First released in 2003 as a campaign shooter, Call of Duty needed only four years to develop its own competitive scene and has since blossomed into one of the most iconic and biggest esports titles in history.
Although CoD failed to reach the numbers of League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and DOTA 2, which are to date three of the most popular esports titles, its exciting and fast-paced gameplay made CoD one of the most popular games of our time with over 50 million active users as of 2020.
While CoD can be a very fun game to play, we won’t be talking about CoD’s gameplay nor give out tips on how to become a pro player, but instead explore the world of Call of Duty esports betting and teach you all you need to know about how to bet on Call of Duty.
Call of Duty is one of the gaming industry's premier first-person-shooter game titles, which puts you in the shoes of a soldier who competes in one of many team-based game modes.
When we talk about how to bet on Call of Duty, the first thing we need to recognize is that Call of Duty competitive landscape is one of the most volatile out of all esports titles.
While all esports games receive game-changing updates once in a while, Call of Duty's competitive scene is entirely dictated by the version of the game it's played on. Since Activision pushes out a new version each year, the CoD esports scene changes drastically on an annual basis.
For you to understand how to bet on Call of Duty, however, we don't need to cover every game title to date. We'll instead only cover the newest version - Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, which first saw the light of day in September 2019, when the Call of Duty Modern Warfare beta was available across all three platforms. The game's official launch followed on Oct. 25.
With the new title came the inception of Call of Duty's first franchised league - the Call of Duty League (CDL), featuring 12 professional teams hailing from 11 major cities from all over the world. The format of CDL sees teams travel to other major cities where they compete at Homestand series.
As it has become an annual tradition, the CDL has introduced a new format in which the CoD teams compete. During the Homestand series, eight teams compete in a double-elimination format (GSL) group in a best-of-five (Bo5) series.
All the games are played with two teams of five players, who compete in three game modes on one of seven maps. The match begins with Hardpoint, followed by Search & Destroy and Domination. If the series is not concluded after the first three games, teams enter overtime, where the game mode cycle repeats.
Hardpoint: A respawn game mode, in which the teams fight for control over the neutral objective (hardpoint), which rotates around the map throughout the game. Hardpoint is essentially a small section of the map, which the teams secure by having only their players standing within its borders.
By holding onto the hardpoint, the teams earn one point per second. The team which reaches 250 points first or has the most points when the timer runs out wins the game.
Search & Destroy: A round-based game mode, where each player gets only one life per round. Each round puts one team on offense and the other on defense.
The offense gets a single bomb, which they have to plant on one of the two bombsites or eliminate all the opposing players to win the round. The defending team, on the other side, has to prevent the offense from completing their objective by either defusing the bomb withing 45 seconds once it's planted or eliminate the opposing team. SnD is played in a best-of-13 format, meaning that the team which wins six rounds first wins the game.
Domination: A respawn game mode, in which teams fight for the control of a neutral objective. Unlike Hardpoint, however, Domination features three static objectives marked by flags A, B and C spread across the map.
By capturing the objectives, teams earn points at a rate of one point per five seconds per objective. The game is played over two six-minute rounds, with the team that earns the most points after the second half wins the game.
Now that we have covered the basics of how each competitive game is played, we can turn our attention to Call of Duty betting basics. We will look over types of bets, how to choose a bookmaker, and ultimately give out a few tips and tricks which will help you learn how to bet on Call of Duty.
When it comes to Call of Duty betting, there are six major bet types available.
It does not get much simpler than Moneyline betting. Also known as an outright bet, with Moneyline bet type, you simply predict which team will win the match. The odds offered will reflect the perceived strength of the teams.
For example, we can look at a match between Atlanta FaZe and Seattle Surge.
FaZe are entering this match at significantly shorter odds because they're objectively a stronger team. Since their chances to win are higher, you are required to wager $250 to win $100, while a $100 bet on Surge can potentially earn you $130.
That is all you need to know about Moneyline (or outright) betting, as there is no secret formula behind it - you either back Team A or Team B.
Map betting is in a way similar to Moneyline betting; however, unlike with the Moneyline bet, where you predict the winner of the series, the map bet allows you to predict a winner of a certain map or game mode.
Since Call of Duty is played across three different game modes, betting on map winner becomes much more interesting. As we have established, each game mode is unique, which leads to some teams being more efficient on certain game modes, while they tend to underperform on others.
Now let's take a look at the same match as above; only this time, we will look at the odds offered on a match that is played on Search & Destroy.
Although FaZe is entering the match as the overall favorite, Seattle Surge is a very strong team on Search & Destroy, which consequently sees them priced at shorter odds. Unlike how it was with the Moneyline bet, where backing Seattle with $100 would earn you $130, here you would earn only $90.
Map bet is a very powerful weapon any Call of Duty bettor can use, as it provides you with an excellent opportunity to back an otherwise weaker team on a favorable map.
Handicap or spread betting in Call of Duty works just like in any other sport or esports. With spread betting, you're giving one team imaginary advantage or disadvantage, often in the form of maps won. The most common line in Call of Duty betting will be set at +/-1.5 maps, while some matches will also have an option to bet on +/-2.5.
