Sports betting sites have been offering more and more “entertainment” wagers over recent years, and never so many as they have in 2020.
These include non-sporting bets on politics, TV and film, religion, assorted contests, and even the weather.
Indeed, weather betting really didn’t rise to prominence until this year.
Actually, many punters still don’t know they can bet on the weather, or what types of weather bets they can make.
Will weather betting continue to be a big deal in the years to come? We are seeing fewer weather bets right now than we were during the lockdown earlier this year that put a halt on sports seasons, but there are still sites offering weather betting.
Plus, future lockdowns are likely, and punters are always looking for new experiences.
So, we think that whether you are reading this in 2020, 2021, or beyond, you will find weather betting opportunities out there worth taking.
In this guide, we are going to point you toward some sportsbooks that are offering action on the weather.
But first, let’s talk more about why weather betting exists and why you might consider wagering on it.
We will also talk about how you can take a strategic approach to wagering on weather and climate.
Why Are Sportsbooks Taking Bets on the Weather?
As we mentioned, weather betting really took off in 2020 because of the COVID-19 lockdown.
If you missed all that, you may not know about some of the weird wagers that became available during that time.
But if you were an active sports bettor during the lockdown, you probably were also looking around desperately for something to bet on (maybe you went for table tennis).
Some of the odder things you could wager on during the lockdown made headlines.
I remember cherry-pit spitting, for example, making the news.
Sportsbooks needed to stay in business, and punters needed something to bet on – anything to bet on.
It was around the time of the cherry-pit spitting that I first noticed Bovada making headlines by offering weather betting.
Key Point: During the coronavirus lockdown, sports seasons have been delayed or cancelled. Sportsbooks needed to come up with clever alternatives, so among other unusual offerings, some of them have started taking wagers on the weather.
Why Should You Bet on the Weather?
Now you know why sports betting sites are starting to offer weather betting. But should you actually bet on it? Our answer is, “Yes!” Here are a few great reasons.
- You Can Apply Skill to Make Predictions
While wagering on the weather might sound silly at first glance, it isn’t.
Think about this for a moment. Meteorologists make a living predicting the weather. They are scientists who base their predictions on careful study.
Do they get it wrong a lot? Sure. But they get it right—or close to right—often enough that they make a living doing it and are well-respected.
Meteorologists can make $45,000 a year or more. Some are even paid $90,000 a year or more.
You may not be a meteorologist, but like a meteorologist, you are capable of studying climate trends and data as well as weather systems and patterns.
So, while there is a lot of chance involved in wagering on the weather, there is definitely an application of skill as well.
- You Might Have Insights Based on Your Location and Your Own Measurements and Knowledge
Have your own thermometer and hygrometer? Keep a close eye on the weather conditions where you live?
If you happen to find bets available for the weather in your area, you might find that the data you are gathering directly gives you an edge that you would not get if you just relied on publicly available meteorological data.
Plus, sometimes you might feel like you understand the weather patterns for your area better than the meteorologists. You know how you might notice that they seem to consistently get the temperature wrong by 10 degrees, or predict rain when you just know there won’t be?
You might be able to put your personal experience to use to make money. The predictions from the meteorologists are going to form the basis for the odds you see—the bookies do not have access to your data and experience. That edge could prove to be valuable.
- What You Learn Betting on the Weather Could End Up Helping You When You Wager on Sports As Well
Wagering on weather could wrap back around to your regular sports betting activities.
Weather can impact sports in many different ways:
Weather conditions might change the surface of a golf course, a racetrack, or a field. Those different conditions will modify performance, potentially giving an edge to some who are better at adapting or performing under certain conditions.
Along with changes to surfaces, weather also can impose visual obstructions and distractions. It can make it harder to communicate with teammates, and it can alter the course of a ball flying through the air.
Sometimes weather can result in a postponement or cancellation of an event. In some situations, an event might also change venues.
For all of these reasons, being able to make accurate predictions about the weather can prove to be a very valuable skill for a sports bettor.
If, for example, rain before a race will favor one horse over another, and you accurately predict those track conditions, that might help you make the right bet.
That could prove especially profitable if, for whatever reason, you are convinced (correctly) that the meteorologists have made the wrong prediction about the weather.
The horse you want to back could be under-valued as a result. If so, you could find value in the odds.
It makes sense that if you have been betting regularly on the weather, you would be building the knowledge and analytical skills you need to take advantage of these types of opportunities.
- You Might Get Better at Predicting Weather Conditions Where You Live
If you are tired of dressing wrong for the day or failing to bring an umbrella when you need it, you could benefit in everyday practical ways from betting on weather conditions in your area.
As you increase your knowledge in order to make better predictions to profit, you will probably find that you benefit in other ways as well.
You’ll get better at dressing right for the day’s temperature, regardless of the forecast, and you’ll be better at predicting when it will rain, no matter what the weatherperson says.
