Top Swimming Betting Sites for 2019
Competitive swimming may be a fan-favorite event every four years, during the Summer Olympics, but wagering on aquatic races is uncommon otherwise. Still, with multiple contests of different lengths for each of the four official styles/strokes, including medleys and relays, the sport shows promise for the future. Swimming betting sites post the majority of these lines every four years, but there's a wealth of competitions and markets to potentially cover if the public shows more interest.
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As handicappers continue to search for niche sports-hoping to find an edge where the oddsmakers aren't devoting as much time-it may only be a matter of time before we see swimming lines more frequently. Besides the Olympics, FINA-sanctioned events like the Swimming World Cup, European Championships, US Open, and Duel in the Pool have all been available to wager in recent years.
Nevertheless, opportunities to bet on swimming are few and far between. While unfortunate, it just means you have to make every wager count whenever the betting sites finally provide the lines!
About Our Recommendations
A ton of effort goes into finding the best swimming betting sites to share with our readers. With the majority of the top international internet providers housed in offshore locations, it's more crucial than ever to be able to discern the quality providers from the scams. While this is incredibly challenging for novices to online gaming, our team of reviewers are experts in the matter.
Fraudulent gambling websites run rampant online; they're everywhere. That's why we've taken it upon ourselves to blacklist the scammers and present easily digestible lists of our favorite recommendations for our readers. Each of the swimming betting sites featured on this page excels in the following categories, providing you with the best online wagering experience around.
Coverage of Swimming Betting
In the world of handicapping, swimming is somewhat of a niche sport. The premier sports leagues dominate much of the public action, leaving other competitions to a handful of bettors-most of which are either recreational gamblers or specialists. However, this works out better for you. The less attention an event receives, the greater the opportunity to find an edge. That's why we've prioritized locations with the most extensive coverage for our swimming betting site recommendations. The providers shared on this page offer the most markets and set more swimming lines than you'll find anywhere else.
Our favorite swimming betting sites don't just cover the sport, they set competitive lines. There are times when specialty markets are priced unreasonably, so we analyze the odds before giving a website our recommendation. We always preach "shopping for the best lines" to our readers, so it's only right that we do the same when vetting online sportsbooks. The wagers you'll find at the best swimming betting sites will be similar to, if not better than, the odds set by other top web-based oddsmakers.
Safety and Security
The central mission driving this entire website is a desire to prevent online fraud by helping new bettors find safe, reputable sports betting sites; it doesn't matter if you're wagering on swimming or any other athletic event. We subject each provider to an intensive review that looks at their active gaming licenses, terms and conditions, software, and a myriad of other factors until we are confident that they're a legitimate business that can be trusted. Our team also verifies that every recommended site uses up-to-date security features that ensure your transactions will be encrypted and private.
Another aspect of our vetting process is a thorough analysis of their history and reputation. Not only do we research the swimming betting sites that we're considering as recommendations, but we also look at the ownership behind the domain and any other operations they may own. During this stage of the review, we want to be sure that the provider has a history of running clean, honorable companies. Our team even studies customer opinions, reading every review, complaint, and comment we can find to get a full picture of the operator's reputation. The top swimming betting sites are well respected throughout the industry and have proven to be consistently among the best providers in the world.
Accepting a wide variety of banking options is hugely important, especially when we're dealing with offshore betting sites. Some customers aren't comfortable sharing sensitive information with international corporations, while others may need third-parties to complete a deposit due to regional regulations. In the US, for instance, banks will not allow debit card or checking account transactions with gaming websites. The more extensive the selection of banking methods, the more flexibility our readers have to move money quietly and quickly.
The top swimming betting sites are designed in a way that beginners can use them immediately. Whether you're using a website or a mobile app, finding and placing the wagers that you want should be as natural as navigating your Facebook page. The process for signing up should be apparent, as should depositing money, accessing the sportsbook, and locating the exact bets that you want. We put significant stock in website design and organization because these qualities play a vital role in customer satisfaction.
Bonuses are a powerful tool used by online gaming sites to get your attention and earn your business over the competitors. The more they have to fight for your patronage, the more free money you'll receive which is fantastic for our readers! We include bonuses in our recommendations because there are hundreds of dollars available (if not more) for new users, which allows you to try wagers you'd otherwise never stake your hard-earned cash on. Many of these deposit prizes can double your bankroll before you even get started!
In our search for the best swimming betting sites, withdrawal speeds are of the utmost importance. There are strong correlations between website legitimacy and average payout timelines, so these transactions receive additional focus during our reviews. Operators that frequently delay or ignore withdrawal requests cannot be trusted. Meanwhile, the top betting sites are almost always the fastest to deliver players' cash. It's your money anyway; it should be available at your convenience!
