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The Olympics every four years constitute only a fraction of the sports betting that goes on in athletics. During the world’s biggest multi-sport event athletics betting takes off but there is still some activity during non-Olympic years such as continental championships, marathons and the annual Diamond League.

Some of the best athletics betting sites are listed below. Here we also explain what disciplines you can bet on, major events and others.

Best Betting Sites in Athletics

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How We Choose the Best Betting Sites for Athletics

Athletics betting was not always so popular as it is today. There used to be few online bookmakers that offered odds on athletics and even fewer specialized in offering bets on this kind of sports.

However, currently thanks to the Diamond League’s success in raising the game’s global awareness, there are increasing numbers of internet bookmakers catering for fans who enjoy watching and placing bets on athletics.

Rather than doing the research and comparing bookmakers athletics betting markets, we have done all the work on your behalf. The recommended betting sites on this page are our seal of approval as they have ticked all the boxes for us and we are confident that they will for you too.

Here are just a few things that we consider important when we want to judge athletics betting sites.

Runner in starting blocks

Trust and Reputation

We suggest only the best sportsbooks for you. Any of the sites are reputable and you won’t experience any problems with payment. Moreover, these bookmakers have enhanced their security measures to save your personal information and funds.

Competitions Covered

It is not something we can ever recommend a site that only provides betting odds for athletics during the Olympic Games which last for four years. We are talking about Diamond League and other numerous competitions happening between Olympics? The very best athletics bookies in the industry cover all the leading competitions taking place within the sports’ calendar.

Free Bets and Bonuses

When you bet on athletic activity online, one of the main advantages is that you are able to obtain a generous welcome bonus. Creating an account will get you a free bet at most sport betting sites. It can also mean that some will top up your balance by giving it an injection equal to a certain percentage of your initial deposit.

Which Athletics Disciplines Can You Bet On?

When people hear the word “athletics”, most of them automatically picture track and field events. This is not always true, though. World Athletics is responsible for athletics in six areas: trail running, cross country running, mountain running, race walking, road running and track and field events in that order.

Track and Field

Within a stadium, track and field events occur with an athletic arena and a lawn area used for races, leaps, and pitches. Every Olympic Games comprise 44 different track and field events.

Track events can be grouped into sprints, distance running and hurdling. In the field however, jumping events such as long jump and pole vault are always a hit while throwing ones like discus and hammer keep fans on their toes.

Road Running

Road running events cover a range of different distances; these are 5K runs, 10K runs, half marathons and marathons that the World Athletics recognises . Instead of going around the track, athletes can show how fast they are by running between five kilometers and forty two point two kilometers on the road.

Eliud Kipchoge and Kenenisa Bekele are famous marathoners. For example, they often take the lead at the start of The London Marathon, New York Marathon etc.

Cross Country Running

Do not anticipate to see good roads and tracks for smooth running apart from cross country running. The races are tough, involving running on surfaces such as earth, grass and gravel. They usually have a combination of hills and plain grounds. The distance is normally between 4-12km

Each person is assessed based on the time they take to cross the finish line, while teams are evaluated using a point system.

Race Walking

Certainly it is not the most exciting bet event that you can several athletics betting sites but, race walking is a real stamina test. In this long distance discipline, one foot of the participant must always be on the ground.

Road races of 20km and 50km are part of the Olympic Games. Think those races are long? Annually Paris-Colmar marathon requires athletes to cover a distance ranging between 450-500 km.

Mountain Running

Mountain running involves a combination of running, jogging and walking, depending on how steep the trail is, from 15-minute sprints to several hour treks. The course has lots of incline and decline sections to test runners.

Jonathan Wyatt, Marco De Gasperi and Isabelle Guillot are the living legends of mountain running with a total of 16 gold medals at the World Athletics Championships.

Trail Running

As of 2015, trail running has become a recognized discipline by World Athletics; this is because it is a blend of hiking and running. Normally, these activities take place in hot places where they receive special attention from the people living in the mountain states, California’s sunlit parts and west US.

The distances range from 5 km to 161 km. Rest areas are at least after every five to ten kilometers so as to give the participants something like food and beverages that can help them regain their energy and continue with the race.

Female runners competing in a race

After discovering where to bet and which games it is possible to place a stake on, let us investigate the most widespread markets for athletics betting.

To Qualify

To earn the chance to compete in major athletics competitions athletes have to meet entry standards. Additionally, there would be a number of qualifying rounds held during the contests themselves thereby enabling only a few competitors to advance. The event’s favourite may not be worth betting for when it comes to qualification from an easy group, but the market for qualifiers provides some fascinating bets.

To Win the Event

Why not put your money on the person you think will win, since there should always be a winner? With athletes needing to qualify for the final competition, betting odds for athletics are usually better before qualifying rounds begin. For instance, backing Christian Coleman in the men’s 100m race would have given you a better return if you had done so before he qualified for the finals than after. If it is easy for him to qualify his odds could shorten far too much that a bet would be pointless.

To Win a Medal

Besides that, you can also bet on athletes who will win medals of the countries and this type of gambling is identical to betting on which driver will be placed as one of the first three in formula 1 race. You do not mind if your athlete wins or loses in a match but what matters is whether he/she finishes in top three. If it is obvious who will win a certain event, make sure you gamble on who could come second or third.

