Sports Betting Guide

Water Polo betting guide

Water Polo is in a sense a swimming version of handball. There are 7 vs 7 players in the pool. The objective of the game is to throw the ball into the opponent's goal which floats on water. The high frequency of changes which are unlimited in water polo is a common feature shared with ice hockey. Although water polo isn't as mainstream as football or baseball, it's steadily gaining popularity all over the world. 'The wet handball' is very popular in the USA, Australia, Italy, Croatia, Spain and Hungary.

Introduction to water polo

The origins of water polo are rather obscure. The official version says that British holiday resort owners came up with this rather strange pastime during the mid-1800s, in an attempt to attract more guests. The inventors also realised that the game's passing is very similar to horseback polo, hence the name 'water polo.' All the similarities between two games end here, though a funny saying about water polo implies otherwise: “I used to play water polo, but then my horse drowned.” At first the game resembled 'water rugby,' as it featured lots of brutal tackles.

With time, most of the brutality either disappeared or just went beneath the surface. Still, it remained in essence a contact sport so minor things like kicking, scratching, biting or clawing proved to be unavoidable. One of the most aggressive incidents in water polo took place in the 1956 Summer Olympics, in a match between Hungary and the USSR. This was at a time of the Hungarian Revolution, subsequently forcefully suppressed by the USSR in that year. The Hungarians managed to defeat the Soviets 4-0 which was a real uplift for the nation. Soviet players couldn't bare the shame and one of them punched the face of Hungarian player after which the game was called off.

There are number of benefits of playing water polo. First of all, the sport improves cardiovascular health and fat burning. Secondly, water polo fantastically builds endurance, develops almost every single body part since to keep the body afloat all muscles have to do their work. Last but no least, it develops social skills.

Water Polo competitions

The most important water polo competitions which are covered by most top sportsbooks include:

  • Olympic Games. Format: held every four years. Water polo was one of the first sports that was introduced to the first Olympic games in the 1900’s. As any discipline in the Summer Olympics, water polo attracts a number of recreational bettors.
  • FINA Water Polo World Cup. International water polo competition. Format: biannual.
  • European Championships. European competition for national water polo teams. Format: biannual.
  • Water Polo World League. International league for world's best national water polo teams. The league starts in late July and runs till Format: annual.
  • Water Polo Len Euroleague. Premier European Water Polo club competition. Format: annual. Both for men and women teams.
  • Water Polo Len Cup. Second-tier European Water Polo club competition. Format: annual. Both for men and women teams.
  • Water Polo Domestic Leagues. The most popular leagues to bet on is the Italian and Spanish leagues, Serie A and División de Honor respectively.

Water polo bet types

  • Outright – predict which team will win the tournament.
  • Winner – predict which team will win the match. There is also a tie outcome which is very rare in water polo and for that reason pays out very well.
  • Total Score (Over/under bets) – predict whether the total number of goals scored by both teams will be over or under the value set by the bookmakers.
  • Handicap – the team which is considered underdog by the odd-makers is given advantage in the form of goals, for instance, 1.5, 2.5 or 3.5, The half-goals eliminate draw outcome. In that way the chances of both teams winning the match are close to 50-50.
  • The first team to score a goal. The last team to score a goal. Number of goals in the match odd or even.

Water polo betting tips

Good goalkeeper is a passport to success
Bet on the team with a classy goalkeeper. In water polo, the goalie is thrice as important as any other player in the pool. This position requires fulfilling the following functions: as the goalkeeper anticipating and blocking the shots, as the last defenseman informing the players about imposing threats and gaps in the defence, and finally initiating quick counter attacks (water-polo goalkeepers tend to have many assists).

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