We also pay close attention to a swimming betting site's customer service department. If you have an urgent question or have encountered an issue, it's crucial that you receive a resolution as soon as possible. You are trusting these websites with your hard-earned money, so it's reasonable to expect someone to answer your call. Our team verifies the quality of a swimming betting site's help desk by contacting them through each method shared online. We judge them based on the speed of response, tone, and knowledge, only recommending the providers that we find helpful.
Mobile compatibility has become an increasingly important quality of swimming betting sites in recent years. These days, many bettors prefer to wager on their phone or tablet. When reviewing a gaming operator, we see how their domain is displayed on mobile browsers in addition to testing their apps. Bettors love online casinos and sportsbooks because of the convenience they provide, and mobile gaming is the next stage of the industry's evolution. Plus, you never know when you'll receive some crucial information about the next race. You should be able to access your swimming betting sites from anywhere, finding and entering your picks anytime inspiration strikes.
Different Swimming Styles and Events to Bet
Freestyle is a style of swimming competition in which racers are free to use their arms and legs without strict limitations regarding their choice of stroke. People commonly use this term as a synonym for the front crawl: the combination of a flutter kick with the arms circling forward. This is the fastest of all the strokes, making it one of the most interesting to bet online.
The backstroke is essentially an upside-down front crawl. Instead of the athlete looking down into the water while they swim, they face the ceiling, making it much easier to breathe. However, it's also more challenging to see where one is going. The swimmer lies on their back, kicking their legs in a flutter, while making circular motions which begin at the hip, extend out of the water, and reach behind the racer. The hand then enters the water and pulls down towards the hips, while the other arm begins its reach.
The breaststroke is the slowest of the four competitive swimming styles. The swimmers head primarily stays above the water, and there's no rotation of the torso to generate power. The athlete begins in the streamline position underwater, before performing an "out sweep" motion, pushing the water until the hands are even with the shoulder, perpendicular to the rest of the body. The hands then come under the chest and begin to extend forward while a whip kick is used to keep propelling the swimmer forward until they're back in the streamline position.
The butterfly stroke is the most difficult technique of the four. The swimmer comes up on the chest with their head out of the water, before swooping both arms forward in a circular rotation simultaneously. The looping arm motions are complemented by a dolphin kick with the feet.
The individual medley requires the swimmer to use all four strokes in a single race. The first quarter of the competition is raced butterfly style, the second is the backstroke, third is the breaststroke, and the last quarter is finished with the freestyle or front crawl.
A relay consists of four swimmers, each of which is responsible for a quarter of the race. The next swimmer cannot dive into the water until their teammate touches the wall beneath their starting platform. Relays can involve all four competitors utilizing the same stroke, or they can be medleys. In a relay medley, each athlete is responsible for specific strokes, which are executed in the same order as the individual event.
The Top Swimming Competitions for Betting
The Summer Olympic Games
Swimming has been included in the Summer Olympics since the first modern games were held in 1896. In addition to being one of the most-watched sports every four years, the aquatic races offer the second-largest number of events with 34 total (17 men, 17 women) swimming medals on the line.
Athletes compete in four different styles: the freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly. All of which can be found on online swimming betting sites. There are multiple races of varying distances performed with each individual stroke. For example, there are six different freestyle events: 50 meters, 100 meters, 200 meters, 400 meters, 800 meters, and 1500 meters.
The backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly are each raced at 100- and 200-meter distances. Then, there are several relays and medleys, which see the swimmers use each of the different styles in a single race, switching to a new stroke each lap.
The United States has overwhelmingly dominated the swimming events at the Summer Olympic Games. While second-place Australia has 188 total medals in the pool, the US has 553, 246 of which were gold.
European Championship of Swimming
The LEN European Aquatics Championships are held in even-numbered years and organized by Europe's governing body for aquatic sports. The prestigious championship features four separate disciplines: Diving, synchronized swimming, open water swimming, and the swimming races that we're discussing in this guide.
This event is considered to be one of the most renowned swimming competitions in the world, and it's heavily covered by online betting sites. The winners are celebrated as the best performers in all of Europe and are often promising contenders in the next Olympic games.
Germany leads all countries in total medals with 434, but Russia has the most gold with 178.
FINA World Championships
FINA is the governing body tasked with organizing and overseeing international aquatic competitions, including the World Championships. Founded in 1973, this massive event is held on odd-numbered years, so it never interferes with the Summer Games. In non-Olympic years, this is the most prestigious swimming competition in the world.
Performances in the World Championships are often excellent indicators of who will medal in the following Olympics. You probably won't be surprised to know that Michael Phelps sits atop the "total medal count" leaderboard with 33, 26 of which are gold medals.