To Set a World Record

On the other hand, some bookmakers online would give you odds and predictions on a world record for an event. This is based on someone that was involved in the Olympics of 2012 when more wagers were placed at 7-1 with regards to much Kenya’s David Rudisha breaking men’s 800m world record as he clinched victory. Even though there were so many exceptional performances throughout this event, Rudisha run from start to finish and took off one-tenth seconds from his own time which was better.

After that, here are some of the most sought records:

Event Performance Athlete Representing Date Meeting
100m 9.58 seconds Usain Bolt Jamaica 16 August 2009 World Championships
200m 19.19 seconds Usain Bolt Jamaica 20 August 2009 World Championships
400m 43.03 seconds Wayde van Niekerk South Africa 14 August 2016 Olympic Games
800m 1 min 40.91 sec David Rudisha Kenya 9 August 2012 Olympic Games
Long Jump 8.95 metres Mike Powell USA 30 August 1991 World Championships
Triple Jump 18.29 metres Jonathan Edwards Great Britain 7 August 1995 World Championships

Bet on Major Athletics Competitions

It is true without doubt that the quadrennial Olympic Games is the peak of world sport, but there are also some competitive annual and biennial championships that attract top athletes from all over the globe.

Let’s take a gander at some of the most respected sports competitions you can wager on and in the process, watch record-breaking performances from the world’s best athletes.

Olympic Games

Attracting the world’s best athletes from over 200 countries, the Olympic Games is organized once every four years. This sporting event can be traced back to 776 BC; in those days, running and long jump were competitions held in Elis, a Greek city-state. Since 1896, both summer and winter games have been held in odd-numbered years that alternate.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, that has seen Tokyo 2020 moved to 2021, athletic betting sites are already looking at what lies ahead. Athletes such as Usain Bolt may have retired but sprinters like Akani Simbine and Christian Coleman will be aiming at running in a time close to his 100m world record of 9.58 seconds. (79 words)

World Athletics Championships

The World Athletics Championships is an event that was established in 1983 to take place every four years. This changed in 1991 to every two years and the next one will be held in Eugene, Oregon State, United States of America on 2022.

Until now, the United States has been the dominant force in the competition with 381 medals. This is twice as many as Kenya and Russia managed to collect together since their inclusion into the world ranking table (143 +151 =294). The US is in a good place for more medals during these championships.

Diamond League

The Diamond League, which replaced IAAF Golden League, is a series of one-day meetings held every year since 2010. The organization or federation was established in Europe and its goal was to improve the popularity of athletics across the world, thus extending outside the boundaries of European continent where it had been focused for twelve years before.

The Diamond league has its pecking order. As far as prestige is concerned, the Oslo and Zurich meetings are difficult to ignore. In Oslo, runners competing in middle or long distance races have a liking for Bislett Games that features Dream Mile; while Weltklasse in Zurich holds true to its world-class name.

Olympic five ring symbol outside of Japan Olympic Museum in downtown Tokyo

Win More With Our Athletics Betting Tips

Athletics wagering might not be as well-liked as gambling on soccer or tennis but if you get to know the game and athletes, it is possible to always make some money. Here are three tips that will help you make money out of betting on your favourite athletes.

Only Bet on Major Competitions

Unequal were not all athletics events created can be said. Without being told, it is obvious that the Olympic Games and World Athletics Championships are prestigious competitions that deserve athletes’ complete attention. Some of these top level competitors would withdraw from a small meet if they had sustained a minor injury but there’s hardly any chance of such happening when gold is at stake in one of the major competitions.

Consider External Conditions

Before placing a bet on athletics, you should consider the weather. Soaring temperatures can affect performance of many athletes in the field if they are not used to such hot conditions. Similarly, athletes who are acclimated to sunny days might find it challenging to compete under heavy rain. Always check for the weather before betting especially for track and field events.

Bet on Form, Not Reputation

Are you blindly betting by supporting the most famous name in the industry? Not even the best athletes of all time always win. Check out their forms on websites like and find a database that contains all athletes and current world rankings. Similarly, check recent results of other contestants in the event. Maybe you can find a value bet and back an outsider to win instead.

Bet on the Latest Athletics Events

Top rated bookies have competitive odds on all events, from marathons and Diamond League to World Athletics Championships and Olympic Games. Sign up with our best website to bet for your favourite athletes.

Athletics Betting FAQs

Can you bet on athletics?

Yes! The best athletics betting sites offer odds on major events like the Olympic Games and European Athletics Championships, as well as one-day meeting circuits like the Diamond League. You can bet on everything from running and throwing events to decathlons and heptathlons, and much more.

Is live betting available for all athletics events?

No, unfortunately not. Online bookmakers do not provide live betting markets for events like the 100m, 200m and 400m sprint races. The reason for this is simple – these races are usually over in 10-45 seconds. Therefore, there isn’t enough time for betting sites to change the odds and accept in-play bets.

Can athletes bet on or against themselves?

No. Competition rules published by governing bodies explicitly state that it is illegal for an athlete to bet on their own event, or on any other competition within the sport of athletics. Athletes are encouraged to report approaches to manipulate a competition to ensure fair competition for everyone involved.

Is it profitable to bet on athletics?

It certainly can be, but don’t expect to win a fortune from betting on athletics. Online bookmakers generally offer lower betting limits on athletics events due to less liquidity than other sports. If you do try to bet a large amount, don’t be surprised if your bet slip is sent to a trader for a manual review.
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