Betting on the World’s Strongest Man – The Ultimate Guide (2023)

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Last Updated on: 09.03.2023

The World’s Strongest Man competition delivers exactly what its name suggests – the ultimate competition to find the greatest strongman on planet Earth. Not only can you watch this incredible test of athletic spectacle, but you can bet on it as well. We’re here to help you get the most out of your bets, from the right strategy to the perfect bookmaker.

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World's Strongest Man 2023 Betting Odds

We will be bringing you the best odds we can find as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, check out our detailed article on the Oddschecker mobile app to see what it can offer you!

What Is the World’s Strongest Man Competition?

The core concept is easy to understand; you probably understand the basic premise behind the World’s Strongest Man competition from merely reading its name.

But, to clarify on the specifics, this is an annual global competition to crown the strongest man in the world. And it is no empty title! This is widely considered to be the pinnacle of strongman achievements, featuring the greatest strength-based athletes from across the world.

  • Competitors qualify through what is known as the “Giant’s Live” events. These take place all around the world and include their own accolades, such as Britain’s Strongest Man and Europe’s Strongest Man.
  • Winners and placements are based on the strongman performance at a broad selection of events, from the infamous atlas stones to the crowd favourite vehicle pull.
  • There is more to the World’s Strongest Man than simply lifting weights, as this buffet of big beefy competition runs the gamut of every imaginable kind of strongman discipline to leave no doubt as to who the world’s strongest man truly is.

A Brief History of the World’s Strongest Man

So where did it all begin? Before the likes of Eddie Hall and Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson made headlines, the World’s Strongest Man started as an idea to create an event for CBS which would showcase the best global strongman competition the world had ever seen.

That said, it was then largely made up of bodybuilders and power lifters from across the United States. In fact, had it not been for Sweden’s Lars Hedlund, all top three placements for the first three years would have been held by Americans. It expanded over time to slowly become a truly international competition, boosted by the formation of the governing body the International Federation of Strength Athletes.

The IFSA split with the World's Strongest Man competition in 2004, but because of the popularity and broadcast rights of the latter, it remained a place of great prestige for the finest strongmen in the world. It has been broadcast on everything from ESPN and CBS to the BBC and Channel 5 in the United Kingdom. The likes of Britain’s Strongest Man – which also enjoyed an immense boost in recognition thanks to the international fame of Eddie Hall – has also been widely broadcast.

In this time, of course, legends have been made – and not just modern titans like the aforementioned Eddie Hall, but also the likes of Icelandic four-time champion Magnús Ver Magnússon, and the comparatively smaller (under 280 pounds, which is 20 stone) Jouko Ahola, to name a few.

Many more events have been added, greater safety and injury precautions taken, and drama unfolded. There are enough stories here to fill many books, and far more than we could do justice to here. It remains one of the most unique and fascinating sporting events the world has ever known, one which never lost the original goal of determining the world’s greatest strongman in the most comprehensive way possible.

World’s Strongest Man’s Greatest Champions

It’s important to understand that a huge part of the appeal of the World’s Strongest Man is that it is a competition of personalities. With that in mind, here are five of our favourite champions, so you have a blueprint of history as a reference point if you’re new to betting on the World’s Strongest Man:

