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Top-10 non-traditional bets

13 September 2010

Last week marked the official return of the NFL, and sports gamblers everywhere are rejoicing. In the United States, football is easily the most popular sport to wager on. But there are plenty of other non-traditional sports (and non-sports) you can bet on.

Other than football, I've placed bets on the NBA, college basketball, college football, golf and soccer. So here are my top-10 sports (and non-sports) that I've never bet on, but think I might.

10. Darts

Yes, you read that correctly. You can bet on darts. At bet365 Sportsbook & Racebook you can currently bet on who will win the PDC World Championship next year. Phil Taylor is the overwhelming favorite at 2/5, and if you don't know who he is (and I didn't), check out his Wikipedia page. To say it's extensive would be an understatement.


Our resident WNBA expert Aaron Todd went 4-2 in picking games this year, despite not watching a second of any game this season. He even made side wagers on games with participants at his home poker game. The WNBA seems like such a niche sport that if you crunched the numbers you could have a pretty good idea on what games to bet on and what games to avoid.

Let me be clear about one thing though. Just because I might want to bet on the WNBA doesn't mean I want to watch the games. I'd have to be heavily compensated to sit through one.


NASCAR betting is a lot like golf betting. The fields are about the same every week. Each track is different so you need to take that into account. You can bet match-ups. You can bet on racers finishing in the top-3. And if you have a strong feeling on one particular driver, you can bet on him winning the race overall, getting a healthy payout in the process if you are correct.

As a major fan of golf betting, I think I could get into NASCAR betting as well, with the caveat being I wouldn't want to sit through a race (just like the WNBA).

7. Track and field

Track and field gets a lot more attention in Europe than it does in the United States — especially in non-Olympic years. During major competitions like the World Championships and the Olympics there are multitudes of betting options for fans of the sport. I like having a lot of options, and during the Olympics I usually make it a point to watch the track events. So having some money on these events should be natural.

6. Tennis

The only time I watch tennis is during the Grand Slams, and there isn't a lot that beats a well-played, competitive match. Tennis is also a sport where in-play betting is very popular at sites like Betfair Sportsbook & Racebook. I would love to do that. However, there have been some high-profile instances of suspicious betting on tennis matches. So as long as the fix isn't in, sign me up.

5. Hockey

Casino City Senior Editor Vin Narayanan is a big hockey fan, and if you're a regular listener of the Casino City Gang, you know that during the winter, he loves betting on hockey. I'm a fan of playoff hockey, so come April and May I can see myself turning to Vin for some expert advice.

4. College lacrosse

Maryland, my alma mater, is one of only eight schools to ever win a college lacrosse national championship. (The others are Johns Hopkins, Syracuse, Princeton, North Carolina, Virginia, Cornell and Duke.) Maryland is also consistently near the top of the college rankings every year. So I figure if I just bet on the Terps every game, I should do pretty well for myself.

3. TV/Awards shows

Reality TV's explosion of popularity brought with it another medium to place wagers on. At Bodog Sportsbook and Racebook you can bet on who will win America's Got Talent, Dancing with the Stars and Battle of The Blades (a Canadian figure skating reality show). American Idol betting is also very popular.

I do not watch a lot of reality TV, but I do consider myself a movie buff. A lot of sites offer odds on the Academy Awards, including Centrebet Sportsbook & Racebook. In fact, you can place bets on what movie will win Best Picture next year (Inception is the favorite now at 2.25/1). Fans of the Casino City Gang will remember I correctly predicted The Hurt Locker to win Best Picture last year (at 13/10).

2. Poker

Former Casino City colleague Gary Trask was a big fan of poker prop bets, especially before the World Series of Poker. And he correctly predicted Peter Eastgate and Joe Cada to win the 2008 and 2009 Main Events, respectively. If I'm covering the WSOP, I might as well have some action on it. I'll be sure to go to Gary for any advice.

1. Crazy Paddy Power bets

Paddy Power rules. The sportsbook believes all publicity is good publicity. Hence, they have sponsored confessional boxes. They have offered Tiger Woods a $75 million sponsorship deal. They've posted odds on Sarah Palin's first gaffe on Fox News. Paddy Power Sportsbook has every novelty bet imaginable.

Now at Paddy Power you can bet on which country will have first contact with aliens (U.S. is the favorite at 3-1). There's a match-up bet between Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton on the next person to be either jailed or sent to rehab. And you can also bet on Tiger's next official girlfriend. I think Jamiee Grubbs is good value at 25/1.
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