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Lacrosse Betting at William Hill
You don’t need a Crosse, helmet or a pair of cleats to get involved with one of North America’s favourite sports, instead simply peruse the latest lacrosse betting odds right here at William Hill.
With its origins dating back to tribal games played by Native Americans in the USA and Canada, lacrosse has had hundreds of years to forge a presence in the hearts and minds of North American sports fans.
In fact, while the sport may seem like a niche pastime to many either side of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, a survey by US Lacrosse – the national governing body for men’s and women’s lacrosse in the USA – found that over 800,000 people play the sport across the States.
Its popularity can be attributed to a strong presence during formative years in schools, colleges and universities in the States. Meanwhile, in Canada the sport is considered the country’s national summer sport, a fact that passed in law in the 1994 National Sports of Canada Act.
Lacrosse betting in Canada and USA
It therefore makes sense that both countries boast thriving lacrosse leagues, across all forms of the game.
In field lacrosse, a full-contact sport played outdoors, Major League Lacrosse (MLL) began in 2001 and features the best field lacrosse teams across America.
Currently comprising of nine teams – though that number has varied over the years – the semi-professional league has long represented the highest club level attainable for the best lacrosse players.
However, this may not be the case for much longer, as another option in the lacrosse betting stakes is set to make its mark.
Paul Rabil, the former New York Lizards player widely considered the most famous lacrosse player in the world and its greatest ever proponent, is the man behind a brand-new, fully professional field lacrosse league.
The Premier Lacrosse League (PLL) begins in 2019 and will feature six teams that are not tied to a particular geographical location.
Instead the season will tour across the USA and Canada as part of a 14-week tour. The league promises to elevate the sport’s profile and introduce fully-professional rosters and coaching staff for the first time.
Scheduled over the summer as direct competition with the more established MLL, it will however avoid any overlap with the sport’s other popular professional league, the National Lacrosse League (NLL).
The NLL features box lacrosse, the game played indoors that is the most popular form of the sport in Canada. As such, the NLL features teams from both the USA and Canada.
Currently formed of 15 teams split over two divisions (East and West), the NLL was founded in 1986 and begins in December, with the East and West division winners facing off in a best-of-three final in April to crown the season champions, making for an intense and exciting lacrosse betting market.
Olympics and International Lacrosse betting
On the international scene, it’s to be noted that lacrosse was once an Olympic sport. In 1904 the sport made its five-ringed debut in Missouri, with only two nations competing – you guessed it – the USA and Canada.
One of the two Canadian teams competing claimed gold, while the Americans took silver. Four years later in London, the Canadians defended their gold, but again only one other nation provided a challenge, this time Great Britain.
Given the lack of participation from other nations, it’s perhaps unsurprising that the sport was subsequently dropped from the Olympic Games, restricted since to demonstration events at the 1928, 1932 and 1948 Olympics.
With repeated attempts to reinstate the sport to Olympic level, a lack of global participation has hampered its chances for a return. There are, however, signs of promise for the Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL), who organise the World Lacrosse Championship every four years.
Beginning as a four-team invitational event in 1967, featuring Canada, the USA, Australia and Great Britain, the 2018 World Championship saw 46 nations compete in Israel, making it the largest and most successful yet.
The FIL is also responsible for the Women’s Lacrosse World Cup, another quadrennial event held since 1982, with the latest edition, in England in 2017, boasting a record 25 nations.
The World Indoor Lacrosse Championship and the European Box Lacrosse Championship are additional international events held every four years that provide more options in the lacrosse betting markets.
The Lacrosse betting markets
Before betting on lacrosse, it’s worth swotting up on the key basics involved in each form of the game.
In field lacrosse, each side features 10 players with games played over four quarters of 15 minutes each, totalling 60 minutes. In the event of a tie, games will go into overtime with sudden death rules applied at some levels of competition.
In box lacrosse, teams are reduced to six players per side on a smaller playing area (most often an ice hockey rink converted during the summer months), while NLL games also last four quarters of 15 minutes.
When it comes to lacrosse betting, on top of tournament outrights and match outrights, the high-scoring nature of the sport lends itself to bets on the total number of goals.
This ranges from betting on the total number scored by each team, to the total goals per match and the associated over/under markets for each.
Handicap lacrosse betting is also likely to be included in match market options, while if lacrosse live betting is in play then you’ll get the chance to place bets as the games are underway, with the opportunity to take advantage of our Cash In My Bet button – allowing you to settle when your bet is in a winning position before the match is complete.
Lacrosse betting guides
Given the history of the sport in North America, it’s no shock to see both the USA and Canada tip the scales somewhat when it comes to international lacrosse competition. The USA’s win in 2018 was their tenth title from 13 editions of the World Lacrosse Championships, with Canada having claimed the trophy on the other three occasions.
Only twice since the tournament was reformatted in 1978 has the World Lacrosse Championships final featured a nation other than the ‘big two’, with Australia’s respectable handful of silver and bronze medals suggesting that if any country is to one day break the North American dominance, it may be the team from Down Under.
That has already proven the case in the Women’s World Cup, with Australia winning the event in 1986 and 2005. Canada are also surprisingly absent from the list of champions, as the USA boast a clean sweep of the rest.
That’s certainly not the case at the World Indoors, with Canada winning the first four editions of the tournament held since it began as recently as 2003.
In the first ever European Box Lacrosse Championships in 2017, where the obvious absence of both lacrosse titans lends itself to a potentially more even field among its 14 teams, Israel defeated the Czech Republic 8-7 to claim the maiden European honours.
At club level, Toronto Rock, Philadelphia Wings and Rochester Knighthawks are the historically successful sides in the NLL, though recent wins for Edmonton Rush, Saskatchewan Rush and Georgia Swarm demonstrate just how enthralling the NLL lacrosse betting can be.
In field lacrosse, the Chesapeake Bayhawks, Denver Outlaws and New York Lizards are regularly the teams to beat in the MLL, though with no team history to call upon in the newly-launched Premier Lacrosse League, the PLL lacrosse betting markets promise to be wide open.
With that in mind, it’s worth noting that lacrosse legend and league founder Paul Rabil will line up for the Atlas Lacrosse Club.
For the latest news, previews and betting tips for the latest lacrosse betting markets, head to news.williamhill.com.