Sports betting has become one of the most exciting ways to engage with sports in the US. The availability of promotions listed from Oddschecker from brands like Fanduel or PointsBet and similar global brands means that just about anyone can dive into the action.
Whether wagering on their favorite team or simply diving into point spreads for the first time, there’s are betting markets for just about every sport and outcome imaginable.
Unsurprisingly, the focus is on sports. Back in the early 1990s, the NCAA led a successful charge to ban sports betting on a federal level aside from at exclusive in-person sportsbooks. However, states like New Jersey and Pennsylvania successfully rallied to launch online and in-person betting markets. In 2018, that federal ban was finally repealed.
Since then, dozens of states have rolled out top-notch betting markets with both retail and online platforms. States like New York and Colorado have fostered notably huge markets, raking in millions in tax money while sports fans dive into DSF, moneylines, and more.
But not all of the focus is on sports. In fact, as betting culture in the US evolves, some oddsmakers are shifting away from the standard fare of NFL point spreads and NHL pucklines. Keep reading for a few of the most interesting betting markets available today.
Super Bowl Props
One of the most popular times to focus on non-sports outcomes is at the Super Bowl. Given the NFL’s championship game is associated with all-out entertainment, it’s no surprise that bettors can also wager on other aspects of the event, such as the half-time performance show, commercial breaks, and even the National Anthem performer.
For example, this year bettors could select which song they thought Rihanna would sing during her halftime show. They could even wager on her closing song and dance routine. Other markets cover the Super Bowl MVP’s speech, where bettors can decide who the MVP will thank first and how long their speech will run.
Red Carpet Events
Some of the most competitive non-sports events in the world are awards shows. From the Oscars to the MTV Music Awards, these events bring together some of the world’s most talented performers and creators… so why not bet on who’s going home with a coveted prize?
Awards show markets also cover much more than just which stars walk home with some silverware. Bettors can also wager on things like what the host (or hosts) will be up to, what big-name attendees are going to wear, and, similar to the Super Bowl, how an awards speech might pan out. For those who are fans of pop culture more than drafts and combines, awards bets are the perfect choice.
One of the fastest-growing betting markets in the world is eSports, although the jury is still out on whether eSports (which cover competitive video gaming) should be considered athletic events in the first place. Certain analysts are of the opinion that gamers are athletes in their own right.
Regardless of whether a Counter-Strike or League of Legends pro is an athlete, oddsmakers are offering various lines on major events and leagues. These cover in-game outcomes that are specific to each title, which makes these markets a bit prohibitive for those who don’t already follow a certain league or watch live streams of certain games. Given the money and interest behind eSports, these markets will only become more diverse in the coming years.
Just like awards betting makes for great entertainment, so does betting on TV shows. Given reality TV’s tenuous relationship with reality, not all shows fit the bill. However, sportsbooks like Ladbrokes, mentioned above, offer lines on top shows like Love Island, Eurovision, and Big Brother—all shows that are verified to be driven by audience interest and/or professional judges.
These markets are still relatively small compared to those offered in sports. However, they show just how much interest there is in wagering today. The availability of pop culture markets is just another way for people to engage with their favorite type of content, and the format exactly mirrors that of traditional sports betting.