The Mr Green Guide to Volleyball Betting Strategies

Mr Green Sportsbook Ireland

Bet now!


Already have an account? Log in

It wouldn’t be a stretch to suggest that volleyball doesn’t rank among the world’s most popular sports. In Ireland, local leagues exist, but internationally Ireland does not play a significant role. Even more certain is that volleyball doesn’t tend to pop in our minds when thinking about sports betting. However, people are more engaged with Volleyball betting than you might think. Many volleyball and betting fans bet on the major competitions, such as International Beach Volley and the European Championship, but there are also many who like to get involved in the key domestic leagues like Finland, Germany, Philippines, Poland, and Russia.

Here, we’re going to explore the ins and outs of the sport, as well as the major competitions. Then we’ll look at the most popular bets and best strategies you can apply to your volleyball betting.

Volleyball 101

Volleyball was established in 1895 by William G. Morgan. A few short years earlier, another sport – basketball – was invented in Massachusetts by James Naismith. Morgan was impressed by the popularity of basketball and wanted to create a sport that didn’t require the same degree of effort so that older people could play. The original name he gave this new sport was Mintonette”. However, due to how the game was played, it was soon renamed “Volleyball”.

Volleyball is now popular throughout the world, particularly in the Netherlands, Italy, Brazil, the United States, China, Russia, and parts of Eastern Europe.

Volleyball is played between two teams, with each trying to score the highest number of points by grounding the ball on their opponent’s side of the court. There are numerous variations of the game that are played today, but there are two far more popular than the rest: beach volleyball (also called “beach volley”) and traditional indoor volleyball, which is usually played on a hard surface.

Beach Volleyball vs Indoor Volleyball

Beach Volleyball vs Indoor Volleyball

Both games are represented at the Olympics. They’re also both games played by two teams and with the same objective. Other than that, these two versions of volleyball are very different indeed.

There are two six-player teams in indoor volleyball, while teams playing beach volleyball are made up of only two players each. So it’s of little surprise that the courts in beach volleyball are far smaller – although only by a small amount – 16m x 8m, compared to the 18m x 9m courts used in indoor volleyball. The balls used in beach volleyball are also far lighter and slightly larger than the leather volleyballs used in indoor game.

There are also differences in scoring. There are three 21-point sets played in volleyball, with the first team that manages to win two sets essentially winning the match. If the game goes into a third set, that third set is played to 15 points. On the other hand, indoor volleyball is played to five sets and with 25 points required to win a set. If the game goes into a fifth set, it’s also played to 15 points, so it shares that particular characteristic with beach volleyball. A team must win a set by two clear points.

Major Volleyball Tournaments

Major Volleyball Tournaments

The biggest and most respected volleyball tournaments are held at the Olympic Games, with men’s and women’s teams taking part in both beach and indoor volleyball.

Indoor volleyball has been a regular feature at the Games since 1964. The men’s game has been dominated by the U.S., the Soviet Union, and Brazil, while Cuba and China have achieved the most success in the women’s game. Brazil has been making progress in the women’s game in recent years, having won consecutive gold medals in 2008 and 2012.

When it comes to beach volleyball, it didn’t become a part of the Olympics until 1996, although it has been a popular inclusion ever since. The U.S. and Brazil have both been dominant countries in both the men’s and women’s events, having won nine of the 12 golds on offer as of 2016.

The Olympics aside, there’s a huge number of global volleyball tournaments. The majority of these tournaments are organised by the Federation Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB). These tournaments include the World Championships, held every four years (between Olympic Games) and consists of 24 teams, and the World Cup, which is held every four years, with 12 teams battling it out to win the competition. That isn’t all for global events, with the one free year in every four-year period being the year of the World Grand Champions Cup, which, while a more exclusive event, features only six teams. The relative volleyball confederations also hold biannual continental competitions.

In addition, most countries have their own volleyball leagues, which are also represented in continental and world events. There’s the European Champions League for European teams and the Club Championships in Asia and Africa, along with the South American Volleyball Club Championship.

Eight teams take part in the Club World Championships in both the men’s and women’s games, which sees the teams that won their respective continental competitions take part, as well as the championship’s host team, a nominated North American team, and a wild card team. Italian teams dominated the men’s competition for years, including the first eight tournaments. Their run came to an end thanks to the play of Sada Cruzeiro from Brazil, along with a couple of teams from Russia. Italy did make a comeback, however, when Trentino won their fifth competition in 2018.

