rank their favorite sites.

You should, of course, visit an esports betting sportsbook yourself and look around. The goal is to test out the navigation and confirm your research.

Check Out the Deposit Options

Most betting sites offer several banking options that you can use to deposit with. The goal is to make sure you can use at least one of the available methods.

Credit cards, debit cards, e-wallets, bank transfers, prepaid cards, and cryptocurrencies are the broad categories of payment options. Here’s a closer look at specific methods:

  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • American Express
  • Diners Club International
  • Visa Electron
  • Maestro
  • Neteller
  • Skrill
  • PayPal
  • Bank Transfer
  • Western Union
  • Cheque
  • Bitcoin
  • Bitcoin Cash
  • Ethereum
  • Litecoin
  • Entropay
  • ClickandBuy
  • GiroPay
  • Trustly
  • WebMoney

Sign Up

You must become a registered member of an esports betting sportsbook before you can proceed to depositing. Registering for an account involves entering details like your name, home address, email, username, and password.

The site will also ask you to agree to their terms and conditions. Whether you actually read the terms (T&Cs) before agreeing is up to you.

I recommend checking out what countries are accepted in the general T&Cs. After all, you don’t want to put a lot of work into scouting a betting site, only to find that your country isn’t welcome there.

You’ll also be asked to visit your provided email address and verify the account. Once this is finished, you’ll be a member of the esports betting site.

Make a Deposit

Depositing ensures that you have available funds for esports bets. Assuming you’ve already checked the available banking methods, then the deposit process shouldn’t take too long.

Simply visit the banking section and choose your desired deposit option. You’ll then be prompted to enter how much you want to fund your account with.

After inputting the number and verifying it, you simply have to wait for the funds to arrive. Once they’re available, you can proceed to placing bets.

Cash in on an Esports Bonus

Esportsbooks use bonus offers to draw new customers. Common esports bonuses include free bets and deposit bonuses.

A free bet gives you one or more risk-free wagers. If you lose a bet under this deal, then you have a chance to earn back the funds.

Here’s an example:

  • You receive a $20 free esports bet
  • You lose your first wager
  • The $20 is placed into a pending account
  • You must meet 6x rollover to get the money back
  • 20 x 6 = $120 total must be wagered

A deposit offer sees you receive a bonus based on a match percentage of your deposit. This deal ensures that you receive extra money, regardless of whether you win or lose bets.

Here’s an example:

  • A betting site offers a 100% match bonus up to $50
  • You deposit $50
  • 50 x 1.0 (100% match) = $50 bonus
  • Rollover is 10x
  • 50 x 10 = 500
  • You must wager $500 to unlock the $50 bonus

Reading terms and conditions carefully is key with esports bonuses. You don’t want to go into an offer blind, then be confused when you don’t get your money.

Common terms include rollover (a.k.a. wagering requirements), odds limits, minimum withdrawals, and a time limit on claiming the offer.

Many bettors make the mistake of overlooking minimum odds. They then miss out on free cash when they bet over the odds limit without realizing it.

Also, keep in mind that some esportsbooks require a specific bonus code for each deal. You need to enter the relevant code when depositing to ensure that you get the right offer.

Conclusion

The esports betting world can feel intimidating, especially if you’re completely new to internet gambling as a whole. But you can quickly catch on just by understanding the odds and bets.

American, decimal, and fractional odds can all be found throughout the betting world. The type of odds that you see most often will usually depend upon where you live. Nevertheless, it’s good to know all three styles so that you always know what you stand to win with any bet.

The main wager types include moneylines, totals, point spreads, outrights, live bets, and prop bets. Moneylines, totals, and outrights are most commonly found at esportsbooks. Point spreads, in-play bets, and prop wagers are fun to search for when you want something different.

You should have a good idea going in on what esports you want to gamble on. You’re better off choosing 2-3 markets and specializing in them so that you can thoroughly learn the players and teams.

Once you have a good grasp on esports betting, the final step is to look for a quality site and deposit. Of course, this process can take as little or as much time as you want.

I suggest spending at least 30 minutes reading reviews and finding a good betting site for esports. From here, you want to visit any prospective esportsbook yourself and make sure that they have a useable deposit option.

You might also consider reading up on esports betting strategy and thoroughly learning the players and teams in your chosen markets. But you should only worry about the strategy side after you’ve mastered the odds and bet types.

Michael Stevens: Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for GamblingSites.org since early 2016.