Top Swimming Betting Sites for 2020

Competitive swimming may be a fan-favorite event every four years, during the
Summer Olympics, but wagering on aquatic races is uncommon otherwise. Still,
with multiple contests of different lengths for each of the four official
styles/strokes, including medleys and relays, the sport shows promise for the
future. Swimming betting sites post the majority of these lines every four
years, but there’s a wealth of competitions and markets to potentially cover if
the public shows more interest.

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As handicappers continue to search for niche sports-hoping to find an edge
where the oddsmakers aren’t devoting as much time-it may only be a matter of
time before we see swimming lines more frequently. Besides the Olympics,
FINA-sanctioned events like the Swimming World Cup, European Championships, US
Open, and Duel in the Pool have all been available to wager in recent years.

Nevertheless, opportunities to bet on swimming are few and far between. While
unfortunate, it just means you have to make every wager count whenever the
betting sites finally provide the lines!

About Our Recommendations

A ton of effort goes into finding the best swimming betting sites to share
with our readers. With the majority of the top international internet providers
housed in offshore locations, it’s more crucial than ever to be able to discern
the quality providers from the scams. While this is incredibly challenging for
novices to online gaming, our team of reviewers are experts in the matter.

Fraudulent gambling websites run rampant online; they’re everywhere. That’s
why we’ve taken it upon ourselves to blacklist the scammers and present easily
digestible lists of our favorite recommendations for our readers. Each of the
swimming betting sites featured on this page excels in the following categories,
providing you with the best online wagering experience around.

Coverage of Swimming Bets
In the world of handicapping, swimming is somewhat of a niche sport. The
premier sports leagues dominate much of the public action, leaving other
competitions to a handful of bettors-most of which are either recreational
gamblers or specialists. However, this works out better for you. The less
attention an event receives, the greater the opportunity to find an edge. That’s
why we’ve prioritized locations with the most extensive coverage for our
swimming betting site recommendations. The providers shared on this page offer
the most markets and set more swimming lines than you’ll find anywhere else.

Competitive Lines
Our favorite swimming betting sites don’t just cover the sport, they set
competitive lines. There are times when specialty markets are priced
unreasonably, so we analyze the odds before giving a website our recommendation.
We always preach “shopping for the best lines” to our readers, so it’s only
right that we do the same when vetting online sportsbooks. The wagers you’ll
find at the best swimming betting sites will be similar to, if not better than,
the odds set by other top web-based oddsmakers.

Safety and Security
The central mission driving this entire website is a desire to prevent online
fraud by helping new bettors find safe, reputable
sports betting sites;
it doesn’t matter if you’re wagering on swimming or any other athletic event. We
subject each provider to an intensive review that looks at their active gaming
licenses, terms and conditions, software, and a myriad of other factors until we
are confident that they’re a legitimate business that can be trusted. Our team
also verifies that every recommended site uses up-to-date security features that
ensure your transactions will be encrypted and private.

Reputation and History
Another aspect of our vetting process is a thorough analysis of their history
and reputation. Not only do we research the swimming betting sites that we’re
considering as recommendations, but we also look at the ownership behind the
domain and any other operations they may own. During this stage of the review,
we want to be sure that the provider has a history of running clean, honorable
companies. Our team even studies customer opinions, reading every review,
complaint, and comment we can find to get a full picture of the operator’s
reputation. The top swimming betting sites are well respected throughout the
industry and have proven to be consistently among the best providers in the
world.

Banking Options
Accepting a wide variety of banking options is hugely important, especially
when we’re dealing with offshore betting sites. Some customers aren’t
comfortable sharing sensitive information with international corporations, while
others may need third-parties to complete a deposit due to regional regulations.
In the US, for instance, banks will not allow debit card or checking account
transactions with gaming websites. The more extensive the selection of banking
methods, the more flexibility our readers have to move money quietly and
quickly.

Ease of Use
The top swimming betting sites are designed in a way that beginners can use
them immediately. Whether you’re using a website or a mobile app, finding and
placing the wagers that you want should be as natural as navigating your
Facebook page. The process for signing up should be apparent, as should
depositing money, accessing the sportsbook, and locating the exact bets that you
want. We put significant stock in website design and organization because these
qualities play a vital role in customer satisfaction.

