If you’re an experienced sports gambler, you know that the less action an event receives, the better the chances are that you can “beat the books.” While bettors lose millions each year on the NFL, there’s another sport that’s growing bankrolls while lurking under the radar – table tennis.
You read that right. Your favorite childhood basement game could help you make real money if you take the time to learn the right strategies. In this article, I’ll get into a few tips you can take to your favorite online sportsbook to make money betting on the classic game of ping pong.
1 – Research Before Playing
I hate to be presumptuous, but I tend to think the majority of the American sports betting public is none too familiar with the world of professional table tennis. For most, the game is more of a hobby to be played when there’s little else to keep you occupied.
Most Olympic viewers who happen to catch a few table tennis matches are able to recognize that the majority of the top players in the world come from Asian countries. Although this is definitely true, there are a few standout players from other areas of the world as well.
If my prior assumption that your knowledge of table tennis players is limited (if you have any knowledge at all), the best place to start in your plan to win money is by learning the top players in the game. Keep in mind that, similar to tennis or golf, many of the big tournaments feature the same contestants. This is helpful in that you won’t be subjected to learning a never-ending list of hard-to-pronounce names.
With that being said, if you can simply get a general idea of a player’s capabilities, you can get by.
You might be thinking that you can just research players before you make a bet, but that won’t give you the full picture. Instead, get to know a few, follow along as they compete, and you’ll be a step ahead of most of the other bettors.
2 – Find the Right Book
Finding the right sportsbook is crucial for betting on anything, but in a sport that’s often overlooked, it’s even more important.
The public action on, for example, an NFL game will mean that the odds across most online betting sites will end up roughly the same. This can’t be said for table tennis, where action can vary greatly from site to site.
If you have a bet in mind, look around and see if you can find any sportsbooks that have more favorable odds for your play. You might be surprised that you can increase the value of your bet significantly just by finding a different platform to place your bet.
Another tip that is important to point out is that when betting on table tennis, it might not be the best idea to go with a site that specializes in the sport. This might seem counterintuitive, but hear me out.
If you’re betting on a site that takes a lot of table tennis bets, you know that the house is going to be on top of their odds, leaving few gaps to take advantage of. If, for example, you’re betting on a big online sportsbook that rarely sees action on table tennis, there’s a chance the site might overlook the odds and you can get more value for your money.
In any case, it’s always good to browse through a handful of sportsbooks and shop around to find the best odds you can.
3 – Learn the Events
When betting on golf, it seems logical to take the event into account when trying to predict how the players will perform. Although most would assume that the top players will compete at the top of their game regardless of the event.
In table tennis, the same concept also applies. Similar to other individual sports like regular tennis and the aforementioned golf, table tennis has its own set of big tournaments. These are the ones where top players tend to shine, and some of the lesser-known players struggle to compete.
If you want to put a few events down on your list as ones you should pay extra attention to, the African Championships, the Asian Championships, and the European Championships should be at the top of the list. Not only should you mark these on your calendar as future winning opportunities, but they’re a great place to start when compiling data on the top players in the sport.
Finally, another trend seen in table tennis that is similar to golf or tennis is that certain players tend to perform better in specific major tournaments.
4 – Know the Types of Bets
Obviously, you can bet on the winner of a match, but there are plenty of other bets you can utilize that might provide more value.
If you want to stay away from trying to predict the overall winner, or if you simply feel like there’s better value to be had utilizing a different type of bet, I’ll lay out a few to choose from.
It seems like no matter the sport, there are several over/under options to choose from in all facets of the game. Table tennis is no different!
You can bet on total number of points that will be scored in the game or the number of sets it will take before a winner is determined. It’s important to evaluate how even the matchup is to give yourself the best chance of hitting on these types of bets.
Futures bets are always difficult to win, but the attractive odds can make it feel worth the risk. In this case, the concept is pretty simple – you bet on who you think will win the tournament.
My recommendation here would be to choose one or two mid-level favorites (around the third-to-fifth best odds) and then take a flyer with a small bet on an underdog.
Live betting, or placing a wager while the action is taking place, is always a great way to capitalize on a comeback. What makes things a little more difficult when it comes to table tennis is that you have to actually be watching the game to make an educated play.
The good news is that you can find most big tournament matches somewhere online, so if you choose to live bet, find a reliable stream that can keep up with the sportsbook’s changing odds.
It might not be the sexiest sport to bet on, but table tennis has real value if you take the time to understand the game and its players. True sharps know that often times, the best bets are the ones that few people are taking.
Mind your bankroll, do your research, and bet for value. The money you make could have you looking away from NBA and NFL schedules, and researching the next big international table tennis tournament.