Call of Duty is one of the most popular esports games out there. Want to learn more how to bet on it? This article looks at how the CoD game franchise rose in popularity, the competitive side of Call of Duty, and plenty of useful tips to help you be successful at Call of Duty betting!
Top Betting Sites for Call of Duty
Call of Duty Betting Sites Reviewed
bet365 is a popular betting site, offering a unique “payout early” feature that allows users to be paid out early for their bets if the team they choose meets a certain criteria. Examples of this are if the NHL team you bet on reaches a 3-goal lead, or if the NFL team you back goes up 17 points on their opponent. Thr bookie also offers betting on the Call of Duty League, with the opening match of the 2021 season taking place between the Minnesota ROKKR and the Los Angeles Thieves.
Read our bet365 esports review here.
Unikrn is the only site we researched that offers betting on both Warzone and competitive matches. The Warzone betting offerings are slightly unusual, as the games being bet on are played by a Twitch streamer who has agreed to stream for Unikrn. The streamer can be watched from within the Unikrn website itself, where there are often one or two players streaming at any given time. For these “Twitch streamer” bets, you bet on whether you think the streamer will win their current match or not. Thanks to the success of Warzone, Call of Duty live streaming has seen an increase in popularity.
Read Unikrn esports review here.
Apart from the above, the site offers a live casino, which features real people hosting the games and drawing cards for the players, adding a bit of authenticity to the overall experience.
For more on this bookmaker, read Betway esports review here.
These are the best and most popular Call of Duty betting websites. If you are interested in COD betting, feel free to check them out. Call of Duty odds for upcoming matches can be viewed on both Betway and Unikrn, and should soon be available on bet365 as well.
Call of Duty Betting Lines and COD Betting Markets
Below is our list of the most popular CoD bets available on esports betting sites.
Another way to bet on Call of Duty is by betting on the handicap, which is another term for the spread or the line of a match. It is determined by the market makers, and is a general prediction of the expected score difference between two teams in a contest.
In Call of Duty, the handicap refers to the difference in maps won by the two teams competing. Since Call of Duty League games are played as best-of-5 series, the handicap is often a lower number than in a high-scoring sport, such as basketball or football.
You can also bet on which team you expect to win each of the first 3 maps played in a series. Bear in mind that you can only bet on the first three matches, as only three matches in a best-of-five series are guaranteed to be played.
Generally, the odds of winning a match will be different each time. This is due to the fact that every one is played on a different map and under a different mode. Some teams may be stronger under certain game modes than others, allowing them to have a better chance of winning a specific match on a map/mode combo they are comfortable with. Watching scrimmages is a great way to learn which map/mode combos teams are best at!
Betting on the correct score is similar to betting on map winners. When betting on the correct score, however, you must predict the final score of the series correctly to win. This means that in a best-of-five series, there will be six potential options to choose from: 3-0 (home team wins), 3-1 (home team wins), 3-2 (home team wins), 3-0 (away team wins), 3-1 (away team wins), and 3-2 (away team wins).
This also makes betting on the correct score of the series slightly more challenging than moneyline and handicap betting, as well as map winners. While there may be more options to choose from, the payouts reflect the added uncertainty of predicting the correct final score of a series.
Betting on Call of Duty Over/Under markets means you are betting on the total number of maps played in a series. This is very similar to betting on the final score, but gives more room for error.
If the set number of maps is 4.5, backing the ‘under' selection would mean you expect the series to last for fewer than four games played. In this scenario, your bet would be successful if the series lasted for either three or four matches, but not for five.
Other Types of Bets
As of a few days before the opening of the CDL season, odds were only available on the games scheduled for this weekend. At the time of writing, there is no opportunity to place futures bets on any of the sites that we looked at, but that might change as the season goes on. Below are three types of bets that will be available later in the season:
Bet on who will have the best overall kill-to-death ratio in the CDL next year, or which team will end up winning the second season of the CDL.
Bet on which teams will perform the best in the regular season and which will qualify for the playoffs.
Player Prop bets
Bet on how many kills/deaths/assists there will be in a specific game.
Call of Duty Betting Tips
Learn these tips to excel at Call of Duty betting.
