Field Hockey is a sport with a rich history. During the summer Olympics dozens of online bookies offer odds on all matches from both the men’s and women’s tournament. There is also some limited coverage for other major competitions and qualifiers. Before mentioning these competitions, the sites below are ones that will be offering betting on field hockey played at the 2016 Summer Olympics which will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Where to Bet Field Hockey Online
The top option on the below list www.centrebet.com (no US players) is one the few bookies that offers field hockey bets for more than just the Olympics. In years past they have covered major matches from domestic field hockey such as Holland’s Hoofdklasse and the German Bundesliga. They of course cover all the major competitions such as the FIH World Cup and the FIH Champions Trophy. They along with most Asian bookies and Australian bookmakers also cover some qualifying matches.
Finally, if you live in the United States, the betting options are limited. www.5dimes.eu is one of the best for betting both the men’s and women’s tournament at the Olympics, and is this first option to check if you’re from the US and looking for other field hockey betting odds.
How to Bet Field Hockey
There are really only three ways field hockey is bet. The most popular is called 1X2. This uses regulation time only and is a 3-way market where the options are home/away/draw with each having its own odds. Another wagering option is the handicap. For most matches the handicap has the favorite -1.5 goals and the underdog +1.5. However, on some rare occasions when matches are expected to be heavily lopsided a spread of -2.5/+2.5 is used. The final way to bet is over/under. Most games are handicapped at either 3.5 goals, 4.5 goals or 5.5 goals. Whichever the bookmaker posts as a total, you make a wager on whether the total goals scored by both teams will go over or under that total.
Field Hockey Betting Can Be Profitable
First, let me put into perspective how small of a market field hockey betting is. For the 2012 men’s Olympic tournament, Germany and Netherlands were both considered strong contenders but were in the same group. When they met in the group stage, an important match for seeding purposes, the trading volume at Betfair was dismal. Only £5462 was traded on the 1X2 market, £343 on the handicap and £1052 total goals markets. Understand Betfair is the world’s largest peer to peer betting exchange. For football, tennis and cricket betting there is millions traded on the more popular matches. Also understand this isn’t a cherry picked example. That was a major field hockey match and there was only £6857 traded on it at the world’s largest betting exchange.
The above example is exactly why betting field hockey can be profitable. Simply put, the low liquidity on exchanges and the smaller limits at bookmakers, keeps professional punters from having much interest betting this sport. Also the bookmakers will have theoretical holds several hundred times larger on matches from other sports on the day of any field hockey match. For this reason they really only offer field hockey betting as a novelty option for the benefits of their users and are not concerned with taking a small loss. Really their over under betting market is set using extremely basic logic. If the teams normally score low they set it at 3.5, if they normally score high they set it at 5.5, otherwise 4.5 works fine.
Total goal betting in field hockey is one of the best sources of betting profit you’ll find. I recall in the classification stages of the 2012 Olympics women’s tournament China was playing Australia. It was rather easy to anticipate low scoring because Australia was the lowest scoring team in the group stages while China had the least number of attempts on goals. Even so the bookmakers stuck to their using 3.5 as the over under betting total and 5Dimes even had the under at odds 2.00. In this case it worked out betting the under. It doesn’t always work out but it only takes simple logic to find value bets for this sport.
If you’re more serious about betting and it can be worth your time to pick off markets with smaller limits; for this field hockey is an ideal sport. First you can identify the dates of past major tournaments. Then at data.betfair.com you can download the weekly files that include all trades for your date range. It will take some sorting to cleanse the data down to just field hockey but once you have done so this is quite valuable information. Now all you need to do is scrape past box scores for various matches and then begin testing different models. The great thing is if you do find an edge you can easily hit multiple bookies. Most will not care about small losses on their field hockey markets. Also, because major odds comparison sites don’t even cover this sport, your wagers are unlikely to create steam action. For those savvy enough there is certainly added profits to be had betting field hockey online.