Bored Brits Betting on the Weather
Last updated: March 27, 2020
Last updated: March 27, 2020
With no sports to wager, gamblers in the UK and around the globe are looking for something to risk their hard-earned money on. Some online sportsbooks have resorted to offering wagers based on the weather at odds of +500/1 for the chance of rain tomorrow. Sounds like a comedy? With sports action at a standstill, bookmakers will take a bet on just about anything to stay afloat. Novelty bets on politics, TV shows, award ceremonies as well as weather predictions fill the void vacated by mainstream options.
The weather has always been a major influencing factor in sports betting. Football, Horse Racing, Grand Prix, Tennis, and the odds on the outcome of a great many sporting events are heavily influenced by weather conditions. Given its unpredictable nature, waging a bet on a sporting fixture when extreme weather is anticipated has always been popular. Unexpected results frequently arise when conditions are far from ideal, leading to greater possibilities for rank outsiders to win the day. Savvy punters who know what to look for can earth terrific value bets in these situations.
Fast forward COVID-19 Lockdown 2020. With the majority of high street bookmakers closed and sports events postponed, bored punters from Britain, the US, and across the globe are seeking new opportunities online. Many are now staking their cash on the weather itself, a novelty bet unaffected by the virus. Big brand sportsbooks have a history of offering odds on the weather. A fans favourite is the traditional wager on a white Christmas. In early December 2019, William Hill offered odds of 6/1, with Bet365 slightly better at 11/2, for snow in London on Xmas day. Far better opportunities are available today as betting odds makers attempt to generate new business through the expansion of betting lines on weather forecasting.
So, what type of bets are currently being offered? Weather betting as with other novelty markets is a specialist area, typically listed under specials. Online sportsbooks can offer odds on a range of weather predictions, one of the most common being the temperature market. This option gives lines on the average temperature in a particular location over a month. Predicting temperature range is another good option with higher and lower bets possible. Given the typically erratic nature of the British weather, many lines are seasonal in the UK. This makes bets such as average rainfall, top temperature in British summertime, and the lowest temperature in the winter a popular choice.
If you are a keen follower of the weather, and many Brits are, favourable odds can be found in the erratic and difficult to predict British weather. Better odds are available with extreme bets such as 'guestimating’ the hottest day of the year, or if the Thames will freeze over at Christmas. The type of Weather Bets offered will vary depending on location. Under/Over temperature predictions are widely available across the pond in places like Canada and the United States where the climate is a bit more predictable. Bovada, a south American sportsbook, are currently taking these types of bets on weatherman forecasts in the US.
But it’s not just specials on the weather that have seen an upsurge since lockdown. Sportsbooks worldwide are down as much as 95% on profits this month and Bookmakers are seeking every opportunity to plug the gap. This has given rise to many so-called 'silly bets' becoming commonplace. Fancy a wager on Jeremy Corbyn to be the next James Bond? Ladbrokes are currently offering 500/1 on that. Think the world is coming to an end? William Hills odds of 25000/1 on extinction through famine is starting to look like a bargain. Hurry, we get the feeling those odds could be slashed by the end of the week. Some members of the gambling community are even betting on Marble Racing. It sounds too fake to be true, but NO JOKE! This is a real thing.
We would generally recommend you don't put your money on these types of unrealistic eventualities, but in these uncertain times, it’s fair to say anything is possible. When it comes to value for money, the current situation gives hungry punters the chance to level up on their loss of earnings and a means to stave off boredom. Bets on the weather as well as other unusual wagers is a market where prices can fluctuate up to 100% between rival bookmakers. So, it’s definitely worth shopping around before filling out a betting slip to get the best prices.