Bovada is the bee’s knees when it comes to all sports betting, and that includes their Overwatch League betting. They aren’t heavily celebrated for their props selection, but they do a good job of getting their lines up well in advance of matches, schedules permitting.
Speaking of which, their esports section can double as a lookahead for you. Even if they don’t have odds for future competitions, they will still have them listed with their scheduled date and time. Any participants will also be there. This is a great way to stay on top of upcoming tilts, particularly if you’re new to the Overwatch betting scene.
We continue to be impressed with the way that SportsBetting.ag organizes its esports section. Every game has its own specific page. Once there, you’ll see a list of all upcoming tournaments and whether odds are available. If they are, you can navigate to that page for all your betting options. These includes a schedule of all the matches, as well as a breakdown for which props are available during each head-to-heads.
For Overwatch League betting exclusively, SportsBetting.ag also provides many live streaming options. Some of the start times can end up being a little wonky depending on which time zone you’re in. You’ll be able to watch your bets unfold live if you wish. Should SportsBetting.ag not have live streaming a particular event, their live-streaming page will still show you other places to watch.
Bodog is a hidden gem when it comes to esports betting—Overwatch specifically. They provide lines in a timely manner, usually have live-game props you can wager on, include live-streaming capabilities and will allow you to place wagers on Grand Finals participants. The winner not just during the preseason, but after the regular season starts.
On top of all that, unlike many other sportsbooks, Bodog has esports-specific bonuses in play. Currently, new customers can receive up to a $250 freebie on their first esports bet. This is subject to a rollover and will have a smaller value if you don’t match that amount on your first wager, but it’s a great option for those who are looking to get their feet wet in esports gambling.
The folks over at BetOnline really outdo themselves on the Overwatch League betting front. Like Bovada, they offer all the basic match lines and futures odds. More uniquely, though, they go above and beyond in the props department. Every match usually has its own set of props, and you’re able to wager on them during live game play.
Something else BetOnline does with all esports championships is run an underdog free roll tournament. In advance of the start time, they’ll provide a list of squads that are least likely to advance past certain postseason rounds. Users can then choose from that group of teams, and whoever ends up selecting the underdog who makes it the furthest will receive a share of the predetermined cash prize.
These payouts are usually small depending on how many people participate in them, but they’re a great way of staying involved if you’re not ready to invest your own money in esports betting just yet.
Have you joined the esports betting scene yet? Well, if you haven’t, you’re a little behind the eight-ball. The popularity of esports has soared in recent years, accounting for more than $8 billion in sports gambling revenue during the 2019 calendar year.
Online gaming sites are catching on to the rage. In fact, they have been for some time. Overwatch League betting lines are available essentially everywhere, and they’re no longer just the basic games. Niche competitions are drawing interest of their own.
Of course, the most popular staples are still the go-to. Blizzard Entertainment’s Overwatch is among those major games. They’ve been on the scene since 2016, and they continue to grow in popularity, both in terms of their monthly users and those who tune in to watch tournaments.
If you’re just getting started out in esports betting, this is the game to explore. And don’t worry about going in blind. We have all the information you need to cannonball into the fray without delay.
Overwatch is a multiplayer first-person shooter game that’s set on a near-future earth. Players are assigned to two separate teams of six and choose from over 30 characters, also known as “heroes.” Every character has their own unique set of skills. Each team’s roster is divided up among three general roles that fit said character’s purpose.
Once that’s set, the goal is for players on the team to work in tandem to grab and defend control points on a specific map. Alternatively, they can chaperone a “payload” across that same map. These tasks must be completed in a predetermined amount of time. Though this feature does not count toward the final score, players can earn “cosmetic rewards” in each game, such as character skins and victory poses.
Blizzard did not anticipate the Overwatch or Overwatch League betting becoming so popular, so when they originally released the game, they didn’t have rankings play. That was added post-release, and the demand has led to their also releasing new characters, different maps and various game modes.
The match lengths in Overwatch can vary. They are, like other esports, best of three, so the scores will always be 2-0 or 2-1. The average match takes around 20 to 30 minutes, but some have been known to go on longer, lasting up to an hour or slightly more.
