Not only in the post-Soviet space, but throughout Europe and Asia, one can hardly find many connoisseurs of such a peculiar kind of sport as lacrosse. Lacrosse is more popular in the USA and Canada, and Australians also play it. But not to say that in these countries the attitude to the discipline is very serious: even the American Major League of Lacrosse (MLL), where the best masters play, is considered a semi-professional competition. Nevertheless, some Russian bookmakers also offer bets on lacrosse. Here are the main things you need to know if you want to bet on this sport.
Lacrosse – Native American fun with an Olympic perspective
Lacrosse is an invention of the indigenous people of America, a historical heritage of the tribes. The active promotion of lacrosse in the United States, including among students, began in the middle of the 19th century. This is the only sport where the Iroquois national team is represented separately from the United States. For example, in 2018, the pioneers of lacrosse won bronze at the World Championship.
As for the world lacrosse championships, the first was held in 1967, and since 1986 the national teams play the tournament every four years.
The expansion of the World Cup to 46 teams in 2018 is one of the trump cards of the World Federation as it strives to bring lacrosse back into the Olympic program.
Yes, indeed, lacrosse was already an Olympic species back in 1904, but already in 1908 the Olympic history of lacrosse was interrupted due to the fact that there were not enough participants even to fill the podium: only Americans and Canadians came. Lacrosse matches were also played at the Games from 1928 to 1948, but only in demo mode. In 1948, the United States and Britain played their only match at Wembley, which ended in a 5-5 draw.
A little about the rules
Lacrosse is a team sport where two teams of ten players compete. For example, in terms of dynamics, it is much closer to a Russian fan, since in lacrosse the ball is in play for an overwhelming amount of time, like football or hockey, and unlike such Western types as American football or baseball.
The size of the field is slightly smaller than a football field – 100 by 55 meters. There are also the positions of the goalkeeper, defenders, midfielders and forwards, however, they handle a small rubber ball not with their feet or hands, but with special nets with a net at the end.
The teams spend most of the match in turns in a positional attack, trying to overcome the massive defense and score the ball into the goal using net passes, as well as individual actions. It is a contact sport, and strong attacking players have similar maneuvers to rugby or hockey, and strength moves are allowed on the defense. Therefore, lacrosse players enter the field wearing helmets and body armor.
In addition to the aforementioned Major League Lacrosse (MLL) and the World Cup, a significant event is the annual competition among students in the United States. Many large colleges have their own lacrosse programs, and winning the national championship in the top division of the NCAA is very prestigious.
Types of lacrosse bets
Baseline outcomes . In any team sport, bookmakers give an outcome line, and lacrosse is no exception. Usually these are two-way bets, taking into account overtime, on the victory of the first or second team, since the regulations, as a rule, do not provide for a draw in official matches. True, in some cases, bookmakers may offer a line for regular time as an addition to particularly high-profile events, with three-way quotes (odds for the victory of the first team, a draw and the victory of the second team).
Handicaps . It is not uncommon for big competitions to see handicap offers. Especially if the difference in the level of teams is large enough and the main outcomes are given in a truncated version. In close matches, it is possible to insure yourself with a handicap of 1-2 goals.
Outcomes of periods . As in ice hockey, a lacrosse match is 60 minutes long, but there are four periods (15 minutes each). You can bet on the outcome of each of them separately, with the possibility of a draw.
Totals . At the highest level, 20-30 goals are scored in lacrosse matches. In the Major League lacrosse in 2018 totals were 25-27 goals, in the student championship – closer to 20. At the world championships, due to the low level of most national teams, the spread may be greater – some barely score 7-8 goals, while others can be noted and fifteen. As in the case of the outcomes, you can also bet on totals within certain periods.
Long-term rates . Some bookmakers can give quotes on the outcomes of tournaments in general. True, at the same world championship there is not much choice. For 2018, the USA team won 11 times in 13 world championships and the Canadians twice won. A higher level of intrigue can be seen in the semi-pro MLL and the student NCAA First Division.
How to bet on lacrosse: unequal lineups and weather are important factors
Lacrosse is a team sport where teamwork and interaction is an integral part of winning strategy. That is why a player who wants to make money on bets on this sport needs to carefully monitor not only the form of the teams and past performances, but also the injuries of important players and changes in lineups.
The depth of the squad or the national team is very important. In lacrosse, nine substitutions can be made during a match, allowing deep teams to exert more intense pressure on an opponent’s defense throughout the match.
Also important is the statistics of deletions and the implementation of numerical advantages by teams. In this regard, here you can draw analogies with hockey, however, in a large variety of lacrosse, the system of penalties is more complex. In any case, a match between two overly aggressive teams is more likely to end with a high total, and the team played better in the majority will gain an advantage in a tough game.
In the mini-variation of lacrosse, matches are played on classic “boxes”, the rules are somewhat similar to those of hockey, and there is no weather factor. But in big lacrosse, matches are mostly held in open stadiums, and sometimes the elements can intervene in the confrontation. Therefore, before betting, especially in the case of a forecast for total, it is advisable to look at the weather forecast. In the rain on a natural surface, the game becomes more viscous, it is more difficult for athletes to create in attack and maneuver, which is why they score less points.
Which Russian bookmakers offer lacrosse lines?
Frankly speaking, lacrosse is far from the most popular game sport, not only in Russia, but even in its home country. What can we say about the offices of the post-Soviet space, if even many Western giants of the gaming industry refuse to accept bets on lacrosse.
The significant expansion of the geography of lacrosse over the past 10 years allows us to hope for the development of this sport, including inclusion in the Olympics program (at least as a test species). Now, however, it remains a semi-amateur sport, on which most offices do not accept bets due to low demand.
If you want to understand this unusual discipline and put yourself to the test, then lacrosse betting can be useful for you. There are no win-win strategies, and it is unlikely that you can make good money due to the high margins and the small number of offers, but with proper immersion, you will not remain indifferent to this dynamic contact sport. The main thing is to try to delve into, follow the news and not hit blindly.