A guide to Volleyball Betting Strategies

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Even though it is one of the most popular sports in The Netherlands, volleyball does not have a mainstream global fan base like football or boxing. In addition, most people are not even aware that sports betting is available on volleyball. However, all this is changing slowly but surely as a small but fast growing group of volleyball fans are betting on domestic leagues out of countries as diverse as Germany, Poland, the Philippines, Finland and Russia.

This detailed guide will look at the different volleyball betting strategies, the major volleyball competitions, how the game is played and finally we’ll look at the different volleyball bets on offer and betting strategies that will give you an edge.

Volleyball Basics

James Naismith invented the game of basketball at Springfield College in Massachusetts in the late 1891 and William G. Morgan invented volleyball at the same college in 1895. Morgan saw how popular basketball had become and decided to invent a new game that would be less tiring for older people. He initially called the game ‘Mintonette’ but soon changed it to ‘Volleyball’ based on the nature of play.

Today, volleyball is played all around the world and apart from in The Netherlands, it is also very popular in countries like China, the United States, Russia and Eastern Europe.

The game of volleyball sees two teams separated by a net battle it out and try to outscore the other by grounding the ball within the opposing team’s court. Today, there are a number of different versions of volleyball. The two main variants are indoor volleyball which is played on a hard surface and beach volley or beach volleyball.

Beach Volleyball vs. Indoor Volleyball

beach volley

There are Olympic events for both beach and indoor volleyball. Both these variants are team games and the objective remains the same for both variants but the rest of the rules are quite different.

A team is made up of six players in indoor volleyball whereas a beach volleyball team has just two players. Indoor courts are a tad bigger and take up 18m x 9m whereas beach volleyball courts occupy 16m x 8m. The beach volleyball is a bit lighter and bigger when compared to the standard leather volleyball that is used in indoor volleyball games.

The scoring system is also different between the two variants. Beach volleyball is played over three sets and 21 points is needed to win a set. The team who wins two out of the three sets wins the game. If teams are tied at 1-1, the game goes into the third set. Indoor volleyball has a total of 5 sets each game and 25 points is needed to win in the first four sets. If a fifth set is required, only 15 points is needed to win the set and game. In both beach volley and indoor volleyball, a set is won only when a team has a 2 point difference over the other.

Main Volleyball Competitions


The Summer Olympics is by far the biggest and most recognised volleyball competition in the world. It is held once in every four years and both men and women compete in indoor and beach volleyball.

The Olympics has featured indoor volleyball since 1964. The men’s game has been dominated by Russia and the United States with a successful period for the Dutch men’s team in the nine-ties. A silver medal in 1992 and gold in 1996 under guidance of Joop Alberda put the team firmly on the map, but sadly they could not maintain their form. The women’s game has been dominated by Cuba and China for many years, with Brazil recently displaying their skill winning gold in 2008 and 2012. In 2018 the women’s team of the Netherlands reached the 4th place in host country Brazil – their best achievement in the Olympics to date.

The Olympics welcomed beach volleyball in 1996 in Atlanta and since then beach volley has become one of the most popular Olympic events. The United States and Brazil have dominated in both the men’s and women’s divisions, winning 9 out of the 12 gold medals as of the 2016 Olympics. In that last edition, Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen – 2013 Beach volley-ball World Champions – won the bronze medal for The Netherlands.

Apart from the Olympics, there are a number of internationally recognised volleyball events that take place all over the world. These tournaments are organised by The Federation Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) and the two most popular tournaments are the World Championships and World Cup. The World Championships take place once in four years (not during an Olympic year) and has 24 teams battle it out. The World Cup involves just 12 teams and also takes place once in four years with the last one taking place in 2019. These world volleyball events continue with the only remaining year (out of every four years) hosting the World Grand Champions Cup which has only the top 6 teams taking part. The major volleyball confederations also organise continental events twice every year.

Most of the top volleyball playing countries have strong domestic leagues which feed into bigger continental tournaments and even world tournaments. Some of these include the European Champions League, South American Volleyball Club Championship and African and Asian Club Championships.

The Club World Championships take place for both men and women, and see a total of 8 teams compete. These 8 teams comprise of the winning teams from the different continental competitions along with a wild card entry, a nominated team from the United States and a team from the host city. Italy won the first 8 events in the men’s division but their dominance came to an end after Team Sada Cruzeiro from Brazil and a couple of Russian teams kept winning. An Italian team called Trentino took the first place in 2018, winning their 5th title.