Call of Duty is an interesting esport, as the game’s main goal every year is to be the best selling AAA title of the year. In 2020, the top 2 highest selling games were Call of Duty titles. As the game is meant mainly for casual play, the skills required are relatively basic when compared to other popular esports/video game titles. However, it is also true that the skill gap changes slightly between different game modes, as Search and Destroy, the only game mode in Call of Duty where you do not respawn when you die.
In the competitive scene, this means that sometimes less-skilled players and teams can get lucky, and this phenomenon results in more upsets than you'd find other sports and esports. As such, betting on underdogs, especially early in the season, may very well be highly profitable.
Given the simple nature of Call of Duty (shoot or be shot), the best guns are generally the ones that have a nice balance between damage, recoil, and range. Generally, submachine guns (SMGs) and assault rifles (ARs) are used by pro players, as they offer the best balance of the aforementioned stats.
While the good guns generally stay good, sometimes the developers of the game switch up some of the stats of the guns in the game. This is often called changing the “meta” (most effective tactics available), to which many players pay close attention. As a matter of fact, the reaction to the overpowered meta regarding a certain weapon in Warzone was recently trending on twitter under the hashtage #nerfthedmr.
In Cold War, the current meta claims that one of the best guns is the AK74u, which offers better damage than the other SMGs in its class. It is highly effective against both ARs and SMGs, making it the perfect weapon. Here is an article analysing the Cold War guns in Warzone.
Players also generally agree that assault rifles in general are significantly potent in Cold War. In the beginning of the game, the AK47 and Krig-6 were generally considered the best guns for multiplayer, but the Season 1 additions of the Mac-10, and the nerfs/buffs that came with it, resulted in the 74u taking over the meta.
Sniper rifles are also very useful in Cold War, and could be more effectual in competitive play than past seasons. However, they have been tentatively banned from CDL play, due to a bug affecting smoke grenades (which are, in turn, used to counter sniper rifles). This is not expected to last until the end of the 2021 season, though, and we believe that the team with the best sniper will have a better than anticipated finish.
This year, the CDL will go back to only having four players per team. In Modern Warfare (2019), teams played in squads of 5. This means that snipers will have more space to work with and a smaller chance of being flanked.
Other CoD Betting Tips
Read on to learn few more secrets about betting on Call of Duty.
Scrimmages, known as “scrims” for short, are when professional teams play matches against each other outside of their Call of Duty League games. These matches are played using the same ruleset as the CDL, and are used by players to practise for their matches that really matter.
You can definitely get an edge on other bettors by simply watching these “scrims” on the teams' Twitch channels.
Play the Game
This might seem obvious, but playing the game might teach you small details about it that others may overlook. It never hurts to do a little extra homework on the side, and when studying involves playing video games, it's doesn't have to be boring either!
Like all sports, Call of Duty is not an absolute measure of ability. Rather, it is a situational one. This means that some teams may be better suited to beat others simply based on the build of their team. Teams with a great sniper will beat AR-dominated teams, but how will the sniper team beat the all-SMG team that always sticks together?
Each Call of Duty Title is Different
Don’t assume the teams who placed well in 2019 are automatically due to win the league again in 2020. Modern Warfare (2019) was built on an entirely different engine than Cold War and every other Call of Duty title in the past.
Call of Duty League
As the premier casual shooter game, it is no surprise that Call of Duty is also a thriving esport. While an unofficial competitive structure for CoD esports has existed since 2007, Activision made the Call of Duty league official in 2020 with the launch of the Call of Duty World League.
Although the name was soon changed back to just the Call of Duty League after the initial season, the league itself has been a success. Twitch viewership for the Call of Duty League peaked at 330,000 viewers during the 2020 Call of Duty League Finals between the Atlanta FaZe and Dallas Empire.
The second season of the CoD League will feature Call of Duty: Black Ops – Cold War, a game made by Treyarch Studios. This game plays slightly differently than last year's Call of Duty title, returning to the IW engine. The season begins in Atlanta in a few weeks.
Two teams in the Call of Duty League, Optic Chicago and the aforementioned Atlanta FaZe, are continuations of the well-known gaming organisations built on their Call of Duty YouTube content. Founded in 2006 and 2010 respectively, Optic and Faze players uploaded impressive gameplay videos to YouTube, earning fans respect and a larger-than-realised following in the process. They are now two of the most dominant outfits in the CoD esports scene.
