Rowing betting tips, rules and strategies: 2021 Olympics Odds

DailyStoke Team

Rowing (and lightrowing) is one of the oldest sports known to man, and is seen by many as the true test of fitness – physical strength, core balance, flexibility and cardiovascular endurance. It is synonymous with the Olympic Games and it dates back to the original modern Olympics in Athens in 1896. However, it had to wait four more years for Paris 1900 to grace sport’s ultimate test, bad weather effectively cancelling the event in Greece.

Competitive rowing extends from single sculls to eights, with events either with or without a cox. The cox is responsible for steering the boat and coordinating the power and rhythm of the rowers.

Upcoming rowing events to bet on

Rowing is a sport intrinsically linked to Olympic participation with most serious rowers focusing their training on a four-year cycle to peak for each Games.

In non-Olympic years the annual world championships are the highlight of the competitive calendar. This year’s world championship will be held in Ottensheim in Austria from August 25 to September 1. The eights close the event, this race seen as the blue ribbon of the meet.

A recent addition to the calendar is the world rowing indoor championships with over 700 athletes competing this year. Competitors face off on rowing machines to see who can cover 2000m in the fastest time. Defending champion in the open women’s race, Olena Buryak of Ukraine, retained her crown. German Oliver Zeidler, who has never been beaten indoors, kept up his impressive record taking the men’s title.

Olympic rowing betting odds

You can find olympic rowing betting odds at the sportsbooks such as BetAmerica, William Hill and others. You can bet online and via mobile app. Bonus for the first deposit is given by all bookies.

The real target for all rowers is an Olympic gold medal – so much so that Britain’s Steve Redgrave did it five times. Redgrave is the most famous rower in Olympic history claiming golds from 1984 through to 2000. Luckily, there are almost all betting sites in the UK and online sportsbooks in New Jersey  (USA) accept wagers on rowing. You can place you bet via mobile app.

For many rowers a medal of any sort is enough, and there will be hundreds dreaming of making the podium in Tokyo next summer.

There will be 14 medal events contested by more than 500 athletes, from the single sculls to the coxed eights. The sculls are when two oars are used, the sweep events – coxless pairs, fours and eights – are when one oar is used per competitor.

The majority of berths for Tokyo will be awarded based on finishes in the world championships. The top nine qualify in the single sculls for example, and the top five in the eights.

All events will be run over the 2000m course which is located at Central Breakwater in Tokyo Bay.

Current rowing betting opportunities

The world championships offer the main chance of qualification for next year’s Olympics so the standard will be high and the racing intense.

One of the best crews competing in Austria is the German men’s eight, who are going for their third world title in a row. They have developed an intense rivalry with the British crew who were the winners of Olympic gold in Rio in 2016.

The pair look likely to compete for honours later this year with a further clash expected in Tokyo next year – Canada and America are also expected to challenge. A popular betting race away from world rowing championships is the annual Boat Race which is run around March/April time annually.

Rowing betting strategy and tips

The likelihood is that odds on rowing event will generally shorten on the more fancied boats as the heats progress so time your bets. There’s no point waiting to the final when the favourite has won every heat by ten lengths to place your bet – too late!

While watching how the crews finish at this year’s world championship, keep an eye on styles. The crew that blasts off from the gun and those that keep a more measured stroke, maintaining a constant speed over the whole 200m.

Also see which crew is finishing fast – could they be focusing on peaking for 2021 rather than chasing world glory?

How to bet on rowing: odds and betting sites

The single win bet is the most popular so if you’re sticking with one of the favourites then find the best rowing odds online. Check betting sites such as online bookmakers Pinnacle, William Hill and Betfair to find out what odds they’re offering on rowing in 2019 and 2021. They all offer great betting rowing world championships lines.

Please remember you may have to wait until closer to the rowing event you want to bet on when checking the rowing betting markets on online betting sites such as Pinnacle. If you’re looking for more adventurous bets then ask about winning distances and winning times. If you want very big odds you could always bet on a dead heat or even a possible disqualification.

However, the dead heat is a long shot with timings and distances now measured in thousandths of seconds and millimetres respectively. At Rio 2016, New Zealand’s Mahe Drysdale and Croatia’s Damir Martin went past in exactly the same time but Drysdale was given the gold. The distance was given as half a bow ball – a matter of millimetres.

Rowing and lightweight rowing news

In the build up to championships, and while they are taking place, there is usually plenty of information about rowing and lightweight rowing competitions on sites such as the BBC but their priority is clearly British news. To keep up to date on news from around the globe then sites like worldrowing and rowingnews are helpful.

Where to watch rowing online and on TV

The Olympics rowing will be covered by at least one domestic TV channel such as the BBC in the United Kingdom, but for other coverage worldrowing offers an extensive package.

In the USA NBC has teamed up with the World Rowing Federation to offer live coverage of major rowing events, while in Australia Rowing Australia have their own YouTube channel, So, there are many options where you can watch rowing online.


Rowing’s origins can be traced back to ancient Egypt while historians have dated the original regattas, or races, to tenth century England. The River Thames in London was the focus of those regattas, and England’s capital city still hosts one of the sport’s oldest clashes. Unimaginatively called ‘The Boat Race’, it is an annual competition between university teams of eight from Oxford and Cambridge. It was first held in 1829 over 4.2 miles of the Thames.

The quality of the competitors and racing is clear from that fact that several have progressed from there to Olympic glory. They include Matthew Pinsent who rowed for Oxford before becoming a quadruple gold medallist.

Photo by World Rowing

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