Bonuses and Promotions
Bonuses are a powerful tool used by online gaming sites to get your attention
and earn your business over the competitors. The more they have to fight for
your patronage, the more free money you’ll receive which is fantastic for our
readers! We include bonuses in our recommendations because there are hundreds of
dollars available (if not more) for new users, which allows you to try wagers
you’d otherwise never stake your hard-earned cash on. Many of these deposit
prizes can double your bankroll before you even get started!

Withdrawal Speeds
In our search for the best swimming betting sites, withdrawal speeds are of
the utmost importance. There are strong correlations between website legitimacy
and average payout timelines, so these transactions receive additional focus
during our reviews. Operators that frequently delay or ignore withdrawal
requests cannot be trusted. Meanwhile, the top betting sites are almost always
the fastest to deliver players’ cash. It’s your money anyway; it should be
available at your convenience!

Quality Customer Service
We also pay close attention to a swimming betting site’s customer service
department. If you have an urgent question or have encountered an issue, it’s
crucial that you receive a resolution as soon as possible. You are trusting
these websites with your hard-earned money, so it’s reasonable to expect someone
to answer your call. Our team verifies the quality of a swimming betting site’s
help desk by contacting them through each method shared online. We judge them
based on the speed of response, tone, and knowledge, only recommending the
providers that we find helpful.

Mobile Compatibility
Mobile compatibility has become an increasingly important quality of swimming
betting sites in recent years. These days, many bettors prefer to wager on their
phone or tablet. When reviewing a gaming operator, we see how their domain is
displayed on mobile browsers in addition to testing their apps. Bettors love
online casinos and sportsbooks because of the convenience they provide, and
mobile gaming is the next stage of the industry’s evolution. Plus, you never
know when you’ll receive some crucial information about the next race. You
should be able to access your swimming betting sites from anywhere, finding and
entering your picks anytime inspiration strikes.

Different Swimming Styles and Events to Bet

Freestyle

Freestyle is a style of swimming competition in which racers are free to use
their arms and legs without strict limitations regarding their choice of stroke.
People commonly use this term as a synonym for the front crawl: the combination
of a flutter kick with the arms circling forward. This is the fastest of all the
strokes, making it one of the most interesting to bet online.

Backstroke

The backstroke is essentially an upside-down front crawl. Instead of the
athlete looking down into the water while they swim, they face the ceiling,
making it much easier to breathe. However, it’s also more challenging to see
where one is going. The swimmer lies on their back, kicking their legs in a
flutter, while making circular motions which begin at the hip, extend out of the
water, and reach behind the racer. The hand then enters the water and pulls down
towards the hips, while the other arm begins its reach.

Breaststroke

The breaststroke is the slowest of the four competitive swimming styles. The
swimmers head primarily stays above the water, and there’s no rotation of the
torso to generate power. The athlete begins in the streamline position
underwater, before performing an “out sweep” motion, pushing the water until the
hands are even with the shoulder, perpendicular to the rest of the body. The
hands then come under the chest and begin to extend forward while a whip kick is
used to keep propelling the swimmer forward until they’re back in the streamline
position.

Butterfly

The butterfly stroke is the most difficult technique of the four. The swimmer
comes up on the chest with their head out of the water, before swooping both
arms forward in a circular rotation simultaneously. The looping arm motions are
complemented by a dolphin kick with the feet.

Individual Medley

The individual medley requires the swimmer to use all four strokes in a
single race. The first quarter of the competition is raced butterfly style, the
second is the backstroke, third is the breaststroke, and the last quarter is
finished with the freestyle or front crawl.

Relays

A relay consists of four swimmers, each of which is responsible for a quarter
of the race. The next swimmer cannot dive into the water until their teammate
touches the wall beneath their starting platform. Relays can involve all four
competitors utilizing the same stroke, or they can be medleys. In a relay
medley, each athlete is responsible for specific strokes, which are executed in
the same order as the individual event.