However, the women’s event has proven to be less protectable, with no team winning consecutive titles until Eczacibasi Vitra retained their title in 2016. Turkish teams have been especially successful in recent years, having won six titles in nine years. Unsurprisingly, the Italians and Brazilians are always in the mix and have both enjoyed success, as has Rabita Baku from Azerbaijan.

When it comes to beach volleyball tournaments, they take a far more streamlined approach, with three key global competitions for men and women: the annual World Tour, the World Championships, and the Olympics.

Major Volleyball Betting Markets

Major Volleyball Betting Markets

Almost all professional international and domestic competitions the world over have odds available to bet on. The match result bet is the most popular bet among those who enjoy the sport. However, there are many outright markets that are also available, as are numerous niche bets on individual matches, like the sets handicap bet. We’ll look at each of these bets below.

Match Result

The most popular and the easiest type of bet is where you predict the result of an individual match. Many sports bettors prefer volleyball over other team sports like football, because in volleyball, there are only ever two outcomes as there’s no such thing as a draw in a volleyball match. Many punters regularly compile their selections into multiples, with double bets, triple bets, and accumulator bets all popular ways of increasing potential profits.

Sets Handicap

Another highly popular volleyball bet placed on individual matches revolves around the sets handicap. This means that you can predict that one of the two teams wins a minimum number of sets. You’ll get the best odds by betting on a team to win by three sets. This is another smart way to achieve more potential profits than can be typically achieved in a standard bet on the result – although, again, many punters like to include their predictions in multipliers.

Total Sets

If you want to place a bet on a match, but don’t feel confident enough in one of the two teams to bet on them winning, or you simply want to watch the match without caring who wins, you can bet on the number of sets you think will be played. If you’re expecting a close match, then you could bet on five sets. If you think any of the two sides could dominate the other, bet on three.

Total Points

Another way of allowing yourself to stay neutral while adding some excitement to a match is to bet on the total number of points. Like with total sets, if you think the match will be a close and defenceled contest, bet on it being a low-scoring affair. Bet on a high number of points if you think one team will run away with it.

Outright Competition Bets

To get the most out of your bet, you may opt to bet on one team to win a particular competition, such as the Champions League or the Olympics. Clearly, this has the potential to lead to longer odds, and more profits for you, as long as you aren’t betting on the team with the shortest odds.

The odds are available on each major beach volleyball and indoor volleyball competition the world over, making any of these tournaments a more exciting one to watch and follow.

Volleyball betting strategy

Volleyball betting strategy

There are numerous ways to bet on volleyball. Of course, the best ones are those that reap profits. So, to help you establish a betting strategy that works for you, we’ve put together a number of tips and tactics to help increase the chances of you being successful. No one rule exists that would see you profit all of the time, but by implementing the following tips, you can at least optimise your chances of winning.

Do your homework

The No. 1 thing to do before betting on volleyball – and this applies to all sports – is to do put in some research time into what you’re betting on.

The main benefit of sports betting, as opposed to playing casino games, is that almost all of the time, the outcome is determined by people and not chance. Therefore, the more research you do on a team or players, the more information you’ll have on them when it comes to how they perform against certain opponents or how they react to specific circumstances.

There are numerous factors that can come into play when it comes to the result of a volleyball match or tournament. A new partnership, for example, can experience growing pains, while an injury or harsh schedule can impact a team’s chances of winning. On the other hand, a new partnership could also dramatically improve a team’s overall performance, such as in the 2016 Olympic Games when Alison Cerutti won a gold medal with his new partner Bruno Oscar Schmidt.

So how do you do your homework before placing your bet? Well, firstly, watching as much volleyball as you can and increasing your knowledge of the sport will give you a great advantage. If you can’t watch the games, make sure you’re at least following the results. By immersing yourself in volleyball and by closely following the tournaments, you’ll give yourself a better chance to make an informed decision on the results of future events.

Get familiar with volleyball statistics

If you haven’t yet had the chance to watch much volleyball, just monitoring recent results will help you gain an understanding of any patterns that might be emerging. Checking in-match statistics can help you understand a team’s strengths and weaknesses. For instance, if one team is typically strong with their serve and their opponent is poor at returning, you may feel that the team with the strong serve will dominate the match – regardless of relative results.

We live in the information age, so finding out what you need to should be simple and straightforward. When you’re looking for statistics and other information on volleyball, try to spot any underlining patterns that may not have been picked up by others. For example, in the men’s game in beach volleyball, there’s never been a pairing to successfully defend their Olympic gold medal – so while the current winner might be favourite before the event, their odds may be too short when you take this fact into account.

