Overshadowed by an understandable focus on the world’s grand prix races, British speedway has been the mainstay of motor sport fans for years.
But what is it that attracts people to speedway tracks on cold autumnal evenings?
“In many respects, it’s the unique atmosphere,” says one avid speedway fan. “I suppose it’s the same with British speedway betting. Followers of the sport can do well at it because they’re familiar with its results and fixtures and they can assess the likely odds of one man overhauling another – they just need an online bookmaker to confirm them!”
It’s a fair assessment. British speedway betting odds can vary between online bookmakers as it’s an extremely specialised sport; some internet-based bookies, even those with a primarily UK client base, don’t even offer odds on anything but the final.
Predictions that this state of affairs could change are borne out by the increased tendency of online bookmakers in particular to start following the sport’s fixtures and to commence offering British speedway odds.
For many fans, this is a massive step in the right direction. For a long time, British speedway betting was an afterthought for many bookies, but as betting on British speedway has increased in direct proportion to the numbers of fans attending a race meeting, so prices are constantly available – there’s no longer any need to wait for the final before having a British speedway bet.
The availability of free bets is not as widespread as in some other sports, but as live British speedway betting in particular continues to capture the attention of a growing number of sports fans who get their sporting action via the TV, so the speedway-related free bet will become more prominent.
Speedway’s Elite League attracts increasing attention from newspapers, magazines and broadcasters, thus ensuring that British speedway betting too is grabbing punters’ attention. As an indicator (some would say predictor) of the internet’s enormous power, online British speedway betting in particular continues to grow at a phenomenal pace.
“British speedway odds are by no means consistent,” reckons one professional punter. “For the bettor prepared to put some effort in and identify where the most competitive fixtures are likely to take place, there’s profits to be made.”
He’s right. One of the highlights of British speedway betting odds is their variance. Smart punters can make money from this.
But away from the pros, a bet on the British speedway is as natural as enjoying fish and chips at the racetrack. Few punters attending a meeting are too bothered about whether their British speedway odds are 3/1 or 7/2. They’re there because they want to have some fun. Sure, results matter, but a British speedway bet too falls into the category marked ‘fun’.
For the time being though, British speedway odds continue to appeal; they remain one of the sport’s attractions, not least because they’re so competitive.
“British speedway bets have never really been all about the favourite,” observes one online bookmaker. “There’s a lot more to it than that. Admittedly, as the season careers towards its denouement, possibly one of the highlights of the sporting calendar, British speedway bets increase in volume and size, but not everyone is intent on backing the jollies. For many people, the British speedway bet is as quirky and as unique as the weather – and as the fans who follow speedway all year-round.