Introducing the Alpine Skiing Betting Season for 2015/16

Alpine skiing, as both a spectacle and betting medium, is currently enjoying a massive surge in popularity.  We can thank the Charming American racer, Lindsey Vonn, for doing her part to put the sport in the public eye. And unlike certain showcase beauties in other sports, the 31-year-old Minnesota native is a true icon in her sport of choice.

Vonn is one of just a handful of women to have won World Cup races in five disciplines of alpine skiing:  Downhill, Super-G, Giant Slalom, Slalom and Super Combined.

At the outset of the 2015/2016 season, which gets underway on October 24th, Tiger Woods’ ex-girlfriend has won 67 World Cup races making her the most successful woman skier of all time and the second most successful skier ever.  The outright record of 86 World Cup victories belongs to Ingemar Stenmark, who raced in the 70’s and early 80’s.

Amazingly, Lindsey Vonn is not the only superstar of women’s skiing.  Mikaela Shiffrin, another American, has already amassed 15 wins in World Cup races for two World Championships. She even got a piece of Olympic glory with a gold medal in the Sochi games at just 18. Unlike Vonn, however, Shiffrin’s race wins come in the agile slalom discipline – well 14 of her 15 career World Cup race wins – whereas Vonn is all about speed.

For both men’s and women’s skiing, there are four principle types of race/discipline:  Downhill, Super-G, Giant Slalom and Slalom.  There are also a couple of ‘Parallel’ and ‘Combined’ competitions which consist of a short run of Downhill or Super-G and a run of Slalom with the aggregate time deciding the finishing order.

At the season’s conclusion there are winners in all four main categories plus the coveted ‘Overall’ award, ‘The World Cup’ title.

Given the dominance of Vonn and Shiffrin it is hard to believe the current mantle of Overall World Champion, which is based on the total number of points an athlete collects across all disciplines, belongs to Austrian athlete Anna Fenninger.

But there are mitigating factor’s primarily Vonn’s injury-punctuated 2013/14 and 2014/15 seasons and Shiffrin’s inability to compete in speed events.  Fenninger meanwhile is a regular podium finisher in the ‘speed events’ (Downhill and Super-G) and regular winner of Giant Slalom races the discipline where she excels.

There is a fourth competitor worthy of merit, that being Tina Maze.  The Slovenian athlete is a national hero in her own country courtesy of her two Olympic and four World Championship gold medals.  However, with 2015/16 not being a World Championship or Olympic year, she has announced she is taking a season-long sabbatical.

Nevertheless, the 2015/16 season looks to be the most exciting for years and resultantly numerous online sportsbooks have priced-up the outcome of the woman’s Overall Championship title race.

Where to Bet on Alpine Skiing Online

At the season outset, it is one company with a strong footprint in continental Europe, Nordicbet, that have offered the best price about Lindsey Vonn in her bid to win the Overall title for a fifth time.

Given Vonn starts the 2015/16 season injury free for the first time in several years, Nordicbet’s 3/1 is, like the athlete, a very attractive proposition.  Nevertheless UK betting websites are almost as equally dismissive going a good bit shorter at 6/4.

As for her chief rival, Anna Fenninger, 888Sport and bookmaking upstart Betway are most impressed with the credentials of the 2013/14 and 2014/15 champion making her their 3/5 favourite.  The best price about her is Sportingbet’s 13/20. Those that would like to support Shiffrin, regardless of her ‘one trick pony’ status, Betway is the place to shop as they offer a dismissive 8/1 about her chances.

Update: Anna Fenninger Out for the Season with Major Knee Injuries

Anna Fenninger had a major crash during training on 21 October and is now out for the season with multiple torn knee ligaments. This will certainly change the odds and most likely put Lindsey Vonn odds-on to win the overall title.

Update Again: Just as we predicted, Lindsey Vonn is now trading at 5/4 (Unibet and 888Sport). This comes after we recommended her at 3/1. Hopefully, you get your bets in early. If not, there’s still plenty of Alpine skiing betting to look forward to in the near future.

Scandinavian-owned Unibet is also worth a look because they take a close interest in winter sports albeit the average Scandinavian, particularly Norwegians, will have more interest in Cross-Country and Biathlon as opposed to Downhill racing.

The major strongholds for ski-racing are the Alpine countries such as Italy, Switzerland and especially Austria where it is a very popular pastime and most races receive widespread TV coverage from state broadcasters.

Unsurprisingly online sportsbooks with a strong foothold in these territories have been quick to sponsor ski events;’s logo is a regular feature at finishing area aprons for example.

Men’s Title Candidates

As for the men… 2015/16 sees the return of Aksel Lund Svindal – the 6ft 3in Norwegian who finished runner-up in the overall category in 2013 and 2014 while claiming the Super G and Downhill titles at the same time – who missed all but a few weeks of last season due to injury.

Sadly, it does not see the colourful American Bode Miller in action.  The 38-year-old, who is the most decorated US Olympic ski racer of all time, is another who has opted to miss the 2015/16 season.  It now has to be doubtful he will return to the sport at all as he has recently become increasingly vocal about his plans to become a racehorse trainer.

In Svindall’s absence last year his countryman Kjetil Jansrud took his mantle of leading speed skier claiming the titles in Super-G and Downhill, yet he failed to capture the Overall title.

That accolade went to Marcel Hirscher, for a fourth consecutive season, who collected the bulk of his points in Slaloms and Giant Slaloms (winning eight races during the 2014/15 season).

With Svindall back in the fray and set to battle royal with Jansrud in the speed events Hischer looks set to win the title for a fifth consecutive time as he should collect countless points almost unchallenged in his favoured disciplines while his title rivals fight amongst themselves and share the meaningful race-winning points.

That’s the way the sportsbooks see proceedings too.  The Austrian, Hirscher, will have doubtlessly have attracted strong support from his fanatical countrymen and supporters and this sees him trading at 5/4 with the most tuned-in European sportsbooks.

2015/16 Season Explained

The first event of the 2015/16 season is October 24th/25th in Solden, Austria, before moving on to Levi, Finland, for November 14th/15th and then North America with men’s and ladies’ action from Beaver Creek, Colorado and Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada running concurrently.

Thereafter racing takes place almost every weekend until March 20th (St Moritz).  In total there are 47 World Cup races for men (at 24 resorts) and 43 races for women (at 23 resorts).

Previous Winners

  • Women’s Overall
  • 2015   Anna Fenninger
  • 2014   Anna Fenninger
  • 2013   Tina Maze
  • 2012   Lindsey Vonn
  • 2011   Maria Riesch
  • 2010   Lindsey Vonn
  • 2009   Lindsey Vonn
  • 2008   Lindsey Vonn
  • 2007   Nicole Hosp
  • 2006   Janica Kostelic
  • 2005   Anja Parson

Men’s Overall

  • 2015   Marcel Hirscher
  • 2014   Marcel Hirscher
  • 2013   Marcel Hirscher
  • 2012   Marcel Hirscher
  • 2011   Ivica Kostelic
  • 2010   Carlo Janka
  • 2009   Aksel Lund Svindall
  • 2008   Bode Miller
  • 2007   Aksel Lund Svindall
  • 2006   Benjamin Raich
  • 2005   Bode Miller

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