Cycling betting sites may not boast the year-round action of some other sports, but cycling does have a certain prestige. Every year the world tunes in to watch or at least read up on the results of the Tour de France. The winners of the big event achieve worldwide fame (and sometimes infamy). Although the public is most familiar with the Tour de France betting, there are plenty of other opportunities for wagering on cycling races and events online.
It was once quite a challenge to find cycling betting websites with coverage outside the major tours. Today, cycling betting sites make it easy to place wagers on your favorite riders. Our opinions of the best cycling bookmakers are listed below.
Best Cycling Betting Sites
The key to betting on cycling online is to find the right sportsbook. Cycling events are covered some sports betting sites , but not others. That’s one of the primary reasons we recommend cycling betting websites in particular that offer odds on all the major tours.
The other consideration when choosing where to bet on cycling online is a brands legitimacy and reputation. The cycling bookmakers listed on this page are trustworthy, provide competitive lines, and they cover a wide variety of cycling races.
There are times which can be difficult to find open cycling wagers.
You’ll have the best luck if you sign up for an account at a few cycling sportsbooks and check in with each one whenever you’re of mind to place a bet. Sometimes you won’t find anything. A secondary advantage to having a few accounts is you can shop around for the best odds on every wager.
Major Cycling Events to Bet On
The vast majority of the wagers placed on cycling events involve the Grand Tours of road cycling. These would be the Tour de France every July, the Giro d’Italia in May and the Vuelta a España in September. Each of these takes place over a period of about three weeks and consists of stages that emphasize different skills such as mountain climbing, descending and flat sprinting.
Betting on the Tour de France
The most basic Tour de France bet is the simplest: picking who will win the race outright. This is by far the most popular type of cycling betting online and you can usually find at this wager on offer even at bookmakers that typically offer zero cycling markets.
The various rider classifications also present a good number of wagering opportunities for each race. During Tour de France season, you can expect to see a variety of markets for the winner of each Tour de France jersey. These include the yellow jersey (which is just the overall winner), the green jersey (points classification leader), polka dot jersey (king of the mountains) and white jersey (best young rider).
Another common form of wager on the Tour De France is on the winner of individual stages. The Tour De France is divided into day long segments, and each of these segments is known as a stage. The ultimate winner of the Tour De France is the rider who has the lowest cumulative time across all the stages, but it is also possible to bet on the winner of each of these stages.
In a stage bet, you simply select the rider you think will win a particular stage and are paid if that rider does indeed win that stage. These bets are shorter-term in nature and give you something to do while you wait for the 23-day race to come to a conclusion.
Finally, you can also find a range of prop bet revolving around a range of other topics. Some prop bets we have seen in the past included: predicting the nationality of the winner, the margin of victory for the winner and more.
Types of Cycling Bets and Wagers
Cycling Futures Betting
The majority of the wagers you’ll find in cycling are called futures. In a cycling futures wager, the oddsmaker chooses some upcoming race and provides you with a list of people expected to compete. Each cyclist is accompanied by odds that show how much you’ll be paid if he wins. In most cases, the odds are presented in the fractional format.
In this cycling futures bet, you see a list of cyclists on the left and their odds shown over on the right. Alberto Contador is widely believed to have the best chances of winning, so wagers on him aren’t going to pay out a whole lot. A $100 bet on Contador at 2/1 odds would net you $200 if he wins the event. As you move down the list, the odds become increasingly attractive for lesser-known competitors.
Cycling Prop Bets
Cycling prop bets are the second-most popular type of cycling wagers. Cycling props are the wagers that involve random subjects such as the winner of a particular stage, who will complete a stage the fastest, the nationality of the winner, the margin of victory, and more. Proposition bets are limited only by the imagination of the oddsmaker.
Rider Specials are prop bets for individual cyclists. Some cycling betting websites like to take popular figures in the sport and come up with random wagers such as whether or not he will compete in the Tour de France, if he will compete in more than one Grand Tour, if he will win the green jersey, etc. These are good cycling wagers to consider if you’re the type of fan who follows individuals rather than the sport as a whole.
Cycling Betting Basic Tips and Strategy
You will rarely find value in wagering on big name cyclists to win. In cycling, a few top players achieve household name recognition while many other skilled riders go unnoticed amongst the general public. This results in the cycling betting odds being very poor for the top 3-5 riders. If you’re only getting 2/1 on someone to win it all, there’s just no value there even if he is the best. His odds of taking first place are always going to be worse than 2-1 against.
This is why if you look at an outright win-it-all futures wager, the top handful of racers have odds like 2/1, 5/2, 3/1 and 4/1 and then suddenly the odds jump up to 33/1 and go all the way up to 200/1or higher for everyone else. The big name racers attract the lion’s share of the wagers from recreational punters at cycling betting websites and that exerts downward pressure on the prices.
You can often find better online cycling wagering opportunities in underdogs, prop bets, and rider specials. These wagers attract less attention and the lines won’t be as lopsided. If you really follow the sport, there is great value to be had in things like betting on the best climber, individual stage winners, and the person to score the most points.
Your best weapon in handicapping cycling events and races will always be research. The availability of information on the internet today leaves no excuse for you not to be prepared. All it takes is a few Google searches to see past performances, the recent form of each player, cycling schedules, course details, and even the road conditions of individual stages.
Don’t skimp on the research. There is no overabundance of cycling wagers so you need to make every bet count. Research is what will give you the advantage over all the casual bettors out there. If you put in the work, online cycling betting can be rewarding, profitable, and entertaining.
Mike Murphy is the founder of OnlineBettingSites.com and has over 10 years of experience in the legal online betting industry. A regular attendee of industry trade shows and conferences, Mike is a strong proponent of regulated markets and responsible gambling policies.