Learning Center
02.10.2023, 06:35
21.05.2024, 07:03

Dive into Betting: A Comprehensive Guide to Swimming Wagers

Betting on swimming races is rare outside of the Summer Olympics, even though competitive swimming may be one of the most popular events in those games every four years. The sport has a bright future since there are several competitions of varying durations for each of the four approved types of strokes.

These competitions include medleys and relays. The bulk of these lines are updated on betting websites that focus on swimming once every four years; however, a vast array of contests and markets might be covered if the general public shows more interest.

Among famous swimming tournaments are the Swimming World Cup, European Championships, U.S. Open, and Duel in the Pool. However, the number of options to wager on swimming could be much higher.

The Evolution of Competitive Swimming

The National Swimming Society was the first organisation to bring competitive swimming to the United Kingdom in the early 1800s. During this time, the National Swimming Society of England held swimming events in man-made indoor pools in London. These pools were used for some time. As a result of the increasing popularity of these competitions in England, the Amateur Swimming Association was established in 1880.

The two most common swimming strokes during this period were the side and breaststroke. John Trudgen introduced the front crawl to Britain in 1873, combined with the scissor kick or the flutter kick. This resulted in increased speeds and brought freshness and excitement to swimming events. The most efficient method of swimming today is referred to as the freestyle stroke. This technique was developed by adjusting the front crawl to new kicks or the proportions of kicks to strokes.

At the Summer Olympics in 1972, Mark Spitz won seven gold medals and broke every swimming record that had ever been set in the sport's long history. Spitz was a fantastic swimmer who won nine gold medals in the Olympics, one silver medal, one bronze medal, five gold medals at the Pan American Games, 31 additional amateur championships, and eight college titles. He also won five Pan American gold medals. Between 1968 and 1972, he won several championships, bringing his total to an astounding amount.

Michael Phelps was the first swimmer to bring the likes of Mark Spitz to competitive swimming. Phelps has won 16 Olympic medals, eight at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, with six gold and two bronze. At the Olympic competition in Beijing 2008, he won another eight gold medals.

Betting on Swimming

The art of handicapping swimming competitions is still in its early stages of development. Since it has received less attention than other, more well-known sports - especially from analytics experts - there are yet to be any proven betting strategies that bettors can rely on. 

However, based on what we know about betting and what has been discussed in various publications dedicated to sports science, it is certain that the following advice can improve your accuracy when predicting the outcomes of meets.

Avoid Overthinking Player Names

Sports enthusiasts focus on swimming primarily during the Summer Olympics. This prestigious event ignites a significant spike in the sport, drawing enthusiastic fans eager to engage in various ways. Consequently, the betting odds are consistently influenced by casual bettors, with most wagers placed on well-known athletes.

This phenomenon leads to diminished value in the betting lines for these swimmers. Athletes who may not be expected to secure a medal, let alone win gold, suddenly find themselves priced as if they are favoured to achieve such feats.

Understanding Swimmers' Specialisations

Take some time to research the events in which competitors have the most experience before making your decisions. The swimming events at the Olympics range from the 50-meter freestyle, akin to a sprint, to the 1500-meter freestyle. Each event requires a unique set of skills and physical attributes, making it unlikely for a single athlete to excel in all of them.

Once you recognise an athlete's strongest events, you can compare their expertise to other swimming styles and events. Identify when they will be utilising their key strengths, and consider whether you find their chances favourable compared to their current offerings.

Stroke Matters More Than Distance in Swimming

It is crucial to remember that the type of stroke is more significant than the distance of the race when trying to assess a swimming event. This insight is also helpful in determining where an athlete's skills will be most advantageously utilised.

Focus on the Value of Swimming Betting

Gather as much sports information as possible and envision how a specific race will unfold before concentrating too much on the odds. Consider various aspects of the situation and possible outcomes. The next step is to ascertain your odds for each participant in the event you are interested in. Based on the information you have collected, what are the chances of victory for each competitor?

It's crucial to acknowledge that betting markets for swimming are still viewed as niche and not widely popular. Consequently, the odds are often structured in a way that makes betting on the favourites almost always unfeasible. It's best to place bets on potential upsets, as this is the sole method to find value in your wagers.

Understanding the Significance of World Rankings in Swimming Betting

An investigation was conducted at the Department of Physiology of the Australian Institute of Sport, aiming to determine the "relationship between world ranking and Olympic performance of swimmers."

The researchers analysed the times achieved by swimmers at the Olympics and compared them to their world ranking times. They found that while competitors on average, swam at a slightly slower pace during the Summer Games (0.3%), medalists enhanced their times by 0.6%.