Call of Duty League Structure
The league kicks off next weekend in Atlanta, home of the Atlanta FaZe. Each weekend of the Call of Duty league is hosted by one of the teams and in their respective region. Last year there were 10 weekends of matches, but the schedule this year is slightly different – all that has been released thus far is the schedule for the “first stage” of the regular season. Below is an explanation of how the 2021 season is structured, taken from callofdutyleague.com:
“The 2021 regular season consists of five stages, with teams playing group-play matches over the course of three weeks to determine their seeding for the Major Tournament that concludes each stage. All 12 teams will compete every week of the season; at each Major, teams will compete in a double-elimination bracket for high-stakes prizing.”
How to Watch Call of Duty League
Recently, Activision signed an exclusive contract with Google to hold all CDL and OWL (Overwatch League) events on Youtube (feel free to check out the CoD League official channel), meaning that you cannot watch the CDL on Twitch. However, you can also watch the event with live player stat updates on the Call of Duty League website.
How to Make Money Playing Call of Duty
As the most popular casual game in the world, it is no surprise that there are quite a few who play CoD for money. We go into further detail about this in the following section.
UMode by Unikrn
Launched in December, 2018, UMode is a unique offering from Unikrn, allowing you to wager money on yourself on a plethora of game titles including Call of Duty: Warzone.
In UMode, Unikrn allows you to wager on how well you place in your next game. Unikrn allows you to select three options: whether you place in the top fifty, twenty-five, or fifty players. You can only select one option per game, and each option has different odds associated with it. As you play, Unikrn will update your odds based on past performances.
In order to play UMode, you must first link your profile for the game you wish to compete in. In some games, you will be required to play in ranked mode or be of a certain level in order to play for money. Make sure you read the instructions carefully, as there is often a limited amount of time after placing the bet that you can wait before entering a game. Read out complete guide to Unikrn Umode here.
Here are the other game titles offered on UMode:
- Fortnite betting
- CS:GO betting
- League of Legends betting
- Dota 2 betting
- PUBG betting
- Halo 5 betting
- StarCraft 2 betting
- TeamFight Tactics
Call of Duty Wager Matches
In addition to the official Call of Duty League, third-party tournament hosting sites offer wager matches, allowing players to play CoD for money on matchups organised on platforms such as Checkmate Gaming and UMG Gaming. These sites take a small percentage of the amount wagered for organising the tournaments and managing the funds.
CoD wagers are a big part of the competitive Call of Duty ecosystem; they existed long before the Call of Duty league, rising to popularity on gamebattles.com during the early days of Modern Warfare 2 (2009).
Sometimes, these wager matches are part of a larger tournament. Wager matches also feature a less-defined ruleset than the CDL, which bans certain guns, equipment and perks in CDL matches.
A common wager match game mode is Gunfight, which is a 2v2 game mode with a revolving set of weapon classes for players to use. Gunfight is similar to Search and Destroy; however, there are a few slight differences:
- As mentioned, Gunfight is 2v2, not 5v5 or 4v4 like other CoD game modes.
- There's no health regeneration. In Gunfight, all damage done is permanent for that round. In Search and Destroy, players regenerate health over time, as in all other Call of Duty game modes.
- Unlike other modes, there is a “Gunfight Tournament” game mode, which pits 16 teams against each other in a single-elimination bracket-style tournament. This is the easiest type of CoD tournament to enter – all you need is a copy of Modern Warfare (2019).
Other Call of Duty Events
As mentioned, Warzone is very popular on Twitch, with usually 100k+ viewers watching. There are tons of tournaments streamed on the platform, often organised by the popular YouTube personality Daniel “Keemstar” Keem.
One of the most popular of these tournaments is called “Fortnite Friday”, which took place back in 2018 and early 2019 and was generally played between teams of 2. Each team would enter a match with another team, so four players (2 from each team) would be a single squad in a game of squads (four players per team game mode).
Both teams, while on the same side, would actually still be competing against one another. Points were awarded for kills, and the team with the most kills in a best of 2 (sometimes 3) series would move on to the next round.