Duel in the Pool
In 2003, the Duel in the Pool was created for swimming's two most dominant nations - the United States and Australia. It's held in odd-numbered years and features all-star athletes from both continents competing in a range of events. However, as a result of Team USA emphatically sweeping the first three duels, their opposition was changed from Australia to all of Europe with the Aussies included.
While the matchups have been more tightly contested since making the change, the United States is still undefeated in what's been called "the Ryder Cup of swimming." The Duel in the Pool consistently attracts some of the top stars in the sport, competing across 28 events.
This is the perfect contest for swimming betting sites to cover in the future if the Duel happens again. The 2017 iteration was canceled due to sponsorship issues, and there's been no word on 2019 either.
The Greatest Competitive Swimmers of All Time
- Olympic medals: 23 gold medals, 3 silver medals, and 2 bronze medals
- Set 39 world records, which is a record in itself
- Broke the record for most gold medals won (8) in a single Olympic Games
- Holds the long course world record in the men's 100-meter butterfly, 200-meter butterfly, and 400-meter individual medley
- The most decorated Olympian of all time with 28 medals
- Won 82 medals in major international competitions (Olympics, World Championships, and Pan Pacific Championships): 65 gold, 14 silver, and 3 bronze
- 8-time World Swimmer of the Year Award winner
- Greatest swimmer of all time
- Olympic medals: 5 gold medals, 3 silver medals, and 1 bronze medal
- Won 34 medals in major international competitions (Olympics, World Championships, and Pan Pacific Championships): 25 gold, 7 silver, and 2 bronze
- Youngest-ever individual male World Champion
- 11 World Championship gold medals
- 4-time World Swimmer of the Year Award winner
- Olympic medals: 9 Gold medals, 1 silver medal, and 1 bronze medal
- Won 7 gold medals at the 1972 Summer Olympics
- 3-time World Swimmer of the Year Award winner
- Set 35 world records between 1968 - 1972
- 5 Pan American gold medals
- International Swimming Hall of Fame Inductee
- United States Olympic Hall of Fame Inductee
- Olympic medals: 5 gold medals, 1 silver medals, and 1 bronze medal
- International Swimming Hall of Fame inductee
- One of only three athletes to win the same swimming event in three consecutive Summer Olympics
- Held the world record in the 200-meter backstroke for nearly 17 years
- Only female swimmer to win five individual Olympic gold medals
- 3-time Female World Swimmer of the Year Award winner
- 7-time Hungarian Sportswoman of the Year Award winner
- Olympic medals: 5 Gold medals
- The first man to swim the 100-meter freestyle in under one minute
- The first man to swim the 440-yard freestyle in under five minutes
- Never lost a race and retired with an unbeaten amateur record
- Named the greatest swimmer of the first half of the 20th century by the Associated Press
- Won 52 U.S. National Championships
- Set 67 world records.
- Olympic medals: 6 Gold medals
- The first woman to win six gold medals at a single Olympic Games
- 7 World Championship gold medals
- 9 European Championship gold medals
- Set a world record in the 200-meter freestyle in 1984
- Olympic medals: 8 gold medals, 2 silver medals, 1 bronze medals
- Former world record-holder in five events
- Won 40 medals in major international competitions (Olympics, World Championships, and Pan Pacific Championships): 27 gold, 7 silver, and 6 bronze
- International Swimming Hall of Fame inductee
- United States Olympic Hall of Fame inductee
- Set 3 individual world records in the 50-meter freestyle
- Set 4 individual world records in the 100-meter freestyle
- Olympic medals: 5 gold medals, 3 silver medals, and 3 bronze medals
- Won 90 medals in major international competitions (Olympics, World Championships, Pan American and Pan Pacific Championships): 54 gold, 22 silver, and 14 bronze
- Holds the world record in the 4x200-meter freestyle
- Holds the world record in the 4x100-meter freestyle mixed relay
- Holds the world record in the 200-meter individual medley
- Holds the world record in the 400-meter individual medley
- Won 39 World Championship titles
- The second-most decorated swimmer in Olympic history
- Olympic medals: 4 Gold medals, 5 silver medals
- Considered the greatest sprint swimmer in history
- Held the world record in the 50-meter freestyle for 8 years
- Held the world record in the 100-meter freestyle for 6 years
- The only male in Olympics history to defend both the 50-and-100-meter titles
- Olympic medals: 3 Gold medals, 3 silver medals, 1 bronze medals
- Considered one of the greatest distance swimmers in history
- Won 39 medals in major international competitions (Olympics, World Championships, and Pan Pacific Championships): 22 gold, 13 silver, and 4 bronze
- 2005 Swimmer of the Year Award winner
- Set world records in the 200-meter, 800-meter, and 1500-meter freestyles
- Sport Australia Hall of Fame inductee
- International Swimming Hall of Fame inductee
Tips for Betting on Swimming
Handicapping swimming races is still an undeveloped artform. It hasn't received nearly the same attention as more prominent sports-from the analytics geniuses especially-so there aren't any tried-and-true betting systems we can rely on yet. However, based on what we know about wagering and what's been observed in several sports science journals, we're confident that the following tips will positively improve your accuracy when predicting the results of races.
