How to Bet on League of Legends
There are two main ways to bet on League of Legends contests. The first is what we call real money esports betting, and that’s what’s offered by the sites we recommend. It’s very similar to traditional sports betting in many ways, as it’s all about placing wagers on various outcomes of matches. A lot of the outcomes are obviously different than those in traditional sports, though.
The other form of LoL betting is fantasy betting. This can involve real money too, but it works very differently. Instead of betting directly on the outcome of matches, you have to build “fantasy teams” that earn you points based on how players perform in matches. We explain more in the article listed below.
Fantasy Esports Betting*
We’re going to focus on real money betting here. This is the most popular form of LoL betting and the one that offers the best opportunities for making money.
A popular LoL wager is on the overall winner of a league or tournament. This is a very straightforward wager and one you should definitely understand. All you have to do is pick the team that you think will win an upcoming competition, then decide how much to stake.
Each team participating in a competition will be assigned odds by a betting site. These odds are based on each team’s chances of winning, and they determine how much you can win if you pick the right team. Here’s an example from one of our recommended betting sites.
To place a wager here, you’d just have to click on the team you wanted to back and then enter your chosen stake. The stake money would be deducted from your online account, and any winnings would then be credited to the account when the competition is over.
The lower the odds, the more likely a team is to win. FaZe have the lowest odds here, so they’re considered the favorites. A $10 wager on them to win would return $40.00 (including stake), if successful. The teams with higher odds are considered less likely to win, so the potential payouts are greater. A $10 wager on Heroic, for example, would return $170 if successful.
The sites we recommend also offer betting markets for individual matches. There’s usually a selection of wagers available for each match, as you can see from the following screenshot.
The four wagers shown here are the most widely available for League of Legends matches. They’re also the ones we recommend focusing on. They’re all straightforward, and they’re among the easiest wagers to get right. Let’s take a look at how they work.
This is a simple wager on which team will win the match. In the screenshot shown above, you’ll see that the two teams in this match are SK Telecom T1 and Jin Air Green Wings. SK Telecom has the lowest odds, so they’re the favorites. They’re actually VERY big favorites here, as the odds of 1.20 are extremely low. A $10 wager at 1.20 would return just $12 if successful.
This wager works a little differently. We’re technically still betting on which team will win the match, but with a twist. The team’s scores are adjusted at the end of the match based on a handicap, and we have to decide which team will win AFTER the handicap is applied.
In the match shown above, the handicap is 1.5 maps. The favorite is DEDUCTED 1.5 maps at the end of the match (hence the “-“ symbol under their name) and the underdog is AWARDED 1.5 maps (hence the “+” symbol).
Let’s say we decided to back the favorites here with the -1.5 handicap. If they won the match by two maps to zero, we’d get a payout. This is because they’ve still won even with 1.5 maps deducted. If they won by two maps to one, however, we wouldn’t get a payout. With the deduction of 1.5 maps, they’ve effectively lost the match.
Please note the handicap has no impact on the ACTUAL result of the game. The deductions are purely for the purposes of betting.
We explain esports handicap betting in more detail in the following article.
This wager is based on how many maps are played in the match. Because it’s a best of three match, the, first team to win two maps is declared the winner. If a team wins the first two maps, then there’s no need for a third map to be played. The total number of maps can, therefore, be either two or three.
If we think that three maps will be played, we bet on over 2.5. If we think that two maps will be played, we bet on under 2.5. That’s all there is to it!
Please note that some matches are played in a best of five format. There can be three, four or five maps played in these matches, so the betting options for total maps are slightly different.
Here we have to predict the exact final score of the match. This is a little more challenging than just picking the winner, but it’s not like a sport such as soccer where ANY score is possible. There are only four possible options, as either team can win 2-0 or 2-1. There are obviously more options in best of five maps.
Most of our recommended betting sites offer A LOT more wagers than the four we’ve discussed here. Examples include wagers on the total number of kills by each team, the total number of towers destroyed by a team and the team to draw first blood.
These other wagers are typically a lot harder to get right, as they’re based on much more precise outcomes. It’s tough to make money from them consistently, so they’re not worth spending much time on. In our opinion, they’re just for a bit of fun.
Now that you know the basics of how to bet on League of Legends, let’s take a look at how to improve your chances of winning some money.