In May, 2020, Keemstar began hosting Warzone events – with the same format – called “Warzone Wednesdays”. These tournaments, each for a grand prize of $20,000, lasted 9 weeks.
While Warzone Wednesday is no longer a staple of competitive Warzone, there are lots of other tournaments being hosted each weekend, such as Twitch Rivals, which began in 2019. Their most recent Call of Duty events were the Doritos Bowl and the Season 7 Showdown, which saw $250,000 and $75,000 in total prize pool respectively. You can view all past Twitch Rivals events here.
Amateur Call of Duty Tournaments
There are a ton of amateur sites for esports tournaments hosting. Some sponsor their own tournaments, while others simply offer a safe and reliable platform for organisers to advertise and run their events. Here are the major amateur tournament hosting platforms:
- Toornament – This is a great site that offers the most options for customising your events. The site is a little bit tricky for newcomers, but it's just a matter of getting used to how things work.
- Challonge – This site has the best desktop interface of any of the sites we found. However, although it is simple and easy to navigate, it does occasionally crash and experience issues.
- ZenSports – A mobile-first tournament hosting site, ZenSports allows fans to bet on the matches held on their platform. The app allows players to create their own events, add participants, and even link player’s Twitch streams for a better viewing/betting experience. It's also a peer-to-peer betting platform, offering its own crypto utility token, SPORTS tokens. SPORTS offer significantly lower betting fees than other platforms of its kind, meaning you'll be betting against other players, not a bookie. Unfortunately, however, ZenSports does not offer Call of Duty betting, despite a solid offering of the major esports leagues.
Call of Duty Betting Daily Fantasy
Did you know that DraftKings offered CoD fantasy? In daily fantasy CoD, you draft a lineup of players to compete on your team, using up a total salary of $50,000 to do so. Specifically, you pick 1 team, 1 captain, and 4 base players. Captains score 1.5x their base amount of points. This means that, if Scump scored 10 points one weekend, he would score 15 points for whichever team chose him to be captain, and just 10 for any team that simply had him as a base player.
As shown above, players receive points for kills, assists, and time spent on the hardpoint. It is interesting that the players do not receive points for bomb plants and other potential actions in the game, but maybe those are some statistics that will be added in the near future.
The competitions are based on total points scored, and the lobbies are created by either DraftKings or the players themselves. While CoD fantasy is relatively new, we expect it to be a popular format for betting on Call of Duty in the future.
Esports Daily Fantasy
DraftKings does not just offer Call of Duty daily fantasy – they offer many more titles, with League of Legends being the most popular. You can read an in-depth overview of daily fantasy LoL offerings on our LoL fantasy blog post. Draftkings offers daily fantasy on the following esports titles in addition to CoD: League of Legends, CounterStrike: Global Offensive, Rocket League, Valorant, Overwatch, Rainbow 6 Siege, Clash Royale.
What is Call of Duty?
Call of Duty is the most successful game franchise of all time – if you don’t have a CoD title in your game library, is it even a game library?
Judgements aside, Call of Duty has seen unprecedented success and consistency as a game franchise. Activision, the parent company of the CoD franchise, releases annual titles from a revolving line of development studios: Activision, Treyarch front the force, Sledgehammer and Raven handle the post-launch content.
The franchise launched in 2003, but first rose to mainstream popularity with the release of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare in 2007. This game laid the mold for the Call of Duty we know it today, with features such as create-a-class, killstreaks, and great maps.
Following Modern Warfare (2007), Call of Duty released a slew of popular titles – the most famed being the 2009 release of Modern Warfare 2. These games had an effect similar to that of Fortnite almost exactly a decade later, creating a fun stomping ground acting as a social network for younger generations.
Today, Call of Duty remains at the forefront of the gaming industry, with the franchise claiming the two most popular game titles in 2020.
In addition to their classic, $60 annual releases (featuring campaign, multiplayer and bi-annual zombie modes), Call of Duty released a free-to-play battle-royale in March, 2020 called Warzone. Built on an entirely new game engine, Warzone features bullet physics, graphic detail, and rendering capabilities unlike any battle royale esports game on the market. The game was a huge hit, offering an exciting experience as a player and an unmatched level of visual realism for fans, while also seeing many more Twitch viewers than past Call of Duty titles.