The women’s division has been a lot more competitive and no team has been able to successful-ly defend their title until 2016 when Team Eczacibasi Vitra managed that feat. Between 2010 and 2018, Turkish teams have played really well and have won 6 out of the 9 titles during this period. Brazil and Italy have also done well for themselves along with Team Rabita Baku from Azerbaijan. No Dutch teams have been able to reach the final four.

Beach volleyball does not have as many championships as indoor volleyball. Both men and women beach volley teams have only 3 international events which are the Olympics, World Tour which takes place each year and the World Championships.

Volleyball Betting Markets

volleyball odds

Betting odds on volleyball games are usually available across all international and domestic competitions taking place around the world. The match outright result is the most popular bet. However, there are many other different volleyball bets including niche bets on different match-es. We will look at these volleyball betting markets including the popular sets handicap bet.

Match Result

This is the most popular and easiest bet which predicts who wins the match. Bettors like putting their money on an outright result as unlike football there is no provision for a draw. To get the best odds on a match result outright bet, punters tend to compile their betting choices into multi-ples. They use doubles, triples and accumulator bets to make this happen.

Sets Handicap

The sets handicap is the second most popular bet on volleyball matches. Here you can bet on how many sets each team will win. The best odds are given on a team to win three sets (4-1 or 3-0) but there is also the option to bet on a team to win by two sets (3-1). These options are differ-ent ways to boost your betting odds instead of just betting directly on the match result. Bettors choose to add different selections to their multiples to boost their potential winnings.

Total Number of Sets

If you do not want to bet on the outright result as you are not certain of the result, then you can also bet on the total number of sets that will be played. If you think it will be a tough match, bet on 5 sets taking place. If you are confident that one team will dominate the other team, then bet on just 3 sets.

Total Number of Points

If you want to stay neutral while viewing the game, then you can choose to bet on the total points in a match. If you think the game is going to be one sided, bet on a low selection of points. If you think the game will be really competitive, choose a selection with a high number of points.

Competition Outrights

If you are looking to get a long lifespan from your bet, then your best choice is to bet on a team to win a competition like the Champions League or Olympics. If you choose to not bet on the tournament favourite, then this type of bet can generate really high odds.

You will find betting odds on all major beach volley and indoor volleyball tournaments taking place around the world. You can follow these tournaments and place bets on any game you want.

Volleyball Betting Tips

volleyball betting

If you are wondering what are the ideal volleyball bets for you, the answer is very simple. Any bet that has you winning is the ideal bet for you. We have put together a great list of betting tips that will help you generate a robust betting strategy. There is never a guarantee that you will win one hundred percent of the time but these volleyball betting strategies may give you better odds of winning.

Do your research

We cannot emphasise this enough as it is applicable not just to volleyball betting but all sports betting. Do detailed research on what you are going to bet on.

The main reason why players prefer betting on sporting events than casino games is because almost all sports is based on the outcome of an individual or a team, unlike casino games which is based purely on chance. The more you learn and understand about a certain individual or team, the more you will realise how they will behave against their opponents or in pressure situations.

A volleyball game can be impacted by a number of factors. A tough tournament schedule, a player carrying an injury or tensions between team members can impact a team’s results. It all depends on how things play out. A new member introduced into the team can turn out to be a positive or negative thing, depending on the team dynamic. For example, when Alison Cerutti teamed up with Emanuel Rego they ended up winning silver at the 2012 Olympics. Cerutti partnered with Bruno Oscar Schmidt at Rio 2016 and went on to win gold.

The best way to carry out quality research is to watch as many volleyball games as you can and read up on the latest news on a daily basis. When you immerse yourself in volleyball and keep track of events from around the world, you automatically increase your knowledge of the game and improve your odds of making an educated bet for future volleyball games.

Check Volleyball Statistics

If you are not able to spend time watching volleyball games regularly, you can still read up on the latest volleyball results from around the world. Take the time to look at the in-match stats of volleyball matches taking place around the world, as it will help you quickly discern the strengths and weaknesses of each team.

When you find a team which has a strong serve game playing a team which has a low service return rate, you can consider betting on the team with the strong service game, irrespective of their results in the last few months.