  • 01
    Eddie Hall
    There is no greater icon in the world when it comes to strength, at least in the eyes of the British public, than Eddie Hall. The Beast has captured Britain’s Strongest Man and England’s Strongest Man over a dozen times, and was the winner of the 2017 World’s Strongest Man competition. His other efforts are also the stuff of legends, and his feud with Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson brought more eyes to the World’s Strongest Man and strongman competition than arguably anything in recent memory.
  • 02
    Magnús Ver Magnússon
    Nobody dominated the World’s Strongest Man competition in the 90s quite like Magnús Ver Magnússon. Consider this - while Eddie Hall is our top pick for his all-around achievements and crossover appeal, Magnús won the competition four times. Eddie Hall only managed it once. He’s also held multiple records, including a 981-pound tire deadlift.
  • 03
    3. Zydrunas Savickas
    Savickas is considered by many to be the greatest strength athlete of all time, having won an incomparable number of competitions over the years, namely matching Magnús as a four time World’s Strongest Man winner. In addition, he’s won Europe’s Strongest Man three times, the IFSA Strongman championship twice, and has been Lithuania’s Strongest Man 16 times. And that’s only the beginning of his resume.
  • 04
    Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson
    The importance of the greatest strongman, as we have seen with rival Eddie Hall, goes beyond sporting achievement - it’s also in the ability to capture the imagination of the public. Few have done this like Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, known by many non-sporting fans as “The Mountain” from hit series Game Of Thrones. That's not to say he’s without sporting accolades - in fact, he was the first person to have ever won the Europe and World’s Strongest Man, alongside the Arnold Classic, in the same year.
    To give a singular example of his spectacular strength, he pressed a 129kg Cyr dumbbell in the lead-up to the 2020 Arnold Classic, and as 129kg in stone is just over 20 - that means his dumbbell weighed more than former champion Jouko Ahola.
  • 05
    Bill Kazmaier
    We considered whether to go with Bruce Wilhelm here, purely off the back of his duo of initial wins in the 1st and 2nd editions of the competition back in the 70s. However, we think that three-time World's Strongest Man champion Bill Kazmaier must take our final spot for the immense impact he has had on strongman competitions. He helped make the competition famous with his deadlift of a 2555-pound car and trio of wins in the early 80s. So dominant was Kazmaier that his 1980 title win saw him 28 points ahead of his nearest rival.

Key World’s Strongest Man Events

Of course, to best understand how to bet on the World’s Strongest Man competition, you will need to know the events.

There’s actually a massive selection of commonly contested events found on the likes of World’s Strongest Man and Britain’s Strongest Man competitions, and indeed, that variety is key to their intrigue both from a sports fan and a betting point of view. Here are five key examples to give you an idea of what to expect.

Atlas Stones
An icon. Five stones between 220 and 350 pounds are lifted and set on raising platforms. Leverage makes this a monster.
Either weights or whole vehicles are lifted off the ground under the competitors' knees lock. Simple in concept, but bone-crunchingly difficult.
Hercules Hold
Standing between two hinged pillars, the athlete must hold them in place for the longest possible time in a gruelling test of endurance and willpower.
Fingal’s Fingers
Named after mythical Gaelic hunter Fingal, this event sees hinged poles being lifted from one horizontal position to the other, getting progressively longer and heavier.
Monster Truck Pull
There can be little doubt that seeing a strong man pull a vehicle using a rope or a harness remains an astounding sight. Everything from a fire truck to a coal truck has been used.

How Is the Strongest Man in the World Crowned?

Considering all these events, some may assume that the WSM winning process is complicated. Far from it. We break the process down below:

  • There are five heats with five events, with each heat having five athletes. The winner of each heat progresses to the final, while the two runners-up compete in a stone off for qualification to the finals.
  • That means two winners from each heat go to the final, leaving us with 10 competitors.
  • They then compete across six more events, and the winner with the most points wins the whole thing. More points are awarded based on placement on each individual event, with 10 to 1 points being awarded based on finishing position.

How To Bet on the World’s Strongest Man

There is little to no difference between betting on the World’s Strongest Man and any other sport. However, it is less prominently advertised than some others like football and horse racing betting.

Have no fear though, because as you can see from our top bookmakers, there’s plenty of great operators available.

The only extra step could be that you may need to head over to the A-Z of sports on the betting operator to find it. There’s also the possibility it could be placed in a special event category. Other than that, you just need to register for your preferred betting site, deposit and place your bets in the same way you would for any other sport.

Betting Markets for the World’s Strongest Man

It’s not just in terms of events that the World’s Strongest Man competition is incredible versatile and varied; the selection of available betting markets also backs this up as one of the most creative and unique ways to bet.

Here are five fascinating ways you can get involved in WSM betting markets:

  • 1
    World’s Strongest Man Winner – The winner of the whole thing, the strongest man in the world, the champion. This is the simplest, most popular market, and can get you great odds and keep you invested throughout the event.
  • 2
    Event Winner – You can also bet on who will win individual events on many bookmakers, meaning that if your favourite doesn’t look like a smart pick to win the whole thing, you can instead back the market on their best event.
  • 3
    Record Breaks – One of the most exciting happenings in any sport is when a record is broken, and in that regard, this is the ideal platform to see such a spectacle occur.
  • 4
    National Winner – You can also bet on the nationality of the one crowned the strongest man in the world - an ideal bet if you don’t yet know the individual competitors that well.
  • 5
    Top Three Placement – You can increase your chances of winning at the cost of lower odds by backing your pick, not only to win, but also to place in the top trio of positions. This is perfect for when you think that your pick might not make it all the way as strongest man in the world, but is certainly a contender.