Call of Duty Competitive Play Modes
Call of Duty betting is not too different from betting on traditional sports. Games are played between two teams; often, in a simple format. The most common game modes for competitive Call of Duty are Search and Destroy, Hardpoint, Control and Domination.
- Search and Destroy is the Call of Duty version of CS:GO. Players have a chosen loadout, one life, and a predetermined task of either planting or preventing the detonation of a local bomb.
- Hardpoint is a gamemode first launched in Modern Warfare 3 under the name “Drop Zone,” which rewarded care packages to players for capturing (and holding) portions of the map. This mode was a lot of fun and evolved into its current name, a staple gamemode of both casual and competitive Call of Duty. In Hardpoint, players must hold a small portion of the map to gain points – if a player on both teams is located in the hardpoint, it is “contested,” and neither team gains points. The hardpoint location changes locations throughout the game, creating the opportunity to strategise further in advance than the current hill.
- Control is the newest game mode added to competitive CoD, debuting in Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 in 2018. Control is a unique mix of Domination and Search and Destroy. Teams are divided into offense and defense, with the offense trying to capture (by standing on them) two points on the map (A and B). The team on defense is tasked with stopping them from capturing these points. On top of these objectives, each team receives only 30 lives total at the start of each round. Once team team runs out of lives, players no longer respawn. At the near-end of each round, therefore, players and teams are forced to play more cautiously, as if they have no players alive, the other team will easily win the round. In Control, the first team to win three rounds wins. If they are tied 3-3 at the end of the game, one last “overtime” round is played to determine the winner.
- Domination is another classic Call of Duty mode, seeing its debut in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. The mode sees 3 capture points scattered evenly throughout the map; one point is close to each team's base and one is in the middle. In Domination (“dom”), teams spawn near their home capture point, and gain 1 point per second for each point they hold. Unlike Hardpoint, these points do not change locations, so teams will often be in a continuous contest of the middle point (“B”) to gain a score advantage.
Call of Duty Betting FAQs:
Who is the best CoD player in the world?
Ian “Crimsix” Porter is generally considered the best Call of Duty player ever. He has won 31 major Championships, most of which were achieved with OpTic Gaming and alongside teammate Seth “Scump” Abner. The latter, a longtime member of Optic Gaming and current roster member of Optic Chicago, boasts an impressive 2.6 million subscribers on Youtube, and is often referred to as the best Call of Duty player of all time.
What are the teams in the Call of Duty League?
There are currently twelve teams in the CDL. These teams are: Atlanta FaZe, Dallas Empire, Florida Mutineers, Optic Chicago, New York Subliners, London Royal Ravens, Toronto Ultra, Minnesota RØKKR, LA Thieves, Paris Legion, Seattle Surge, and Los Angeles Guerrillas.
Will the CDL expand anytime soon?
While the CDL plans to remain a 12-team league for the 2021 season, they have hinted at potential expansion teams, and we expect them to expand the league in the coming seasons.
Who are the best teams in the CDL?
OpTic Chicago, Atlanta Faze, Dallas Empire, and the LA Thieves are expected to be the top-performing teams in the CDL in the 2021 season. The Dallas Empire beat Atlanta Faze 5-1 in last year's finals.
OpTic is by far and away the most popular team in the Call of Duty world. FaZe may have more overall fans, but Optic is the fan-favourite to all wanna-be CoD gods. If in person events start up again mid-season, they could get a big boost.
How do I play CoD for money?
There are two primary ways to make money playing CoD. You can either play in organised tournaments or wager funds against other players on popular esport wagering sites, such as Checkmate Gaming and UMG Gaming.
Will 2021 CDL events beheld in person with fans in attendance?
As of right now (February 2021) all indications point to the CDL being online in 2021 and for no fans to be in attendance at the events. With the vaccines being rolled out quickly, this policy could change in the later stages of the 2021 season.
How can I watch the CDL?
Recently, Activision signed an exclusive contract with Google to hold all CDL and OWL (Overwatch League) events on Youtube. This means that you cannot watch the CDL on Twitch. You can also watch the event with live player stat updates on the Call of Duty League website.
Where is Call of Duty the most popular?
Call of Duty is most popular in the following countries: the United States, China, the United Kingdom, Brazil and Germany.