The internet has made it easy for you to follow volleyball games from around the world and gain valuable information on in-game stats. When you analyse volleyball stats, look for patterns as most punters will not be aware of these patterns. For example, when it comes to the beach volley in the men’s division at the Olympics, no team has succeeded in defending their gold. So as a bettor, even if the defending champions are favourites, you know the pattern.

When you study in-game stats and end up watching games, you will be able to spot unusual pat-terns and sometimes even anomalies. For example, a team that is on a roll will usually have low odds as they are expected to win based on their winning stats. However, you might have noticed a number of weaknesses that have not been exploited. In this case, you might consider backing the weaker team as they will have better odds.

In-Play Betting

Remember you can bet on live volleyball matches with the in-play betting feature. If you like watching a lot of live volleyball games, then you can place bets while the game is going on. This not only adds to the excitement but helps you place educated bets as you can recognise patterns as you watch the two teams play.

Sports fans that spend a lot of time watching their favourite sports will enjoy in-play betting. Mr Green offers a lot of volleyball in-play betting with most bets being on the outright result. How-ever, you will also find set handicap markets and next set winner markets especially on bigger volleyball events.

Don’t Discount the Underdog

When it comes to sports betting, the top teams tend to have short odds because they are usually the favourites to win. While the top teams tend to dominate their sport, it is a misconception that the top teams will always end up winning. Sportsbooks end up shortening the odds, especially when people quickly come to a foregone conclusion as to which is the winning team. By shortening the odds, sportsbooks look to limit their losses if the favourite team ends up winning.

A great example is during the 2013 Club World Championships. Trentino were the defending champs and were looking to win their 5th consecutive championship but things did not go as per plan for the betting favourites. They struggled throughout the tournament and were comprehensively beaten by Novosibirsk 3-1 in the semi-finals. Novosibirsk went on to lose the final to Sada.

When you have an outright betting favourite, it provides bettors who are willing to take a calculated bet with better odds. These bettors understand that they might lose individual bets more frequently but they make up for this in the long run by betting on teams which have long odds, rather than on betting favourites that have short odds.

Be Realistic

One of the best pieces of advice we can give you is throw out those rose tinted glasses. When you follow a particular team and turn into a massive fan, you can get blindsided and place emotional bets. If you want to be successful at volleyball betting, learn to bet objectively which means you just might have to bet against your favourite team on occasions!

Trust Your Gut Feeling

Our gut or intuition will give us signals that we need to pay attention to. More often than not it tends to be right.

When you spend time watching a lot of volleyball matches and study in-game stats, you are in a betting position to trust your instincts and make an educated bet.

As we said earlier, a team might be on a winning run but your intuition backed by your analysis tells you that they might end up losing the next game. Go with your gut instinct and see how it turns out.

Analysis First, Bet Later

While you certainly want to look at bets with long odds, don’t fall into the trap of betting blindly on these bets and hope you come out on the winning side. The best way is to analyse the game and make your prediction first before looking for the best odds.

If you end up letting the odds influence your betting decisions, then all of the study and in-game analysis that you carried out will be in vain. Remember, it is important to look for good betting odds but don’t let the odds sway your volleyball betting predictions based on knowledge.
Cut Your Losses
Whether you are betting at a sportsbook or casino, don’t ever chase your losses. Even if you end up losing 20 consecutive bets, it will not influence the outcome of the next bet.

Do not bet more than you can afford. While everyone wants to win and feel the high of winning, you need to ensure that you don’t feel low, if you come out on the losing side. This is one of the best advice we can give you on developing your volleyball betting strategy. Mr Green advises you to not increase the amount of your bets in an attempt to recover your losses.

Look at sports betting as a form of entertainment. Enjoy the thrill of betting on volleyball games and if you win – celebrate! However, you should not fall into debt, if you end up on the losing side.

Volleyball Betting Bonuses and Promotions

New and existing players at Mr Green can take advantage of the many sports bonuses on offer. The most popular one tends to be the free bet offer that is exclusively given to new players.

When new players at Mr Green make their first sports bet of £10, they will receive an additional sports bet of £10 which they can use to bet on any sports market including volleyball.

Existing customers of Mr Green are also given access to exclusive promotions and bonuses in a show of appreciation to regular bettors. Do not forget to check your e-mail on a regular basis as Mr Green keeps sending out promotional emails that offer special rewards for loyal sports bettors.