If we return to the match between Atlanta FaZe and Seattle Surge, the spread bet would look as follows:
Since Atlanta FaZe is the overall favorite, you can decide to handicap them by deducting 1.5 maps to their final score or add 1.5 maps to Seattle Surge's final score. If you were to bet on FaZe at -1.5 maps, you are essentially predicting they would win the match 3-0 or 3-1, while a bet on Surge would mean you are predicting they will either lose 3-2 or win the match by any amount.
The concept remains the same with +/-2.5 spread, only here you're either predicting one team to win without losing a single map or, for the other team to win at least one map across the whole series.
With totals or Over/Under bet, you're predicting whether a certain element of the game will exceed a predetermined amount by the bookmaker. Just like it was the case with spread betting, totals usually refer to the maps, or more precisely, maps played.
Here we are predicting whether the series between Atlanta FaZe and Seattle Surge will end with all five maps played or less. If we were to bet on over 4.5 maps, our bet would win only if either side wins 3-2, whereas any other score would result in a loss. In Call of Duty matches, the only two total bets you will come across will be either 4.5 or 3.5.
With futures, you are not predicting the outcome of a single match, but instead the winner of an entire league, homestand series or any other tournament/event.
In Call of Duty futures bet can be more common as opposed to other esports titles, since CDL is played across over a dozen homestand series. Some futures can also be structured as propositions, such as "will X team reach the playoffs" or "Will X team reach the finals."
The most important thing to note with futures bets is that odds are largely the most favorable shortly after the esports bookmakers release them, which is usually weeks or months in advance. This gives experienced bettors a great opportunity to place a wager at higher odds and with that beat the market, effectively guaranteeing themselves profit in the long run.
Props, Proposition, or Special bets are a unique type of bet where you're offered a proposition about an event that could happen in the game. These kinds of bets are typically used by experienced CoD bettors, who have in-depth knowledge about the game and are prepared to take more risks to reap higher rewards.
Prop bets can vary on numerous in-game outcomes, such as the number of kills, first blood, number of bomb plants in Search & Destroy, and much more. The type of bet you will come across in most part depends entirely on the bookmaker, meaning you will be able to find a plethora of different options to add a new layer to your Call of Duty betting endeavor.
Call of Duty betting is still lacking behind some of the most popular titles such as League of Legends, CS:GO and DOTA 2; however, you will have no issues finding an esports bookmaker, who will offer odds on CoD matches.
Whichever bookmaker that offers competitive odds that are constantly updated is a good bookmaker to use for your Call of Duty betting. While that may seem extremely simple, some thorough research will be required to find a bookmaker best suited for you.
A few of the best bookmakers you should consider using for your Call of Duty betting are Pinnacle, Bet365, GG.Bet and LOOT.BET.
Now that you know how Call of Duty is played, what types of bet there are and how to approach them, as well as which bookmakers are to be considered for your betting endeavor, all that is left to do is to look at a few tips and tricks which will help you with betting on Call of Duty.
It never hurts to play the game which you're planning to bet on - in fact, it will benefit you greatly. Although the metagame in Call of Duty changes at a much slower pace as compared to other esports titles such as League of Legends and DOTA 2, understanding the game, maps, and game modes will greatly increase your success with Call of Duty betting, especially when it comes to live betting.
It's worth noting that you don't need to be one of those people who have been playing the game since Call of Duty Modern Warfare open beta was released, nor do you need to be extremely good at the game to get a firm grasp of the basics, so why not give it a go?
Doing your own research about the players and teams will be a crucial factor that will determine your betting success, and although this can be applied to any sport or esport, having a strong understanding of each player's weaknesses and strength is something every Call of Duty bettor should strive to achieve.
You will come across many "Call of Duty betting experts" on forums or YouTube, who will give out their predictions, and while it may be tempting to listen to them and copy their tips, we strongly advise against that.
Keep in mind anyone can make a prediction - but it does not necessarily mean it's a well researched one. Do your own research and use the knowledge you have to make smart picks.
Understand the difference between online and LAN play
This applies to many esports titles, but there are only a few where the difference between LAN and online play is as huge as in Call of Duty. Knowing that online matches tend to have much more volatile results, meaning that underdogs often outperform otherwise stronger teams, is something to take note of when placing a wager on any CoD match.
The current Call of Duty competitive scene (2020) is played entirely on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare title. Modern Warfare was first introduced to the public on Sept. 12, 2019, which was the Call of Duty Modern Warfare beta date. The official game launch came the next month, on Oct. 25, 2019.
Call of Duty is one of the most popular video games ever created, while it also holds the title as one of the longest-running game franchises. The game started breaking records since Call of Duty open beta, which was the most successful beta phases in Call of Duty’s history.
With over 50 million players playing the game daily, and millions of dollars that were invested into the Call of Duty competitive scene, you can rest assured the CoD competitive scene and CoD betting industry are here to stay.
As with any betting, you can make money, but don’t expect to become rich overnight. Betting, be it on football, basketball, Call of Duty, chess, or any other sport/esport, is an investment, and like any other investment, it can make you money in the long run.
Expecting too much in little time will see you crash and burn, so take note of what you have learned in our “How to bet on Call of Duty” guide, take your time, and enjoy what can become a highly lucrative journey into the world of Call of Duty betting.