Upon entering the Olympic Games, 87% of athletes who eventually win medals were already ranked in the world's top 10. According to the research findings, a top-10 rated swimmer who can improve their performance time by 0.6%, equivalent to about 0.13 seconds in the men's 50-m freestyle, would significantly increase their likelihood of securing an Olympic medal.

Conducting Event Research for Swimming Betting

Bettors need to find out which swimmers will improve their timings for the Olympic games. However, they can make an informed bet based on the times posted in the year leading up to the competition. It's advisable to compile all the official race times from the months leading up to the event to make a more educated prediction.

Swimming Techniques in Competitive Swimming

There is a multitude of swimming styles and competitions available. Here are some of the most prominent ones:

1. Freestyle

Description: Freestyle swimming is a form of competitive swimming where swimmers have no restrictions on how they use their arms and legs and aren't required to adhere to any specific swimming stroke.

2. Backstroke

Description: The backstroke resembles an inverted version of the front crawl. Swimmers face the ceiling, making breathing easier but more challenging to see their direction.

3. Breaststroke

Description: The breaststroke is considered the least efficient of the four competitive swimming styles. The swimmer's head mostly remains above the water, and there's no body rotation to generate power. The stroke involves an “out sweep” action underwater, pushing the water until the hands are shoulder-level and perpendicular to the rest of the body.

4. Butterfly

Description: The butterfly stroke is the most challenging of the four. Swimmers lift their heads above water as they rise onto their chest, using both arms simultaneously to pull themselves through the water.

5. Individual Medley (IM)

Description: To compete in the individual medley, swimmers must be adept in all four competitive strokes. The race sequence involves butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, and freestyle, in that order.

6. Relays

Description: In a relay, four swimmers handle a portion of the total race. The next swimmer can dive in once their teammate touches the wall beneath their starting platform.

Types: All four athletes in a relay might use the same stroke, or the event may be a medley, where each competitor is responsible for a different stroke, performed in the same sequence as in the solo race.

By understanding these techniques and their distinct characteristics, one can appreciate the intricacies of competitive swimming and the skill sets required for each event.

Types of Bets to Place in Swimming Competitions

The three prominent competitions in the swimming calendar are the Olympic Games, the World Championship, and the European Championship. During these tournaments, bookmakers provide the most extensive range of events in this discipline for sports bettors to choose from.

Common Wagers:

Predicting the Winner:

  • Most bettors commonly place bets predicting the winner of the meet.
  • Seasoned bettors often look for more rewarding wagers, using their expertise to find value in betting lines since the winning odds for favourites are usually low.

Popular Strokes for Betting:

Freestyle, Butterfly, Breaststroke, and Backstroke:

  • These strokes attract the most attention from online sportsbooks across all available lengths.
  • They offer a variety of betting options.

Types of Betting:

Medal Spot Betting:

In this type of wager, bettors attempt to predict whether a swimmer will finish the race in one of the top three medal-awarded spots.

Winner Betting:

  • Bettors try to determine which swimmer will win a competition.
  • Betting on underdogs, who are not considered favourites, holds the allure of higher potential rewards, enticing many to place their wagers hoping for a substantial payout from an upset.

In conclusion, while betting on swimming events, it is crucial to understand the various competitions, popular strokes for betting, and types of bets available to make informed and strategic betting decisions.


What are the major swimming competitions to bet on?

The Olympic Games, the World Championship, and the European Championship are the major swimming events where bookmakers offer extensive betting options.

What are the common types of bets placed in swimming?

The most common bets are predicting the event's winner and medal spot betting, where bettors try to forecast if a swimmer will finish in one of the top three positions.

Can I bet on all swimming styles?

Yes, bookmakers usually allow bets on all popular swimming styles, including freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly, across various event lengths.

Is it more profitable to bet on favourites or underdogs?

Betting on favourites generally has lower odds, potentially lower payouts. Betting on underdogs can yield higher rewards, but it's inherently riskier as these swimmers have lower chances of winning.

What is medal sport betting?

Medal spot betting involves wagering on whether a particular swimmer will finish the race in one of the top three medal-awarded spots.

Where can I find information to make informed bets on swimming?

Gathering information from reputable sports news websites, official swimming competition websites, and historical data can aid in making more informed bets.

Is there any strategy to increase my odds of winning a bet on swimming events?

To enhance your betting success, focus on researching the swimmers' past performances, their speciality strokes, and their performance trends leading up to the event. Betting on possible upsets might also discover value in your wagers.


Only authorized users can leave comments.
Sign In
No Comments Yet
Be the pioneer! There are no comments so far, your insightful thoughts could lead the way. Share your perspective!