The Top Swimming Competitions for Betting

The Summer Olympic Games

Summer Olympics Logo

Swimming has been included in the Summer Olympics since the first modern
games were held in 1896. In addition to being one of the most-watched sports
every four years, the aquatic races offer the second-largest number of events
with 34 total (17 men, 17 women) swimming medals on the line.

Athletes compete in four different styles: the freestyle, backstroke,
breaststroke, and butterfly. All of which can be found on online swimming betting sites.
There are multiple races of varying distances
performed with each individual stroke. For example, there are six different
freestyle events: 50 meters, 100 meters, 200 meters, 400 meters, 800 meters, and
1500 meters.

The backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly are each raced at 100- and
200-meter distances. Then, there are several relays and medleys, which see the
swimmers use each of the different styles in a single race, switching to a new
stroke each lap.

The United States has overwhelmingly dominated the swimming events at the
Summer Olympic Games. While second-place Australia has 188 total medals in the
pool, the US has 553, 246 of which were gold.

European Championship of Swimming

The LEN European Aquatics Championships are held in even-numbered years and
organized by Europe’s governing body for aquatic sports. The prestigious
championship features four separate disciplines: Diving, synchronized swimming,
open water swimming, and the swimming races that we’re discussing in this guide.

This event is considered to be one of the most renowned swimming competitions
in the world, and it’s heavily covered by online betting sites. The winners are
celebrated as the best performers in all of Europe and are often promising
contenders in the next Olympic games.

Germany leads all countries in total medals with 434, but Russia has the most
gold with 178.

FINA World Championships

Fina World Championship Logo

FINA is the governing body tasked with organizing and overseeing
international aquatic competitions, including the World Championships. Founded
in 1973, this massive event is held on odd-numbered years, so it never
interferes with the Summer Games. In non-Olympic years, this is the most
prestigious swimming competition in the world.

Performances in the World Championships are often excellent indicators of who
will medal in the following Olympics. You probably won’t be surprised to know
that Michael Phelps sits atop the “total medal count” leaderboard with 33, 26
of which are gold medals.

Duel in the Pool

In 2003, the Duel in the Pool was created for swimming’s two most dominant
nations – the United States and Australia. It’s held in odd-numbered years and
features all-star athletes from both continents competing in a range of events.
However, as a result of Team USA emphatically sweeping the first three duels,
their opposition was changed from Australia to all of Europe with the Aussies
included.

While the matchups have been more tightly contested since making the change,
the United States is still undefeated in what’s been called “the Ryder Cup of
swimming.” The Duel in the Pool consistently attracts some of the top stars in
the sport, competing across 28 events. This is the perfect contest for swimming betting sites to cover in the future
if the Duel happens again.

The Greatest Competitive Swimmers of All Time

Michael Phelps

  • Olympic medals: 23 gold medals, 3 silver medals, and 2 bronze medals
  • Set 39 world records, which is a record in itself
  • Broke the record for most gold medals won (8) in a single Olympic Games
  • Holds the long course world record in the men’s 100-meter butterfly,
    200-meter butterfly, and 400-meter individual medley
  • The most decorated Olympian of all time with 28 medals
  • Won 82 medals in major international competitions (Olympics, World
    Championships, and Pan Pacific Championships): 65 gold, 14 silver, and 3
    bronze
  • 8-time World Swimmer of the Year Award winner
  • Greatest swimmer of all time

Ian Thorpe

  • Olympic medals: 5 gold medals, 3 silver medals, and 1 bronze medal
  • Won 34 medals in major international competitions (Olympics, World
    Championships, and Pan Pacific Championships): 25 gold, 7 silver, and 2
    bronze
  • Youngest-ever individual male World Champion
  • 11 World Championship gold medals
  • 4-time World Swimmer of the Year Award winner

Mark Spitz

  • Olympic medals: 9 Gold medals, 1 silver medal, and 1 bronze medal
  • Won 7 gold medals at the 1972 Summer Olympics
  • 3-time World Swimmer of the Year Award winner
  • Set 35 world records between 1968 – 1972
  • 5 Pan American gold medals
  • International Swimming Hall of Fame Inductee
  • United States Olympic Hall of Fame Inductee