So, you will be able to feel more comfortable each day, staying warm and dry on cool days or cool and dry on warm days.
Being able to predict weather accurately can also help you to accomplish yard work and home repair tasks in a timely fashion.
For example, say you need to seal your roof, and you require a couple days for it to dry and set.
If you have developed good prediction skills, you can use your own knowledge to plan the best time to seal your roof rather than just relying on the local forecast.
- You May Learn More About Climate Change
Climate change has become a charged political issue around the world. But it is one of the most important issues of our time.
How much do you know about the climate and how it has transformed over the history of our planet?
If you want to wager on climate events, you will need to go beyond watching your news channel of choice or reading your preferred social media feeds.
You will need to delve deep into scientific sources, doing your own research to form predictions.
That means setting aside your political views, as your goal here, plain and simple, is to make money.
If you do well with your research, hopefully you will achieve that goal.
But along the way, you may be impressed by how much you have learned. You will have an informed opinion on climate change based on science, not just what various pundits and politicians have told you.
You can then act on that opinion and do what you feel is necessary for the good of the planet.
- You Can Feel Smug About Your Knowledge
When it comes to small talk, common wisdom holds that the two safest topics are the weather and the state of the roads.
No matter who you are dealing with each day, you can always talk about the weather.
Plus, people need to discuss the weather often in order to make plans.
If you can accurately give predictions about the weather each day, people will be impressed by how competent you are.
Come rain or shine, you’ll be able to make the best plans for the day and pack the right supplies when you head out.
When your spouse says, “I sure am glad you brought the umbrella, I didn’t think it would rain,” you can enjoy a moment of satisfaction.
Key Point: There are a lot of excellent reasons to think about betting on the weather. What you learn will be helpful for everyday life, there may be situations where you have a profitable edge, and what you learn about weather may help you make better sports bets as well.
Strategies for Betting on the Weather
Now we have given some reasons to think about wagering on the weather. But how can you do so in a way that might pay off?
- Follow Weather Forecasts and Note Divergences
If you want to place bets on things like the temperature or precipitation for a given location on a given date, a good way to start is to make a habit of following weather forecasts and then taking notes about what was predicted vs. what took place.
Sources you can use for predictions include local and national news stations as well as websites such as NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).
Over time, you might notice trends in divergences. For example, a particular meteorologist may have a habit of being a degree or two off in a certain direction with their forecasts.
If you discover this, you can use it as input. You could add a couple degrees or subtract a couple degrees from that newscaster’s forecast for the area in question, and use that as a basis for your wager.
Make sure that you know what data source your sports betting website is using to settle its wagers (i.e. NOAA data).
It does you no good if your prediction is correct according to a different data source than the one the website is using.
Assume, for instance, that the site is using NOAA data to settle its bets.
If the weathercaster in question is consistently predicting temperatures a couple degrees higher than those you are recording at home with your own thermometer, but those predictions are in line with NOAA’s data for your area, betting according to the discrepancy with your thermometer (i.e. adjusting your prediction downward) will not help you.
Why? Because according to the NOAA data the betting site is using, your thermometer is “wrong,” and the weathercaster is correct.
Likewise, in the same situation, if there is often a discrepancy between the weathercaster’s predictions and that same channel’s actual weather reports, adjusting for the discrepancy and betting accordingly also will not be useful to you if the betting site does not use that channel’s data.
Indeed, it would cause you to lose your wager. Why? Because once again, the final data from the channel is “wrong,” and the weathercaster and NOAA’s results are “right.”
But one can imagine situations where following local forecasters might help.
Maybe the local newscaster consistently calls a higher temperature for the area than NOAA forecasts do, but the actual NOAA data often reflects those higher predictions.
In other words, it is NOAA that tends to be off with predictions, not the newscaster.
If the sportsbook is setting its odds based on NOAA’s predictions, you might have an edge if you bet based on what the local newscaster predicts instead. Why? Because what the newscaster says is more likely based on past trends to align with the final NOAA recordings.
- Research Historical Trends
You can look up historical average, high and low temperatures for areas for specific days of the year when you are planning your bets.
You can find the same information for precipitation, air pressure, and other measurements.
That data can help you to determine how realistic a particular prediction might be for an upcoming date and location.
If you can, research events around historic highs and lows to understand the weather systems that were involved with them.
Then, compare that context to what is going on right now.
It should help you to figure out how much of a divergence from the average temperature for that day of the year is likely.
- Learn About Meteorology
Speaking of weather systems, how much do you understand about high and low pressure systems, warm and cold fronts, various types of storms, and other weather phenomena?
Start out by reviewing meteorology basics, and then consider getting into more depth with various types of weather patterns.
You could even specialize in the patterns that affect particular regions, or in different types of storms.
With respect to weather patterns, this knowledge can be especially useful if you bet on the weather in your own area.
You are there to watch as thunderstorms build, as cold fronts move through, and so forth.