Conversely, if you watch matches in addition to studying the stats, you may find other interesting patterns, and maybe even the odd anomaly. If a team has enjoyed some great form based on the stats, the likelihood is that their odds will be short. However, if you’ve seen the team play and have noticed some weaknesses that their opposition may be in a position to exploit, or if there has been some luck involved, it may be worth betting on their opponent and taking the better odds.

Give live betting a try

Another option is to try betting on volleyball while the match is taking place. So if you watch the game on a regular basis, you could place bets while the action takes place. This can be a good way of increasing the excitement, but it also provides the benefit of helping you recognise traits in the game as they happen.

Live markets are an especially nice option for fans with in-depth knowledge of the game and can identify trends and see how things might turn out. Mr Green offers live volleyball betting, mostly on the result of the match, although we sometimes offer additional markets on the bigger events, such as next set winner and handicap markets.

Don’t always bank on the favourite

A common way of approaching sports odds is that the teams that are most well-known are assigned odds far shorter than they should be. While a small number of teams tend to win most of the time, it isn’t the case that people believe they will win all the time. When people believe that a team is certain to win a particular match, however, bookmakers shorten the odds to limit their losses in the event of that team winning.

A good example of this occurring took place in 2013 when it was expected that Trentino would win their fifth Club World Championship in a row – with the betting markets making the huge favourites. However, things didn’t pan out that way, as Trentino stuttered throughout the tournament and were defeated 3-1 by Novosibirsk at the semi-final stage.

However, this creates opportunities for other bettors who are comfortable betting on those teams with longer odds. While they realise they’ll lose more often, they’re happy to take the better long-term value than the bigger teams’ shorter odds.

Leave your emotions at the door

To make a similar point to the last, you should remain cautious when it comes to backing your favourite team. While following a particular team is a good way of learning about their strengths and weaknesses, rooting for them can influence your thought process when it comes to placing your bets, causing you to make irrational decisions. Any team can win on the day, of course, but you should look at each individual match analytically and leave emotions out of it.

Go with your gut

We all have instincts. Sometimes they’re right, and sometimes they aren’t.

By preparing yourself through increasing your knowledge of the game, accompanied by statistics and memories of recent matches, your instincts on what makes a good bet will grow, and you’ll have a better and more natural feel when it comes to making your selection.

Like we’ve already mentioned, if there’s a team that’s been getting some great results, yet you haven’t been convinced of their performances while watching them, trust your gut and avoid betting on them based on their win-loss record alone.

Predict before you bet

While you should always seek value before you place your bet, you should avoid making your selections based purely on the available odds and the hope that they will be right. When it’s possible to do so, start with making your predictions, and then look for the best odds on offer based on what your knowledge and instincts tell you will happen.

Being influenced by the odds first will negate all the research work you’ve done, along with the volley-ball knowledge you’ve gained. That doesn’t mean to say that you shouldn’t look for overpricing and good value – just be prepared to back those odds with logic and reason.

Avoid chasing your losses

If there’s one thing you should take away from this guide, let it be this: whether in casinos or sports betting, don’t ever chase your losses. Even on a bad run of 10 lost bets in a row, the next bet is unrelated.

You don’t ever want to bet an amount more than you can comfortably lose. Of course, each of us wants to win, but you don’t want to be in a position where you’re suffering from financial difficulties because you bet more than you should have done. This is the No. 1 betting strategy there is. In the same vein, don’t attempt to win back previous losses by increasing the amount you’re betting with. This can lead to significant losses and is a strategy that Mr Green would never endorse.

Never forget that sports betting is entertainment. Enjoy betting on the latest matches and, certainly, enjoy the wins. Just don’t ever put yourself in a position where you can’t put food on the table should your bet lose.

Increase the value of your volleyball betting

All fans of sports betting tend to love getting the most value for their money. While this can simply mean getting the best odds available.

Volleyball betting promotions and bonuses

Mr Green offers lots of special offers to both new customers and existing ones, with our free bet for new customers being among our more popular offers.

If you’re among our existing customers, don’t worry. We like to treat our loyal customers well, too. We always have exciting offers on our website’s promotions page, so you’ll never be short of excellent value when placing your bet. Also, ensure to check your inbox as you’ll often see emails from Mr Green offering exclusive rewards.