You May Not Have Heard Of Finnish Baseball, But You Can Bet On It

Posted on May 5, 2020

Amidst the shutdown of domestic sports in the US, other games around the world have risen to take their places for sportsbooks. One of the more obscure examples of this is Pesäpallo betting, which is legal in Colorado.

Colorado has earned a reputation for allowing its legal sportsbook operators great freedom in allowable events. There’s perhaps no better example than what’s more commonly known around the world as Finnish baseball.

What is Pesäpallo and how do you bet on it?

Pesäpallo rumoredly came into being after a Finnish man visited the United States in 1907. After watching a baseball game for the first time, he returned to his country. Shortly thereafter, he created his own version for a brand new sport.

Like baseball, the game is between two teams. Also like baseball, the team with the most runs once the game ends wins. A team scores runs by touching all the bases en route to returning to home plate. There are several differences, however, such as:

  • The layout of base paths, more of a zig-zag than a diamond
  • The positioning of defenders, such as the pitcher acting as her/his own catcher
  • Catching a ball once it’s been hit does not count as an out

Although there are amateur ranks for the sport in Finland, the top-level is called Superpesis. That includes professional leagues for both men and women, segregated by gender. That’s the league you are most likely to find betting action on at Colorado’s legal online sportsbooks.

Right now, the Superpesis season is on hold as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Despite the lack of familiarity with the sport in the US, sportsbooks in CO will offer markets on Superpesis. It fits the bill for a few reasons. First, it’s similar enough to baseball that US bettors can easily grasp the game.

The same goes for sportsbooks as well. Sportsbooks need a product to keep customers engaged and this is one of the best options for that purpose right now.

It can be a fun experience to learn about the sport as a bettor. Since the sport is obscure here in the US, you can take advantage of the relative ignorance of other bettors and the CO sportsbooks as well.

Wagering on Pesäpallo and other obscure sports

Just as most bettors are largely ignorant of this sport, oddsmakers are likely less well-versed in it than other sports. That means their ability to handicap the events is probably less spot-on than it is for MLB, for example.

That means if you devote some time to handicapping the games, you might enjoy a competitive advantage. The relative lack of other bettors putting their money down also means the markets might be uneven.

Successful sports betting is all about taking advantage of opportunities as they come. Finnish baseball at CO online betting apps could be just such an opportunity.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a freelance journalist who resides in Kansas City, Mo. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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