Sports Similar to World's Strongest Man Betting

If you’ve never bet on the World’s Strongest Man competition before, it’s understandable that it may seem a little bit unusual to you. However, there’s a wide selection of similar sports readily available to bet on. Here are a few of our favourites:

Combat sports are different to strongman disciplines, but things like the importance of strength, weight and the focus on individual athletes remain the same. The finest boxing sites are also often the same as the best World’s Strongest Man bookmakers.
We’ve already seen plenty of direct crossover between the worlds of strength athletes and MMA, showcasing the similar levels of athleticism and toughness needed. And you can expect the same level of quality from the best UFC betting sites as our strong man examples.
Olympic Weightlifting
You can bet on the Olympics broadly, and weightlifting events are among the most popular betting markets available. Very similar to WSM here, but with streamlined international events.

A Strategic Blueprint for Betting on the World’s Strongest Man

Considering the sport is rather unique and this will be the first time for many of our readers betting on the World's Strongest Man, we’ve outlined seven simple points to help you get started and make the most out of your bets.

1. Use a Quality Bookmaker

You should only ever use high-quality operators, no matter what sport you are betting on.

2. Choose the Best Odds Possible

We’ve directly compared the best bookmakers for odds, making it easier for you to choose an operator offering the best prices around. Our WSM top bookmaker picks are all considered very competitive in this regard.

3. Look Out for Promotions

In truth, there aren’t that many World’s Strongest Man specific promotions. However, there are plenty of great general promotions, including amazing free bets and welcome offers. Remember that these general sports offers are often the best promotions out there, so don't miss out.

4. Learn the Individual Events

To really get to grips with the inner workings of the World’s Strongest Man competition, it’s best to view it as being made up of many small parts. Learn the individual events, and your understanding of the whole thing will begin to take shape.

5. Study Qualifying Events

Want to get a better grasp on who could be the strongest man in the world? Perhaps the best piece of research you can do is by watching the events leading up to the big event, including national championships like Britain’s Strongest Man.

6. Watch Past WSM Events

If you’ve never watched any of the WMS events before, checking out as much footage as possible can really help you get to grips with various events and competitors – especially as it regularly features returning competitors.

7. Go With Your Head, Not Your Heart

What makes WSM so interesting is that it is very personality-driven. Just look at the passion people feel for their favourites like Eddie Hall and Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson. However, this passion doesn’t always lead you to the smartest bets or to a betting strategy that works, so do your best to maintain a cool outlook at the facts when placing your bet, and of course, always bet responsibly.

World’s Strongest Man FAQs

The WSM competition is an annual event where strength athletes compete to be crowned the strongest man in the world.
Eddie Hall is a former World’s Strongest Man winner, alongside the champion of many other strength-related competitions, such as Britain’s Strongest Man and over a dozen titles across the UK. He has since retired, but has appeared on several television shows including a web series focused on helping people improve their fitness. Put simply, Eddie Hall is one of the most popular and successful strongmen of all time.
Yes, it is also part of the qualification process to the WSM finals.
Yes, you can bet on the World’s Strongest Man event through many great operators.
Alongside betting on your pick for the strongest man in the world, you can also bet on the nationality of the winner, potential record breaks, top three finishers, and more.

ThePuntersPage Final Say

Few can match the World’s Strongest Man event for its market variety, uniqueness and entertainment value. And rest assured, if you’re new to the competition, these markets are widely available from many great operators.

We hope our detailed look into WSM has shown you that not only is this a fascinating competition worth your time and interest, but that there’s plenty of betting opportunities for everyone interested to enjoy. Best of all, it’s the ideal event to showcase what betting should always be about: adding extra intrigue and interest for newcomers, while providing additional depth for long-term fans.