If one of those events unfolds sooner or later than predicted, you’ll know it. Sometimes weather systems may even form that were not predicted at all.
Based on your knowledge of how those weather systems develop as well as your observations about the pacing of those types of events in your area, you might predict a lower or higher temperature or more or less rainfall than the forecast states for your locale.
- Learn About Climate Change
The study of weather is the study of short-term events that are happening in the moment. But the study of how weather conditions average together and change over years, decades, and centuries, is the study of climate.
If you want to bet on global climate events and not just on local short-term weather events, you will need to research climate and how it has evolved over time—and where it might be heading based on current data and projections.
Key Point: Becoming an expert in weather and climate, studying historical data, and keeping up with the trends and discrepancies in predictions from various sources can help you make profitable predictions.
Top Sites for Betting on the Weather in 2020
Bovada is arguably the biggest sportsbook for US customers. So it is no surprise that this site led the way in 2020 with introducing creative betting opportunities, including weather betting.
On Bovada, you can wager on whether the actual temperature for a given date and location will be under or over the forecast for that place and time.
So, as an example, you might be able to wager whether the maximum temperature in Los Angeles, CA on December 2nd will be above or below 79 degrees Fahrenheit.
Whether you live in Los Angeles or not, you should be able to make predictions based on research.
And if you do live in LA, you might have additional insights that you can glean just by looking out your window or stepping outside for a moment.
Bovada files its weather betting section in its sportsbook, so that means that you can use sports betting promotions for these weather wagers.
The welcome bonus on Bovada for sports betting is $250. That is if you are depositing with a regular fiat currency. If you deposit with bitcoin, the bonus jumps up to $750.
Bovada also has a rewards program where you earn points as you bet. You can then redeem them for ongoing cash bonuses.
Xbet is a sportsbook that is operated by the same folks who run another of our favorite betting sites, MyBookie. So far we have been just as impressed with the betting markets, bonuses and overall experience at Xbet as we have been with MyBookie.
Xbet offers weather betting in a section that it also refers to as “Earth events.”
As of the time of this writing, I am seeing a number of proposition bets. Here are some examples:
- WEATHER | SPECIAL PROPS – Nov 28
- Land/Ocean Temperature Index for 2020
- Wager cut off: 2020 28th November 10:00 AM
- Over/under 0.99 Celsius
- NOTE: 10-YEAR LOW IS 0.61 C (2011)
- What will the Land/Ocean Temp Index be for 2020
- What will the CO2 Measurement be for November 2020
- What will the CO2 Measurement be for December 2020
- What will the Sea Level Rate of Change be on January 1, 2021
Land/Ocean Temp Index reaches a new 10 year low
Wager cut off: 2020 28th November 10:00 AM
Wager cut off: 2020 28th November 10:00 AM
(Many options are given)
Wager cut off: 2020 28th November 10:00 AM
Over/under 418 ppm
Wager cut off: 2020 28th November 10:00 AM
Over/under 419 ppm
Wager cut off: 2020 28th November 10:00 AM
Over/under 3.5 millimetres per year
As you can see, these are very different offerings than what Bovada has been doing. In fact, these are climate bets as opposed to weather bets.
Obviously you will need to research very different data and trends to make a prediction about the sea level rate of change than you would to figure out what the temperature might be in Los Angeles tomorrow.
When you sign up on Xbet, you can get a hefty bonus up to $500 on your first deposit. Sports reload bonuses up to $250 are also available. Those are impressively high promotions!
Intertops is an established betting site with more than two decades of experience and a rock-solid reputation.
Similar to Bovada, Intertops has a section offering outright bets on the weather.
Signing up to wager on Intertops allows you to grab a $200 welcome bonus.
MyBookie has been in operation for a number of years now, and have always paid out on time and offered great customer service, making them one of our go-to betting sites. Not surprisingly, MyBookie offers climate bets like Xbet does, and likewise refers to them as “Earth events.”
In fact, as far as we can tell, MyBookie is offering equivalent wagers to Xbet.
But you might want to join both sites so you can snag promotions on each. On MyBookie, you can get a massive match bonus on your first deposit up to $1,000. Right now, we are not sure if this applies to all deposits, or only those with bitcoin. You can also get 25% sports reload bonuses up to $500.
Put Your Meteorological Knowledge to Work and Bet on the Weather Now
Now you know some of the top websites for betting on weather and climate. Consider joining more than one of these sites so that you have access to more types of weather and climate bets and more exciting promotions.
Hopefully we won’t see another lockdown that puts sports seasons on hold, but if we do, you’ll have something you can continue wagering on through those dry stretches. No matter what is happening in the world, weather is one thing that won’t be cancelled.
And even if there isn’t another lockdown, betting on the weather opens up exciting opportunities to profit on your knowledge of weather or climate patterns. So, take advantage of this fun betting market. Who knows? Maybe the next time the temperature rises, so will the funds in your account.
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