Krisztina Egerszegi

  • Olympic medals: 5 gold medals, 1 silver medals, and 1 bronze medal
  • International Swimming Hall of Fame inductee
  • One of only three athletes to win the same swimming event in three
    consecutive Summer Olympics
  • Held the world record in the 200-meter backstroke for nearly 17 years
  • Only female swimmer to win five individual Olympic gold medals
  • 3-time Female World Swimmer of the Year Award winner
  • 7-time Hungarian Sportswoman of the Year Award winner

Johnny Weissmuller

  • Olympic medals: 5 Gold medals
  • The first man to swim the 100-meter freestyle in under one minute
  • The first man to swim the 440-yard freestyle in under five minutes
  • Never lost a race and retired with an unbeaten amateur record
  • Named the greatest swimmer of the first half of the 20th century by the
    Associated Press
  • Won 52 U.S. National Championships
  • Set 67 world records.

Kristin Otto

  • Olympic medals: 6 Gold medals
  • The first woman to win six gold medals at a single Olympic Games
  • 7 World Championship gold medals
  • 9 European Championship gold medals
  • Set a world record in the 200-meter freestyle in 1984

Matt Biondi

  • Olympic medals: 8 gold medals, 2 silver medals, 1 bronze medals
  • Former world record-holder in five events
  • Won 40 medals in major international competitions (Olympics, World
    Championships, and Pan Pacific Championships): 27 gold, 7 silver, and 6
    bronze
  • International Swimming Hall of Fame inductee
  • United States Olympic Hall of Fame inductee
  • Set 3 individual world records in the 50-meter freestyle
  • Set 4 individual world records in the 100-meter freestyle

Ryan Lochte

  • Olympic medals: 5 gold medals, 3 silver medals, and 3 bronze medals
  • Won 90 medals in major international competitions (Olympics, World
    Championships, Pan American and Pan Pacific Championships): 54 gold, 22
    silver, and 14 bronze
  • Holds the world record in the 4×200-meter freestyle
  • Holds the world record in the 4×100-meter freestyle mixed relay
  • Holds the world record in the 200-meter individual medley
  • Holds the world record in the 400-meter individual medley
  • Won 39 World Championship titles
  • The second-most decorated swimmer in Olympic history

Alexander Popov

  • Olympic medals: 4 Gold medals, 5 silver medals
  • Considered the greatest sprint swimmer in history
  • Held the world record in the 50-meter freestyle for 8 years
  • Held the world record in the 100-meter freestyle for 6 years
  • The only male in Olympics history to defend both the 50-and-100-meter
    titles

Grant Hackett

  • Olympic medals: 3 Gold medals, 3 silver medals, 1 bronze medals
  • Considered one of the greatest distance swimmers in history
  • Won 39 medals in major international competitions (Olympics, World
    Championships, and Pan Pacific Championships): 22 gold, 13 silver, and 4
    bronze
  • 2005 Swimmer of the Year Award winner
  • Set world records in the 200-meter, 800-meter, and 1500-meter freestyles
  • Sport Australia Hall of Fame inductee
  • International Swimming Hall of Fame inductee

Tips for Betting on Swimming

Handicapping swimming races is still an undeveloped artform. It hasn’t
received nearly the same attention as more prominent sports-from the analytics
geniuses especially-so there aren’t any tried-and-true betting systems we can
rely on yet. However, based on what we know about wagering and what’s been
observed in several sports science journals, we’re confident that the following
tips will positively improve your accuracy when predicting the results of races.

Don’t Overly Focus on Names

The truth is, the majority of the betting public only watches swimming during
the Summer Olympics. Because the games inspire a wave of interest in the sport
and viewers want to participate in any way they can, the lines are inevitably
altered by square money, most of which is wagered on the names people recognize.

As a result, these swimmers’ betting lines are completely devoid of value.
Athletes that aren’t likely to medal, much less win gold, are suddenly priced
like favorites.