Competitive play in Overwatch, which is when individual players can impact their rankings, adheres to a unique season. They essentially take place in small weeks-long intervals up to six times per year. The exacting timings of these seasons vary, so you’ll need to check online for the specific.
The Overwatch League—or OWL—is run by the developer of the game, Blizzard Entertainment. They run their structure similar to other major sports, with an actual season in which teams go up head-to-head against each other to vie for seeding in the playoffs. This varies from other esports which run on different leagues separated by tiers and the prospect of relegation.
OWL’s structure of the schedule has changed during its first couple of years. The current format includes a preseason, a regular-season divided into and a playoff bracket that culminates in a champion. There are a total of twenty teams in the leagues split between two conferences. They’re run almost like any other professional sports franchises; they sign players to contracts and everything, and there’s even an All-Star event.
Regular-season play lasts 40 matches, and teams will play everyone inside and outside their division. Playoff standings come from ranks established during the regular season, not unlike how most major North American sports leagues come up with their own seeding. The OWL also set up a home-and-away format where teams would host up to eight-squad tournaments at a venue. This was a new idea implemented during the most recent season, however, and it’s not clear whether it will continue following the coronavirus pandemic.
The two last teams standing in the OWL participate in the Overwatch Grand Finals. This is a best-of-seven event typically takes place some time in the early fall. Both squads receive a share of the prize pool, with around two-thirds going to the actual winner. The most recent pot reached around $1.7 million, and that number is likely to go up in the near future.
People have questioned whether the Overwatch Grand Finals—and on a larger scale, the OWL itself—will end up having a shorter shelf life. Overwatch hasn’t enjoyed the same exponential growth as Dota 2 and League of Legends. It plans for expansions to around 28 teams have been delayed or entirely scuttled.
Still, a complete flop feels unlikely. The OWL is the youngest league of the trio, and unlike its two main counterparts, it offers more continuity. Rather than having so many different leagues and separate tiers , they’re looking to build more of a traditional sporting event. The hope is that with the absence of turnover as it pertains to both teams and rosters—though, squads can lose players to free agency—will serve to generate more interest, as it opens up the prospect of dynasties and rivalries.
It also helps that the Overwatch Grand Finals and the league itself are more exclusive. Fewer teams means fewer spots. That could ruin the whole “We’re accessible” to everyone that gives esports some of its intrigue. Scarcity also tends to create a demand. And even if the OWL eventually expands (it probably will), the talent and team pool won’t be as diluted by so many different layers of competition.
On some level, this is all working. More than 1.1 million people tuned in to watch the most recent Grand Finals, which was up 16 percent from the year before.
Betting on Overwatch matches is a lot like betting on every other sport. Your wager types are essentially one of three categories: single matches, future odds and props.
Single matches themselves will offer two basic betting options for Overwatch League betting. There’s the moneyline, where you just try to predict the outright winner of a given head-to-head. And then there’s the spread, where you try to decide how many games a team will win or lose by.
Since every match until the playoffs is best of three, spreads will be anywhere from 0.5 to 1.5. If you wager on Team Radiohead to beat Team Skullcrushers at -1.5, you’re saying that Radio head will win 2-0. If you pick Skullcrushers, you’re banking on that squad winning at least a single game or the entire match.
Future odds are essentially big-picture moneylines. You’re betting on the outcome of an event in the distance. In this case, that would be the winner or participants in the Grand Finals, or the number of matches a team wins during the regular season.
Lines for these futures are at their most lucrative during the offseason and preseason, when so much will remain undecided. Certain sites will allow you to bet win totals and Grand Finals winners during the regular season, but the potential payouts won’t be as rewarding.
That’s not really surprising, mostly because it works the same way for live sports. Think about it: Sportsbooks won’t pay out the most money if you correctly predict the Super Bowl winner after watching a sample of games that matter. The odds will be at their most favorable before those games ever tip off. View Overwatch futures in the same vein.
And as a bonus tip, some sportsbooks will offer lines on the next Grand Finals immediately after the most recent ones end. These bets are the hardest to hit on, because they become before free agency and offseason movement, but the potential payout can often be worth the risk.
Prop bets, meanwhile, vary in scope and scale. They’re usually available during individual matches and at their absolute peak of availability during the postseason. These betting types can be anything from guessing the over/under on the length of the match to specific wagers on certain gameplay maps.