Don't Overly Focus on Names
The truth is, the majority of the betting public only watches swimming during the Summer Olympics. Because the games inspire a wave of interest in the sport and viewers want to participate in any way they can, the lines are inevitably altered by square money, most of which is wagered on the names people recognize.
As a result, these swimmers' betting lines are completely devoid of value. Athletes that aren't likely to medal, much less win gold, are suddenly priced like favorites.
Know Swimmers' Specialties
Before making your picks, take some time to analyze the events at which the competitors specialize. Olympic races range from the 50m freestyle, swimming's equivalent to the sprint, to the 1500m freestyle and even a 10km aquatic marathon. It would be nearly impossible for an athlete to excel at them all, as they require different skill sets and physical makeup.
Once you know a participant's best events, you can compare their specialty to the available swimming betting site markets. Identify when they'll be using their most significant strengths and decide if you like their chances in relation to their current price.
Stroke Matters More Than Distance
When handicapping a swimming event and trying to determine where an athlete's skills will best be utilized, remember that the stroke matters more than the distance of the race.
A study by the Scottish Institute of Sports Medicine and Sports Science found that, "swimmers are stroke specialists rather than distance specialists; with the present set of events in competitions, they should concentrate training and competing on a particular stroke rather than a particular distance."
Focus on Value
Before you look too closely at the lines, collect as much data as possible and try to visualize how a given race will play out. Consider as many factors and possibilities as you can. Then, set your own odds for each participant in which you're interested. What's the probability of each of them winning based on the information you've acquired?
After that, compare your figures with the numbers at the swimming betting sites. If a competitor's implied probability is lower than the likelihood of them winning, based on your calculations, that wager has value.
It's worth mentioning that swimming markets are still relatively unpopular and niche, so the odds are often set in such a way that taking the favorites is all but impossible. You're better off wagering on potential upsets since they're the only way to find decent value.
World Rankings Matter
The Department of Physiology at the Australian Institute of Sport did a study trying to determine the "relationship between world-ranking and Olympic performance of swimmers"
The researchers compared swimmers' world ranking times with their Olympic performances and found that while athletes overall were slightly slower during the Summer Games by 0.3%, medalists improved by 0.6%.
87% of Olympic medalists are ranked in the top ten in the world coming into the games. The study goes on to determine that "a top-10 ranked swimmer who can improve performance time by 0.6%, equivalent to 0.13 s in the men's 50-m freestyle, will substantially increase their chance of an Olympic medal (the difference between first and fourth place)."
Study the Races Leading up to the Olympics/Championship
While we can't know for sure which swimmers will improve their performances for the Olympic games, we can make an educated guess based on their times throughout the year prior. Pull all of the official race times for the twelve months leading up to the event.
The Department of Physiology at the Australian Institute of Sport stated, "to stay in contention for a medal, an Olympic swimmer should improve his or her performance by approximately 1% within a competition and by approximately 1% within the year leading up to the Olympics."
When studying a swimmer's times, look for the athletes that have been gradually improving leading up to the big event. Then, go to the swimming betting sites and wager accordingly.
Swimming Betting FAQ
Most of the available swimming betting lines are in the moneyline format. The bettor merely chooses which racer they expect to win the event at whichever odds are offered. During the Olympics, swimming betting sites may also set prop lines on the number of medals a swimmer will win, but there aren't too many markets beyond straight-up wagers for most competitions.
Yes, you may lawfully wager on swimming anywhere with legal online betting. It's also okay to use swimming betting sites if you are located in a region without specific rules prohibiting the use of online gaming.
Yes, an individual bettor may use offshore swimming betting sites without breaking any laws. While online gaming has only been legalized in a handful of states, there are very few laws restricting players. All of the relevant betting laws deal with site operators and banking institutions alone. You cannot be punished for accessing a foreign betting site.
Due to the lack of swimming markets at most online sportsbooks, finding value can be difficult. You must avoid athletes with public name recognition and find racers who have gradually been improving their times over the past twelve months. Focus on the stroke in which they specialize rather than the distance of their various events. If you put all of these tips together, you can find positive betting value.