Know Swimmers’ Specialties

Before making your picks, take some time to analyze the events at which the
competitors specialize. Olympic races range from the 50m freestyle, swimming’s
equivalent to the sprint, to the 1500m freestyle and even a 10km aquatic
marathon. It would be nearly impossible for an athlete to excel at them all, as
they require different skill sets and physical makeup.

Once you know a participant’s best events, you can compare their specialty to
the available swimming betting site markets. Identify when they’ll be using
their most significant strengths and decide if you like their chances in
relation to their current price.

Stroke Matters More Than Distance

Michael Phelps Swimming

When handicapping a swimming event and trying to determine where an athlete’s
skills will best be utilized, remember that the stroke matters more than the
distance of the race.

A study by the Scottish Institute of Sports Medicine and Sports Science found
that, “swimmers are stroke specialists rather than distance specialists; with
the present set of events in competitions, they should concentrate training and
competing on a particular stroke rather than a particular distance.”

Focus on Value

Before you look too closely at the lines, collect as much data as possible
and try to visualize how a given race will play out. Consider as many factors
and possibilities as you can. Then, set your own odds for each participant in
which you’re interested. What’s the probability of each of them winning based on
the information you’ve acquired?

After that, compare your figures with the numbers at the swimming betting
sites. If a competitor’s implied probability is lower than the likelihood of
them winning, based on your calculations, that wager has value.

It’s worth mentioning that swimming markets are still relatively unpopular
and niche, so the odds are often set in such a way that taking the favorites is
all but impossible. You’re better off wagering on potential upsets since they’re
the only way to find decent value.

World Rankings Matter

The Department of Physiology at the Australian Institute of Sport did a study
trying to determine the “relationship between world-ranking and Olympic
performance of swimmers”

The researchers compared swimmers’ world ranking times with their Olympic
performances and found that while athletes overall were slightly slower during
the Summer Games by 0.3%, medalists improved by 0.6%.

87% of Olympic medalists are ranked in the top ten in the world coming into
the games. The study goes on to determine that “a top-10 ranked swimmer who can
improve performance time by 0.6%, equivalent to 0.13 s in the men’s 50-m
freestyle, will substantially increase their chance of an Olympic medal (the
difference between first and fourth place).”

Study the Races Leading up to the Olympics/Championship

While we can’t know for sure which swimmers will improve their performances
for the Olympic games, we can make an educated guess based on their times
throughout the year prior. Pull all of the official race times for the twelve
months leading up to the event.

The Department of Physiology at the Australian Institute of Sport stated, “to
stay in contention for a medal, an
Olympic swimmer should improve his or her performance by approximately 1% within a competition
and by approximately 1% within the year leading up to the Olympics.”

When studying a swimmer’s times, look for the athletes that have been
gradually improving leading up to the big event. Then, go to the swimming
betting sites and wager accordingly.

Swimming Betting FAQ

What Are Some Common Swimming Bets?

Most of the available swimming betting lines are in the moneyline format. The
bettor merely chooses which racer they expect to win the event at whichever odds
are offered. During the Olympics, swimming betting sites may also set prop lines
on the number of medals a swimmer will win, but there aren’t too many markets
beyond straight-up wagers for most competitions.

Is Betting on Swimming Allowed?

Yes, you may lawfully wager on swimming anywhere with legal online betting.
It’s also okay to use swimming betting sites if you are located in a region
without specific rules prohibiting the use of online gaming.

Is It Lawful to Use Offshore Swimming Betting Sites?

Yes, an individual bettor may use offshore swimming betting sites without
breaking any laws. While online gaming has only been legalized in a handful of
states, there are very few laws restricting players. All of the relevant betting
laws deal with site operators and banking institutions alone. You cannot be
punished for accessing a foreign betting site.

How Do I Find Value Betting on Swimming?

Due to the lack of swimming markets at most online sportsbooks, finding value
can be difficult. You must avoid athletes with public name recognition and find
racers who have gradually been improving their times over the past twelve
months. Focus on the stroke in which they specialize rather than the distance of
their various events. If you put all of these tips together, you can find
positive betting value.